Gretel, a global brand of newbund, but their OEM/ODM service already warmly welcomed in many countries. Our first impressions of their new A9 device is good, hope it will be a decent pocket-friendly smartphone. It will be available to global consumers through Gearbest by the end of March and can be purchase from Jumia in Nigeria and some other African countries.
The 5-inch screen puts A9 into the pocketable category in a market full of increasingly larger phones. Different from the other pocket-friendly handsets, the biggest selling point of Gretel A9 is it’s matte-black-on-metal back and front-positioned fingerprint scanner, just like Huawei P10 and P10 plus. Huawei says – give a glossy finish to the metal without being a fingerprint nightmare, Gretel is also doing like that.
Gretel A9 uses a HD screen with a resolution of 720 by 1280 and 2.5D curved glass, it supports multi-touch of up to 5 fingers at a time. The device runs the Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box with Freeme OS on top, it will receive an upgrade to Android 7.0 Nougat in April. It also supports 4G network connectivity option.
A sufficient 2GB RAM is available in the Gretel A9, there is a provisional 16GB worth of internal storage space which is expandable to up to 32GB via microSD card. Under the hood is a 2300 mAh battery which will be providing enough battery juice to keep the light shining for a long time.
Gretel GT6000 Android smartphone.
Gretel is not a company name you easily forget as it is associated with one of the more popular Grimm’s brothers fairy tales, Hansel and Gretel, one which features a house made out of cookies, biscuits, cake and chocolate and inhabited by a cannibalistic witch.
This is likely to be the most memorable aspect of the GT6000. It is Gretel’s flagship model. Sadly, with a quad-core processor and a component list that fits more into an entry level smartphone, it is likely to face some stiff competition from an ever bulging list of rivals
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The GT6000 is available in black, blue and gold, and the sample sent to us had a polished matte finish, which makes it feel premium especially as the device is made of metal rather than cheaper plastic. Designers opted for a rounded, less aggressive, almost pebble-like shape, a feeling accentuated by the 2.5D curvy screen built by Sharp.
There’s two camera sensors (a 13-megapixel and 1.3-megapixel one) at the back with dual flash LED lights and a 5-megapixel front facing one with flash. The screen is a 5.5-inch IPS display from Sharp that has a HD resolution (i.e. 1280 x 720 pixels), decent for most purposes.
On either side of the smartphone are a card slot (taking either two SIM cards or one SIM and one microSD one) and the power button/volume rocker. The earphone plug is located on top while the speaker grills and the microUSB port are located at the other end.
Between the two permanent capacitive system buttons is an oval home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner which offers decent speed but average accuracy during our test. The setup means that the Gretel is slightly bigger than your average 5.5-inch display.
This phone is all but skinny, at 15.40 x 7.73 x 1.08 cm, it is significantly thicker than most smartphones on the market.; weighing just over half a pound or 228g, the GT6000 has a more wholesome, almost rugged, feel to it when being handled. It is substantial both in size and mass, and that’s a good thing although it tends to be a tad slippery.
The phone supports the all important B20 band, essential for O2 and GiffGaff users, via the Mediatek MTK6737, an entry level CPU with four cores clocked at 1.3GHz and an Arm Mali-T720 GPU. Paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage (10.27GB usable), this is clearly entry-level territory.
However, the fingerprint reader, the cameras and a non-removable 6,000mAh battery (that’s powered by a 9V2A charger) are mid-range components. Speaking of the battery, you can even use the GT6000 as a backup power bank to recharge other devices if needed. As expected, the GT6000 runs Android 7.0 (Nougat) and wireless connectivity is limited to 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0.
There’s no support for NFC which will deter some potential buyers. NFC is growing in popularity in the Western world where it simplifies small transactions. In the UK, NFC is used primarily in the retail market where it is popular among small businesses and public transport users in London.