Philips has just served up a new entry level mobile phone, adding on to their Xenium range with the Philips Xenium 9@9w, a surprisingly sleek and slim device with a classy brushed metal surface. In addition, 9@9w boasts dual SIM card slots and a long lasting battery life that is trademark of the Xenium range. If you find all these appealing to you, then you might want to read on in order to find out more about this new offering.
Design-wise, the 9@9w feels good due to its lightweight size and slim form factor, which allows it to fit the contours of the handa perfectly. Its gorgeous design along with its black color tone, blunt edges and brushed aluminum exterior exudes an aura of simplicity that would appeal to individuals who might want to take on a fresh, clean-cut image. The phone sports a regular keypad, split into four rows with three keys each. This seems to be more of a design consideration rather than a functional one, but to its credit, the metal navigational controls in the middle resemble something straight from the books of Bang & Olufsen.
The 9@9w is equipped with a 2.0-megapixel camera which is notably an upgrade to its predecessor, the 9@9s' 1.3-megapixel version. Philips has also integrated a TFT screen on this model for decent and vibrant color rendering. Visual quality is definitely more pleasing in comparison to the previous OLED screen being utilized on prior models. Still, its own user interface and menu system looks rather dated in today's world of full color and animated menus.
The Battle of the SIMs
As mentioned, the Philips 9@9w is a dual SIM card phone, a boon for those with dual lifestyles. You can carry both your personal and business mobile lines within a single device, making it so much easier to take on the road.
Popping open the back cover is easy enough, and you should see the battery compartment with the two SIM slots. The slots are well marked and there is even a lever to aid removal of your SIM cards, so this is one of the phones you won't have to destroy your fingernails just to install a SIM.
While we did mention that the user interface could do with a modern make over, it is intuitive and easy to navigate. Every item in the menu is abbreviated with an icon that identifies its action. This depicts a very ingenious idea by Philips, to say the least. Although most Philips' mobiles are geared towards the more frugal business class, reasonable multimedia functions are also included, for instance, the camera and also an audio player. In order to tackle the problem of limited capacity on the mobile, Philips has embedded a microSD card slot for up to 2GB of extra memory storage.
As with all Philips' Xenium range devices, a long battery life is expected as it utilizes a highly efficient power saving feature. The mobile can be scheduled to power on or off, so that energy could be conserved. Estimated talk time is rated at eight hours and when we took the mobile for a spin, we did not need to recharge the battery for a whole week after its initial charge. Call quality was excellent as no interference was experienced under a series of different environments.
Network features are limited to GPRS and old school WAP, which is expected for such a mainstream device, but still a point to take note of. The 9@9w also packs Bluetooth A2DP as well as USB connectivity.
Again, Philips has portrayed excellent battery life on their Xenium mobiles which has proven to be unrivalled in any sense. It may not be the most feature rich mobile around, however with simplicity, clean aesthetics and the amount of talk time that could be carried in your hands; the Philips Xenium 9@9w is a decent entry-level workhorse going for S$488.