Redmi 9 Prime was launched in India quite a while back. With this, the company is bringing back the prime moniker, which is usually used on their best value for money device. The company claims that this phone offers way more in terms of features than any other smartphone in the sub Rs 10,000 space, so it is a true prime.
In order to satisfy the needs of the younger generation, it comes with a massive 5,020mAh battery along with USB Type-C fast charging support and an overall good looking design. So should you pick one up? Let’s find out in this review.
Redmi 9 Prime Review: Specifications
Redmi 9 Prime sports a 6.3-inch FullHD+ IPS LCD display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. It is powered by the Mediatek MT6768 Helio G80 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 64/128GB of onboard storage. The storage is further expandable using a microSD card slot. It runs on Android 10 based MIUI 11 out of the box. All of this is backed by a 5,020mAh battery.
On the optics front, the Redmi 9 Prime features a quad rear camera setup including a 13MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens and a 2MP depth sensor and a 5MP macro sensor. Upfront, there is a 8MP selfie snapper.
Redmi 9 Prime Review: Design and Display
Redmi 9 Prime brings a fairly common design. The smartphone looks similar to some of the recently launched smartphones with a waterdrop style notch display. The back is made out of plastic, which is expected in this price range. The plastic back offers a better drop protection and the company has even given it a textured back to improve the feel of the smartphone.
On the front, the Redmi 9 Prime sports a 6.3-inch panel with a raindrop notch. It has thin bezels offering a great experience apart from a fat chin, which is a design element far too common in this price range. The notch looks a bit outdated and could have been replaced with the punch-hole display to offer a more modern look.
As for the placements, Redmi 9 Prime sports a USB Type-C port on the bottom edge surrounded by the 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker grille and the primary microphone. The right edge houses the power button and volume buttons. On the left edge, there is just a SIM tray that can accept two SIM cards and a microSD card. The top edge of the phone is mostly left clean with the exception of the secondary microphone and IR sensor, which is rare.
Coming back to the display, it is a 6.3-inch IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels. Samsung offers a Super AMOLED display, which would be better for more content consumption, but this is also not bad considering the price and other specifications. One issue I have is the backlight isn’t bright enough to be comfortable for usage under direct sunlight.
Redmi 9 Prime Review: Performance, Software and UI
Redmi 9 Prime is powered by the Mediatek MT6768 Helio G80 processor paired with 4GB of RAM. With the phone being priced under Rs. 10,000, the Helio G80 processor seems to be a fine choice here. During the long review period, the phone performed without any lag or issue.
While it performs decently in most of the tasks, it’s no gaming smartphone. It performs decent enough while playing casual games and lags a bit in graphic-rich games, but considering it’s under Rs 10,000, we can ignore that.
The Redmi 9 Prime runs on Android 10 based MIUI 11 out of the box. The software is well built, to take advantage of all that power to provide a smooth experience. However, MIUI did have its fair share of annoyances on the Redmi 9 Prime. Despite the amazing amount of customizations and features packed into the device, the amount of bloatware, super colourful UI along with the exclusion of the app drawer is a big issue for me.
The Redmi 9 Prime has ads like most of the other Xiaomi smartphones, the constant bombardment of notification from GetApps app feels like ads, there are actual ads that i get while installing apps from play store. I appreciate the features and amount of customizations built-in, but the MIUI is still something I cannot get around to liking.
Redmi 9 Prime Review: Cameras
Redmi 9 Prime sports a quad-camera setup at the back. The setup comprises a 13-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor and a 5-megapixel macro-sensor. The camera app is straight forward, like any other camera app.
During our tests, the Redmi 9 Prime managed to click some decent shots. Under good lighting conditions, the phone managed to lock focus quickly. However, the colours are a bit highlighted by the AI which cannot be turned off. The wide-angle camera is good, the macro sensor, despite being 5 megapixel instead of 2 like many others, doesn’t provide such good results.
The story changes a bit when we go into the low light mode. The phone struggled to gain focus and the images churned out to be a bit grainy.
The selfies are good, nothing special but nothing bad. A lot of smartphones at this price range provide the same selfie experience. The beauty mode could be turned off completely, which I absolutely hate as it does not provide a natural experience.
Redmi 9 Prime Review: Battery
The battery segment is where the Redmi 9 Prime manages to outshine among its competition. The handset comes with a massive 5,020mAh battery. During my time with the device, light to medium usage got me two full days of usage. Even with heavy usage, the phone lasted more than a day. This makes it a great smartphone for people who travel a lot or watch a lot of movies on their smartphone.
With the battery being so huge, the charging speeds take a hit. The smartphone does support 10W fast charging. But even with that, the device takes around three hours to fully charge the massive battery. The problem could be solved by using an 18-watt charger, but you would have to spend extra money for the same.
Redmi 9 Prime Review: Verdict
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime is priced at Rs 9,999 for the 64GB variant and Rs 11,999 for the 128 GB variant. The extra Rs 2,000 for 64GB extra storage is a bit much. Overall, the smartphone offers great value for money. The massive battery is a plus and even the cameras are decent. The performance is great as well. However, the issues with the MIUI 11 are still a bit much. Most of them are being solved with the MIUI 12 which is scheduled to come to this phone soon.
Overall, if you are considering the 64Gb model, it’s a good deal, but then you reach the Rs 12,000 range, you can get a bit more like the Redmi Note 9 or the Realme Narzo 10. If you are considering buying the 64GB variant, you should be assured you are getting a great value for money.