By Mike Joubert 12 November 2020


Xiaomi makes a welcome return to South Africa with the Redmi Note 9, a device which at the decent price of R3 999 offers more than expected. 

A quick run through the specs makes it easy to see why the Redmi Note 9 is such an intriguing offer. Firstly, it comes with a 6.53” Full HD screen, which really makes a difference when it comes to your viewing pleasure. At 2340x1080 pixels (close to 395 ppi) the screen looks crisp, while also providing protection in the form of Gorilla Glass 5.

 The Redmi Note 9 received for review sports the 2 GHz MediaTek Helio G85 processor, alongside 3 GB RAM, which leads to perhaps my biggest gripe about the phone. Even though the rest of the specs are decent, the before mentioned combo is not enough to make this baby purr along smoothly all the time.

There are moments when the phone is a bit slow to respond, while I also had to deal with a complete freeze here and there, requiring a restart. For the Xiaomi’s R3 999 asking price, this is the sacrifice you make, although it will run just fine for the most part.

With a 5020 mAh battery, I was left with 50% of juice at the end of the day, which is pretty impressive. However, the remainder of the power was drained at around five o’clock the next day, so it didn’t quite make two full days of usage. Still, when I had to return to my old phone, I really missed the extra battery life of the Redmi.

Xiaomi is also accommodating with the range of cameras on the Redmi Note 9, which include a 48 MP main camera, an 8 MP wide-angle, a 2 MP Macro, and the 2 MP depth camera. There’s also a punch hole 13 MP front facing camera for all your selfie-action. I’m not totally convinced on why you need a 48 MP camera, but all in all the Redmi Note 9 provides an extensive array of photography options that will leave your Instagram in a much better condition than in which it was found.

As far as the Xiaomi MIUI user interface is concerned, it’s pretty unobtrusive. Yes, it does interrupt you with notifications here and there, but so do most other manufacturers. In general, it has far more hits than misses, with Android 10 out the box and the unit updating to MIUI version 12.

Xiaomi is kind enough to provide a basic plastic casing and a screen protector out the box, which just adds to an overall good feeling about the phone.

Coming in just under R4k, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 left me impressed. Unlike newer phones from Huawei, you here have a full Android experience with all the Google Apps working perfectly. The phone might be a bit sticky when it comes to performance, but for the most part the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 comes highly recommended. 

Great battery life, Good screen, Great arrangement of cameras, Decent price
Performance lags a bit

Magazine Online is South Africa's leading magazine for tech product reviews, tech news, videos, tech specs and gadgets.
Start reading now >
Download latest issue

Have Your Say

What new tech or developments are you most anticipating this year?
New smartphone announcements (44 votes)
Technological breakthroughs (28 votes)
Launch of new consoles, or notebooks (14 votes)
Innovative Artificial Intelligence solutions (28 votes)
Biotechnology or medical advancements (21 votes)
Better business applications (132 votes)