always Xiaomi it was characterized by very good products at the right price, starting from the low end up to the highest. With the arrival of the Chinese brand in Italy, many had worried about how their products could suffer a not inconsiderable price increase, causing the policy that characterized Lei Jun's company during all these years to collapse.
Obviously we were all wrong, as Xiaomi has arrived in Europe with a very specific objective: to completely outperform the competition (and perhaps become the new one Huawei here with us). Apparently he is doing great, because during the Mobile World Congress 2019 di Barcelona the new one was presented on our continent Xiaomi Mi 9, which can boast of being the first top of the range with QualcommSnapdragon855, but above all the top of the range with the lowest price on the market. Will the price be enough to make him a good smartphone? Let's find out more in detail in our full review.
Xiaomi Mi 9 review
The sales package differs from its predecessors thanks to a beautiful iridescent box that recalls the detail of the main camera. Inside is the following equipment:
- Xiaomi Mi 9;
- silicone cover (the quality is not excellent);
- USB data transfer cable - USB Type-C;
- wall power supply with European plug and 3.0 Quick Charge support;
- pin for the SIM slot;
- USB Type-C to mini-jack adapter;
Design and construction
From the construction point of view Xiaomi it has really got us used to it, especially if we talk about top of the range. Indeed, Xiaomi Mi 9 it is made in a maniacal way, every component is firm and there are no crunches in any part of the device. The sides of the smartphone have been smoothed and made more tapered for better handling than the Xiaomi Mi 8.
Despite the more generous dimensions, the new device of the Chinese house is held much better with one hand even if it is not easy to reach the notification curtain (but this is a problem common to all modern smartphones). To be more precise Xiaomi Mi 9 has the dimensions of 157.5 x 74.67 x 7.61 millimeters for a weight of 173 grams.
Later we have a back cover in glass which should be black, but in reality it is beautiful glossy gray (otherwise we also have the Ocean Blue and Lavender Violet colors), while the side frame is in solid aluminum. As usual, the back cover holds back the fingerprints a little, but it will be very easy to clean it.
La triple cameraunfortunately, it goes a bit to ruin the overall valuation of the sector, as this turns out to be definitely protruding and once the smartphone is placed on a flat surface it will tend to wobble too much. The supplied cover only helps in part because it does not fill the gap. The small positive note is that the camera has a coating in sapphire crystal and theoretically it should resist scratches and bumps well.
Frontally we find the selfie camera, the notification LED (white), the brightness and proximity sensor and the ear capsule. The upper profile is characterized by the presence of the infrared sensor, very useful in my opinion, and by the secondary microphone, while below is the USB Type-C 2.0 input, the main microphone and the system speaker.
On the right side we can see the volume rocker and the power button unlike the left side where the customizable key resides (basic dedicated to GoogleAssistant) and the dual nano SIM slot. As for the new button, this is also the same as on Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 and in China was created to recall Xiao AI, the assistant owner of Xiaomi. In the variant Global we can choose different functions that I leave you in the screenshot below.
Finally, Xiaomi Mi 9 does not have one IP68 certification like most of the last top of the range but, unlike the latter, the Chinese device costs half if not a third, so I would say there may be.
Xiaomi Mi 9 has a display AMOLED da 6.39 inches diagonal with resolution Full HD + (2340 x 1080 pixel), format 19.5:9, density of PPI 403, maximum brightness of 600 nits, screen-to-body ratio of the 90.7% and protection Corning Gorilla Glass 6.
Compared to its predecessor we have a noticeable change, that is, it is abandoned wide notch style iPhone and one is adopted a drop. With it you also lose the sensors for it 2D facial release (and 3D in the case of Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro / Explorer Edition). Personally I appreciate this choice more, as we have a wider and more enjoyable display.
In addition, I leave you with a small fun fact, since at this moment the notch has a similar shape to that adopted by OPPO e OnePlus, but in reality it is due to an update arrived in the past few days, which has corrected it via software by adding black notches on the sides. In fact, the original form was similar to that of the notch on board the Redmi Note 7. Genes? Maybe!
The panel produced by Samsung it is very good and truly returns gods great colors, which are charged but never too saturated. Compared to the display AMOLED the OnePlus 6T in fact they seemed to me to be slightly less contrasted and saturated, but basically everything also depends on the color calibration settings that are set in the appropriate menu.
La maximum brightness it is good and under the light we will not have any problem in the visualization of the contents, above all because Xiaomi has entered the 2.0 anti-glare mode (also called Sunlight Mode 2.0) which increases the brightness up to 600 nits shooting colors to the maximum as a kind of HDR. Very effective system even if at that moment you cannot use the smartphone to edit photos since the color range will not be faithful.
