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Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Review: Feels like a balanced smartphone which you may or may not want to consider!!

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Review

Xiaomi brings out a well-balanced Redmi device!!

Xiaomi has been releasing a lot of smartphones throughout 2020 with the Redmi series being the most popular in the budget as well as the mid-range segment. The Redmi Note 9 series was launched last year that included the Redmi Note 9, Note 9 Pro, and the Note 9 Pro Max.

The other smartphone that was a good offering is the Redmi 9 Prime. Xiaomi is now continuing the rebranded strategy with the launch of the Redmi 9 Power which is also known as the Redmi Note 9 4G in China. 

The Redmi Note 9 Power packs a larger 6000mAh battery, comes with a powerful Snapdragon 662 chipset, and has a 48MP rear camera. Do these features make it a well-rounded smartphone in the market and has Xiaomi made the right product? Let's find out in the full review.

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Design:

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Review

Since the Redmi 9 Power is a budget smartphone, it has a plastic design instead of the glass and metal design which was present on the previous budget Redmi smartphones. At the back, the plastic back has a glass finish with a reflective design when light strikes at it.

Like some Realme smartphones, the Redmi 9 Power has a rectangular array for the cameras which holds the primary 48MP camera and three other cameras accompanied by a LED flash. The bold Redmi logo is present at the bottom with a textured finish on it.

Redmi likes to call the Aura Glow design as it shows that different rays are originating from the camera module when tilted at different angles. The back does not catch fingerprints much as there is a plastic case to protect the back. There is a P2i coating present which makes it handle small splashes or accidental spills of water. 

To the sides, we get a plastic frame where the right side has the volume buttons with a power button that doubles up as a fingerprint scanner and to the left, there is a dual SIM card tray slot with a dedicated slot for microSD card for storage expansion.

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Review

At the bottom, there is a USB Type-C port with a primary microphone with the loudspeaker grill and to the top, there is an IR Blaster, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a secondary speaker which is first seen in this segment.

The Redmi 9 Power is available in four different colors that include - Mighty Black, Blazing Blue, Fiery Red, and Electric Green.

The overall weight is 198 grams which makes it slightly heavier as it packs in that massive 6000mAh battery. Still having a plastic back, the design looks good on the Redmi 9 Power and makes it eye-catching.

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Display:

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Review

The Redmi 9 Power packs in a 6.53-inch Full HD+ (1080x2400 pixels) IPS LCD display with a screen-to-body ratio of 19.5:9. The front display has a dewdrop notch which we had seen on smartphones in 2019 and to the front, there is Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection.

The sides of the display have minimum bezels but at the bottom, the chin is slightly thicker and the brightness works well on the display. Being an IPS LCD panel, the brightness is good whether it is under direct sunlight or in dark. There is also a dedicated Sunshine Mode that spruces up the brightness thus ensuring good visibility. 

You can also adjust the color temperature for a warmer or cooler tone. The colors look vibrant on the display and the viewing angles are also good.

There is Widevine L1, so streaming HD content from third-party applications like Prime, Netflix will be easy. There is no high refresh rate which is not needed in this price segment but what you have is a Full HD+ display when compared to other manufacturers that offer HD display. 

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Performance:

The Redmi 9 Power has the newer Snapdragon 662 which is a newer chipset in the market which is an octa-core chipset that houses 4x2.0 GHz Kryo 260 ARM Cortex-A73 cores and another 4x2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Cortex A53 cores and is coupled with Adreno 610 GPU.

This Snapdragon 662 has a third-generation AI engine and is offered in two variants: 4GB LPDDR4X RAM and has either a 64GB or 128GB storage where the 64GB storage has UFS 2.1 and the 128GB storage has UFS 2.2 speed transfers.

Coming to daily performance, the Redmi 9 Power is not the best smartphone for performance. While opening and closing applications are quite fast but it does lag when switching from one application to another and most of the time, the applications tend to reload thus jarring the software experience also.

In terms of gaming, all games like Asphalt 9, Call of Duty ran smoothly at the medium graphics settings. There were some noticeable frame drops and the back did felt a bit warmer also. Since it has a plastic back, it dissipates heat much better. So performance is one key area where the Redmi 9 Power feels a bit short.

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Software:

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Review

Like all Redmi smartphones, the Redmi 9 Power has the MIUI12 built on top of Android 10. As we all know about MIUI has been improving with each version and it is no different here. MIUI12 brings a whole new different look as you are getting the newer Control Center where swiping from the right reveals all the controls and from the left, you get access to all the notifications.

Swiping from the home screen towards the left, there is Google Feed and it also provides a lot of customizations to the app drawer and you can change different fonts and icon sizes. While opening or closing an application, there are some cool animations that do slow the interface a bit.

There is system-wide dark mode, Android 10 navigation gestures which means a long swipe from the bottom takes you to recent and a slow swipe returns to the home screen. The most annoying application is the GetApps which provides a lot of notifications and the ads keep on popping every single time.

