Chuwi Hi9 Plus

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Chuwi Hi9 Plus Hands-On First Impressions

Chuwi Hi9 Plus Hands-On First Impressions

My Chuwi Hi9 Plus arrived today with the keyboard and HiPen H3 Stylus. This is a $189 Android 8.0 tablet with yet another 4G dual SIM + MediaTek Helio chip in it. This one has the Helio X27, it’s got 10 cores which might seem like it’s crazy powerful but really it’s quite average. An Antutu score of around 100,000 and storage that can do a modest 144 MB/s reads and 75 MB/s writes eMMC drive.

Unlike the HiPad I just reviewed it feels much smoother thanks in part to the 4GB of RAM it has and a much better touch response from the screen’s digitizer. At times in my afternoon with the tablet, there are some minor stutters, but it’s not common and only when pushing it hard multi-tasking. All up it’s smooth and much more fluid. But still not at the same level as the Snapdragon 660 powered Mi Pad 4 and Mi Pad 4 Plus I have. No way near as smooth. The GPU of the Helio is it’s main weakness the Mali-T880 Mp4 with only 4 cores. It’s not the most powerful GPU, it will play all the latest titles sure, but depending ones like PUBG and Shadowgun Legends will often lag at times with there is a lot to render.

The screen, however, is much better than the Mi Pad 4’s it’s bright, vivid and with the Miravision software tweaks under display in settings, the white balance and everything can be tweaked. It’s also a fully laminated screen with 2.5D glass. The minimum brightness is a little too bright for my own liking.

The build quality overall is good, nice rounded corners on the build mean it’s nice to hold, feels good in the hand and doesn’t have an flex. The Chuwi Hi9 Plus has a metal alloy rear with only the top being plastic for GPS, 4G, BT, and wireless AC antenna reception. Yes, it has GPS but no hardware compass.

The keyboard build is much better than expected, the key travel is good, the keys are smaller and when docked the keyboard is close to the screen. Rather like the Ipad Pro’s keyboard style, but the typing experience I think feels a little better than the iPad Pro key style.

The keyboard folds up onto itself and can be used to protect the screen, but the rear of the tablet is exposed. The ROM is completely stock with no real bloatware, Security patch level is dated, July the 5th and Play Protected didn’t like an application called Font manager. I saw this on the HiPad when I reviewed it. You get approximately 57GB of free space on the eMMC 4.5.1 spec storage.

Like the HiPad and others, this tablet doesn’t seem to support MediaTek’s Pump Express faster charging, it’s limited to 5volts 2A no matter what charger I use and takes approximately 5 1/2 hours to charge from 5%. Very slow going so it’s one to charge overnight. Luckily in my early testing, the battery looks good for at least 7 hours if not more.

First impressions:

  • Good build, the keyboard build is better than expected.
  • Feels good in the hand due to rounded edges
  • Great screen, sharp, good colors, fully laminated and bright
  • Speakers, two rear ones. Sound average, okay volume.
  • Stylus – Seems average. More testing needed (Check full review)
  • 4G works fine here in Spain with EU bands, Wireless AC also working. Reception seems normal
  • Very slow to charge, takes over 5 hours!
  • No ambient light sensor
  • Touch response is good, nothing like the slow/poor Hipad touchscreen with the same chipset.
  • Cameras are poor, viewfinder lag on the rear camera. The front camera is passable/okay for Skype etc
  • 3.5mm jack output seems fine, but not the best I’ve heard. Xiaomi does this much better
  • Gaming performance, some games are a bit laggy. Especially ones that run in the native resolution of 2560 x 1600
  • Battery life, it’s possible to get over 10 hours with this tablet which is a big plus.
  • Battery loss streaming 1080p is about 9% per hour, offline use around 7 to 8% battery loss per hour. This is with approximately 30% brightness which is still bright for indoor use.

