Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S: Living up to its predecessors?

Does the Redmi Note 9S have all the makings of a value for money budget smartphone?

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The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S intends to continue the groundwork the company has laid out with its Redmi Note series. For the first time, it sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 700 series of processors and has quite a unique design. Couple that with the 5,020mAh battery, AI 48MP quad-camera and its 6.67-inch display and you find yourself getting a lot of value at the phone’s price tag.

Out of the box

The unboxing experience of the Redmi Note 9S is not premium. Although it does come with some handy accessories. Aside from the smartphone, you find some mandatory paperwork as well as a dark silicone case. The latter is a nice touch although when using it, it covers the smartphone’s otherwise gorgeous Interstellar Grey color finish.

The rear sports an 8MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro and 2MP depth sensor alongside the phone’s 48MP primary lens

Aside from that, you also find a SIM tool, a Type-A to Type-C USB cable and a power brick. The power brick supports up to 22.5W charging speeds although the phone can only charge its battery at 18W. It is nice to see this included though, considering many a time, you tend not to find a high rated charger with a smartphone out of the box.

First impressions

With Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front and back, the smartphone has a good deal of premium to it. We also like that the fingerprint scanner is side mounted although given the size of the phone, it may be a bit difficult to reach for people with smaller hands.

We think the 6.67-inch display is on the dimmer side

Something we are yet to test is the smartphone’s camera alongside the performance it gives. As we mentioned earlier, the processor in question is an octa-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of UFS 2.1 storage which can be expanded via micro-SD. Furthermore, something that will also be interesting to test is the display. The IPS LCD panel seemed a little dim to us and with it only supporting a refresh rate of 60Hz, it should be interesting if we miss the smoothness of 90Hz. Because at a similar price point, there are options that give users that bump in display performance too.