Leagoo S9 Review; It Is Not A Clone - TeknoGadyet
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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Leagoo S9 Review; It Is Not A Clone

INTRODUCTION:

Leagoo is a Chinese smartphone brand that recently joined the already saturated Philippines market, and they brought along several devices to start the ball rolling. Their top of the line offering that is currently available for purchase locally is the Leagoo S9.

Leagoo S9 Review; It Is Not A Clone
Leagoo S9 Review; It Is Not A Clone

The Leagoo S9 was unveiled earlier this year, and touted as an Apple iPhone X look-alike, while some boldly says it is a copycat or a clone. However, the real question is not about its physical appearance, but if it is worth a shot buying. That is something we will try to answer in this review. So, let's start!


PHYSICAL:


Leagoo S9 Unboxing and Hands-on

The first time we got to hold the Leagoo S9, our first impression is, it looks and feels premium, however, a bit thicker than most phones that we usually review these days. And, a quick glance at its specs sheet reveals that it is slightly chubby at 8.9mm. But, after a few moments of using it, we just realized it is not really thick at all, it was the free clear case that makes it feel like one. In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is around 8.5mm, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro at 8.6mm, while the Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is about as thick at 8.8mm. Meanwhile, it measures 149.2mm x 73.5mm in terms of height and width.

Leagoo S9 Front
Front

The front is mainly occupied by the 5.85-inch IPS Notch Full Display that has 1512 x 720 resolution, or 286 pixels per inch. Leagoo claims that it has around 90% screen-to-body-ratio and small bezels. While we have no means to confirm the former, we can say that the latter is at least true at some point. The bezels are small, however, it is not as small or thin as the promotional images that the brand uses on their website. If we are to estimate, the bezels are about 2.5mm on the sides, and around 9mm at the bottom and on the notch area.

Leagoo S9 Notch Display
Notch Display

Speaking of notch, it is about the same size found in the Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus, and iPhone X. There is no option to 'hide' it, but there is an option to display the apps in full or just in 18:9 aspect ratio.

See Also: Leagoo M9 with Quad Cameras Now Available for Only Php3,605

The bright display delivers rich colors with good sunlight legibility, and adaptive brightness that works just fine. There is no mention about Gorilla Glass or any similar protection, but there is a pre-installed plastic film, which makes you worry less about scratches or dings on the screen. And, by the way, it supports up to 5 simultaneous touches.

Leagoo S9 Back
Back

Going in the back, you will find here another iPhone X similarity, which is the placement and arrangement of dual cameras and LED flash. The supposedly position of the apple logo is replaced with the fingerprint sensor and the LEAGOO name directly below it. The back looks like made of glass, however, it feels like the material used is an ABS plastic with just shiny coating.

Leagoo S9 Sides
Sides

The top sports the 3.5mm audio jack, the right side have the volume keys and power button, the bottom houses the microphone, loudspeaker grille, and USB Type-C port, while the left side is where the hybrid tray is located. The tray can accommodate either two Nano SIM cards or a combination of Nano SIM + MicroSD.

Overall, the Leagoo S9 does not really look like an iPhone X, as its design is now common for Android devices. Yes, there is a small resemblance, but not to the extent that you can't tell which is which. Besides, S9 outer dimensions are larger than the X. The one we have for review is colored black, but there are two more shades available, gold and blue, to choose from.


SOFTWARE:

Leagoo S9 Software
Software

It runs on Android 8.1 Oreo, however, you won't get the pure Android experience as Leagoo has put their own skin call Leagoo OS4.0, which according to them works nicely with the notch display. The good thing here is that the factory installed apps are few, which are just the essentials with the addition of Google bloatwares. In actual usage, it still feels you are still using pure Android, the navigation and gestures are similar not to mention it is also fast and fluid.


PERFORMANCE:

Leagoo S9 CPU-Z Info
CPU-Z Info

The Leagoo S9 work horse is a bit old, the MediaTek MT6750, which is a chipset from more than two years ago. It is the same silicon chip found on the previous generation of smartphones from other phone makers, such as the OPPO F1s, Vivo V5s, and LG Stylus 3. It packs an octa core Cortex-A53 processor divided into two clusters, 4 clocked at 1.5GHz each, and another 4 at 1GHz each, while the GPU is an ARM Mali-T860MP2 clocked at 520MHz. Thankfully, they paired it generously with 4GB of RAM.

Below are the benchmark scores:

Antutu - 52,281
Geekbench - 649 (single core)
Geekbench - 2,253 (multi core)
Geekbench - 1,967 (RenderScript)
PC Mark - 3,877
3D Mark Sling Shot - 155
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme - 116 (OpenGL ES 3.1)
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme - 5,344

Leagoo S9 Benchmark Results
Leagoo S9 Benchmark Scores
Benchmark Scores

The results are at par with the devices that use the same chipset and that of using Snapdragon 435 like the Huawei Y7 Prime. However, its raw processing power is lower when compared to today's batch of devices. A good comparison is the Xiaomi Redmi 6, which is priced similarly, and runs on entry-level Mediatek Helio A22 octa core chip. All the Redmi benchmark results are higher than the Leagoo S9.

