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There’s been an abrupt surge of budget phone launches during the past couple of months; the Redmi 9 from Xiaomi being one of these. This recent offering is priced under Rs. 10,000 and may be the successor to the Redmi 8 (Review). The Redmi 9 sold in India must not be confused with the global style of the same name, which comes as the Redmi 9 Prime (Review) over here. The Indian version of the Redmi 9 is truly a tweaked Redmi 9C.

With a starting price of Rs. 8,999, which may be the variant I’m going to be reviewing today, it is time to see if the Redmi 9 is an improved pick than other recent launches including the Realme C12 and Narzo 20A.

Redmi 9 design: Keeping it simple
The Redmi 9 is rather tall and wide, which is something I immediately noticed when trying to make make use of it with one hand. Thankfully, it generally does not feel too thick or heavy though it measures around 9mm and weighs 194g. The energy button is simple to reach however the volume buttons require somewhat of hand shuffling as they’re put above the energy button, on the proper side. The triple-slot SIM tray is on the left, there’s a headphone jack at the top, and the Micro-USB port and speaker are on underneath. It’s surprising to see Xiaomi get back to a Micro-USB port here, considering this phone’s predecessor had a USB Type-C port.

The Redmi 9 includes a simple yet pleasing design

An individual plastic mould forms the medial side frame and back panel, which lends the Redmi 9 a good unibody feel. The caliber of plastics used is good, and the telephone feels very sturdy. The Redmi 9 includes a square-shaped camera module on the trunk, which appears to become a recent trend that lots of Android OEMs are adopting. The textured back surface feels grippy and doesn’t attract fingerprints. There’s a circular indent for the fingerprint sensor, that is a little smaller than usual but worked well if you ask me. There’s face recognition too, which wasn’t extremely swift.

The Redmi 9 includes a 6.53-inch IPS HD+ display with a 720×1600-pixel resolution. I came across the viewing angles and colours to be very good; certainly much better than those of the Realme C12 and C15, that i recently tested. The brightness was also enough although it might have been a little higher. Being truly a budget phone, there is no high refresh rate or such frills. There’s a dewdrop notch at the top, and noticeably thick bezels throughout.

In the box, the Redmi 9 is along with a 10W charger, data cable, SIM eject tool, and user guide. You do not get any protective case or headset.

The Redmi 9 includes a triple slot tray for just two Nano-SIMs and a microSD card

Redmi 9 performance: Adequate
The Redmi 9 is powered by the MediaTek Helio G35 SoC, the same one employed by the Realme C12 and C15. There are two variants of the Redmi 9, both with 4GB of LPDDR4X RAM. You can select from 64GB and 128GB of storage for Rs. 8,999 and Rs. 9,999 respectively. The flash storage type used here’s eMMC 5.1. The telephone also offers Wi-Fi n, Bluetooth 5 and Radio. The latter still takes a headset as a way to work, but one isn’t bundled with the telephone. The Redmi 8 had wireless Radio, which worked without needing a headset.

Performance is decent, remember the budget nature of the phone. The Redmi 9 runs on MIUI 12, which is dependant on Android 10. There’s some noticeable stutter in the animations and there is some delay in opening software or system menus sometimes, right from the start. It’s like the experience I had with the Realme C15, which had the same SoC and amount of RAM. However, benchmark scores were constantly less than what Realme’s offerings were able to turn out. The AnTuTu score was 98,084 points, while GFXBench returned only around 30fps in the T-Rex test suite.

The Redmi 9 doesn’t provide smoothest Android experience, but it isn’t terrible either

Gaming performance was just a little weak, aside from simple titles which did okay. Games such as for example Grand Mountain ran well but heavier kinds like Asphalt 9: Legends struggled to perform at a smooth framerate. Videos looked alright on the phone’s display and the bottom-firing speaker got quite loud.

MIUI 12 looks nice and is merely as functional as the prior version. However, the stock software remain riddled with ads, and once in a while, these have a tendency to spam the notification shade with unsolicited alerts. Additionally, there are a couple of preinstalled programs which clog up the house screen, but thankfully, almost all of them could be uninstalled.

Redmi 9 battery life: Lasts long
The Redmi 9 delivered a far more than satisfactory battery life if you ask me. I was easily in a position to start a day and half and even longer occasionally, about the same charge of the 5,000mAh battery. Inside our HD video loop test, the Redmi 9 ran for 18 hours and 44 minutes, that is a very good time. However, charging this large battery requires a while. Even after one hour with the bundled 10W charger, the Redmi 9’s battery only got up to 40 percent. This phone doesn’t support fast charging, that is a little disappointing.

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