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Hands-on the Mione Joy 9: Unboxing and First Impressions

The Mione Joy 9 has the the potential to be embraced by users as well as excel in the Ugandan market.

Story Highlights
  • Smartphone models U1 and Joy 9 are the first-ever Mione's assembled phones in Uganda.
  • The launch of Mione's U1 and Joy 9 smartphones is a big step towards supporting the government’s vision of empowering millions of Ugandans to embrace technology.
  • The Mione Joy 9 has the potential of being embraced by users as well as excelling in the market.
  • The Mione Joy 9 is priced at UGX399,000 and is available at all Mione outlets and authorized mobile phone outlets across Uganda, ensuring easy accessibility for interested buyers.

Last month the Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Hon. Chris Baryomunsi officially unveiled the first-ever Mione assembled smartphones in Uganda. The smartphones branded Mione U1 and Mione Joy 9 were assembled at the company’s assembling plant in Mbale City and with their introduction in Uganda they will increase the penetration of smartphones.

Ben Yu; Mione Brand Representative in Uganda at the time of the launch said the “high-quality and pocket-friendly” smartphones are a big step towards supporting the government’s vision of empowering millions of Ugandans to embrace technology and digitalization.

Baryomunsi appreciated the innovations being made by Mione — expressing his delight at the impact such milestones are making on the Ugandan digital growth picture by global standards — and emphasizing the government’s eagerness to continue supporting such innovations.

The smartphones; the Mione U1 and Mione Joy 9, according to Yu, are a culmination of extensive research, pioneering technology, and a deep understanding of the evolving needs of our users.

Mione is a Dubai-based mobile manufacturer and they sent us the Mione Joy 9 for a hands-on. For clarification, the smartphone parts (very little detail of it) are manufactured in Dubai probably but assembled here in Uganda.

With the Joy 9 at our disposal, Yu said the Joy 9 is designed to offer an immersive user experience, unparalleled performance, and a stunning stylish design that gives users confidence and pride.

Unboxing; what’s inside the box

The packaging is not different from the norm smartphone packages. It’s a rectangular box colored in Orange. Upon breaking the seal, inside the box is the Mione Joy 9 rests on top, and underneath are its accessories including; a user manual, a warrant card, a silicone-transparent phone case, 3.5mm standard earphones, USB Type-C charging & data cable, and a fast charging 18W charging brick.

The Mione Joy 9 and its accessories, 3.5mm standard earphones, charging bring, USB Type-C cable, phone case, and a sim injector pin. PHOTO: PC Tech Magazine
The Mione Joy 9 and its accessories, 3.5mm standard earphones, charging bring, USB Type-C cable, phone case, and a sim injector pin. PHOTO: PC Tech Magazine

Price and specifications

The phone is priced at UGX399,000 and is available at all Mione outlets and authorized mobile phone outlets across Uganda, ensuring easy accessibility for interested buyers.

  • Body: 76 x 164.5 x 8.95mm, 190g; plastic back, plastic frame.
  • Display: 6.6-inch HD+, 90Hz, 720 x 1600px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 24-bit.
  • SoC and Processor: Unisoc Tiger T606 (12nm): 4x 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A55, 4x 1.8 GHz ARM Cortex-A55, 8 Cores
  • Memory: 128GB + 8GB RAM; with dedicated slot: microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC.
  • OS/Software: Android 13 coupled with dido OS.
  • Rear camera: 50 MP (primary camera) + VGA AI Camera.
  • Front camera: 16 MP.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 1080p@30fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 5000mAh; 18W wired.
  • Connectivity: 4G; Dual SIM; Wi-Fi 5; Bluetooth 5; 3.5mm earphone jack.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); stereo speaker.

Quick Review and First Impressions

The design and build are similar to most smartphones we have reviewed or that you have seen. The phone comes with a large screen at 6.6 inches with a screen resolution of 720 x 1600px — so the quality of the images is okay for a phone in its category. The 90Hz refresh rate produces clearer images and less motion blur, making it perfect for gaming and watching multimedia content.

Looking at the build, the phone comes with a SIM & microSD card tray on the left and a volume & power button on the right. The power button also acts as a fingerprint sensor, At the bottom is the 3.5mm earphone jack, USB Type-C port, a single mono-speaker grille, and a microphone. At the back, you have a 50MP trio-rear camera, and at the front, you have a water-drop notch that houses the 16MP front camera.

Now again, the design and build are the same as most phones we have come across — in general, smartphone manufacturers are using this design but with a change in display and camera sensors.

The phone is thick and it might be too big to fit users with small hands —however, this doesn’t mean you can’t own one. We do recommend buying the phone if you’re in the market to get a smartphone and also it would be good to to embrace Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) and Buy Africa Build Africa (BABA) by buying the Mione smartphones.

Under the hood, the Mione Joy 9 comes with 4GB RAM (which has been extended with another 4GB using memory fusion to give you a total of 8GB), 128GB of onboard storage that can be expanded with a microSD card for users that need more storage, a Unisoc Tiger T606 (12nm) chipset, an octa-core processor, and Android 13. This ensures smooth performance minimizing lags and shutters.

The Joy 9 comes with a 5,000mAh battery. This powerhouse ensures endurance throughout the day if you’re a heavy user — and with its not-so-demanding Unisoc Tiger T606 chipset, you get more power to push you throughout another day. As we tested it on minimal usage, it can go for two days and a half on a single charge.

As for charging, the phone supports 18W fast charging. The device seems to be mostly on par with the competition or even outpaces some of its direct rivals. We haven’t charged the phone as yet since our first charge when we got it (and that was two days ago). At the time of writing and posting this article that phone’s battery stands at 11% and I plan on maxing it out to zero. However, for an 18W fast charge, from 0-100% should take about two hours. For its asking price, that’s a respectable charging speed — you can charge throughout the night as you sleep.

Testing both cameras, the photos we got are pretty decent photos with sufficient sharpness and a respectable amount of detail. As for the recording videos, both cameras support recording up to 1080p at 30 frames per second and the audio is clear if there’s no noise in your surroundings.

Verdict
For a price of UGX399,000 and its specs including a huge display with thin bezels, a huge battery, average camera performance & performance in general, and enough storage to store your data, among others, the Mione Joy 9 has the potential of being embraced by users.

As remarked by the State Minister for Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives; Hon. David Bahati, we appreciate the efforts Mione has invested in these devices, and making them available in the market at a budget-friendly price.

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