That Xiaomi has been the great entertainer of the entry range in recent years does not surprise anyone. The best example we have in the Redmi 9 , a large terminal, solvent in performance and with a fantastic autonomy but that nevertheless does not stop having some weak points that inevitably make us look at the price tag. You can’t have everything for just over 120 euros .
Xiaomi Redmi 9 datasheet
|Xiaomi Redmi 9|
|screen||IPS 6.53 ″
Full HD +
|Dimensions and weight||163.32 x 77.01 x 9.1mm 198g
|Frontal camera||8 MP|
|Rear camera||13 MP f / 2.2
8 MP f / 2.2 wide angle
5 MP f / 2.4 macro
2 MP f / 2.4 bokeh
Fast charge 18W
|Operating system||Android 10
|Others||Rear fingerprint reader|
|Starting price||3 GB + 32 GB: 119 euros
4 GB + 64 GB: 136 euros
Don’t let the price fool you: the Redmi 9 looks good
Who would say that for just over 100 euros one would be able to hold a terminal with a careful design, good finish and that would do more than what one could expect with the naked eye. This is the Redmi 9 , which you should not let its price fool you.
In hand, the Xiaomi Redmi 9 is a comfortable, balanced and manageable smartphone , with a thickness that exceeds 9 mm and a weight of 198 grams. And we are talking about a phone that exceeds 6.5 inches in diagonal.
The plastic finish is at a very good level for the price of the Redmi 9, with a textured back and some shine
The front is almost all screen, with reduced but appreciable frames . Its strong point is actually the striking back with a certain touch of shine.
The back of the Redmi 9, with texture, is one of its strengths
The design of the Redmi 9 is not noted for its noble finish, but it is true that the plastic used is of quite a quality and leaves us a very successful packaging for the price of the equipment. There are interesting details such as the slight curvature of the case.
The somewhat rough textured finish is particularly striking, providing two advantages to the device: greater grip and anti-fingerprint system. In both aspects, the Redmi 9 achieves its goal quite successfully, although we have not completely gotten rid of the traces. But at least they are less visible.
The back of the Redmi 9 is striking not only because of that wavy texture but also because of the tones of the case, with a bright touch and some gradient that results in a device that stands out and attracts attention in hand, something that even costs a terminal , It is always appreciated if you are looking for a phone that stands out at first glance.
That the texture of the back is cut in the camera module gives a certain personality to the cheap Xiaomi terminal
A curiosity: the wavy texture covers the entire back of the Redmi 9 except for the camera module, which despite being linear and not circular, is collected in a virtual circle with a completely smooth finish . That camera module sticks out just enough to be able to locate it (something important as we will see later for the fingerprint reader, but it does not alter the stability of the phone at all when we have it placed on the table.
The physical connections are placed on the sides, finding on the left the tray for the SIM cards (it is a double SIM terminal ) as well as a microSD card to expand the internal capacity.
Already on the right is the site for the power / lock button, well centered and accessible. Just above we can reach the volume control, which I personally always prefer on the opposite side to handle it more comfortably.
The curvature or the union of the back with the frame so well finished are details not very common in terminals of this price
One detail that Xiaomi has taken great care of is that the frame, which is also made of plastic, conveys the appearance and touch of metal to us , and even has some differentiation from the rear, something that the Redmi 9 appreciates.
On the lower edge, the rest of the Redmi 9 connections are crowded, except for the infrared port that is in the upper frame. What we did not find is LED notifications.
On that edge we therefore have the USB-C charging port , a 3.5 mm headphone port and the main speaker, with a fairly powerful sound unless you cover its output, something that will probably happen when you are in landscape mode watching videos or playing games.
The Redmi 9 includes FM radio (with internal antenna although little coverage compared to what we get by connecting the wired headphones), it is Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi ac. In addition, and this interests many low-end Xiaomi users, the Redmi 9 includes NFC connectivity .
The Redmi 9 that we can buy in Spain has NFC connectivity as standard
One last piece of information: although the grip of the terminal is acceptable and it is not particularly slippery, the Redmi 9 comes standard in the box with a transparent soft case that is always good to wear although you should know that the USB-C port part has a kind cover that you must move to load the terminal.
Fingerprint reader on the back
Inside the vertical module that the Redmi 9 has reserved for the cameras, there is also room for the fingerprint reader . At first one may be a little disappointed by this “step back” but it works so well that we are glad to have it there.
It is a small module well located by the relief of the camera module, which is within reach of the most common finger that we will use to identify ourselves on the phone, but which is just below the third camera in a row of the terminal, just below it and therefore, it is quite susceptible to being accidentally touched. Be careful with it then.
At the operational level, it is a fast, reliable reader that works perfectly .
