Hei Mi fans,
Amazing? It has to be if you are in my shoes. Hope to find everyone blissful and enthusiastic as ever. Today, I am going to review the "Best Camera Ever" 64MP Quad Camera phone, the all new Redmi Note 9 Pro which was launched globally last April 30th. I can't wait to share with you all this excitement, it's just gimme the adrenaline rush to conclude this article. Is it a leap experience over its predecessor, Redmi Note 8 Pro? That I will sum up in my thoughts session. To get a glimpse just check my article, Glance of the stunning Redmi Note 9 Pro. Let's get going!
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Key Highlights
THE LEGEND CONTINUES
Redmi Note Series achieved yet another milestone, 100,000,000 sold worldwide, as of the 4th quarter of 2019. The fearless Redmi Note series continues to create the ultimate flagship experience, as the legend goes on. For my love for Redmi Note Series since it's conception, you can checkout, #RedmiNoteLegacy - Will Love At First Sight Sustain?, my journey with the Redmi Note Series. And flashback and recap the predecessor, you can checkout
Camera King Unleashed - Redmi Note 8 Pro Review that made history. Without further ado, let's move to the new sequel of the Redmi Note 9 Pro, the next reigning champion of the Redmi Note Series.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Design & Build
Redmi Note 9 Pro is the pioneer among the Redmi series to pack a much larger display of 6.67 inch IPS Full HD+ LCD screen, on top you get a dot display which housed the 16MP selfie camera and a small chin at the bottom making it look almost bezel-less. The display comes with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels with contrast ratio 1500:1 and NTSC of 84%, and what surprised me was the screen brightness and color contrast is close enough compared to an AMOLED screen. In addition to that, the display is TÜV Rheinland certified, protecting your eyes against blue light and reducing fatigue to your eyes over a long period of watching YouTube or gaming. The display won't disappoint you, so to speak, considering the affordable price being offered and ideal for watching high-resolution video and playing games with superb brightness level. Unlike traditional LCD screens which look cheapo, I am perplexed that everything is super-clear on this display.
Now, is the epic part of looking at the rear part of this stunning Interstellar Grey Redmi Note 9 Pro with a classic look, very impressive to intrigue, feels solid which gives you a sense of flagship quality experience right from the beginning. At the back, center down the symmetrical design is the camera module, the camera is a whole new upgrade over its predecessor with the 64MP high resolution lens, a 2MP bokeh camera, on the side of the square camera module the 8MP ultra-wide lens and the 2MP macro camera. Right below the camera module is the LED flashlight and 64MP Camera logo imprinted on the shell. Down below, you can find the "Redmi" logo imprinted on the center back shell of the phone. This whole new layout simply gives it a premium look comparable to the flagship league. Moreover, the symmetrical flat back adds more sensation and sturdy when holding the phone whenever you are browsing or playing games. Keep in mind the device is wrapped with Gorilla Glass 5 panels on the front and rear. In addition, it comes with P2i Liquid Repellent Nano-coating Protection splash resistant body. To know more, read P2i Liquid Repellent Nano-coating Protection Vs IPx8.
Along the sides, starting with the top there is an IR Blaster and a noise cancellation microphone and the white notification LED light is back. On the left side the supports 2 SIM card +1 card slot, nano-SIM + nano-SIM + microSD, expandable 512GB and supports dual SIM VoLTE HD calling, on the right side, the volume rocker and the all-new side mounted fingerprint sensor cum power button, something new on the Redmi Note Series.
The side fingerprint makes your unlocking extremely fast, and there is no need to worry about leaving fingerprints on the screen and back shell to affect the appearance of the phone. All for your perfect unlocking experience with a natural hold and instant unlocking. The side-mounted fingerprint sensor and the power button are combined into one ergonomically designed. Just pick up the phone and you can unlock it conveniently.
On the bottom the legendary 3.5mm headphone jack that most people love, an 30W USB Type-C fast charging port and finally the self-cleaning speaker grill, good to note that the high amplitude ultra-linear speaker, Smart PA 10V external, pressure boosted, high volume, produces 30% louder audio plus 80% more bass. Lastly, another microphone receptor.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Hardware & Performance
Now it's time to turn-on the phone. Let me make a quick setup here, You will be welcome with the Mi logo. After entering the account details and registering my thumb print, we are all set to go. Redmi Note 9 Pro is running MIUI 11, hopefully we will get the MIUI 12 soon, which is based on Android 10. Everything seems to be running quite fluid. Launching between apps is a breeze.
Curious to know what's under the hood? It is powered by the latest released, an octa-core Snapdragon 720G processor. The unit I have comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage pretty handy for most users and even gamers alike.
