Redmi Note 9S review – Surfing On Cloud 9?

The Redmi Note 9S plays to Xiaomi’s strengths by offering as much value as possible at as low a price point as possible and it manages to achieve this for the most part while keeping to a familiar formula that prioritises affordability with a median of functionality and performance.

Redmi Note 9S

Redmi Note 9S – What’s in the Box

The packaging comes with most of the expected accouterments that include a TPU casing, a 22.5W fast charger along with the usual accompanying USB cable. The usual pair of hard ear buds that are common additions in entry level phones is omitted here, presumably for cost savings.

Redmi Note 9S box contents

They’ve also taken the step to apply a screen protector to the phone beforehand so it represents a fairly comprehensive selection of kit. Oddly enough, the phone maxes out at 18W fast charging support so the addition of a more powerful charger is a bit of overkill but is nonetheless a pleasant bonus.

redmi note 9s charger

Redmi Note 9S Build quality and design


The Redmi Note 9S has a set of hardware that frames it primarily as an affordable entry to midrange smartphone. Crammed into a shiny mirrored blue chassis hewn of polycarbonate is a 6.67-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution, a standard 60Hz refresh rate and a punch hole in the upper middle quadrant for a 16-MP selfie camera. The top and side display bezels are pleasantly slim though the bottom still retains a rather prominent bezel.

Redmi Note 9S angle
In terms of aesthetics, the phone ticks off all the right boxes for contemporary smartphone design. There’s a 3.5mm audio jack on the base of the phone next to a USB Type-C port and a grille for the sole downward firing speaker.


On the left side is a triple card tray which lets you plonk in two nano SIM and one microSD cards at the same time while the right side has a volume rocker and a power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader.

Hopefully they retain this feature as a permanent one in future iterations of the series as in-display readers are unergonomic at best as you have to reposition your grip just to unlock the phone. The top retains one of the more popular features of the Redmi series – an IR blaster that lets you control a variety of other appliances.

redmi note 9s side

 

Like many of its contemporaries the phone looks great from afar with a striking reflective finish done up in what they call a shade of Aurora Blue but it collects fingerprints aplenty even with casual use which is especially apparent on the backplate. 

The rear quad camera array is emplaced in a square-shaped bump in the upper rear centre that sticks out prominently, making it prone to scratches if you place it flat face down. Fortunately, the provided casing resolves this issue. Overall build quality is fair for its price range so you’re not being shortchanged here.

Redmi Note 9S Specifications and Performance

In terms of the hardware that the Redmi Note 9S packs, our test unit came with the following:

Specifications
Price RM799
Display 6.67-inch IPS LCD, 2,400 x 1080 pixels, 395ppi
Processor Snapdragon 720G
OS Android 10 w/ MIUI 11
Memory 4GB RAM/64GB+microSD card
Camera 48MP F/1.8 + 8-MP ultra wide angle camera + 5-MP macro camera + 2-MP depth sensor (rear) / 16-MP (front)
Battery 5,020mAh w/ 18W fast charging
Size/Weight 165.8x 76.7 x8.8 mm / 209g

Our test unit is the base model but a higher end variant exists packing 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage for RM899 which is just RM100 more. Under the hood, the Redmi Note 9S has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G octacore processor paired with an Adreno 618 GPU,  4GB RAM and 64GB of expandable storage running Android 10 overlaid with their own MIUI 11 user interface. The hardware on offer here has sufficient performance to tackle most day to day tasks.

Redmi Note 9S angled

The Snapdragon 720G octacore processor was introduced earlier this year and is built on an 8nm process, combining 6 Kryo 465 Silver 1.8GHz cores with two Kryo 465 Gold 2.3GHz cores to handle the heavy lifting with the phone capped at 4G LTE connectivity. 

In terms of benchmarks, the phone got the following:

3DMark Sling Shot Extreme – OpenGL ES 3.1 2,522
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme – Vulkan 2,354
GeekBench 5.0 Single-core score 568 Multi-core score 1,772
PC Mark Work 2.0 7,489
GFX Bench 674.2 frames

In use, the Redmi Note 9S proved to be an adequate performer that was sufficiently nimble enough to swap through a dozen or so tabs on Chrome, play Call of Duty Mobile on high settings and otherwise run PUBG Mobile, Clash Royale and a bunch of other productivity apps without issue though games needed a few extra seconds to load up. While the existing RAM and storage are on the meager side, the relatively new Snapdragon 720G processor compensates somewhat to ensure tasks are handled in a competent fashion.

The bundled MIUI user interface has seen improvements from the last time we tested it with much less bloatware than before and the use of Chrome as the default browser. Getting about is a smoother affair and it also supports a Dark mode with a slew of selectable themes that you can download and swap to; many are free but the better looking ones require payment. 

Redi Note 9S miui themes

One interesting improvement to note this time around is that there’s also a lot less adware popping up that were primarily centered around their in-house stock apps with the few instances of it appearing easily dismissed.

Redi Note 9S screen alter 

The provided LCD display is serviceable with sufficient brightness and clarity for most scenarios but the provided single bottom-firing speaker is a downer with reasonably loud if unremarkable performance. Volume is sufficient for gaming and the odd video or two but sound staging remains rather poor and you’ll need to use your own earbuds as the phone lacks any free pair of headphones to go with it.

If you need to tweak the display’s colour rendition, XIaomi does offer a comprehensive means to tweak it towards the warmer or cooler part of the spectrum to suit personal tastes in the settings.

Redmi Note 9S
The phone still has quite a few preinstalled apps and several more that it suggests to install.

On that note, the phone does have Widevine L1 certification so it’s able to support Netflix playback at 1080P resolution which does allow it some utility for binge watching dramas.

Redmi Note 9S dark mode
The bundled 5,020mAh battery is the main highlight here, offering outstanding endurance in the field with comfortable endurance that lasts just short of two days with average use. The addition of a 22.5W charger while the phone charges at a maximum of 18W is a pleasant bonus. From a dry battery, it’s able to get a full charge in under 2 hours which is par for phones in its price range.


Redmi Note 9S Cameras

The rear quad camera array on the Redmi Note 9S is fairly standard with a 48-MP F/1.8 primary camera, an 8-MP F/2.2  ultra-wide angle camera, a 5-MP F/2.4 camera for macros and a 2-MP depth sensor. This allows it to capture 12-MP snaps, 4K@30fps video and via a specific mode, full-sized 48-MP stills.

redmi note 9s camera

One thing to note here is that the phone lacks optical image stabilisation and optical zoom lenses; instead it relies purely on digital zoom and electronic stabilisation which produces less stellar but serviceable outcomes if you have a steady hand.

 

The camera interface follows most of the norms of camera UI design with a slider to control zoom, the various selectable modes on the right and settings in a bar on the left.

