Review Price update: Xiaomi Mi 9 (6/64 GB) for $397.48 from Amazon

Xiaomi really wants to know it in 2019. After announcing at the beginning of the year that the “Redmi” brand had been built up independently and that the first foldable Xiaomi device had been leased, the industry is now being shown where to go. The Xiaomi Mi 9 proves that an extremely good top smartphone doesn’t have to cost as much as Samsung and Apple would like it to.

Xiaomi Mi 9 display from above

Technical data of the Xiaomi Mi 9

Display 6,39″ AMOLED Display (2340 x 1080p, 19.5:9 aspect ratio)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 @ 2,84 GHz
Graphic chip Adreno 640
Main memory 6/8/12 GB LPDDR4X RAM
Internal memory 64/128/256 GB UFS 2.1
Main camera 48 MP Sony IMX586 with ƒ/1.75 + 12 MP Tele camera with ƒ/2.2 + 16 MP Ultra wide angle with ƒ/2.2 (117° shooting angle)
Front camera Sony 20 MP with AI scene recognition & portrait mode, aperture ƒ/2.0
Battery 3.300 mAh with 27W Quick Charge 4+, wireless charging with 20W
Connectivity LTE Band 1,3,5,7,8,20, WLAN AC, GPS//BDS, Bluetooth 5.0, Dual SIM, Dual GPS, NFC
Features Fingerprint sensor in display | USB Type-C | Face Unlock | IR blaster
Operating system MIUI 10.2, Android 9
Dimensions / Weight 157.5 x 74.67 x 7.61 mm / 173 g

Packaging & Scope of delivery

Xiaomi likes to play with their packaging. After the predecessor, the Xiaomi Mi 8, still came in a rather plain black cardboard box, the silver packaging of the Xiaomi Mi 9 is already more conspicuous. At the front there is only the 9 and the Mi logo, where you do without the orange. A look at the page reveals the model name “Mi 9” and the version: in this case the Global version, which is once again identified by the red sticker.

Xiaomi Mi 9 packaging

In our case, the scope of delivery includes the 6/64 GB version of the Xiaomi Mi 9 in Piano Black, an 18W USB charger, a white USB type C cable, the SIM needle, a USB type C to 3.5 mm jack adapter, a dark but transparent silicone case as well as a warranty card and operating instructions. The 20W Qi charger is not included.

Front – Display

Apparently, as with the previous generation, the previous Mi Mix is the inspiration for the new flagship. Xiaomi relies on a 6.39 inch AMOLED display with FullHD+ resolution. The panel comes from Samsung and offers a strong contrast as well as a brightness of 600 nit. It comes with the currently popular 19.5:9 aspect ratio. This makes it comparable in size to the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3.

However, Xiaomi relies on the brand new Gorilla Glass 6 from Corning for the new Xiaomi Mi 9. This should be up to twice better than Gorilla Glass 5 and survive up to 15 falls from 1m height. The big difference is the solution of the “Notch problem” – more about that later.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Display Dark Mode

Back to the AMOLED display. Xiaomi gave the Mi 9 a little more attention than before. Finally, you now have a few options to customize it. Xiaomi provides various animations that can be displayed on the Always On screen. There’s also a Dark Mode now. Since AMOLED panels have a real black color and you largely do without white light in dark mode, you can save up to 83% power consumption in this mode as soon as you are at maximum brightness.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Always On Display
The Always On mode on the Mi 9 is more mature than ever!

Display quality

I think it’s the right step for Xiaomi to increasingly rely on AMOLED panels at least for their top models. I really like the display of the Xiaomi Mi 9. The colors of the panel are really strong, which already shows to advantage with standard MIUI backgrounds. In a direct comparison to the Pocophone F1, a visible difference can be seen here. I would also rate the brightness as good, although not very good. In order to interact “normally” with the mobile phone, one needs at least 20% of the maximum brightness in rooms, but I prefer about half of the maximum brightness here.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Display

There’s nothing wrong with the way it works, multitouch with up to 10 fingers is of course no problem. At very acute angles, a slight color shift can be seen into the green, but I wouldn’t see that as too critical a point. In contrast to the Honor View 20 for approximately $150 more, we don’t have any darkening at the edge of the screen. Nevertheless, the Samsung Galaxy S10 also has to be used as a comparison, against which the Mi 9 gets the short end in terms of display. Here Samsung is ahead, there is a bigger “wow effect”, even if the panel of the Mi 9 comes from Samsung.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Display Settings Always On Display
Numerous setting options for the display.

