The Xiaomi Redmi 9T is a budget device from the brand with some impressive specifications and affordable pricing. It holds quite well as a great budget device but it lacks in certain areas. Is this a device you should consider buying?
I’ve had it for a couple of months now and I have to say it has lived up to expectations in certain areas, other areas, not so much. The phone currently retails for around $161 or Ksh17,800 in various retail shops around the country for the base model – this is by the time this post was published. The model I have for review is the Twilight blue version of the phone. You can also get it in carbon gray, sunrise orange, ocean green.
In the box
When you purchase the Xiaomi Redmi 9T, in typical Xiaomi fashion you get everything in the box except earphones. You get a bulky user guide and warranty card, a USB-C cable, a 22W charging brick and a transparent protective casing which fits in quite well. It also comes with a pre-installed screen protector that you barely notice.
Design and Build
I find the carbon gray colour to be the most attractive, personal preference of course since I love my stuff black, for obvious reasons. I however couldn’t find any available when I was purchasing this. The Redmi 9T has a textured rear finish which makes for easy grip. From the bottom edge of the camera bump you notice this design pattern with a lighter shade of blue.
It is built of plastic on the rear and it is quite solid. With the Redmi branding engraved nicely by the lower left side, this device is pretty lightweight for a device with a large 6000 mAh battery. It has a solid camera bump which holds up the cameras and flash. The fingerprint scanner is side mounted and doubles as a power button, progressive. It does its job to unlock the device quite well. Alternatively, for security you can use the less secure face unlock. Right above the power button is the volume rocker keys. The headphone jack on the Redmi 9T is at the top right next to one of the dual microphones.
We also have the trademark IR blaster. Next to it is one of our stereo speakers, premium stuff for a budget device. At the bottom we have the USB-C port, second noise cancelling microphone and the bottom stereo speaker. The Redmi 9T accepts dual Nano SIM cards and there is an extra slot for an SD card to support the 64 GB base internal storage this comes with. My model has 128 GB of internal storage.
Display and performance
Xiaomi remains one of the very few brands that tries to bring premium materials to its low-end devices and the Redmi 9T is not exempted. Besides its solid build, it uses the Gorilla Glass 3 on the display. However, it is a 2019 style waterdrop display which has its 8MP selfie camera. It is a 1080P IPS LCD panel with up to 400 nits of brightness. The display is 6.5 inches tall with a pixel density of 395 pixels per inch. The waterdrop notch can be easily ignored when you use it for media consumption. At least a waterdrop notch is better than the real estate notch iPhone turns out to deal with.
Still talking about media consumption on the Redmi 9T, it’s just strereo speakers because among its best features. There is a speaker at the bottom and another at the top. It has good loudness level and there’s this vibrational reverb effect when playing music or watching stuff. The speakers are good enough.
The software on Redmi 9T is currently Android 10 and Xiaomi’s custom MIUI12. You are going to get a good share of bloatware apps here and in decent number of hours within the system. Not my favourite experience with Xiaomi devices having previously used the Xiaomi Redmi 8A.
The Redmi 9T comes with 4GB RAM and up to 128GB of storage and it handles multitasking quite well be able to handle any task you subjected it to. I am yet to experience it being slow or lagging.
The 6000 mAh battery on the Redmi 9T is quite impressive. This battery just won’t die. With under 70% of battery, I got six plus hours of screen on time and still had 10% battery left. You will think that the massive battery might mean longer charging time but it has actually not been the case. The Redmi 9T supports 18 watts fast charging and in a charge test, in 30 minutes I got 26% charge from 0%. It took 1 hour to get to 50% charge and 2 hours 15 minutes to charge up to 100%. Impressive.
Unlike the Redmi 9 which came with the gaming Mediatek Helio G80 chipset, the Redmi 9T supports the Qualcomm SM6115 Snapdragon 662. It has a good benchmark scores on both Antutu and Geekbench, quite impressive for its price points I must say. In the GPU department, it spots the Adreno 610 GPU and it is capable of taking you comfortably through long gaming sessions without lags. With a game like Pub G mobile, it maxes out on medium settings, while the gameplay is lag free.
The Redmi 9T has improved camera specifications from the Redmi 9 and you’d expect it to provide better picture quality, but I find it a little underwhelming. Its quad camera comprises of a 48MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro and depth sensors. You can really take okay photos with these cameras, but I feel it lacks a little in dynamic range and detail and sometimes the images may appear oversaturated. You can toggle the settings to the 48MP mode to take high resolution photos but you will really not notice any major difference unless you crop in. Its ultra-wide cameras have 120 degrees field of view to allow more into your shots.
The macro cameras have 2MP so no expectations there. Regular selfies and portraits look okay but I think it looks a little too smooth and lacks detail. Some people might prefer it this way but I think it could have been better and Xiaomi should do more to improve its image processing on its lower end devices. We don’t always have to rely on GCam for better image processing.
The Redmi 9T has a dedicated night mode but I’d say it’s nothing special. You can barely differentiate it from the regular shots. The video from this device is generally underwhelming in my view.
I have a more detailed review of the Xiaomi Redmi 9T Camera here. Images for your consumption are in there, make sure to have a look.
The Xiaomi Redmi 9T is a good budget device and my only real dissatisfaction with it has to do with the camera performance. I’ve seen better slightly lower price points. But say when it comes to picture quality it may eventually come down to personal preference, there’s that. This gadget does great in every other aspect aside the bloatware of course; great stereo speakers, impressive battery life, nice build and also lightweight.
Hope this review helps you make a better purchase decision, keep reading.
Xiaomi Redmi 9T
This gadget does great in every other aspect aside the bloatware of course; great stereo speakers, impressive battery life, nice build and also lightweight. It has a decent performance and would recommend for every day use.
- Great battery life
- Great overall performance
- Great price
- Great audio
- Poor camera performance (video)
- Doesn't take advantage of the quad camera set up