Redmi Note 9S camera UI

For videos, you’re able to pick from the use of the wide angle camera, the primary 48-MP camera or to zoom in closer at 2x digital zoom via the slider. There is also a Pro mode and a Night mode as well but the use of the latter disables the wide angle and macro cameras and only works with the primary camera only.

redmi note 9s cameras

These camera menu are mirrored for stills with a 0.6x wide angle mode, the main camera and 2x zoom. There’s no optical zoom nor is there optical image stabilisation here so what you get is primarily cropping the image from the main sensor for zoomed in shots.

Redmi Note 9S colours rear cam

Redmi Note 9S colours

The rear quad camera produces fairly good shots under daylight conditions for the wide angle, primary and macro camera on auto mode with HDR set to auto.

Redmi Note 9S leaves

Macro shots show good detail in close-ups and results from the primary camera have pleasing hues that veer on the vibrant side of the colour spectrum which aren’t exactly colour accurate but are pleasing for social media use.

Redmi Note 9S

There’s a minor bit of aspheric distortion on wide angle shots but they’re mostly apparent in urbanscapes with distinct horizons. Full sized 48-MP shots look good but have aggressive sharpening which is apparent on closer scrutiny.

Redmi Note 9S ultrawide
Ultrawide angle camera
Redmi Note 9S
Primary camera
Redmi Note9S maximum
10x digital zoom

Results tend to go downhill in dim light with noticeable noise and softness in Auto mode across all three cameras. The provided Night mode only works on the primary camera with slightly better colour rendition but aught else. The front facing selfie camera does offer good skin tones and works best under brightly lit conditions.

Redmi Note 9S night mode
Night mode on with primary camera
Redmi Note 9S
Primary camera on Auto with Night mode off. Note the harsher lighting on the building, drabber hues and darker skies.

Front videos are capped at 1080P while the rear camera array can capture up to 4K video though electronic image stabilisation is only available when you dial video down to 1080P@30fps. You’ll need a steady hand or a tripod to capture decent 4K video or alternatively  resort to the phone’s EIS. Overall results are serviceable for what you pay it isn’t anything to write home about

Redmi Note 9S night mode
Night mode on
Redmi Note 9S
Night mode off and Auto mode on

Redmi Note 9S Price and Verdict

The base unit of the Redmi Note 9S is appealing on account of its large display, relatively new processor and huge battery but the modest 4GB RAM and 64GB storage along with its middling cameras predispose it as a choice primarily for those on a budget. If you have the cash to spare, you might as well invest the extra RM100 and get the better specced 6GB RAM model.

What we liked Good battery life, side-mounted fingerprint reader, decent performance, good battery life
What we didn’t Average cameras, still full of bloatware, poor mono speaker
We Say A large display and battery along with a new processor vie with modest camera performance and middling storage. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth a look but if you can spare the extra RM100, the higher specced version is a more worthy long-term investment.

Review unit courtesy of Xiaomi Malaysia.
Redmi Note 9s glass

Redmi Note 9, Note 9 Pro and Mi Note 10 Lite launched in Malaysia

Xiaomi Malaysia has just announced the launch of the Redmi Note 9, the Redmi Note 9 Pro and the Redmi Note 10 which are the latest additions to their midrange line-up. Here’s how they all stack up and how much they cost in Malaysia. For more details and to check out their post-live stream video to catch up, swing by Xiaomi Malaysia’s official Facebook page here.

Redmi Note 9

The Redmi Note 9 has a 6.53-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD display with an off-center punch hole on the upper left corner for a 13-MP selfie camera. In terms of hardware it comes with a MediaTek Helio G85 processor paired with two different storage configurations in Malaysia – 3GB RAM/64GB and 4GB RAM/128GB.

The rear camera for both variants consists of a mainstream 48-MP primary camera, the usual 8-MP ultra wide angle camera as well as a 2-MP depth sensor and 2-MP macro camera. Perched beneath the rear quad camera array is a fingerprint reader and it also retains a 3.5mm audio jack and an IR blaster to control other appliances. Keeping it juiced is a 5,020mAh battery with 18W fast charging. In Malaysia, the Redmi Note 9 will retail for RM649 for the 3GB RAM/64GB variant and RM749 for the 4GB RAM/128GB variant and both will come in three colours – Forest Green, Polar White and Midnight Grey. For one day only, the 3GB RAM/64GB variant will have a flash sale on Shopee which will see the price knocked down to RM599 from RM649.

redmi note 9
Redmi Note 9 Pro

The Redmi Note 9 Pro comes with a larger 6.67-inch Full HD+ LCD display up front and a centre-mounted punch hole for the 16-MP selfie camera. The hardware under the hood consists of a Snapdragon 720G octacore processor paired with 6GB RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. It also sports a side-mounted fingerprint reader too.

Redmi Note 9 Pro

On the rear, the phone packs a quad-camera array centered around a 64-MP primary camera, a secondary 8-MP ultra wide angle camera, a 5-MP macro camera and a 2-MP depth sensor. Keeping things powered is a 5,020mAh battery with 30W fast charging support. In terms of colours, it comes in Interstellar Grey, Tropical Green and Glacier White with a price tag of RM1099. There’s a preorder programme that is ongoing until 17th May and which will net you a free Redmi 10,000mAh powerbank.

 

Mi Note 10 Lite

The Redmi Note 10 Lite is an interesting surprise to the line-up with an emphasis on camera size and display while providing a modicum of value. The phone has a 6.47-inch FHD+ AMOLED display up front, runs a midrange Snapdragon 730G octacore processor and can be equipped with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage. The rear quad camera arrangement consists of a 64-MP primary camera, an 8-MP ultra wide angle camera, a 5-MP depth sensor and a 2-MP macro camera while the front selfie camera is sorted out via the provision of a 16-MP AI selfie camera.
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite

The phone also packs a 5,260mAh battery with 30W fast charging and a bundled 30W fast charger. In Malaysia, the Mi Note 10 Lite will retail for RM1,599 and will be avilable from 12th May onwards on Lazada and authorised retail stores nationwide.

mi note 10 lite

Xiaomi reveals Redmi Note 9S priced from as low as RM699 with Lazada flash sales

Xiaomi has just unveiled their latest midrange workhorse phone, the Redmi Note 9S in a global live stream that also revealed details of its Malaysia launch where it will debut online on Lazada with a special promotional flash sale that drives the price as low as RM699.

Redmi Note 9s

In Malaysia, the Redmi Note 9s comes in two different variants that differ based on storage. The 4GB RAM/128GB variant is intended for online sale at a price of RM799 while the more powerful 6GB RAM/128GB storage version is for offline retail and is priced at RM899.

Storage and RAM aside, what both variants of the Redmi Note 9s have in common is that both come with a 6.67-inch DotDisplay LCD which has a tiny punchhole for the front-facing 16-MP AI-enhanced selfie camera. The display itself is sheathed in Corning Gorilla 5 glass and packs FHD+ resolution in keeping with many mainline phones.

