The Redmi Note 9T is Xiaomi’s most affordable 5G smartphone to date. It has three cameras on the back, a large battery and a new processor. In this review you can read whether the Redmi Note 9T can hold its own.
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Read the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T review
Xiaomi is a powerhouse when it comes to smartphones, wearables and smart home equipment. The manufacturer is constantly releasing new products and the Redmi Note 9T is the most recent device. This smartphone was presented at the beginning of January, along with the less powerful and cheaper Redmi 9T.
The spearhead of the Redmi Note 9T according to Xiaomi? That is support for 5G internet at a low price. The Note 9T is for sale from 229 euros, making it one of the cheapest Android phones that can handle the new network. However, it will take years before you can make full use of it here.
Whether it is therefore smart to already have one 5G readydevice? You can read that in this Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T review.
The Redmi Note 9T is available in purple or black and the back is made of plastic. There is a small relief, but the rear type of the much cheaper Poco M3 is finer in our opinion. It looks more chic and feels better in the hand. The device does feel robust and the back cannot be pressed.
On the back is also the camera island with three cameras and the flash. They are placed in a round module, which looks chic and is reminiscent of the Poco X3 NFC. The right side houses the power button with integrated fingerprint scanner and volume buttons. Furthermore, the device is fully equipped, about which more later.
Large and good screen
The screen is 6.53 inches and has a resolution of 2340 by 1080 pixels. There is also a hole for the front camera, placed in the top left corner. The viewing angles are good, but the clarity leaves something to be desired. With a lot of sunlight the display is not always easy to read. The edges around the screen are also on the wide side, which is especially noticeable with the thick ‘chin’ of the device.
The refresh rate is standard 60Hz and the screen refreshes 60 times per second, which is often a lot higher with more expensive devices. If a screen refreshes less often, it feels less flexible. In practice, the Note 9T’s 60Hz screen is fine for this price range.
You can play with the color temperature of the screen and a reading and night mode are also available. This way you can set the colors on the screen a bit warmer or cooler. Due to the size of the display, operating with one hand is not always easy, so two hands are advisable. The placement of the physical buttons and fingerprint scanner could have been a fraction lower in my opinion, because they are placed a bit too high in the housing.
New processor delivers good performance
Under the hood is MediaTek’s new Dimensity 800U chip with integrated 5G modem. The manufacturer is often associated with cheaper devices and this is also the case with this Redmi Note 9T. With the price in mind, the performance is simply good.
Here and there you’ll see a slight delay with an app launch or scrolling through an Instagram or Twitter feed. There is 4GB RAM and at least 64GB expandable storage.
As mentioned, the Redmi Note 9T is a smartphone with tons of extras, like many Xiaomi devices. This way you can enjoy music better thanks to the stereo speakers, which sound great. There is also a headphone connection. You can operate your television or other device via infrared and expand the memory with a micro-SD card. You can also store two SIM cards in the device and nfc is available.
Xiaomi is proud of it, because this affordable device offers support for 5G. That’s impressive and it’s cool to see the 5G icon when you are connected to such a network. However, it is not yet fully usable in 2021. We have to wait for the sale of the 3.5GHz frequency in the fall of 2022.
Only then can you fully use 5G with much higher upload and download speeds, for example. So if you already buy a device with a 5G modem on board, then you are already ready for the future. That is nice, but certainly not necessary.
Android 10 and well-known MIUI 12 shell
Xiaomi supplies the device with Android 10 and not the more recent Android 11, which is a shame. That update will probably come to the device, but the manufacturer has not yet given a definite answer. Of course, we also asked Xiaomi Netherlands that question, to which the answer was: “The update cycles of the Redmi Note 9T are completely in sync with the updates from Google and the Google policy”, so we are still in the dark.
We have now arrived in January 2021, but the last available security patch for the device was that of November 2020. That could be better, but is good enough for a budget device.
Over Android lies the MIUI 12 shell, a version that we also saw in recent Xiaomi reviews. The pros and cons are therefore not much different than before. The shell is quite logical, but it is very different from stock Android. As a result, it certainly takes some getting used to if you have never had or seen a Xiaomi device. If you have understood the software a bit, you can work with it nicely.
If you start the device for the first time, you have to pay attention. During that set-up you can disable advertisements. This is part of the manufacturer’s earnings model and as a result devices are marketed more cheaply. Xiaomi also delivers a lot bloatware along. There are various games pre-installed, but also apps such as AliExpress, Amazon, Netflix or WPS Office.
Cameras: a good one, two for decoration
The cameras are pretty standard with the Redmi Note 9T. The main camera has a resolution of 48 megapixels, but you take 12 megapixel snapshots as standard. By merging pixels you create photos with more contrast and detail. Photos from that main camera are generally nice to look at.
Colors correspond to reality, details are clearly visible and the sharpness is also good. If you want to take photos in less light conditions, you can switch to ‘night mode’. Do not expect miracles from that, but photos do look a bit more contrasting in that position.
Furthermore, a macro and depth sensor are present for close-ups and portrait photos. Taking pictures up close is fun, but due to the meager resolution of 2 megapixels, you regret to record few details. Portrait photos look good. In the gallery below you see two snapshots in macro mode, followed by a portrait photo.
No worries about battery life
The Redmi Note 9T has a 5000 mAh battery and in practice you can use it for a day. During my test period I had to hang the device on the charger after about a day and a half (with quite intensive use). I mean a lot of use of social media, having conversations, watching YouTube and Netflix, but also taking photos and videos.
For example, I squeezed out a screen time of about 6.5 hours before the device had to be recharged. If you use the Note 9T less, charging every two days is no problem at all. Charging can only be done via a cable and is fast enough for the price. Charging from 30 to 100 percent takes about fifteen minutes.
Conclusion Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T review
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T is a decent smartphone that delivers great performance for its price range, but doesn’t really excel at anything. According to Xiaomi, that is of course the support for 5G at a low price, and that is indeed a nice combination. However, it is difficult to recommend a 5G device, while the real benefits of the mobile network are yet to materialize.
However, do you use a smartphone for years and do you also want to use 5G in the future? Then you can certainly consider the Note 9T. Keep in mind that software support is a tricky issue, and in combination with years of use, that is not the best prospect either.
Buy Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T
Interested in the Redmi Note 9T? The model with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage costs 229 euros, while the model with 128GB of storage memory 269 euros must muster. Do you buy the device separately? Then also check our sim-only price comparison, where you will find the best bundles in terms of call minutes, data and text messages.
Not ready for a 5G device from Xiaomi yet? Then, for example, view the Redmi 9T (starting price 169 euros) or Poco M3 (starting price 149 euros). These are affordable devices that deliver about the same performance, but do not have a 5G modem on board. They do (therefore) cost a lot less, which makes them certainly interesting.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T
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