The other biometric identification system that this Xiaomi Redmi 9 enjoys is facial recognition, very fast in environments with good light and which is a great combination with the option to turn on the screen when lifting (or double tap on the screen).
Large FullHD + screen for the good and the bad
The redmi 9 Xiaomi offers consumers a visual experience large. We are facing a 6.53-inch screen with FHD + resolution (2340 × 1080 pixels), which leaves us with a density of 394 dpi, very good for this type of phone and its range. The screen is protected with Gorilla Glass 3.
For little money we can have a large diagonal screen, FullHD + resolution and correct experience in almost all situations
The screen has a screen-to-body ratio of almost 90% according to the manufacturer. It offers a contrast of 1500: 1 and brightness of 400 nits. The color space it can cover is NTSC 70%.
Very good in size and resolution but with the problem of poor display outdoors due to high reflections in daylight
As expected, with that data, the experience with the screen beyond the size or resolution, does not admit many joys. It is especially problematic with reflections outdoors , where, in broad daylight in the central hours, it is quite difficult to have a comfortable viewing. Also the viewing angles can be improved.
In the color scheme settings, where we can usually customize the experience with a smartphone screen, this Redmi 9 lets us choose between an automatic color setting (the recommended one and where we can choose a warm, cold or customize profile) and a saturated one. or standard. In the case of the standard, the result is somewhat more faithful but it is not warm as the first one was cold.
We also have reading mode, dark mode and of course, the possibility of artificially removing the drop type notch.
Very desirable for its great autonomy
From the technical section of this Redmi 9 we are interested in dwelling on the processor, a MediaTek Helio G80 (GPU Mali G52) with a correct performance for the profile of this terminal. We can even dare to play the odd game with solvency as long as it is casual and not very demanding.
It is accompanied by LPDDR4X RAM of up to 4 GB (in the version with 64 GB internal memory , there is another model, the affordable one, which combines 3 GB + 32 GB), achieving a good performance for the price of the equipment, although that it means that if we ask for solvency with heavy apps, the results no longer follow. Even with the MIUI 11 interface there are times when we notice a clear slowdown and jerks.
With a correct performance for the price of the terminal, its great value is the autonomy, with more than 10 hours of screen without making an effort
In the technical tests the figures of this Redmi 9 make it clear that it is solvent where it needs it but not much else. In PCMark it showed an average figures of 8732 points, while in Antutu it exceeded 202000 points , 1282 in Multi-Core from GeekBench (357 in Single Core) and in the graphic part it allowed us to play above 60 fps on average without problems in not very demanding games. But in a Fornite type game, the experience does not exceed 15 fps and the performance is greatly reduced. It is not a terminal to play seriously .
And we now turn to talking about the battery, which is the great pillar of this Redmi 9. They are 5020 mAh that go a long way. Specifically to overcome the two days of autonomy without problems in scenarios of not very intensive use, which a priori seems adequate for this type of terminal. On average, we have always managed to get around 10 hours of screen , with a figure in the PCMark test of 12 hours and 25 minutes.
In a terminal with a price below 150 euros, there are sacrifices that are understood. The one on this Xiaomi Redmi 9 is found in the charger that comes standard, which is 10 W (USB-C) despite the fact that the terminal supports QC 3.0 charging and 18 W fast charging .
Although it has a fast charge of 18 W, the standard charger is 10 W and it takes almost 3 hours to complete the charge
For a device with more than 5000 mAh this translates into long charging times. Starting from an average 7-10% battery, the charging times we have measured have been almost half an hour to reach 25% battery charge , almost 65 minutes to reach 50% and with the usual slowdown From fast charging to the end, the battery does not reach its full capacity for almost three hours.
As always, the load test is carried out with the terminal’s connectivity running all the time in the background, a situation that we consider to be more appropriate to the reality of the recipient user of this equipment.
Android 10 under MIUI 11
Although it should not take long to adopt the MIUI 12 update, the Redmi 9 that we have been able to analyze still maintains version 11 of the Xiaomi layer on Android 10 .
The operation is generally fluid, but in the day-to-day with the terminal we have had moments when the system seemed to surpass the executing capabilities of the Redmi 9 , with an entire FullHD + screen to move. Logically comes something loaded with pre-installed software, including Aliexpress, Facebook, eBay, WPS Office, Netflix or Linkedin. Also a few casual games.
For the rest, it is a well-known layer with many services and applications associated with the Xiaomi ecosystem as well as what is essential today in a terminal, from an application to manage performance to advanced audio controls, the possibility of customizing how we want to access the applications or the interface of the system as well as manager of consumption and digital well-being.