Under the hood, it comes with a Snapdragon 720G 2.3GHz processor that is built on an 8nm process. The rear sports a quad camera with a 48-MP primary camera, an 8-MP ultra wide angle camera, a 5-MP camera camera and a 2-MP depth sensor. Other mod-cons include a side-mounted fingerprint reader and a huge 5,020mAh battery with 18W fast charge support and a bundled 22.5W fast charger to go with it. You can catch a recap of the live stream below.

 

Redmi Note 9S at RM699 on Lazada 2020 Birthday Flash Sales

In terms of colour choices in Malaysia, you’re able to pick from Interstellar Gray, Aurora Blue and Glacier White. For a limited time only, you can get the 4GB RAM / 128GB variant at a special price of RM699 in the Lazada flash sales which are taking place on 27th March for one day only. The sale kicks off at 12.00 noon and will take place for two hours so get your plastic ready. There’s a bit of an extra step to do though.

redmi note 9s

To unlock this special promotion, Lazada needs you to ‘Add Reminder’ to your personal Lazada shopping account. When it hits 40,000 reminders, the special price of RM699 is unlocked. To ‘Add Reminder’ to your Lazada account, swing by bit.ly/2Qaf0MP

To peruse what the phone has to offer, you can point your browsers to https://www.lazada.com.my/shop/xiaomi-official-store

 

Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo form the GDSA to tackle the Google Play Store

Once upon a time, all was good in the land of Android and everyone outside of China was able to download apps off the Google Play store.

And then one day, Huawei lost access to the Play Store after the United States barred suppliers from selling goods and services to it on the basis of national security. Now, a coalition of China’s largest smartphone manufacturers are teaming up to create a platform that would allow them to serve and upload their own apps separate from the Google Play Store. Enter the Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA).

GDSA

According to Reuters, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, four of China’s largest phone manufacturers and who collectively make up 40.1% of global handset shipments in Q4 2019 (according to IDC figures) created the GDSA to enable developers to upload all of their respective app stores at the same time.

This collaboration effectively forms a massive coalition of phone manufacturers as well as a huge and ready customer base outside of China, further enticing developers away from the Google Play Store which is, to date, the only game in town unless you are a savvier sort able to sideload apps. For the uninitiated, the Google Play Store and its associated services are not available in China, with local users acquiring apps from a variety of different vendor-served app stores.

GDSA

With the creation of the GDSA, developers can get another playing field other than the Google Play Store to sell their apps and simplify logistics too.

To wit, it’s a complementary addition to existing platforms like the current Google Play Store. According to an official statement from Xiaomi:

The Global Developer Service Alliance solely serves to facilitate the uploading of apps by developers to respective app stores of Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo simultaneously. There’s no competing interest between this service and Google Play Store.

According to the official GDSA website, the platform is intended for 9 regions that include India, Indonesia, Russian and Malaysia and was intended to launch next month in March though the recent coronavirus outbreak may possibly derail that launch date. While logos for Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are on the page itself, Huawei’s own presence seems absent at this present point in time.

We’ll have to wait and see how all this plays out but it’s an interesting development indeed. Stay tuned to Hitech Century for further updates.

[Source]

Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite with 48-MP rear camera launched with prices from RM1,199

Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite

Fresh off the release of their Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro, Xiaomi is adding yet another affordable smartphone to their Malaysia line-up alongside their prior Mi 9 and Mi 9T, in the form of the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite

The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite comes with a 6.39-inch FHD+ display that has an under-display fingerprint reader up front and packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor with two possible storage configurations of your choice – either 6GB RAM/64GB or 7GB RAM/128GB.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite

The rear comes with a triple camera array that has a large 48-MP F/1.79 camera that uses pixel binning and has a half-inch sized Sony sensor, a secondary 8-MP camera with a 118-degree wide angle lens and a 2-MP depth sensor. The front comes with a 32-MP AI selfie camera. Keeping it powered is a 4,030mAh battery with QuickCharge 4 support.

Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite


Mi 9 Lite Price in Malaysia

The Mi 9 Lite will come in three colours – Pearl White, Aurora Blue and Onyx Black in two storage configurations – a 6GB RAM/64GB variant for RM1,199 that is an online exclusive at Lazada and Shopee and a larger 6GB RAM/128GB variant for RM1,299 that is available at authorised Mi stores and both of the aforementioned online retailers. The phone will be available for sale online and at retail outlets from 1st November 2019.

If you’re particularly keen on buying the Mi 9 Lite, Xiaomi Malaysia is offering a special one-day promotion when it is available for sale at selected authorised Mi stores with every purchase entitling you to a free Hermo MY voucher worth RM100. The list of authorised stores consists of:

– Mi Store Bukit Tinggi (Klang)

– Mi Store One Utama (Klang Valley)

– Mi Store Mid Valley (Klang Valley)

– Mi Store KLCC (Klang Valley)

– Mi Store Pavilion (Klang Valley)

– Mi Store D’Pulze (Cyber Jaya)

– Mi Store Aman Central (Kedah)

– Mi Store Sunway Carnival (Seberang Perai, Penang)

– Mi Store Queensbay Mall (Penang)

– Mi Store Ipoh Parade (Ipoh)

– Mi Store Suria Sabah (Sabah)

– Mi Store The Spring (Bintulu)

– Mi Store Mid Valley South Key (JB)

– Mi Store KB Mall (Kelantan)

– Mi Store Kuantan City Mall (Kuantan)

For more details on Xiaomi swing by their official page at https://www.mi.com/my Don’t forget to follow Hitech Century for more news and reviews on tech!

Xiaomi launches Redmi Note 8 Pro with 64MP quad camera from RM1,099

Xiaomi’s latest generation of Redmi phones dubbed the Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Redmi Note 8 have just been unveiled in Malaysia and befitting the ideals of the brand pack exceptional value at very reasonable prices. Malaysia being the first country to get the phone after its official debut in China with the Redmi Note 8 Pro standing out as it comes with a massive 64-MP rear quad camera.

Redmi Note 8 Pro

Redmi Note 8

Redmi Note 8 Pro

 

Redmi Note 8 Pro price and specifications

In terms of hardware, the Redmi Note 8 Pro has a generously sized 6.53-inch FHD+ LCD dot drop display that has a whopping 91.4% screen-to-body ratio with a tiny notch up top for the front-facing 20-MP selfie camera that has AI beautification functionality. Under the hood, the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with a MediaTek Helio G90T 2.05GHz processor paired with an ARM Mali-G76 processor. 

The rear quad camera array packs the aforementioned massive 64-MP camera which uses a Samsung ISOCELL GW1 sensor with an F/1.89 aperture paired with an 8-MP ultra wide angle lens with a 120-degree field of view, a 2-MP macro camera and a fourth 2-MP depth sensor. The output of the primary camera is sufficiently large enough that you can output it on a man-sized poster. 

