Redmi Note 9S Review – Xiaomi did it again! Almost...
Redmi Note 9S review – Xiaomi did it!
Redmi Note 9S is a new state employee from a well-known Chinese manufacturer, which should replace the previous leader in the budget segment, Redmi Note 8 Pro. Under this name, a smartphone is sold in our countries, which in India is known as Note 9 Pro. Versions of Note 9 and Note 9 Pro have not yet gone on sale, and this will most likely not happen until May.
In fairness, Note 9S should compete more with Redmi Note 8, and the direct successor of Redmi Note 8 Pro is Redmi Note 9 Pro, however, due to the fact that other models of the Redmi Note 9 line have not yet gone on sale, we compare this device with Note 8 pro.
Redmi Note 9 Pro received a glass back panel, but did without the already annoying patterns under the glass, so no zigzags, no waves, no flames or its gradients are just a calm expanse of tempered glass. Restraint and style are great, but without a case it’s still impossible: the surface is instantly covered with fingerprints.
Fortunately, the manufacturer left a transparent silicone case in the kit, and also immediately pasted a normal film on the screen - you can safely search, select and order alternative protection using your own.
Also in the kit, as always, there is a clip for the SIM card tray and a memory card, documentation, a type-C cable and a power supply. The latter, by the way, has a power of 22.5W, which is somewhat illogical: the smartphone itself only supports fast charging at 18W, so why a “reinforced” unit?
The front camera is right on the screen - stylish, fashionable, youthful, looks neater than a “drop”, but the problems are still the same: most games simply cut off the top strip of the screen, so there is some kind of reduction in the working area. If the “hole” in the screen interferes or distracts, it can be hidden by programmatically filling part of the screen with black.
The side edges are plastic, but this does not affect the overall feeling of the smartphone: due to the glass back panel, excellent assembly and the complete absence of any squeaks and backlashes, the device feels more expensive than it costs, and the fact that the vast majority of users will immediately hide it in the complete cover allows you to close your eyes to the plastic around the perimeter.
The huge IPS screen with FullHD+ resolution and 20:9 aspect ratio is no better or worse than its predecessor. This is not to say that it is great or disgusting - it's just an ordinary screen for a budget smartphone. The refresh rate is standard - 60 hertz. Switching to it from, say, Realme 6 with its 90Hz is a little painful, but for those who have not known the delights of 90Hz, there will be no discomfort. The colors are bright, juicy, the viewing angles are decent – in general, everything is as it should be, but nothing more.
Redmi Note 9S runs Android 10 with MIUI 11 skin.
Redmi's problem is as old as the world (or rather, as Xiaomi) - at the start, the shell is frankly damp. From time to time, friezes come out where they should not be, but knowing the history of the company, this will be corrected in the next updates. Those who have been sitting on Xiaomi for a long time are familiar with this problem, but new users may be a little disappointed if they notice these microlags at all.
Perhaps the main feature of this device is the latest Snapdragon 720G processor. For a state employee costing less than $ 200, this is really cool. Really heavy game ShadowGun Legends runs on ultra-graphics settings and averages 41FPS with rare drawdowns up to 27fps. If you use just high settings, there are no problems with drawdowns at all, moreover, this processor practically does not throttle. There is no need to talk about simpler games, including the still popular PUBG - the processor drags without problems at any settings.
The trouble is that the device heats up so badly, especially the front part. 46 degrees is, of course, not critical, but not particularly comfortable either. The back in the camera area heats up to 43 degrees, so on long winter evenings you can sit without a heating pad - the battery would be enough.
By the way, about the battery. The battery capacity of Note 9S is 5000mAh. For most people, this is likely to be enough for two days, and more active users are unlikely to run to look for a charger before late in the evening. But the “weak” charging at 18W is somewhat sad: in half an hour the device is charged by only 30%, and charging up to 100% will take more than two hours.
But, in fact, this is not so important, because most users simply leave the smartphone on charge for the night, and in our tedious autonomy test, the device lasted a whopping 9 hours and 19 minutes, beating the previous leader among Xiaomi, the giant Mi Max 3, by 34 minutes.
