Redmi 9 Review: Game-Changer In Low-End Market

Redmi 9

Xiaomi has been always known for its price-over-performance ratio products. And in this sense, the Redmi series low-end models have been best-sellers. Moreover, the so-called hundred-yuan smartphones have been and are the best choice for many customers. However, with the advancement of technology and economic development, the price of smartphones has risen. At the same time, the positioning of the 100-yuan machine has ushered in a downgrade. So many customers began thinking of other models that cost a bit more but provide way better performance.

Redmi 9

In early 2020, MediaTek launched a new processor the MediaTek Helio G80, which completely changed the situation faced by the 100-yuan machine. In some sense, it became a revolutionary chip, allowing entry-level users to enjoy the smoothness of daily operations and even games. So we can state the handsets powered by this chip have made a great come-back.

Also Read: Redmi 9 Unboxing: Still The Best Option In Thousand-Yuan Niche

Today, we are going to review the Redmi 9, which is powered by the MediaTek Helio G80. The performance of the Redmi 9 is significantly improved compared to the previous models equipped with entry-level chips such as the Snapdragon 435 and the MediaTek P35. In addition to the performance upgrade, the Redmi 9’s quality has also been slightly improved. The scarce configurations on the original 100-yuan machine such as a 1080P screen and a rear quad-camera have appeared again. And the excellent genes of ancestral infrared remote control, 5000mAh large battery, and 18W fast charge have been retained. Plus, it starts at 799 yuan ($114).

Appearance

When you get the Redmi 9, you will find that it has a different feel. At the moment when glass and ceramics are the mainstream, the 100-yuan machines always like to use smooth transparent plastic to simulate the feel of glass. But this kind of back cover is neither dirt-resistant nor non-slip.

In this sense, the Redmi 9 returns to the original, without concealing the plastic material of the back cover. Through the micro-texture, it increases the friction. Plus, it comes with an oleophobic layer, which improves the anti-slip and anti-fouling properties. So the back cover has a different feels like wearing a matte protective shell when using bare metal.

Redmi 9

On the front, the Redmi 9 uses a water drop screen design. It is worth noting that there are two points. First, the Redmi 9 uses an FHD LCD screen. Compared with the previous 720P screen, the screen fineness is much higher. Second, the screen ratio is further improved. The border is much narrower, and at the same time, there is no logo at the lower border.

Redmi 9

On the back, the design of the Redmi 9 continues the style of the ‘coin machine’ of the K30 series. The rear fingerprint is hidden in the rear camera without any abruptness. As a 100-yuan machine, the Redmi 9 is rarely equipped with four sensors.

At the top, we still can find the ancestral infrared remote control. Plus, there is a noise-canceling microphone hole.

Redmi 9

The bottom carries a 3.5mm headphone jack, a Type-C interface, a microphone opening, and a speaker opening.

The SIM card slot is on the left side of the fuselage. The combination of dual SIM cards + microSD card is common to low-end machines. The Redmi 9 supports up to 512GB of storage expansion.

Although the Redmi 9 supports up to 18W fast charging, the charging adapter included in the package is only 10W. If necessary, remember to purchase a charger that supports QC 3.0 protocol.

Performance

The MediaTek Helio G80 is based on the 12nm process and comes with a 2+6 design. There are two A75 large cores with a frequency of 2GHz and 6 A55 small cores with a frequency of 1.8GHz. The GPU integrates the Mali-G52 MC2 with a frequency of 950MHz. The specifications of the Helio G80 are very close to the Snapdragon 710, far exceeding the widely used Snapdragon 435 and MediaTek P35.

Master Lu

The overall score of the Redmi 9 in Master Lu is 192,993 points. For comparison, the score of the Redmi 8 released last year was only 125,985 points. Among them, the CPU score was increased from 64,880 points (Snapdragon 435) to 89,337 points (Helio G80). And the GPU score was increased from 19,847 points to 48,139 points. Judging from Master Lu’s score alone, the Redmi 9 not only has a 40% improvement in CPU performance, but also directly improves GPU performance by as much as 142%, allowing entry-level 100-yuan machines to finally have the ability to play games like World War I.

AndroBench

The continuous reading speed is 306.54MB/s, and the continuous writing speed is 167MB/s. This is a typical EMMC 5.1 speed. For a hundred yuan machine, this is also a common configuration.

Geekbench

In Geekbench 4, the Helio G80 has a single-core score of 1,833 and a multi-core score of 6,079. Compared with the Snapdragon 710, the single-core performance is flat, and the multi-core performance is about 10% higher. In Geekbench 5, the Helio G80 compared to the Snapdragon 710’s performance, single-core is increased by 8%%, multi-core lags behind about 6%.

GFXBench

The Snapdragon 675’s results are: Tyrannosaurus off-screen (45FPS), Manhattan off-screen (22FPS), Manhattan 3.1 off-screen (16FPS), racing chase off-screen (9FPS).

