Xiaomi is active in many segments of the smartphone market. This Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T should become another interesting option for those who don’t want to spend too much money on a new phone. Does the smartphone have sufficient potential? You can read that in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T review.
- 5G support
- Dual SIM and memory card
- Great camera
- Good value for money
- Not the fastest
- MIUI keeps getting used to
- Unknown update policy
- Notifications do not always come through by default
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T review
The Chinese Xiaomi has not been active in some countries for very long through the official channels, yet the brand already manages to score well with its devices. In the middle segment, the brand is so present that you really cannot ignore it. The many model names Mi, Redmi, Note, Pro, Lite, ‘T’ and many other names are flying around your ears. That does not make it any clearer for the consumer, and secretly, neither for us.
Xiaomi has previously proven that it can deliver excellent devices. In our Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro review, we were very enthusiastic about the device, just like the Poco X3 NFC, which went home with a nice score. Along with the Redmi 9T, the Redmi Note 9T was also announced in early January. We now test the latter in our extensive Redmi Note 9T review.
Xiaomi ensures that you can get started with the phone right away with the Redmi Note 9T. Everything you need can be found in the box of the device. An adapter, USB-C cable, a pin for the SIM card and a silicone sleeve.
Design, display and interface
Note 9T is a device that is equipped with a recognizable Xiaomi design. For example, the camera module on the back is very reminiscent of that of the Poco X3 NFC. The device is a bit on the heavy side; if you have somewhat larger hands, it is easy to operate with one hand. The fingerprint scanner is located on the right side of the smartphone.
The port for the SIM card and memory card is to the left of the Redmi. Benefit; in addition to the option to insert two SIM cards, you can also put a memory card in the Redmi Note 9T. So this is not at the expense of the slot for the second SIM card.
The screen has a size of 6.53 inches and offers a punch hole for the front camera. The display delivers a Full-HD + resolution, with a ‘normal’ 60Hz refresh rate, as is very common in this price range. No rocket science with Xiaomi. The brightness is good enough to read the screen on sunny days, fortunately, the brightness can be low enough in the evenings.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T Interface
When setting up for the first time, you have to be careful not to click on it blindly. During this process, you can choose to disable advertisements in the interface, for example. We are not at all in favor of this way of working, but apparently, it is still lucrative for the manufacturer to put advertising in the interface. Fortunately, you can turn this off. Furthermore, if you wish, you can log in with a Xiaomi account.
Xiaomi supplies the smartphone with the MIUI 12 skin. If you come from a different brand of device, this can take some getting used to. Fortunately, it is easier to navigate than previous versions of MIUI. However, I personally think that the menu with settings can be refined a little further and clearer. The operation of the well-known functions such as the quick settings, notifications and the like are self-explanatory. You can choose for the apps themselves whether you want them spread over the start screens, or open them in a menu.
What I find very useful is that you can have the dark theme set automatically. For example, the dark theme in the interface here is automatically enabled at 7:00 PM and converted back to the light theme at 7:00 AM. Various applications are also converted to a dark theme and that is not all that good. For example, different profile pictures in Facebook get a weird effect and buttons get weird white borders.
Communication and Multimedia
The phone makes a great call, fortunately, because even though we may be texting more, calling is still an important feature of the phone. It is therefore positive that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T can also handle the 5G network. Of course, the other network standards such as 2G, 3G and 4G are also supported by Xiaomi. Another positive point is that you can use two SIM cards as well as insert a memory card. The second SIM card slot is therefore not lost to the memory card.
For calling, there is the Google Phone app, a clear user-friendly application from Google itself. To send messages you can use the Google Messages app, also from Google. The Internet can be done in two ways; via the well-known Chrome browser, or you can use the Mi Browser from Xiaomi itself.
We do have a critical note about the notifications. MIUI has very strict energy management. That is good for stamina, less good for notifications. We have repeatedly missed notifications from the tasks app, DMs via Instagram, and several other applications. There is not really an arrow to draw up which notifications will and will not be filtered. Very annoying. This means that you regularly have to deal with the settings to ‘whitelist’ applications.