Four cameras from which we cannot demand much
Market pressure plays havoc with the entry range and the camera on this Redmi 9 is a good example. If the market demands four cameras, then we put them in a 120-euro terminal despite the fact that, a priori, we cannot demand too much of it. Let’s see how the result has been in this Xiaomi Redmi 9.
The photographic equipment of this Redmi 9 is made up of a quad camera system where the main sensor is 13 MP with f2.2 aperture.
On paper, the Redmi 9’s four cameras are quite discreet. In the tests we were able to confirm that the camera is not a highlight of this terminal
As functional secondary cameras we have the wide angle , with 8 MP resolution, f2.2, fixed focus and 118 degree aperture, as well as the sensor for macro photos , which is 5 MP with f2.4 and fixed focus. A depth sensor (2 MP) completes the photographic quartet to help us in portrait mode.
In the interface there are no surprises except that on some occasions it has given us errors and has slowed down in some changes between modes in the photographic carousel. There are the types of possible shots, with special mention of the Pro mode , which although it does not allow taking photos in RAW, it does give a little more margin to play with some parameters manually.
I also did not like that the Macro mode, which we remember has a sensor for itself, is not in the main mode or as the first option in the interface and to use it you have to go to the camera settings menu.
Main camera and wide angle
As we have indicated, the main camera of this Redmi 9 has an associated 12 MP sensor with f2.2 aperture and a size of just 1.12µm. With these numbers it is logical that we have found some photos in full light that are correct for the range both in terms of detail and color, but that we cannot take out of its comfort zone.
As soon as we ask for some effort from the main camera of the Redmi 9, the problems begin to surface
With high dynamic range, even HDR mode is unable to fix the difficult-to-control highlights. We also have some problems with sharpness at the edges of the image or somewhat erratic focus.
On the right, the same shot with HDR
Wide Angle Shot
Curiously, the wide angle , with the same sensor size but less resolution, finds some room for improvement in terms of sharpness, and is the most solvent of the three main cameras when the light is sufficient.
With the photo at 1X and the wide angle very present in the interface, we also find the expected button for shooting at 2X . But that zoom, no matter how prominent it is, is nothing more than a cut over the main image, which only gives us photos that we are not going to show more than on our mobile phone (and that when there is good light) or some blur of somewhat forced background.
Everything said about the Redmi 9’s camera in broad daylight and under favorable conditions falls apart when night falls. Both indoors and especially at night, the Redmi 9 can barely keep up with type.
Although it was to be expected with a terminal of this price, the photos in low light suffer from excessive noise and loss of detail
And it does better in the final result than when we do the photography, at which time especially with the focus we have had quite a few problems . And also without night mode that can help us.
It was only sunset but the loss of image quality is already very palpable on the Redmi 9
Macro photos and portraits: very limited
The third “real” camera of this Redmi 9 is the one with the Macro sensor as the protagonist. Perhaps a smaller field of action to give it a place in the terminal, but there it is.
This camera allows us to focus with an approximation of about 4-5 cm. Literally so the focus is fixed.
Macro mode results depend on subject, pulse, and patience with fixed focus
The results will always depend on our pulse and the brightness of the scene. With trial and error and a lot of patience, it is a camera that we can take advantage of if this is a type of photography that attracts us.
As for the selfie camera, the rear one is 8 MP with fixed focus, a coverage of 77.8 degrees and f2.0 aperture. It gives only correct results again. There is less precision in portrait mode for said selfie camera.
From left to right: selfie, portrait selfie, and portrait (main)
By the way, we have not forgotten the portrait mode , which has its specific mode in the carousel of the interface but which I found quite limited by the distance at which the portrait mode must be done and by the basic bokeh it achieves.
The video, as discreet as the photographic section, does not go beyond recording at 1080p and 720p , at 30 fps in both cases. No stabilization , of course.
Redmi 9, the opinion and note of Xataka
With an infinite and overlapping catalog between its own sub-brands and terminals, Xiaomi leaves almost 100 euros for a terminal like the Redmi 9 that a few generations ago was a reference.
On paper and always looking at its price, the Redmi 9 offers a careful design, large screen and outstanding autonomy . Little more can be asked in this range.
However, the brightness of the screen, fluidity problems and above all, the mediocre camera as soon as the light is scarce, leaves this Xiaomi as a product that can be surpassed by terminals of the own brand and for very little price more. Complicated decision if you don’t have such a tight budget.
- An outstanding autonomy for an ideal terminal in the entry range
- Good finish and appearance
- Extras like the fingerprint reader work perfectly. And we have NFC
- Xiaomi ecosystem everywhere and lack of fluidity
- With direct light on the screen, the readability of the screen is almost nil
- Going beyond the quick photo in good light leaves us mediocre results
The terminal has been provided for testing by Xiaomi. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises.