It comes in a white cardboard box with the brand name on top. At the bottom, the model and the characteristics of the terminal appear. When we open it, we find it wrapped in a foam protector occupying a large part of the box. It also includes a clear TPU case.
We also find the micro-USB cable, a 5V and 2A output European current charger, and a micro-USB USB cable to add USB sticks to the phone (OTG cable). Under the phone, there is a screen protector and a small instruction manual.
Design and Screen
What is most striking about this Homtom S99 is its size. It is a very thick phone with a “rough” design. This is solid black, but there are several colors: blue, white, and gray.
It is made of plastic. Its dimensions are 70mm wide, 149.5mm long, and 12.5mm thick due to its large battery capacity. It is a unibody terminal from which the battery cannot be removed, and its weight is 200 gr.
It has a 5.5-inch diagonal IPS LCD screen on the front, with an aspect ratio (or screen format) of 18:9. If we do not consider the frames, the functional surface is 74%. The resolution is HD + with 1440 x 720 pixels and a density of 293 pixels per inch. In whole light, it looks good, but on sunny days you will have to strain your eyes to differentiate something from the screen, even though it has full GFF lamination. This technology adds multiple sheets between the protective glass and the LCD to provide rigidity and hardness, minimize screen reflections and improve viewing. (The screen’s brightness does not vary much from the middle of the brightness bar.)
Above the screen is a small traditional speaker for calls and a selfie camera. At the bottom, there are no physical navigation buttons, and they will appear when we need them.
The rear area has a plastic finish with diamond-shaped drawings to prevent slipping and make it easier to hold in your hand. Above, in the center, is the dual camera with a LED flash, and just below is the fingerprint sensor. This sensor works accurately, but unlocking is not instantaneous and takes milliseconds to turn on.
Despite the smartphone’s thickness, the cameras have a slight relief of half a millimeter.
Unlike the Homtom S9 Plus, which had the power button on the left side of the phone, this Homtom S99 has the normal distribution of Chinese phones: the volume up and down buttons on the right and just below the power button already paid. The left part is empty, leaving space for the nano-SIM card slot.
At the top is the 3.5mm jack for headphones, and at the bottom is the microphone and the slot for the micro-USB cable.
This smartphone brings Android 8.0 Oreo multilanguage. (I was surprised that the logo was not the oreo one). And like all Android Stock versions, it adds a video player, a calculator, a file manager, and FM radio. On the other hand, it also has Google services, so we will have the Play Store application store, the Chrome browser, Gmail, YouTube, and the Maps application without the need to install any external application.
It has a vertical application menu (application drawer) where we can locate all the applications alphabetically.
The main menu changes concerning other versions since it does not group the different options. In addition, it also adds the option “schedule on and off,” the function of sharing the Internet, and an application to configure notifications.
It also has a facial unlocking software that works well (the one that Android 4.4 brought), but it is not very secure since it can be unlocked even with a photograph.
And to avoid surprises, I have run the Malwarebytes antivirus checking that the operating system does not have any malicious applications.
So with this phone, we can use any operator in Spain. If, on the other hand, you live in another country, you can check the compatibility of the networks in your country.
The WiFi works well, and the results are above average after doing a signal test 10 meters from the router. In addition, it can be connected to 5Ghz networks for more excellent signal stability.
The GPS works well and positions correctly as you open the maps. It includes the FM Radio application without needing Internet and has a slight color LED on the top. In addition, it is becoming more common to add the USB OTG function to read content or run files from a USB memory.
On the contrary, it does not have NFC technology to make payments with the phone.