Xiaomi Redmi 9 overview: Bringing low cost again to funds

Redmi 9 is the brand new base mannequin in Xiaomi’s funds telephone line, however the firm presents such extraordinary worth throughout your complete vary that this handset finds itself caught between a rock and a tough place: low cost as chips, however not fairly low cost sufficient to justify among the corners being minimize in comparison with the competitors.

And that is not simply the skin competitors, but additionally rivals inside Xiaomi’s personal camp: it is unimaginable to suggest this telephone in opposition to the Poco X3 NFC and Redmi Be aware 9 for something aside from its cheaper value.

It is at the moment the second-cheapest cell phone in our greatest funds telephone round-up (and the most affordable funds Chinese language telephone), dearer solely than the Moto e6s – and by far the higher possibility. It additionally trumps Oppo’s dearer entry-level A5 (2020). However increase your funds by simply £40 and you will find considerably higher worth for cash.

Design & Construct

Redmi 9 isn’t a bad-looking telephone, however it’s plastic – and that screams funds. It is also utilizing a Dot Drop show, whereas the remainder of Xiaomi’s funds line has moved to full-screen shows with punch-hole digicam modules. This makes it really feel previous.

On the plus aspect, the textured rear floor is a lot grippier than these telephones with glass behinds, making it much more steady each in your hand and when positioned down on a flat floor.

The show itself is in any other case good, with a Full HD+ decision and a tall 19.5:9 facet ratio, nevertheless it’s not able to the brilliant and vibrant colors produced by AMOLED panels discovered larger up Xiaomi’s line. We additionally discovered it a lot dimmer than the marketed 400 nits – in actual fact, we set the display screen to 200 nits for our PCMark battery assessments (see how we take a look at telephones) and this was just about cranked as much as the max. We anticipate that it hits 400 nits solely in direct daylight with its Daylight show characteristic.

Xiaomi has additionally introduced down prices by specifying older Gorilla Glass 3, which is way safer than having no safety in any respect, however we would favor to see Gorilla Glass 5 or 6. It appears like a sturdy handset – helped by the plastic physique – although there is no such thing as a waterproofing. As with all Xiaomi telephones a TPU case is discovered within the field.

At 6.53within the display screen is a usable measurement – however we should level out that is matching the Redmi Be aware 9, which moreover drops the waterdrop display screen notch. Bezels are moderately slim.

The design is fairly plain, however in line with the place you’d often anticipate finding sure options. For a funds telephone, it is not unusual to search out the fingerprint sensor on the rear, and right here it sits tucked away on the backside of the central quad-lens digicam meeting, so watch out to not go away greasy fingerprints everywhere in the digicam.

There are some good touches, too, together with an IR blaster, 3.5mm headphone jack and a SIM slot that doesn’t power you to decide on between microSD storage enlargement and dual-SIM performance. That is particularly helpful when you think about the bottom mannequin has solely 32GB inside storage, although 64GB can be out there for an additional £20.

Subsequent to the headphone jack is a single mono speaker, which is practical however will distort at max quantity.

{Hardware} & Efficiency

One of many key promoting factors of this telephone is its massive battery, rated at 5020mAh. That is in keeping with Redmi Be aware 9, and solely a contact decrease than Xiaomi’s Poco X3 NFC that has some hungrier {hardware} inside. 

In our testing it will simply final a full day and doubtlessly two, however in relation to refilling the battery it simply feels prefer it takes eternally to cost – even with 18W Fast Cost 3.0. It took us 30 minutes to get to 20% with the equipped 10W charger. In fact, that is largely as a result of it’s such a high-capacity battery, however we have additionally been spoiled with a lot quicker charging telephones of late. Do observe that there isn’t any wi-fi charging.

Our real-world observations weren’t backed by artificial benchmarks, nonetheless. Utilizing the PCMark Work 2.Zero battery life take a look at we recorded eight hours 13 minutes, which is a major drop from the 14 hours 24 minutes of the Poco, and in addition decrease than prime funds telephones from different manufacturers – the Realme 7, for instance, recorded 9 hours 2 minutes, and the Professional model 12 hours 5 minutes. That is truly one of many lowest scores we have seen since we started utilizing the PCMark benchmark.

We additionally battery take a look at with Geekbench 4, and outcomes right here have been equally poor. A results of 6 hours 50 minutes is the bottom we have seen from Xiaomi in a very long time, and fashions with Snapdragon processors inside definitely fare higher in these assessments.

