Xiaomi Mi 9 Summary

Xiaomi has been known for making budget-friendly products with great value. Over the last five years, the Chinese manufacturer has shown that it is absolutely capable of dominating the smartphone market. Although we have seen other brands attempt to copy Xiaomi’s strategy, no company has been as successful.

The smartphone was launched in March 2019. Xiaomi brings to the Mi 9 several important upgrades, making it a great flagship while still being affordable.

The Mi 9 has many new features onboard. It is the first phone of Xiaomi that has three rear cameras. 20W wireless charging is also available. The Mi 9 is also the first Xiaomi smartphone to use Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset. Considering the fact that you get to have the same hardware as Samsung’s Galaxy S10+ but a half the cost is an exciting experience.

Display

Back in 2016, Xiaomi decided to go with a metal-and-glass design for its Mi series. And the Mi 9 sees a revolution in terms of design. The smartphone has flowing curves along with rounded corners. And it feels great when holding the phone in-hand. While the design isn’t new, the Mi 9 comes in different color options.

The Mi 9 has an interesting gradient element. The Lavender Violet and Ocean Blue color options offer a gradient effect switching between various hues that are based on how the light is reflected off the glass. However, if you are not a fan of that, you can go with the Piano Black model. Similar to the Mi 8 Pro, the Mi 9 also comes with a variant that has a transparent back, which is pretty cool.

The key design is the minimal bezels and the tiny dewdrop notch at the bottom. Compared to the Mi 8, the Mi 9 is just marginally taller while offering a bigger 6.39-inch display. Gorilla Glass 6 is used to protect the Super AMOLED screen. And with the thin bezels, the device has a screen-to-body ratio of 90%. The smartphone has one of the best panels in this category, offering excellent color accuracy and contrast. And with its price, you get a more than adequate FHD+ resolution. While it can’t be as high-res or vibrant as recent Samsung Galaxy device, you still have a fantastic offering.

The brightness is enough to use under harsh sunlight. You can adjust the color temperature, from the default, to cool or warm. There is a mode called Increased contrast to boost the panel’s contrast. There is also a Reading mode that ramps up the warmth so that your eyes won’t be strained when reading at night. You can wake the screen by double-tap or use a raise-to-wake toggle.

There is also an ambient display mode showing notification icons and time on the lock screen even when the display isn’t on. You can select different clock faces, set a schedule so it’s disabled at night.

Chip

The Mi 9 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. And the performance is as fluid as the Snapdragon 845. Somehow, Qualcomm has managed to give the CPU a huge 40% performance boost and the GPU a 20% boost.

With its Snapdragon 855 chipset, Qualcomm switched to using a 1+3+4 design, with one 2.84GHz Kryo 485 Gold core, three 2.42GHz Kryo 485 Gold, and four 1.8GHz Kryo 485 Silver cores that are energy-efficient.

By switching to the 7nm mode, things are more energy-efficient. As a result, Snapdragon 855 is one of the fastest chipsets. It can easily defeat the Kirin 980 from HiSilion in most synthetic benchmarks. The fact that you are able to get this chipset at an affordable price is crazy.

Thanks to the Adreno 640, gaming on the Mi 9 was a delight. The phone comes with a Game Turbo feature that allows you to easily access recording options while you are still playing a game.

RAM

The standard version the Mi 9 has 6GB of RAM with 64GB of internal storage. You can also go with a model that offers 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB internal storage. There is also a version that has 12GB of RAM but it is only sold in the Chinese market. Similar to other Mi flagships, the Mi 9 doesn’t have a MicroSD slot. However, there is a dual SIM card tray.

Battery

Compared to its predecessor, the Mi 9 comes with a smaller battery. However, it is still able to last for a whole day. In 2018, Xiaomi started hopping on the bandwagon for wireless charging. The Mi 9 is the brand’s first phone to have 20W wireless charging with the help of a charging mat launched alongside the smartphone. With the charging mat, you can boost the battery of the smartphone to 40% in just 30 minutes while a full charge only takes less than 90 minutes.

The wall plug that comes with the charging mat also acts as a 27W wired charger with a feature called Charge Turbo. When charging in wired mode, you can charge up the battery of the smartphone by 70% in a little more than 30 minutes. A full charge takes only 70 minutes. While charging wirelessly, the smartphone doesn’t get uncommonly hot while the wire 27W charging mode heats up the phone much more.

