The latest addition to the Mi series, the Xiaomi Mi 9 is out and boy its a steal at the price it’s being offered with the specifications it has got. The Xiaomi Mi 9 is must buy for someone who is looking for monster performance in a budget price. Xiaomi has upped its game in recent years with its Miseries. Companies such as Xiaomi and OnePlus are giving the consumers an option to own a great device at half the price of a top-tier flagship from brands such as Samsung, Huawei, and Apple. The Mi 9 ticks almost all the boxes of being a great choice for consumers.
The Mi 9 is a bit curvier and somewhat similar to Mi 8 in appearance. The has dimensions of 157.5 x 74.67 x 7.61 mm with a weight of 173g. The fingerprint scanner is now at the front under the display. Mi 9 comes in a number of color options and we personally loved the ocean blue version of the phone which has a gradient to it and changes color when viewed from different angles.
The Piano Black looked promising too and that will probably outsell all other colors. The main body of the phone is a combination of glass and metal. Sadly Xiaomi has skipped on IP rating which we think is a bit of a miss for an otherwise beautiful design.
The Mi 9 comes with a 6.39in AMOLED display with 2340 x 1080 pixels, and 403ppi and HDR support. There is a teardrop notch at the top that houses the front camera and the display is a flat screen which in our view is a better choice than the curved display as it gives the user a little extra usable space in the front. The front speaker is pushed off the display to the top edge of the screen. Performance wise, we didn’t feel any noticeable quality drop in the viewing experience as its an AMOLED display sourced from Samsung. The screen provides a rich viewing experience considering its not an OLED panel. Though it supports HDR, high-end streaming on Netflix might be an issue to some.
Will this phone match the current market expectations?
The Mi 9 is one of the few devices to come with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855. The phone feels really snappy while multi-tasking and the RAM management is also pretty good. It comes loaded with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage that just makes the phone faster without any lags. Playing high-end games such as Asphalt and PUBG is a good experience. Though there is no expandable storage, 128GB should just be fine for most of the users. The skin on top the Mi 9 is the latest version of MIUI which is not that great honestly but that just comes to personal preference and we installed the Nova launcher as soon as the phone was initially set up.
The battery life on the Mi 9 is not that great with a battery just over 3200mAh. It held on during our full day of usage though and we had to charge the phone just before the dusk. Again the battery performance depends on the personal usage but still the Mi 9 will last through the daylight for an average user. The good part though is that the Mi 9 is the first phone to have Qualcomm Quick Charge wireless charging rated at 20W. Additionally it also has 27W fast wireless charging.
Xiaomi has offered a new triple camera system in the Mi 9. There is a 48MP, f/1.75 main lens, a 12MP, f/2.2, 2X zoom lens and a 16MP, f/2.2 Wide angle lens. The front shooter is a 20MP, f/2.0 lens. The main lens though being a huge 48MP but the Mi 9 normally shoots in 12MP mode. The 48MP option can be turned on in settings and has been kept off by default. The other notable features of the camera are a dedicated HDR mode, AI, zoom and there is also a portrait mode. The camera produces great pictures with a lot of detail and zooming and cropping an image is a breeze.
Most people are still going use the 12MP sensor as it gives the advantage of AI and HDR which is not the case with the main 48MP lens. The pictures came out pretty good in our initial testing with fine detail and contrast.
The zoom lens in the Mi 9 is however just a gimmick and Xiaomi could have used the sensor for cropping on the main lens instead. The wide-angle is a great option to have for that extra space in your images and is a welcome feature. Low light capturing is not that great understandably. The front camera also takes decent pictures and has a couple of extra features such as the Beauty mode and face perfection.
The Mi 9 captures good 4K videos at 30/60 fps. There is also a normal full HD mode with a options such as slow-motion and time-lapse. The stabilization on the videos is average though.
Overall the Mi 9 camera takes great quality shots asking the price point.
The Mi 9 is arguably the best phone from the Chinese manufacturer. The design is not that much different from the Mi 8 but it still feels great in hand with a curved back and the teardrop notch on the front. The in display fingerprint scanner is fast. The camera is good with a snappy processor and good RAM management (barring the laggy MIUI). An aggressive price tag of $499, fast wireless charging and a decent battery surely make it one of the best choices to buy in 2019.
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