Xiaomi earns the extra points here with its many adjustment options. I would give the panel itself a “B” school grade, but with the new options of the Always On display, the dark mode and the color matching, the Xiaomi Mi 9 finally convinced me. I would only criticize the failure to have such options with the Notch.

Fingerprint sensor in the display

Xiaomi also has a fingerprint sensor built directly into the display this time. This is from the latest generation, but is again only concentrated on a certain area. In my opinion, it works well overall. The speed is still not on the level of a “normal” but good fingerprint sensor, the reliability is over 90%. A jump since the Mi 8 Explorer Edition or Mi 8 Pro can definitely be seen in my eyes.

Xiaomi Mi 9 fingerprint sensor in display

Xiaomi Mi 9 with Waterdrop Notch

After officially declaring the Notch age for Xiaomi with the Xiaomi Mi 8, the current generation remains true to this principle. Instead of using a slider, Xiaomi relies on the Notch, but minimizes it extremely. This results in a so-called “Waterdrop Notch”, a very small recess that sits centrally at the top of the screen. We know this from the OnePlus 6T, for example.

However, Xiaomi announced shortly before the release that it would change the Notch design a little later. This moves away from the Notch design of the Redmi Note 7 and rather tends towards OnePlus. And in fact, already when setting up the Mi 9 an update is available which promises changes in the Notch user interface. The actual cutout for the camera is strongly rounded, a few more pixels are blackened around this cutout afterwards, making the Notch a bit wider. This is hardly noticeable in the frontal view, but a look from the side reveals the additional blackened pixels. Was that necessary?

Xiaomi Mi 9 Notch new
After the update the Notch looks like this…

…but it actually looks like this. They listened to the community, but it’s still strange.

In my opinion, Xiaomi could simply give the user a choice in MIUI’s settings as to which type of notch he prefers. But currently you can’t decide to hide the Notch completely, although this wasn’t a problem in earlier MIUI versions. Sure, you can argue if you can’t just make friends with it and if you know beforehand what you’re getting involved with. However, it is difficult to understand that the function was once available and that no freedom of decision is now left to one.

Nevertheless, one must say that the really small Notch is much less disturbing than the relatively large Notch of its predecessor. I think it’s the right step for this smartphone to focus on the Notch and not to get involved in experiments like a pop-up camera.

Thin Body with Nano-Coating

Because no slider is used, the Mi 9 is thinner than the Mi Mix 3. The dimensions of 155 x 75 x 7.6 mm are interesting if you compare the predecessor with the Mi Mix 3. The Mi 9 is slightly bigger and wider (0.1 mm), but offers 4.5 mm more display diagonal. It’s also interesting that Xiaomi achieves a screen-to-body ratio of 90.7% despite Notch. One of the reasons for this is that the chin, i.e. the lower edge of the screen, is only 3.4 mm thick. In contrast to the Mi 8, this is a saving of around 40%.

In the end, these are all “small” values, which all in all lead to a very modern smartphone that is not only visually appealing, but also space-efficient.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Size

Xiaomi used a combination of “holographic laser engraving” and nano coating consisting of two layers for the reverse side. This special appearance of the reverse side was achieved with the popular “Twilight effect”. At the beginning it comes in three color variants: Blue, black and a chromatic red. Especially when exposed to sunlight, the material used once again creates a special light effect, similar to the Honor View 20, which we have already been able to test. However, the Piano Black of our test copy is relatively bright and cannot achieve the promised effects. In fact, “Black” isn’t quite accurate here either, the color is rather gray.

