August 10, 2022
redmi note 9 pro max first impressions

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 9 series started rolling out in India even before the country’s lockdown. We reviewed the Redmi Note 9 Pro, but its more premium sibling, the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, couldn’t get to us in time. Not only this, the first sale of this device had to be cancelled, and we have also increased the GST, which has increased the prices of all the variants since they were first announced. India is a cost-sensitive market, so will the high prices and lockdown dampen buyer response to this phone, or will there still be enthusiasm? We can finally get our first look at the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max to find out.

Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is a big smartphone and you will notice it when you keep an eye on it. Xiaomi has opted for a larger 6.67-inch display with full-HD+ resolution. We found this screen to be a bit tall for comfortable one-handed use, as the top isn’t easy to reach. It is an LCD panel with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. The company has also claimed that an anti-oil and anti-fingerprint coating has been used on the top. Despite this, we were seeing some spots on the screen. Another thing that will stand out is the hole-punch at the top center of the display. Redmi Note 9 Pro (Review) and Redmi Note 9 Pro Max are Xiaomi’s first budget devices with this feature.

Xiaomi has managed to keep the bezel size down to an acceptable level but the chin is still pretty thick. Pick up the phone and you will see its stolen. The device tips the scales at 209g which could be down to the fact that it packs in a massive 5020mAh battery. Xiaomi has curved the back of the phone at the edges which makes it comfortable to hold.

Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is offered in three color variants: Glacier White, Interstellar Black and Aurora Blue. We have the Interstellar Black color variant and it looks blue when there is light. The rear panel of the smartphone is super glossy and grabs smudges very easily. Xiaomi supplies a case in the box, which you can use to prevent this.

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Interstellar black color when struck by light looks like blue

Like the Poco X2 (Review), the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max has a fingerprint scanner on the right, but it’s little more than where our thumb would naturally rest while holding the device. If you’re left-handed, you’ll find it easier to register your index finger. An IR emitter, which is common to most Xiaomi smartphones, can be found on the top of the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max along with a secondary mic.

On the bottom, the device sports a speaker, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a primary microphone along with a USB Type-C port. Xiaomi ships a 33W charger in the box which is a nice addition. This should help charge the larger battery very quickly. The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is a dual-SIM device with two nano-SIM slots as well as a dedicated microSD card slot for storage expansion.

The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max packs a quad-camera setup at the back that includes a 64-megapixel primary shooter, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 5-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. These sit at the back in a square module that protrudes slightly, allowing the device to move when placed on a table.

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Redmi Note 9 Pro Max Android 10. Comes with MIUI 11 on top of

Now that we’ve got a good look at the device, let’s take a look inside. The first thing that comes to the fore is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G SoC. It’s a powerful SoC, and we’ve already put it through its speed in our review of the Realme 6 Pro (Review). Xiaomi offers the Note 9 Pro Max in three variants: 6GB/64GB, 6GB/128GB, and 8GB/128GB. The base variant now starts at Rs. 16,499 in India, while the top variant is priced at Rs. 19,999.

Redmi Note 9 Pro Max runs MIUI 11 on top of Android 10. It comes with a fair number of apps and games preinstalled. We look forward to seeing if this device will be affected by spammy ads and notifications like we have faced with Xiaomi devices in the past.

The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max and non-Max models share a lot of hardware. The primary and selfie cameras are the main differences between the two models. Furthermore, the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max supports fast 33W charging and comes with a suitable charger in the box, while the non-Max model has to make do with 18W. Camera performance may be the only parameter that differentiates the two models. The variants of these two models also overlap in price, so the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is not that much more expensive. Should you spend a little extra money for this?

We will be testing the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max to see if it can be the best smartphone to go for sub-Rs. 20,000 vol. Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for the full review.


Is Redmi Note 9 Pro the new best phone under Rs. 15,000? We discussed how you can pick the best ones 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.

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