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[Discussion] Mi 9 / Mi 9 Explorer Edition Review: Fast Charging 48MP Camera Beast!

2019-03-09 14:45:30
21732 44
Mi 9 Review: Fast Charging 48MP Camera Beast!
by mitch002

The MWC 2019 just concluded and Xiaomi went home with several awards as VP Wang Xiang Tweeted on his official account. The Mi 9 was released actually days ahead in China and it was received warmly by Mi Fans across China. Now everyone is eagerly waiting for the release of the Global Version. We have our hands here all the 4 variants of the Mi 9, really lucky and priviledged to have all of them in my hands as probably I am the first one to land it in my country as well.

Tech Specs of Mi 9 / Mi 9 Explorer:

  • ·      Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 85 Octa-core processor (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 485)
  • ·      Adreno 640 GPU
  • ·      6GB/8GB of RAM LPDDR4x / 12GB RAM for Explorer Edition
  • ·      6.39-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display, (~90.7% screen-to-body ratio)
  • ·      1080 x 2340 pixels FHD+ (~403 ppi pixel density), 60,000:1 contrast ratio, 19.5:9 Ratio
  • ·      DCI-P3 color gamut, high color saturation, 430nit, Corning Gorilla 6
  • ·      Blue, Grey, Purple, Explorer
  • ·      64GB / 128GB of storage / 256GB of storage for Explorer Edition
  • ·      48 MP, f/1.75, 1/2" Light Sensing Area, 0.8µm, 6P, Dark Light Enhancement, Phase Detection Autofocus, Dual-LED flash, Dynamic Mode SONY IMX 586  (f/1.47 + 7P Lenses for the Explorer Edition)
  •        12 MP, f/2.2, 54mm (telephoto), 1/3.6", 1.0µm, Laser/PDAF, 2x optical zoom Samsung S5K3M5
  •        16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.0", 1.0µm, Laser/PDAF Sony IMX 481
  • ·      20 MP front camera, f/2.0, 0.9µm, 3D Beauty, Mirror Function, Portrait Mode, Front HDR
  • ·      On Screen Finger print scanner
  • ·      Dual SIM (nano sim size)
  • ·      3G, LTE, 4G+ Carrier Aggregation, VoLTE Calls
  • ·      Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, DUAL Band GPS Phone, A-GPS, NFC
  • ·      3300mAh battery, Quick Charge 4.0 Supported, 27 Watts Fast Charging, 20W Wireless Fast Charge
  • ·      2x2 MIMO Technology to support MU-MIMO
  • ·      Sensors: Ultrasonic distance sensor, Ambient Light sensor, Gyro, Vibration Motor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Electronic
  •        Compass, Hall Sensor
  • ·      Android Pie 9, MIUI 10.2
  • ·      USB-C port, UFS 2.1
  • ·      157.5 mm x 74.67 mm x 7.61 mm
  • ·      173 Grams

Official Trailer


I honestly liked the Mi 6 design from back then, It was probably one of my favorite design from the Mi Series line up so far, but the Mi 9 did amazed me with its all edge curved design because it was designed by the one who is behind the structure of the Mi 6 no wonder. The Mi 9 did increase its screen size from the Mi 8 from 6.21 to 6.39 as we are gearing toward bigger and bigger screen. The Mi 9 does sport a 2.5D screen and it was quite slippery when we let it sit flat on a table (especially on marble or glass surface). The design was quite nice as I love the all curved design at the back which I personally believe is quite good and it gave the Mi Series a facelift for the design category. The notch improved from the Mi 8 significantly as it now sports only a teardrop notch, hopefully it will be gone comes Mi 10. The shinny rainbow colored back when reflected is one of the highlights of this phone as its really nice to see rainbow glaring at the back of your phone. The Explorer Edition is even better as you can see thru the inside of the phone tho its just aesthetics, the Battle Angel is engraved at the back as well to show the partnership between Xiaomi and Alita Movie that was just shown recently. The Mi 9 Explorer Edition is the worlds first 12GB RAM phone that was mass produced, this is to delight every gamer out there who wants extra room for the gaming experience.


