Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max: Redmi Note 9 Pro mid-range does not have a more automated option as competition from other brands, especially Realme, is fierce.
Xiaomi’s Redmi Note phone line has been India’s most prominent smartphone line since the category-defined Redmi Note 3 in 2016.
And here we are in 2020, but like clockwork, Xiaomi is also back with the new version of its banker Redmi Note 9 Pro Max.
Rs 14,999 for 6GB RAM + 64GB storage option, Rs 16,999 for 6GB RAM + 128GB storage option and Rs 18,999 for 8GB RAM + 128GB internal storage.
Here we present a review of Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max and help you decide which phone is the best sub 20K smartphone in India.
Is Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max the best camera phone under Rs 20,000
With its 64-megapixel Sony IMX 686 primary camera with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, 2-megapixel depth sensor and a 5-megapixel macro lens, the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max has a great package for shutterbugs for specs.
Paper in Price Range. By the way, the 64MP camera is not activated by default and one has to enable it before taking pictures.
The camera app is full of features and has a Pro Color mode that increases contrast and color when activated. This is similar to the Dazzle Color and Chroma Boost filters on Oppo and Realme smartphones respectively.
The macro camera toggle is placed in a sub-menu and is a bit difficult to find. Saying that, if the lighting on the subject is good, the macro shots are captured well.
The daylight shots taken with the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max turned out well, but the artificial sharpness of the pictures is quite clear.
The detailing is good and if one zooms slightly, some amount of grain is visible. Portrait shots and selfies pose well with a smooth bokeh effect. AI can recognize the subject and does what it needs to do.
In low light shots the essence is well captured, but again the noise is quite visible. The wide-angle camera negates the barrel effect, but the detailing is compromised, although the captured area is good.
As far as the competition Poco X2 is concerned, its brothers have the same hardware. This means both phones match each other in terms of features like 4K video, wide-angle photos, macro shots and so on at 30 frames per second.
Apart from this, if we talk about the challenge from Realme, Realme 6 Pro also comes with 64-megapixel camera system, but it has an old Samsung sensor but the quality of the pictures will not disappoint you.
How is the performance?
Xiaomi is a bit weak in the display department. Don’t get me wrong – it has a 6.67-inch IPS screen with full HD resolution and a peak brightness level of 450 nits, but it’s not just one step behind the Redmi Note 8 Pro, which had a higher brightness level.
Even phones like Realme 6 and Realme 6 Pro offer a 90Hz refresh rate and slightly higher brightness levels, which gives additional brownie points. Another issue with the performance of the 9 Pro Max is that readability is a bit harder in strong sunlight.
On the other hand, the Poco X2 goes a step further with 500 nits of brightness and a 120Hz refresh rate that makes everything on the phone feel silky smooth. Redmi is definitely not the best screen in the segment.
Is it comfortable to use?
The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is definitely a watcher, but it is difficult to reach the top of the 6.67-inch display with one hand.
It has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner in the power button, which is slightly recreated and easy to feel while touching it. It is quick and responsive. Its position is said to be such that one has to change the natural grip of the hand to access it.
Another issue before us was the placement of the volume rocker, which is mounted on top of the fingerprint scanner and is almost difficult to reach without involving the other hand.
Xiaomi has given an IR blaster to this phone which is a welcome move as users can use the smartphone as a remote control to manage other devices.
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The Note 9 Pro Max is slightly curved from the back with straight lines on the side railing. All of this is done very neatly in glass and metal which looks very premium with rich colors.
It feels quite adequate thanks to its 8.8 mm thick frame, but it is on the heavier side of things at 209 grams.
But then, if you look at its competition in the Realme 6 Pro, it is heavier at about 202 grams and thicker than 8.9 mm – it is not made of glass and metal with a lot of plastic inserts.
People should also look at the Nokia 8.1, which is 180 grams lighter than these two phones and is only 8 mm thick. It can be argued that it looks classier than these two phones and is probably a more beloved brand.
What about teh user interface?
The Nokia 8.1 may be outdated, but it was a more high-end phone when it launched in 2018. And even today with Snapdragon 710 processor it will give a fluid experience to most users.
Also its Android One credentials make it the cleanest Android experience you can get on a budget, even higher than Xiaomi’s Mi A3 which they have not served well.
Realme 6 Pro is also a great option as their Color OS UI is now very close to stock Android and is very sensitive. Soon they will also have a beta for Android 11, which is reassuring to those with the latest and greatest interest on the platform.
It is also not as intrusive as Miu on Xiaomi phones with bloatware and intrusive advertisements. This is why it becomes difficult to recommend both the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max and the Poco X2.
I want the best specs and performance for gaming and multitasking
Technically speaking – Poco X2 will provide specs – it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G processor which is almost as fast as the Snapdragon 845 chip.
It is equipped with 8GB of RAM and has a 120Hz panel with graphite-based cooling system for great gaming. Poco’s phones also do not come with advertisements like Redmi phones. Through and through, this is the best experience on the phone right now if your budget is south of 20k.
Redmi Note 9 Pro Max has a very high score on the specs – but its user experience is no better than one on a Poco. This is strange because the Snapdragon 720G processor is considered closer to the Snapdragon 730G in performance.
It is not reactive. Realme 6 Pro feels more sensitive than the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max thanks to its smooth Android skin and 90Hz refresh rate.
The Nokia 8.1 is also better than the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max as it runs a pure uneven Android, will be eligible for the latest update and still has a pretty impressive Snapdragon 710 processor.
Does it have killer battery life?
The Redmi Note line is known for their battery life – and the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is indistinguishable from its massive 5,020mAh battery. One can expect 2-day battery life.
We managed to bring this phone to the screen for 9 hours and Xiaomi has also compromised the charging status as it comes with a 30 watt fast charger.
The Poco X2 is not far behind with its 4,500mAh battery, but what draws the battery is its fast processor and 120,000 refresh rate. It is packed with a 27 watt sonic charger.
It has a large battery life with 7 hours of screen time on a regular basis and about 20 hours of use once charged. MiUI is also aggressive on battery management which helps in its cause.
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Realme 6 Pro cannot compete with Xiaomi phones as it not only has a relatively low 4,300mAh battery, but also has a 90Hz refresh rate, though it also offers 30-watt VOOC charging.
The Nokia 8.1 has the weakest battery life with a screen of around 5.5 hours, but it also has the smallest and also the smallest screen on an older processor.
Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is excellent in battery life, camera and build quality. If we compare with competition and performance then performance is equal.
Unlike previous years, the Xiaomi mid-range does not have a more automated option as competition from other brands, especially Realme, is fierce.
- Great design
- Good cameras
- epic battery life
- Overloaded software with bloatware
- Dim display