Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro: Should You Purchase It at Rs 12,999?

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Xiaomi is all set to host the first sale of Redmi Note 9 Pro in India today at 12 PM. The handset will be available for purchase via Amazon India, mi.com and Mi Home stores. The Redmi Note 9 Pro, as we all know, is the successor to Redmi Note 8 Pro that was launched in October 2019. The Note 9 Pro brings several firsts to Redmi Note series like a punch-hole display, Snapdragon 7 series processor, massive 5020mAh battery, side-mounted fingerprint scanner and the new Aura Balance design. The price of Redmi Note 9 Pro starts at Rs 12,999 in India and it is the cheapest phone with Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G SoC in the country, beating the Realme 6 Pro by a massive margin. I have been using the Redmi Note 9 Pro for nearly four days now and here are my thoughts about the handset.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro: What It Gets Right

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro has a lot going for it, but before getting into the article, I would like to highlight one aspect- the Note 9 Pro is not a successor to the Redmi Note 8 Pro. In fact, it is a new smartphone altogether sitting between the upcoming Redmi Note 9 and the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max that's priced at Rs 14,999. In some aspects, the Note 9 Pro falls behind the Note 8 Pro, at least on paper. But again, the Note 9 Pro has several features which make it a perfect smartphone for the asking price.

Starting with the design, the Note 9 Pro comes with brand new 'Aura Balance' design which is unique. The back has no pattern like the Realme 6 series, instead, Redmi chose for functional design and the rear panel has a shiny effect. The phone comes in three colours- Interstellar Black, Glacier White, and Aurora Blue; The Aurora Blue variant which you are seeing looks alright, but the Glacier White is eye-catchy of all, at least in the renders. The Note 9 Pro is a bulky smartphone at 209 grams which is largely due to the massive 5020mAh battery and glass back. That said, the Note 9 Pro is not your smartphone for single-handed usage as the company has now gone with a massive 6.67-inch screen.

The fingerprint scanner is present on the right side- again a new change made by Xiaomi for the Note 9 Pro and Note 9 Pro Max. The scanner itself is good and unlocks the device in a whisker. But again, Xiaomi should have gone with a rear-mounted scanner as side-mounted scanners are not feasible to unlock with every finger. Moving on, we have the volume rockers on the right sitting above the power button (that includes fingerprint scanner as well). The USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack and single speaker grille are present on the bottom, and the top features secondary microphone and an IR Blaster.

Coming to the display, we now get a massive 6.67-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD screen on the front. The screen itself is pretty good as it renders punchy colours and even has excellent viewing angles. There's a punch-hole cutout on the top that houses the 16MP selfie shooter. The display is decent and gets the job done and you should not expect an AMOLED screen at the price of Rs 12,999.

Moving onto the hardware, here's things get interesting. The Redmi Note 9 Pro has the latest Snapdragon 720G chipset which is an 8nm processor with support for NavIC. The Note 8 Pro arrived with MediaTek Helio G90T and it quickly became the de-facto option for all the gamers out there, especially the ones who play PUBG Mobile a lot. The Note 9 Pro delivers excellent performance and the software (MIUI 11 based on Android 10) is also optimised. But again, these are our initial impressions and the final review will have a detailed performance report.

The highlight of the Redmi Note 9 Pro is its massive 5020mAh battery. Over the last four days, I have charged the device only twice because the phone is delivering screen-on time of more than eight hours. Even with intensive usage, the Note 9 Pro is capable of running for one and a half day with ease.

Lastly, the cameras on the Redmi Note 9 Pro are also really good. The phone rocks quad-camera setup on the back featuring a 48MP primary Samsung ISOCELL GM2 sensor, 8MP ultra-wide-angle shooter with 119-degree field-of-view, 5MP macro sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. The camera app itself remains the same and it is also optimised well on the Redmi Note 9 Pro. Take a look at the pictures shot using the Redmi Note 9 Pro during our testing.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro: What Felt Wrong

The first thing I noticed after picking up the Redmi Note 9 Pro is how bulky it is. At the launch event, Xiaomi said that the Redmi Note series always had a functional design. The Redmi Note 9 Pro is not a smartphone you can use with a single hand. At 209 grams, Note 9 Pro is one of the massive smartphones available in the price range.

The Realme 6, available at the same price, offers a 90Hz screen, but the Note 9 Pro lacks the feature. This means we will have to wait for another iteration of Redmi Note devices to have a high refresh rate screen, something which many users will not like. However, looking at how fast Xiaomi is refreshing the Redmi Note lineup, it will be a matter of time we get to see high refresh phones from Xiaomi in the mid-range segment.

The battery life on the Redmi Note 9 Pro is incredible, but the 18W bundled charger means the device takes over two hours for a full charge which might annoy a lot of people who are used to phones from OnePlus, Realme and Poco.

The Note 9 Pro's back panel attracts a lot of smudges, so we suggest you choose the Glacier White colour option. These are the cons which I noticed after using the Note 9 Pro for nearly four days. If you are in the market for a phone that delivers reliable software, cameras, performance and a big screen, then you can choose the Note 9 Pro during today' sale.

As for the prices, the Note 9 Pro will be available in just two variants- 4GB+64GB priced at Rs 12,999, and 6GB+128GB model that costs Rs 15,999. Since the phone has a dedicated microSD card slot, users can choose the base variant itself.

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Managing Editor

Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

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