The Redmi Note 9 Pro has just been released in India and its starting price of Rs. 12,999 is shockingly small as Xiaomi has made some very interesting positioning and feature decisions. It’s not easy to keep in front of the sport, so the Redmi Note 9 Pro is against the gigantic Realme 6 and Samsung M30s. Longtime fans of the series could be surprised at how Xiaomi has actually held back a touch with this model since expectations are always when a replacement generation of Redmi Note smartphones is announced.
Previous models, most notably the Redmi Note 8 Pro (Review), are defined by their positioning above the quality Redmi series and therefore the aspirational features they provide. Although prices are still very fair, Xiaomi has taken the habit of offering items that will tempt folks to spend a touch of extra money on, including large screens, Batteries with high power, multiple sensors, premium styling, and class-leading specifications.
The tradeoff for that new low price is that the Redmi Note 9 Pro doesn’t offer many of today’s most buzz-worthy features – a 90Hz display, extremely fast charging, and high-resolution cameras. This phone is more about core specifications and therefore the overall user experience. In a stimulating shuffle, though, a number of these features are often found during a new higher-tier device, the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max.
So what’s during a name? Does this repositioning mean that the Redmi Note 9 Pro may be a disappointment, or can it live up to its illustrious predecessors’ standards? Let’s determine.
Redmi Note 9 Pro Design
By any standard, the Redmi Note 9 Pro may be a bulky phone. At 8.8mm thick and 209g in weight, many of us will find this device bulky and unwieldy. That’s where Xiaomi’s new ‘Aura Balance’ design philosophy comes in – the corporate says that weight is distributed perfectly evenly and therefore the exterior design is symmetrical to form usage easier. We found one-handed use difficult but not impossible.
Xiaomi’s three fairly basic colors–Cosmic Black, Ice Green, and Aurora Blue –have gone in terms of appearances. You won’t notice any trends or gradients here, but the looks are anything but subtle. Our Aurora Blue unit was bright and vibrant, with a really shiny, reflective rear panel. You will see light play across the surface when using this phone, giving the sensation of depth. Thankfully the rear panel isn’t too slippery, but it does devour fingerprints as soon as you touch it.
Shiomi has come up with a distinctive new camera bump design that falls into the theme of symmetry. Flash is also concentrated under four camera lenses. This is a nice design touch that differentiates the Redmi Note 9 series and makes this phone and its siblings recognizable. The camera module sticks a bit though.
The front and rear of the Redmi Note 9 Pro are built using Gorilla Glass 5, and the chassis is polycarbonate. The new integrated selfie camera, centering at the top of the frame, is the most distinctive feature on the face. It is somewhat disorganized and the backlighting of the screen is a bit uneven. Interestingly, the image of the Redmi Note 9 Pro on its box cover actually shows a smaller hole and narrower chin than the device. The phone still looks sophisticated and definitely defies expectations for its price range.
The next interesting design touch is the side-mounted fingerprint sensor, which is embedded in the facility button. This sits during a slight recess on the proper of the phone which lined up fairly well with the thumb of our right. You will find this inconvenient if you’re left-handed, and we’d suggest registering multiple fingers so you’ll unlock this phone whether it’s in your hand or lying on a table.
Xiaomi says that this approach was chosen because it’s quicker than an in-display sensor and more convenient than having one on the rear, plus it doesn’t disrupt the planning of the rear panel. This is often definitely a trend within the budget segment immediately, though. We even have to notice that the selection of an LCD screen instead of AMOLED plays into how an in-display sensor is often implemented.
The volume buttons are placed awkwardly above the sensor and are not easy to succeed in while on a call. On the left is a tray with 2 Nano-SIM slots and a microSD card. Xiaomi’s signature infrared emitter is at its peak, and many home devices can be used to power it. There’s the standard USB Type-C port, 3.5mm audio socket, and speaker on rock bottom. Many of us are going to be happy to notice that there’s actually a notification and charging LED hidden within the earpiece.
Xiaomi has done well in terms of design, and therefore the Redmi Note 9 Pro does feel fresh without actually changing an excessive amount of for a phone during this segment. There’s also a P2i coating for splash resistance, though in fact no proper waterproofing.
Redmi Note 9 Pro Specifications and Software
Redmi Note series phones typically have impressive specifications, and Xiaomi has gone with a bigger screen and battery than ever before. You get a 6.67-inch full-HD+ (1080×2400-pixel) screen which features a tall ratio to accommodate the front camera. What could shock other fans following current trends, as it is a standard 60Hz display and has no refresh rate of 90Hz like other newly released smartphones, most notably the Realme 6 (Review)?