Google Assistant Button

On the left side of the Xiaomi Mi 9 there is also a dedicated AI button to start the Mi AI language assistant. However, since this is only compatible with the Chinese language, the Global version uses the Google Assistant. A click on the button on the left side opens the Google Language Assistant.

Xiaomi Mi 9 AI Button

Xiaomi Mi 9 Google Assistant

But much more exciting is the fact that MIUI allows you to reassign the key, even if only to a limited extent. The simple click cannot be replaced, it always opens the Google Assistant. However, the actions “Keep pressed” and “Double press” can be reassigned, but not completely free. For my private use, “Open rear camera” and “Switch on flashlight” would probably be the most useful options.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Google Assistant Button MIUI

Processing & Handling of the Xiaomi Mi 9

Xiaomi seamlessly ties in with the Mi 8 here and that’s also why the Xiaomi Mi 9 lies very comfortably in the hand. We can only confirm our first impression from the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona: the Mi 9 is light. The 173 g total weight is very balanced at this size and feels almost less in the hand. This benefits from the slightly rounded back, as the thickness on the long sides towards the edge is slightly reduced.

Since the Mi 9 is quite thin, the cameras on the back unfortunately stand out a bit from the case. With a little more than 1 mm this is not quite as bad as with the Xiaomi Mi A2, but unfortunately this is not compensated by the silicone case either. Nevertheless, the Mi 9 doesn’t wobble excessively if you put it on the back of a table and the camera module is at least protected with Sapphir glass.

Xiaomi Mi 9 in Hand

Even if the Mi 9 does not consist of a unibody, it is flawlessly crafted, as befits a flagship. Nowhere could I find too large a gap, sharp edges or imprecise workmanship. The smartphone feels very high-quality, which is not least due to the Gorilla Glass 6. Despite the size, the Mi 9 is intricate, noble and forms the highlight among the China smartphones, both optically and haptically. It’s nice that you apparently learned something from the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3.

Xiaomi Mi 9 with new top CPU & up to 12 GB RAM

New flagship immediately new processor. The Beijing-based company uses the Snapdragon 855 processor as the heart of the Xiaomi Mi 9, the successor to the popular Snapdragon 845, which powered almost all Android flagships in 2018. This is the first Qualcomm processor to be manufactured using the 7 nm process, making it more energy efficient. Interestingly, it consists of three clusters: a Kryo 485 gold core with 2.84 GHz clock frequency, three Kryo 485 gold cores with 2.42 GHz clock frequency and four Kryo 485 silver cores form the energy-efficient cluster with 1.8 GHz clock frequency.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Snapdragon 855

The Xiaomi Mi 9 comes for Europe in a 6/64 GB version and in a 6/128 GB version. The mass memory is not expandable. LPDDR4X memory and UFS 2.1 internal memory are used. With the new UFS 3 memory, you would have a unique selling point, but to keep the price low, the manufacturer remains with UFS 2.1 – a pity. There is even a version with 12 GB RAM on the market, this is called “Battle Angel” Edition and is only intended for the Chinese market.

With flagships the performance is usually no big surprise. It’s the same with the Xiaomi Mi 9, which is simply fast. All apps open as fast as an arrow, multitasking is also no problem with adequately measured 6 GB RAM, and I also didn’t notice any jolts or delays during the test period. This is also proven by the benchmarks, which all turn out very well and more than do justice to the new hardware. A clear step since the previous generation can be seen from the scores achieved.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Benchmarks

In practice, however, not so much. Our speed comparison with the Pocophone F1, the “Master of Speed”, is relatively balanced. Some apps open the Poco faster, some on the Mi 9. The differences are marginal and can be related to the not completely simultaneous keystroke, but they were noticeable. But that doesn’t mean that the Mi 9 is “slow”, I think we are currently at a point where the hardware is a big step ahead of the software and you can hardly tell the difference.