The Mi 9 Box sports a prism color which is quite cool to look at especially under good lighting

Designed by Xiaomi

Protective Case, Mi 9, Audio Adapter, Sim Ejector Pin, 27W Charger, USB C Cable, Manuals

Whoa! 27W QC 3.0 Charger.

Black vs Blue, who do you choose?

The back side is the highlight of the Mi 9

Loudspeaker, USB C and Mic in at the bottom

Dual Nano Sim Card slot at the left side, of course there is the MI AI dedicated button

IR and noise cancellation mic on top

Volume rocker and the power button on the right side

Triple Camera and the LED Flash

Wireless charging supports 20W fast charge mode

After initial opening of the Black and Blue variant, I personally picked the Blue as my favorite for the moment.

Display and Audio

We were expecting a lot from the display side as we discovered that its sporting a Samsung AMOLED, tho this is already a norm for Mi Series since the Mi 8. 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 crisp and detailed especially playing 4K quality movies. 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 loudspeaker supports stereo mode as the sounds comes from the bottom of the phone as well as from the earpiece just above the front camera. Bluetooth connectivity of headset is also no problem on this unit. Playing games like PUBG at highest mode was definitely not a problem, just dont forget to access the game mode inside the security app.

Audio Format supported by the Mi 9

MP4 | M4V | MKV | XVID | WAV | AAC | MP3 | AMR | FLAC | APE

Video Format Supported by the Mi 9

- Supports video formats such as H.265/HEVC, H.264, MPEG4, VC-1, VP8, VP9;

- Supports high dynamic range display when playing HDR10 video content

Snapdragon 855

One of the few devices that sports the latest chipset from Qualcomm is Mi 9, the Snapdragon 855 SoC has 8 cores and can run up to 2.8Ghz of computing speed. Now of course powered together with the powerful Adreno 640, and of course a generous serving of 8GB or 12GB of RAM (if your lucky to catch the explorer edition), it will give you the best experience in gaming up to date. Not mentioning that it can run even the most graphics hungry games like PUBG and NBA 2K19. This latest flagship by Qualcomm first appeared in Mi 9 and the Mi 9 Explorer. We ran several stress test on this unit and we did not see any lags nor any slowdown on the opening of any apps in the Mi 9, multitasking was a breeze (this result is expected from a flagship of this level). This SoC is supports the 64-bit architecture which means it can compute at a very fast phase. So good graphics, good multitasking plus fast processing makes Snapdragon 855 probably one of the most premium SoC in the market at the moment.

Mi 9 6/128

Mi 9 Explorer Edition

Mi 9 6/128

Mi 9 8/128

Mi 9 Explorer Edition 12/256

Lucky that I was able to hold every single one of the Mi 9 variant available in the market, you can no check the Antutu Score that I have posted as Xiaomi Mi 9 ranks #1 in AnTuTu for February 2019 achieving 371K point while I was able to achieve 372k out of the box.


First support for MI Turbo

Support for defragmentation I/O performance optimization for the first time | Support application startup speed optimization

Simulate 18 months of use, reduce aging aging by 35%

Support for Game Turbo for the first time

Support for perceived game complex scenes, intelligent scheduling system resources | Support custom game touch parameters 丨 Support custom game display enhanced gun battle game 4D touch | Support display CPU usage, GPU occupancy, FPS | Game toolbox supports one-click switching network card Supports features such as information screen support, support for game performance enhancement, optimized touch response, support for custom edge suppression range | Support for turning off automatic brightness, three-finger screen capture, eye protection mode

Live wallpaper and display

Color AOD display | Live wallpapers that support local sunrise and sunset times

First support dark mode (Dark mode)


The Mi 9 supports 14 different LTE bands and B20 is missing in this flagship unlike the Mi 8 (not sure on the Global Version). We were a bit surprised that 5G is not part of the official specs sheet that we used as it was announced to be inside the Mi MIX 3 5G. Nevertheless 5G is not yet ready to roll out anytime soon as it is still in its infant testing stage at the moment. 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. 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, NFC (Near Field Communication) is also present to support Mi Pay, Android Pay and it enables you to send data to a fellow NFC user with just tapping your phones together. Transfering data from older phones using Mi Mover was also a breeze as well.