Redmi Note 8 pro camera

This massive 64-MP primary camera has one of the most powerful sensors mounted on a phone in its price category which is quite a feat indeed. Other mod-cons include a 3.5mm audio jack, an IR blaster, NFC – the first for a Redmi Note phone, a rear mounted fingerprint sensor and AI face unlock. Of note is that the chassis is also shod on the front and rear with Gorilla Glass 5.

Powering the phone is a 4,500mAh battery with 18W fast charging via a Type-C port and the Redmi Note 8 Pro is available in three different colours dubbed Mineral Grey, Pearl White and Forest Green with two storage configurations. The 6GB RAM/64GB variant retails for RM1,099 while the higher end 6GB RAM/128GB variant will retail for RM1,199.

As an early bird special on Lazada and Shopee, they’re offering it the 6GB RAM/64GB variant for just RM999 if you buy it on both platforms between 8 to 11 October.

redmi note 8 pro preorder

The higher end 6GB RAM/128GB variant will enjoy a special preorder programme from 8 to 11 October 2019 where Xiaomi is throwing in a free left-side Blackshark Gaming Controller worth RM169 on Lazada and Shopee as well as Mi Authorised stores nationwide.

Redmi Note 8 price and specifications

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 8 is an affordable blend of price and performance melded into a slick Gorilla Glass 5 shod chassis in your choice of three colours – Space Black, Neptune Blue and Moonlight White. 

The hardware consists of a 6.3-inch FHD+ LCD dot drop display up front. Under the hood the phone packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 octacore processor built on an 11nm process with AI support and your choice of three storage variants – either 3GB RAM/32GB, 4GB RAM/64GB storage or the top of the line 4GB RAM/128GB storage variant. 

redmi note 8 colours

The Redmi Note 8 rear quad camera array comes with a 48-MP F/1.79 primary camera, a secondary 8-MP ultrawide angle lens with a 120-degree field of view, a 2-MP macro camera and a 2-MP depth sensor.

The front comes with a 13-MP front selfie camera. Power is provided by a 4,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging via a USB Type-C port. And yes, it has an audio jack along with an IR blaster.

redmi note 8 preorder

The Redmi Note 8 3GB RAM/32GB variant will retail at RM599 and will be available from 18 October. The 4GB RAM/64GB variant will retail at RM799 from 12 October and has a special preorder exclusive on Lazada, all Mi Authorised stores and Shopee that throws in a free Mi True Wireless Basic pair of earbud worth RM99 with preorders taking place from 8 to 11 October 2019. The highest end 4GB RAM/128GB variant will retail at RM899 starting from 18 October. For more details swing by Xiaomi’s official page at https://www.mi.com/my/

redmi note 8 pro prices

 

Xiaomi Mi 9T Review – Affordable Power

Xiaomi’s latest phone the Mi 9T represents one of their more outstanding attempts at maximising value while minimising cost as it brings a lot of features and quite a fair amount of performance while keeping the cost down to just RM1,199.

In terms of what goodies comes with the box, the phone comes with a modest ensemble that includes a TPU casing, the obligatory charging cable and a wall charger. There’s no set of earbuds but you can purchase a variety of Xiaomi’s own wired and wireless buds if you’re set on owning a pair.

Xiaomi Mi 9T external design and build quality

Externally, the Mi 9T ticks off all the checkmarks for the design of a  contemporary smartphone. You get a curved chassis crafted of glass and metal that has excellent tactility without feeling plasticky, a nigh bezel-less front AMOLED display and an in-display fingerprint reader that combined, makes it quite a good looking phone, more so for what you actually pay for.

mi 9T

The right side of the phone consists of a power button and volume rocker while the left is otherwise featureless. The top consists of a 3.5mm audio jack and a pop-up 20-MP selfie camera mechanism while the base has a dual SIM card slot, a grille for the mono speaker as well as a USB Type-C port with 18W fast charging support for juicing the phone. Xiaomi has notably added a unique accelerometer that automatically retracts the pop-up camera when it senses the phone is dropped to prevent damage.

The back of the phone is paved in glass and comes with a centreline mounted triple camera array that consists of a primary 48-MP camera, a secondary 8-MP camera with 2x optical zoom and a third 13-MP camera with an ultrawide angle lens. It looks exceptionally premium and our test unit, which came in black had a subtle gray hazard stripe finish to lend it a distinctive look from the horde of lookalikes out there with the usual mirrored gradient finish. While it does look and feel premium, the mirrored finish is also rather prone to smudges which necessitates frequent wipedowns.

Mi 9T selfie camera
Up front, the Mi 9T consists almost entirely of the display with slim side, top and bottom bezels and nary a punchhole camera in sight. The earpiece itself is almost invisible except on close inspection as it consists of just a subtle, tiny grille just above the display.

To gain all this screen real estate, Xiaomi has gone for a somewhat more sophisticated option of the aforementioned motorised selfie camera mechanism and an in-display fingerprint reader; both bits of hardware aren’t something you’d usually see issued on a circa-RM1,000 phone.

mi9T rear cameras

What impresses here is the build quality that Xiaomi has presented here in the Mi 9T and it’s easily the match of any flagship-grade phone thrice its price tag in terms of aesthetics alone though to its detriment it lacks a distinctive feature when viewed from afar bar the pop-up camera and centreline emplaced rear cameras.

Xiaomi Mi 9T review – performance 

The Xiaomi Mi 9T is powered by the new Snapdragon 730 processor paired with 6GB RAM and 64GB of non-expandable storage along with an Adreno 618 GPU. The phone lacks a microSD card expansion slot so all you have to work with is about 50GB or so of usable storage. If you need more space, there is a slightly better specced variant with 128GB of storage for RM1,399. 

As far as the Snapdragon 730 SoC is concerned, it’s currently the newest and most powerful midrange processor in Qualcomm’s line-up that prioritises a blend of performance and battery endurance, both of which go a long way to getting the most out of the phone’s large 4,000mAh battery. 

In terms of security options, the phone has the option of using facial recognition or the fingerprint reader, both of which are surprisingly swift and accurate on top of the usual pattern and number unlock.

Under the hood the phone runs Android 9.0 Pie overlaid with their MIUI 10 user interface. There’s a significant amount of customisability on offer here and you’re even able to tweak colour temperature on the display and change themes at your whim.

mi 9T pop up camera front

Unfortunately there is no app drawer in MIUI so the entirety of your app line-up remains on your homescreen though you can still shove them into folders to tidy them up. To their credit, they’ve omitted quite a bit of the bloatware and adware here from what we saw in older iterations of MIUI and their baked in browser and other apps don’t seem to spam you with a ton of ads this time around.

When in use, the phone performed in a pleasantly snappy fashion without lag even when switching apps and it was able to tackle a host of games including PUBG and Asphalt 9 at high settings without keeling over. The vast majority of casual users will find little to quibble over in terms of performance with the Mi 9T.

In terms of synthetic benchmarks, it’s no slouch either. In GeekBench 4.0, it got a single-core score of 2,552 points and a multi-core score of 6,929 points. In PCMark, it got a very respectable score of 7,439 points. In Antutu 3D it got a score of 211,958 points.

