The Hisense A9 is the latest generation smartphone and ebook reader, it came out last year. One of the downfalls of this device is that you have to sideload your apps or an alternative app store like the Amazon App Store or Samsung Galaxy App Store. A recent development has occurred; thanks to some intrepid hackers at XDA Developers, they have rooted the device and installed Google Play Services and the Google Play Store. There are two different methods to do this: here and here.
Unlocking the Hisense A9 requires some work but does not provide a significant barrier for the average user to figure out and root their device. Suffice to say, the entire process is straightforward: you need to use a custom version of fastboot, and run a series of commands while the phone is plugged into your computer to unlock the boot loader and then install Google Play. You shouldn’t lose any files, apps or books you have sideloaded.
The Hisense A9 features an E INK Carta 1200 e-paper display. The technology provides 20% faster response time and enables smoother handwriting and animations. It also supports E INK Regal technology for image updates. It features a 6.1-inch E Ink display with a resolution of 824×1648 with 300 PPI. It has an impressive 84% screen-to-body ratio. The screen is flush with the bezel and protected by a layer of glass. The phone’s colour scheme is black, and the backplate is black. However, it has a glitter sand texture, which makes it a joy to touch and hold. There is a rear-facing camera with a slight bump on the screen. It has 13 MP and LED flash and can record at 1920×1080. The front-facing camera is 5MP and has a resolution of 2592×1944. Any E INK devices rarely have cameras, and these are mighty impressive. There are volume rockers on the right side, an E INK button on the left, and a power button on the top. You can read and use the A9 during the night, thanks to the front-lit display and colour temperature system. There is a total of 27 white and amber LED lights.
A Snapdragon 662 octa-core 2.0 GHz with Adreno 610 GPU is underneath the hood. Suppose you are a big fan of high-quality sound. In that case, the A9 utilizes the ES9318 chip, which allows for HiFi quality sound output while having integrated support for the LDAC, AAC, SBC, and APTX Bluetooth audio codecs. This makes the new A9 great for not only listening to audiobooks but some quality music, as well. You will want to plug in wired headphones via the 3.4mm headphone jack for the best sound possible. There is also a tiny speaker on the bottom and also a microphone. A grill is on the top so that you can hear voice communication in HD. There are two different variants for RAM: 4 GB or 6 GB. I would go with the 6GB version because it runs Android 11, and since you will be using apps, the more RAM you have, the better they will perform. It has 128 GB of storage and has dual SIM card tray, one can be used for an SD Card that is capable of an additional 128GB. You can transfer apps, books and other content via the USB-C port, this is also how you charge it. It is powered by a 4,000 mAh battery. You can keep your phone secure with the face unlock, fingerprint sensor or a passcode. It has GPS, WIFI 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, and the frequencies are 2.4 5GHZ. It also has Beidou, NFC, A-GPS, WIFI Direct, Gravity Sensor and accelerometer. The dimensions are 159.00 x 79.50 x 7.80 mm and weighs 183 g.
You can pickup the Hisense A9 4G smartphone and e-reader from the Good e-Reader Store for $389.99.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.