Technophile

Redmi Note 9 Pro review: Elegant design meets affordable pricing and flawless performance

Jinoy Jose P | Updated on March 24, 2020 Published on March 24, 2020

No doubt, Xiaomi and its gadgets are extremely popular in this part of the world and the success stems from the fact that the Chinese gadget-maker was able to put a finger on consumer requirements and it was able to provide them under an affordable price tag.

Xiaomi sold nearly 43 million units of smartphones in 2019. The smartphone giant controls nearly 30 per cent of India’s smartphone market.

The Redmi Note 9 Pro, the latest from the Xiaomi stable, promises to be bigger, better and snazzier while sticking to its pricing legacy. The device is the first to hit the market in these tough times (Covid-19) and had a soft launch of sorts. But reports suggest the device has been doing brisk sales online despite the overall market concerns.

The Redmi Note 9 Pro comes in three colours: Glacier White, Interstellar Black and Aurora Blue. We have the Blue for review.

Premium looks

The Note 9 has got incredible looks. This is a beauty, no doubt. The strong glass panel on the back looks premium-elegant and super shiny, gathers little dust or fingerprints, and is easy to clean with a soft cloth.

The glass panel is powered by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which is quite impressive given the price tag. The glass sheet comes with an anti-oil and anti-fingerprint protective coating. The phone is a little heavy, at 209 grams, but you can still handle it with one hand. The glass body is slippery so you are advised to exercise some caution while handling it, especially while placing it on a slippery surface. It can withstand moderate falls but you’d better watch out. Xiaomi’s cases are available in the market, and you may use one, but that might look like a little compromise on the looks.

Specs

The Redmi Note 9 Pro is 165.75 mm long, 76.68mm wide and has a thickness of 8.8 mm. Indeed, the phone looks and feels big. There are two RAM variants available: 4GB and 6GB (with 64GB and 128 GB storage). The phone’s display is extravagant at 16.9cm (6.67 inches) FHD+ with a resolution of 2400 x 1080. The phone offers three display modes: standard mode, sunshine mode and night mode and allows for colour temperature adjustment. The display is no less than a delight at this price. Movies, images, documents, presentations — everything is displayed truthfully and the image enhancements are done with some robust understanding of display aesthetics and not blindly. The Redmi Note 9 Pro should warm the cockles of streaming fans as it offers seamless streaming in FHD+ and the feeling one gets while playing videos are of near 4K, especially if you have a good broadband connection and have access to UHD content.

Performance

The Redmi Note 9 Pro is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 720G processor. The 720G is enhanced for mobile gaming and the chip supports HDR video playback and high-definition streaming quite efficiently. The processor is great with artificial intelligence-powered functions and helps execute them in an energy-efficient way.

Clearly, this is reflected in the performance of the Redmi Note 9 Pro. The phone plays most big-bang games with ease and without any lag. We ran the latest versions of Call of Duty, PUBG and Asphalt 9 and the experience has been quite impressive. We didn’t experience any delays or heating. The graphics performance is supported by Adreno A618, again from Qualcomm, which powers most mid-range phones in town today.

Like most Redmi devices, this is also a multi-tasker. Surfing and streaming can be done simultaneously without interruptions. Opening multiple tabs (this reviewer is used to keeping dozens of them open in one ago) seems easily manageable and navigating between them is smooth, which makes this a great assistant to researchers and business persons who usually surf and select a lot on the go.

Shoot in style

The Redmi Note 9 Pro comes with a quad-camera unit on the back. The first thing you’d notice and be impressed by the camera unit is its placement on the back panel. The four cameras are packed into two neat rows and the entire unit forms a cute square on the back, below which sits the flash, like a white bindi. The 48 MP rear camera set up includes a 48 MP primary camera with 1/2.25 inch CMOS image sensor, with an aperture of f/1.79 (offering you great depth of field and rich detail), an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens with an aperture value of f/2.2, a 5MP macro camera with 2cm focus distance and a 2MP depth sensor. The camera unit offers a 10x digital zoom as well.

The still camera offers several features, many of which are aided by the latest AI. There are the ultra nightscape mode, AI scene detection, smart ultra-wide angle mode tilt-shift, level display and such. Most users would find these useful. That said, the most interesting faculty here is the 48 MP lens. It captures images in abundant detail and in daylights the shots can match any mid-range DSLR output. The AI is not biased towards saturation or brightness and does a decent job in making the photos look natural and crisp. Even the night shots are pretty good for the price even though images get pixellated a lot, which happens if you are not a pro at mobile phone photography. But with proper lighting, the output is a class apart.

One of the most striking features of the Redmi Note 9 Pro is it allows for 4K video (30 fps, still 4K is 4K). That’s a lot given the price range. The camera can shoot in 1080P (60fps and 30fps) and 720P as well. The extra-wide angle lens works wonders with the Redmi Note 9 Pro. If you are a landscape soul, the Redmi Note 9 Pro is your best buddy. The camera manages to get great depth of field and the auto-focus department responds fast enough.

The 16MP front camera takes bright and clear selfies with decent depth. Surprisingly, it can take good landscape shots as well. The front camera has a slew of features such as panorama selfie, palm shutter, AI silhouette detection, HDR and a clutch of AI functions. The front camera can take videos in full HD (1080P) and HD (720P) resolution and the quality is extremely good. To us, the most striking feature with the front camera is the way it negotiates ambient light. This faculty is inarguably the best in the class.

Features

Another interesting feature is the finger-print sensor which got a transfer to the side from the back. The recent Poco X2, a Xiaomi sub-brand, too has the finger scanner on the sidebar. This is convenient but you need a little patient while negotiating it. Like it happened in our case, you run the risk of touching the finger print sensor unknowingly while holding the phone and leaving the device unlocked until you find out soon enough.

The Redmi Note 9 Pro has a single speaker at the bottom. The audio is clear and measured at mid-volume levels but gets jarring at highs. This means while playing games, you better connect it to an external portable Bluetooth speaker.

The call quality and audio recording capability of the Redmi Note 9 Pro is very premium thanks to the two noise-cancelling microphones. The audio recorded is of broadcast quality (short-filmmakers, take note). The phone comes with a massive 5020 mAh Li-Polymer battery, which lasts long enough even if you surf and stream to your heart’s content. As usual, the MIUI 11 is unimpressive and the bloatware is annoying. The device takes a USB Type-C reversible connector port for charging. The phone supports 18W fast-charging and gets powered up pretty fast. This is a dual-sim device and both slots support 4G connectivity. The storage is expandable up to 512GB.

In sum, sparing minor blemishes, this is a phone you can proudly flash around and for sure you’d grab some eyeballs.

Redmi Note 9 Pro
  • Price: ₹12,999 onwards
  • Pros: Great display, premium looks, superb camera, seamless performance and great price point
  • Cons: Extremely slippery, bloatware, built-in audio needs work

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on March 24, 2020
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor