Today we are going to test the Redmi 9, which comes at an initial price of Rs 8,999 and we will see how different the new smartphone is from the Realme C12 and Narzo 20A phones coming in this price and whether it can stand ahead of the competitors.
Redmi 9: design
The Redmi 9 is quite long and wide, which we felt when trying to use it with one hand. Thankfully, it does not look too thick or heavy, even though its thickness is around 9mm and weighs 194 grams. The power button is easy to reach, but the arm has to adjust slightly to reach the volume button, as they are above the power button. Surprisingly, Xiaomi has given Micro-USB port in it, its previous model had USB Type-C port.
The plastic quality used in it is good and the phone feels very strong. The Redmi 9 has a square-shaped camera module at the back, which most brands have been adopting for some time. There is a circular cut for the fingerprint sensor, which is slightly smaller than normal but it worked well in our use. There is also Face Unlock, which was not very fast.
Redmi 9 has a 6.53-inch IPS HD + display with 720×1600-pixel resolution. Viewing angles and colors are very good, definitely better than those Realme C12 and C15. Brightness was also sufficient, although it could be slightly higher. Being a budget phone, there is no high refresh rate, but complaining about it will not be right. A waterdrop notch is found at the top and fairly thick bezels all around.
In the box, the Redmi 9, 10 watt charger, data cable, SIM tray eject pin, and user guide are found. You do not get any case or cover.
Redmi 9: performance
Redmi 9 runs on MediaTek Helio G35 processor and the same chipset is used by Realme C12 and C15. There are two variants of Redmi 9, both have 4 GB LPDDR4X RAM. You can choose 64 GB and 128 GB storage options, which are priced at Rs 8,999 and Rs 9,999 respectively. The flash storage type used here is eMMC 5.1. The phone also has Wi-Fi N, Bluetooth 5 and FM radio. For radio, you need to install earphones, but this was not the case with Redmi 8.
Considering the budget nature of this phone, the performance is decent. Redmi 9 runs on MIUI 12, which is based on Android 10. The animation had some noticeable lag and at times there was some delay in opening the app or system menu. It is similar to the Realme C15, which has the same chipset and RAM.
Gaming performance was slightly weaker. Games like Grand Mountain went well, but heavy games like Asphalt 9 do not get smooth framerates. The videos look fine on the phone’s display and the speaker at the bottom was quite loud.
The stock apps of MIUI 12 are full of advertisements and fill the Notification panel with unwanted alerts. Many apps come pre-installed, but thankfully most of them can be uninstalled.
Redmi 9: battery life
In our experience, the Redmi 9 gave a satisfactory battery backup. We easily get one and a half day usage. The phone has a 5,000mAh battery. In our HD video loop test, the Redmi 9 lasted 18 hours and 44 minutes, which is a very good time. However, charging this large battery takes a little time. Even after an hour with the supplied 10W charger, the Redmi 9 battery only reached 40 percent. This phone does not support fast charging, which is a bit disappointing.
Redmi 9: cameras
Redmi 9 has a fairly minor setup. You get a 5-megapixel selfie camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor with a 13-megapixel primary rear camera. The camera app offers basic shooting mode and there is also a pro mode.
The quality of photos is quite average when shooting in daylight. HDR handles the details well when you zoom in, but the landscape shots feature gimmicky details. Close-up was slightly better, but exposure may be better. The speed of the autofocus was fine, but not too rough. Portrait mode worked quite well, even for objects.
Redmi 9 really struggles in low light. It also took some time to lock focus on close-up subjects. The details were weak at the time of shooting at night. The camera enhances AI exposure, but there is no dedicated night mode to use.
Redmi 9 can give usable selfies on social media during the day, but struggles to produce good results in low light.
Video quality was also average during daytime shooting. You can capture at 1080p, but the stability is useless. The camera repeatedly seeks focus while shooting video and as expected, the quality is very poor in low light.
The Redmi 9 smartphone competes with many budget phones at a starting price of Rs 8,999, but when you have phones like Realme Narzo 10A, it weakens a bit, as Narzo offers better hardware for almost the same amount of money. The 128 GB storage version of the Redmi 9 is priced at Rs 9,999 and also competes with the Redmi 9 Prime, which offers significantly better performance and specifications at the same price.
We do not think that Redmi 9 has any special feature, which can make it stand apart from other smartphones at this price. This would have been a good option at a lower price, but recently the price of smartphones in the industry had increased, given that we think you can go with other options of the same price of Redmi or Realme.