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The Chuwi Hi9 is aimed at the gamer -- but it fulfils other roles too. It is a fairly compact tablet with dimensions of 216.6 x 129.5mm and at only 7.9mm thick, feels nice to hold. It has a nice form factor for one-handed book reading.
Externally there is a micro USB slot, a TF Card slot for cards up to 128Gb in size, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The matte black plastic exterior is sturdy and well manufactured.
The Hi9 has an 8.4 inch OGS full lamination screen with 2560 x 1600 resolution. It is a nice screen with no blur, and a good screen-to-body ratio.
Inside the tablet there is a Media Tek 8173 1.9GHz quad core game CPU and a Power VR GX6250 graphics chip running at 700MHz. It has 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB ROM.
The OS is Android 7.0 Nougat and the tablet has a 5,000mh battery which will last for about 7-8 hours, before needing a 5V/3A charge.
Android tablets do seem to be back in fashion at the moment. Chuwi announced at CES 2018 that it is working on another Android tablet -- the Hi9 Air.
The Air will be larger than the Hi9 with a 10.8 inch 3:2 IPS screen, and resolution of 1920x1280 pixels. It will be powered by the same Mediatek 8176 chipset as the Hi9 but is intended to run on Android 8.0 Oreo.
A nice feature will be the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor, 5MP front facing camera and 8MP rear camera.
I was not too impressed with either of the cameras on this particular tablet. The Hi9 has a 5MP rear camera at the top left corner of the case, and a 2MP front camera.
There is limited functionality in the camera app and settings are well hidden with few options to customise. The maximum resolution in 16:9 format gives an image of 3.7MP. Images are a little grainy and not well defined in lower light conditions
Sound from the on board speaker is not too bad -- not high fidelity -- but a reasonable quality and volume. I expect that most users would connect headphones for a more immersive sound experience.
I found the tablet to be a little hesitant in its response. After quickly typing my PIN, I noticed a slight lag before the PIN appeared on screen to unlock. I also saw hesitation when moving around in apps and system settings.
I also found it annoying when the screen went black after only a few seconds. Switching off the adaptive brightness seemed to solve this for me -- although, I now chewed through the 5,000mAh battery more quickly.
For a purse-sized tablet at under $200, the Chuwi Hi9 certainly fits the bill. Battery life is good, and performance is not too bad. It is a shame the camera could be improved. Camera enthusiasts might want to wait to see the Hi9 Air camera offering before making a final choice.