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Karbonn K9 Music 4G

Colours:
Blue
Features:
  • Supports Indian bands
  • VoLTE
  • 16 GB + 128 GB Expandable
  • Dual SIM
  • No Fingerprint sensor
  • USB OTG Support
  • FM Radio

Highlights from Expert Review

Pros
  • Decent build and design
  • Stock Android
  • Excellent audio experience
Cons
  • Average performance
  • Poor cameras
  • Battery life isn’t impressive

Specifications

General
Launch DateDecember 21, 2017 (Official)
BrandKarbonn
ModelK9 Music 4G
Operating SystemAndroid v7.0 (Nougat)
SIM Slot(s)Dual SIM, GSM+GSM
Network4G: Available (supports Indian bands)
Fingerprint Sensor
Quick Charging
Design
Height143.7 mm
Width71.5 mm
Thickness9.2 mm
Weight170 grams
ColoursBlue, Champagne
Display
Screen Size5.0 inches (12.7 cm)
Screen Resolution480 x 854 pixels
Pixel Density196 ppi
Display TypeTFT
Touch Screenyes
Screen to Body Ratio (calculated)66.92 %
Performance
ProcessorQuad core, 1.3 GHz
RAM1 GB
Storage
Internal Memory16 GB
Expandable Memoryyes
USB OTG Supportyes
Camera
Resolution5 MP Front Camera
Autofocusyes
Flash
Image Resolution3264 x 2448 Pixels
SettingsExposure compensation
Shooting ModesContinuos Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)
Camera FeaturesDigital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection, Touch to focus
Battery
Capacity2200 mAh
TypeLi-ion
User Replaceableyes
TalkTimeUp to 8 Hours(2G)
Standby timeUp to 180 Hours(2G)
Network & Connectivity
Network Support4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G
VoLTEyes
SIM 1
SIM 2
Wi-Fiyes
Wi-Fi FeaturesMobile Hotspot
Bluetoothyes
GPSyes
NFC
USB ConnectivityMass storage device, USB charging, microUSB 2.0
Multimedia
FM Radioyes
Loudspeakeryes
Audio Jack3.5 mm
Special Features
Fingerprint Sensor
Other SensorsLight sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer
Read Full Specifications

Expert Review

Conclusion:

The Karbonn K9 priced at Rs. 4,990 is a worthy contender in this segment. The device shines with excellent build quality, latest Android with the stock interface, the performance too is decent. However, the cameras are a huge let-down, and the battery life isn’t very impressive either. So, if you are in the market looking for a smartphone, we suggest you invest some more and get the Redmi 5A which is currently available for Rs. 5,999.

Introduction:

Karbonn recently launched the K9 Music 4G smartphone which comes dual speakers and offers like three months of unlimited downloads from Saavn app. Smartphones under Rs. 5000 don’t really have a specific niche to promote; the Karbonn K9 music is different, and it is all about the music experience. The phone for the price tag looks solid and should really carter the audiophiles who are on tight budget. On the other hand, it needs to be seen how well the other departments fare and if it’s worth spending your money. Let’s get started with our review.

The K9 Music 4G sports a 5-inches FWVGA (854 x 480 pixels) display and is powered by the 1.3GHz quad-core processor with 1GB RAM and 16GB internal storage with a microSD card slot. It runs on Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. There is an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED Flash and a 5MP selfie shooter. Connectivity features include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and USB OTG. A 2200mAh battery is on board for all the battery needs.

Design & Display:

Since the K9 Music is an entry-level phone, we didn’t really expect ground-breaking design elements or top notch build quality. Much to our surprise, the K9 Music packs a regular candy bar design with all plastic build. The edges on all four corners are rounded giving comfortable grip while using. Since it is a 5-inch phone, one-handed usage was never an issue; we were able to reach all edges of the screen easily. Karbonn designed the phone with a single color design which might become boring after using it for quite some time. The rear panel has textured type finish which looks neat.

Moving to placements, above the display, you have the primary earpiece, a 5-megapixel front camera, the usual set of sensors. Down below are three capacitive buttons which aren’t backlit. On the right side, you find the volume rockers and power button. To the left, there nothing. Flipping the device to the rear, you have the 8MP rear camera, LED flash, and Karbonn branding, and speaker grill. Up top, we have the 3.5mm audio jack and the microUSB port. The primary microphone is placed on the bottom. Strip opening the back panel gives you access to SIM and microSD card slots, 2200mAh. Overall, the design of the Karbonn K9 Music 4G though being plastic does offer good in-hand feel and grip.

