From changing the mid-budget smartphone landscape in India with the Redmi Note 3, Xiaomi has been constantly upgrading the Redmi Note series with some new features while retaining some of the loved ones. For instance, the IR blaster, which I often use to control my air conditioner and TV, while testing any Redmi Note device. However, the stiff competition has pushed the annual refresh cycle to barely six months. Coming just about six months after the Redmi Note 8 series, does the Note 9 Pro had enough to justify its existence?
With the 6.67-inch bright, crisp display, the Redmi Note 9 Pro feels massive and isn't designed for single-hand operation. However, the bigger screen estate, at the same time, aids video streaming, gaming and reading experience. The bezels on the sides are very sleek with the only possible hindrance you might notice is the teardrop notch housing the front camera. The on-screen navigation buttons are turned on by default, which can be easily replaced with navigation gestures (from phone's settings). For this big size, the placement of the fingerprint sensor - bundled with the power button on the right panel - is easy to access. The standards-volume controls are on the right panel, SIM tray on the left, 3.5mm jack along with speaker grill and Type C charging port at the bottom and IF blaster is the top. Both the front and the rear has Gorilla Glass 5 protection and the P2i coating prevents it from accidental water damage. Centrally aligned camera module at the rear is slightly raised, making it prone to scratches.
While the quad-camera setup is becoming common these days, many housing the same fails to perform. However, the one on the Redmi Note 9 Pro does an impressive job. The 48MP primary image sensor with at an f/1.8 aperture manages to capture bright and sharp images, with accurate colour reproduction. Quick to focus, there's also AI scene detection. However, there was noise in the images shot in low-light and at night. By default, the images are captured at 12MP resolution, whereas you can switch to 48MP resolution. The 8MP ultra-wide camera does its job and came handy while capturing the beautiful Delhi skies (thanks to the pandemic, can't step out to capture beautiful landscapes). The macro shots from the 5MP macro shooter had details and the depth sensor did a good job of blurring the background and capturing portrait shots. There are various dedicated modes including night mode, panorama, pro - manual mode, and more. There have been some significant improvements in the video department too as it can also capture log format videos, which comes handy while editing videos. The 16MP front shooter does a pretty decent job at capturing selfies.
Along with the camera, the mobile gaming experience has become a pressing matter for many. Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor with Adreno A618 @750MHz GPU, the phone handles popular games including PUBG Mobile with ease. My review unit was the higher-end variant with 6GB RAM and128GB storage. Overall, the performance was smooth and there wasn't any lag with multiple apps running in the background.
Lastly, the massive 5020mAh battery easily lasted me over a day and a half with a couple of hours of video streaming, news and web browsing along with calling and emails. An 18W fast charger is bundled in the box, that takes a little over two and a half hours for a full charge.
Starting at Rs 13,999 for 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, the Redmi Note 9 Pro is a great performer. If you are into gaming, I would recommend you to consider the higher-end variant.
Price: Rs 13,999 onwards