Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S Review: A Mid-Range Smartphone With Plenty to Offer

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S Review: A Mid-Range Smartphone With Plenty to Offer

Xiaomi has always been known for producing high-quality smartphones at lower prices than the competition, and its latest budget phone doesn’t disappoint. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S offers all the bells and whistles of some of today’s high-end devices without the high price tag, making it a great choice if you’re looking to upgrade from your current phone but don’t want to spend $1000 or more on an iPhone XS or Samsung Galaxy S10e. If you need more convincing, here are three reasons why this smartphone is worth considering.

Design

If you’re looking for a smartphone that has a feature set suitable for daily use and you’re not expecting it to stand up well against more expensive devices, then the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S should definitely be on your list.

The design of the device is comfortable in your hand and its ample screen size helps when using it for reading or watching videos. The sound is crisp and clear enough for speakerphone calls and watching videos without getting annoying or distorted. Although it might feel heavier than some other mid-range smartphones on the market, you’ll likely forget about any heftiness when actually holding it.

You get an aluminum back with glass panels around the camera and fingerprint sensor which have decent tactile feedback. The edges are made from plastic, but they don’t detract from the experience too much and offer a good amount of grip.

When you open up this phone, you’ll see that there’s no notch like some competitors have as part of their display technology. Instead, there’s just a 5MP selfie camera positioned at the top center edge under a layer of protection from scratches if dropped on its face down position. It’s worth noting that this area also houses the IR blaster which can turn this phone into an advanced remote control for TVs and other electronics nearby.

 Display

The first thing I noticed about the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S is its very small bezels. The device has a 91.4% screen-to-body ratio and feels like a smartphone from this decade, unlike some of the others that have older 18:9 ratios (like the 85% Galaxy S10). To me, these bezels are a perfect size because they offer enough room for easy one handed use and aren’t too distracting. Not to mention there’s no notch so I can get notifications without pulling down a notification panel every time. Plus, it has an oleophobic coating which helps protect against fingerprints and watermarks that can plague glass phones.

 Performance

For a device that costs less than $350, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S does an incredible job of balancing performance and design. Sure, there are a few downfalls that come with this budget phone, but all in all, the value it offers is pretty good. This phone is powered by a Snapdragon 660 CPU and 4GB of RAM which produces snappy speeds, smooth gameplay, and glitch-free multitasking.

Plus, if you’re not satisfied with its cameras (16MP+5MP), this device has three USB Type C ports which means you can plug in accessories like additional storage or even use your old laptop. The battery life is great too–often lasting two days on one charge.

Software

The Android operating system on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9s is quite impressive. Xiaomi has done a great job at optimizing it, making sure everything runs smoothly and without lag. I really liked the feel of the UI as well – not too cartoonish but still easy to navigate for an older person like me who likes simplicity in design.

The camera on this phone can take decent pictures and has plenty of features. In fact, there are so many different modes that you’ll never get bored with your options. My favorite was the tilt shift mode which made my food photos look so much more professional than before! The only downside to the cameras is that there’s no front facing camera flash – selfies in low light or night time conditions won’t turn out very well. There’s also no water resistant coating on this device which means you’ll need to be careful around water if you want your device to last a long time.

 Camera

Image quality is one of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9’s greatest strengths. The main camera on the rear 12 MP sensor produces images with solid clarity and detail. The secondary depth sensor can produce bokeh effects that have a very natural look and feel, and there’s also a Pro mode that includes slider options for tweaking settings like shutter speed, ISO, white balance, focus, etc. For selfie lovers who love taking shots in dark places – or anytime you’re trying to snap a picture in low light – there’s also an added Night Mode (which is essentially a simple pop-up flash).

What really sets this phone apart from other mid-range devices is its excellent camera performance.

Battery Life

This is my favorite phone for a lot of reasons, but what always impresses me about the Redmi Note series is the battery life. My previous device was an iPhone 8 Plus, which had a 2915mAh battery. It would last around 10 hours on heavy usage. The 3,500mAh in the Note 9S lasts over 24 hours and it charges incredibly fast (less than 45 minutes for 100%). This makes it perfect for someone who spends a lot of time outdoors or traveling.

It’s also great for people who are clumsy with their phones. I can drop this thing 20 times without breaking anything because it’s so durable. The only downside is that the plastic material feels really cheap when you’re using it, so you may want to consider getting a case if you’re going to be carrying this around a lot.

 Price Point / Verdict

For anyone looking for a less expensive option that still has plenty of features, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S is an affordable choice. It doesn’t have a lot of the same frills as some of its more expensive competitors, but it’s tough to argue with a sub-$300 phone that offers great performance and good battery life.

You’ll find lots of colors and configurations available for this one-time Chinese company, which first made its way into Europe in 2016. The latest version of the phone was released in March 2019 and includes features like increased storage capacity up to 256GB. That may not be enough for some people, but at least you can always use external memory devices such as SD cards or cloud storage. Like many new phones on the market these days, it also comes with dual cameras on the back side – something many other phones at this price point don’t offer.

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