Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

Content

  1. Positioning
  2. TECH SPECS
  3. Equipment
  4. Appearance
  5. Display
  6. Battery
  7. Camera
  8. Performance
  9. Communication capabilities
  10. Shell MIUI 11
  11. Impressions and competitors

Positioning

In 2013, Xiaomi introduced the Redmi brand as a range of more affordable smartphones compared to the original Mi-series. The new brand was needed for two reasons. Firstly, cheaper components were used there, which hypothetically meant a higher scrap rate. And Xiaomi did not want to spoil the image. Secondly, Xiaomi initially understood that playing a product of the first price is a disastrous undertaking. And Redmi was needed so that Xiaomi would not be associated with cheap smartphones.

However, the story turned out differently. It turned out that the level of technical development is quite high and defects, even in smartphones with cheap components, are rare. And buyers, having tried Redmi, realized that smartphones are cheaper, but not much worse than the headline MI models. Xiaomi realized this and began to actively develop the brand, launching whole lines of smart technology. And among smartphones Redmi there are models for different price segments. The Redmi Note line in the company’s portfolio is responsible for the mid-price segment. By the way, the K-series is responsible for the premium, and it is not yet officially on sale in Russia.

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clearRedmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

The active development of the brand also implies an increase in the number of products, so this year, as in the past, Xiaomi presented as many as 3 smartphones – Redmi Note 9, Redmi Note 9s and Redmi Note 9 Pro. The main focus is on the Redmi Note 9 Pro, which has received all the best, from the chipset to the cameras. Redmi Note 9 is the most affordable model with a price of 16 rubles. According to Xiaomi, buyers should be attracted by:

  • 48 MP. Four cameras
  • Up to 32% faster graphics performance and 22% more CPU power (over Redmi Note 8)
  • 5020mAh battery with 18W fast charging and 9W wired reversible charging. Up to 13 hours of games
  • NFC and infrared sensor
  • Modern cutout design with Corning Gorilla Glass 5
TECH SPECS
Processor: MediaTek Helio G85 (12nm), Octa-core 2.0 GHz, Mali-G52 MC2 graphics
Operating system: Android 10, shell MIUI 11
Memory: 3/4 GB / 64/128 GB, separate slot for microSD
Screen: 6.53 inches, IPS LCD, 1080 x 2340 pixels, aspect ratio 19.5: 9, dot density 395 ppi, brightness 450 nits, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Battery: Li-Po 5020 mAh, fast charge 18W, reverse charge 18W (power bank function)
Main camera: 48 MP, f / 1.8, 26mm (wide), 1 / 2.0 ″, 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f / 2.2, 118 ° (ultra wide angle), 1 / 4.0 ″, 1.12µm
2 MP, f / 2.4, (macro), AF
2 MP, f / 2.4, (depth)
Front camera: 13 MP, f / 2.3, 29mm (regular), 1 / 3.1 ″, 1.12µm
SIM card: 2 Nano-SIM
Network and data transmission: GSM 900/1800/1900, 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, NavIC, infrared port, NFC, USB 2.0, Type-C 1.0
Sensors: Fingerprint scanner (side), accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass
Other: no FM radio, 3.5 mm jack, splash proof
Materials: Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front and plastic body
Dimensions: 162.3 x 77.2 x 8.9 mm, weight 199 g.
Price: 3 GB / 64 GB – 16 rubles,
4 GB / 128 GB – 18 rubles

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

Equipment

Standard equipment:

  • Smartphone
  • 22.5W charging adapter
  • USB Type-C wire
  • Silicone case
  • Clip for SIM tray
  • Documentation

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

Appearance

  • Front panel: 6.53 inches, IPS LCD, 1080 x 2340 pixels, aspect ratio 19.5: 9, dot density 395 ppi, brightness 450 nits, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, factory film glued to the screen, speaker mesh in the upper part
  • Back panel: 4 photomodules, flash, fingerprint scanner
  • Right side: volume rocker, power button
  • Left-hand side: slot for 2 nano-SIM and microSD
  • Upper butt: microphone, IrDa sensor
  • Bottom end: 3.5 mm jack, USB Type-C with OTG function, microphone, speaker

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

A smartphone in the color “midnight gray” was sent for the test. I would call it midnight blue. A pleasant intense strong color. Suitable for those who are tired of the “color madness”. If you want something brighter, then there is a choice of white (less noticeable fingerprints) and green. Unlike the older models, which use Gorilla Glass 5 for the back cover, here the cover and frame are completely made of plastic. The protective glass is used only for the front surface.

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

There is a film on the screen. It is a pity, but I recommend taking it off immediately, because your finger does not slip on it and it becomes difficult to work with a smartphone. Separately, I note that the film is very active in attracting dust. As if electrified. Such is the phenomenon.

