8.9
Score

Pros

  • Headphone Jack is Back!
  • Amazing Specification
  • Good Camera
  • Decent Battery Life
  • Good Display
  • Value for Money

Cons

  • No Wireless Charging
  • Minor tinkering needed for MIUI

In today’s world of Smartphone, the game is getting more and more exciting and challenging – from seeing new hardware once a year to seeing them literally every month. Mid-tier smartphones are getting better but finding the right one is still a challenge. Xiaomi unveiled the Mi 9T which also goes by another name the Redmi K20. Is this the Mid-tier Smartphone that’s going to change the whole game? Here’s our final verdict on the Mi 9T.

Design and Build Quality

1/9

Coming from Xiaomi, the Mi 9T has a very familiar design language going on. The moment you lay your eyes on the front of the device, it reminds me of the Mi Mix 3 design – with the whole bezelless design that just looks gorgeous to the eyes. Turn the phone around, you will notice that the phone has a one of a kind back design going on. The phone has an interesting flame like pattern on the sides and a black finish in the middle. We received the Glacier Blue and man – I got to say, it sure is one good looking design. The phone has the tendency to shimmer and give this effect to various light. It is one refeshing design overall. The metal rail on the device is also in blue color, a nice touch. The buttons are located on the right side and the Mi 9T has an accented Red Power Button which is pretty cool if you ask me.

In terms of build quality, the phone is covered in glass – both front and back with a metal rail going around it. The phone has a well balanced weight distribution and speaking of weight, the Mi 9T sure does have a nice heft to it. It’s not light at all. Personally, I like a phone with a bit of weight to it and this is definitely up to my liking.

As much as the back of the device is looker, it’s hard to hold as its too slippery and has the tendency to get fingerprints all over. This time around, Xiaomi has included a Soft Touch Matte Finish Hard Shell case which is an upgrade over the Silicon case that we get with Mi Devices. It’s extremely nice to hold and has a good premium feel to it.

Overall, it’s a refreshing design coming from Xiaomi and I like it.

Specification and Performance

Under the hood – the Mi 9T is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730, an octa-core processor that’s clocked in at 2.2GHz coupled with 6GB RAM and upto 128GB non-expandable Internal Storage. The unit we received came with 64GB of internal. As we mentioned, the Mi 9T does not have an expandable SD Card slot, so pick your phone with the right capacity. In order to see how the phone holds up, we benchmarked the device with Antutu and Geekbench. Finally, we used CPU-Z to verify the specification seen under the hood. Take note that Benchmark scores gives how capable the phone is but does not reflect to day-to-day usage.

As for the performance, that is the day-to-day usage, the Mi 9T is blazing fast with little to no hiccup. App loading speeds are relatively amazing and multitasking on this phone is really good – especially with being able to go back to an app and continue from where you left off. The whole experience is smooth and there’s no noticeable lag seen with the device – which is indeed nice. We tested the phone further by testing some games out – Asphalt 9, Need for Speed: No Limits. The games performed at the highest quality settings without breaking a sweat. The phone has the tendency to put up with Graphics intensive games with no issue – and I like that, especially considering the fact that it’s a mid-tier smartphone. This rises a question – which we will get into in a bit

Display

On the front, the Mi 9T has a 6.39” FHD+ AMOLED Full Screen Display. The first thing you will notice is that how beautiful the display look with no notches around and little to no bezels – it sure is a looker. The uninterrupted finish gives it a nice viewing experience which I am sure everyone would enjoy watching content on.

The Mi 9T has a cold tone to the display which can be calibrated to your liking in the settings. As it’s an AMOLED panel, you can expect wider color coverage and true blacks when you watch content on Netflix. In fact, the display has the capability to handle HDR Content from Netflix which is a really nice addition. On top of that, you get sharp and clear display which is really nice. There isn’t any color shifting as you tilt the display which shows that it’s pretty darn on point in offering the best viewing experience possible.

Battery Life and Charging

Under the hood, the device packs a 4000 mAh battery with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. Starting off with the charging duration, Mi has included a QC 3.0 adapter along with the phone which makes life easier and with that said – the phone has the capability to charge from 1% to 100% in just 1 Hour and 28 Minutes. Coming from a heavy user who uses the smartphone for hotspot, watching content and play light games, the battery life from the 4000 mAh lasts one whole day for myself – which I’d consider good for my standards.

In our first test, we got about 15+ hours of Active Usage with a Screen on time of almost 8 Hours which is extremely impressive. In our second test, with 14+ hours of Active Usage, we got about 7 hours of Screen on Time. Overall, very good.

Camera

On the front, the Mi 9T has a 20MP Pop Camera with an aperture of f/2.2. After turning off the aggressive Beautify Mode, I have to say, the front facing camera on the Mi 9T is really impressive with well balanced colors and exposure. The front facing camera captures good details and actually makes it instaworthy. Under indoor lighting, you’ll notice that the camera does have a bit of overexposure going on – especially at the parts where the bunny is, but the picture is still useable.

On the back, the Mi 9T packs a triple Camera setup – with a Primary 48MP Camera followed by a 13MP UltraWide camera and 8MP Telephoto Camera. Comparing the three cameras with each other, the primary sensor offers good detailing and colors but has a bit of overexposed areas. Moving on to the Ultrawide camera, it covers more area and still has good amount of detail with a bit of overexposed area. Finally, the telephoto camera does offer good color as well.

Ultra Wide Angle
Ultra Wide Angle
Normal
Normal
Telephoto
Telephoto

Now using this camera on a day-to-day basis to capture images, you will definitely enjoy it because it takes really good shots and does it really well. With good colors and balance, it doesn’t come off too strong or too bland. The cameras still have challenges in handling low light images where if you were to zoom in, you’ll notice the softening but it’s still not bad compared to some of their predecessors and you can definitely tell there’s a room for improvement.

1/10

Having a 48MP Camera does sound exciting on a smartphone and in order to really put the 48MP camera to test, you will have to toggle it to the 48MP mode to capture pictures. The details are sharp and clear with no compromises. Just that you will need a steady hand because it has the tendency to capture blurred shots, especially under low light – which is pretty normal for smartphones.

The Mi 9T has a really good camera setup going on and it does take good pictures. Don’t think you can find a better camera at this price point.

Speaker and Security

The Mi 9T brings back the Headphone Jack which is definitely a godsend and best part is that, the Mi 9T has support for Hi Res Audio. The phone has a bottom firing speaker. The speaker is loud and clear, has the capability to handle really good highs and mids but an alright lows. You wont miss a call unless DND is enabled. As for the security, the phone follows the trend along with the Mi 9. The 9T features an Underglass Fingerprint sensor that let’s you unlock your phone with no issues. It may not be the fastest fingerprint sensor but it’s fast enough to unlock – which is nice.

UI & OS

As for the UI and OS, the Mi 9T is powered by Android 9 and on top of that, you’ll find the infamous MIUI 10. In comparison with other Chinese manufacturers, we personally think that MIUI offers better experience overall and interesting features like Second Screen, Dual Apps and so much more. In fact, one of my favorite – Dark Mode, looks amazing on an AMOLED Display and nice to use at night. It’s not perfect as there are some minor correction that needs to be done like for instance the Dark Mode doesn’t show notifications properly and so on.

Conclusion

We have come to a point where smartphones are relatively the same if not offers similar things but getting the close to flagship experience in the mid-tier smartphone range has always been a challenge. The Mi 9T redefines the mid-tier segment by offering flagship experience in and out and starting at RM1399, you cannot go wrong with this amazing smartphone.

Kudos, Xiaomi.