Xiaomi Mi9 - review
Xiaomi Mi9 is a return to the beginnings of the Xiaomi brand. High performance for little money. It sounds like a fairy tale, but maybe it's true?
1The composition of the kit.
The Mi9 comes in a box with a new design. Not white, not black or any other one-color packaging. This time we have a "goodie" in the form of a holo. The middle I would say is standard average. USB-C cable, USB-C / Jack 3.5 adapter, case, Quick Guide, tray key and 27W charger. Mi9 supports wireless charging, but we will not find a charger such as in Mix3 here. Detriment.
2Construction of the Xiaomi Mi9
The phone I am reviewing is in Ocean Blue, but there are also two other colors to choose from, namely Lavender Violet and Piano Black.
The smartphone itself is light, its weight according to my measurement is 174g. The other dimensions are 157,5mm x 74,7mm x 7,6mm, unless we measure together with the camera, unfortunately it's 9.4mm. The included case eliminates the slightly protruding camera, but when the phone is put on the back, it still draws the camera on the surface.
The camera protects glass, proudly named as sapphire, but as you probably know (or not), there is no such thing as sapphire glass. There are glasses with an admixture of sapphire and here Xiaomi cheated a bit, because this mineral is detected, but it is not of the highest quality.
The construction of the phone is also classic, i.e. the assistant button on the left, the power switch and volume buttons on the right. On the top, infrared port for remote control, microphone and antenna. From the bottom, a USB type C socket, two antennas, a microphone and a speaker. Even though there are two grills, there is only one speaker, which is a pity. This is typical for Xiaomi phones. The loudspeaker itself sounds very well, but… well, I have the impression that one ear is blocked by the lack of stereo. The sound quality is definitely better than in the Mix3 and Vivo Nex 2. This was taken care of by a slightly larger speaker with a special diaphragm structure, which makes the sound softer.
The front is a 6-inch Super Amoled screen covered with Gorilla Glass 6,4 and FullHD + resolution. This time we do not have a notch, but a tear with the camera, which in my opinion is a great and aesthetic move. There is also a built-in fingerprint reader on the screen, which is faster than that available in Vivo Nex 2, but just like there, it can often fail to recognize the fingerprint.
The top of the front is a speaker for calls, a single-color notification LED and light and proximity sensors. I have to admit that the call quality is at a high level. The caller sounds as if he is standing next to me.
The back, contrary to what I said in the video review, is not plastic, but glass, but nowhere has I confirmed that it is GG5 glass.
3Xiaomi Mi9 - performance.
Mi 9 is the first phone on the day of its premiere in the world, equipped with a Snapdragon 855 processor clocked at 8 × 2.84GHz (1 core 2.84 GHz Kryo 485 + 3 cores 2.42 GHz Kryo 485 + 4 cores 1.8 GHz GHz Kryo 485) and a graphics chip Adreno 640. My version has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory. There are also versions with 6GB RAM and 64GB internal memory. In addition, there is also the PRO version, which, like the Mi8 pro or EE, has backs with a dummy interior. Probably everyone will find their perfect configuration.
The phone runs on Android 9 and MIUI 10. In Antutu Benchmark Mi9 scored the first result in my configuration, 374 to be precise, which puts it in the first place in the ranking, just ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S10 +.
Rather, it will not surprise anyone if I say that in games Mi9 copes without stuttering. All the predecessors were doing great, so the mi9 still has a lot of power to spare. However, sometimes it happened that after exiting an app to the home screen, it took a short while to load the application icons.
4Xiaomi Mi9 - camera.
Now let's move on to the camera and photo quality. Mi9 offers practically the same modes as Mix3, but new is the 48MPX mode, which also appeared in other devices supporting such resolutions, thanks to the MIUI update. I am still waiting for an additional night mode - the so-called lunar which allows you to take great quality pictures of the moon.
