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Redmi Note 9S review: the best buy of 2020?

redmi note 9 - package package

Xiaomi did it again? Have you made another smartphone that could be the best buy of the year? Over the past few years Xiaomi, with the Redmi Note series, has made a brace of consecutive best buys: in 2018 we succeeded with Redmi Note 7, in 2019 with Redmi Note 8, will it have succeeded in 2020 with Redmi Note 9S? Let's find out in the full review of Redmi Note 9S.

Video review Redmi Note 9S

package

redmi note 9 - package package

The features of the Xiaomi devices are always complete with everything you need, that of Redmi Note 9s is no exception. Inside the box we find: a 22.5W USB charger compatible with the fast charging, a USB-USB Type C cable and a useful one cover transparent silicone. The cover is not of the highest quality but helps protect the exposed camera, but let's talk about this later. A smartphone is applied film, this unfortunately of questionable quality and crawls all too easily, still remains a useful addition. If you want to better protect Redmi Note 9S I recommend you read our guide on the best covers and films for Redmi Note 9S.

Construction and ergonomics

redmi note 9 -retro

From the first moment we realize that Redmi Note 9S one beautiful and well-made smartphone with a single flaw found in the highly exposed rear camera.

There construction really very good. Thanks toaluminum used in the side frame et al glass used for screen and back cover, the smartphone is very solid and beautiful and pleasant to hold. The glass used Gorilla Glass 5: good resistance, less the oleophobic treatment. Screen and back cover tend to collect a lot of fingerprints and you will often find yourself having to clean both sides of the device. Lergonomics enough, but now we have become accustomed to the large size trend for a few years. The smartphone has an elongated shape and fairly important dimensions, it is difficult to grasp with one hand, but at least it is not slippery. The dimensions and weight are in the category average: i 165.5 x 76.68 x 8.8mm for a weight of 209 grams.

The modern design and quite aligned with current smartphones. The differentiation points are to be found in the rear camera, the power button and the front hole. The rear camera has a square shape in a central position that gives harmony and balance to the back cover. The photo block for quite exposed and makes the device highly shaky when laid on flat surfaces. I was pleasantly impressed by the power button equipped with a fingerprint sensor, the convenient button to press, easy to find thanks to the practical groove and the fingerprint sensor works almost perfectly, even if it does not have an instant speed. The side sensor is comfortable and effective, more intuitive, precise and easy to find than the sensors hidden under the display, he convinced me. The front camera hidden in a small one central hole, you don't notice much and user friendly when using the device. The rest of the design is that of a classic smartphone: slot for two NanoSIM and microSD on the left, volume rocker on the right, in the lower part 3.5 mm audio jack, USB TypeC port and speaker, in the upper part capsule with LED of notification, usual proximity and brightness sensors, microphone and infrared port.

Note aside the colors, for our tests we used the green / aqua blue version (Aurora Blue) which is really very beautiful and able by itself to give character and strength to the product design. Redmi Note 9S available in three different colors: Glacier White, Interstellar Black and Aurora Blue

Hardware and performance

redmi note 9 - construction and ergonomics

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S has a good hardware compartment consisting of a Qualcomm octa core processor Snapdragon 720G, Adreno A618 GPU, 4 or 6 GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 64 or 128 GB of UFS 2.1 internal memory expandable via microSD.

The performance during a classic daily use of smartphones they are really good and we have never encountered lag problems or slowdowns, only some uncertainty in phases of greater workload. The performances are therefore on average with other devices of the same range and are largely sufficient for an intense use of the smartphone.

The system is always fluid and quick, thanks also to MIUI optimizations. The opening of the app and the uploads take place fairly quickly.

Performance remains good also in the sector gaming. We concentrated our tests on heavy games such as Real Racing 3, Fortnite, Call of duty and Asphalt 9. In all cases we managed to get good performance and smooth gaming with medium-high graphics settings. The overheating of the smartphone is average and is not annoying or problematic, except after long gaming sessions.

Audio and connectivity

redmi note 9 - lower side

The audio sector composed of stereo speaker, positioned in the lower part, which guarantees a sound of good quality and a good maximum volume, even if a little lacking in the bass. The ear capsule works well and with clear voices and an excellent maximum volume. Lheadphone audio, both via 3.5 mm audio jack and Bluetooth, of very good quality. To remember the presence of the Notification LED nestled inside the ear capsule, small but bright enough to do its job well. During my tests I found some problems with the proximity sensor, I sometimes happened to find the active screen on call and to press on the touch with the cheek (I expect that the problem will be fixed with a software update).