If you are a music lover, the Redmi Note 9T has the option to simply use a 3.5-millimeter headset. As a result, you are not dependent on the USB-C port, for example. Of course, there is also the option to connect suitable headphones via Bluetooth. Xiaomi supplies its own media player for the music, but you can of course simply access your favorite music app such as Spotify via the Play Store. And we don’t see it much anymore, but you can also find an FM radio in the menu list.
The sound quality from the Xiaomi speaker certainly doesn’t sound bad. In fact, there are stereo speakers available. These can also be quite loud and sound fine for this price. The balance between high and low tones is well found. The image quality is sufficient and fine for this price.
Camera: Photo and video
Xiaomi has equipped the Redmi Note 9T with a triple camera. A 48-megapixel main lens, 2MP macro, and 2MP depth lens. We know from experience that the latter two are more often for decoration than that they actually add something. The camera app works naturally and is pleasant to use. Photos are captured quickly. You can also adjust some settings here and there, activate the AI mode or work with filters.
The photo quality is surprisingly good for this price range. There is generally a good balance in the contrast, a lot of details and sharp images. The drawing is also in order with the camera of the Redmi Note 9T. We do miss a wide-angle lens because there is not one. Zooming is also out of the question because this leads to a lot of quality loss and blurred images. The quality is reasonable in the evenings. Strangely enough, photos show even more noise, especially in the special night mode. Below you will find a photo we took with the Xiaomi.
The selfies you take with the 13-megapixel front camera look good, although they are just a bit easier to move. By default, there are also a lot of filters, which in our opinion only fake the result.
With the video camera of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T, you can film in up to 4K at 30 frames per second. However, we also have the option of filming in 60fps in Full-HD resolution (1080p). Below we have posted a video that we took with Xiaomi. The video quality is very reasonable for this price range.
Performance and other possibilities
You can use the fingerprint scanner on the side to unlock. This allows you to recognize multiple fingers and does its job very well. Just a light touch is enough to access the phone. The same applies to the facial recognition of the device. A quick look may suffice. In environments with less light, it takes longer.
We have a criticism of the enormous amount of pre-installed applications on the Xiaomi. The Redmi Note 9T comes out of the box with a lot of applications that many will have little use with. Think of apps such as Amazon Shopping and a number of other apps, as well as six or so aimless games. Fortunately, it is possible to remove these applications yourself, but it would have been much better if users had the choice to install them or not at all.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T features MediaTek’s 5G chipset; the Dimensity 800U. This has a maximum computing power of 2.4 GHz. In addition, the smartphone has 4GB of RAM and 64 / 128GB of storage space at its disposal. If the internal memory is not sufficient, you can expand it with a memory card. In terms of speed, the Redmi scores well. The phone is not slow, but now and then we notice some delay here and there in the action to be performed. Given its price, this can partly be explained, but some folds still need to be ironed out.
Onboard the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T is a large battery with a capacity of 5000 mAh. We have used the phone under various circumstances. With fairly intensive use, the battery lasts 1.5 days. The screen-on-time depends on the use and was between five and seven hours with us very neat.
Real fast charging is not really there, with the Redmi Note 9T. After one hour, the battery is approximately 80 percent charged. Here we also see the difference with high-end devices.
We can be quite brief about the updated policy of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T. The manufacturer does not provide any clarity about when an update will appear, and which updates we can expect at all on this smartphone. Given the other models, we expect multiple updates, including Android 11 and a series of security updates, but nothing is in black and white.
Xiaomi’s portfolio is rapidly expanding with new models and also variants of those models. That makes it logical that you can no longer see the forest through the Xiaomi trees. The Redmi Note 9 Pro was really a great device, which also felt a bit faster than this 9T. Does that make this 9T a bad plane? Certainly not. The camera does well, although it is less powerful in dark environments. In addition, the phone has a good set of speakers, decent battery life and it does what it should do. Too bad about the updated policy, but that again remains a pain point for Xiaomi.