When subjected to 3DMark’s SlingShot Extreme Open GL ES 3.1 test, it got a score of 2,146 points while in Sling Shot Extreme Vulkan, it got a score of 2,033 points. As the Snapdragon 730 SoC is pretty new in the local market with only one other phone hosting a similar processor, it’s a bit hard to draw comparisons to its performance but on its own merits, the Mi 9T handled extremely well across the usual gamut of phone-related tasks without significant lag in its performance across two weeks of use.

Mi9T front

The Mi 9T’s AMOLED display was a thing of beauty with superb colour rendition and detail that made watching movies, in particular Netflix content, a real treat bar the fact that the mono speaker was fairly loud though it understandable has a flat sound stage and modest detail in keeping with most other mono phone speakers out there.

Xiaomi Mi 9T camera performance

Mounted in the centreline of the Mi 9T’s backplate is a triple camera array that is based around a 48-MP sensor with rather large 0.8µm pixels and an F/1.75 aperture, an 8-MP F/2.4 camera with a 2x optical zoom lens and a 13-MP F/2.4 camera with an ultra-wide angle lens, the latter two sensors have 1.12µm pixels. This setup allows it to capture 12-MP snaps and 2160p video though you can ramp up to its full 48-MP glory if needed via the settings.

There’s no optical image stabilisation on any of the cameras – front or rear – of the Mi 9T which means you’ll need steady hands especially during shots in low light but it does have a dedicated Night mode for shots after dusk along with a rudimentary AI that can perform scene recognition to tweak the settings somewhat for best results.

mi 9T camera UI

Shots captured from the primary 48-MP rear camera are, by default, set at 12-MP and are among the best in its price range with excellent detail and colour accuracy with good dynamic range for daylight conditions. When dialled up to 48-MP mode, shots aren’t radically enhanced over 12-MP versions but may be of some use for someone looking for a closer crop or under low light conditions where the deliberate omission of noise control means more detail is retained though the tradeoff with such 48-MP shots is that they take up a lot more space on your phone.

mi 9T wide angle
Captured with the wide angle camera on the Mi 9T
mi9t primary camera
Captured with the Mi 9T primary 48-MP camera
mi9T 2x zoom
2x optical zoom via the Mi 9T’s telephoto lens camera


The 2X optical zoom camera is of note. Prior to this, it’s a rarity for anything less than a flagship phone at twice the price to have optical zoom. Shots on the 8-MP telephoto camera are decent with less detail than the primary camera but it’s still pretty darned good, more so for what you pay for. The wide angle lens camera does the job to capture wide swathes of scenery though there’s a slight bit of distortion around the edges.

48-MP
Captured with the Mi 9T’s 48-MP mode

Under low light, shots on auto mode with the primary camera are decent with some fairly aggressive noise control resulting in rather soft looking shots. Taking shots in Night mode results in much better exposed shots with slightly more detail though you need to wait a good four seconds for the camera to capture the scene. The telephoto camera doesn’t work if the light conditions are too dim and instead the camera defaults back to the primary 48-MP and relies on digitally zoom instead. Unfortunately results for that and wide angle shots after dusk are middling at best. The front camera is certainly visually impressive when it pops up but results are nothing to write home about compared to other more selfie centric-phones.

Mi9T macro shot flower

Mi 9T fish macro shot

Videos are fairly decent as well but you need steady hands for best results especially when capturing 2K video. Optical zoom is also nonexistent when taking videos; the camera array instead relies on the 48-MP camera and digitally zooms in much like what happens in low light though the wide angle camera still works for capturing videos.

mi9T low light 1

mi9T low light 2

All in, the Mi 9T does its best work in brightly lit conditions but still manages a fair showing under low light. Add in its 2X optical zoom and fairly decent performance across the board and you have a pretty darned good workhorse snapper. At this price point, we’re not one to quibble.

Mi 9T Price, Battery Life and Conclusion

The Mi 9T has a 4,000 battery with 18W Quick Charge support and is able to last a full day’s worth of use on account of the large size of the battery and the efficiency of the Mi 9T’s Snapdragon 730 processor. Even with heavy use where we had a combination of data and WiFi on all day, several hours worth of Netflix binging of Star Trek: Discovery, liberal matches of PUBG and constant use of social and media and text messaging, there was more than enough juice to make it on the commute home. From a completely dry battery, the Mi 9T and its bundled 18W Quick Charge charger was able to charge it to about 50% in the space of 40 minutes or so and about an hour and 20 minutes or so to juice it to maximum.

Mi 9T front and rear

Taken as a whole, Xiaomi’s Mi 9T sets a new bar when it comes to value as it brings to the table a notchless vibrant AMOLED display with an under-display fingerprint reader, a fairly solid set of specifications, a decent triple rear camera setup with 2x optical zoom no less and great battery life, all wrapped in a rather premium looking chassis for just RM1,199. Shell out a bit more and you get the 128GB storage version if you need the extra space. If you’re looking for a decent do-it-all and can live with the non-expandable storage, the Mi 9T is an easy recommendation.

What we liked Decent rear cameras, notchless and vibrant AMOLED display, still has a 3.5mm jack, good performance to price ratio
What we didn’t Non expandable storage, mono speaker
We Say  If you can live with the the lack of expandable storage, the Xiaomi Mi 9T represents exceptional value and offers an excellent AMOLED display, a decent set of rear cameras and snappy performance for what you pay for. 

Specifications
Price RM1,199 (6GB RAM/64GB) RM1,399 (6GB RAM/128GB)
Display 6.39-inch AMOLED display, 2,340 x 1080 pixels
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 2.2GHz
OS Windows 9.0 + MIUI 10.0
Memory 6GB RM/64GB
Camera 48-MP F/1.8 + 8-MO W/ telephoto lens F/2.4 (2x zoom) + 13-MP F/2.4 (ultrawide) (rear) +dual LED flash / 20-MP F/2.2
Battery 4,000mAh w/ 18W fast charging
Size/Weight 156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8 mm / 191g
Review unit courtesy of Xiaomi Malaysia

Xiaomi launches the Mi A3 phone and Mi Smart Band 4

If you’re on the hunt for a phone running a clean version of Android without all the usual claptrap and bloatware festooning it, you’ll likely appreciate the charms of Xiaomi’s newly launched Mi A3 that runs Android One that has just been launched in Malaysia along with the new Mi Smart Band 4.

According to Xiaomi, the Mi A3 this time around is a dream phone for Android aficionados and the after extensive polls, they’ve added a host of desirable features – a 3.5mm audio jack, expandable memory and have added in several upgrades including UFS 2.1 storage, an AMOLED display with an under display fingerprint reader and a triple camera array too.  The Mi Smart Band 4 has also added in even longer endurance at 20 days of battery life on top of swim tracking.

