Before now, Xiaomi wasn’t a household name in the smartphone industry, especially in the US and UK. Right now, the company has began flexing muscles with top smartphone makers like Samsung and Apple. We noticed this when the Xiaomi Mi 8 was released. Ever since, the company has produced excellent phones.

This review touches on the excellent and not-so-fantastic features of the Xiaomi Mi 9. The Xiaomi Mi 9 has a very good screen, impressive cameras, beautiful design and it’s powered by the very fast Snapdragon 855 chipset.

The cherry on top of this is that even with all of the features packed into the Xiaomi Mi 9, its price tag is reasonably lower than most smartphones in the same category.

PROS

  • Impressive display
  • Excellent camera system
  • Fast OS
  • Quite affordable

CONS

  • UI can be improved
  • Average battery performance

Appearance and Display

  • 6.3-inch AMOLED display
  • 1080 x 2340 pixels
  • 157.5 x 74.7 x 7.6 mm

The Xiaomi Mi 9 sports a glass exterior. Dominating the front is a 6.3-inch AMOLED display, with a 1080 x 2340 Full HD+ resolution. The Mi 9’s display is bright and colourful.

The phone comes in three beautiful colours: Piano Black, Lavender Violet, and Ocean Blue.

 

The Xiaomi Mi 9 brings a lot to the table with its triple camera setup.

 

In terms of weight, the Xiaomi Mi 9 weighs 173g. This is leagues lighter than the OnePlus 7 Pro (216g). Again for comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus – ceramic model (198g), Apple iPhone XR (194g), and Huawei P30 Pro (192g), are heavier than the Mi 9. Elsewhere, it measures 157.5 x 74.7 x 7.6mm.

You’ll find a dedicated button for activating Google Assistant on the left side of the phone. The right edge holds the power and volume buttons. You may accidentally hit some of these buttons even when you don’t mean to.

Xiaomi Mi 9 brings a lot to the table with the triple camera system on the rear — more on this later.

One thing Xiaomi has excluded from the Mi 9 — and this is not unique to Xiaomi — is a 3mm headphone jack. This is in line with the competition like Google Pixel 3, Huawei P30 Pro, and OnePlus 7 Pro. The smartphone lacks a microSD card slot.

Read our Apple iPhone XR review

Xiaomi Mi 9 Specifications 

Display 6.3 inches, 1080 x 2340 pixels
Processor Snapdragon 855
Operating System Android 9.0 Pie
RAM 6GB/8GB
Storage 64GB/128GB
Battery 3300 mAh
18W charger, 27W support,
Qi wireless charging
Audio Internal speaker
Front Camera Single: 20 MP (f/2.0)
Rear Camera Triple: 48 MP wide-angle (f/1.8),
12 MP telephoto (f/2.2) and
16 MP Ultrawide (f/2.2)
Colours Piano Black, Lavender Violet,
Ocean Blue
Size 157.5 x 74.7 x 7.6 mm
Weight 173g
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac,
dual-band,
Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot

Storage

  • 64GB/128GB storage
  • 6GB/8GB RAM

The Xiaomi Mi 9 comes with only two storage options: 64GB and 128GB. You get either 6, or 12GB of RAM.

Entry-level configuration comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage. For more money, you get the 12 GB RAM version. The more expensive variant has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

Camera

  • 20-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 48-megapixel wide-angle camera
  • 12-megapixel telephoto lens
  • 16-megapixel ultrawide camera

Xiaomi nailed the cameras, and they remain a big part of the Mi 9’s appeal. Just like the OnePlus 7 Pro, Huawei P30 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, the Xiaomi Mi 9 has more than one camera setup on the rear.

The rear of the phone holds a 48-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide sensor. A 20-megapixel camera sits on the front of the Mi 9.

The rear-facing cameras produce beautiful pictures with great near-natural looking colours. Like the Google Pixel 3’s cameras which work with artificial intelligence (AI), the Mi 9 produces impressive pictures as a result of powerful machine learning technology that powers the cameras.