Actual-world utilization is infinitely extra useful than the benchmarks, and so we would not dwell on these surprisingly poor outcomes, nevertheless it does level to a battery that is not as spectacular as you may anticipate from the advertising.

Normal efficiency from the ARM Mali-G52 MC2 GPU was equally unimpressive in our benchmarks, with GFXBench delivering some meagre and borderline unplayable framerates in all however one in all its graphics elements. Sadly, once we examined Redmi Be aware 9 it didn’t run all these benchmarks, however each the Poco X3 NFC and Realme 7 demonstrated notably higher efficiency for gaming.

This doesn’t suggest you possibly can’t play video games or watch motion pictures on Redmi 9, simply that you simply should not set your expectations too excessive. Efficiency basically is usually a bit stuttery and laggy.

We’re hardly ever excited to discover a MediaTek Helio processor inside a telephone, because it’s virtually all the time a cost-cutting measure. This G80 is a step down on the Redmi Be aware 9’s G85, and Realme’s G95. In the meantime, the Poco has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G. Clocked at 2GHz, we did not anticipate to get mind-blowing efficiency from this octa-core chip, and we did not get it both.

Recording 1294 factors in Geekbench 5’s multi-core take a look at, Redmi 9 is a contact quicker than Redmi Be aware 9 however efficiency is in any other case underwhelming in comparison with all different rivals within the sub-£200 bracket. For informal each day use it will likely be completely superb, however you will not be shopping for this telephone for its velocity.


Connectivity deserves a point out, largely as a result of it’s by some means each spectacular and underwhelming on the similar time.

NFC (used for cell funds and fast pairing over Bluetooth with appropriate units) is obtainable solely in chosen markets, and clearly not this one because it’s nowhere to be discovered within the settings. Wi-Fi is single-band, and does not stretch to 802.11ac (within the Chinese language mannequin you do get dual-band 802.11ac, nonetheless). These are not customary or acceptable omissions in funds telephones.

Alternatively, there’s dual-SIM performance whereby each SIMs can concurrently assist 4G (however not 5G), and an IR blaster and a 3.5mm headphone jack which can be each changing into more and more uncommon (in all probability for good motive). Add in USB-C and a fingerprint sensor, GPS and Bluetooth 5.0, and that is a good spec for an inexpensive telephone.

Cameras & Pictures

Redmi 9 has a quad-lens rear digicam, and on paper that sounds unbelievable for such an affordable smartphone. However evaluate the bottom specs to a few of its closest rivals:

Redmi 9: 13MP wide-angle + 8MP ultra-wide + 5MP macro + 2MP depth

Redmi Be aware 9: 48MP wide-angle + 8MP ultra-wide + 2MP macro + 2MP depth

Poco X3 NFC: 64MP wide-angle + 13MP ultra-wide + 2MP macro + 2MP depth

Realme 7: 48MP wide-angle + 8MP ultra-wide + 2MP macro + 2MP depth

Even earlier than you take into account high quality, that headline megapixel determine has taken an enormous minimize in Redmi 9. Whereas the variety of megapixels themselves are hardly ever necessary for picture high quality, it is value noting that with its larger megapixel fashions Xiaomi combines 4 particular person pixels into one tremendous pixel, so the tip end result isn’t truly 48- or 64MP however it’s a lot better high quality. 

We took a wide range of take a look at photographs, a lot of that are of flowers, the place any points with color accuracy is instantly obvious. We discovered Redmi 9 inconsistent, with saturated yellows, reds and purples, for instance, however elsewhere it might produce fairly bleak pictures with flat colors.

In daylight the digicam works properly as a degree and shoot, with specific credit score given to the AI mode that may work out probably the most acceptable preset to your shot if you happen to’d fairly not delve into the Professional settings, however it may’t deal with low gentle very properly in any respect.

For the cash we have been principally impressed by the extent of element in images, though the ultra-wide lens has a set focus (in frequent with the 8MP selfie digicam), and the macro lens has no autofocus (and is accessible solely in Professional mode). Picture high quality notably degrades towards the outer edges of the shot, whatever the taking pictures mode.

Whereas many funds telephones solely barely dearer than Redmi 9 can shoot video in 4K, this telephone helps solely 720p or 1080p at 30fps, or 720p slo-mo, with no stabilisation. 

