The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 is one of the latest smartphones by the company to launch in Kenya. You can get this phone from retailers like Jumia for Ksh 24,999. At this price, the Redmi Note 9 will be competing with the likes of the Huawei Y8p that I have been using for a few weeks. I will be doing a comparison review of these two phones but before that, in this post we will be unboxing the Redmi Note 9.
I got the review unit from Xiaomi Kenya to use and share my experiences on it. I have been using this phone since then as my main phone but this will not be a full review but rather my first impressions.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 is the successor to the Redmi Note 8 that I used last year. With the Note 8, I loved the camera performance as it was one of the best and still is. With the Note 9, I will be looking at the camera and how it compares to the Note 8.
Unboxing the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Inside the box, you get the following;
- The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
- SIM ejector tool
- User guide
- Warranty card
- USB Type C Cable
- Wall adapter
- Silicone Case
Redmi Note 9 First Impressions
Straight out of the box, the Redmi Note 9 feels different from its predecessor, the Redmi Note 8. The latter had a boxy and flat design while the Note 9 has embraced a curved design with smooth edges that make it comfortable to hold.
Xiaomi has also decided to go with a plastic back cover for the Note 9 which deviates from the premium feel we got introduced to with the Redmi Note 8 with its glass back cover. I don’t get why the company choose to do this considering the fact that the phone is retailing for Ksh 25,000. The back is also a fingerprint magnet and you should be ready to wipe those off every so often.
The materials used aside, the Redmi Note 9 has a quad camera setup at the back. These are made up of a 48MP main sensor, 8MP ultra-wide sensor, 2MP depth sensor and another 2MP macro lens with autofocus. The 48MP main camera takes good shots but to be honest it is not the best, the colours appear on the cooler side and some people may say they a washed out. Compare this with what you get with the Redmi Note 8 and you will see the latter has warmer and richer colours.
Video recording with the Redmi Note 9 tops out at 1080p at 30 frames per second. In comparison, the Redmi Note 8 can record 4K videos at 30 frames per second and 1080p videos at 60 frames per second. To me this is a downgrade that does not make so much sense if it did not reflect on the pricing of the phone. The selfie camera on the other hand is quite good, it takes some good shots.
The display Xiaomi has used here is a 6.53-inch IPS LCD one that is good enough. It can be used indoors and outdoors. Colours do appear on the cooler side on this display but not to the extent that renders the display useless. This display’s responsiveness is average even when compared to its predecessor.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 comes with the new MediTek Helio G85 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage space. As for software, it cones with MIUI 11 that is based on Android 10. For day to day use, this phone is ready to handle everything thrown at it. It does deliver on that and multitasking can be a breeze even with the aggressive RAM management this phone employs.
The Helio G85 processor does a good job for normal tasks but this processor is primarily meant for gaming smartphones. The Redmi Note 9 was one of the first smartphones to come with this processor. It does a good job but the overall gaming performance is not that great. I have noticed occasional lags when playing games like PUBG and Asphalt 9 even with the game boost feature enabled. Maybe Xiaomi did not have enough time to optimize the phone for such and we may see some improvements inform of an update or the processor is just not that good. In comparison, I have played the same games on the cheaper Infinix Note 7 with the MediTek Helio G70 processor, another gaming processor from the company, and the experience has been good. I just do not get why the Redmi Note 9 has some lags and inconsistent frame transitions.
Bloatware is still a thing but most of the pre-installed applications can be uninstalled.
The Redmi Note 9 has a 5,020 mAh battery that has great endurance. This should last most people an entire day and a good number of them for up to 2 days. Xiaomi has also incorporated a number of battery saving features that should make the battery last even longer. For charging, the phone comes with a fast 22.5W charger in the box. Charging is through the USB Type C port at the bottom next to the speaker grille and earphone jack.
I am working on a full review of this phone which will be up soon.