The part connectivity it left me perplexed. The my Redmi Note 9S subject to a WiFi connection stability problem, which supports Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac Dual Band. In fact, leaving the smartphone in standby the connection remains active but does not transmit with the consequent loss of notifications and data. It is enough to wait about fifteen seconds to see the wifi reactivate and return to work properly on its own, but you need to unlock the phone and open an app that requires a connection. This problem appears to be widespread in Europe and should be resolved soon with a software update.

The WiFi connection is accompanied by Bluetooth 5.0, GPS / A-GPS / Glonass / Beidou / Galileo, infrared sensor for the remote control function and FM radio. Bluetooth and positioning work very well, guarantee stable connections and very precise positioning.

redmi note 9 -slot sim and microsd

Redmi Note 9S equipped with Dual SIM with Dual Standby able to take full advantage of the 4G LTE thanks to the support of band 20. During my tests I found no problems with the connection, the quality of the reception was always excellent and the quality of the audio on call was always more than satisfactory.

To unlock the phone Redmi Note 9S has unlocking with the face and fingerprint sensor. The facial release relies on the front camera. The facial recognition is the standard Android one, fast with good light but not very precise and reliable with decreasing brightness, until it becomes unusable in the dark. The sensor for the Fingerprints located on the right side of the smartphone, very convenient position to reach, a little less for the mancini, and works very well, really precise and recognizes the fingerprint 95% of the time, not for very fast and there is always an instant of waiting before the device is unlocked.

The big lack by Redmi Note 9S lNFC. At a time when contactless payments are in widespread use it could be a pleasant addition. It will be included in the Pro version.

Display

redmi note 9 -display

Screens are the components that have improved the most in recent years on Xiaomi devices. Redmi Note 9S has a display 6.67 inch LCD with relationship 20: 9 and termination FullHD +, 2400 x 1080 pixels, support for HDR10 and 450nit brightness.

The screen has a panel very bright, with bright and well calibrated colors and a good level of contrast. The good brightness ensures excellent readability outdoors, even in sunlight. The response of the automatic brightness is well calibrated and fast. The elongated shape of the panel makes it ideal for enjoying streaming movies and TV series and makes it very comfortable for gaming. In these modes of use, the hole in the centered camera is hardly noticeable and seems to almost disappear when you focus on viewing in the central part of the screen.

Streaming video in High Definition thanks to Widevine L1 certification that will allow us to enjoy Full HD on Netflix, Prime Video, Disney + and Youtube.

Camera

Redmi Note 9S differs from the mass of mid-range products thanks to an excellent quadruple camera. There quad camera, equipped with single tone LED flash and 10X digital zoom, consisting of:

  • 48 MP main sensor, f / 1.79 aperture and PDAF autofocus
  • 8 MP wide angle sensor with 119 angle of view and f / 2.2 aperture
  • 5 MP macro sensor with f / 2.4 aperture
  • 2 MP depth of field sensor

redmi note 9 - rear camera detail

The shots taken bymain optic they are really good, with a good level of brightness, fairly precise and well balanced colors and a good level of detail. You can also shoot using HDR and AI that improve, although slightly, the shades of the shots. The images taken during the day are of higher quality than those made by devices of the same price range. Photos taken in the dark, using the night mode and a good steady hand are sufficient but there is a loss of quality. In photos taken in the dark, the greatest risk is to get slightly blurred photos, in this case you may have to repeat the shot keeping your hand steadier, or relying on a support or an easel.

Lwide angle opticsand allows you to take very good photos, even if of a lower quality than the main camera, with a good level of detail. The photos are easily usable for your social networks, the ones taken at night are less good. Lmacro optics allows you to take shots with a 2x detail, a function that I do not find particularly useful but that could be useful to someone. The photos taken in this mode are good and with precise details and good colors.

Overall, the bokeh effect with both cameras is good, with good focus on the faces and good blur. All perfect for selfies to be posted on social media.

With the rear camera can shoot 4K video at 30 fps of fair quality. In FullHD you get good videos with good color balance and more than enough electronic stabilization.