Of course, gaming is no problem thanks to the latest hardware. No matter if you want to get the “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” in PUBG or Lamborghinis with more than 300 km/h into the crash barriers, the Mi 9 has the necessary stuff. Xiaomi has also developed a new Game Turbo, which for example independently distributes the available resources when gaming and also displays FPS in real time. It also lets the game run even when the display is switched off.

Xiaomi for the first time with triple camera

The highlight of the Xiaomi Mi 9 is the Mi 9 camera, the first Xiaomi smartphone with a triple camera. It uses the same Sony IMX586 sensor with 48 megapixel resolution as the Honor View 20, which is equipped with an aperture of ƒ/1.75 and is used as the main camera, covering the usual wide angle range.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Triple Camera

In addition, there is an ultra-wide angle camera with a resolution of 16 megapixels, ƒ/2.2 aperture and a shooting angle of 117°. The third sensor becomes a telecamera with a resolution of 12 megapixels and a long focal length in the 50mm range. This enables a double optical zoom. Xiaomi therefore optically covers three focal lengths. The camera is also again equipped with a night mode, which we could already try in the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 and Pocophone F1.

Xiaomi Mi 9 main camera test photo dynamic range

Xiaomi Mi 9 test photo main camera low-light

Xiaomi Mi 9 main camera test photo person

I really like the photos of the Xiaomi Mi 9 very much. The colors are really nice and strong, the sharpness is on a very good level and the autofocus works very reliable. The sensor already manages to produce a very natural bokeh when you clearly focus on objects that I almost like better than the portrait mode. Extremely few details are lost, so that even the smartphone displays of my colleagues can be read well (!) at a distance of about 1.50 m – sorry for reading along at this point.

Xiaomi Mi 9 test photo main camera low-light apples

This applies mainly to the 48 MP main sensor. As with the Redmi Note 7, there is also a special 48 MP mode here. I can’t see any real difference in the quality of the photos, except that you can zoom in a lot more on the smartphone itself. But you can’t get more details with a high zoom at my discretion.

Telecamera

The other two focal lengths make it exciting for us. We already know the telecamera from the Xiaomi Mi 8 or Mix 2S and it works well again. It takes a bit more skill to keep the camera quiet enough, but usually it succeeds. The telecamera is also used in portrait mode to bring the people closer. Due to the longer focal length you automatically get a better blur and the typical “portrait look”.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Main camera Test photo Tele camera

Finally with Ultra Wide Angle Camera

What’s new is the ultra wide angle, which I really liked about the Honor Magic 2. It’s a shooting angle of 117° and the image section is really much larger. The image quality is also very good, but on closer inspection a few more details get lost. What’s really cool about Xiaomi is that you can activate the so-called full-body mode in portrait mode. This is nothing else than the portrait mode with the wide-angle camera, which is especially practical for objects you hold in your hand. Chapeau Xiaomi, well thought out!

 

Xiaomi Mi 9 main camera Focal lengths

This lens allows not only wide-angle but also macro photography. The lens has a close-up limit of 4 cm. That means that you can go up to 4 cm to the object to be photographed and the photo will still be sharp. This also works very well in practice, there is a clear difference to the main sensor. Then you won’t get the full sharpness and detail as with the 48 MP sensor, but the photos still look good at the bottom line.

Xiaomi Mi 9 test photo main camera macro comparison

The best smartphone for videos?

The video sector has not been neglected either. Here, Xiaomi actually manages to get into first place in the DXoMark ranking with 99 points and offers features like motion tracking and the 960p slow motion mode, which we already know from Mi Mix 3. And indeed, the video quality has made another good step forward. The video camera supports up to 60 fps at 4K resolution, but the 30 fps at 1080p resolution, which already look really good, are a bit more salonable. Here Xiaomi works with a somewhat paler color profile than in the 4K shots, which are almost oversaturated.

The slow-motion mode with 960 fps is quite cool, but the resolution is strongly reduced and the recording requires some practice because of the right timing. We haven’t been able to test motion tracking properly yet

Front camera

The triple camera on the back is heavily advertised, the front camera of the Xiaomi Mi 9 on the other hand was almost completely ignored. And no question about it, the 20 megapixel sensor of the Xiaomi Mi 9 makes good selfies overall and also the portrait mode convinces me again as it does with almost all Xiaomi smartphones. How good the edge detection is only by the software and without any additional secondary sensor deserves respect.

