HOMTOM ZOJI Z9 Review – A Pretty Good Budget Rugged Phone

by Linus 0

The HOMTOM ZOJI Z9 is one of the latest budget rugged smartphones that has a nice design, pretty good specs, huge battery and obviously, this device can take a beating. As usual, let’s take a look at all the pros and cons of this device.

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UNBOXING

The phone ships with all the usual stuff and some extras include a headphone jack adapter, USB OTG cable, and a screen protector.

 

DESIGN

The Homtom Z9 has a body that can take a beating as the phone is shockproof, water-resistant and dustproof thanks to IP68 certification.

What surprised me the most was the fact that the device has a glass backplate.

The device has a nice aluminum rail with chamfered edges that goes all around the device. The top and bottom of the phone are made of shock-resistant rubber. The USB-C power port is covered with a flap. Unfortunately, the phone does not have a headset jack. The overall build quality is very good. The phone feels sturdy, the buttons are nice.

The phone is relatively thin and compact considering the fact it has a massive 5500mAh battery. Also, the device does not feel heavy in the hand due to good weight distribution.

That battery lasts for a long time. I was able to get almost 19 hours of screen-on time on a single charge. While you may not achieve this result all the time if you use the phone more intensively, you will always feel confident that the battery will last you a long time.

You can also use the phone for as a power bank to charge other devices. In addition, the supplied fast charger fully charges the phone in just over 2 hours.

The display is really nice and sharp thanks to In-cell technology. The panel looks vibrant and beautiful both indoors and outdoors.

The fingerprint scanner is accurate but the display could light up faster. Also, it is implemented near the cameras, so you may need a few days to get used to the position of it. The face unlock feature is reliable too but I found myself using the fingerprint scanner as it is simply faster.

Other notable features include a dual-camera system (21+2MP) on the back, a 13MP shooter on the front, LED notification light and a hybrid dual SIM card tray.

The loudspeaker may have a bit more depth but overall it’s pretty good. Also, it can get quite loud.

 

HARDWARE

The phone ships with the Helio P23 CPU, 6GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage.

The gaming performance is kind of mediocre. You should expect to see quite a bit of stutter in games like Asphalt Xtreme. There will also be some skipped frames in the Shadow fight 3 and finally, the Pubg is playable only on low graphics settings but there will still be quite a few skipped frames and lag. Overall, this is not the best phone for gamers, unless you like playing games with reduced graphics settings.

 

USER INTERFACE

The Homtom Zoji Z9 ships with Android 8.1. Right off the batt, you can notice that the phone is really fast and snappy thanks to the stock Android interface.

There are some added features like gesture and motion controls that work fine but that’s about it. No bloatware, no gimmicky features, just pure Android experience.

 

IMAGE QUALITY

The main camera can take nice pictures in good lighting. I can’t say all pictures are perfect but this is one of the better camera setups in a budget rugged phone as you can get some nice images out of it. The portrait shots use mostly software to mimic DSLR bokeh effect and the low-light camera performance could be better but this is what you need to expect from most of the budget phones.

The selfie image quality is quite decent but colors are usually washed out and there could be less noise.

1080p video looks okay but there could be more detail in the footage and continuous auto-focus is kind of slow.

1080p selfie video quality is mediocre as there could be more detail in the footage.

 

CONNECTIVITY

Connectivity-wise, the Homtom Zoji Z9 is pretty good. Call quality has been good, I had no issues with signal reception and GPS has been working fine.

The device also has NFC and a few sensors including a gyroscope for 360 content. Finally, the phone has a heart rate monitor.

 

CONCLUSIONS

The Homtom Zoji Z9 is a phone that offers a rugged design and quite a few other features but let’s summarise all the pros and cons.

For the price of about $230, you get a phone that is well-built, it is water and dust resistant and it can survive a few drops. In addition, I like a sharp display, very good battery life and stock Android that assures fast and snappy day-to-day performance. Finally, the camera can take nice daylight pictures. However, the gaming performance is mediocre and bokeh-like pictures taken with the help of depth sensor do not look great.

At the end of the day, the Homtom Zoji Z9 looks like a solid budget rugged phone as it does not have many flaws to consider, especially for the price.

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