Review Gretel A9: metal budget phone with fingerprint scanner

Review Gretel A9: metal budget phone with fingerprint scanner

In April 2017, the new Chinese brand Gretel released several budget smartphones. Interestingly, earlier this company was engaged in ODM-release of smartphones for Blackview.

Review of the younger device Gretel A7 , we have already done, now on the line is the more expensive model Gretel A9. Although expensive to call it very difficult, because the device in retail costs only about $ 90, and for the shares of the Chinese, you can find it for 70. What offers a new brand for this money – will help you to get an overview of Gretel A9.

Specifications and features of Gretel A9 are great, previously available mainly at the devices more expensive. But now equipped with a metal body and a fingerprint scanner, even ultra-budget tubes began, so surprising Gretel A9 will still be difficult. To understand whether it is worth buying it – we will consider all the characteristics and features of the smartphone.

Gretel A9 is typical for a budget employee, a similar or very similar stuffing is used in most cheap Chinese smartphones.

Review Gretel A9: metal budget phone with fingerprint scanner

Gretel A9: Design

Gretel A9 smartphone is not very different from competitors. It is made in a traditional rectangular design, with small roundness. Dimensions are typical for a five-inch apparatus, 146×73 mm. The thickness reaches 8.7 mm. Weighs Gretel A9 164 grams.

The front panel is covered with a 2.5D glass. At the top is a speaker, symmetrically on either side of it – a camera and a flash, as well as sensors. Under the screen – an oval button “home” with a fingerprint scanner and two touch keys without backlight.

Review Gretel A9: metal budget phone with fingerprint scanner

The main part of the rear panel is made of aluminum with a black or gold coating. Bottom and top – “caps” made of plastic, under the color of the panel. In the upper corner of the camera lens is taken out with a flash, in the bottom – the mesh of the speaker.

Placement of other elements is not the most common. Both the MicroUSB port and the headphone jack are placed on the upper end.

Review Gretel A9: metal budget phone with fingerprint scanner

On the bottom are only two screws for attaching the cover and the opening of the microphone.

The volume buttons are on the left side. The right side is occupied by the on / off key and the slot for cards.

Review Gretel A9: metal budget phone with fingerprint scanner

Gretel A9: Processor

The basis of Gretel A9 is MediaTek MT6737 chipset, the most affordable chip with 4 cores Cortex A53. Their clock frequency is 1.25 GHz. The processing of graphics is handled by the Mali T720 MP2 GPU. This hardware can be called the minimum acceptable in 2017, since it copes with the basic set of tasks of the average user. But waiting for high performance from the smartphone is clearly not worth it.

The system works smoothly, without brakes. Switching between running programs also occurs normally. You can play games, but on reduced graphics quality. The same tanks at low settings give stable 40+ FPS. In tests AnTuTu smartphone is gaining 28-30 thousand scores, of which the schedule is about 2.5 thousand.

Gretel A9: Memory

On board the smartphone installed 2 GB of RAM generation LPDDR3. This is good, because 1 GB in 2017 for serious workload is not enough. Built-in memory 16 GB, of which under the user partition allocated 10.5 GB. The memory chip is pretty smart, the speed of sequential data reading reaches almost 200 Mb / s. There is a slot for a memory card, but it is combined with a second SIM socket. It also supports USB storage for OTG.

Gretel A9: Battery

The battery in Gretel A9 is not very capacious, only 2300 mAh. For a device of decent thickness – obviously not enough: Meizu or Xiaomi at this thickness (slightly less than 9 mm) manage to accommodate and 4000 mAh. In the video playback mode, the device can hold up to 6 hours, and in heavy games it will discharge less than 4 hours. This is clearly a little, this kind of autonomy of state employees could provide and 3 years ago, so I would like to progress.

A complete power supply unit is typical for Chinese (the same PSUs are supplied with UMI and Oukitel), a European plug. The PSU has a current strength of 1A, with which the smartphone is charged for 2.5 hours. Naturally, there is no support for fast charging, even with a dual-core PSU from Xiaomi the device does not take much more than 1A.

Gretel A9: Cameras

Gretel A9 is equipped with a main camera on the Samsung S5K3H7 matrix (1.4 μm pixels). This once-top-notch matrix is ​​technically similar to the Sony IMX179 sensor and related to it. In due time sensors of the image of this class were equipped with flagships (like Samsung Galaxy S3, Xiaomi Mi2, LG Nexus 5), they also lead the pedigree 8-megapixel cameras Aiphonov. Now such matrices, slightly simplified, are placed in front of the flagships, and the Chinese actively implement them as the main sensor in the budget.

There is no data about the manufacturer of optics (it can be a Chinese company like O-Film), the aperture is not declared. But according to EXIF, the relative hole diameter is F / 1.8. It is hard to believe in this, but judging by the clear macro, it’s not like the insolent deception.After all, the luminous the lens – the more it is inclined to give a clear foreground, but to lose the details of the background.