There front camera, hidden in the small hole of which we have already spoken, equipped with a sensor from 16 MP with opening f / 2.5. The photos taken from this perspective are more than enough, perfect for social media, even if the colors are not really realistic with a strange patina effect.

During the tests I tried to install the Google Camera to compare the Xiaomi lapk shots. I must say that with Google Camera the overall quality of the photos improves slightly and you get shots with better balanced colors and better contrasts and details. This applies to both the main and front cameras. In this case, for you must have a steady hand during shooting, the slightly longer exposure time and the risk of having blurred or blurred shots increases considerably.

Software

The Redmi Note 9S based operating system Android 10 with customization MIUI 11. Xiaomi's software and graphic customizations continue to convince for quality, fluidity and completeness. The graphical aspect of the operating system is really well done, with the possibility of using the light or dark mode and ample possibilities for customization. Appreciable gestures, the presence of gaming mode, display customizations, second space functions, dual apps and those relating to security.

MIUI 11 continues to prove to be one of the best Android customizations available today, but not yet at the level of Android stock or the One UI Samsung. In my only opinion there are still two small flaws to fix: the absence of the application drawer and the number of apps pre-installed on the first start. As for the drawer, it may be appropriate to insert the possibility of using it, without having to resort to another launcher. Not all users, myself included, are comfortable with an iPhone-style launcher. While the pre-installed apps, not useful, are in my opinion too many, and I don't understand the usefulness of pre-installing social networks such as Facebook and TikTok, easily installed by an interested user, and games of fair quality that most users will never open.

Battery

The battery of the Redmi Note 9S it amazed me. Under the glass shell there is one 5020 mAh battery which supports fast charging at 18W and which allows you to have aexcellent autonomy, mainly thanks to software optimization. During my two weeks of testing I had more or less demanding days in terms of stress use, but in any case I always managed to get to a day and a half of use, in some cases even two full days. In the various charging tranches I almost touched the 9 hours of the screen and I never went below 6 and a half hours.

With a basic use of the smartphone you get to the first day of use with over 50% of battery remaining, this allows us to arrive safely even at the end of the second day without having to recharge. The battery is therefore one of the strengths of the device and allows an average user to never have the thought of not being able to get to the end of the day.

Price

Redmi Note 9S on sale in the 4/64 version for 209 euros, in the 6/128 version for 239 euros. Extremely attractive prices and able to offer a crazy quality – price ratio. Given the little price difference between the two versions, I recommend you focus on the 6/128 model which guarantees slightly better performance and, above all, guarantees you a lot more memory for apps, photos and videos. Follow us on our Telegram channel for offers to stay updated on promotions and discounts and take advantage of any reduced prices for Redmi Note 9S.

Conclusions

redmi note 9s review

Redmi Note 9S a smartphone that convinced and amazed me!

Redmi Note 9S a smartphone that convinced me and amazed me (leaving out the problems with WiFi). C still some points to improve, such as the (physical) exposure of the rear camera, the dancer proximity sensor and the oleophobic treatment, but these are details of secondary importance that do not damage the overall quality of the device. The only real flaw is the absence of the NFC chip which in the era of contactless payments should now be present on all smartphones.

Turning to positives, I must admit that the Redmi Note 9S is a very beautiful, well-made smartphone with monstrous autonomy and a splendid display, an excellent software and a photographic sector at the top of its category. And the best buy of 2020? The answer s for 3 reasons:

  1. At the moment there are no competitors able to beat it in its price range.
  2. It has an unbeatable value for money.
  3. Maturer over time thanks to software updates

And the best buy of 2020? The answer is!

Pictures of Redmi Note 9S

Final judgement

Our opinion

Redmi Note 9S a smartphone that convinced me and amazed me (leaving out the problems with WiFi). C still some points to improve, such as the (physical) exposure of the rear camera, the dancer proximity sensor and the oleophobic treatment, but these are details of secondary importance that do not damage the overall quality of the device. The only real flaw is the absence of the NFC chip which in the era of contactless payments should now be present on all smartphones.

Turning to positives, I must admit that the Redmi Note 9S is a very beautiful, well-made smartphone with monstrous autonomy and a splendid display, an excellent software and a photographic sector at the top of its category. And the best buy of 2020? The answer s for 3 reasons:

  1. At the moment there are no competitors able to beat it in its price range.
  2. It has an unbeatable value for money.
  3. Maturer over time thanks to software updates