Xiaomi Mi 9 front camera test photo portrait comparison

However, this one is the one that gets the short end of the stick compared to the Mi Mix 3. The Selfies of the Slider-Smartphone have knocked me off my feet, the sharpness and resolution are once again on a better level thanks to the good 24 MP Sony IMX576 sensor.

The DXoMark benchmark, which is now regarded as the benchmark for camera quality, currently confirms the Xiaomi Mi 9 in fourth place with 107 points, after the Huawei P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, but interestingly ahead of the iPhone XS Max. In my opinion, this rating is more than justified. After the test and still really hard impressed by the camera of the Mi 9, I’m very happy with the photo quality, the functionality is enormous (3 focal lengths!!!) and the camera app is still not overloaded and overall well structured. The camera is really the highlight of the flagship for me.

Xiaomi Mi 9 with 20W wireless charging – it doesn’t get any faster than this

The Xiaomi Mi 9 can be charged wirelessly with 20W. This makes it currently the fastest wireless rechargeable smartphone on the market. Samsung smartphones can “only” be charged with 10W wireless, iPhones with only 7.5W. Only the Mate 20 from Huawei can be charged wirelessly with 15W. In addition, the Mi 9 is equipped with a 27W Quick Charge 4 standard. The battery has an average capacity of 3.300 mAh, which is large, in fact even 100 mAh smaller than its predecessor.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Qi Charging Animation

Do you notice this difference? No. Even though the Xiaomi Mi 9 isn’t a battery monster like the Redmi Note 7 or Pocophone F1, the Mi 9 will get you through the day with ease. A small game of PUBG in the afternoon doesn’t immediately suck the battery out. We had a screen-on time of about eight to nine hours, which should be enough for about 1.5 days, depending on the use. Unfortunately, the battery benchmark has already failed twice, but we will of course hand in the result later.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Charger

Unfortunately we also have to postpone the wireless charging. Because the 20W Qi-Charger is, as mentioned above, not part of the scope of delivery. As soon as it is here and we could test the fast, wireless charging, we will give you our impressions. The included 18W charger took about an hour to charge the smartphone almost completely. Strictly speaking, the charging process went from 7% to 98% in exactly 60 minutes.

New Xiaomi accessories for Qi charging

The corresponding 20W Qi charger is available separately. For mobile charging, Xiaomi has also introduced a new Xiaomi Qi-Powerbank with a capacity of 10,000 mAh. But that’s not all. Xiaomi also introduced a car Qi charger so you can charge the Mi 9 wirelessly in your car. So they have directly launched three new Qi-supporting accessory gadgets on the market. While the Mi Mix series has already been equipped with Qi, the Mi 9 is now on the right track in our eyes and relies completely on wireless charging.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Wireless Accessories
Xiaomi directly releases three new accessories that support all Qi stores.

A smartphone for the future

First things first: The Global version of the Xiaomi Mi 9 has LTE Band 20, as well as LTE Band B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/28. The China version doesn’t have all LTE tapes, so we would advise you to buy the Global version if you don’t live there! With our SIM card in the telecom network, we couldn’t find any disconnections or anything in the metropolitan area. In addition there is again Dual GPS, which should provide for a much more exact location determination. In the test we got a fast fix, but we don’t (yet) see the extreme advantage to “normal GPS”.

Xiaomi Mi 9 GPS Test

And yes, of course NFC is also on board. In the budget and middle class Xiaomi is always economical, but in their flagships there is already a NFC module available. NFC stands for Near Field Communication and enables you to pay contactless in a shop e.g. via Google Pay. In principle, this means the same technology as in a contactless credit or debit card.

