Xiaomi has been leading India’s smartphone market uninterruptedly for almost three years now. In the last quarter, Xiaomi grew from strong sales of the phones in the Redmi series and offline expansion in the country. Unquestionably, the Redmi Note series has been instrumental to this growth and popularity. Since 2018, Xiaomi has been following a biannual upgrade cycle for its smartphones to meet the growing demands of markets like India. The Redmi Note 8 series was launched in China in August last year and now its successor is ready for a release. Citing constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Xiaomi is unveiling the Redmi Note 9 series through an online India-first launch event.
Redmi Note 9 Pro Max
Xiaomi is now introducing a new “Pro Max” series which will be at the top of the Redmi Note series. The “Max” moniker is also a homage to the classic Mi Max series which included Xiaomi’s early phablets.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max comes with a radical design change over the Redmi Note 8 Pro (review). There is now a square camera module on the back with four cameras but no rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. Instead, Redmi is using one side-mounted sensor for biometric authentication. The hole-punch cutout on the front also gives a fresh new appeal to the new Redmi Note series. Unlike the POCO X2 (Redmi K30 4G in China), there is a single camera although the display is the same size.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max continues to adorn a glass sandwich design, with Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the back as well as on the 6.67-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD display. Additionally, the quad-camera setup is also protected under Gorilla Glass.
Unlike the recently launched Realme 6 Pro, the refresh rate of the Note 9 Pro Max’s display is restricted to 60Hz.
The Xiaomi and Redmi phones launched through the last year came with dazzling back panels and color gradients. Instead of that, the company has opted for soothing color options for the Note 9 Pro and the Note 9 Pro Max. Xiaomi is calling this the “Aura Balance Design” and there are three color variants for the phone – Interstellar Black, Aurora Blue, and Glacier White.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max will feature a flagship-grade haptic response engine. The “z-axis” vibration motor is perpendicular to the surface of the display and has dedicated vibration profiles for a slew of user inputs. Additionally, the smartphone continues to be equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack and an IR blaster.
In terms of cameras, the quadruple setup includes a 64MP Samsung GW1 primary sensor with a 6P lens setup, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a 5MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. The wide-angle camera supports 119º wide FOV but has a fixed focus. In contrast, the 5MP macro camera supports auto-focusing for greater detail. Additionally, the hole-punch camera on the front has a resolution of 32MP.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max features support for RAW photography and a Color Pro mode which automatically adjusts the parameters in the RAW shot. In terms of videos, it supports 4K video recording at 30fps and a dedicated mode for 21:9 cinematic capturing.
Internally, there are some expected changes. After a fizgig with MediaTek G90T on the Redmi Note 8 Pro, Xiaomi is taking a route back to Qualcomm and is the first Redmi Note device to feature a Snapdragon 7xx series SoC – i.e. the latest Snapdragon 720G chipset. The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max will come with at least 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM and will also be available in an 8GB variant. The phone comes with up to 128GB UFS 2.1 storage and a dedicated microSD card slot.
In terms of connectivity, the Snapdragon 720G enables 2×2 MIMO for LTE and Wi-Fi. For navigation, the chipset supports dual-frequency GNSS in India and will also support India’s own location satellite – NavIC.
The smartphone also comes with a bigger battery as compared to both – the Redmi Note 8 and the Redmi Note 8 Pro. In fact, this is the largest battery on a Redmi device ever. It features a 5,020mAh battery and supports 33W fast charging and the fast charger will be included within the box.
Redmi Note 9 Pro
The Redmi Note 9 Pro is the second device launched by Xiaomi today. In terms of design and the display, the Note 9 Pro is identical to the Note 9 Pro Max but there are some differences under the hood.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro also comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G SoC. There are 4GB and 6GB RAM variants and the fact that there is no 8GB RAM variant suggests the Note 9 Pro might succeed the Redmi Note 8 (our review) instead of the former Pro variant, even if Xiaomi claims otherwise. The 4GB and 6GB RAM variants are paired with 64GB and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage options. There is a dedicated microSD card slot that supports expansion cards with storage capacity up to 512GB.
The Redmi Note 9 Pro features the 48MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM2 as the primary camera. All of the other cameras on the back are identical to the Note 9 Pro Max. Compared to the Max, the Note 9 Pro features a 16MP in-display selfie camera.
The Note 9 Pro also features a 5,020mAh battery but it only supports 18W fast charging as compared to the 33W charging of the Pro Max.
Redmi Note 9 Pro/Note 9 Pro Max Specifications
|Specification||Redmi Note 9 Pro Series|
|Dimensions and Weight||
|RAM and Storage||
|Battery & Charging||
|Android Version||MIUI 11 based on Android 10|
Price & Availability
The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max will available in three variants for the following prices:
- 6GB + 64GB: ₹14,999 (~$200)
- 6GB + 128GB: ₹16,999 (~$230)
- 8GB + 128GB: ₹18,999 (~$255)
The two variant of the Redmi Note 9 Pro will be available at the following prices:
- 4GB + 64GB: ₹12,999 (~$175)
- 6GB + 128GB: ₹15,999 (~$215)
The Redmi Note 9 Pro will be available via Mi.com, Amazon India, and all Mi Stores starting March 17th while the Note 9 Pro Max will be available starting March 25th through the same portals.