Jumia Protect - Device Insurance
+ ₦ 6,150
Total Price:₦ 94,150
+ ₦ 6,150
Total Price:₦ 94,150
Xiaomi's Redmi lineup is the crowd's favorite in markets across the world as it took over shortly after the Moto G lineup lost its magic and the latest generation Redmi Notes came early this year with major design overhaul, better processors, bigger batteries and all the MIUI 11 features at your disposal. And as always, at a reasonable price point.
Today's subject of our review is the Redmi Note 9 - a device that's a close relative to the Redmi Note 9S. It feels almost as if the two handsets are just different configurations of one model. The vanilla 9, for example, is slightly more compact as it has a smaller screen, employs a MediaTek G85 SoC, has NFC in most markets and there's a resolution drop in the macro and selfie shooters.
On paper, the Redmi Note 9S seems like the better deal but there are some things to consider here before jumping into any conclusions. The vanilla Note 9 might appeal to someone looking for a handset with smaller screen or the feature that makes the phone act as a power bank. Yep, one curious feature disparity between the Note 9S and the Note 9 is that the latter can charge another device at 9W.
It's also important to see how the the ISP stacks against the Note 9S. Since the two devices share mostly the same camera hardware, the ISPs on the SoCs are what makes them different. And as we know, that could make a huge difference, case in point Snapdragon vs Exynos debate with the current Galaxy S20 family. Of course, we expect different battery endurance as well. We are sure it will do just fine with that chunky 5,020 mAh battery but will it be better than the Snapdragon 720G-powered Note 9S? Let's find out.
The device comes in a box containing the usual user manuals, a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging and data transfer, a transparent silicone protective case, and a power adapter. The last one is rated at 22.5W, but the phone itself caps at 18W. Xiaomi says it uses that charger for more than one device, so you could say it's a universal plug for Xiaomi devices.
The Redmi Note 9 doesn't depart too far from the this year's Redmi Note aesthetics, it looks almost the same as its sibling but adds a bit more to the camera module to fit the rear-facing fingerprint reader. Oh, and instead of a centered punch-hole, you get one that it's in the upper-left corner of the screen.
The back of the device feels like it's made of glass but we can't say for sure as Xiaomi hasn't explicitly said it's glass. The front, however, is Gorilla Glass 5 while the frame is plastic, this we can say with certainty. Strangely, the handset feels a bit heavier than you'd expect from a sub-6.6" phone. Perhaps the large battery has to do with that .
It feels rather well-balanced in the hand with the bottom half feeling a tad heavier, but that's a good thing as it tends to stay in your hand without tipping over. The back curvature helps with the grip, and the front bezels are well-trimmed. Still, it's a big device to use with just one hand, and it is slippery - just like every other glass sandwich phone these days.
Fingerprints and smudges do stick quite easily so it may require some frequent wiping. Or at least the Forest Green color we got makes them a bit more visible in certain lighting conditions. The color itself is really nice, though - it's easy on the eye, gentle, and the gradient changes at different lighting angles. The side frame looks a bit plain, though and fails to fully blend with the rest of the phone.
The camera bump isn't as big as we expected - it only sticks out a little and doesn't get in the way.
We aren't fans of the fingerprint reader placement, though. While the previous generation Redmis had convenient FP scanner placement, this one disappoints. It's far too high to our liking and we were often reaching for it, which isn't nice for a phone that's tall and heavy at the same time.
Going around the sides, we find the down-facing speaker grille, 3.5m audio jack, and the USB-C connector. The top holds an IR blaster (neat!), and the right side houses the power button and the volume rocker. Unfortunately, these two are placed too high.
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