The main port for charging or data transfer is of course a USB Type C port, which is located on the underside. However, there is no headphone connection for this, although this was to be expected. The predecessor has already done without it and the Mix series has long since done without it. The manufacturer includes the appropriate adapter in the scope of delivery.

Xiaomi Mi 9 USB Type-C Slot

If you want to listen to music, you can also do so via the integrated loudspeaker, which Xiaomi promotes as the “best in the industry”. In short, it’s not. Unfortunately, it’s only a mono speaker, even though it might have included a stereo speaker. Nevertheless: the sound is good. Not quite as loud as the competition but with an overall clear and harmonious sound, where the bass doesn’t sink completely.

We think it’s cool that Xiaomi still holds on to the infrared blaster on the top of a flagship.

MIUI at its best

On the Xiaomi Mi 9 MIUI runs of course again. Currently we are on MIUI 10.2, which is based on Android 9 Pie on the Xiaomi Mi 9. MIUI is Xiaomi’s own interface, which intervenes deeply in the system, but is always based on Android. Right at the beginning we already get an update, which for example includes the design change of the Notch, but also camera optimizations. Xiaomi’s update policy is really good compared to the competition. Especially the flagships will be provided with long-term updates, at least MIUI updates, but also many smartphones of the last and penultimate generation get their updates on Android 9.

Xiaomi Mi 9 MIUI Update

Since our test device is a global version, all relevant Google services including Google Play Store are pre-installed and certified. Even Chrome as browser is pre-installed next to the MIUI browser. Besides there are a few third party apps like Facebook, which is already on the memory. This is easy to uninstall, but still leaves a bland aftertaste. This is not quite at the level of Honor/Huawei devices, but depending on the region, you can already get some Bloatware apps.

I especially like MIUI with the Mi 9, because Xiaomi manages to tune the software even more to the hardware in order to unfold more potential. You install an AMOLED panel so there are several ways to adjust the Always On mode. Xaomi has an additional button, so you give the user the possibility to assign other functions to it. We have a large display, so we can also run two apps in split-screen mode. These are really plus points for the OS, but it’s also true here: Where there’s light, there’s shadow.

Notifications

The Notch is the cause of several problems. First of all, the new design is rather a negative example due to the update, as the software is no longer 100% compatible with the hardware. In addition, you don’t leave any possibilities for the user to customize (notch hide, alternative design).

Xiaomi Mi 9 Notifications Icons

But more problematic are the notifications! What Xiaomi was thinking is somewhat questionable. Notification icons are displayed at the top left of the notch, but only when a new notification comes and not permanently. The notification LED then lights up pulsatingly, but only in white. This is located in the upper right corner of the earpiece.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Notification LED

Xiaomi Mi 9 Notification LED Message

The “region trick”: Face Unlock also for the USA!

If you set up the global version of the Xiaomi Mi 9 in a country where there is no official Xiaomi store, as in no official selling of Xiaomi Smartphones, Face Unlock is not available. But that’s easy to circumvent. Just go to Settings, then to Advanced Settings and change the region to, for example, Spain, France, UK, India or China. Then under “Security & Password” you will see the item “Add Face Data” and you can use your face for Face Unlock.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Face Unlock

And it’s going really well, as usual. However, a step backwards is noticeable here, because Xiaomi does without the infrared camera and the infrared sensor from the Xiaomi Mi 8 due to the smaller Notch. This makes the unlocking process less secure and also not as strong in the dark. Nevertheless, the Face Unlock works quickly and reliably, at least in daylight. If you are in a dark room the Mi 9 uses the brightness of the display, so if your display is very bright the Face Unlock works faster. Here I like Honors approach to automatically make the display brighter for Face Unlock, better.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Region change Face Unlock Apps new
Don’t be surprised: After changing the region, these apps will be added, but they can simply be uninstalled again!

Finally stream Netflix in HD

We like to remember the “Netflix-Gate”, the very big problem with the Pocophone F1, which could not stream streaming content from Netflix & Co. in HD. This has now been fixed with an update. And in fact, the Xiaomi Mi 9 is now the first Xiaomi smartphone to be equipped with Widevine Level 1. That means: you can watch video content from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in Full HD!

