From time to time we come back to talk about Xiaomi analyzing phones belonging to different price ranges but with one element often in common: the excellent value for money. This discourse applies to it Xiaomi Mi 9 of which you are reading the review but it also applies to the Read Mi Note 7 that we were able to try a few months ago. In this case the selling price is different and so are the specifications, decidedly more pushed, while the quality of an offer remains, which first of all passes from excellent performance but in general from an excellent balance of all hardware components.
Design and construction
At the level of design the Mi 9 takes up what was done with the previous model, offering a clean and precise line, which perhaps does not stand out from the mass of other smartphones on the market but at the same time offers sober lines that adapt to everyone's tastes. The back is curved and offers good grip even to those who, like the writer, do not have particularly large hands. The construction mixes glass and metal, for one effect and one solidity that leaves nothing to complain about. Especially considering that it is a device that can now be purchased for just over 300 euros. Wanting to find two defects, we certainly mention the absence of the 3.5mm jack, with the sole presence of the USB-C and the possible need to have a converter for headphones, while the camera compartment on which we will return later is placed to the side and protrudes a lot, making it not very comfortable when for example you press on the screen with the phone resting on a flat surface, such as a table. At the hardware level, the equipment revolves around the volocissimo Snapdragon 855 fitted to even more expensive phones, such as the One Plus 7 and in some countries the Samsung Galaxy S10. The ram is 6 GB while the internal memory, not expandable, is 128GB or 256GB. Do not miss the support for GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth 5.0; on the other hand, there is no certification that proves its impermeability. The dimensions of 157.5 x 74.67 x 7.61mm and the weight of 173 grams make it a device of medium size and weight, which houses a screen 6.39 inch Amoled and resolution of 2340x1080: the result is very good, with bright colors and a very good viewing angle, perhaps not as spectacular as that of the Samsung Galaxy S10 but absolutely valid both for browsing and using messaging apps, as well as for watching movies and playing games. Less exceptional is the 3300 mAh battery that leads to the evening without major problems in the case of normal use but, on days characterized by very intense use, suggests bringing a battery bank with you just to be sure not to remain on foot.
The rear photographic compartment is characterized by a sensor a 48 megapixel ƒ / 1.8, one 12 megapixel (2x zoom) ƒ / 2.2 and one wide angle 16 megapixel ƒ / 2.2. A package that allows you to have a very high versatility, able to give satisfaction both in situations where you want to photograph details and close-up scenes, and when you intend to capture a panorama. Artificial intelligence (or whatever we want to call it) helps in certain situations to get better shots than we would be able to do alone, but it is never too invasive. Rather, the night shooting mode does not leave you speechless and remains the weak point of a photographic sector that is still very valid, both taking into account the selling price, both in an absolute sense. Good videos, up in 4K, although perhaps the stabilized mode could have been better. Also good front camera 20 megapixel camera that occupies the space obtained from the small drop notch that never disturbs the use of the screen.
The software under the hood of the Mi 9 is obviously Android 9 Pie but the user uses the Xiaomi MIUI customized interface. The result is very fast and responsive, perhaps not at the level of the One Plus 7, which also has the same system on chip, but overall really good. The aesthetics of the interface is less exciting, which still has some small flaws, such as a certain inconsistency between the icons of the Xiaomi apps, round, and those of the more squared third parts.
We have already tested the Snapdragon 855 in the gaming field and even here playing titles such as PUBG, Fortnite and Asphalt 9 we found ourselves in the presence of a fluid and very satisfying gaming experience. The quality of the speakers and a certain tendency to heat up do not make it fit for purpose like other dedicated devices, but if your main goal is not to play with your phone, you can rest easy.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 is a very valid device: it mixes a respectable hardware with a good photographic and software sector. The Snapdragon 855 offers excellent performances that are enhanced, with games but not only, by a screen with a satisfactory performance from all points of view. Also good design and overall the photographic sector, especially in relation to a price that is now really competitive. It's not perfect but those looking for a well-rounded smartphone and don't want to faint, don't have to look further.
- Excellent value for money
- The Snapdragon 855 guarantees excellent performance
- Definitely good camera ...
- ... but those who want the top must spend more
- Some minor flaws