Xiaomi is starting strong at the start of 2021 by offering us the Redmi Note 9T. An affordable and powerful smartphone for less than 250 €, all highlighting the new spearhead of all manufacturers: 5G compatibility. We more soie, rather twice than one.
A little over a year ago, Xiaomi released its Redmi Note 8T, a smartphone that had everything to please at the time, despite its “small” processor. And it really seduced us during our tests, of course taking into consideration its very low price (less than 200 €). The manufacturer returns at the start of the year with the Redmi Note 9T, which appears at a slightly higher price, but which gains a key element: 5G compatibility. Equipped with a brand new processor, a Mediatek Dimensity 800U, the device tries to indulge in the difficult exercise of combining super affordable price, mid-range performance, long battery life and of course very good price quality. correct. Successful bet ? We have tested the Redmi Note 9T from every angle and give you all our conclusions here.
Price and availability
Available for pre-order from January 15, the Redmi Note 9T is displayed in two colors, Twilight Black or Aurora Violet. Each of the two models is marketed in two editions: the 4 GB / 64 GB version is available at € 249, while the 4 GB / 128 GB edition is sold for 269 €. A very interesting call price, especially since the 4 GB / 64 GB version benefits from an additional reduction of € 20 for people who pre-order the smartphone between January 15 and 17.
Unboxing and design
Let’s start at the beginning: the box of the Redmi Note 9T is like what we are used to seeing at Redmi. A white packaging, sober, with an illustration of the smartphone on the front, and the name of the smartphone on the left and right edges. When opening, we fall directly in front of the first small box in which you will find documentation, the pin to open the NanoSIM card drawer and, as usual with Xiaomi, a small flexible plastic shell that will allow you to protect your smartphone right out of the box. We tend to stress this regularly, but it’s always so pleasant to be able, as soon as it opens, to protect your smartphone from possible falls.
Below this box we will find the Redmi Note 9T, and finally the power adapter for charging with a USB Type A port. There is also a USB Type A to USB type C cable. In this box, no hands-free kit therefore: note that we are here on an international edition. The versions available in stores or for the French market should be equipped with it.
The Redmi Note 9T is a smartphone that comes as no surprise. Side dimensions it measures 162 mm high by 77.3 mm wide, all for 9 mm thick and a weight just below the 200 gram mark (199 grams very precisely on the scale). On the front, we will find a 6.53 ”DotDisplay Full HD + panel punched at the top left to house the selfie sensor. The screen is framed by relatively thin bezels, since they measure only 4mm on the three left, right and top edges. The chin is slightly thicker with its 6 mm height. To note that the speakerphone for listening during calls is housed at the top of the device very discreetly.
On the upper edge, we find a microphone for noise reduction as well as an infrared emitter. On the left, we can see the presence of the nano SIM card drawer and micro SD card. Below the device takes place a second speaker that complements the previous one to deliver stereo sound. There is also a USB-C port for charging and synchronization, as well as finally, the immortal 3.5mm mini-jack. The right edge has all the necessary buttons, namely the two volume control buttons and the lock / unlock button which hides the fingerprint sensor which is also very responsive.
The back of the smartphone is made of dark gray textured plastic. Well made, it is advertised by Redmi as “anti-fingerprint”. Sadly, this coating is not a success, since from the first use, traces appear very quickly. At the top, in the center of the smartphone and surrounded by a silver circle, is the triple photo module which we will talk about a little later in this test.
In conclusion, there is nothing impressive about this design, nothing surprising, and the handling, while good, leaves a little to be desired. The least successful is ultimately the coating on the back of the device which, in addition to not keeping its “anti-fingerprint” promise, makes the experience worse than with a smooth and shiny plastic.
The Redmi Note 9T has a 6.53 ”DotDisplay screen, offering a resolution of 2340 by 1080 pixels for a density of 395 pixels per inch, all in 19.5: 9 format. Contrast side, the manufacturer announces, as we can imagine for an LCD screen a ratio of 1500: 1 and a brightness of 450 nits. Interestingly, the slab is certified by TÜV Rheinland for its low blue light emission. A good point for your eyes. As for the glass used, it is a Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which should offer this smartphone very resistance over time. In this regard, note that its little brother, the Redmi 9T, only has a Gorilla Glass 3.
So much for the technical info. In use, the screen is very correct. No worries about viewing your screen even in broad daylight. The set is very pleasant to use, the colors are bright and the contrasts remain almost irreproachable, despite the technology used. The blacks are very black and the whites are very white, without drawing too much towards blue or yellow. To complete it all, the details are present and the screen is precise in its reproduction. It follows therefore a great experience for an FHD + display in a phone in this price range.
Hardware and performance
Here we are faced with very good hardware. The Redmi Note 9T runs thanks to the very recent SOC Mediatek Dimensity 800U presented by the company in August 2020. This octa-core is made up of two Cortex-A76 main cores clocked at 2.4 GHz and 6 Cortex-A55 secondary cores clocked in to them at 2 GHz. On the graphics side, it is a Mali-G57 MC3 GPU which takes care of processing the display. Everything is assisted by 4 GB of RAM memory in LPDDR4X.
On the storage side, the Redmi Note 9T is available in two versions, 64 and 128GB, without taking into account the 16 GB required for Android and all the preinstalled apps. As a result, the 128 GB version that we had in our hands has 111 GB available at the first ignition. However, you can, on either of the two versions, expand storage with a microSD card without even preventing you from using dual-SIM since the trolley is in 2 + 1 format.
