We tend to talk a lot about established Chinese device makers such as Huawei, Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Lenovo Group. However, there are other lesser-known Chinese brands out there which make smartphones and tablets. For the most part, these lesser-known Chinese device makers find success only in their domestic market of China, but there are some device makers that seek to take a step beyond and establish themselves in international markets. One such device maker is Chuwi.
Chuwi makes low-cost laptops and affordable Android tablets. We have covered the release of the Chuwi Hi9, an affordable Android tablet with an 8.4-inch WXGA (2560×1600) display and a MediaTek MT8173 system-on-chip.
It’s worth noting that Android tablets are slowly dying. The premium, high-end Android tablet space has been made obsolete by the rise of smartphones with bigger displays. However, that doesn’t mean Android tablets are completely finished. Budget Android tablets still continue to drive volume, as explained by IDC’s reports.
Now, Chuwi is back with another Android tablet announcement. The new Hi9 Air tablet is the company’s first tablet to support worldwide LTE bands. It supports Cat 6 LTE and the full frequency bands are noted below:
- GSM: B2/3/5/8
- CDMA1X: BC0
- WCDMA: B1/2/5/8
- CDMA2000: BC0
- TD-SCDMA: B34/39
- FDD-LTE: B1/3/4/5/7//20
- TDD-LTE: B38/39/40/41
The tablet has dual SIM card slots. It’s powered by the MediaTek Helio X20 system-on-chip, which has a 64-bit deca-core CPU (2x ARM Cortex-A72 + 4x ARM Cortex-A53 + 4x ARM Cortex-A53) paired with the ARM Mali-T880MP4 GPU. The A72 cores are clocked at 2.1GHz, while the two A53 clusters are clocked at 1.85GHz and 1.4GHz respectively. The use of a MediaTek chip is an impediment to development, but it’s worth noting that this is the same chip that was used in the MediaTek variant of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, and as it belongs in the MediaTek X series, performance should be relatively good.
The Chuwi Hi9 Air has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage along with a microSD card slot, which means complaints about low RAM/storage should be minimized. It has a 10.1-inch WQXGA (2560×1600) IPS display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. The aspect ratio means that the display is suited more for media consumption instead of productivity tasks. On the other hand, the WQXGA resolution is welcome. The display also uses OGS (One Glass Solution) technology, and Chuwi states that it’s fully laminated to offer better image quality.
The Hi9 Air has a metal body and the dimensions are 241.71 x 172 x 8.2mm. It’s powered by an 8,000mAh battery. In terms of software, it runs Android 7.1 Nougat, which is a disappointment considering that six months have passed since Android Oreo‘s release.
The company hasn’t shared any details regarding the tablet’s pricing and availability, but on account of its history, it’s fair to expect the tablet to be priced affordably. We will update this article when we get the necessary details.