Xiaomi is where it is today due to the strength of its budget Redmi series and the ability to continuously improve the features and specifications of phones that don’t cost a lot. The company claims how its Redmi Note models have consistently targeted sensitive price points especially with aspirational features like more and better cameras, bigger battery and higher quality screen. Redmi Note 9 Pro has just been launched, and fans have been waiting for weeks to know how Xiaomi will raise the bar again.
Given the stratospheric success of its predecessors, the Redmi Note 8 Pro (Review) and Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review), it should come as no surprise that Xiaomi has already refreshed the line. Fresh competition in the form of the Realme 6 series and Samsung’s latest M-series models has resulted in some interesting options – the Redmi Note 9 Pro isn’t about chasing every little specification to make it look better than other options, but The overall package improves on essentials and keeps prices down.
Let’s start with the look of the Redmi Note 9 Pro – Xiaomi has unveiled its ‘Aura Balance’ design philosophy, which removes eye-popping patterns and gradients for a simpler and sleeker finish. The running theme here is symmetry – the back houses a squared-off quad camera module, with the flash and Redmi logo centered underneath. According to Xiaomi, the weight distribution is also completely symmetrical.
Redmi Note 9 Pro will be available in Aurora Blue, Interstellar Black and Glacier White. The finish is very glossy and reflective, and we have to say that our Aurora Blue unit is a lot brighter and lighter than the one pictured on the box, making it look. We found that the finish was susceptible to fingerprint marks. The frame is also a matching color and made of polycarbonate.
While it’s true that the Redmi Note 9 Pro doesn’t look or feel like a budget phone, it’s not the easiest device to hold and use. It’s 8.8mm thick and weighs 209g which is way above average. The back only bends very slightly to the sides. Luckily, the back is not slippery so it is not difficult to hold this phone.
The front and back of this phone are made of Gorilla Glass 5. The size and weight are largely thanks to the 6.67-inch screen and 5020mAh battery, both of which are by far the largest batteries in the Redmi Note series. These are features that sound good on paper, but may not be worth the compromise for everyone.
Xiaomi has used a 60Hz 1080×2400-pixel IPS LCD panel in this phone, which is a bit surprising considering that competitors are pushing for higher refresh rates. Xiaomi told Gadgets 360 that it’s a non-essential feature that many people may not even recognize, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor isn’t high-end enough to drive it in a meaningful way, and there isn’t a tradeoff for battery life. Worthy. It is interesting to note the different approaches taken between Xiaomi and Realme, and our full review of the Redmi Note 9 Pro will explore that.
The hole-punch front camera is centered at the top of the screen, and it’s quite large. This is something that will take time to get used to. The power button on the right has an integrated fingerprint sensor, which somewhat retains the look of the rear panel but would be awkward for left-handed users. The volume buttons are unfortunately placed above the power button, making them completely inaccessible when holding the phone normally.
You get the USB Type-C port, speaker and 3.5mm audio socket at the bottom. The tray on the left could house two nano-SIMs as well as a microSD card. Xiaomi’s trademark infrared emitter is on top.
For inside information, Xiaomi says that the new Snapdragon 720G processor runs well and is a big step up from the 600-series Snapdragon SoCs typically seen at this price level. You can buy Redmi Note 9 Pro with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage for Rs. 12,999 for Rs. 12,999, or 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. 15,999.
You get an 18W charger in the box, and the Redmi Note 9 Pro supports the standard USB Power Delivery charger. Another interesting touch is the support for the Indian Navigation satellite navigation system. There is also Wi-Fi ac and Bluetooth 5. As for the software, MIUI 11 is running on top of Android 10.
Xiaomi has gone with a 48-megapixel primary rear camera, which uses the new Samsung Isocell GM2 sensor. The company says that it has tuned the color profile of this sensor for Indian sensitivity. This camera has an f/1.79 aperture and can record 960fps slow-motion video as well as 4K 30fps video. The other three are an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 5-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. You get a 16-megapixel selfie shooter on the front.
Redmi Note 9 Pro has been designed with content creators in mind, especially those who regularly post stories and TikTok videos. There’s electronic stabilization, a 21:9 aspect ratio option for the front and rear cameras, and a Pro Color option to bump up the contrast and saturation.
All this sounds like a great deal for the price, and we can understand why Xiaomi omitted some of the nuances of what others have to offer. If you feel a little overwhelmed, there’s the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max which is almost identical but gives you a 64-megapixel rear camera, a 32-megapixel front camera, 33W fast charging (with the included charger), and more RAM . Base model for a little more money.
Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for a full review of Redmi Note 9 Pro performance, software, usability, camera, battery life and more, coming very soon.
Is Realme 6 Redmi Note 8 Pro Killer India Waiting For? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts either RSSDownload the episode, or just hit the play button below.