Chinese mobile phone manufacturers are popping out of the ground like daisies. The latest flower from the Far East is called “Poptel P9000 Max” and is probably unknown not only in Europe. But this could change quickly with the first Poptel creation, because the colourful and bulky device in manslaughter format leaves a lasting impression. Chinahandys.net has additionally hired a specialist for the extreme outdoor test and subjected the supposedly indestructible device to an endurance test.
Poptel is a very young company that was only founded this year and has dedicated itself to “extreme outdoor sports”. According to its own statements, Poptel is a fast-growing and innovative company that constantly invests in research and development. If you want to read more hymns of praise on Poptel, we recommend the homepage of Poptel. The fact is: for a young company that has just one P-Family product to show for itself, Poptel is putting on a pretty big show.
The Poptel P9000 deserves the addition “Max”, at least when it comes to its dimensions: with 169 x 87 x 16 mm it exceeds (in length) the scale of the calliper gauge. This makes it a good deal bigger than a rather handy Blackview BV9000 Pro (160 x 80 x 13.2 mm), for example. The plastic clothing of the P9000 looks like a combat suit of a special unit, suitably whitewashed in the camouflage colours olive green and black. All this serves one purpose: The smartphone should be waterproof, dustproof and shockproof – according to military standard “ML-STD-810 G”. Or also: “Ultratough”, in Poptel advertising review.
The hard shell means that the P9000 Max lies very bulky in the hand. It weighs a proud 330 grams. The best way is to hang it around your neck like Mr. T is with a thick Curb Chain; a matching eyelet can be found underneath the waterproof USB-C charging socket.
Outdoor smartphones have a bad habit of often requiring a charging cable with a “long trunk”. Not so with the Poptel: Every ordinary cables fit. The headphone connection is also concealed behind a waterproof flap, the SIM card slot has no hole for a SIM ejection tool, but can be pulled out with the fingernail. A seal – as at all other openings – should keep the water outside. At an unusual point, the On/Off button has taken a position: On the left side, at the bottom. Opposite, on the right side, at the bottom, there is an additional camera shutter release – perfect for underwater photos. All buttons fit tightly and cleanly into the case, the pressure points are harder than on an ordinary smartphone, but still pleasant to press for an outdoor device.
The manufacturer does not give any information about the material below the thick, rubbery plastic, the metal only flashes through the flanks, fastened with eight thick Torx screws. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the P9000 is not made of sugar. A slogan from the Poptel marketing department that would also fit condoms or other erotic articles fits the bill: the “Max” is said to be “Bigger, harder and longer lasting” .
The “Armour” design continues on the rear. As if a Humvee had rolled over, tire tracks emerge with a “Poptel” logo, the fingerprint sensor, a camera lens and a wide LED light in between. Everything lowered slightly to protect it from scratches and knocks. Less well protected is the display, whose edge protrudes discreetly, but this could remain the biggest weakness when it comes to the crunch. The P9000 is available in green, orange and black.
The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is an insurance against falls from low height and it lives up to its name, as can be seen and read under “endurance test”.
The 5.5-inch LCD display has a 1920 x 1200 pixels resolution, which corresponds to an aspect ratio of 16:10. Whoever streams a film with the outdoor mobile phone in the tent gets it crisply served in Full HD (1920 x 1080) plus 60 pixels of black bars at the edges. The big advantage of the P9000 are the three hardware buttons at the bottom of the display.
As far as display performance is concerned, the Poptel does not have to hide: The colours are natural, the contrast is rich and thanks to high brightness it is easy to write an SMS even in direct sunlight. The panel registers up to five points of contact simultaneously and reacts to each input without delay. This also applies when you get into the bathtub with your poptel and type with wet fingers. But be careful: the heavy device migth pull you down like the anchor of a cruise ship.
An MTK6750V works in the Poptel P9000 Max (8 x 1.5 Ghz). The processor is supported by 4 GB RAM, 64 GB memory and a Mali T860 GPU. In the price segment up to 230$ this is quite reasonable equipment. For example, if you add 70$ and buy a Blackview PV9000 Pro, you get more performance with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal memory.
On the test bench, the P9000 delivers the following values: The main memory makes good speed at 3928 MB/s and with its 4 GB it is also suitable for multitasking. With 64GB of internal memory, there’s still plenty of room for pictures and apps. With a writing speed of 143 MB/s and a reading speed of 145 MB/s, it is in the midfield and also at eye level with the competitor from Blackview. If the internal memory is not enough, it can be expanded using microSD. In this case, however, the dual SIM function must be dispensed with.