Xiaomi Mi 9 DRM Info Netflix

Xiaomi Mi 9: all versions at a glance

As with its predecessor, Xiaomi not only introduced the Xiaomi Mi 9, but also two other versions. The slightly more exclusive Transparent Edition and the more compact and slightly weaker Mi 9 SE.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Battle Angel Edition

There were already rumors in advance that a possible Explorer or Transparent Edition would come, just like its predecessor. These have now been halfway confirmed, even if not quite as thought before. “Unfortunately” it doesn’t come with 4 cameras, but “only” with three, but that’s enough. It also runs in China under the name “Battle Angel” Edition, in cooperation with the film Alita: Battle Angel. On the MWC 19 it was simply called “Transparent Edition”.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Transparent Edition

This is equipped with a transparent back and actually offers 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal memory. In addition, the lens on the 48 MP sensor is equipped with an even faster aperture, making it even more suitable for low-light photography.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

As last year, Xiaomi releases a special edition, the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE, in addition to the Mi 9 and the Explorer Edition of the Mi 9. This is a somewhat more compact version, equipped with a 5.97 inch AMOLED display. With 155 g it is relatively light and hardly heavier than the Mi Play. Inside there is the Snapdragon 712 processor, a 3,070m Ah battery and also a triple camera with a partly somewhat lower resolution. On the MWC 19 we could hold the Mi 9 SE in our hands for the first time.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Smartphone MWC

Conclusion: Xiaomi’s best smartphone yet

After many tests of various Xiaomi smartphones I come to the conclusion that the Xiaomi Mi 9 is a precision landing and proves that currently you don’t have to spend more than $600 for a top smartphone. The Mi 9 plays at eye level with the Honor View 20, OnePlus 6T, Samsung Galaxy S10 and iPhone XS Max and is sometimes even better than the competition.

What makes the Xiaomi Mi 9 so good? The camera is the highlight for me, the three focal lengths are an enormous advantage in everyday life, the sharpness and image quality are excellent. The performance is undoubtedly at top level, the CPU doesn’t get to its limits so quickly. The display is color intensive and offers many functions, the design is contemporary and appealing. In addition there is an above average battery life and future features such as NFC, 20W wireless charging, dual GPS and a fingerprint sensor in the display.

Even if you really don’t have to make any compromises, you can still criticize one or two things. The absence of the infrared sensor/camera is a step backwards to its predecessor, the front camera is also at least not better, but not worse either, and one can also argue about whether the non-expandable 64 GB internal memory 2019 is still up to date.

The Mi 9 isn’t as experimental as a Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G (slider) or a Honor View 20 (punch-hole display) and that’s exactly why it’s a smartphone for anyone who wants a hell of a lot of smartphones for relatively “little” money. That’s why I would recommend the Xiaomi Mi 9 to anyone who wants to take that amount of money into their hands. What do you think about the Xiaomi Mi 9? Could it be your new smartphone?

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Profile picture from Thorben

Thorben

My special interests are smartphones from China and I am always keen to discover new smartphone accessories like smartwatches and headphones. 

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Comments (5)

  • Profile picture from Tjsimplemind
    13.02.19 um 16:49

    Tjsimplemind

    Wow great

  • Profile picture from krazlee
    20.02.19 um 16:36

    krazlee

    They could easily make a fully waterproof Unbreakable, to a degree phone. They just dribble the technology to us so we drop all our money on the Tec. Your just going to have to wait.

  • Profile picture from lavaniel
    22.02.19 um 14:16

    lavaniel

    How do they have a 12 gb ram phone when we haven't even seen the 10 gb ram phones?

  • Profile picture from etay
    04.05.19 um 13:43

    etay

    Xiaomi phones are great and good technology and the budget choise to spend the money .

  • Profile picture from Fermín Cirella
    29.07.19 um 20:53

    Fermín Cirella

    @krazlee: there are waterproof and unbreakable phones. CAT and Blackview (and other brands) make them.

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