Mi 9 SE: Awesome Midrange Triple Camera Phone!
After the China debut of the highly anticipated flagship of the year after the Chinese New Year which was a week ahead of the MWC2019 , Mi 9, we have anticipated that it will probably be patterned after the Mi8 series and it did. Launched during the China Xiaomi event are Mi9, Mi9 SE and Mi9 EE. We were were lucky to have reviewed alreay the Mi 9 and the Mi 9 EE, right now we would buckle up and check out the Mi 9 SE!
The Mi 9 SE is geared toward the midrange segment of the consumers, as the word SE would mean Small Edition, this is the smaller and nerfed version of the Mi 9 Flagship. This is to make everyone enjoy almost the goodness of the Mi 9, without having to shell out that big amount of cash.
Tech Specs of Mi 9 SE:
The box is pure white unlike the Mi9 which have a prism colored box
The Mi8 SE Sported the same white box. only the 8 logo is rainbow colors this one is Silver
Designed by Xiaomi as the box stated
Protective case, Mi 9 SE, Audio Adapter, Sim Card Ejector, Manuals, 18W Fast Charger, USB C Cable
It has a very striking resemblance to the Mi 8 SE, tho this one has a teardrop notch
The back is curvier compared to the Mi 8 SE, but the design looks nice and easy to grip
The bezel are quite smaller compared to its predecessor. You can see the teardrop notch here
Even the chin is smaller
There is the USB C port, loudspeaker and mic in
Sim card tray, supports 2 nano sim
The protuded 48MP Camera (triple)
The MI Logo
IR and Noise Cancellation Mic
Volume rocker and Powerbutton
The Mi 9 SE is quite a copy of the Mi 8 SE from last year, but they have quite improved it to a little more curvier edges design compared to the squarish design last year. The addition of the triple camera was a plus factor as well as the teardrop notch and the smaller chin are definitely the noticeable improvements here. The size of the screen did become bigger from 5.88 to 5.97, making it almost a 6 incher phone already. But the size is still almost the same as the Mi 8 SE, good job on that Xiaomi. The AMOLED screen is definitely the good deal here as its quite better to view especially watching HD movies.
Display and Audio
We were expecting a lot from the display side as we discovered that its sporting a Samsung AMOLED. The Full HD display did blew me away with its awesome rendering of photos and videos, and probably one thing that is not good with AMOLED is the burn in problems like those on the Samsung Galaxy Flagship Series that we have heard about. We watched several movies and I can say its pretty clear to watch 1080p shows here. The sound was excellent, we have no problem kicking the sound to the max inside a small room and it can fill the room with sound (the Mi 9 was louder tho), we tested the loudspeaker and it can kick up to 78 decibels. Bluetooth connectivity of headset is also no problem on this unit as well as the USB C to Audio Jack connector using a wired headset.
Here are the supported audio and video file format by the Mi 9 SE
Support H.265 / HEVC, H.264, MPEG4, VC-1, VP8, VP9 and other video formats; support for PCM, AAC / AAC + / eAAC +,
MP3, AMR - NB and WB, FLAC, WAV, APE and other audio formats
players High dynamic range display for HDR10 video content
The first ever device to sport the newly minted Snapdragon 712 from Qualcomm is Mi 9 SE, the Snapdragon 712 SoC has 8 cores and can run up to 2.3Ghz of computing speed. Now of course powered together with the Adreno 616, and of course a generous serving of 6GB RAM, it will give you one of the best midrange experience to date. Running heavy games might not be as good as Mi 9 but this would probably get the job done for your gaming satisfaction. Multitasking was definitely a breeze for this unit and we opened may apps all at the same time and did not experience any lags. This midrange SoC would probably be one of the better option should you have less budget to go for a Snapdragon 855 powered flagship.
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The SD 712 scored a good record of 179,221 points out of the box on AnTuTu based on my test, which is a good score for any midrange smartphone.
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The Mi 9 SE supports 10 different LTE bands and it's pretty easy to switch to LTE network inside the settings, and it also supports Dual 4G mode as well. You can freely choose which sim you want to use your LTE data, since this is a Dual LTE, Dual standby smartphone. This unit also has the 4G+ equipped, and also supports multiple carrier aggregation technology (should your network provider have this feature), you can take advantage of it. Wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac is also smooth and it also supports Wi-Fi Direct. Wireless screen mirroring is also available via the Miracast protocol, tethering data is also working perfectly. Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, and GLONASS are all present. Transferring data from older phones using Mi Mover was also a breeze as well. One big bonus here is the presence of the NFC on this midranger.
Mi 9 and Mi 9 SE
The Mi 9 SE is one of the best mid range camera that Xiaomi has released by far, having the same main sensor with the Mi 9 flagship. We can say that this camera performed very well under good lighting, and in night mode it cannot be compared to the Mi 9 of course. The wide angle lens is said to be the Sony IMX 586 while the others we dont know since the new CIT mode doesnt provide an informations anymore . There is no OIS for this unit but EIS is present. The front snapper is a 20 Megapixel and it took pretty good selfies and it also sported the bokeh portrait mode.
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Sample Shots Unedited
Mi 9 SE Battery and Benchmark:
The Mi 9 SE supports the Qualcomm Quick charge 3.0 and the provided charger is also a QC 3.0 18W. We charged the phone from 10% to 100% in 1 hour and 24 minutes as I was able to closely monitored it using the provided charger and cable. We recorded a 11 hour 44 minutes endurance test Mi 9 SE 6GB/128GB version under the PC Mark battery stress test. If these statistics are true on a normal daily use, then it's really a good sign for the said smartphone, and based on my daily usage for several days, the battery seems to last me a whole day on normal usage.
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From 10% to 100%
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As i finally come to the conclusion of this great midranger, this is the first ever phone to sport the SD 712 and it did performed up to my expectation. I love the form factor of this phone as its almost the same size of my Mi 6 from the past but display is definitely larger from 5.1 to 5.97 inches. The sounds are great and the display are also outstanding. The photos are not as good as the Mi 9 but its very above average already for its price range. This is definitely a good choice should you be short of budget to catch the Mi 9.