Review Gretel A9: metal budget phone with fingerprint scanner Review Gretel A9: metal budget phone with fingerprint scanner Review Gretel A9: metal budget phone with fingerprint scanner

What’s upsetting in the camera is not the best realization of the sensor’s potential, but also interpolation up to 13 MP. Sometimes there is a desire to give the Chinese hands because they resort to stretching the picture unnecessarily often. After all, the quality of the images when viewed on the screen, it does not affect, and at 100% – on the contrary, only a stronger soap frame. In the end, it seemed to me that the Gretel A9 shoots slightly weaker than the younger model A7. Also, the camera goes a little pink.

You can try to squeeze more of the camera out of the camera (if quality is hampered by software, and not enough low-quality optics), but then you have to experiment with different alternative camera programs, “shamanize” with different drivers and camera libraries in the firmware. Obviously, only geeks are interested in this, and most want high-quality photos “out of the box.”

Video is also a little upset. The smartphone can only shoot in HD, while A7 writes in FullHD. The front camera is based on the GC2155 matrix at 2 MP (1.75 μm pixels), but the picture is stretched to 5 MP. The front-end has a flash, but it’s not very powerful. The quality of the photo from the front camera is average, but not more.

Gretel A9: Screen

Gretel A9 is equipped with a 5-inch IPS display with HD resolution. Its quality is typical for a budget employee, the viewing angles are not bad, and there is no reason to disdain colors. The brightness is not very high, around 350 cd / m2, but you can see the information in the sun. The sensor supports 5 touches, it is covered with glass. Oleophobic coating if it is, then its quality is low, since the prints can not be wiped with one movement of the napkin.

Gretel A9: Communications

SIM card slots for Gretel A9 “one and a half”: the second is combined with the memory card slot. All current communication standards are supported, LTE operates in the ranges 1, 3, 7, 8, 20 and 40, which should be sufficient for Russia. Wi-Fi is designed to work in 802.11n networks, but only at 2.4 GHz. The version of Bluetooth is 4.0. The navigation module supports GPS only. For a minute he finds about a dozen satellites, the accuracy of positioning is average: there are not frequent “teleports”, but it will not work out to within a meter.

Gretel A9: Sound

The speaker located behind the speaker outputs an average volume. You can hear a call from the next room, but if you are in a noisy place, then the incoming one is easy to miss. The location of the speaker is not the best: it is recessed into the back panel, which does not have protrusions next to it. If you are used to listening to MP3, then in normal headphones you can listen to music, but the audiophile apparatus will obviously upset you.

Gretel A9: Operating system

Gretel A9 runs Android 6, the interface of the system is Freeme OS. In fact, this is not a modification of Android like MIUI, EMUI or Flyme, but just a launcher. After all, nothing, except the desktop without a menu of programs, it is in fact not different from the assemblies of Google. Status bar, settings menu, curtain – all these elements are not changed. Runs the OS tolerably, without the brakes and crashes of applications. The manufacturer promises a speedy upgrade to Android 7.

Review Gretel A9: metal budget phone with fingerprint scanner

Features of Gretel A9

The main feature of the smartphone is a fingerprint scanner located in the “home” button under the screen. It works quite fast, it is able to recognize a wet finger, but for trouble-free operation it is better to register the main finger in the system twice.

Alternatives to Gretel A9

If you do not like the autonomy of Gretel A9, you can consider Doogee X5 Max Pro. He also has a fingerprint scanner, 2/16 GB of memory, but the battery has a capacity of 4000 mAh. But it takes off much worse, and the case there is plastic. The Leagoo M5 is also equipped with a fingerprint scanner, but is based on the older MT6580 chipset, and the camera is also weaker.

Also the rival Gretel A9 can be Bluboo D1. He also has a metal casing, a flash in the front, an imprint scanner, but there is a MT6580 chip installed.Yes, and with the autonomy of this smartphone is still the same, if not worse. But Xiaomi Redmi 4A does not have a scanner, but there is a more recent and energy-efficient chipset, the situation with autonomy is better.

Pros and Cons of Gretel A9


  • The metal case;
  • Good build quality;
  • Fingerprint scanner;
  • low price;
  • Normal memory sizes.


  • On a light version of the smartphone – the frame around the screen;
  • Hybrid slot SIM / MicroSD;
  • Mediocre autonomy;
  • The potential of the camera can be uncovered and better.

Our review Gretel A9

Review Gretel A9 left mixed impressions. On the one hand, as for a budget employee is cheaper than $ 100, this is a very good smartphone. Pleased with the presence of metal in the body, a fingerprint scanner, a good screen and 2/16 GB of memory. But on the other hand – the younger model A7 supports multi-touch on 10 fingers, not 5, has a separate slot for the flash drive, is equipped with an event indicator and the screen is brighter.

As for the camera – here, by the standards of the ultra-budgetary, everything is not bad. But you could try and do even better by making more advanced software. It can also upset and small battery capacity.

Source: gretel

Review Gretel A9: metal budget phone with fingerprint scanner was last modified: July 9th, 2017 by Tomas Shellby