Review Blackview BV9000 Test: 5,7″ Outdoor Smartphone for $239.99
Outdoor smartphones are certainly not an option for everyone when buying a smartphone. Nevertheless, many users enjoy their robustness, which they know from the beginnings of mobile phone time (Nokia says hello). Blackview is certainly one of the more well-known manufacturers of outdoor smartphones from China. The Blackview BV9000 even comes in the hip 18:9 aspect ratio.
- Blackview BV9000
- Blackview BV9000 Pro
|Display||5.7-inch IPS LCD display (1440 x 720 p) with 282 ppi|
|Processor||MTK6757CD Helio P25 2.6 GHz|
|Graphics chip||Mali T880|
|Internal memory||64 GB|
|Camera||13 megapixels + 8 megapixels with f/2.0 aperture|
|Front camera||8 megapixel, front LED|
|Connectivity||USB Type C, BT 4.1, GPS, GLONASS Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n|
|Features||fingerprint sensor, smart key, hybrid SIM|
|Operating system||Android 7.1.1|
|Dimensions / weight||16 x 8,1 x 1,38 cm / 253,8 g|
The trained eye immediately recognizes that the smartphone is from Blackview. Edgeless design and a thickness below the 1 cm mark are obviously not known to the manufacturer. Instead, the BV9000, like its predecessors, embodies the outdoor mentality. Hard edges, robust appearance, thick screws and metal elements can be seen here again. The step from BV8000 Pro to BV9000 is not a big one, but it is striking. This is mainly due to the orange accents on the edges of the device.
Otherwise, the BV9000 looks pretty familiar. The display is framed or folded by a robust plastic housing. This alternates with metal elements on the right and left side. There are slightly thicker screws on these, which the smartphone proudly presents. On the right side, there are the volume keys, the power button and a smart key. On the top side is the SIM/microSD card slot, which is provided with a cover. The USB Type-C connector on the bottom side is also equipped with such a cover.
Processing & Handling
While most manufacturers keep their backs very minimalistic, much more happens with the BV9000. A concise metal element with the dual camera and fingerprint sensor, a metal Blackview logo, speakers and the “Waterproof” label. In addition, screws and orange accents round off the overall picture.
Also, the back is slightly bevelled on both sides, which makes the Blackview BV9000 fit quite well in the hands. Whereby “good” here is relative: Dimensions of 16 x 8.1 x 1.38 cm and a weight of 253.8 g go beyond the usual frame of a smartphone. Nevertheless, the weight is quite well distributed, we in the office have all estimated the weight less than it actually was.
Processing is always an important point. With a smartphone that claims to be waterproof, however, this is even more important. And Blackview did a pretty good job of it. Especially since the elements alternate and this special design certainly demands more precision. The display is neatly enclosed in the housing. The only exception is the SIM slot, which is quite difficult to detach. The mechanism just doesn’t work so well there.
IP68 certification – is the BV9000 waterproof?
The IP rating provides information on whether a device is protected against foreign objects and liquids. The first number, here the 6, confirms that the mobile phone is dust-proof and the second number, in this case the 8, stands for the fact that the device can survive a continuous immersion to a depth of 1 m without damage. So far, our test device has not revealed any malfunctions due to submersion. If anything changes, we’ll let you know!
5.7″ display without Full HD
There are two versions of this generation of the Blackview Outdoor Smartphone. The Blackview BV9000 and Blackview BV9000 Pro. These differ in two aspects, one of which is the display. Although both models have a 5.7-inch diagonal screen, only the Pro resolves in Full HD. With this BV9000 we work with a display resolution of 1440 x 720p. The display has an 18:9 aspect ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protects the panel.
In general we would probably recommend to use the Pro version with the better display, but the panel used here also does a good job. Of course, the lower resolution means that Youtube videos can only be played with 720p, but the color intensity is good and the videos are sufficiently sharp. The panel also displays fonts clearly, both on websites and in the launcher. The IPS Panel also provides good brightness.
Of course, there is still room for improvement, but the difference to the more high-resolution display may not be a decisive criterion for us in this case.
Blackview BV9000 with appropriate hardware
Recently introduced outdoor smartphones have seen a trend for outdoor smartphones to use weaker CPUs, such as the Ulefone Armor X or the Blackview BV5800 Pro. Why? First of all, you can reduce costs; secondly, outdoor telephones are often only the second device and therefore do not have to be performance-oriented. Blackview takes a different view with the BV9000.
Inside works the MediaTek MT6757CD, the Helio P25 processor. This is no longer the very latest, but it is already a performance-oriented CPU. Eight Cortex A53 cores with a maximum clock frequency of 2.6 GHz form a unit that is to be arranged in the solid midfield in terms of performance. The BV9000 also has 4 GB of memory, an average value. Paired with 64 GB internal memory, which can be expanded via microSD card, you have a decent memory combination here.
We can confirm this with several tests, because the Helio P25 has already found its way into some Chinese smartphones. The benchmark tests carried out can definitely confirm this assessment. Compared to current flagship models, the Blackview BV9000 smartphone naturally takes a back seat. But after all, it is not just about such benchmarks, but about everyday applications. 3D games like Drift Max Pro run smoothly, and social media apps like Facebook are no problem either.
In its predecessor, the Blackview BV8000 Pro, the manufacturer installed the predecessor processor. The difference between the two generations is minimal. This can also be seen from the benchmark tests, which are a bit better overall for the new 9000 Series. The values settle in the absolute middle class and are even on a similar level to the values of the newer P23 processor, which is located in the Vernee X, for example.
Camera – one of the best in the price segment!
