Gadgets

Redmi Note 9S Review: Ideal Mid-ranger

The Redmi Note 9S offers excellent value for your money and is a solid mid-range device with upgraded features and a much more powerful chipset.

Probably one of the most well-known series of smartphones in the affordable smartphone segment, The Redmi Note have been the go-to device giving you the best bang for your buck compared to every other device in its price range.

The latest offering in the series, the Redmi Note 9S was launched online in March 2020 and packs a number of features. While it is not a direct successor to the impressive Redmi Note 8 Pro, it definitely offers a huge upgrade from the Redmi Note 8.

Redmi Note 9S Specifications

CPU:Snapdragon 720G (2 x Kryo 465 Gold @ 2.3 GHz + 6 x Kryo 465 Silver @ 1.8 GHz), 8nm
GPU:Adreno 618 @ 750 MHz
RAM:4GB / 6GB LPDDR4x
Display:6.67″ FHD+ (2400 x 1080), IPS LCD, 91% screen-to-body ratio
Storage:64GB UFS 2.1 (expandable via microSD)
Camera:Main Camera(s)
48MP f/1.79 ISOCELL GM2 + 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle camera + 5MP f/2.4 macro camera + 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor
Night Mode, AI scene detection, auto HDR, portrait mode, Beautify, ultra-wide angle distortion correction, 1080p60/4K30 video, up to 1080p120/720p960 slow-mo

Front Camera
16MP f/2.48
AI Beauty, AI Portrait, AI scene detection, 1080p30 video, 120 fps slow-mo selfie
OS:MIUI 11 based on Android 10
Connectivity:LTE Band 1/3/4/5/7/8/20/28/38/40
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
SIM:Dual SIM (dedicated dual SIM)
Battery:Li-Po 5020 mAh (non-removable)
18W fast charging (USB-C)
Dimensions:165.75 x 76.68 x 8.8 mm
Weight:209 g
Protection:No IP rating, P2i splash-proof nano-coating

Packaging

The Redmi Note 9S comes in a well-designed box with a 22.5W fast charger, a complimentary case, a USB-C charging cable, the SIM ejector tool and also the usual documentation.

Design & Build

The Redmi Note 9S comes with a Snapdragon 720G processor and up to 6GB of RAM + 128GB of internal storage. if you need more storage you can expand it further with a microSD card. The good part is it features a triple card tray so you can put two SIMs and a microSD card.

There are three official colors to choose from – Aurora Blue, Glacier White & Interstellar Grey. The model we have is the Aurora Blue base model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

While the design feels solid enough, Redmi went with a plastic frame again, but thankfully matte finish gives it a premium finish.

The phone uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on both front and the back sides of the device and is splash-proof with its nano-coating (not IP-rated however). It has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor on the right, the scanner itself is precise and responsive. The phone also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can use your wired headphones.

The camera system on this phone is a versatile quad camera setup offering a 48MP wide camera, a 8MP ultra-wide camera, a 5MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor.

The Redmi Note 9S comes with 5,020 mAh battery inside with support for 18W fast-charging – although the charger that comes with it is 22.5W for some reason.

Display

The display is a sharp 6.67” IPS LCD panel offering Full HD+ resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate with good viewing angles. With a 395PPI pixel density, the display has decent colors and contrast but when it comes to brightness, it’s not that great. While it is good enough for indoor use, you may find it difficult to view while outdoors even at full brightness.

The main difference from the Redmi Note 8 is the new punch-hole camera design on the Redmi Note 9S, instead of the notch. A dark mode is also available in the settings which turns compatible apps to black for more comfortable viewing and conserve battery power.

Most mid-range chipsets won’t actually support 90 Hz in the popular games and it’s the same with this device. However, the Redmi Note 9S has abigger display that’s larger than its competitors which helps when it comes to gaming

Camera

Redmi Note 9S review
Redmi Note 9S Camera Setup

The Note 9S features four rear cameras are housed in a large square camera module. The main camera is a 48-megaxpixel shooter that uses a Samsung image sensor. There is also a 8MP ultra-wide camera, a depth sensor for portrait shots and a macro camera for close-up photography.

The 48MP main camera shoots at 12MP by default thanks to pixel binning and images turn out sharp under enough lighting conditions. The photo quality is pretty good for a phone at this price point but still lacks in low-light situations. Photos often end up hazy with a lot of noise.

The camera app offers you the option to zoom in at 2X, but it’s digital zoom and the quality drop is very noticeable.

The ultra-wide camera offers only a fixed focus mode so you really can’t expect too much. However, the AI mode tunes up the colour if you’re not into editing your photos.

The macro camera is worthy of praise – under good lighting you can get some nice close up shots with a decent amount of detail, but when the lighting dips down a bit, it gets noisy. The macro camera also features autofocus, which is not something you often find even among flagship devices, and it definitely helps.

Though the Note 9S offers a night mode, the resulting images are only moderately better than the standard photo mode.

Performance & Battery

Powered by the Snapdragon 720G chipset, The Redmi Note 9S runs MIUI 11 on top of Android 10 for a smooth and reactive UI.

This phone is going to be sufficient for many of the games that we’ve tested. It ran games like PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9 at with little to no issues.

With a massive 5,020mAh battery, the Redmi Note 9S managed to last for 20 hours, lasting us almost an entire day of gaming, video playback. Getting it fully juiced from 20% took us a little more than an hour.  For some reason, Xiaomi included a 22.5W charger in the box even though the Redmi Note 9S can only charge at 18W maximum.

8

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S

The Redmi Note 9S offers excellent value for your money and is a solid mid-range device with upgraded features, faster charging, a much bigger battery, a bigger screen, and a much more powerful chipset. However, we suggest spending a little extra and getting the 6GB version for better experience and long term use.

THE GOOD
THE BAD

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