Xiaomi Mi A3 and Mi Smart Band 4

Xiaomi Mi A3

The successor to last year’s Mi A2, Xiaomi Mi A3 comes with a 6.01-inch notched Super AMOLED display with HD+ resolution at 1,650 x 720 pixels and runs the aforementioned Android One on a Snapdragon 665 processor paired with 4GB RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. Fortunately, storage is expandable via a provided hybrid SIM card slot that can support cards up to 256GB.  

mi A3 colours

The rear comes with a triple camera array that consists of a primary 48-MP F/1.8 camera that has phase detection autofocus, a secondary 8-MP F/2.2 camera with an ultrawide angle lens and a 2-MP camera that acts as a depth sensor. The front selfie camera has a 32-MP sensor as well as a under-display fingerprint reader. 

Mi A3 front selfie camera

Keeping it powered is a 4,30mAh battery that has 18W fast charging support via a USB Type-C port. It also retains a 3.5mm audio jack and has an IR blaster too. The Mi A3 is available in three different colours – Kind of Gray, Not Just Blue and More Than White. Minus the marketing spiel, this translates to a dark slate gray, a gradient metallic blue and a pearlescent white finish.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 4

In terms of fitness trackers, the Mi Smart Band 4 looks exceptionally well equipped indeed. It comes with a 0.9-inch 120 x 240 pixel AMOLED display with a brightness of 400 nits, which makes it very viewable under daylight conditions.

The Mi Smart Band 4 has a 135mAh battery that allows for 20 days of standby time and lets you get notifications off your phone and all the usuals including steps taken, calories burned, your heart rate, your sleep quality or lack thereof. Where the Mi Smart Band 4 tops the competition is that it also has a new swim tracking mode that helps to monitor your swimming efficiency, strokes and other minutiae.

Mi A3 and Mi Smart Band 4

Naturally, this also means that the Mi Smart Band 4 has built-in water resistance and the band is rated 5 ATM water resistance which allows it to survive up to 50 metres in water so it’ll shrug off a dip in the pool or the shower while the bands are made of a hypoallergenic thermoplastic elastomer for long term wear.

Mi Smart Band 4

So, where and when can we buy the Mi A3 and Mi Smart Band 4?

In Malaysia, the Mi A3 will retail for for RM899 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant and RM999 for the 4GB RAM/128GB storage variant. Both storage variants are available in your choice of the three aforementioned colours – Kind of Gray, Not Just Blue and More Than White with availability starting from 3 August 2019 online at Lazada and Shopee as well as authorised Mi Stores nationwide.  The Mi A3 also ships with an array of optional candy gloss hued silicon cases with each retailing for RM49.

The Mi Smart Band 4 will retail for RM149 and comes in black though you can buy optional straps in other colours. It will be available for purchase starting from today at the same channels as the Mi A3 – Lazada, Shopee and Mi Stores nationwide.

7 fantastic reasons why the Xiaomi Mi 9T is the best phone in its price range

It has been said innumerable times that good things don’t come cheap and the saying generally holds true for the vast majority of smartphones available out there in the market. Xiaomi, being the unconventional outfit that they are, aims to upend the concept entirely of a high performing, premium looking smartphone costing a bomb. Since their inception, they’ve offered a range of powerful yet surprisingly affordable phones but their most recent addition to their line-up, the Xiaomi Mi 9T aims to top them all as possibly the best smartphone in its price range. How so? Read on, and we’ll tell you why.

Right out of the starting gate, Xiaomi has packed in a veritable cornucopia of high-end hardware that you’d usually see on a flagship-class phone but at less than half the price tag that you’d expect. For a price tag just RM1,199, you’re getting a large AMOLED display, a newly minted upper-midrange Snapdragon 730 processor, a rear triple camera array and the list of wonders doesn’t quite end there. Here’s seven stunning reasons why the Xiaomi Mi 9T takes pole position as the best phone that money can buy in its price range and then some.

XIaomi Mi 9T colours

#1 Flagship-class build quality and design

There’s a unique tactility that you can only get if you’re using premium materials like metal and glass when building a phone. The problem is that they cost a pretty penny and every dime counts when you’re building a phone as it impacts on the bottom line. 

Whereas most phones in its price range end up with polycarbonate facsimiles that somewhat mimic the look of a polished gradient glass finish but alas not the heft and feel with a plasticky, almost hollow feel, the Mi 9T goes all the way with the real deal. 

The backplate of the Mi 9T is sheathed in glass and embellished with your choice of three different colour schemes – a gradient Glacier Blue finish, a bright Flame Red paint job or a Carbon Black finish with red trim. This glass and metal build gives Xiaomi’s latest phone an extremely posh feel and a very reassuring heft when held.

XIaomi Mi 9T rear blue

While other smartphone manufacturers who aim to cut corners tend to use plastic buttons, the Mi 9T goes all the way and uses metal ones instead for its power button and volume rocker.

Flip it up front and you’ll notice that the entirety of the phone is almost all display with nary a notch in sight which adds quite a bit of class to the Mi 9T. 

#2 Seriously beefy specifications under the hood

The Mi 9T comes with the new upper-midrange Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 processor that is built on an 8nm process and which offers a finely tuned blend of performance balanced with endurance for longer battery life compared to its predecessor the Snapdragon 710. The Snapdragon 730 processor also brings to the table a host of enhancements that you’d usually expect in a flagship-class phone including a 4th generation AI engine that improves processor efficiency by up to 2.6 times compared to the older Snapdragon 710 for a variety of tasks including gaming.

Mi 9T close up

This is paired with 6GB RAM and 64GB of non-expandable storage though you can chunk out for a version of the Mi 9T with 128GB of storage if you so wish. This array of hardware allows the Mi 9T to handle some of the most demanding games available on a phone at high settings including the ubiquitous PUBG and Asphalt 9 too.The phone also has a novel Game Turbo 2.0 mode that optimises performance, increases touchscreen response time,

Other handy features usually found on flagship-class phones include Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, NFC support for compatible hardware and cashless payments, an under-display fingerprint reader and HiRes Audio support too for good measure. All this is well and good but what really takes the cake on the Mi 9T though is its huge display.

#3 Lusciously large AMOLED display

The size and the quality of a smartphone’s touchscreen display is often commensurate with how much you pay for said phone. The Xiaomi Mi 9T handily upends that law as it sports a flagship-grade 6.39-inch AMOLED display upfront which offers vibrant hues and beautifully deep blacks, better viewing angles and much better readability under daylight on account of its brighter display compared to the more mainstream IPS LCD panels that appear in many midrange smartphones.

If you gaze at the Mi 9T, you’ll also appreciate the fact that you’re getting a lot of screen real estate for what you pay for as almost the entirety of the front of the phone is taken up the luscious touchscreen; in effect, you’re getting a vibrant, 2,340 x 1080 pixels up front with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio which makes it ideal for gaming and especially movies on Netflix. Whereas many other competing phones are relegated to watching Netflix in standard definition, Netflix on the Mi 9T is streamed in glorious HD resolution.