Another novelty concerns the introduction of the dark mode and of color ambient display. The first makes the smartphone much more appealing and also allows us to slightly increase the autonomy thanks to the panel AMOLED (even if it needs to be optimized a little better, but afterwards we will deepen the discussion), while the second is a gem that helps us to appreciate even more the MIUI.
Il fingerprint reader below the display it works quite well, but it has the same faults as on other smartphones. We certainly don't have the immediacy of a frontal physical sensor, but this is the price to pay for a larger display. In general we will have to try to unlock it a couple of times only when we have our finger dirty or badly centered. We can affirm that the operation is carried out successfully and quickly 8 / 9 times on 10.
Hardware and Performance
As already mentioned above, the Xiaomi Mi 9 is the first smartphone to officially reach the market with the new Qualcomm chipset, or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. This includes a processor octa-core with a maximum clock frequency of 2.84 GHz, a GPU Adreno 640, 6 GB di RAM LPDDR4x e 64 GB di internal memory UFS 2.1 not expandable via microSD (there is also the variant from 128 GB).
This new CPU it's really incredible, as it manages to guarantee a fluidity it's a quickness Crazy, from simple to more complex operations. In daily use you will not be able to find differences in reactivity between it Xiaomi Mi 9 and a smartphone with semi-stock UI like OnePlus 6T (known for his performances).
Nothing to criticize even from the point of view of Gaming because the GPU does an excellent job even with heavier games like PUBG o Fortnite o Asphalt 9.
For the first time in the company's history, Xiaomi adopts triple camera rear composed of the following sensors:
- 48 mega-pixels, Sony IMX586 with ƒ / 1.75 aperture;
- 12 mega-pixels, telephoto lens with ƒ / 2.2 aperture;
- 16 mega-pixels, ultra-wide-angle with ƒ / 2.2 opening.
La stabilization it's only digital, autofocus is Laser / PDAF and we also find a dual LED flash.
Also in this case I have to make a premise that I did also with the Redmi Note 7, that is that normally the smartphone will click on 12 mega-pixels and only going into the Pro mode we can shoot at 48 mega-pixels.
“The question needs some clarifications: during normal shooting the sensor combines 4 pixels in 1 and everything is processed by software. When you shoot at 48 mega-pixel, instead, you will have to deal with the “pure” work of the sensor; in this case it will be necessary to set the Pro settings to get the best. The photos taken at 12 mega-pixel are slightly less detailed compared to those made in Pro mode, but basically what is it used for? 48 mega-pixels with a smartphone? The weight of a photo is around 18 MB and in any case should it be published in the social this would come tablet automatically. There difference in detail you only notice it with extreme zoom on a monitor. "
In conditions of good brightness it Xiaomi Mi 9 pull out gods beautiful shots characterized by a high level of detail and faithful colors, even if sometimes a little too saturated (never too much), but also perfect for social sharing. The lights are well managed and the automatic HDR intervenes intelligently.
La portrait mode manages to very well shatter the subject, but the quality in general and the level of detail (at night it is impossible to use it) also because an automatic zoom will be made if you want to shoot in this mode.
La wide-angle camerainstead, it's definitely fun and I'd like to see it on all the next devices Xiaomi, as it will not be too detailed (unfortunately it is so for most of the sensors), but can do a great job on the front of the correction of distortions. In fact, on the sides of the photos you will never see excessive bends. In backlight note the lens-flare, but otherwise behaves quite well.
In night the quality obviously falls, but overall we have enjoyable photos, especially if we shoot with the night mode, which will increase the contrast and return more vivid colors. The wide-angle sensor it does not appear to be very bright and in the absence of light it will not work miracles.
During these days of use I also installed the Google Camera (here the guide to download and install it) to see if there were any differences with the stock room. In daytime in quality the photos are practically identical, indeed, those taken with the app of Google they often tend to have slightly colder colors, returning a more impactful shot in the final. The major differences can be found with the night mode, which turns out to be better on Google Camera, and with the front camera.
Just for the latter, Xiaomi My 9 has a sensor from 20 mega-pixels with opening f / 2.0. Like every Xiaomi respectable, the software tends to put one basic annoying beauty mode, so each photo will show us a porcelain face.
If I have to be honest, the quality of this sensor does not make me crazy, as the management of the lights is sometimes a bit too dancers and in situations of backlight it is not difficult to see the colors a little high. The portrait mode, on the other hand, works correctly by trimming the subject well.