Camera

The highlight feature of the Mi 9 is its camera set up at the back. It is Xiaomi’s first phone to have three rear cameras. There is a 48MP primary camera, a 16MP ultra-wide lens as well as a 12Mp telephoto sensor offering 2x optical zoom.

The primary camera delivers 12MP photos using pixel binning that allows the sensor to take in more detail while reducing noise. On the front, you have a 20MP selfie camera. The Mi9 doesn’t come with Xiaomi’s 4-axis stabilization. No camera of the Mi 9 has optical image stabilization, thus affecting the smartphone’s final image quality.

In recent years, Xiaomi has been focusing on computational photography. In the viewfinder of the Mi 9, you can find an AI toggle. Once you turn it on, it will automatically enhance the colors depending on the scene. In the final output, you can notice a visible difference.

The camera interface hasn’t changed much. Swipe left and right when you want to switch between different shooting modes. There are toggles for flash, HDR, filters, AI, wide-angle mode, and beauty effects.

There is a dedicated button to go to wide-angle mode. There is also a 48MP mode and a night mode to take photos in low-light conditions as well. If you want to adjust exposure settings and white balance yourself, there is a pro mode for that.

In daylight conditions, the photos look incredible with lots of detail, accurate colors, and great dynamic range. Even when you enable the AI mode, the photos don’t look oversaturated. When you switch to use the 2x zoom lens, there is some noise but still plenty of detail. Decent shots are produced by the wide-angle shooter.

Even in low-light conditions, the primary camera still manages to deliver fantastic photos. The dedicated night mode can bring out detail even in significantly limited lighting situations.

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Xiaomi Mi 9 Full Specifications

Price
  • Dollas $388
  • Rupee ₹31790
network
expand
  • Technology GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE
  • 2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2
  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41 - China
  • 3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100
  • 4G bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 20, 28, 38, 39, 40 - Global
  • Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (5CA) Cat18 1200/150 Mbps
launch
  • Announced 2019, February
  • Status Available. Released 2019, March
body
  • Dimensions 157.5 x 74.7 x 7.6 mm (6.20 x 2.94 x 0.30 in)
  • Weight 173 g (6.10 oz)
  • Build Glass front (Gorilla Glass 6), glass back (Gorilla Glass 5), aluminum frame
  • SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
display
  • Type Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Size 6.39 inches, 100.2 cm2 (~85.2% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~403 ppi density)
  • Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 6
  • HDR10
platform
  • OS Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 10.0; MIUI 11
  • Chipset Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm)
  • CPU Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.78 GHz Kryo 485)
  • GPU Adreno 640
memory
  • Card slot No
  • Internal 64GB 6GB RAM, 64GB 8GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM
  • UFS 2.1
main camera
  • Modules 48 MP, f/1.8, 27mm (wide), 1/2.0", 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF 12 MP, f/2.2, 54mm (telephoto), 1/3.6", 1.0µm, PDAF, 2x optical zoom 16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.0", 1.0µm, PDAF
  • Features Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama
  • Video 2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/120/240fps, 1080p@960fps
selfie camera
  • Modules 20 MP, f/2.0, (wide), 1/3", 0.9µm
  • Features HDR
  • Video 1080p@30fps
sound
  • Loudspeaker Yes
  • 3.5mm jack No
comms
  • WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
  • Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
  • GPS Yes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
  • NFC Yes
  • Infrared port Yes
  • Radio No
  • USB 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go
features
  • Sensors Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
battery
  • Non-removable Li-Po 3300 mAh battery
  • Charging Fast charging 27W Quick Charge 4+ Fast wireless charging 20W
misc
  • Colors Lavender Violet, Ocean Blue, Piano Black
  • Models M1902F1G
  • SAR 0.99 W/kg (head)     1.04 W/kg (body)    
  • SAR EU 1.39 W/kg (head)     1.30 W/kg (body)    
tests
  • Performance AnTuTu: 372006 (v7) GeekBench: 11181 (v4.4) GFXBench: 35fps (ES 3.1 onscreen)
  • Display Contrast ratio: Infinite (nominal), 3.921 (sunlight)
  • Camera Photo
  • Loudspeaker Voice 70dB / Noise 74dB / Ring 81dB
  • Audio quality Noise -93.9dB / Crosstalk -91.9dB
  • Battery life Endurance rating 95h