Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has expanded its popular Redmi Note series in India with Note 9, the third smartphone in the portfolio after tasting the success with Redmi Note 9 Pro and Redmi Note 9 Pro Max.
The phone competes with the likes of Samsung Galaxy M21, Realme Narzo 10, Realme 6 and Poco M2 Pro (which is from the house of Xiaomi) in the super-hot Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 affordable-yet-premium segment in the country, as further lockdown relaxation norms are set to come into force from August 1.
The device is almost identical to other offerings in the Note 9 series.
It sports a punch-hole camera on the top left corner on front and has a glass back panel which houses a square-like quad-camera setup with conventional fingerprint sensor.
The standards-volume controls are on the right panel, SIM tray on the left, 3.5mm jack along with speaker grill and Type C charging port at the bottom.
The Redmi Note 9 price in India starts at Rs 11,999 for the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage variant; 4GB RAM+128GB storage option at Rs 13,499 and the top 6GB RAM+128GB variant for Rs 14,999.
It comes in three distinct colour options, namely Aqua Green, Arctic White, and Pebble Grey.
Let us see how the 6GB RAM+128GB storage model (Arctic White) fares.
The smartphone features a 6.53-inch full-HD+ (1,080×2,340 pixels) Dot Display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
The display has good viewing angles and is bright enough when outdoors.
During the review, streaming online videos was a pleasant experience.
The quad camera setup houses a 48MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 primary sensor, along with an f/1.79 lens.
The camera setup also includes an 8MP secondary sensor with an f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle lens, 2MP sensor with an f/2.4 macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor with an f/2.4 lens.
Daylight shots taken with the Redmi Note 9 turned out quite well. However, indoor shots were dull and grainy.
Portrait Mode and Night Mode performed well.
For selfies, there is a 13MP camera sensor at the front which captured detailed images for your Instagram followers.
Under the hood, the phone has an octa-core MediaTek Helio G85 SoC. The company provides up to 128GB onboard that is expandable via microSD card (up to 512GB) through a dedicated slot.
The overall performance was smooth and we played PUBG Lite, at slightly reduced graphics settings, without any lags.
To summarise, the Redmi Note 9 offers adequate performance at this price point.
On the software front, it runs MIUI 11 on top of Android 10. The UI has a lot of customisation options and those who are already using a Xiaomi device will find it handy.
The phone includes a 5,020mAh battery that supports 22.5W fast charging (a compatible charger is available in the box). The battery lasted for a day on moderate usage.
Conclusion: Redmi Note 9 is a decent offering under the Rs 15,000 category but faces stiff competition from the rival smartphones out there.
For the Redmi fans, they do not need to think twice as this is a natural upgrade for them.