The Redmi Note 9S is powered by the new Snapdragon 720G processor. It’s a huge upgrade over the Snapdragon 665 chipset used on the Redmi Note 8. I’ve gotten the Interstellar Grey unit and used it for about two weeks. Here are my likes and “not so” likes about this phone. But, before that, let’s find out what comes in the box.
What’s in the box
In the box are the usual suspects, you get a SIM ejector tool, a 22.5W charger with the charging cable, and also the usual documentation.
The phone also comes with a protective film pre-installed, and a TPU case, so no extra cost there. Nice!
The Mi Fan Festival Edition packaging looks pretty much like the standard version
The phone supports 18W charging but it comes with a 22.5W charger.
The phone comes with the standard documents: warranty card and user guide
These are the things included in the box
The phone actually ships with a cover out of the box
It’s a clear black cover instead of the common clear white cover.
The raised lip keeps the rear cameras safe
- I find it nicer that the Redmi branding is no longer printed in the bottom bezel to offer a cleaner look.
- Handling the phone is very comfortable as all edges and corners are rounded off.
- The side mounted fingerprint sensor (which integrated into the power button) is better than the real mounted one. Now, I can lift the phone and unlock it quickly at the same time.
- The glossy finish doesn’t look cheap, and both the front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
- The dual SIM card slots with a dedicated MicroSD slot let you have two SIMs and expand the phone storage at the same time.
- The P2i coating offers splash protection to a certain extent.
- Yes, there’s a headphone jack at the bottom.
- The IR blaster. Although, I don’t use it as often, but it’s good to know that I’ve a backup in case my TV remote control is broken.
“Not so” likes
- There’s no NFC on this phone, so you can’t use it to pay for things.
- At 209g, the 9S is on the heavy side. The reason for this is the huge 5020mAh battery under the hood.
- The glossy finish also means it’s a fingerprint magnet. I’d recommend using the supplied cover.
The Redmi branding is no longer printed at the bottom of the screen
All edges are rounded off for comfortable grip
The fingerprint sensor is integrated into the power button for quick unlock
You can use two SIM cards and a MicroSD card at the same time
Yes, the 3.5mm headphone jack
With the infrared sensor, you can control your AC, TV and more with this phone
Thanks to the massive 5,020mAh battery, the phone is a bit heavy at 209g
Very likely you’ll use the phone with the original case, so this is the weight you’ll be lifting everyday
ii. Display and Audio
- The massive 6.67-inch screen with a tall 20:9 aspect ratio offers enjoyable video viewing and gaming experience.
- The screen sharpness and vibrancy are decent for the price. It also comes with color temperature settings.
- The single downward-firing speaker is loud enough. With the volume set to medium level, I could hear the Google Maps voice navigation clearly while listening to the radio in my car.
Not so likes
- At 60Hz, the display misses out on a high refresh rate.
- Under direct sunlight, it’s a little bit challenging to see what’s happening on screen without holding your phone a little closer to you to have the screen be covered entirely by your shadow.
Color temperature settings
Under the direct sunlight, it’s a bit challenging to see what’s happening on screen without your shadow covering the screen
iii. Performance and battery
- The Snapdragon 720G is a very decent processor for mid-rangers. With 6GB of RAM, I didn’t notice any slowdowns in day-to-day use.
- Gaming-wise, the phone can manage graphics-heavy games without any hiccups.
- The massive 5020mAh battery lasted me 2 days with light usage.
“Not so” likes
- With only 18W charging capability, it does take a bit longer to top up the 5020mAh battery from zero. From what I’ve tested, it took me about 1 hr 45 mins to charge the phone when it wasn’t turned on. But, when the phone is turned on after having enough battery, it took about 2 hrs 15 mins to reach 100%.
The Redmi Note 9S can manage graphics-heavy games without any hiccups
The charging isn’t as fast as I wish, it takes more than 2 hrs to charge the 5020mAh battery from 0 to 100%
- The phone comes with four back cameras, including a main 48MP camera, an 8MP ultrawide with a 119-degree field of view, a 5MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth camera to let me take photos in a variety of different scenarios.
- The main camera takes decent photos in well-lit scenarios, especially considering the Redmi Note 9S’s low price.
- The macro camera is impressive and captures well-detailed close-ups but only in well lit conditions.
- As for video recording, you can shoot up to 4k at 30fps and videos using macro lens.
- The built-in scan document function that automatically enhances the scans and removing shadows is quite useful to me.
- The photo editor offers plenty of nice filters to enhance your portrait and landscape shoots. My favorites are Color Focus and Nordic for portrait, and Rhodium and Lime for landscape.
- The Kaleidoscope mode and the function that lets you change the look sky statically and dynamically are fun.
“Not so” likes
- When it comes to night shots, photos look grainy and dark for auto mode. With the night mode turned on, you’ll get brighter nighttime photos.
- The Night mode isn’t available with the ultra-wide angle lens
Unlike the flagship models, the phone doesn’t come with the Clone feature, and VLOG mode.
4 rear cameras: 48MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 5MP macro and 2MP depth
Ultra-wide angle shot with the built-in ‘Rhodium’ filter
One of my favorite filters, ‘Lime’.
The “Dynamic Sky” function lets you add a moving cloud effect to your photos (The video is converted to GIF with reduced quality)
Short video mode with the kaleidoscope effect (The video is converted to GIF with reduced quality)
The Redmi Note 9 Pro is a very capable mid ranger that comes with an affordable price. If you care much about battery life, this phone should be at the top of your list.