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Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T review

Introduction and unboxing

The Redmi Note 9T is a slightly toned-down version of the China-exclusive Redmi Note 9 5G. It is already available in Europe, with an extremely-competitive €199 “early-bird” special price and a regular MSRP promised to start at just €229 for the base 4/64GB version and go up to €269 for the 4/128GB one.

The Redmi Note 9T is clearly crafted to cater to the emerging budget 5G niche on global markets. Its priorities are clear, and they definitely required some other specs and feature sacrifices along the way. And that’s perfectly understandable.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T review

Not every phone needs to be a universally-beloved budget offer like Xiaomi’s Poco line. There is value in catering to specific needs and interests, like the current 5G trend, while still sticking to a strict budget. Plus, specs nitpicking aside, the Redmi Note 9T manages to deliver a well-rounded and competent modern smartphone experience.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T specs at a glance:

  • Body: 161.2×77.3×9.1mm, 199g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), plastic back, plastic frame; Water-repellent coating.
  • Display: 6.53″ IPS LCD, 450 nits (typ), 1080x2340px resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi.
  • Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 800U 5G (7 nm): Octa-core (2×2.4 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G57 MC3.
  • Memory: 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM; UFS 2.1 – 64GB, UFS 2.2 – 128GB; microSDXC (dedicated slot).
  • OS/Software: Android 10, MIUI 12.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4.
  • Front camera: 13 MP, f/2.3, 29mm (standard), 1/3.1″, 1.12µm.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 5000mAh; Fast charging 18W, 33% in 30 min.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; FM radio, recording; Infrared port; 3.5mm jack.

While the Redmi Note 9T price tag falls squarely in the budget territory, it is important to put it into proper context. Some aspects of the Redmi Note 9T’s spec sheet range from merely OK (such as the unassuming 60Hz LCD panel with wide bezels and a sizeable punch-hole selfie cam) all the way to disappointing (like the effectively single usable main camera).

Clearly, the Redmi Note 9T is not the best value proposition around. You can get a better display, better raw performance or a distinctly better camera setup, or even a combination of these, all while still staying within a €250 budget. Getting 5G connectivity for that kind of money outside of China, however, is still tough.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T review

MediaTek has been working overtime to make 5G more affordable, most notably with the introduction of its 5G-equipped Dimensity line of chipsets. The future looks bright in camp Qualcomm as well, with recent announcements, like the Snapdragon 480. For the time being, however, it’s silicon like the Dimensity 800U inside the Xiaomi Redmi 9T that has 5G enthusiasts excited as MediaTek’s affordable 5G hardware is finally trickling out of its domestic market.

Unboxing the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T

Let’s kick things off by unboxing the phone. After all, in light of recent developments regarding bundled phone chargers and an ever-shrinking accessory kit in general, we are kind of anxious to see the inside of a Redmi box in 2021. Thankfully, the Redmi Note 9T arrives with a few goodies in tow.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T review

You get a wall charger. In fact, one that is rated for 22.5W (5V@3A, 9V@2.23A, 10V@2.25A, 12V@1.67A) of Quick Charge 3+ output – more than the 18W the Redmi Note 9T can charge at. Xiaomi basically decided to standardize its basic chargers at one point, and now, many of its devices get the same wall adapter in the box. Less variation means lower overall production costs.

The bundled USB-A to USB Type-C cable is nothing special, yet still feels sturdy and thick enough to last. The same goes for the included clear TPU case.

It’s great to see that you are basically all set to start using the Redmi Note 9T straight out of the box.

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