Imagine you are hiking with your Blackview BV9000 and discover a quiet clearing or see a small stream splashing. Of course, one would like to record this accordingly. Blackview equips the BV9000 with a dual camera, consisting of a 13 megapixel and an 8 megapixel sensor. A sensor from Sony is used here. The aperture is ƒ/2.0.
To our surprise, the Blackview BV9000 camera is really good! Especially compared to other China smartphones, the photo quality for this price range is decent. This is mainly due to the good colour intensity in combination with a pronounced sharpness. There is no grey or purple tint, as you often find with other China cameras. The saturation can be seen especially in good lighting conditions. This is really fun! The BV9000 can also handle poorer lighting conditions. In addition, the smartphone must be credited with the fact that the focus works reliably and the camera triggers quickly!
The blur mode is of course also on board, after all it has two cameras. The second sensor is a monochrome sensor. This allows you to achieve a certain amount of blurring in the background of the photo. The Blackview BV9000 also does this surprisingly well and surprised me positively. The Bokeh is quite soft and looks relatively natural. This works a little better for people than for objects. The edge detection is also reliable here, even if you shouldn’t zoom in too much.
Unfortunately, the selfie camera on the front doesn’t create such enthusiasm. The image noise is much more pronounced than with the main camera. The automatic white balance is not quite as good for the Sony sensor, so artificial light sources in particular lead to a slight blue cast. Overall, however, the recordings are quite okay and are sufficient for the occasional selfie.
The selected CPU is not quite as energy efficient as the somewhat newer Helio P23 processor. This is compensated by Blackview’s 4,180 mAh battery. If you look at the smartphone like this, you could assume even more capacity. The runtime of the Blackview BV9000 is good, we have an on-screen time of about 11 hours. Within 1:45 h the Blackview smartphone is fully charged. The standby time is also impressive. All in all, we are satisfied with the battery, because it lasts a good 2 days.
Android with Blackview interface
The Blackview BV9000 comes with Android version 7.1.1. and the security update from November 2017, but a system update from January is also available. It is important to say that this is certainly not a pure stock Android on it, but a version adapted by Blackview. This is already noticeable in the interface, including its own icon pack. All app icons are very metallic, except for the Google Apps of course. They’re all there, just like the Google Play Store.
Connectivity – (almost) everything on board
Another aspect that is also important for an outdoor smartphone is the connection options. The Blackview BV9000 is limited to one physical port: the USB Type C port. You won’t find a 3.5 mm jack connection like the previous one. A special feature of the USB Type-C port is that it is not a common port. Due to the robust housing, the connection is located somewhat deeper “in” the device. This means that not every USB Type-C cable is compatible with the port because it is simply too short or too thick. The device also supports OTG. This means that with the included OTG adapter, for example, a USB stick can be used with the smartphone.
Of course you can also count the SIM slot or microSD slot on the top side, which offers space for two SIM cards or one SIM card and one microSD card.
The SIM card slot is protected by a cover, but it is not quite as easy to open.
The LTE bands B1/B3/B7/B8/20 provide mobile Internet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi provides local Internet. Unfortunately no ac-Wlan, that would have been desirable. Of course, Bluetooth 4.1 is also available. GPS and GLONASS are the standards responsible for the satellite navigation system and both are supported by the Blackview BV9000. Here the device from the Chinese manufacturer does not make any mistakes and delivers well. The voice quality was not affected either.
Blackview does without gimmicks like face recognition or the like. The BV9000 uses the popular fingerprint sensor, which is now located on the back of the cameras. With its predecessor, it was placed on the right side, which is still unusual. The sensor works reliably here, but not very fast. At least that seems like it, because the Blackview BV9000 needs a short moment to get out of standby. Speeds like those of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 are not to be thought of here.
The popular notification LED also finds its way into the Blackview BV9000, glowing either red, green or blue. Red stands for active charging, flashing red for low battery, green for charged battery and blue for missed calls and unread messages.
An unusual feature is the Smart Key, which is located on the right side. I don’t find the position quite optimal. Since the left side is blank, I would have preferred to see this button there. Right-handed people in particular can quickly press the smart key unintentionally.
But what does the Smart Key do? This key has no function by default. In the settings, however, these can be assigned to a maximum of three different functions. Three functions can be accessed by pressing the key once, double-clicking or holding it down. Each of these actions can be given different commands. Examples are opening a freely selectable app, taking a screenshot or lighting the flashlight. A really cool function that can be helpful especially in an outdoor context.
Scope of delivery: Extra points for the Blackview BV9000
The scope of delivery is something like the bonus of a smartphone test and here Blackview still manages to score a few points for the BV9000. Besides the smartphone itself, the box contains a 24W charger, a USB Type-C cable, an OTG adapter, a USB Type-C to 3.5 mm jack adapter, a USB Type-C to Micro-USB adapter, in-ear headphones, a SIM needle, a self-adhesive ring holder, a display protection film and an operating manual. While some of them are absolutely necessary, in-ear headphones are definitely a welcome rarity. At this point we can’t help but just give a lot of praise!
Conclusion – new benchmark for outdoor smartphones?
You may have noticed it during the test, but the Blackview BV9000 really surprised me. Even though it is certainly not for everyone, it has convinced us overall. This starts with the “fresher” outdoor design, is confirmed by the good workmanship and solid performance, culminates in the really good camera and is rounded off by the lavish scope of delivery. We only print it for the somewhat unfortunate positioning of the smart key, the average front camera and the USB Type-C port, which is only available with Blackview USB cable. The bar for outdoor smartphones from China has definitely been set high in this price segment! Have a look here, if the newer Blackview BV10000 can even compare.To the gadget