In 2013, Xiaomi acquired the Redmi sub-brand, under which more affordable smartphones were produced when compared to the original Mi line. The new brand was created for two reasons: to use cheaper components, thereby lowering the price of gadgets, and so that Xiaomi would not be associated with cheap devices. Over time, buyers realized that Redmi phones, although more affordable, are not much worse than the flagship models. As a result, the brand began to develop, new models appeared for different price segments. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 belongs to the middle segment and will be discussed in the review today.
Specifications and equipment
|CPU||8-core MediaTek Helio G85|
|Graphics chip||Mali-G52 C2|
|Display||6.53 ”, IPS, 2340 x 1080 pixels|
|Inner memory||64/128 GB|
|Rear camera||48 + 8 + 2 + 2 megapixels|
|OS||Android 10 (MIUI 11)|
|Battery||5020mAh (support 18V fast charging)|
|Dimensions (edit)||162.3 x 77.2 x 8.9 mm|
What is included:
- adapter for charging 22.5 V;
- шнур USB Type-C;
- Silicone Case;
- paper clip to remove the tray;
- warranty card;
- user manual.
A bonus from the factory comes a protective film glued to the screen, and of good quality.
Design and ergonomics
The smartphone is available in three colors: white, gray and green. As for the appearance, the device looks more like an expensive “flagship” than a mid-budget model. But, it is worth taking it in hand – everything falls into place. The case, made of plastic, speaks about the class of the device, although in the photographs the device seems to be glass. And immediately the “trick” from Xiaomi is the nano-coating of the case, which protects it from splashes and minor scratches (only the back cover, full-fledged water resistance is not provided).
An important design point was the front camera, located on the side of the screen in a special hole. This solution has migrated from flagship devices and allows you to make the top bezel as thin as the side ones. Judging by the reviews, such a cutout is not to everyone’s liking, fortunately, it can be hidden programmatically by masking the top edge of the screen in black.
Another feature is the fingerprint scanner located on the back cover just below the camera block. At first, the solution seems inconvenient, because the platform is located almost on the same level with the body and it is not so easy to find it. But over time you get used to it, especially since the scanner works quickly and accurately.
On the upper edge of the device there is an IR transmitter familiar to Xiaomi gadgets, with which you can control household appliances, for example, a TV. To configure the transmitter, the Mi-remote application is preinstalled on the phone.
As for the ergonomics – the device is weighty (198 g) and large, but thanks to the rounded back cover it is confidently held in the hand. However, due to the size, it is not very convenient for them to use one hand, which is partially compensated by the gesture control. The square block of cameras is made in such a way that the phone lying on the table does not turn into a “swing”, which is clearly a plus.
The screen is not small – 6.53 inches. The matrix is made using IPS technology. Resolution – 2340 x 1080 pixels, with a pixel density of 395 ppi. There is a 5th generation Gorilla Glass protective glass. The brightness declared by the manufacturer is 450 nits.
The display matches the price of the device. The maximum brightness level is enough to read information even in bright sunlight. But for comfortable work, more is required, at least from 550 nits. The color space coverage is 84%, so the picture is of high quality, with natural color rendition, without blue and yellowness. Viewing angles, sharpness and detail are also okay.
In the screen settings, you can: tweak the color rendition, turn on the dark theme, reading mode, hide the “peephole” of the front camera. Since this is an IPS display, when the brightness is set to low, it does not have PWM – flickering, which will be a plus for the eyes.
From the factory, a film without an oleophobic coating is glued to the screen – it is better to remove it, otherwise the finger will slip tightly. There is no need to worry that the display will quickly become covered with scratches, because it is protected by premium Gorilla Glass 5. In addition, a case with protruding edges is included in the package – even if you put the phone “face down”, the screen will not touch the surface.
You can often hear that the Chinese are scolded for using MediaTek chips in their devices. The Note 9 has the Helio G85, which debuted in 2020, and is made using a 12nm process technology. These are: 2 high-performance cores at 2 GHz and 6 energy-efficient cores at 1.8 GHz. Responsible for the graphics is the Mali G52 C2 video processor with a frequency of 1 GHz.
