Redmi 9 Prime Review: The Best Phone You Can Get For Below Rs. 10,000

Karamchand Rameshwar - Dec 16, 2020

Redmi 9 Prime Review: The Best Phone You Can Get For Below Rs. 10,000

The Redmi 9 Prime is definitely one of the best smartphones in the sub-Rs. 10,000 segment, but you might need to consider a few things before purchasing the phone.

After several years, Xiaomi has finally brought back the ‘Prime’ series with the launch of the Redmi 9 Prime. But why did Xiaomi decide to bring such an old series back? The reason most likely is that Xiaomi feels like the Prime series is a perfect offering positioned between the budget Redmi and Redmi Note lineups. 

Redmi 9 Prime Review 2
Redmi 9 Prime review

On paper, it is one of the best smartphones under 10000 at the moment, but it does have some weaknesses like subpar cameras or bloatware. If these two are not your concerns, then you are looking at a smartphone that has pretty much best-in-class features.

Redmi 9 Prime: Price in India

  • 4GB + 64GB: Rs 9,999
  • 4GB + 128GB: Rs 11,999

The Redmi 9 Prime price in India starts at Rs. 9,999 for the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage option. You can also get the top option with 128GB storage for Rs. 11,999. The handset comes in several color models like Sunrise Flare, Matte Black, Mint Green, and Space Blue. 

Redmi 9 Prime: Design

The Redmi 9 and 9 Prime look pretty similar to each other. The 9 Prime features a 6.53” display with a water-drop notch up top. Even though the side bezels surrounding the display are pretty thick, it is pretty common for phones at the price point. With a 5,020 mAh battery, it is pretty heavy with a weight of 198 grams. However, Xiaomi did curve the frame on the sides, making the handset more comfortable to hold on hands. 

Redmi 9 Prime: Display

The 6.53-inch display of the 9 Prime supports Full-HD+ (1,080 x 2,340p) resolution. Despite its affordable price tag, I was pretty happy with the phone’s screen as it displays crisp colors, making it a top pick for those who love to watch movies, videos or play mobile games. Obviously, it isn’t an AMOLED panel, so you should not expect the screen to be sharp or smooth, but I doubt you can find a better option in the segment.

Redmi 9 Prime Review 1
You might struggle using the Redmi 9 Prime in direct sunlight.

One weakness in this department is outdoor visibility. The peak brightness of the phone is 400 nits, so you might struggle to text or read in direct sunlight.

Redmi 9 Prime: Cameras

The Redmi 9 Prime’s quad-camera setup includes a 13MP main sensor, an 8MP wide-angle lens, a 2MP portrait camera, and a 5MP macro camera. This setup is pretty decent for the entry-level option of the Redmi 9 Prime with a Rs. 9,999 price tag. However, if you grab the 4GB + 128GB model for Rs. 11,999, you might have a better choice if cameras are your concern. For instance, the Redmi Note 9 and Realme Narzo 10 are certainly better on paper as they both feature a 48MP main camera.

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Redmi 9 Prime's quad rear cameras.

I find the camera app of the phone is basic and pretty easy to use. You can quickly access filters, HDR, and AI. You can boost colors in the output with the Pro Colour feature. In addition, you can use the Pro shooting mode to get full control over camera settings. For selfies and video calls, you get a single 13MP camera on the front. 

The cameras were quick to focus on the subject and the integrated AI was also quick to recognize scenes. In good lighting conditions, the device delivered decent outcomes and managed to get the correct exposure with good detail. You might notice that the colors were slightly boosted if you captured photos with the main camera. That is not the case for the wide-angle lens, but the photos will have a lower resolution. In addition, the wide-angle camera offers you a wider viewing angle but worse detail. 

Here are some camera samples taken by the Redmi 9 Prime:

Redmi 9 Prime Camera Sample 5

Redmi 9 Prime Camera Sample 6

Redmi 9 Prime Camera Sample 7

Redmi 9 Prime Camera Sample 1

Redmi 9 Prime Camera Sample 4

Redmi 9 Prime Camera Sample 2

Redmi 9 Prime Camera Sample 3

Redmi 9 Prime: Performance

The Redmi 9 Prime draws power from the Helio G80 SoC, similar to the Realme Narzo 10. The chipset is claimed to offer a smooth gaming performance on budget smartphones and we have already seen what the chipset can do on the Realme Narzo 10. On Geekbench, the handset got 365 points in the single-core test and 1,340 points in the multi-core test while it scored 198,612 points on AnTuTu. Both benchmark scores are good for a budget phone.

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The performance of  the 9 Prime is great for a budget smartphone.

In real-world usage, the device runs pretty well. We found browsing and scrolling apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to be quite smooth. With 4GB of RAM, the handset is capable of handling multitasking, though we still noticed some stutters, especially while gaming.

In case you are wondering, the Redmi 9 Prime can run PUBG Mobile at HD+ High graphics settings. The game looks great for a smartphone at the price point and there weren’t many stutters or lags at the first hour of playing. However, you might notice a slight reduction in the performance when the handset gets warmer.

Redmi 9 Prime: Battery

Battery life is one of the strengths of the Redmi 9 Prime. Featuring a 5,020 mAh battery, the handset is able to last through the day easily with moderate to heavy usage. After spending around 50 minutes playing PUBG Mobile, I saw a 10 percent drop in battery life, which is quite good. The handset also has an impressive standby time. 14 hours is what the Redmi 9 Prime achieved in the PCMark battery drain test.

With a beefy battery, the Redmi 9 Prime certainly takes more time to charge than phones with a 4,000 mAh battery. However, thanks to the 18W fast charging support, it is significantly reduced. Sadly, Redmi only packs a 10W charger with the phone. That means you have to purchase an 18W adapter separately or else you will have to wait around three hours to charge the smartphone. 

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