POCO which was earlier a sub-brand of Xiaomi provides the same MIUI experience but without ads. The ads situation has not been much improved and you receive every single ad when swiping to check notifications or while installing any app. 

MIUI12 does improve the optimizations in terms of battery but still with many third-party applications installed like Facebook, MIUI's own cleaner app, LinkedIn, ShareMe that does eat up space. So if software experience is your highest concern, this may not be the right smartphone for you.

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Cameras:

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Review

The Redmi 9 Power has a quad-camera setup at the rear that includes:

  • 48MP f/1.8 Samsung GM1 main camera
  • 8MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera with 120-degree field of view
  • 2MP f/2.4 macro camera
  • 2MP f/2.4 depth camera
On the front, there is an 8MP f/2.0 camera for selfies. As usual, you are getting all different modes that include Pro, photo, video, Panorama, slow-mo, doc mode, time-lapse, movies frame, and a mode that integrates Google Lens. 

The images from the main 48MP camera come out with good details and the dynamic range is above average. It may not be as good as the 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor, but still, you get clearer and sharper images but there is a wee bit of saturation and when you zoom into the images, there is a lot of noise present.

Similarly, at night, the images have good details but the dynamic range is just average. There is a lot of noise in the background, so the resulting images do not look much sharper. Turning on the Night Mode does improve the noise and improves long-exposure shots. The AI scene detection with the Night Mode works well thus bringing better highlights in shadows.

The 8MP ultrawide camera is the most common ultrawide camera implemented on most budget and mid-range smartphones, so the images during the day come out with good detail and dynamic range. The colors do not look as vibrant as the main camera but still, the 120-degree field of view ensures images with more subjects in the background.

At night, the images from the ultrawide camera have a lot of noise and the colors also look washed out. The dynamic range is average and since there is no dedicated Night Mode, you are only restricted to the normal mode. 

The 2MP macro camera takes images with average details and since there is no autofocus, focusing manually does not work well. The colors look washed out instead you can zoom in using the main camera for sharper details. Still, the macro camera is just average.

Coming to portraits, the 2MP sensor does a good job with sharper details but the edge detection is not so good. The skin tones look natural but when you zoom into the portraits, the details are good but there is some amount of noise present clearly. 

On the front, there is an 8MP camera that takes selfies with a good amount of detail, and the dynamic range is also good. Still, you get a pretty good dynamic range and skin tones look natural with no saturation. Moving to portraits, the edge detection is good and at night, there is a lot more noise in the selfies.

In terms of videos, the Redmi 9 Power is only restricted to 1080p video recording at 60fps. The video footage is good with less noise but there is a lot of saturation which makes it look much processed but still, the dynamic range works well. 

The videos from the ultrawide camera are just average with more levels of noise and the dynamic range is just average. Similarly for both the cameras, the videos were taken during the night result out in washed-out colors, and the presence of EIS doe help reduce noise on the main camera. 

The cameras are just good for the budget segment and still needs a lot of improvement.

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Battery Life:

The Redmi 9 Power packs in a massive 6000mAh battery which more in capacity compared to other smartphones in the budget segment. So with this larger battery, the standard screen-on time recorded was 8-9 hours which is also due to the MIUI12's good optimizations for the battery.

With heavy usage that includes playing games, scrolling through webpages, and also streaming social media for around 5-6 hours, you can get one and a half days of battery life and with normal usage, the Redmi 9 Power can easily last for two continuous days without any single charge.

To power the Redmi 9 Power, there is a 22.5W fast charger provided inside the box, but the smartphones only support up to 18W fast charging. The fast charger which is provided inside the box takes the smartphone from 0 to 100 percent in around 2 hours 30 minutes which is slightly slower. There is also support for reverse charging for other smartphones.

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Review

With the Redmi budget smartphones, you are getting great battery life and support for fast charging past two to three years which is really good and here the Redmi 9 Power continues to do the same.

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Audio Quality:

The Redmi 9 Power has a stereo speaker setup where there are two speaker vents one at the top and the second one is at the bottom. The sound quality is good overall and while gaming or watching videos, the sound quality is much better compared to many smartphones in the budget as well as the mid-range segment.

You are also getting a 3.5mm headphone jack and the sound output through it is really good. Since there is support for Hi-Res audio, so audio output is really great on the Redmi 9 Power.


Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power Review

The Redmi 9 Power is a well-balanced smartphone with good hardware and not-so-good software as we all know MIUI for the ads situation and a lot of bloatware installed which makes the software experience a bit clumsy to use.

Some of the features like a Full HD+ display which is very rare in the budget segment and the larger 6000mAh battery with support for fast charging making it unique from all its competitors. The performance and gaming experience is just average and in terms of design, it is quite good.

In terms of cameras, there are a decent set of cameras that do perform well and this is also one of those few smartphones to sport a stereo speaker setup for better sound quality. The MIUI12 software does let the smartphone when compared to the Stock Android or the RealmeUI.

Overall, if you look at the Redmi 9 Power as a full package, what you are getting is good hardware with slower software and is worth considering as it is a good budget smartphone from Xiaomi.

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