Best 2020 Redmi 9 : Still Another budget Redmi smartphone vying for your attention.
There has been a sudden surge of budget phone launches in the past few months; the Redmi 9 out of Xiaomi being among them.
This recent offering is priced under Rs. 10,000 and is the successor to the Redmi 8. The Redmi 9 sold in India shouldn’t be confused with the global model of the exact same name, which is sold as the Redmi 9 Prime (Review) over here.
The Indian version of the Redmi 9 is a tweaked Redmi 9C.
Using a starting price of Rs. 8,999, that is the version I will be reviewing today, it’s time to see if the Redmi 9 Rs 8,999 is a better pick than other recent launches like the Realme C12 and Narzo 20A.
Redmi 9 Design
The Redmi 9 is fairly tall and wide, which is some thing I immediately noticed when trying to use it with a single hand. Thankfully, it does not feel overly thick or heavy even though it measures around 9mm and weighs 194g.
The power button is easy to reach but the quantity buttons call for a bit of hand shuffling since they’re placed over the power button, on the right side.
The triple-slot SIM tray is on the left, there’s a headset jack on the top, and the Micro-USB speaker and port reaches the bottom.
It’s surprising to see Xiaomi go back to a Micro-USB port here, contemplating this phone’s predecessor needed a USB Type-C port.
One plastic mold forms the side frame and rear panel, which lends the Redmi 9 a nice unibody feel. The quality of plastics used is good, and the phone feels really sturdy. (Best 2020 Redmi 9 Review)
The Redmi 9 has a square-shaped camera module on the back, which appears to be a recent trend that lots of Android OEMs are embracing. The textured back surface feels grippy and does not bring in fingerprints.
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There’s a circular indent for the fingerprint sensor, and it can be a little smaller than usual but functioned well in my experience. There’s face recognition too, which wasn’t very fast. (Best 2020 Redmi 9 Review)
The Redmi 9 includes a 6.53-inch IPS HD+ display with a 720×1600-pixel resolution.
I found the viewing angles and colours to be quite great; surely better than those of the Realme C12 and C15, which I recently tested. (Best 2020 Redmi 9 Review)
The brightness was adequate although it could have been a bit higher. Being a budget phone, there’s no high refresh rate or any such frills. There’s a dewdrop top on the top, and clearly thick bezels all around. (Best 2020 Redmi 9 Review)
Redmi 9 Functionality
The Redmi 9 is powered by the MediaTek Helio G35 SoC, the same one used by the Realme C12 and C15. The flash storage type used here is eMMC 5.1.
The latter still requires a headset in order to operate, but on e isn’t bundled with the telephone. The Redmi 8 Rs 10,975 had wireless FM radio, which worked without having a headset. (Best 2020 Redmi 9 Review)
Performance is adequate, keeping in mind the budget nature of this telephone. The Redmi 9 runs on MIUI 12, which can be based on Android 10.
There is some noticeable stutter from the animations also there was some delay in launching system or apps menus at times, directly from the get go.
It’s like the experience I had with the Realme C15, which had the exact same SoC and quantity of RAM.
However, standard scores were always lower than that which Realme’s offerings managed to churn out. The AnTuTu score was 98,084 points, whilst GFXBench returned just around 30fps from the T-Rex test package. (Best 2020 Redmi 9 Review)
Gaming performance was a little weak, except for easy titles which did okay. Games such as Grand Mountain ran nicely but heavier ones such as Asphalt 9: Legends fought to operate in a smooth framerate.
Videos appeared alright on the phone’s screen and the bottom-firing speaker got fairly loudly.
MIUI 12 looks fine and is just as practical as the previous edition. However, the stock apps are still riddled with advertisements, and every now and then, these are inclined to spam the telling color using unsolicited alerts. (Best 2020 Redmi 9 Review)
There are also a bunch of preinstalled programs which clog the house screen, but thankfully, most of them are able to be uninstalled.
Redmi 9 battery lifetime
The Redmi 9 delivered a more than satisfactory battery life in my own experience. I was easily able to go about a day and half or even longer in some cases, on a single charge of this 5,000mAh battery. (Best 2020 Redmi 9 Review)
In our HD movie loop test, the Redmi 9 conducted for 18 hours and 44 minutes, which is a very good time. However, charging this large battery takes a while. (Best 2020 Redmi 9 Review)
Even after an hour with all the bundled 10W charger, the Redmi 9’s battery only got around 40 percent. This phone does not support rapid charging, which is a little disappointing.
Redmi 9 Cameras
Concerning optics, the Redmi 9 has a fairly modest setup. You get a 5-megapixel selfie camera, and a 13-megapixel primary rear camera, together with a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The camera program offers the basic shooting modes, and a Guru mode for what it is worth.
Picture quality is rather average when shooting daylight. Close-ups fared a bit better but vulnerability wasn’t necessarily up to the mark.
The autofocus speed was adequate but not great. Portrait mode worked pretty nicely, even for items.
The Redmi 9 really struggled in low light. It took some time to lock attention even with close-up subjects. Details were generally weak when shooting night.
The camera AI attempts to boost the exposure but there’s no committed Night style to use. (Best 2020 Redmi 9 Review)
The Redmi 9 can produce usable selfies during the day but struggled to provide great enough results in reduced light.
Video quality was strictly average when shooting in daytime. You can capture up to 1080p footage, and it isn’t stabilised.
There is quite a bit of focus searching when shooting videos, and as expected, the quality is quite poor in low light.
Verdict: If you Get the Redmi 9?
The Redmi 9 competes with many budget phones at its beginning price of Rs. 8,999, but it’s a bit of a hard sell when you have mobiles like the Realme Narzo 10A (Inspection ) that offer better hardware for roughly the same amount of money. (Best 2020 Redmi 9 Review)
The 128GB storage edition of the Redmi 9 is a much tougher sell at Rs. 9,999, as it will compete with the Redmi 9 Prime (Review) which offers vastly superior performance and specifications in precisely the same price.
I really don’t think the Redmi 9 has some singular standout feature that it can lean on to distinguish itself and command a premium.
It would have been a decent option at a lower cost, but considering recent price rises across the industry and the cutbacks that Xiaomi has made much when compared to Redmi 8, I think you’d be much better off with different alternatives.
- Well built
- Good battery life
- Bloatware and spam in MIUI
- Laggy Android encounter
- Not Fantastic value