User Review Of The Chuwi V99i

ChuwiV99iIMP3NetU2001

Having dealt with two [first, second] non-reviews today, my skepticism is high.

This is published at the IMP3Net forum [Google Translate].

The title photo, above, makes me think it might be promoted to the site itself as a review. More laundering?

Next-day update: I have my doubts this is an actual review. Chuwi sent out press material that shows they authored it [Google Translate]. And it’s popped up in ZOL’s forum too with videos Chuwi pimped on their Weibo earlier [Google Translate].

Recap: The Chuwi V99i is their iPad Air clone. It has a Retina-class 9.7-inch screen, a 64-bit Intel Atom Bay Trail-T Z3735D CPU with a peak frequency of 1.83GHz, 2GBs of DDR3L-RS RAM, 16GBs of eMMC internal storage, microSD card slot, microUSB (OTG) port, ACC-enhanced sound, 2MP front and 5MP (OVA) back cameras, Huawei UltraStick for 3G capability, and a 8,400 mAh battery. It’s missing HDMI-out but will do Intel’s WiDi (Wireless Display).

Let’s cut straight to some of the benchmarks and then I’ll disappoint all of you by giving a good reason not to buy this tablet.

AnTuTu X:

ChuwiV99iIMP3NetU2002

Which is very strange. This is scoring very high for an Intel Z3735D.

Master Lu:

ChuwiV99iIMP3NetU2003

NenaMark 2:

ChuwiV99iIMP3NetU2004

That is no surprise.

Screen test:

ChuwiV99iIMP3NetU2005

I don’t know what any of that is really saying although seeing “32” in it makes me think it’s a full-color screen; none of that 18-bit color fraud.

There are other benchmarks at the forum post.

Sample photos (not published to the forum full-size, but still click to enlarge):

ChuwiV99iIMP3NetU2006

ChuwiV99iIMP3NetU2007

ChuwiV99iIMP3NetU2008

The camera is neither terrible nor awesome. It can get the job done. At least edges are clear and all the leaves are full defined. It’s no Xiaomi MiPad camera, though.

This uses the Huawei UltraStick for 3G (and later 4G?), has 2GBs of RAM, 16GBs of internal storage, an 8,400mAh battery and is thin and light.

So what’s not to like?

It has no Volume buttons!

The sole button is Power:

ChuwiV99iIMP3NetU2009

The review confirms it:

A power button next to the camera, this machine is the only entity key.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

No Volume buttons means trying to root is going to be a very frustrating process (ask all the iFive Mini 3-series tablet owners who also lack Volume buttons).

No Volume buttons also makes it highly unlikely this can ever be a Windows tablet — no Windows button (unless some way is found to triple-task the Power button: On/Off, Sleep, Windows).

I think the ultimate deal-breaker for most people will be that the camera is located at the lower rear left of the tablet. Stop and think about that. Imagine all the rotating that’ll be needed to take a picture. Ugh.

I’m also very skeptical of that AnTuTu X score. But since it’s a Z3735D, performance should be fine never mind the suspicious score.

Some people will probably want this just because of the Huawei UltraStick. I understand that. But be aware of the other frustrations: No Volume buttons and weird camera placement.

Previously here:

Chuwi V99i: Brief User Report
Video: Chuwi V99i Asphalt 8 Demo
Chuwi V99i Claimed AnTuTu Score
Chuwi V99i Listed At Tmall
Chuwi Announces V99i iPad Air Clone

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