Redmi 9T Review — The Perfect Entry For 2021 Budget Smartphones
Packing a big 6000mAh battery, the Redmi 9T is powered by a Snapdragon 662 chipset and sports a 48MP quad camera setup. With such combination on hand, is it the one for you?
+ Decent camera configuration
+ Price is affordable
+ Dual speakers on hand
+ Battery life is not bad
- UI experience isn't the smoothest
- 4GB RAM isn't enough
- Not the brightest of displays
- Struggles when taking zoomed shots
After reviewing the POCO M3 from Xiaomi Malaysia, we take a look at their latest device in this Redmi 9T review. Packing a Snapdragon 662 chipset coupled with a 48MP quad camera setup and a big 6000mAh battery. With such specs, does it have what it takes to impress us? Let’s get started.
Inside the box, you can expect the following items:
- Warranty card
- SIM ejector
- TPU case
- USB-C cable
- Charging brick
- Redmi 9T
On the front, you can see its 6.53-inch IPS display that comes with a Dot Drop notch that fits its 8MP front camera. The bezels are visible around the edges of the phone.
On the left side of the device you’ll find the power button which also acts as the device’s fingerprint scanner. On top of it is the usual volume rockers. As for the left side, you’ll find the SIM tray, which has a slot for a microSD card should you want to expand your storage.
Down below is where you’ll find the USB-C port, microphone, and the phone’s speaker grille.
At the top, it’s nice to see that there’s the good old 3.5mm headphone jack. It’s accompanied by the secondary speaker as well as its IR blaster.
If you haven’t noticed already, the Redmi 9T that’s in our hands is the Ocean Green variant. The quad camera setup sits at the top left and you can see the Redmi branding at the bottom. The back design sports an “anti-fingerprint texture” and that seems to be the case.
Redmi 9T Specifications
|CPU:||Snapdragon 662 Octa-core (4 x 2.0GHz Kryo 260 Gold + 4 x 1.8GHz Kryo 260 Silver) 11nm|
|Display:||6.53-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) IPS Dot Drop display|
|Storage:||64GB UFS 2.1/ 128GB UFS 2.2|
48MP f/1.79 AF
8MP ultra-wide f/2.2 120-degree FOV
2MP f/2.4 macro
2MP f/2.4 depth
LED, HDR, AI, Panorama, Night Mode
HDR, AI, Portrait
|OS:||MIUI 12 based on Android 10|
|Connectivity:||LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/20/28/38/41
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4GHz, 5GHz)
|Battery||Li-Po 6000mAh (non-removable)
18W fast charging
22.5W charger (included in box)
|Dimensions:||162.3 x 77.3 x 9.6mm|
Starting off with the benchmark section of the review, it doesn’t fare well for the Redmi 9T as it finishes last on the list, and this list includes other Snapdragon 662-powered devices.
Over at Geekbench 5, we see that it does a better job on the list, especially on the single-core test. Despite that, the POCO M3 edges out the devices when it comes to the multi-core score.
Switching over to PCMark Work 2.0 test, the Redmi 9T doesn’t score too highly but it does score higher than the POCO M3.
When it comes to battery life, we see that the Redmi 9T’s battery efficiency is decent, even when pitted against the POCO M3 which uses the same chipset and offer the same battery capacity. The test shows that it could last 12 hours and 8 minutes.
As for real-life usage, I found that the benchmark does show some semblance of truth. From my personal use of the device, I could get 2 full days with the phone and the battery would still be around 40%. Usage would include apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, Gmail, WhatsApp, and Telegram, which are all pretty standard applications.
If you’re wondering on how fast the charger can fill up the device, we’ve tested it and found that for a 30-minute charging period, the battery rose up to 20%, which I find to be still acceptable considering that the device is packing a big 6000mAh capacity.
Out of the box, I felt that the display of the Redmi 9T isn’t the brightest of smartphones, so you may need to turn it up a bit on your own. Its dual speakers makes watching videos more enjoyable, should you happen to not have any headphones/earphones to connect with. Talking about audio, it’s nice to see that they do indeed offer a 3.5mm headphone jack for you to use.
While I personally find that the back of the POCO M3 to be more appealing, I still would commend Xiaomi / Redmi for the design on the back. Here’s a closer look at the design which they claim to be resistant from fingerprint stains and from my usage, it works like a charm. On the other hand, the “flashy” look somewhat reminds me of the realme 5i.
The comfort of holding this device is fine, at least for me. It would be a different case however as the Redmi 9T isn’t the lightest around, with it being at 198g. It just comes down to personal preference.
The Redmi 9T runs on the latest MIUI 12 interface and if you’ve used a device from Xiaomi / POCO before, you should expect the same experience. While the looks of the UI is something that I appreciate, the skin is too heavy for a device that packs 4GB RAM. I’ve said the same thing about the POCO M3 and I’ll repeat it again. If you’re coming from a higher end device, you will notice the slow performance from the skin. Running multiple apps in the background will not bring a smooth scrolling experience, so be sure to kill apps if you’re not using them.
Similarly, you can expect the same with the Redmi 9T’s camera interface. Yes, it’s not the smoothest of experience but hey, it’s pretty straightforward as far as using it goes. Every mode and setting can be easily found and if you’re not happy of what’s featured on the home menu, it can be tweaked.
The plus side of the Redmi 9T is that it offers an ultra-wide lens that the POCO M3 didn’t. It does have the shutter delay that the former has however and you will probably want to keep your hands steady for awhile when you take shots so that they don’t turn out blurry.
I found that the HDR is a bit aggressive when taking shots, resulting in photos looking overexposed. The night mode does a decent job for its price range. As for the front camera, you can see that the Portrait mode clears up my pimples as opposed to the normal selfie. Good to know the skin softening effect works well enough.
Check out the full-sized photos right here.
Starting from the price of RM499, the Redmi 9T presents itself as a decent device that offer some nifty specs for its segment. The review unit that we’ve got is the 4GB RAM variant and while we can’t complain much given its price tag, we would highly recommend you to get the 6GB RAM option instead. We just feel that the device would benefit much better and offer a smoother overall experience should you plan on getting the Redmi 9T. For what it offers, we give the Redmi 9T our Bronze Pokdeward.