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

The phone comes with a dark cover, through which you can’t see the original color. The cover is thick, dense, does not slip in the hands. I love that the case has a USB Type-C plug. Anyone who is not confident in their dexterity would recommend wearing this case. With it, the likelihood of dropping the smartphone from your hands is reduced many times.

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clearRedmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clearRedmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

I love that the case has a USB Type-C plug

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

Speaking about the exterior, it should be noted that the smartphone has a separate slot for microSD cards. A trifle, but nice

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

Anyone who is unsure of their natural agility should wear this case. With it, the likelihood of dropping your smartphone from your hands is reduced many times.

In older models, there is a light indicator in the area of ​​the speaker grid, while Redmi Note 9 does not.

Display

The smartphone has a 6.53-inch screen, IPS LCD, 1080 x 2340 pixels, aspect ratio 19.5: 9, dot density 395 ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, declared brightness 450 nits.

Describing the screen, I would like to say that it is here with its own money. The screen is large – 6.53 inches, but the older models have even more, 6.67 inches. I love that the cutout is on the side. My personal quibble, but I hate it when the cutout for the front camera is made clearly in the center.

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clearRedmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

The declared screen brightness is 450 nits. It is worth noting that the older models also have a declared brightness of 450 nits, but don’t let that fool you. In all three smartphones, the brightness is observed. But this is the brightness in manual mode. If you turn on “auto”, then older models can accelerate to almost 600 nits. For example, Redmi Note 9s “knocked out” when measuring 593 nits. Unfortunately, the test sample cannot do this. In auto mode, it produces 470 nits. The brightness is decent, and even in the bright sun you can see what is happening on the screen. But this is the basic brightness, for comfortable work in the sun, you want a screen from 550 nits.

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clearRedmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

Redmi Note 9 (left) and Redmi Note 9 Pro (guess)

Once again, I note that the screen is covered with a factory film, which does not have an oleophobic coating, so you need to remove it quickly. There is no need to worry that the screen will be without film. First, it is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. It is a good premium glass. Secondly, the protective case from the kit has edges protruding, thanks to which you can lay the smartphone down with the screen down, and it will not touch the surface.

Since this is IPS, the smartphone does not have PWM, that is, the screen does not flicker when the brightness decreases. The settings are standard: color temperature, brightness, dark mode, it is possible to hide the cutout.

Battery

The 5020 mAh battery is one of the selling chips of the smartphone. The smartphone has a curious feature. It can be used as a power bank, that is, you can recharge other devices from it. Reverse charging power – 9 W. I tested the function by charging the case with wireless headphones. The option is useful, but I think very few people will use it, since for such manipulations a Type-C – Type-C cable is needed.

Optimization of Android and an advanced 12nm process technology have a positive impact on battery life. It seems to me that we have finally come to the conclusion that a smartphone can live 2 full days on a single charge. Measurements showed:

  • 16 hours of HD video at full brightness (manual) and volume in airplane mode
  • 16.5 hours auto-refresh (with full page reload) over Wi-Fi
  • 9 hours of playing Call of Duty Mobile (estimated at approximately 11% per hour of play)

Despite 18W fast charging, the smartphone takes 2 hours and 40 minutes to charge from 0 to 100%. However, in half an hour you can get 35%, and this will be enough for 8 hours of work. In everyday mode, the smartphone gives out 8 hours of screen.

A small note. I didn’t keep track of what happened, but the screen time disappeared from the usage statistics. Now this indicator has to be collected manually from the Digital Wellbeing section, so now without discharge graphs.

Camera

The smartphone has a rather attractive camera system, judging by the technical characteristics:

  • 48 MP, f / 1.8, 26mm (wide), 1 / 2.0 ″, 0.8µm, PDAF
  • 8 MP, f / 2.2, 118 ° (ultra wide angle), 1 / 4.0 ″, 1.12µm
  • 2 MP, f / 2.4, (macro), AF
  • 2 MP, f / 2.4, (depth)

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

The camera interface is standard. To learn more about the camera interface and MIUI 11, read our shell review. Link in the “Software” section, and below – some screenshots of the camera interface

On paper, it’s not much worse than the older models. Let’s see what a smartphone can do.

The camera has 4 standard modes: 1x, 2x, 0.6x (width) and 48 MP. 48 MP photos have a watermark. They weigh about 12 MB.

Finally, a separate example of why a wide-angle camera is needed.

A couple of examples of macro mode. The smartphone has a 2 MP macro camera, I do not approve of it. But on the plus side I will write down that the camera is with autofocus. I liked how, for example, a 9 MP macro camera was installed in Redmi Note 5s. I have some complaints about the interface. Previously, the macro camera mode was on the main screen just behind the “width”, now to enable it you need to dive into the shutter. The trouble is that only by looking into the shutter, you can find out whether the macro is on or not. Accordingly, there is a great risk to turn it on and forget, and then be upset from the spoiled photos.

An example of a selfie camera with and without blur.