In summary: The smartphone has enough power to master everyday tasks without any problems. RAM and internal memory are absolutely up to date in this price range, if you want more, you have to pay more. Poptel naturally reaches its limits in demanding 3D games. But it wasn’t made for that either.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result
Now to the good part
The Poptel P9000 Max was born for a life in the wild. As Crocodile Dundee’s underwater phone or Reinhold Messner’s Himalaya-Navi. In order to recreate these conditions as realistically as possible, Chinahandys.net has commissioned an expert for the endurance test. May we introduce: Valentina, tender eight months old. What she lacks in experience, she makes up for with hard-hitting test conditions.
When the young lady gets her hands on the smartphone, she starts right away. Fall from the baby chair, standardized 80 centimeter drop height. Number of repetitions: ten. Poptel’s alive. Due to the “soft” impact on the wooden floor, the smartphone has not suffered any visible damage.
This changes with a repeated series of tests on asphalt. Again 80 centimeters, again ten falls. Poptel’s still alive, but it’s scarred. The plastic shell and also the metal frame got some damage. Surprisingly, the display is still undamaged, although the phone has landed on the “nose” several times.
Part two of the endurance test: An afternoon at the swimming lake. The P9000 is pulled with relish through moist sand as a shovel replacement and dived through the murky water for minutes as an underwater sea-boat. The seals keep everything out, no sand dripping out later. The function is not impaired after the dive, on the contrary: Underwater shots can also be taken without any problems.
Tester Valentina proved it relentlessly: Poptel does not stack too high when the P9000 Max is declared “IP68”. The protection class is fulfilled easily, “6” for dust-tight and “8” for permanently waterproof.
The good news: The Android 7.0 on the Poptel P9000 Max runs very stable and smooth. The bad news: It is only Android 7.0. Not 7.1.1 and certainly not 8.0. But well, those who can live with it, get a mature system without flaws and above all without bloatware. The latest security update is from May 2018.
Unlike the usual outdoor phones, the P9000 has no special functions. This can be considered a plus or a minus point. A clear advantage are the hardware buttons, which make navigation very easy. One drawback is the lack of an app drawer, chaos on the “desktop” is pre-programmed. This can be remedied by installing an alternative launcher (e.g. Nova Launcher).
The multi-function key (bottom right) is set as the camera shutter release by default. This is very practical for e.g. underwater shots. In the menu, it can be switched to “Recording” or “Flashlight”.
If you need an outdoor mobile phone, you’re probably out in nature a lot and want to take nice photos. This is certainly possible with a device in this price range, as the P9000 proves. Fortunately, Poptel refrains from using a dual camera, which turns out to be fake or useless in the end. Instead, there is, quite simple, a 13 MP lens. There is no information about the manufacturer of the sensor.
The autofocus works quickly, as does the shutter release button. The camera app does without unnecessary frills and does what it should: Shoot images at the touch of a button (in-app or with the multi-function button). The camera produces little waste, the images are usually sharp, the colours appear natural and the contrasts also fit. Even in low light, the Poptel can still deliver good images. The sensor does not cope so well with backlight, burnt-out spots in the subject quickly occur. The front camera with 5 MP makes passable selfies.
BatteryBattery lifetime Result Unit: hours
A real outdoor smartphone needs a huge battery to last many days without the silly luxury of a power outlet. The Poptel P9000 Max raises heavy guns and is not content with 5000 or 6000 mAh as comparable models in this price range. A total of 9000 mAh can be found on the data sheet. The test measurement revealed a full 8600, which is absolutely within the tolerance range.
In the benchmark, the mobile phone achieves a correspondingly good value of almost 19 hours. In normal daily operation the smartphone runs easily for three days. If you only use it for occasional phone calls and otherwise skip the screen, you can do without recharging for a week.
As far as charging is concerned, Poptel shows a clear weakness. Although the supplied mains plug is actually capable of higher power (5V/2A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A), the fresh energy drips very slowly into the battery. The device allowed itself over 12 hours for full refuelling – this is not up-to-date. A test with another power supply led to the same result: almost endless waiting for a fully charged phone.
Note: The manufacturer told us that our test device does not have a quick charge because it is a pre-run model. If someone has the Poptel P9000 Max, it would be nice if you would leave a comment under this review if Quick Charge works for you.
The P9000 Max can handle all 2G, 3G and 4G frequencies, so outdoor freaks are ready for any country in the world. The reception was consistently good, the data connection fast. There is nothing wrong with the call quality at any end of the line.
It offers Bluetooth 4.0, which workes perfectly and can be connected to a hands-free car kit without any problems. The GPS is, as befits an outdoor mobile phone, great. The fix is done within a few moments and the navigation is always very accurate. There was never any mislocation on the test track in the car.
The P9000 is equipped with a top fingerprint sensor on the rear (10/10 attempts unlocked successfully) and of course the three standards (proximity, light and acceleration sensor). On top there is a gyroscope and an e-compass.
Poptel P9000 Max scope of delivery
The scope of delivery is quite nice. Out of the decent black box you get:
- short manual
- power supply
- thin protective film