Xiaomi claims that there aren’t many apps that cash in of a high refresh rate, people can’t really tell the difference, it is not well worth the battery life tradeoff, and therefore the Snapdragon 720G SoC isn’t powerful enough. We do not necessarily accept as true with of these points, but we do need to remember that some compromises are to be expected at Rs. 12,999.
The 5020mAh battery is also interesting. Xiaomi wants 29 hours for VoLTE calling and 14 hours for paid games each. You get an 18W charger in the box – fast charging is reserved for the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max.
The Snapdragon 720G is a modern SoC with two efficient 2.3GHz signals and six efficient 1.8GHz cores, all produced in an 8nm process that is said to lead to greater power efficiency and lower heat loss. Buyers will know that Alexa’s Redmi Note 8 Pro support with Google alongside Google Assistant has broken down – Xiaomi tells us that this depends on the specific capabilities of the MediaTek processor used in the previous model.
Xiaomi noted that this is the first time the 7xx-series Snapdragon processor will be seen on the Redmi Note Series device at this price. This is a flawed take on arms race makers, but Qualcomm’s strategy of launching the 7xx-series as a premium tire has been questioned to overcome the downward migration of the 6xx-series.
You can buy Redmi Note 9 Pro with 64GB RAM and 64GB storage for Rs. 12,999 or 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for Rs. 15,999. When the Redmi Note 8 Pro has launched six months ago, Shiomi explained how the minimum amount of 6GB RAM is on offer. Redmi Note 9 Pro Max gives you 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for Rs. 14,999, and the only option is if you want to step up to 8GB. The overlap of these two sibling models may cause some confusion in the market.
Many highlights include basic NAVIC GPS support, dual-band Wi-Fi AC, Bluetooth 5, and all basic sensors. With the 18W charger and the USB Type-C Cable, you get the same SIM injection tool and plastic case in the box with this phone – the blue and white variants are shipped with a clear case, and the Black Smokey gets opaque.
MIUI 11 runs on Android 10 and our review unit has a February security patch. Sadly, bloatware and promotional materials are part of Shiomi’s business strategy. The company says users can remove and/or disable some of these features but we have seen too many spam notices.
There is no app drawer, but you do get some level of UI customization. Swiping on the home screen will enable the Mi browser, allowing you to search for installed applications. This is somewhat convenient, but we want to reassign this shortcut. Dark mode, downloadable UI theme, and Google’s digital wellbeing settings. You can clone apps and store sensitive data for privacy in seconds and type instant replies to messages in a notification popup for some apps.
Redmi Note 9 Pro Performance and Battery Life
At now, with the type of hardware used at even the low end of the market, there’s not much which will be said about everyday usage. The Redmi Note 9 Pro is quite powerful enough to handle anything from basic calls and messaging all the high to heavy 3D gaming, with no trouble whatsoever. Multitasking was also smooth and trouble-free. If you’re wont to a better display refresh rate you would possibly find that missing, but most of the people shouldn’t really mind – aside from the sensation of missing out on something.
Ergonomically, this is not the simplest phone to use, as we’ve said. The massive screen does work nicely for videos and games, but the dimensions and placement of the camera bump make holding the Redmi Note 9 Pro in the landscape while playing games just a touch uncomfortable. Holding it up to require long calls could also get fatiguing. In our experience the side-mounted fingerprint sensor and face recognition were both quick and effective.
The screen is very bright and crisp. The colors look great and there are some adjustments in the Settings app if you want to play with them. We found that the camera hole was slightly distracted when viewing the video-screen. Some apps are designed to mask the knots at the top of the screen with a black band, and this phone needs to be updated for the size and position of these camera holes. We weren’t too impressed with the speaker, though – the sound was loud, but harsh and sharp.
For the benchmark, there is no surprise. For a budget phone the Snapdragon 720 G offers class-leading performance. In Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core tests we saw 279,978 as well as 568 and 1,761 points on AnTuTu, respectively. 3D Mark gave it 3,665 points in its Slingshot Unlimited test, and the GFX bench’s Manhattan 3.1 and Car Chase game simulations were at 27fps and 15fps, respectively.
PUBG Mobile Defaults to set high quality. We played a few rounds for about 20 minutes and found that the Redmi Note 9 Pro was a bit hot, contrary to Shiomi’s claims. The phone was never uncomfortable, but we didn’t want to play for long. The graphics are consistently smooth, and the gameplay is enjoyable. Asphalt 9: Legends gave us no trouble.
We are eager to test the battery of this phone. With the ease of use, we were very happy to see the Redmi Note 9 Pro easily before a full day and a half-second that needed recharging. During this time we played some games, streamed videos, and took lots of photos and videos. Our HD Loop video test lasted 16 hours and 2 minutes, which is good but not as much as we could ing, and some competitors in this space can exceed the score by 20 hours.