 

The Cameras are a big part of the Xiaomi Mi 9’s appeal.

 

As you would expect, the selfie camera isn’t as good as the rear-facing camera. Selfie images are not as colourful and crisp as those pictures taken by the rear cameras.

The one thing we don’t like about the Xiaomi Mi 9 rear cameras is that they do not get the job done in low-light conditions. Smartphones like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Apple iphone XS, give slightly better picture qualities especially in low-light conditions.

If you have a knack for taking photos that are extraordinarily sharp with lots of details even in low-light conditions, try the Google Pixel 3. The Pixel 3 has a special Night Sight feature for making pictures taken in areas with little natural light colourful and bright.

The best part of the rear camera array, however, is the inclusion of the 12-megapixel telephoto lens which makes it a lot easier to capture images precisely. Again, Xiaomi was smart to include the 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens for taking panoramic images.

We love features like the Pro mode, and beauty mode. With the Pro mode feature, you can adjust the camera’s shutter and aperture speed. The beauty mode lets you tweak pictures using bokeh effects.

Read our Google Pixel 3 review

Software

  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • MIUI 10

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is shipped with Google’s Android 9 Pie operating system much like the Huawei P30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S10e. Actually, the MIUI interface is a tweaked version of the Android 9 Pie.

Xiaomi Mi 9 vs. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 

Xiaomi Mi 9 Samsung Galaxy
S10 Plus
Display 6.3 inches,
1080 x 2340 pixels
6.4 inches,
1440 x 3040 pixels
Processor Snapdragon 855 Snapdragon 855
Operating System Android 9.0 Pie Android 9.0 Pie
RAM 6GB/8GB 8GB/12GB
Storage 64GB/128GB 128GB/512GB/
1TB
Battery 3300 mAh 4100 mAh
Audio Loudspeaker Stereo speakers
Front Camera Single: 20 MP (f/2.0) Dual: 10 MP (f/1.9),
8MP (f/2.2)
Rear Camera Triple: 48 MP wide-angle (f/1.8), 12 MP telephoto (f/2.2) and 16 MP Ultrawide (f/2.2) Triple: 12 MP wide-angle
(f/1.5-2.4), 12 MP
telephoto (f/2.4),16 MP
Colours Piano Black, Lavender Violet, Ocean Blue Prism White, Prism Black,
Prism Green, Prism Blue,
Canary Yellow, Flamingo Pink, Ceramic Black, Ceramic White, Cardinal Red, Smoke Blue
Size 157.5 x 74.7 x 7.6 mm 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm
Weight 173 g Ceramic model: 198 g
Glass model: 175 g
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax,
dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct,
DLNA, hotspot

Performance 

  • Snapdragon 855

If anything about this smartphone feels less than impressive, it is the user interface (UI). The new Xiaomi Mi 9’s  UI is not going to be a hit with many users, but it’ll take getting used to.

With the Snapdragon 855 chipset, you’ll find that most apps on the Xiaomi Mi 9 work without hiccups. The Mi can handle any game thrown at it because of the powerful Snapdragon 855 chipset.

 

The Xiaomi Mi 9 can handle high-end games like Fortnite effortlessly.

 

You won’t have issues playing Fortnite, Alto’s Odyssey and Dragon Ball Legends.That said, the smartphone may become noticeably warm during gaming, however, this does not hamper performance.

See our Best Smartphones for PUBG Mobile

The Xiaomi Mi 9 has a fingerprint sensor, however, this isn’t as good a fingerprint reader as you’ll find on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, and the Huawei P30 Pro.

The Xiaomi Mi 9 does not rank very high for audio quality. Sound from the inbuilt speakers aren’t loud enough. In short, they are below par.

Overall, the Mi 9 has a very fast processing speed. You may not get any high-end smartphone this fast at a relatively low price range. The difference in processing speeds between the Xiaomi Mi 9 and established names like the Samsung S10 Plus and Apple iPhone XS is negligible.