Software program

Though MIUI 12 might be rolled out to Redmi 9, our overview pattern is at the moment operating MIUI World 11.0.eight with no replace out there.

That is Xiaomi’s customized interface that it applies to Android 10. I’ve used Xiaomi telephones for years and I’m not solely conversant in it, however I truly favor it to plain Android. But a few of my colleagues discover MIUI complicated and in the end irritating, so every to their very own.

As soon as you discover your approach across the settings – and this has received a lot simpler with current updates – you may discover every thing you want and extra, together with some actually helpful Xiaomi-exclusive apps corresponding to Second Area and Twin Apps. Xiaomi additionally presents a system-wide Darkish mode, and it launched this lengthy earlier than it got here to vanilla Android. There is no such thing as a At all times-on Show on this mannequin, nonetheless.

Maybe what’s laying aside my group mates is the very fact there’s an excessive amount of extra – and when you should not take into account it to be bloatware, these professional apps are sometimes Xiaomi-made duplicates of the Google apps you are extra prone to favour. I stick these in a folder and neglect about them, uninstalling the place attainable, however I acknowledge that brushing issues underneath the carpet is not for everybody.

To be truthful, there are additionally many extra preinstalled apps on this Redmi 9 overview pattern than I’d often anticipate to see on a Xiaomi telephone, which is sort of definitely one of many elements serving to to maintain that value so low. That is additionally helped by some unintrusive adverts scattered about, corresponding to on the backside of the Video games folder.

A bunch of video games are preinstalled, although many are simply app icons and will not obtain till you attempt to open them; there are additionally Fb, LinkedIn, Netflix, eBay, AliExpress and different apps. On this occasion, it’s undoubtedly a step too far. 

The place to purchase Xiaomi Redmi 9

Within the UK you should purchase Redmi 9 direct from Xiaomi or by way of Amazon. There are two fashions, with the 3GB RAM, 32GB storage mannequin costing £139.99, and the 4GB RAM, 64GB storage mannequin (the one we would suggest) costing £159.99. That places it £20 (£40 if you happen to go for the cheaper possibility) decrease than the principle competitors.

We have examined the Carbon Gray possibility, however the 4GB/64GB Redmi 9 can be out there in Sundown Purple and Ocean Inexperienced.

It’s attainable to import Redmi 9 from Chinese language distributors corresponding to GearBest and Geekbuying, and also you may avoid wasting cash in doing so. Nevertheless, do keep in mind that when transport objects from China to the UK you might be imagined to pay 20% import obligation, and you may make life an terrible lot simpler for your self if you happen to guarantee you might be shopping for a World fairly than Chinese language mannequin. (If you happen to do screw up, take a look at our information on find out how to set up Google Providers on a Chinese language Xiaomi telephone.)

You may additionally like: Finest Xiaomi Offers


If funds is your main lookout, Redmi 9 is the perfect low cost telephone we have discovered. Thought-about in isolation it has a lot to supply, with an enormous battery and a quad-lens digicam the highlights – not less than on paper.

In actuality, efficiency and pictures are distinctly common, it is missing requirements corresponding to NFC (not less than in some markets), and the plastic design with a considerably boring show leaves us wanting.

You additionally do not must look to far to search out significantly extra worth for cash with only a small enhance to your funds – you needn’t even look outdoors Xiaomi’s personal product line. With notably higher cameras, quicker efficiency and better storage choices, Redmi 9 cannot maintain a candle to Redmi Be aware 9 or the Poco X3 NFC.

Xiaomi Redmi 9: Specs

6.53in Full HD+ (2340×1080) Dot Drop Show, 19.5:9, 1500:1 distinction, 400 nits brightness, Gorilla Glass 3
2GHz MediaTek Helio G80 octa-core processor
950MHz ARM Mali-G52 MC2 GPU
32GB/64GB storage with microSD assist
Major digicam: 13MP, f/2.2 wide-angle + 8MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide + 5MP, f/2.Four macro + 2MP, f/2.Four depth
Entrance digicam: 8MP, f/2.0, mounted focus
Video: 1080p/720p @30fps
AI Face Unlock
Rear fingerprint sensor
Twin-SIM (dual-4G) + microSD hybrid SIM tray
2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC in chosen markets
IR blaster
3.5mm headphone jack
5020mAh battery with 18W quick cost and Fast Cost 3.0 (10W charger equipped)
Obtainable in Carbon Gray, Sundown Purple and Ocean Inexperienced

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