Another surprise out of the box is that NFC is available for making mobile payments, like Mi Pay or Google Pay, which was brought from the Redmi Note 8 Pro for the global variant. The continuation is the positive aspect we see in this new trend of cashless payment for our meals or shopping securely.
Should you have friends who has a NFC support device you can easily exchange media or files. To find more, checkout:
For those thinking of streaming video at higher resolution, Redmi Note 9 Pro to stream 720P or higher resolution rather than 480P video and support Netflix/Amazon Prime Video in HD is currently not certified and yet to be supported, furthermore with an unlocked bootloader deemed as unsecured by the test and returned a value of Widevine CDM L3 certification.
Since, I got some games and benchmark apps installed, let's see how it stack and perform.
After running Antutu benchmark, it scored slightly higher score compared with MediaTek Helio G90T, way ahead of Snapdragon 730G considering Redmi Note 9 Pro is in the premium mid-range segment. Equipped with the latest higher clocked Snapdragon 720G processor, CPU clocked up to 2.3GHz combined with the Adreno 618 GPU is no coincidence for those benchmark scores hence enabling ultimate gaming experience. To get a full comparison, checkout these comparisons:-
Even though Redmi Note 9 Pro offers robust and fluid daily performance, I ran a few benchmarks to clear my doubts revving-up details on the games and what not, to check on the playable frame rates follies.
In GFXBench's T-Rex, Manhattan, Manhattan 3.1 OpenGL tests it recorded 58fps, 35fps and 26fps respectively. These frame rate values minute as it is, makes a difference as compared to its 730G sibling and contender Helio G90T. Redmi Note 9 Pro is respectfully ahead of those in it's segment.
Subsequently to test graphics capabilities deeper, i use the 3DMark application which focuses on graphics processing capabilities of the CPU and GPU. Redmi Note 9 Pro seems to be dominant in graphics processing in the Sling Shot, Sling Shot Extreme Unlimited and API Overhead score where it perform victoriously In the traditional OpenGL API which has direct control over GPU acceleration for maximized performance and predictability is 392,833 points and 446,141 for Vulkan API (Vulkan is the new generation, open standard API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs) as this affect on the performance of your gameplay.
Next, to get an idea of the productivity performance of the Redmi Note 9 Pro's processor in completing daily activities, I ran a test using the PCMark application.
From the score attained it was doing fairly average processing in raw processor crunching, except it did remarkably well in Photo Editing which is helpful for post photo editing chores.
My testing continues on CPU performance using the Geekbench application by simulating daily tasks and real-world applications. This test is designed to measure cellular CPU performance quickly and accurately. Every Geekbench 5 test will measure the full potential of the CPU. In this field Snapdragon 720G performed very well.
Next we can witness how it handles reading and writing. AndroBench measures the storage performance of your Android devices which provides the benchmarks of Micro and SQLite. The performance is considerably good with the implementation of UFS 2.1.
To check your system details and to find out your device codename useful for flashing the right ROM variant.
To get to know your back and selfie shooters details.
Navigation & positioning, supports GPS, A-GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and Beidou. Unfortunately, Redmi Note 8 Pro has a higher accuracy down to +/- 2m, this is acceptable.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Gamer Centric Hardware
If you must know, the Snapdragon 720G with Select Snapdragon Elite Gaming features an array of technologies that boost the mobile gaming experience, from vivid visuals and rapid sensing touchscreens to enhancing the connection between your smartphone and the internet.
Asphalt 9 Legend
To see the gaming performance, I went on playing PUBG Global, Asphalt 9, Real Racing 3, Darkness Rises and Fortnite. Most of these titles are very graphic intensive games drawing the juice and heating up the CPU and GPU. In addition to keeping the harmony of both the CPU and GPU, the Dual copper heatsink attached to the motherboard is employed to facilitate high-speed, lag-free gaming without overheating.
Meanwhile, another great feature is having a reliable internet connection during gaming, which is taken care by 2 X 2 MIMO dual Wi-Fi gives users twice the number of antennas for sending and receiving data for smooth, steady gameplay. For ultimate gaming experience it offers a superb audio quality, featuring high amplitude ultra-linear speakers, Smart PA 10V external, pressure boosted, high volume, produces 30% louder audio plus 80% more bass for improved gaming audio.