Redmi Note 9 Pro Cameras
The squared-off camera bump on the back also surprises some Redmi Note series fans. The primary shooter has a 48-megapixel resolution and f / 1.79 aperture and uses the new Samsung Isole GM2 sensor. You won’t get a 64-megapixel camera like the Redmi Note 8 Pro or other recent price-segment phones. This is basically the result of the Redmi Note 9 Pro, which addresses the low market level with its low prices – you get the Redmi Note 9 Pro with a 64-megapixel camera.
Next to this you will find an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, which is quite standard for this price range. The 2-megapixel depth sensor on the bottom line is also basic and simple. The interesting thing is that the macro camera has a 5-megapixel resolution, which should be a good bump with the 2-megapixel being just as useful on most late-night phone phones.
Shiomi claims enhanced night mode, super-phase detection autofocus, and a color profile that suits Indian tastes. Video can be recorded at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps. The 720p Slow-Mo recording is up to 960fps. One of the primary target audiences of this phone is video content creators, especially ticket talk users, so there is a short video mode with a cutoff of 15 seconds. You can also shoot video using a macro camera or save RAW 8-bit footage for external processing.
The front camera features a 16-megapixel resolution, and once more the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max offers a intensify to 32 megapixels. Slow-mo up to 120fps is feasible also. There’s AI beautification which is on by default.
The camera app is simple for the foremost part, but there are some quirks. as an example, you’ve got to open a submenu to seek out the Macro camera icon. There are 0.6x, 1x, and 2x zoom selectors right above the shutter button – the primary two switch between the wide-angle and standard cameras, but the zoom is all digital. As expected, Xiaomi’s advertising watermark had to be deactivated manually on images.
Starting with daytime photos, we found the first camera to be reasonably good, but it doesn’t break any new ground in terms of quality or flexibility. Close-ups looked fine, and in the foreground, the details were obvious. Also, distant objects were well represented if sufficient light existed, and textures were not too complex. The wide-angle camera isn’t regrettable, but the quality definitely suffers. Despite promising distortion correction, there’s still some fairly obvious warping at the edges of frames.
The 5-megapixel macro camera does deliver much higher quality shots than we have seen from most other macro cameras, and therefore the camera app makes it obvious when you’re holding the phone at the right distance to lock focus. Many of our attempts still begin looking dull though, often with washed-out colors and poorly balanced exposures.
At night, we found the Redmi Note 9 Pro’s primary camera to be good if there were many artificial lights around, otherwise, details were lost. Low-light landscapes were unimpressive. The wide-angle camera delivered murky results, but we didn’t expect an excessive amount of from it. Night mode was surprisingly ineffective – it did help balance dark scenes with bright lights that might otherwise just be overexposed blotches, but it didn’t do anything within the least for shots of subjects in the dark, which other phones are capable of improving.
The front camera is fairly good within the daytime also as in the dark, but we didn’t just like the aggressive beautification which made faces look artificial. Details were good within the daytime also as in the dark, and portrait shots had nicely blurred backgrounds.
Video taken at 1080p looked perfect and balanced well. Our only complaint was that our test footage was a touch overexposed. At 4K, colors went completely out of whack and our sample shots had an overwhelming, unnatural red tone. The shimmer effect was pretty bad in the dark when shooting at 1080p. an equivalent situation was evident in the dark – 1080p footage wasn’t usable if we were moving, but we managed to capture usable footage if we stood still.
With over 100 million units sold, the Redmi Note 9 Pro features a huge legacy to measure up to. For its price, the bottom variant is a superb option and raises the bar in terms of features and performance. However, as its name suggests, this phone is more updated for the Redmi Note 8 (Review) than the Redmi Note 8 Pro (review), and this has been a disappointment for buyers.
We just like the Redmi Note 9 Pro for its overall style, and it could easily stand next to full-priced flagships from five or six years ago. The specifications are very impressive and that we had only a few complaints when using this phone for day-to-day tasks also as general entertainment. The first camera may be a letdown though, especially in low light. We also found this phone a touch too bulky for our liking.
In this review, we will mention the high-end Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, while Shiomi has differentiated the prices of its variants so that the first step from the base Redmi Note 9 Pro is Rs. 12,999 is actually a sibling model. Rs. At 14,999, you get better front and rear cameras, more RAM, and faster charging. Rs. The 15,999 variants of the Redmi Note 9 Pro cost more, for greater storage. However, you get relatively poor features, which makes it very difficult to recommend this particular version. The lineup seems complicated and confusing – and now that the new Redmi Note 9S has been confirmed, it may not be coming to India.
While the 6GB + 128GB version of the Redmi Note 9 Pro is hard to see, the 4GB + 64GB version has launched at an incredible price. We hope that Shiomi will improve things in front of the camera through software updates. If this happens, this phone is too hard, too hard to beat.
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