Just before the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in India, Xiaomi introduced two mobile phones in the country under its sub-brand Redmi. The company launched Redmi Note 9 Pro and Note 9 Pro Max. The latter one is the top variant from the series and is available in multiple configurations of 6GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB and the 8GB + 128GB and today we bring to you the review of the 6GB of RAM with 128GB variant of the Note 9 Pro Max.
The smartphone features a quad rear camera and has a hole-punch display along with P2i splash-proof coating. The smartphone also includes a side-mounted fingerprint scanner and is going to take on Samsung Galaxy A71 and Vivo V17 Pro. So, to make your buying decision easy, read the rest of our review to understand should you or should you not buy this device.
Design and Display
In terms of design and display of the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, we see a lot of innovative changes. After unboxing the device, the first thing we noticed is a massive display and when held it felt heavy as it boasts a massive 5,020mAh battery, yet it gives a rock-solid feeling. Being bulky often makes it less manageable to be used with one hand. On most occasions we were able to manage the phone with just one hand, however, to reach the top part we had to use the other hand.
The display comes with a layering of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to prevent nicks. There is a hole punch located at the top centre to house a selfie camera. When rolled over you get a glossy back panel for a bolder look. For the review, we received the Aurora Blue variant. Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is available in more colour options too which include Interstellar Black and Glacier White. The best part about the device is that it picked very few fingerprints, so we had to spend less time cleaning it.
Also on the back, there is a bumped up quad rear camera set up that kept the phone raised when placed on the surface. Just beneath the camera set up an LED flash has been placed to take better pictures during the dark conditions. The Redmi branding can be found just above the bottom rim on the back. On the right side volume rocker and a power button can be found. It comes with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner set inside the power button instead of an in-display sensor to bring down the cost. The fingerprint scanner is swift to unlock the device in a blink of an eye.
At the bottom, users can find a 3.5mm audio jack with the USB Type-C port for charging, a mic and a speaker grille. At this price point, we think Xiaomi is offering its best design. You get an all-glass body, a giant display and the rear camera module just intensifies the design of the smartphone.
Coming back to the display, the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max features a 6.67-inch FHD+ DotDisplay with a 20:9 aspect ratio, however, the high refresh rate was missing on this phone. It offers a 60Hz refresh rate, which is lower than the 90Hz refresh rate being offered by other popular brands and one of its siblings too. If the device has a higher refresh rate it is capable of delivering smoother gaming experience, which might be looked down upon by the gaming community. So to test it out further we did play a lot of games on it and it did not affect our performance. Game accuracy is good and graphics are pleasurable.
Redmi Note 9 Pro Max was able to take the burden of hefty games such as PUBG mobile, Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty mobile. But we would recommend you to go play in default graphics settings for best power to play ratio. The viewing angles were also fine and the display is bright enough to be used under the direct sunlight. It could easily load all the apps, was good at multitasking and we didn’t come across any lag. All in all, we would say the display is bright and the tall screen made the Netflix binge more enjoyable.
Performance and camera
Coming to its performance, Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor with Adreno 618 GPU for graphics. As said, it has been launched in multiple configurations of 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and an 8GB RAM and 128GB storage model. For the review, we have got the 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage unit that costs Rs 17,999. The smartphone is good at multitasking and it can very well handle day-to-day jobs. During our review, we did not come through any lag. As we mentioned before it comes with a 60Hz refresh rate scrolling through our Instagram feeds and while online shopping is suave. In terms of gaming also it had done well and we faced no heating issues.
For the software, the handset runs on MIUI 11 on top of Android 10, which is the latest OS being offered by most of the companies. However, the UI you get is again not clean and we are pointing out at the bloatware installed on the phone. It came with several pre-installed apps as well as games such as Helo that will, unfortunately, spam your device, Domino’s, Osom Rummy to name a few more.
On the brighter side, you will get a massive 5020mAh battery that will last for more than a day if you are a heavy user and spend most of your time watching videos and gaming. But if you are a casual user then the battery would last for 2 days. For us it lasted for more than two days. The device is shipped with a 33W charger, which fuels the battery up to 50 percent in around 30 minutes.
All in all, we would say that the smartphone is a good performer and you won’t be disappointed at all.
Now here comes the important part of the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max review, which is the camera performance and we would openly say that the camera performance of the phone is the beyond best that Xiaomi could offer at sub Rs 20,000. There is a quad rear camera set up on the handset, which includes a 64-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens offering 119-degree field-of-view (FoV), 5-megapixel macro lens and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. Upfront there is a 32-megapixel selfie camera.
The camera set up on the phone offers several modes for clicking enhanced images. The photo mode lets you shoot pictures in 16-megapixel by default, but there is a separate mode in the camera app that allows you to shoot pictures delivering 64-megapixel resolution. To ignite the photographer in you, the company has served more options such as Portrait, Night, Panorama and Pro mode. The smartphone managed to capture a natural-looking picture and it shoots the finest detail any other smartphone in this range could.
The portrait mode is just at par. The edge detection was perfect and the depth between the subject and the background was also natural. The shots taken from the ultra-wide-angle are picture-perfect. We would say the colour temperature and the white balance is just what we need to click a good-looking picture. The macro lens is also fine as we are a big fan of clicking macro images, especially of plants and flowers. But to get the perfect macro shot you have to do the hard work of clicking more than one picture as sometimes the pictures were slightly blurred. But when you get the desired shot it is well detailed, of course, all this in good lighting conditions.
On the less bright side, the low light images were not as good as we expected to be. The images were grainy though and hardly any improvements were seen when the images were taken in night mode. The images turned out to be less sharp and on zooming in it lacked details. So, we do recommend to keep the flash on for night shots as that will bring more sharpness to the images.
For selfies, there is a 32-megapixel front-facing camera housed inside a hole-punch display. It delivered natural-looking pictures. So images turned out to be less made up and the portrait mode also does a reasonable job delivering appealing selfie portraits.
If you are looking for a smartphone, which clicks great pictures, we would surely recommend this device.
In Redmi Note 9 Pro Max the company has tried to cover all its spaces it could have in a budget. You get a cool design, latest UI, good processor and outstanding camera performance barring low light. You can call the phone a handy television for its tall display, but it could have been better if they provided a higher refresh rate of at least a 90Hz display. Nonetheless, you get a massive battery that will keep this smartphone going on for days. So overall, the pros massively outweigh the cons.
- Long-lasting battery
- Refreshing design
- Rear, as well as the selfie camera, performed well during the day
- Low light images could have been better
- Lacks higher refresh rate display panel
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