Redmi 9

Actual game test

We can see from the software test that the MediaTek Helio G80 has a significantly improved SoC compared to the previous one hundred yuan machine. Especially the GPU part has been doubled compared to the previous generation product. It is possible to play games again at a higher screen setting.

We have tested the phone by playing Honor of Kings and ‘Peace Elite. The highest picture quality was turned on under the premise of giving priority to the frame rate to test the performance of MediaTek Helio G80 in the game.

Honor of Kings

In the game Honor of Kings, under the premise of full picture quality, the Redmi 9 can ensure stable operation in 30FPS mode, with an average frame rate of 44.6FPS. This means that if you want to stabilize 60 frame operation, you need to partially lower the picture settings.

Redmi 9

Peace Elite

In Peace Elite, the limit frame rate mode is turned on with smooth quality. The average frame rate measured is 50.5FPS. During the game, 88% of the time frame rate is above 45FPS.

Redmi 9

In the past, the hundred-yuan machine can only achieve the result of 30FPS full frame operation with low image quality at 720P resolution for Honor of Kings, and Peace Elite was even difficult to achieve normal performance. In this regard, the Redmi 9 with the MediaTek Helio G80, still provides a higher frame rate with a 1080P resolution.

Combined with the previous theoretical performance tests, it can be concluded that the MediaTek Helio G80 is similar to the Snapdragon 710 in CPU performance. And the GPU performance is similar to the Snapdragon 675. Compared to the Snapdragon 435 and MediaTek, the performance of SoCs such as P35 has been improved significantly.

Camera

Although it is a 100-yuan machine, the Redmi 9 features a rear quad-camera. In addition to the main camera and wide-angle, it also provides a depth of field lens and a macro lens to provide more gameplay.

Auto mode
Auto mode
Auto mode
Auto mode

Although it is a small CMOS, under the conditions of better lighting, the imaging quality of the main camera is quite capable in a hundred yuan machine.

Due to its relatively weak SoC performance in ISP, coupled with Redmi 9’s own entry-level positioning, it is naturally not necessary to add any advanced post-algorithm. The look and feel of the photo itself is very similar to the straight-out effect of the professional mode. Fortunately, the resolution and details can be kept relatively clear under 13MP.

Wide-angle lens

A wide-angle lens can provide a larger angle of view. Of course limited to pixels, the resolution is slightly worse, but the processing and correction of corner distortion are done very well.

Redmi 9
Auto mode
Auto mode

When taking pictures at night, due to the lack of algorithm support, Redmi 9’s imaging is also very close to the ‘straight out’ style. It can faithfully record the details of the bright parts.

Redmi 9
Macro lens

The macro lens is undoubtedly a surprise. The resolution of this macro lens carried by the Redmi 9 is up to 5MP. So it can ensure that the picture under macro mode has a higher resolution.

Portrait mode depth of field effect is on
Portrait Mode Depth of Field Effect Off

The 2MP depth-of-field lens can cooperate with the main camera to produce a certain depth of field effect. But this effect is not strong on the Redmi 9.

In general, the Redmi 9 not only rarely provides the luxurious configuration of the rear four-camera in the 100 yuan machine, but its own imaging quality is also remarkable. Although there is no strong post-algorithm support, there is still room for post-production of ‘plain film’.

Endurance

The Redmi 9 has a large battery of 5020mAh. But considering the strong performance of the MediaTek Helio G80, its battery life is still unknown.

Of course, one thing is certain. The charging time of the large 5020mAh battery under the included 10W charger will not be too short.

Video endurance test

We used the Redmi 9 for video testing to see how it will perform under the heavy load of watching the video. We kept the volume and brightness at 50%. After 30 minutes of power loss of 6%, the average power of the whole machine is 2207mW. It can be estimated that Redmi 9’s video endurance time is about 9 hours.

Game endurance test

We used the same games for testing the battery consumption when playing. The endurance of the two games in the highest picture quality is 5 hours. But you can consider lowering the picture settings to get better endurance performance.

Charging speed test

Since there is only a 10W charger in the package, we can test the phone for charging speed using this charger only. It takes nearly 2 hours to charge the battery from 7% to 90%, and the final 10% will enter the trickle charging stage, which will take longer.

Verdict

The entry-level Helio G80 not only rewrites the entry-level performance threshold of smartphones but also promotes the progress of the industry, and accelerates the delisting of low-end products with weak performance. Thereby, it allows users to have more high-quality products in the future.

Under the price of 799 yuan, the Redmi 9 not only came with required features such as a large battery, 18W fast charge support, infrared remote control, etc., there are some noticeable upgrades such as a more powerful performance and a quad-camera on the back.

If you are looking for a hundred-dollar smartphone, the Redmi 9 is definitely a unique option with no increase in price.

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