Mi 9T front display

This large aspect ratio and screen size versus its physical dimensions is on account of its breathtakingly slim 3.8mm bezels and the fact that they’ve relocated the selfie camera into a motorised pop-up module so that a punch hole does not besmirch the Mi 9T’s display. 

They’ve even plonked in an under-display fingerprint reader to ensure that the whole front of the Mi 9T is almost entirely a touchscreen and turning it on for gaming and, especially watching movies makes for a special treat. More so for the fact that the Mi 9T is also one of the few phones that integrate WideVine digital rights management support and, by extension, Netflix viewing so you can quite literally enjoy the latest season of Stranger Things. Add in the fact that the Mi 9T still has a 3.5mm audio jack and you have a party on the go waiting to happen. Popcorn, anyone?

#4 Mi 9T Triple Rear camera and Pop-Up Selfie Camera

 

The Xiaomi Mi 9T has an impressive rear triple camera array that has a bevy of features that were once the exclusive province of flagship-grade class phones. Emplaced in the middle of the rear backplate, the rear triple camera array consists of a 48-MP camera with an F/1.75 aperture, a secondary 8-MP camera with a 2x telephoto lens and a 13-MP ultrawide angle camera that offers a wide field of view. 

 

XIaomi Mi 9T rear camera
A test shot from the Mi 9T on auto mode from the rear camera
XIaomi Mi 9T rear camera test
Another test shot from the Mi 9T’s rear camera

While wide angle lenses on secondary cameras are currently in vogue and are relatively common in phones across different price ranges with varying degrees of effectiveness, it’s a rare phone indeed at this price range that has optical zoom lenses like the Mi 9T. The provision of 2x optical zoom in the Mi 9T allows for lossless shots at slightly closer range from a distance rather than having to rely on digital zoom which ends up with some degree of pixelation.

 

Up front, the Mi 9T packs a 20-MP selfie camera that rises up on a motorised mount on demand if you need to capture selfies. When it rises up, it gives off a glow that matches your Mi 9T’s paint finish – either blue or red – and a cute chime. If you’re having doubts as to the robustness of the pop-up camera mechanism, fret not  Xiaomi has tested the mechanism and have rated it to work over 300,000 times which is way more times than what the average user would ever use. 

XIaomi Mi 9T selfie camera
The selfie camera motor mechanism is rated for over 300,000 uses.

Better yet, both the front and rear cameras also have AI to help out, ensuring crisper, better looking shots every time you press the virtual shutter release button. Combined, this potent front and rear setup enables users to capture fantastic snaps across a vast array of subjects, 4K video and even 960fps slow-motion videos too off the rear cameras.

 

#5 Awesome battery life

The Mi 9T packs a large 4,000mAh battery in a casing that’s just 8.8mm thin and has Quick Charge 3.0 18W fast charging via a USB Type-C port. Combined with the power efficiency of the Snapdragon 730 processor, the Mi 9T is capable of easily offering all-day battery life in the field and once you’re done, rapidly charge it to full capacity when plugged into the mains.

#6 That sweet 3.5mm audio jack

As much as the chaps over at Cupertino say that it requires courage to eschew it, the 3.5mm audio jack remains a mainstay that is widely accepted and quite simply works. It’s nigh on bungleproof and the moment you jack in your headphones it’s ready to rock and roll with nary all onerous pairing you’d expect from a wireless pair of cans though if that floats your boat, the Mi 9T also has Bluetooth 5.0 too. Add in HiRes audio support and you have quite a capable portable jukebox on your hands.

Mi 9T audio jack

 

#7 That low RM1,199 price tag

The Xiaomi Mi 9T clocks in at a modest RM1,199 for the 6GB RAM/64GB storage variant which is available on Xiaomi’s online store on Lazada. A 6GB RAM/128GB storage variant is also available at Mi Stores nationwide for a slightly higher RM1,399. More importantly, you’re getting a flagship-grade under-display fingerprint reader which is a rarity, if not unheard of at this price range but which the Mi 9T integrates in its large AMOLED display in all its glory. 

Not only is this price tag surprisingly affordable for what the Mi 9T brings to the table, it’s also an official retail unit too which means you needn’t have to rely on dodgy imported sets which can possibly have murky warranty issues. If you’re looking for a premium phone that not only looks good but which also has respectable specifications that can give phones twice its price tag a run for its money, the Mi 9T is rather hard to beat. For more details and to acquire the Xiaomi Mi 9T on Lazada, swing by their official page here.

Xiaomi Mi 9T vs Samsung Galaxy A80 – Which Snapdragon 730 Phone Should You Pick?

The new Snapdragon 730 from Qualcomm is one of the latest upper midrange processors to hit the market and packs a potent combination of power and battery efficiency, integrates AI capabilities and offers beefier gaming performance too. Since its release sometime earlier this year, there’s only been a few phones in the market that pack this potent new processor. For Malaysia, two newly launched contenders integrated the Snapdragon 730 in their design – the Xiaomi Mi 9T and the Samsung Galaxy A80. Both are equally powerful and capable in their own ways. 

While both smartphones are powered with the Snapdragon 730 processor, both are designed from the ground up to cater to different audiences and have unique features that make them truly distinct from each other. Let’s round out the basics of what the Xiaomi Mi 9T and the Galaxy A80 are about. Special thanks to Nasi Lemak Tech for taking time out to discuss the virtues of these two powerhouse phones.

Xiaomi Mi 9T and Galaxy A80

Xiaomi Mi 9T

Xiaomi’s latest phone in Malaysia brings to the table a bevy of their latest technologies built around the core of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 2.2GHz processor. Up front, you have a large 6.39-inch AMOLED panel with nary a notch in sight and 2,340 x 1080 pixel resolution augmented by an under-display fingerprint reader at the base of the phone sheathed in Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Paired with this is 6GB RAM and 64GB of non-expandable storage with the Mi 9T running Android 9.0 Pie overlaid by their latest MIUI 10.3.7 user interface.

On the imaging front, the Xiaomi Mi 9T mounts a vertically mounted rear triple camera-array that consists of a primary 48-MP camera with a large F/1.8 aperture, a secondary 8-MP F/2.4 camera with a 2x optical zoom lens and a 13-MP F/2.4 ultrawide lens capable of capturing up to 4K video. Seeing as the front of the Mi 9T is almost all touchscreen, they’ve installed the selfie camera in a motorised pop-up mechanism which slides up to reveal a 20-MP F/2.2 camera that uses a screen as flash for mugshots in low light.  

The chassis itself is clad in mirrored glass all around the backplate with a shiny black finish all around as well as a subtle series of pale gray hazard stripe accents to accentuate the back which lends it a very distinctive look as well as a heft and tactility befitting a premium phone. This is also on account of the fact that it has a rather large 4,000mAh battery too with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 which is capable of 18W fast charging via a USB Type-C port at the base of the phone. All this clocks in at RM1,199 which is a staggeringly low price for something with a spanking new processor and a triple camera.

