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Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Hands-On

The Xiaomi Redmi series is, without a doubt, one of the most popular Android choices in the entry-level department. Last year’s Redmi Note 8 lineup took the market by storm with over 10 million sales in just three months. Now that the Redmi Note 9 is out let’s have a quick look around and see what it has to offer.

Off the bat, the Redmi Note 9 receives a complete design overhaul compared to its predecessors. We get a beautiful glossy metallic-like finish that looks nothing short of premium. However, it is quite a fingerprint magnet, but the complimentary jelly case does help keep things a little more clean. The unit we have comes in Midnight Grey, but there is also a Polar White and Forest Green color variant.

At the back, you can find the quad-camera and LED flash module located at the top-center, along with a subtle looking rear-mounted fingerprint scanner right underneath and the Redmi logo at the very bottom.

With a display size of 6.53-inches, the Redmi Note 9 has quite a sizable screen. It features their Full HD+ IPS Dot Display with a resolution of 1080 x 2340, an 83.5% screen-to-body ratio, and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

It’s refreshing to see Redmi replace the dated dot drop notch design with a more modern ‘punch-hole’ setup, which is situated at the top left corner, unlike the Redmi Note 9s and 9 Pro where they’re located at the center.

You can find the power button and volume rocker keys on the right-hand side, while on the left sits your dual nano-SIM card tray along with a dedicated MicroSD card slot with up to 512GB of expandable storage.

At the top, we get your signature IR Blaster and the secondary noise-canceling microphone. While at the bottom, we have your standard USB-C charging port, single bottom-firing speakers, the primary mic, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The Redmi Note 9 comes with the latest MediaTek Helio G85 2.0GHz octa-core processor, with a Mali-G52 MC2 GPU, which Redmi claims is 32% faster than its predecessor. Our unit is the 4GB RAM variant with 128GB of storage capacity, but there is also a more affordable version with a 3GB+64GB configuration. It runs on MIUI 11, which is based on Android 10 and is equipped with a generous 5,020 mAh battery capacity with 18w fast charging.

Heading back to the primary shooter, we get a 48MP main sensor, an 8MP ultrawide, a 2MP macro lens, and another 2MP for depth sensing, while at the front sits the 13MP sensor. We’ll get into this a little deeper in our full review. But for now, here are a few sample photos you can check out below.

With its updated design coupled with a promising processor and GPU all packed into a familiar interface, this device seems to be the next bang-for-buck choice for those who are currently looking for a reliable entry-level phone.

The Redmi Note 9 is priced at PHP 7,990 for the 3GB+64GB variant, while the 4GB+128GB option will run you PHP 9,990 and is available in all official Mi stores and online shops including Lazada and Shopee.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 specs:
6.53-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) DotDisplay
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
MediaTek Helio G85 2.0GHz octa-core CPU
Arm Mali-G52 MC2 GPU
3GB, 4GB RAM
64GB, 128GB storage
microSD up to 512GB (dedicated slot)
Quad rear cameras:
• 48MP F1.79 4-in-1 Super Pixel (main)
• 8MP F2.2 (ultra-wide)
• 2MP F2.4 (macro)
• 2MP F2.4 (depth)
13MP F2.25 front camera
Dual-SIM (nano)
4G LTE
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BDS
NFC (select markets)
IR Blaster
USB Type-C
3.5mm audio jack
1216 X max0.5mm high amplitude ultra-linear speaker
Smart PA 10V
Fingerprint scanner (rear)
MIUI 11 (Android 10)
Splash-proof nano-coating
5,020mAh battery w/ 18W fast charging, w/ 22.5W charger included
162.3 x 77.2 x 8.9 mm
199 g
Forest Green, Polar White, Midnight Grey

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