Moreover, to have a peace of mind running out of juice during the game, which can be frustrating, hence Redmi Note 9 Pro comes with a Li-Po 5020mAh battery along with the support of 30W fast charging via in-box 33W charger. Not forgetting the storage, this unit came with a 128GB UFS 2.1 inbuilt storage which can be expanded with the Dual-sim tray + 1 microSD expandable up to 512GB for adaptive storage. Feeling relief right? If you do opt for a second SIM instead, it supports dual-standby on 4G.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Software
Although the Redmi Note 9 Pro runs MIUI 11 has adapted the system wide Dark Mode, although AOD is not advisable for use on LCD display as it drains your battery keeping the backlight on all the time to accommodate for Always On Display. The Dark Mode is useful not only because it seems to be the latest trend to do everything in Dark Mode, but because it drastically reduces the screen's impact on battery life. The software is pretty much standard of MIUI 11 with some great extras only found on Xiaomi phones such as Dual Apps and Second Space. A Split-screen mode is also available in the recents menu, which is accessible either from the onscreen button or by swiping from the bottom of the screen and then pausing before lifting your finger in the gesture-only Full Display mode. The three finger screenshot is imminent. Of course, as for myself, I am so used to the Full Screen Display swiping right to left, swiping down and so forth which is convenient and getting the most out of the display dimensions. Apart from that the Digital WellBeing app, a parental control solution is pre-installed which is mandatory by Google to all smartphones launched after September 3, 2019 running on Android 9 Pie or Android 10. And in the pipeline is MIUI 12 to further exploit the features available on Redmi Note 9 Pro.
That's not all to it, Redmi Note 9 Pro comes reloaded with Game Booster 2.0 a framework enhancement that results in CPU and GPU smart allocation, and more system resources for games. There is a pop-up that can be seen on the top left of the screen that shows the Game Turbo is running as soon as a game is launched, you can access a shortcut bar by sliding towards the right on a vertical bar that can be found on the top left side. You have the option to clear memory, take a screenshot, and start screen recording, can also toggle on/off Wi-Fi and switch to data connectivity within the game. Other than that you can tweak the game control and display settings. Apart from these, apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Browser, QQi and others installed apps can be opened in a floating window within the game. As for incoming phone calls, a bubble with a phone icon will appear, which you can answer or ignore, and if you do pick up the call, it will be on speaker phone mode, so be reminded in case you are worried about privacy. Besides that, you could enhance and optimize your individual Game title, like display contrast can be increased and details can be enhanced under enhanced visuals option, which can help users during gameplay in night mode in games like PUBG, making it convenient for gamers.
You can do more with Game Booster 2.0, you could choose the driver for individual titles to suit gaming style. Next we head over to the epic highlights of Redmi Note 9 Pro.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Best Ever Camera
For photography, the Redmi Note 9 Pro packs a quad-camera setup at the back as I have mentioned earlier with four sensors behind. The quad-camera setup includes an 64MP ISOCELL Bright GW1, ultra high-resolution wide camera with a huge 1/1.72" sensor size to accommodate the 1.6μm 4-in-1 Super pixel made up of 0.8μm pixel. With auto-focus capabilities, in a 6 elements lens setup with a field of view of 79.8°, using the Tetracell technology, where four pixels are merged to work as one to increase light sensitivity equivalent to that of a 1.6μm-pixel image sensor at 16MP resolution making it superb for taking night mode pictures and highly-detailed 64MP shots in brighter settings. To take pictures resembling the way the human eye perceives its surroundings in a mixed light environment. As for the ultra wide angle lens it's packed with an 8MP with a 119° field of view lens, a 5MP auto-focus macro lens within 2-10 cm focal length and a depth sensor of 2MP. To iterate, the primary camera is capable of capturing a high-resolution images of 9248 x 6936 pixels, that can print images up to 3.26 meters tall, making it the most stunning and versatile Redmi shooter ever.The main highlight of Redmi Note 9 Pro is a 64MP lens that by default actually takes 16MP shots depending on the light density, This is a result of pixel binning which combines four pixels into one, averaging out the quality, exposure, colours and so on to create one significantly better-looking super pixel, especially for night mode. In addition, you can use the Redmi Note 8 Pro to create 4K TikTok videos and shoot 960 fps slow motion.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Selfie
Meanwhile, for our selfie lovers, it sports a 16MP In-Display Front Camera with a focal length of 16MP, f/2.48 aperture using a 1.0μm sensor, built-in AI technology capabilities, for stunning detailed portrait selfies. Not only that, it supports scene detection, AI face unlock. AI beauty, portrait mode, 108 degree panoramic selfie, gesture control. Portrait selfies come with quite a competent subject separation for a single-cam setup, and I got amazing results with different settings.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Photo mode
Overall, after trying taking pictures on all the modes, I would say that image quality during daytime is great. The level of captured detail is quite high for a 16MP photo, and the way it's rendered has a very natural look without excessive sharpening and such.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Photo Mode - Zoomed 2X