The Karbonn K9 Music 4G sports a 5-inches FWVGA (854 x 480 pixels) display with no protected glass on top. The company didn’t include a screen guard within the box. Since it is a low-resolution panel, the colors are not very vibrant, but they are decent enough to suit your media and gaming requirements. The viewing angles are good; thankfully, we didn’t notice any color shift or distortion. The brightness levels are acceptable; we were able to access the content on the phone outdoors. There is an auto brightness sensor on board which when enabled; automatically adjusts the brightness depending on the ambient lighting.

The touch response is smooth; there was no lag while scrolling through the interface or web pages as well. Given the 5-inch form factor, we get good enough screen real estate for multimedia consumption. However, given the low-resolution screen, it can’t play Full HD videos. The company didn’t include a screen protector within the box, but we advise you to install one as the display quality feels quite fragile. Overall, barring the fact that we are getting a low-resolution screen, the display of the K9 Music 4G is acceptable.

Performance:

The Karbonn K9 Music 4G is powered by the 1.3GHz Quad-Core processor and the information regarding the chipset is not revealed by the company. Talking about the performance, the Karbonn K9 Music suffices the needs of a moderate user. Apps open up quick, they load and respond quite fast as well. Since it is a stock Android interface, there isn’t any lag in the interface nor while running essential tasks like calls, messaging, browsing, etc. The chipset seems to handle most of our daily commutes with ease. Another good thing is that we didn’t notice any significant heating issues.

On the flip side, if you try pushing the device by running apps and tasks that are beyond its capabilities, the K9 Music starts lagging and slowing down. It is best if you clean the unused apps in the background to allocate enough RAM for apps running actively. Moving to gaming department, we ran games like Asphalt 8 Nitro, Subway Surfers, Temple Run 2, Leo’s Fortune and more. All the games ran fine, but there is noticeable lag on continuous gaming. Though there are no heating issues, the device tends to drop frames significantly. Overall, the performance of the K9 Music is neither a let-down nor a winner; it just suits the needs of a casual smartphone user.

Cameras:

The Karbonn K9 Music features an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera on the front. The interface is simple with toggles for video, flash, front camera and settings present on the main home screen. Moving to performance, the images clicked in well-lit conditions have decent colors, but they are dull and are washed out. Though there is HDR support, it doesn’t help much. The autofocus is quick, but the processing of the shot is slow. We weren’t able to click usable images even outdoors. Photos turn out dull no matter how bright the surroundings are. Moving to low-light, the pictures are terrible with completely washed out colors and blurred details. Even with LED flash turned on, the images didn’t really turn out good.

The front 5-megapixel does the acceptable job when clicking in good lighting conditions. Unlike the rear camera, the front produces relatively brighter images. Overall, the camera performance of the K9 Music is a huge let-down both in outdoors and low-lighting conditions.

Battery:

The Karbonn K9 Music 4G packs a 2200mAh battery that is removable. The battery can easily last an entire day with moderate to light usage. Unless the usage goes beyond the casual level like continuous gaming, videos, GPS, browsing with 4G turned on, you can easily pull through until the end of the day. The battery is very well optimized resulting in superior performance than the phones in the competing range. However, as we mentioned above, with continuous usage the battery won’t last until the evening making you charge it again once before you end the day.

This is a compromise that tags along with phones in this price range. With the bundled charger, the Karbonn K9 Music 4G took close to 3 hours to charge fully. Given the poor battery performance on heavy usage and longer charging time, we wouldn’t really suggest the K9 Music if you are a power user. There was no idle battery drain, and we did all our testing with Dual SIMs.

Audio & Video:

The company did include a set of earphones that are in-ear style. The audio via the speakers is surprisingly loud justifying the name. Even when we place the device on a flat surface, the sound didn’t get muffled. With the bundled earphones, we did have a good time listening to music. Karbonn is also offering three months’ free subscription to Saavn Pro with unlimited downloads.

In the video department, the K9 Music did struggle to play 1080p videos, and the playback is limited to just 480p SD quality. There are no freezing or ghosting issues while streaming videos. Overall, the audio experience on the k9 Music is excellent, while the video department is decent.

Software & Ui:

The Karbonn K9 Music 4G runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with Stock Android interface. With stock interface running the show, the device doesn’t offer much in terms of customizations. However, you can rely on 3rd party apps for theming the device the way you like. Apart from Google native apps, Messenger, FM Radio, Nova 3 game shortcut, game zone, Karbonn Fun Zone, Voot, and Amazon applications come pre-installed. Unless you are rooted there is no way you can get rid of these bloatware applications.

There is 1GB of RAM out of which around 594MB is free on first boot. The available free RAM is enough for your most daily commutes and multitasking as well. There is no lag in the interface, nor the U.I animations dropped frames. Overall, thanks to the Stock Android interface, we did have a pleasant experience using the K9 Music.

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