And here is a comparison with Redmi Note 9 Pro. First Redmi Note 9 (regular photo and 48 MP), then Redmi Note 9 Pro (regular photo and 64 MP).

And a selfie camera comparison. First Redmi Note 9 (regular photo and blur), then Redmi Note 9 Pro (regular photo and blur)

I think it’s obvious that the difference is visible to the naked eye in terms of color reproduction, white balance, and overall color saturation. In the case of a selfie camera, there is also a noticeable difference in the algorithms for portrait photography. Notice the outline around the ear. The Redmi Note 9 has a rough one, while the Pro version has a higher quality blur.

Performance

Unlike the two older models powered by the Snapdragon 720G chipset, the Redmi Note 9 uses a MediaTek chipset: Helio G85 (12nm), 8 cores 2.0 GHz, Mali-G52 MC2 graphics.

Smartphone stars from the sky are not enough. Fairly standard indicators in all synthetic tests.

The basic memory (in terms of speed) is installed in the smartphone – 11.5 thousand MB / s. For comparison, in the Redmi Note 9 Pro, the RAM reaches 21 thousand MB / s, and the storage speed is 500 MB / s.

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clearRedmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

On the one hand, Redmi Note 9 cannot be called a gaming smartphone, on the other hand, all modern games run on it. The settings, of course, are not at the maximum, but tell me honestly, do you distinguish, for example, in Call of Duty Mobile the maximum settings from the average? Me not.

Shell MIUI 11

The smartphone runs on the proprietary MIUI 11 shell. Xiaomi promised that the smartphone will receive an update to MIUI 12. The full shell review can be found here. I recommend doing this, since the shell is interesting, with an abundance of various functions and settings.

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

Communication capabilities

As for the phone, there are no complaints about Redmi Note 9. Confident reception of the network, the speaker is located adequately, and it is convenient to talk with the interlocutor. This is a hairpin in the direction of manufacturers who like to place the earpiece on the end of the device, as a result of which you cannot just hold the phone to your ear, you have to look for a position when it is convenient to talk.

The smartphone supports dual-band Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0. The device has NFC, as well as an infrared sensor that allows you to use your smartphone as a remote control for technology. By default, the smartphone has Mi Remote, but you can download any other application.


Impressions and competitors

Having released three smartphones – Redmi Note 9 (16 ₽), Redmi Note 990s (9 ₽) and Redmi Note 17 Pro (990 ₽) – Xiaomi has set a tough challenge. For example, my favorite would be the Redmi Note 9s. It has a screen and chipset, like the Pro version, a slightly worse camera (but this is not critical), but a balanced price of 23 rubles. However, there is no NFC. This technology spoiled me, allowing me to leave the house without a wallet and travel card. You can, of course, buy another fitness bracelet with NFC, but there are no discount cards (and I love discount cards!).

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

The Redmi Note 9 Pro is definitely a great smartphone. It is well worth the money as it has cameras, performance and a screen. In short, everything is at the highest level. This is a direct, more interesting competitor to Samsung’s A-series. However, for those who choose a smartphone within 17 thousand rubles, the price of 24 thousand can become an insurmountable obstacle.

And we have Redmi Note 9. If before that I had not worked with Redmi Note 9s and Redmi Note 9 Pro, then I would say that the smartphone is super. However, the version with 16 GB of RAM costs 990 rubles, and 3 GB is already estimated at 4 rubles. And against the background of Snapdragon 18G (990 thousand points in AnTuTu), it is noticeable that Helio G720 (250 thousand points in AnTuTu) is a more thoughtful chipset. And the Note 85’s screen is simpler than the older models, and the cameras are less juicy.

Accordingly, everyone thinks for himself, but I can share my vision, which, I believe, will cause rejection in you. If I were saving, I would take Redmi Note 9s. Would suffer without NFC, but this is a more balanced smartphone. If the presence of NFC is critical, then take the Redmi Note 9 with 3 GB of RAM. Optimization of Android at a level where 3 GB is enough for happiness. In the same Call of Duty Mobile, you will not feel the difference between 3 and 4 GB.

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

If you think that 3 GB is unacceptable and you need 4 GB, then catch discounts on Redmi Note 9 Pro. Overpay 3 thousand compared to Redmi Note 9 4GB but get a top tier smartphone.

I also want to draw your attention to the Redmi Note 8 Pro model. According to Xiaomi, this model has been the most popular smartphone on Yandex.Market in certain months. The device is still relevant today. Please read the review.

Realme has become the main competitor for the Redmi brand. For example, realme 6 for 17 rubles offers more interesting characteristics with NFC.

Redmi Note 9 review: when the benefits are clear

Also, Samsung Galaxy A51 can be called a competitor. I don’t know how long the promotion will last, but now on the official Samsung website, the device can be bought for 16 rubles, that is, 990 cheaper, according to a promotional code (which I will not tell you, because you still decide that advertising). This is the price for the 3/4 GB model with in-screen fingerprint reader and NFC.

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