The Sony IMX586 is responsible for the quality of the photos. In addition, we also have a 12MPX auxiliary lens from Samsung and a 16megapixel SONY IMX481 at our disposal, which allows you to take pictures with a wide angle of 117 degrees. DXOmark somehow rated the camera's quality at 107 points.
- ƒ / 1,8, 1/2 ″, 0,8μm (48 MP)
- ƒ / 2,2, 13mm (wide), 1 / 3,0 ″, 1,0μm (16MP)
- ƒ / 2,2, 54 mm (telephoto), 1 / 3,6 ″, 1,0 µm (12 MP)
The artificial intelligence that recognizes scenes and selects the optimal settings, but also can beautify the face and even the figure, as in Vivo, helps to achieve high-quality photos. I do not have to mention the bokeh effects, because in portrait mode it is already standard. After taking the photo, we can edit the blurred background. The macro allows you to take photos from a distance of 4 centimeters, but only with a wide-angle lens, which is qualitatively weaker than the main lens.
The quality of the movies is at a high level. We have a choice of 60 frames per second in both 4K and FullHD resolutions, but ... electronic image stabilization only works at 30 frames per second at any resolution. The same is true with a wide angle. By switching from 60 FPS 4K to wide angle, we automatically start recording at 30 FPS 4K and even in the resolution options there is no possibility to choose 60 FPS. Maybe this will change over time, unless the IMX481 sensor does not physically embrace such a mode at this resolution. As I mentioned, we have electronic image stabilization, no optical one. Is it a big loss? Probably not, because the electronic one works quite well!
We can also choose the H.264 or H.265 recording codec. Slow Motion 960FPS is also on board and in two resolutions: FHD or HD. As in Vivo Nex 2, the object tracking option has been implemented, but the distance from the recorded person or object must be at least 3m. In the case of photos in PRO mode, we can take photos from all three lenses and in the 48MPX version.
As for the battery, the Xiaomi Mi9 charges incredibly fast, but it lasts an average of a long time. Definitely Vivo Nex2 and Mix3 have better battery life. The included charger will charge the phone to 20% in 60 minutes, without much problem, and it takes about an hour to fully charge. Using the Mi9 all day, it happens that in the evening before going to sleep I have to connect the phone to charging. The battery is a bit larger than in the Mix3 because it has a capacity of 3300mAh (by 100mAh). Of course, uptime can be changed for the better, because it's all a matter of software optimization.
6The pros and cons of Xiaomi Mi9.
Having used the Mi2 for almost 9 months, I do not see any major disadvantages resulting from the time of use. Despite the high performance, it happens that after exiting the application, the phone has to think for a second or two before it shows us the icons. It is also a pity that the application icons in notifications are not displayed permanently in the top bar. Like Rychu Peja - appear and disappear. The lack of a lunar mode after such a long time from the premiere is also a downside in my opinion.
For very sensitive and extremely ascetic people, a tear may be a problem, and more precisely, a small space around the physical tear may be disabled. I do not know what it is aimed at, but in fact you can see black pixels that are displayed permanently, optically enlarging the camera's halo.
The pluses are definitely NFC, LTE B20 and LTE aggregations. I personally managed to connect to two bands in the Orange network: 1800 and 2600, but in my city there is a general problem with LTE, so I'm glad that at least it did. Also DualGPS is fast and accurate. According to the GPS Test, accuracy is measured down to 3-4 meters.
The fingerprint reader is not a speed demon. Ripping the imprint takes longer than in Vivo which would suggest that it will be much more accurate. Xiaomi itself also advertises the Mi9 as the fastest screen reader in the world. Well, in my opinion, it is fast only when we put the finger perfectly to the reader. Besides, there is a problem with the recognition of the fingerprint.
Face unlocking works similarly. We do not have any sensor that is responsible for scanning the face, as TOF3D is responsible for that in VIVO. As a result, face unlocking may not be possible in poor lighting conditions. When you wear or remove glasses, face recognition is not affected, the screen will be unlocked. To be sure, I tried to unlock the phone with my photo and luckily it is impossible.