The device exists in two versions: 4/64 and 6/128GB. The younger version at the moment will be quite enough for most needs, and music, photos and videos can be stored on a memory card, but in 2020 it’s already quite possible to say that 4 gigabytes of RAM is the very necessary minimum with which a smartphone can be comfortable enjoy. However, more active users should overpay for the older version: the internal memory, of course, can be expanded if necessary with a memory card, but this will not work with the operational one. So for those who use several instant messengers for one purpose or another, do not have the habit of closing all active tabs in the browser, and also prefer to cut into toys to the music, it is better to prefer a device with a lot of RAM.
The previous Redmik became famous as the best camera among state employees, able to compete even with the flagships of A-brands. It's worth seeing how the Redmi Note 9S performs.
The main camera module received a resolution of 48 megapixels. Considering the trend towards installation on state employees, a 64-megapixel camera is somewhat strange, but if you remember that this is the “younger” version in the line that is not equipped with an NFC module, this decision is quite understandable: if you want everything at once, wait for the older one and get and a processor from Qualcomm, and NFC, and a cooler camera.
Let's go back to our Note 9S and compare it with the top-end predecessor Note 8 Pro and direct competitor Realme 6.
In daylight and with the HDR mode turned on, the subject is expectedly inferior to its predecessor in detail, but in terms of color reproduction, all devices are plus or minus the same. In 48 megapixel mode, the 9S is expected to fall behind the 64 megapixel Note 8 Pro once again – our device is even sharper than the Realme 6.
However, the Note 9S surprisingly outperforms both competitors in ultra-wide-angle shooting, shooting both sharper and overall more enjoyable. A good trend, despite the relative lack of demand for this module.
The 16-megapixel front camera in daylight was inferior to the front camera from Realme, but bypassed last year's device both in detail and in overall image quality.
In low light conditions, Note 9S merges competitors: Note 8 Pro is better in all respects, and Realme bypasses Note 9S in dynamic range, but the difference is not as critical as with last year's redmick.
But if you take Note 8 Pro out of the equation, there is healthy competition between Note 9S and Realme 6: Redmi is better at something, Realme is better at something, so it’s impossible to single out a clear leader - they have about the same level.
When shooting video, all three devices are approximately on the same level: there is stabilization only in HD mode, when you turn on the shooting mode in 4K, it is absent, the sound is also written plus or minus the same way.
If you don’t quibble, Redmi Note 9S takes pretty decent pictures and shoots, those who are looking for a standalone conditionally gaming device for little money are unlikely to be shaking over every pixel of the photo, and if you need a camera phone, you should pay attention to other models, at least to last year's Note 8 Pro, or even in a different price segment. For his money, redmick shoots very worthily, so there will definitely be no problems with posting photos in social networks.
Redmi Note 9S has a number of advantages and disadvantages that have been characteristic of the Redmi line for almost the entire history of its existence.
In particular, the smartphone has retained the infrared port, headphone jack and a single multimedia speaker that sounds loud enough to not miss a call, but not clear enough to enjoy listening to music through it.
In addition, the device is “traditionally” devoid of the NFC module, which is so much in demand in our time, which, in fact, indicates that it did not become a direct successor to the Redmi Note 8 Pro and is one of the younger versions in the ninth line.
But kinesthetics have something to rejoice at: the Note 9S vibration motor responds much more pleasantly than most state employees, which also seems like a good trend.
The lack of fast charging is not critical due to the presence of a capacious battery, and the weight of the device remains within reason: it weighs only 208 grams.
Well, great news for users of two SIM cards: the Note 9S has a “royal” tray for two SIM cards and a memory card, so you won’t have to be smart with adapters and “sandwiches”. I would like such trays to become the accepted norm, as the type-C connector becomes it.
Another feature of this model is the fingerprint scanner, located on the side of the smartphone, in the power button. It works clearly and quickly - certainly much faster than under-screen scanners in devices of this price segment, and it looks, perhaps, more aesthetically pleasing than the scanner on the back cover. Well, whether it is convenient - everyone decides for himself.
Redmi Note 9S is a well-balanced smartphone that can suit most users. It has a good camera for its price, a solid design, a powerful processor, a good amount of internal memory with the possibility of expansion and an acceptable weight. However, the absence of an NFC module can stop many and force them to wait for its “big brother”, which will cost more, but will offer, in fact, everything the same.
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