Redmi Note 9 Review

Xiaomi made a big splash in the Indian market earlier this year with the Redmi Note 9 Pro and Redmi Note 9 Pro Max. Both these smartphones had impressive specifications at competitive prices, but that popularity is fading away as the price of both these smartphones has gone up due to rupee-dollar fluctuations and hike in GST rate. Now, Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note 9, which comes in a sub-Rs 15,000 segment. It brings a lot of changes compared to the Redmi Note 8, but should it get the Value for Money title? We have reviewed the new Redmi Note 9 to find out.

Redmi Note 9: design

Redmi Note 9 comes with the company’s Aura design. It looks like the other siblings in its series, but unlike them, the Redmi Note 9 doesn’t have a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. Instead, it gets a traditional rear fingerprint sensor. Redmi Note 9 has a bigger display and hence it is not that easy to use this phone with one hand. Yes, although the power and volume buttons are fitted in the right places, they are not difficult to reach. Like most Redmi phones, the Note 9 also gets an IR emitter.

The thickness of Redmi Note 9 is 8.9 mm and it weighs 199 grams. It is heavy compared to some other smartphones in this price range. Xiaomi says that it has used P2i nano-coating on the device along with a rubber seal on the port, to provide some protection against exposure to liquid. Xiaomi has also included a 22.5W charger in the box (though charging support is currently limited to 18W – more on that later).

Redmi Note 9: specifications and software

Redmi Note 9 Since it is the base model of its series, Xiaomi has opted for the MediaTek Helio G85 chipset for this model. It is an octa-core processor with two Cortex-A75 cores clocked at 2GHz and six Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.8GHz. For graphics, it has ARM Mali-G52 GPU set to 1 GHz.

Redmi Note 9 has a 6.53-inch display with full-HD + resolution (1080×2340 pixels) and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. There are three variants of Redmi Note 9: 4GB RAM with 64GB storage, 4GB RAM with 128GB storage and 6GB RAM with 128GB storage. These variants are priced at Rs 11,999, Rs 13,499 and Rs 14,999 respectively. We had the top model for review.

Redmi Note 9 comes with a dedicated microSD card slot. It gets two nano-SIM slots and supports dual 4G and VoLTE. There’s Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 802.11n, and four satellite navigation systems. The battery capacity is 5,020mAh. The Redmi Note 9 is also capable of 9W reverse charging via the USB Type-C port.

In terms of software, not much is new. The Redmi Note 9 runs on MIUI 11 based on Android 10 and our unit had the June security patch. The phone comes with a number of apps pre-installed, comes with volume, and also suggests some other apps to download during setup. It also shows ads on the lockscreen. Although this is an option that is enabled by default, it was turned off when we set up the phone.

We also get spammy notifications from some of the pre-installed apps. Mi Video and Get Apps were at the forefront of these and of course all these things definitely affect your experience a little.

Redmi Note 9: performance

The performance of the Redmi Note 9 did not give us any reason to complain. The MediaTek Helio G85 chipset is a capable processor and can handle our daily tasks with ease. App loading times were decent, and with 6GB of RAM, we could easily switch between different apps comfortably.

We also liked the display of Redmi Note 9. It has good viewing angles and gets bright enough when needed. You also get options to change the color output. However, it is not the same as the AMOLED display included on the Samsung Galaxy M21. Its rear fingerprint sensor was also fast. Apart from this, Face Unlock was also accurate and fast.

Redmi Note 9 can play games like PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends without any problem. In PUBG Mobile, the phone runs the game in medium settings by default, but we were able to run it on high settings without much degradation in performance. However, after playing for 20 minutes, the touch of the phone started feeling hot. Apart from this, there was a 10 percent drop in the battery. The sFault 9 ran smoothly at the default settings, and we only noticed slight lag on certain tracks.

I really liked the battery life of the Redmi Note 9. It can comfortably run for one and a half days on a single charge. Even if you are a heavy user, the 5,020mAh battery can last you more than a day. It managed to last 15 hours, 45 minutes in our HD video loop test.

After the launch of Redmi Note 9, there was some controversy regarding the wattage of the included charger. A 22.5W charger is available in the box of the Redmi Note 9, but the device is set at 18W. This means that even if the charger is of more watts, the phone will only charge with a maximum input of 18 watts. Xiaomi told Gadgets 360 that the Redmi Note 9 currently has a “software lock”. It is yet to undergo some lab and field tests to charge at higher power, which was not possible due to the lockdown. Xiaomi says that the company is planning to release a software update in the future that will allow the Redmi Note 9 to charge at 22.5W.

Currently, the phone charges up to 29 percent in 30 minutes and up to 60 percent in an hour. It takes more than two hours for the device to be fully charged. If Xiaomi unlocks full charging speed, it should take a little less time to charge.

Redmi Note 9: cameras

The Redmi Note 9 packs a quad-camera setup, consisting of a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, it has a 13-megapixel camera on the front. The camera app is largely similar to other Redmi phones.

In addition to the normal shooting mode, the app has a Pro mode for photos as well as videos, which lets you control exposure to ISO, etc. all by yourself. It also has a document mode that lets you crop the photo and convert it to black and white.

Redmi Note 9 uses AI, which detects outside scenes and sets the camera accordingly. In broad daylight, the phone takes decent shots. However, the AI ​​makes the photo too sharp. Photos taken at the full 48-megapixel resolution got better detail and weren’t as sharp. There was a slight drop in quality in pictures taken with the wide-angle camera.

Coming to close-ups, the AI ​​was able to recognize the subject quickly, but sometimes there was a problem with focus. Although the pictures were good and there was a natural blur effect in them too. There’s a Pro Color option, which ups the contrast in the output. The macro camera lets you get very close to the subject and take decent pictures in favorable light.

Portrait mode managed to separate the subject and background. Age detection was also very good. I couldn’t find a way to set the level of blur before taking a shot, but the device did give me an option to change the level of beautification.

In low light, outputs were decent, but when zoomed in, grains became visible. The camera app managed to keep noise down. In Night mode, the camera takes longer to capture and you have to stand still for that long to get good pictures. However, even after this, there was not much difference in the output.

Selfies taken in broad daylight were good and had good detail. You can also take portrait shots with the selfie camera, but here we didn’t find an option to set the level of blur. The Redmi Note 9 did a good job recognizing the edges here. However, the quality fell in low light.


Redmi Note 9 11,999 in India and it Redmi Note 8 which the company had kept within Rs.10,000. However, the recent hike in GST and depreciation of the rupee certainly led to a price hike. The base variant of the Redmi Note 9 offers good value with its full-HD+ display, powerful MediaTek Helio G85 chipset and 4GB of RAM. It offers decent battery life thanks to the massive 5,020mAh battery.

However, the variant we reviewed was the top-end variant. With Rs 14,999, this variant competes with some powerful phones in the sub-15,000 segment, such as realme 6 (review), Poco M2 Pro (review) and even Redmi Note 9 Pro (review). These models come equipped with better performance and better features than the Redmi Note 9, which makes it a bit difficult to recommend this variant.

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