It bears repeating that the S10 Plus and Mi 9 are powered by the superfast Qualcomm Snapdragon 855.

The Chinese manufacturer is silent on the phone’s ability to resist water, so you won’t find its IP water-resistant rating.

Check out our Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review

Battery Life

  • 3300 mAh
  • 18W charger
  • 27W support
  • Qi wireless charging

The Xiaomi Mi 9 will not last you through a full day without having to use the smartphone’s 27W fast battery charger. Light tasks like surfing the web, sending mails and typing do not drain the battery as much as streaming Netflix movies and playing games.

We are a bit disappointed with the paltry 3300 mAh battery in the Mi 9. We thought with the powerful Snapdragon chipset tucked inside the Xiaomi Mi 9,  the Chinese maker would have added a powerful battery to match the processing needs of the smartphone.

 

The Xiaomi Mi 9’s battery is not the best you’ll find on a smartphone, it isn’t the worst, either.

 

Truth be told, the battery performance of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, Huawei P30 Pro, and OnePlus 7 Pro, is a lot better than what the Xiaomi Mi 9 manages, even if they are a bit more expensive.

With the fast charging accessories, you can juice up your Xiaomi Mi 9 smartphone from 0% to 80% in 30 minutes or thereabouts. The fast charging times make up for the less-than-impressive battery life.

Read more: OnePlus 7 Pro review

What You May Not Like

  • After prolonged use, you may notice that the Xiaomi Mi 9 gets warm.
  • The fingerprint sensor isn’t super responsive.
  • The Xiaomi Mi 9’s  user interface (UI) is still relatively new, so it’ll take some getting used to.

FAQ

1. Does Xiaomi Mi 9 support 5G?
The Xiaomi Mi 9 does not support 5G.

2. Does Xiaomi Mi 9 have NFC?
Yes, the Xiaomi Mi 9 have NFC.

3. Does Xiaomi Mi 9 work in USA
Yes, the Xiaomi Mi 9 works in the USA.

Bottom Line

The Xiaomi Mi 9 has its pitfalls, however, its positives outweigh the drawbacks. It offers virtually every feature associated with a top-of-the-line smartphone, and all of these features come with a reasonable price tag.

We recommend the Xiaomi Mi 9 for those who need a lightning-fast, high-end smartphone without breaking the bank. It’s a smartphone anyone should be proud to carry around.

In The same League

If you’re not convinced on Xiaomi Mi 9, here are other noteworthy smartphones you might like:

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Excellent performance, sleek design and never-seen-before features used to be the trademark of every new phone released by Apple, but Samsung has since stepped up their game to meet and surpass some of the standards set by Apple.

The newly released Galaxy S10 Plus smartphone is no exception. From build quality to display, software, storage and performance, the Galaxy S10 Plus ticks all the boxes.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S1O Plus review

OnePlus 7 Pro

With super-fast read and write speeds championed by UFS 3.0 storage (a first in the smartphone industry), as well as the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, the OnePlus 7 Pro is on par with other high-end smartphones.

Additionally, a tripartite camera system, much improved in-display fingerprint reader, impressive display quality, and fast charging feature further solidify its place among the top smartphones in the world.

Read our  full OnePlus 7 Pro review

Google Pixel 3

Google is stepping up to the plate with regard to churning out impressive smartphones. However, they are somewhat behind the curve in some areas. That said, the company remains one of the few smartphone manufacturers who are steadily maximizing the advantages of artificial intelligence (AI).

This AI technology is evident in the Google Pixel 3. The cameras on the Pixel 3 are the greatest beneficiaries of the machine learning technology.

Read our full Google Pixel 3 review

Apple iPhone XR

The Apple iPhone XR’s winning ingredients are speed, a decent battery life, and of course, a fair price. With Apple’s impressive A12 Bionic chipset and iOS 12 operating system tucked inside the iPhone XR, the smartphone truly delivers.

Read our  full Apple iPhone XR review