Elephone P9000 hands-on

Elephone P9000 hands-on
This story is sponsored by Elephone. PhoneArena's opinions in this article have not been affected in any way!

Chinese brand Elephone has yet another hopeful in its smartphone lineup – the P9000. This is an upper mid-range model, priced a bit over $250, that aims to offer everything and a little more than what a budget-conscious buyer expects from a handset. At a glance, the P9000 has it all – nice design, a big screen, up-to-date specs and software, a decent camera, and an affordable price tag. Let's see if Elephone is able to deliver on the P9000's potential, then!

Elephone P9000 hands-on
Elephone P9000 hands-on
Elephone P9000 hands-on
Elephone P9000 hands-on
Design


The Elephone P9000 presents the interesting combination of an anodized aluminum frame and a back panel with a sandpaper-like texture that may be familiar to some from OnePlus' products. It makes for a design that's unconventional, but attractive, and with the way the phone's built, it doesn't feel cheap or flimsy! There are no creaky or shallow spots to complain of. Thanks to its thin screen bezels, the P9000 is impressively compact, considering its big, 5.5-inch display. It also feels fine in the hand with the back panel's texture and gentle curve.

The touch-based Home button, which is also home to the notification light, is arguably clever. Tap it once to go Back, tap twice to return to the Home screen, or hold your finger to get the Recent Apps menu. But its placement is such that errant taps on it happen quite easily, instantly distracting you from what you're currently doing.

Fingerprint scanner


Indeed, there's a fingerprint scanner on the Elephone P9000, which is still a rarity among devices in its price range. It's positioned on the back, right below the camera lens, and it's rather simplistic: a plain circle that isn't decorated or separated in any notable way. Still, finding it by touch isn't too difficult, once you get used to it. The scanner isn't flawless, or as quick as those of premium handsets, but it does the job reliably enough. You can unlock the smartphone with it and authorize mobile payments via NFC shopping terminals.

Display


The handset has a 5.5-inch, 1080p-resolution IPS LCD screen. It's made by LG and it looks pretty good! Also, we're really fond of how compact the handset is, despite the spacious screen real estate. Function-wise, there's a gesture control feature that lets you draw shapes on the screen while it's powered off to activate certain features. There's also the built-in MiraVision tool, which lets you make various image adjustments, such as contrast, saturation, sharpness, and color temperature. This way, you can really tune the display to how you like it.

Interface


The international P9000 model ships with a clean build of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Excluding Elephone's enhancements, which thankfully don't get in the way, the vibe is that of stock Android running on a Nexus phone, which is fairly smooth and straightforward.

The lone button on the P9000's left can be set to run any of the apps you have installed, or simply left to act as a 'mute' key. We find it convenient for that and quickly launching the Camera app to snap some photos. It's a nice feature to have.

Other niceties added by Elephone are a download booster, a pocket dial prevention toggle, flip to mute, toggling the Android nav bar on and off, excluding specific apps from background process cleaning, and scheduled power on and off. We'd rather have such options, than have our smartphones loaded with bloatware.

Processor and Memory


The Elephone P9000 presents an upper mid-range spec sheet, with the MediaTek MT6755 Helio P10 processor and 4GB of RAM at its heart. The chipset includes an octa-core 2GHz CPU and an ARM Mali-T860 GPU. There are 32GB of expandable storage memory, which is definitely generous at this price point.

These specs sound impressive on paper and the P9000 feels quick and responsive in everyday use or when playing casual games. You won't be able to max-out intense games like GTA: Liberty City Stories and enjoy smooth framerates, but if you can reduce the amount of detail and effects, they will be playable as well.

Camera


There's a 13MP Sony camera on the P9000's back, adorned with a dual-LED flash and laser autofocus. On the front, there's an 8MP selfie cam.

The camera app is fairly simple, but it's not missing out on any features that most users would expect, such as scene modes, white balance settings, image properties adjustments and the like. There's also the ability to save photos in raw .dng format, along with the option to take a photo from both cameras simultaneously.

Expectations


At $270 prior to shipping costs and import taxes, the Elephone P9000 is a well-rounded proposition. It looks and handles well with its compact design, sturdy metal frame, and smooth, yet grippy back. For the price, it presents a very capable set of specs which, bar complex 3D games, will let you have a decent Android experience. The fingerprint scanner's presence is a nice surprise, as it is rare to non-existing among phones at this price point.

Now, we can't say the P9000 will be our first choice if we had to shop sub-$300 smartphones, considering there are options like the $250 OnePlus X. Moreover, the LTE band support is somewhat limited, which means you can't rely on fast 4G internet in many parts of the globe. 

However, Elephone did let us know that a P9000 version with US LTE bands support will be available in May. This would make the Elephone P9000 is an interesting and competitive proposition for stateside customers, especially if you demand fingerprint security and lots of RAM. Moreover, the company will release the P9000's kernel source next month, giving enthusiastic developers a chance to make what they wish out of the powerful hardware.

