The Redmi 9 couldn’t have come at a better time. Because of the economic disruption brought about by COVID-19, people are looking to stretch their budget and get as much bang for their buck as possible.
The Redmi 9 looks to fit the bill of the best budget Android phone for 2020, thanks to a great mix of specs, design, and price. Is the Redmi 9 your next budget Android phone?
Packaging and contents:
Not much has changed with Redmi’s budget offering in terms of packaging.
The box for the Redmi 9 has a photo of the phone printed on the front, as well as the model name prominently displayed.
You’re getting a jelly case, a USB Type-C charger, USB Type-C cable as well as documentation with your purchase. No headphones are present in the package, which is pretty typical of Redmi phones.
A mid-ranger masquerading as a budget phone
It’s taking all of my willpower right now not declaring the Redmi 9 as the best phone to buy for its price range, especially since it hasn’t spent more than a day with Unbox yet. But if you take a look at the sheer value proposition, you probably would agree with us.
There’s plenty to like on the Redmi 9. The body, while made out of plastic, feels solid, and the striking colorways available inject a funky sense of style that makes the phone stand out from the pack. If you’re more of the conservative type you can always opt for the black version which incidentally is the color of our review unit.
As for the actual design, the Redmi 9 doesn’t differ from your typical smartphone. The back flows into the frame for better ergonomics, and the corners are curved.
One thing that really sets the budget-oriented Redmi 9 apart from the pack is its quad-camera arrangement. While one can make the argument that the macro camera is of limited value at best, having four cameras on the rear of what is essentially a budget phone is a huge win from a marketing perspective.
The four cameras are composed of a 13-megapixel wide-angle snapper with an f/2.2 lens, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera with an f/2.2 lens, a 5-megapixel macro camera with an f/2.4 lens and a 2-megapixel depth sensor with f/2.4 lens.
The fingerprint scanner is located right below the camera module. The placement is a little annoying because you’ll probably end up accidentally smudging the camera right above it as you attempt to unlock your phone the first few times. We would have preferred it if the fingerprint scanner was integrated into the power button.
The screen is quite large for a budget phone, coming in at 6.53-inches, and if that wasn’t enough the panel sports a full HD+ resolution as well. While it’s not rare to see a large 6.5-inch panel on a budget phone or a full HD+ resolution display, it is rare to see both.
There’s a water-drop notch on the top of the panel, which houses the 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.2 aperture lens.
One of the biggest upgrades for the phone is the use of MediaTek’s Helio G80 chipset which is a huge step up from the dated Snapdragon 439 SoC in the Redmi 8.
The Helio G80 is capable of running many games at medium and high and has already proven itself in phones that we’ve reviewed previously that rocked the chip.
Redmi is including a massive 5020mAh battery in the Redmi 9, though our previous experience with the G80 tells us that the bigger than average battery might be needed.
All in all the Redmi 9 has a lot of great things going for it, especially at the price that Xiaomi is asking for.
The Redmi 9 starts at Php 6,990 for the 3GB/32GB model and Php 7,490 for the 4GB/64GB variant.