 

Samsung Galaxy A80

One of Samsung’s most powerful Galaxy A series smartphones in Malaysia, the Galaxy A80 is also the only phone in its line-up that rethinks the classic conundrum of putting separate cameras up front for selfies and in the rear for general food and scenery snapping duties. Instead, the Galaxy A80 has a triple camera module that flips to the front or back as needed for selfies and more general work. That means you’re getting a massive 48-MP F/2.0 primary camera and a secondary 8-MP F/2.2 ultrawide camera for selfies if you so choose. It also can capture up to 4K footage on demand while the ToF 3D camera enables capturing Live Focus Video at FHD.

Up front, the Galaxy A80 has a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 2,400 x 1080 pixels sheathed in Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The rest of the hardware consists of Android Pie 9.0 overlaid by their One UI on the Snapdragon 730 processor paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB of non-expandable storage. Keeping it powered is a 3,700mAh battery with 25W fast charging via a Type C port. In Malaysia, the Galaxy A80 retails for RM2,499.

Mi 9T and Galaxy A80

Here’s how both the Mi 9T and Galaxy A80 stack up and differ from each other:

#1 Storage and RAM

The Samsung Galaxy A80 edges out with 2GB more RAM and doubles the storage of the Mi 9T, cramming in 8GB RAM and a whopping 128GB of storage. The Mi 9T on the other hand has somewhat more pedestrian aspirations here with 6GB RAM and 64GB of storage. A 128GB variant is also available with a similar amount of RAM and 128GB of storage too. 

Both phones don’t have microSD card slots so what you have is what you’re stuck with for the indefinite future. Unless you’re one to download a ton of movies, books and games on your phone, even 64GB of storage is plenty before you have to start worrying about running out of space.
Mi 9T and Galaxy A80More RAM is always preferred of course as it allows for faster switching between a multitude of apps and processes – with games in the mix – though at this current point in time for the vast majority of users, all that RAM usually isn’t fully utilised anyway and it’s the equivalent of adding extra space in the boot of a car but never using it. While 4GB is usually insufficient for the needs of today’s apps and games, 6GB is the ideal sweet spot that caters to the vast majority of users and which optimally maximises RAM usage in a phone like the Mi 9T.

#2 3.5mm Audio Jack

There’s two sides to the topic but the point of the matter is that when you’re designing a phone, every single inch matters especially internally to make space for essential components. The mainstay standard of personal audio, the 3.5mm audio jack is a remarkable example of tech that has remained constant for decades and is able to support entry and premium level headphones level alike.

On the other hand, the growing prevalence of wireless headphones and headsets helps resolve the problem of trailing around a snakepit of wires when you’re out and about but the audio quality of Bluetooth connectivity is still a notch or two behind wired kit – especially when it comes to audio delay. Another particular benefit to the 3.5mm audio jack is that its ubiquity and tactility means that you can literally use it in the dark. Granted, USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio jack dongles exist but you can’t exactly use them while you’re charging your phone either which is a bit of a pain.

Mi 9T and Galaxy A80
The Mi 9T retains a 3.5mm audio jack while the Galaxy A80 lacks one

In this case, the Mi 9T sports a true blue 3.5mm audio jack but the future-facing Galaxy A80 does not so it’s a matter of personal listening preferences versus convenience. The Mi 9T also sports support HiRes audio too and with the right pair of headphones, it’s able to deliver lusciously beautiful music straight to your ears.

#3 Cameras

Both the Galaxy A80 and Mi 9T sport cameras with primary 48-MP sensors though they differ slightly in terms of their specifications. The Mi 9T’s triple rear camera array doesn’t rotate to the front and therefore relies on the fixed-forward-facing 20-MP pop-up selfie camera, unlike the Galaxy A80. The Galaxy A80 can orient its powerful 48-MP to the back or the front as needed.

Both the Galaxy A80 and the Mi 9T both have ultra wide secondary cameras but here is where design philosophies differ. The Mi 9T adds in a 2x optical zoom telephoto camera but the Galaxy A80 opts instead to integrate a ToF 3D camera for creamier bokeh when capturing Live Focus Video though this camera only comes into action when capturing videos. The Galaxy A80’s camera setup comes in handy for live streaming while the Mi 9T is optimised for those who capture more pictures than video which is usually most users out there on a day to day basis. 

Mi 9T and Galaxy A80 cameras

Another interesting point to note is that the Galaxy A80’s camera user interface is refined for point and shoot work and for casual shooters, it can deliver exceptional results for stills and up to 4K video. In the case of the Mi 9T, it has a more diverse range of options, including a more robust Pro mode though the sheer breadth and depth of the menus means it is more rewarding to those who are able to invest the time in mastering it.

#4 Battery Life

The Xiaomi Mi 9T comes with a 4,000mAh battery with Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 18W fast charging while the Galaxy A80 has a smaller 3,700mAh battery but swifter 25W fast charging, What this translates to is that the Mi 9T has slightly longer endurance in the field but in comparison has slightly slower fast charging tech compared to the Galaxy A80.

To be fair, both phones are capable of offering all-day battery life on paper on account of the efficiency of the Snapdragon 730 processor but it also depends on how you use them. A user who maxes out screen brightness and then just devotes time solely to gaming and other processor intensive tasks will likely drain the battery much faster than someone who uses it in a more modest fashion with an average use case of modest gaming, web browsing and nattering away on social media. 

A slightly larger battery is, of course, a prudent and preferred measure which works out best if you’re regularly out in the field or if you’re out on holiday and where finding a charge point or toting a power bank around may not be a practical option.  

#5 Price Tag

The 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage version of the Xiaomi Mi 9T for the Malaysia market retails for RM1,199 while the 6GB RAM/128GB variant retails for RM1,399. The Galaxy A80 with its 8GB RAM/128GB storage retails for a more substantial RM2,499. Even with a similar processor, this disparity in pricing is also on account of their design philosophies and the various features that each phone packs, all of which are angled towards a different target market.

The Mi 9T is the epitome of bang for the buck with a contemporary design and a feature list that ticks off all the essentials on what makes a great smartphone with the cherry on the cake being its exceptional affordability.

On the other hand, the Galaxy A80 is built in the manner of a concept car with next-generation technologies in the form of their slick motorised front/rear camera mechanism that lets you use what would have been a powerful rear camera for selfie duties too along with an exquisitely finished design and build quality. All this clocks in at a significant premium too.

 

Xiaomi Mi 9T vs Galaxy A80 – Who is the winner?

Both these phones may have the same processor thrumming within them but evolutionarily speaking, both are as different as night and day. If you’re after a truly premium experience with exquisitely engineered design and have deep pockets, the Galaxy A80 won’t disappoint you. For those seeking a phone that offers serious bang for the buck, the Xiaomi Mi 9T represents a finely tuned blend of performance and affordability that few others can match.