The Elephone P9000 will ship in early April, with a selection of optional accessories available for sale as well. There's a wireless charger ($15), a 12V fast charger ($15), a tempered glass screen protector + smart case ($15), a clear case (bundled with the phone), and a quick charge data cable ($10). These work as expected, but don't stand out with design or other notable features.

If you want to learn more about the smartphone, feel free to visit its product page or head straight to the official Elephone web store.

Also read:


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21 Comments

1. fonelover

Posts: 255; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Can anyone help me understand basic difference between helio x10 and p10?

4. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

GPU? X10 - G6200 P10 - T860MP2

15. S-R-K

Posts: 304; Member since: Mar 15, 2016

Crappy Cpu and Gpu. Ruined this beautiful sex phone.

17. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

What? You expecting a Snapdragon 820 in this price range?

18. fonelover

Posts: 255; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Thanks.

2. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Wow, looks like a really great phone for the price.

6. dazed1

Posts: 787; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

Not reaaly. Redmi note 3 pro destroys it.

9. KyleRiemen

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

In some aspects yes, in others not. Positive: supports band 20, 4 GB RAM, Quick Charge, better display, better camera, android 6, USB Type C. Negative: smaller battery, less powerful, less support It depends on you preference.

13. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

plus wireless charger and 12V fast charging (its optional acc tough)

5. tacarat

Posts: 853; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

I know this is sponsored, but did it really have to omit battery specs?

11. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

One retailer lists the P9000 as having a 3000 mAh battery but it remains to be seen how good the battery life is.

19. ddua76

Posts: 1; Member since: May 03, 2016

Its a great phone but missing power/battery management feature which is a downside as battery drains rapidly even in standby mode.

8. gaming64

Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

Just an ordinary phone. Nothing out of the ordinary.

16. S-R-K

Posts: 304; Member since: Mar 15, 2016

Super sexy like the Z5. Not like ugly S7 ip6 and G5.

10. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

A bit picky of this reviewer to complain about the risk of accidentally touching the home button on the P9000 when it is much more of a risk with 3 separate buttons at the bottom. I have used Meizu phones that work the same way and I find it miles better to have only one button for several functions.

12. shield

Posts: 817; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

Not bad.

20. KIKIA

Posts: 7; Member since: May 06, 2016

OUKITEL Festival Season on Aliexpress Date: May 9 to 16th (GMT+8) upcoming phone sold from Aliexpress OUKITEL K10000: 20% off; OUKITEL K6000 PRO: 20% off; OUKITEL C3: 20% off; OUKITEL K4000: 15% off; OUKITEL K4000 PRO: 10%

21. cybermanno3

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 11, 2017

WARNING WARNING WARNING (IMO) DO NOT BUY THE P9000 OR FROM ELEPHONE SEE BELOW! Hi all just a warning to say that following the unfortunate purchase of a phone from this company... I have returned the faulty phone in the manner as specified by Elephone. According to the tracker Elephone received the package 3 weeks ago. They now have my money and the faulty (and IMO poorly designed phone). I have emailed a number of times and they have not responded. I am in the process of contacting paypal, with a veiw to raising a dispute to see if they can do anything. My advice to anyone considering buying a phone from this company is to think again. DO NOT BUY FROM THIS COMPANY. THEY WILL NOT RESPOND TO YOUR EMAILS. THEY WILL NOT SUPPORT YOUR PRODUCT PROPERLY. I am very disappointed as I was promoting Elephone products based on a P5000 that we had in the family and have just been massively disappointed with the P9000 and everything that has followed. WARNING WARNING WARNING DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE OR FROM THIS COMPANY BELOW IS MY OPINION OF THE PHONE: The SIM/SDcard holder is so unreliable as to make the phone useless as a method of reliable communication. Suggestions to "tape the holder to the phone" have certainly NOT worked for me and I have given up and started using my Samsung i9100 again, which I can rely on to at least recognise that it has a SIM inserted 100% of the time... Unlike the P9000. The best workaround that I found to avoid the "Do you want to change the default write disk" message that came up everytime that I switched the P9000 on was to take the 64GB MicroSD and put it in a drawer. The 13MP Sony Camera supplied takes adequate pictures during theday (although anything brightly coloured is heavily saturated), but should you wish to capture any usable photographs of your loved ones indoors your best bet is to put your P9000 down and use another camera or indeed any other person's phone. Sony clearly have not given Elephone the proper unlock code for their hardware, I imagine because Sony would prefer you to purchase their phones, which is fairly likely following my experience here and having seen my wife's Xperia Z2 in action. I tried to return the phone almost immediately after I received it but Elephone wriggled and squirmed not wishing to accept responsibility for their substandard product... I was persuaded to hold out for software updates that supposedly would FIX (hahahahhaaha). The built in speakers are "Tinny" and do not sound good at all. The fingerprint reader is notoriously unreliable. I have other issues with the phone, home button stopped working... returned the phone and now currently neither have my money or phone...! FYI: AVOID THIS BRAND AND PARTICULARLY THIS PHONE!!

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