So I’m now working on my full review, but not much is going to change from the above. I need a good couple of days and a few battery cycles before I can work on my final review of the Chuwi Hi9 Plus. It’s currently selling for $189 on flash sale, so far seems worth it for the screen, build and everything. Just not if you want super smooth gaming as this isn’t the fastest tablet around, even with the Helio X27 this is far from the smoothest and most powerful. But for most, it will do the job and more than enough. The keyboard is a nice addition if a little small, but good to see it’s not Bluetooth and it also has a very good build and quality feel to the keyboard dock.

Chinese tablet news, hands on videos and reviews of the latest Chinese tablets. I don't review or cover just anything, only tablets I think are good enough and worth the attention.

18 Comments

  1. I need a new budget toy for Christmas, so ordered one with keyboard and stylus. Looking forward to Chris’ full review.

  2. Already ordered mine, not shipped yet. But just like @blackburn I can’t find the keyboard on gearbest, or anywhere else actually.

    • Not sure why Gearbest doesn’t have the keyboard. They should get it soon I imagine. But I got it from the Chuwi store on Aliexpress with the keyboard and stylus.

    • contact the official chuwi store on aliexpress they will ask you to buy 30 of the $1 shipping extra fees for the keyboard.

  3. sorry also does the keyboard have another angle I mean the stand of it. or just fixed. please show us in the full review. i’m looking at this for light work.

    • It just has one fixed angle but it’s not bad they one they went with.

  4. does it run Netflix in fullhd? please test and also if it has palm rejection.

    • Netflix in SD only, Widevine security level 3 not 1 which is needed for Netflix in HD+

  5. how does the cpu/gpu copes with handling pdf files?
    Does it struggle due to the hi-res?

    • Hi, I’ve tested PDF’s and it will be covered in the review with eBooks. They look great on the screen, really sharp and clear. It handles them fine at 2560 x 1600, just when skipping ahead to load super large PDF’s can be slow but miles better than the hipad which bogged down with them. This I’ve seen on all MediaTek Helio’s and Android tablets, it’s no iPad Pro which is the best I’ve seen at handling big PDF’s. No other tablets can match it. Not even the Surface Pro.

  6. Interesting that it takes so long to charge your device, it took me just 3.5 hours to charge from ~10% to full thou i am using 3rd party charger and cable.
    just to add battery life for light task is very impressive, i am able to get more than 12 hours of offline netflix viewing out of it, 0-20% brightness which is enough for most indoor situations.

    • Hi SXC can you please confirm it lags sometimes like Chris states. Also will it handle multitasking well and the touch response has no lag? Thank you. second opinions help with my purchase decisions before the $189 flash sale is over.also where did you get the keyboard? Gearbest don’t have it listed.

      • yes, while it is not very obvious or serious you can pretty much feel the lag and stutter all of the time, to be fair the task does appears to be completed quickly but is just feels like it is being updated at 15-20 fps.

        touch sensitivity is good as long as the actions are deliberate, in the first few days i encountered quite a few mis-touches but after a while you will learn to live around it.

        the biggest complain i have is with the stylus support which arguably is the main selling point of this tablet, as far as i can tell there is no pressure sensitivity or palm rejection. its either on or off only just like a hipen h2 with no hovering either.

        • Great thank you. too bad about the stylus then. I thought it supported 1024 levels, it seems it does, but the tablet doesn’t?

    • @sx-c Yes if you use the stock charger which I have to with my reviews it’s super slow. About the same as the Hipad, over 5 hours from flat! Yes, I’ll have to update my battery info now in this post. It will be in the review, but streaming Amazon Prime losing about 9% per hour so good for around 10 hours streaming. And then offline use looking like around 7-8% loss per hout. Quite impressive and this is with the keyboard that drains a little. Mind you it’s on wifi 90% of the time, one 4G data this would be less.

      So far so good. I like the build, the screen is really awesome for the price. Just the occasional lag here and then sometimes. But for the average joe it’s perfect I feel.

      • quite a big fail if the stock charger cant even charge at 10w, at least the type c port is made to specification now. i no longer have to carve up my 3rd party charger just because the charging port is located deeper than usual.

        just wished the battery was a bit larger thou, imo 8000mah would be a minimum for the screen size, 9000mah would be perfect.

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