In night the noise increases and the details fall. With the Google Camera let's improve the sharpness, but the grain inevitably increases.
In short, overall the photographic sector of the Xiaomi Mi 9 is good, but does not excel. However, for the price at which it is sold we can not absolutely complain, but personally I think that it does not do as much good as the top of range far more expensive as for example Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
I video can be registered up to the maximum resolution of 4K a 60 FPS, but in that case we will not be able to exploit the stabilization digital. I must say that I was a little skeptical about the latter, but I had to change my mind because it manages to stabilize well. The autofocus is very fast and overall the videos are enjoyable.
In the camera interface you will be able to find several goodies including "Short video" (ie videos with a maximum duration of 15 seconds for the Instagram Short Stories) and the mode di tracking of the objects in the videos.
Lo Xiaomi Mi 9 owns one mono speaker and not stereo, which is located on the lower profile of the smartphone. The audio output is rather high and characterized by a good balance of frequencies. In headphones we have even better management of bass, treble and midrange. Finally the audio on call is crystal clear and the quality microphone.
Lo Xiaomi Mi 9 supports dual nano SIM with support to 4G + e 20 band. The reception is good, but personally I think we are not at the level of Huawei. For the rest we have the Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac Dual Band with technology 2 × 2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, infrared sensor and the GPS / A-GPS / GLONASS / Beidou / Galileo which behaves very well in satellite navigation.
Earlier we talked about the fingerprint sensor below the display, but not about face recognition. This is very fast and accurate in all situations, but less secure than the fingerprint.
This, unfortunately, is the aspect that penalizes it the most Xiaomi Mi 9. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean the MIUI in itself, but to a version released a little too hastily and that shows in fact several smears.
Let's start from the same defect that also goes back to its predecessor, or the notch. In fact, the latter does not fit perfectly with the end of the notification bar, leaving an aesthetically less sensible space. But the real flaw concerns the display of notifications in the bar because, although there is all the space in the world, these will be shown at most a couple of seconds at the time of reception and then disappear. You will need to lower the curtain to view the messages received.
This defect Xiaomi if you take it with you from My 8 and continues to pass it on to all devices with notches. It is time to make a change. As if that were not enough, sometimes I noticed a message on the screen when turned on WhatsApp e Telegram it is not notified.
A great novelty inserted in this device is the Dark Mode, which, however, needs some optimization in addition due to theincompatibility of some system apps. We also find other new aspects such as the AI key, Colorful Ambient Display and animations related to recharge.
In all this, aboard the Xiaomi Mi 9 we find the MIUI Global 10.2 based on Android 9 Pie, which despite everything turns out to be very fluid, responsive and full of customizations.
I conclude with the last aspect that did not convince me, or the gestures of system which on this model seem not having been properly optimized. In fact, several times I wasn't getting the command when I was sending a message, selecting characters on the keyboard instead of going back. Or still on Telegram often he didn't send me voice messages or to YouTube I couldn't go back when I was full screen. I note that up Redmi Note 7 I have not encountered any such problems.
We are therefore waiting for updates that can fix all these small smears.
Despite Xiaomi Mi 9 own a battery by yourself 3300 mAh, autonomy turns out to be rather good. In fact, with stressful use I managed to score an average of 4 hours and minutes 30 di screen active. It arrives safely in the evening without problems, in fact you will even manage to do the after dinner with friends without the fear of returning home with the smartphone unloaded.
The only one drainage of the battery I noticed with theactive hotspot, in that case the percentage drops down quite easily.
Xiaomi Mi 9 supports the wireless charging a 20W and fast charging Quick Charge 4.0, although in the package there is a power supply that only supports the Quick Charge 3.0. I must say however that the recharge è super fast, in fact, in just over an hour will pass from 0 to 100%.
I conclude with an aspect that made me literally go crazy, or theanimation was originally the MIUI while charging! I want it on all Xiaomi smartphones!
To draw conclusions it is necessary first of all to speak of the price. In fact, Xiaomi Mi 9 is officially sold in Italy a 449.90 € for the variant 6 / 64 GB e 529.90 for the 6 / 128 GB.
Given the technical specifications and the list price, I like to define this smartphone "The top of the range for everyone", as rarely is it possible to find such a deal. Currently Xiaomi Mi 9 still presents gods small software defects, but as such we hope these come fix as soon as possible so as to bring it as close as possible to perfection.
The cost difference between him and his counterparts Huawei o Samsung evidently it is justified by several other features including theimpermeability and the photo gallery but, at present, we feel we can call it a best buy.