The MT6750 chip might be old, but it is not rusty at all. It is still able to provide satisfying performance even under heavy load. Navigating the interface is pleasant because of its fluidity, and switching between multiple apps is smooth. It can also run light to moderate games without noticeable lag, such as Mobile Legends, Modern Combat, and Dead Trigger 2. In fact, it can also play PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9, although in lower graphics setting.

Also Read: Leagoo XRover Announced; 18:9 Screen, 6GB RAM, Dual Cameras and 5000mAh Battery

Moving on, the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor works pretty well, it is quite fast and unlocks the phone in almost an instant. Meanwhile, the face unlock feature also works as it should, however, it is slightly slower than unlocking using fingerprint. Based on our test, it takes about a second to unlock using face recognition.

Leagoo says they are using Awinic (Shanghai Awinic Technology Co. Ltd. is a fabless IC maker in China) audio chip inside the S9. There is no mention about the exact model of the chip, but the brand says it is able to deliver close to Hi-Fi audio quality. Based on our experience, the loudspeaker output is commendable in terms of clarity and audio reproduction with the right amount of loudness. There is also a 3.5mm audio jack, however, there is no earphones included in the package.


CAMERA:

Leagoo S9 Dual Rear Cameras
Dual Rear Cameras

The Leagoo S9 is equipped with dual rear cameras composed of 13MP Sony IMX sensor with f/2.2 aperture plus another 2MP f/2.4 module. Meanwhile, an 8MP OmniVision with an f-stop of f/2.0 is mounted in the front for taking selfies.

Leagoo S9 Camera Interface
Camera Interface

The interface is quite simple, the Flash, HDR, Filter, and Setting buttons are located in the upper portion, while at the lower part of the UI are the shooting modes followed by the recent image, shutter, and camera toggle button directly below them. The modes are worth mentioning are HD, which stitches multiple photos to create 65MP Ultra HD image,

Dual-Rear Camera Samples:

Leagoo S9 Main Camera Samples - Plants
Plants
Leagoo S9 Main Camera Samples - Pool
Pool
Leagoo S9 Main Camera Samples - Garden
Garden
Leagoo S9 Main Camera Samples - Superman
Superman
Leagoo S9 Main Camera Samples - Innards
Innards
Leagoo S9 Main Camera Samples - Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree

The main shooters produce good quality images during daytime or when there is ample lighting condition. We mentioned good because the color reproduction is there, the sharpness is decent, however, resolving highlights is something it is having a hard time to do even when HDR is on. The 65MP HD mode is quite nice to have, especially if you want to add more crisp to your shots.

Moving on to indoor, low-light, and night shots, the resulting images are serviceable, at least for social media sharing. However, lots of details aren't captured well, noise is noticeable, and pictures tend to be darker than the actual subject.

Front Camera Samples:

Leagoo S9 Front Camera Samples - Selfie without Beautification
Selfie without Beautification
Leagoo S9 Front Camera Samples - Selfie with Beautification
Selfie with Beautification

Just like its rear counterpart, the front snapper produces good images when there is good lighting, while shooting in a not so lit environment will usually give mediocre output. What's commendable here is the beautification feature, which for us can be considered at par in today's standard.


CONNECTIVITY:

The S9 can board up to two Nano SIM cards with high speed mobile data via LTE, no 700MHz though. If you have no data plan, you can always rely on its dual band WiFi, that is 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Other connectivity features are Bluetooth v4.0, GPS with A-GPS, USB Type-C with OTG function, and FM radio.


BATTERY:

Leagoo S9 Battery Info
Battery Info

It is equipped with 3,300mAh battery made by LG and supports the Pump Express 5V/2A quick charge technology. Charging it using the supplied 10W charger took about 1 hour and 45 minutes to fully charge from 0 to 100%. Meanwhile, in the PC Mark battery test, it scored 8 hours and 13 minutes, which is above average. In terms of daily usage, it usually gives us more than a day of on screen time under normal workload.


CONCLUSION:

Aside from its nice look and premium build quality, the Leagoo S9 offers vibrant display, above average battery life, generous amount of RAM, and still capable processor, which easily translates to good overall performance.

However, with an asking price of 7,845 pesos and being a less popular brand in the market, it currently faces tough competition from other Chinese manufacturers.

Leagoo S9 Specs (Philippines):

  • Dual Nano SIM, dual standby, supports LTE connectivity
  • 5.85-inch capacitive HD+ (1512x720) touchscreen display
  • Dimensions: 149.2mm x 73.5mm x8.9mm
  • Weight: TBC
  • Leagoo OS4.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 64-bit octa core CPU Cortex-A53 (4x1.5GHz + 4x1.0GHz), ARM Mali-T860MP2 GPU, MediaTek MT6750 chipset
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB internal storage, expandable up to 128GB via micro SD, uses SIM 2 slot
  • 13MP f/2.2 + 2MP dual main cameras with LED flash, 1080p video recording
  • 8MP f/2.0 secondary camera
  • Multimedia player
  • FM Radio
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual band
  • USB Type-C with OTG function
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • Sensor: fingerprint, accelerometer, light, proximity
  • Battery: 3300mAh Li-Ion, non-removable
  • Colors: black, gold, blue
  • Price: Php7,845 (Shopee and Lazada)

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