Supported LTE Bands:

4G: LTE FDD: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17

      LTE TDD: B34/B38/B39/B40/B41

      Note: LTE B41 (2535–2655 120MHz)

3G: WCDMA: B1/ B2/B4/B5/B8

      TDSCDMA: B34/B39

      CDMA EVDO: BC0

2G: GSM: B2/B3/B5/B8

      CDMA 1X: BC0

      LTE B41 (2535–2655 120MHz)

      supports 4×4 MIMO antenna technology | HPUE | HO RxD

Mi 9 Purple and Mi 9 Explorer Edition


The Mi 9 is one of the best camera that Xiaomi has released as of presstime, getting the nod by DXOMark with 107 Points, this catapults Mi 9 to rank 3 among the mobile camera as of February 2019. You can read more about it here We have by far tested it in all angles and all conditions be it well lit, semi dim, dark mode. We can see that in most of out shots its very vivid and crisp, Im very happy with the results even that there is no OIS present in the camera since they said that 48MP doesnt support OIS, but EIS was present for video but it was still shaky as I purposely shake it to test if its quite stable or not. Face Unlocking was no problem as well as the on screen Fingerprint Scanner.

CIT Mode no longer showing the details that we want to see

Mi 9 Camera Sample Shots (Unedited)

Mi 9 Selfie Shots

Mi 9 Sample Videos

Shot on Mi 9 Explorer Edition

Mi 9 Battery and Benchmark:

The Mi 9 supports the Qualcomm Quick charge 4.0 but there is no one in the market manufacturing this kind of charger since the MI 8 era. Inside the box it we can find a 27W QC 3.0 charger, and we tested it took in 9V 2.7 Amperes based on our testing using the supplied charger and cable. We charged the phone from 20% to 100% in just 54 minutes and it was really fast. We recorded a 12 hour 9 minutes endurance test Mi 9 6GB/128GB version under the PC Mark battery stress test, but only scored a 10 hour on the Mi 9 Explorer Edition 12GB/256GB. 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 almost last me a day without hitting the charging dock.

Mi 9 Explorer
More Benchmarks


The Mi 9 and the Mi 9 Explorer did wow me and the camera performance was quite outstanding. The display I cant really ask for more since the Mi 8 big notch has been nerfed to a teardrop on this flagship, tho I still appreciate more the notchless design on the Mix 3. One thing I have noticed on this unit is that its a bit hot while running heavy games on game boost mode but all other aspect are really good. Probably the cooling system inside still needs a little improvement.

Bonus Round Mi8 Explorer vs Mi9 Explorer

Oficial Accessories


Number of participants 2 Experience +19 Pack Reason

View Rating Log

2019-03-09 14:45:30
Favorites24 RateRate
Good Review! Keep It up!
2019-03-09 14:52:49

Pro Bunny

Ernani A. Cawagdan | from MI 6X


Wow malapit ka ng maging akin
Nice flagship killer phone!
2019-03-10 09:24:18

Advanced Bunny

Marbs | from Redmi 6A


WOOOOWW! Maging akin ka lang din soon MI 9.
2019-03-10 10:21:20

Rookie Bunny

Nayeij Yer | from mobile


Excited! Can't wait to see this here in the Philippines.
2019-03-10 15:25:06

Mi Fans Team

NetteCastle | from MI 8 Lite


great detailed review sir!
2019-03-10 16:59:25
A simple Mi Fan
Awesome review, like always. Thanks
2019-03-10 17:21:59
Always Believe That Something Wonderful is About to Happen!

Semi Pro Bunny

tolentinoann | from MI 8 Lite


thank you for the review!
2019-03-10 19:15:08

Pro Bunny

Villas3RD | from app


nice sir , hehe
2019-03-10 19:44:54
Invalid floor, the posts have been deleted #10
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