The phone is available in two versions: 3 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage or 4 of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Many users swear that the basic version has only 3 GB. In fact, there are enough of them. You can open about 10 different applications, and they will not be unloaded from memory.
For ordinary applications, the performance of the phone is enough with the head: everything starts up quickly, with almost no downloads. This device can be safely called a “workhorse”. With games, things are different. Xiaomi itself positions the Note 9 as an affordable gaming smartphone (a video chip with an increased frequency is integrated into the Helio G85 processor). In fact, you can play it, moreover, in modern toys, but on a low schedule. If you set the average graphics settings, fps drops, besides, the phone starts to warm up noticeably.
In the synthetic AnTuTu test, the gadget scored about 202 thousand points (and this is next to smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 710 chip).
Multiple lenses on the back of a phone are commonplace in 2020, even for budget devices. The Note 9 has a quad camera with the following features:
- main module – 48 Mp;
- wide-angle – 8 megapixels (viewing angle – 118 degrees);
- module for macro photography – 2 megapixels;
- to determine the depth of field – 2 megapixels.
During the day, in good lighting conditions, the camera does its job perfectly: it produces rich colors and detailed images. But with a lack of lighting, problems are immediately identified, at least, the clarity is reduced. The wide-angle is inferior to the main module in terms of light sensitivity and resolution, but in good light it produces good photos. But the additional modules are less pleasing. The blur is of poor quality even when shooting simple scenes, and the macro camera has a low resolution.
For those who like brighter and more accurate photos, there is an AI mode that makes the shades more saturated.
The selfie camera is 13 megapixels, and the face unlock function is tied to it. There are no aggressive “beautifiers” here, which can be safely attributed to the merits. That is, the detail is preserved, and taking into account good lighting, the pictures turn out to be quite worthy for themselves.
The maximum resolution for video recording is FullHD at 30 frames per second. Even if we take into account that Note 9 is a budget device, its video capabilities are not so hot: there is no optical stabilization, autofocus “jumps”, so you can see that the recording was performed on an inexpensive phone.
The OS running the gadget is Android 10, on which the MIUI 11 proprietary shell is “rolled”. It is fast, bright and convenient, has many different settings that simplify interaction with the phone (including gesture control).
Its only drawback is annoying advertising that tries to pop out from everywhere. Fortunately, you can get rid of it by going into the preinstalled applications settings and unchecking the “get recommendations” checkbox.
One of the chips of Redmi Note 9 is the battery with an impressive volume – 5020 mAh. It is also worth noting a feature – the phone can be used as a powerbank, that is, you can charge other devices from it, but this requires a Type-C – Type-C cord.
The system of the smartphone is optimized, the chipset, made according to the 12-nm process technology, does not “eat” much, so everything is in order with autonomy:
- 16 hours – watching HD video at maximum brightness and volume, but with the airplane mode turned on;
- 9 hours – Call of Duty Mobile is running (on average, 11% of the charge takes 1 hour).
There is support for fast charging at 18 W, but even with it, the phone charges up to 100% in 2 hours and 40 minutes. In 30 minutes, you can get 35% of the charge, which is already good. On the whole, the device is stable for two days.
The budget and mid-budget classes are overflowing with gadgets, each company offering its own smartphone. Looking at the price tag, who can compete with Redmi Note 9:
- Samsung Galaxy A A device with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal memory, but the battery is 4000 mAh, and the complete charging is not so powerful;
- Samsung Galaxy M 4/64 GB version, with an impressive 6000 mAh battery. Only smaller cameras, and 15 W charging;
- Redmi Note 8T. The younger version, with a good Snapdragon 665 processor, similar cameras, but a 4000 mAh battery;
- realme 6i. 4/128 GB, weaker Helio G80 chip, 5000 mAh battery. The weak link is an IPS display with a resolution of 1600 x 720 pixels.
The review of Redmi Note 9 shows that this device does not seek to receive the title of the most powerful and fastest phone. This is a model for those who need a long-term workhorse that will easily work with the main applications: social networks, messengers, browsers, YouTube. This is not a gaming machine, although new projects will be launched on it. Among the advantages: large clear screen, NFC, triple SIM card slot, reversible charging, 5020 mAh battery. Cons: Average performance and quality of night shooting.