After taking numerous shots, I realized it is best to use the 64MP mode, rather than zooming to the subject, as the result seems to be similar. For the images, I zoomed to 2X, and it comes with zoomed in or out settings, 0.6X, 1X which is normal and 2X zoom in the Photo mode. Zoom is handy when taking food photos to avoid shadows.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Photo Mode - Normal 1X
Redmi Note 9 Pro - 64MP Mode
Redmi Note 9 Pro - HD preview screen shot
The 64MP mode is amazing which can capture a tremendous amount of detail with reasonably good saturation and although white balance tends to be slightly warm.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Cinematic Portrait Mode
Portrait is surprisingly good and detailed, in this case I shot the Mi Note 10 as a subject, which you can adjust the F-stop to defocus the background more or reduce depending on your preference. Bokeh adjustments in real-time for post editing.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - HDR
When enabled, the HDR can solve most of the exposure disparity situation, capturing images noticeably brighter and more detail in the dark parts of the image.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Low-Light
From the shots I have taken, there's no prominent noise, details are good, restoring the highlights and bringing out the shadows.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Night
The Night mode tends to brighten the image, nevertheless it also preserves the night time feeling, balancing the light and dark elements of the image.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Macro
Macro mode works well, except when in the Pro mode with Manual focusing it seem there a juggle between lens to focus, anyway the result is superb once you know what you doing. The Perk feature helps me a lot in focusing rather to use our naked eyes in uneven lighting. Checkout my threads "Taking Macro Photography Made Easy with Perking" to assist you for focusing when taking Macro photography.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Pro Mode - Macro RAW
My subject was the minute roots in the background. Incredible right?
You can access Macro in the Photo or Pro Mode. Next we explore, to capture in RAW format.
As from the compatibility test, we know camera2 api is enabled with manual control of shutter speed (ISO), manual focus and support RAW capture.
4K Movie Frame Video
As for video, it can record up to 4K resolution with an option of 30fps, for Full HD at 30/60/120fps and for 720p@960fps on the primary shooter which captures a superb level of detail, especially in good light. It is also equipped with a gyro-EIS for video stabilization. For the selfie shooter, it can shoot video at 1080p@30fps. Here, even with the video stabilization enabled you can see the jittery but not too choppy, which the software needs further optimization. Overall, the video is clear considering there is not enough light, and it was quick to focus to the next scene.
For photography, the camera algorithm landmarked with an AI camera, which can intelligently detect an appropriate preset for the shooting scenario. The app is very easy to use, and you can quickly swipe between Short video, Video, Photo, 64MP, Portrait, Night, Mimoji, Panorama and Pro mode. There are more reloaded features to elevate your shooting ideas and filming, like Vlog, Kaleidoscope to name a few
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Kaleidoscope Mode
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Photo Mode - Docs
Another very useful tool available on the Camera App, is the Docs function, it can help you to scan your documents and alleviate the shadows while taking the shot.
Storage Running out?
It is wishful thinking for Xiaomi to add support for MicroSD slot expandable to 512GB, which is very much needed if you are a daily shooter. And with the new format introduced HEIF, to know more: Mi 10 supports HEIF format. All You Need To Know About HEIF Format!.
To help you with adoptable storage, that you can checkout: Enable Adoptable Storage On Mi Phone.
Redmi Note 9 Pro - Verdict
As biased as it may sound, I am impressed by the offerings that come with Redmi Note 9 Pro. I have been purchasing and collecting Redmi series phones ever since my first Redmi Note 2 days, Redmi Note 3 Pro was a top seller for its stunning pictures, those days and I am here again to review this newly crown camera beast, recollecting how much of a leap from its predecessor. After all, Redmi simply has to stand out as a sub-branding, the premium mid-ranger and always a vanguard among its competitors. As I was writing, I found I had to highlight so many key points, refer to the above, Key Highlights. There, this massive 5020 mAh battery, the billboard resolution of the 64MP, the elegant body & build to impress, the Snapdragon 720G SoC that amazed me with so much fluidity while gaming, the huge display even though it's not AMOLED, but at least it stands out. The fast charging is definitely an added plus for a massive battery. There NFC, a follow-thru for a Global unit and there the dual sheet copper heatsink which, I must admit, it lives up to its function and I tested several graphic intensive titles, and frame rate is impressive, in its segment, lag-free and heat is a insignificant factor with the 8nm process which is remarkable. With the new technology, Haptic feedback mechanism traditionally for flagship makes a difference when you do your typing you will get a different kind of vibration experience for notifications and other chaos. With the best specs, highest quality and honest price, will definitely be everybody's choice. I must say Redmi did an excellent job to keep the Redmi Note Legacy going. Anyway, to sum up my verdict, all I could say is "Wow, you gotta try for yourself, this mysterious beast"
"Realizing the Mi Fan's Dreams"
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