Ninetology Marketing Sdn Bhd (“Ninetology”), ASEAN mobile device vendor launched its premium line of smartphones yesterday – the U9 series. The series feature top-of-the-line specs, engineered to fit the profile of the youth and urbanites. The three models – X1, Z1 and the Z1+ are new stylish devices that offer performance and bang-for-buck.
The U9 series utilises silicon from MediaTek Inc (“MediaTek”), the leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions in which Ninetology has a strategic partnership with. Across the board, MediaTek’s quad-core MT6589 chipsets are used to power the latest applications and enhance overall user experience.
Sean Ng, CEO of Ninetology said at the launch that Ninetology currently sits in second place in terms of mobile device market share in Malaysia. That’s an impressive position for a local vendor. Ninetology plans to capture a sizeable share in the premium smartphones category and targets to sell 80,000 units of there U9 series in Malaysia.
The new series will see a rollout into other ASEAN markets as well.
Packing a punch
The U9 X1, Z1 and Z1+ feature the same MediaTek MT6589 1.2Ghz quad-core processor and come powered by Android 4.2.1 out of the box. With impressive Super AMOLED HD displays ranging from 4.8 inches to 5.7 inches, and capable of pushing 1280 x 720 pixels at 309PPI, the new devices offer display performance that can compete with the best out there. Additionally, the U9 utilises Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2 (Z1 and Z1+) to ensure the brilliant displays remain protected in even the most robust use.
The devices pack 1GB RAM, 16GB of storage, with the X1 and Z1+ also offering SD memory card slot, allowing for an additional 32GB of additional storage space.
High end shooter
Possibly unheard of at the price points these devices are being offered at, the U9 series feature 12MP and 13MP main cameras, even boasting a ‘dual camera’ function that allows for simultaneous use of both front and rear cameras. The front camera is rated at 5MP. In terms of camera software and functions, you get the usual bells-and-whistles expected from a top end Android – continuous shot (up to 99 shots), smile and face detection, quick panorama, burst shot and HD video recording.
The U9 series devices are slim and light – the X1 is 10mm slim, and weighs just 160g; Z1 at 9.3mm and 191g and finally; the Z1+ measures just 9mm and weighs 158g.
Price and Availability
The X1 comes in red and black and retails at RM1,099 (SRP). The Z1 also offered in black costs RM1,199 (SRP) and the Z1+ is offered at RM1,299 (SRP), available only in white. The new series is available at all major phone retailers and at its first flagship corner in Low Yat Plaza, expected to be launched in mid-August.
What we think
While positioned as premium smartphones, the U9 series do not come at a premium price. In fact, when you look at the impressive tech specs, they come at a price that’s hard to beat. Tech specs of course, isn’t the only reason one would buy a smartphone. But it does show how serious Ninetology is about grabbing quick marketshare. The main obstacle, we feel, is brand recognition and brand exposure. The U9 will be competing with the likes of the plethora of Samsung, HTC, Sony, Nokia and iPhone devices out there. If users out there can be swayed on price point alone, then we may have a fight on our hands.
Wait up for our hands-on first impressions.[wzslider autoplay="true" lightbox="true"]
More photos on Flickr