Slight difference however between the two versions, the 64 GB version is in UFS 2.1 while the 128 GB version is in UFS 2.2. A detail of course, but which will significantly affect the speed of access to data on your smartphone.
After several attempts, we were unable to launch 3DMark on this smartphone due to a connection error related to the application (and not to the smartphone). On the other hand, GeekBench offers us very respectable results with a score of 602 points in single core and 1795 points in multi-core. If the SoC does not explode the high-score, the Redmi Note 9T is easily placed at the level of the Poco F1 and far ahead of a Samsung Galaxy A71. An excellent point for those looking for a powerful smartphone at an ultra soft price.
As for navigation, nothing to complain about: the whole offers an extremely fluid experience without batting an eyelid. On the video game side, however, don’t expect the best experience on the market.. While everything will work smoothly on purely mobile games like Call Of Duty Mobile, the experience will be absolutely unpleasant on more advanced games, like Genshin Impact, which requires enormous simultaneous resources to run smoothly. You will be able to play in low quality, but the drop of frames per second will be your burden.
To conclude, the Redmi Note 9T will offer a very respectable experience for its price range, but will obviously not equal the mid-range or high-end monsters. If you plan to play a lot and greedy games, orient yourself on a more efficient model. If your needs are mainly limited to social networks, casual gaming and watching VOD or local content, you will be fully satisfied with the performance of this smartphone.
Battery and Autonomy
As usual with this price bracket, the manufacturers rely a lot on the battery and autonomy. Xiaomi has therefore not done things by halves. We therefore take advantage ofa 5000 mAh battery supporting an 18 W recharge. The charger provides a recharge of up to 22.5 W, which is more than enough for the capabilities of the smartphone.
For standard use, understand here calls, social networks or some small videos and parts of video games, you can last almost two days. With intensive use, it will be a day at most. Charging side, it will take no less than an hour and a half to fully charge the smartphone.
Bluetooth 5.1, Wifi 802.11 a / b / g (but not ax): all the necessary connectivity without overdoing it. We may perhaps regret the absence of Wifi 6 when more and more manufacturers start to deploy Wifi 6E which, in addition to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands can also use the 6 GHz band for better data transfers. data. But at this price, you can’t ask for too much either.
It is, however, an evil for a good, since this smartphone offers 5G connectivity, and this, even doubly. You can therefore install in the dedicated drawer two SIM cards, and both will be able to connect to the 5G network. In anticipation of your future professional and personal plans, the Redmi Note 9T offers itself as the ideal partner for your mobility. Small point to note, we are here only on 5G Sub 6 GHz and not millimeter. However, the millimeter network is still a long way from its commercialization phase, which has not yet been dated in France.
The Redmi Note 9T is equipped with stereo speakers located on either side of the smartphone. The whole delivers powerful sound that does not saturate (even at full volume, something rare enough to be lifted). If the sound is precise and relatively correct for occasional listening, we note however a fairly wobbly frequency balances. The bass is present, the treble precise, but the sound seems to be muffled by the absence of the high mids. Connecting the smartphone to a pair of headphones or to a speaker will still be preferred for more enjoyable listening, as usually on smartphones.
The Redmi Note 9T runs on Android 10 with the MIUI overlay in version 12. Overlay which has been proven to date and offers a very good experience. However, it should be noted some minor translation issues rather funny, like when you deactivate the notifications of an application from the control center: you then send them “Snooze” for a period of X. If in absolute terms the problem is very minor, it did not prevent us from sketch a smile. We will also note expressions such as “press sounds” to activate a sound feedback when pressing a touch control, or “the sound to remove” whose function remains a mystery.
Camera and Photos
On the shooting side, the Redmi Note 9T is equipped with a triple photo module which when peeled becomes much less impressive. To begin with, we have a wide-angle of 48 million pixels opening at f / 1.79 and which acts as the main sensor. We also benefit from a macro lens of 2 million pixels opening, at f / 2.4. And finally, there is a depth of field sensor sharing the same characteristics as the macro photography sensor.
Of the three sensors, only two will therefore be really usable. However, it is clear that they take very good shots in full light.
48-megapixel main sensor delivers crisp shots and vivid colors without being saturated. The photo processing performed by the software part intelligently enhances the sharpness in certain areas, without overdoing it, and this is an excellent point, the result is natural and faithful to reality. Note however that the distortion remains visible especially on the four corners of the photos. The whole becomes blurry and imprecise for a few millimeters and a slight chromatic aberration appears.
A few errors remain here and there when trimming when using the portrait mode, but the whole remains quite correct and the pictures delivered remain very appreciable.
In low light however, the result is simply unusable. The whole is blurry with only a few points of sharpness where the light is most present. A huge vignetting effect is created and the photo is covered in noise. While this sensor shines in broad daylight, it clearly doesn’t at night.
If the macro sensor It also allows very pretty shots like its big brother, the quality of the photos also drops as soon as night falls.
Note also the low capacity of 2 Mpx which, although the shots are correct, greatly limits the amount of detail in the image. Digital noise also lodges very quickly in the darker areas of the photo. So pay attention to the lighting of your subjects before shooting.
Regarding the video, the rear sensor of the Redmi Note 9T is capable of capturing up to 30 images per second in 4K or 60 FPS in 1080p. It also allows slow motion at 120 frames per second in 1080p. On the stabilization side, if in absolute terms the latter is convincing, it is not the best on the market.
Finally, on the front face, you will find a selfie sensor of 13 million pixels opening at f / 2.25, sensor that will offer beautiful, well-detailed photos and will therefore fulfill its role perfectly.