Redmi Note 9S is now official: everything you might want from a sub $300 phone

Redmi Note 9S is now official: everything you might want from a sub $300 phone
It seems like these days we have to use the phrase “good phones are getting cheap and cheap phones are getting good” more and more often. And with good reason. It’s just the truth. Every year, phones that can be considered budget devices offer a range of flagship features and make it harder for premium phones to justify their four-digit price tags.

The latest example for that is the Redmi Note 9S that was just announced by Xiaomi. Its Redmi subbrand is focused on affordable smartphones that offer amazing specs-to-price ratio and are extremely popular in Asia. So let’s see if the latest phone lives up to the company’s ambitions.

Redmi Note 9S design


The only thing that’s separating the Note 9S design from that of much more expensive phones is the lack of curved display edges. For most users, however, that’s a good thing. Otherwise, this is the first Redmi phone with a hole-punch display which Xiaomi calls DotDisplay.

The display is an LCD IPS one with a 6.67-inch diagonal, 91% screen-to-body ratio and a 2400x1080 resolution (that’s 20:9).

On the back, the phone does get some curved glass after all as the back panel is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 just like the display. The rear is dominated by the quad-camera module towards the top, with no fingerprint sensor in sight. No, it’s not under the display.

That’s another first for a Redmi phone, a fingerprint reader built into the power button on the side of the phone. Those are reliable and easy to use so no complaints there.

Redmi Note 9S specs and features


The Note 9S is more than a pretty shell, however. The Redmi-firsts continue inside as well. The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 720G. Qualcomm’s 7-series chip offers about 40% more CPU performance and more than 100% improvement in AI applications compared to the previous Redmi Note model. The G in 720G stands for Gaming, which means games should run smoother than ever as well.

The Redmi Note 9S will come in two RAM+Storage options, 4+64 and 6+128. Considering the prices, which we’ll talk about in a bit, you can easily skip the lower version.

What’s most impressive about the internals of the 9S is its battery. Rated for 5020mAh, that’s one monster of a battery. Xiaomi promises more than 2 days of battery life and we can see that happening unless you’re really doubling down on gaming. Don’t think the phone will be as thick as a brick because of the battery, though, its overall thickness is just 8.8mm, the slimmest phone with 5,000+ mAh battery according to Xiaomi. Oh, there’s also 18W fast charging available with the appropriate charger in the box.

The phone also comes with new, improved speakers with 80% more bass and a couple of fan-favorite features: a headphone jack and an IR blaster.

Redmi Note 9S cameras


As we mentioned earlier, there are four sensors on the Note 9S. As you might have guessed, one of them is purely for field-of-depth, or in other words, better bokeh. The rest are: a 48MP main sensor, 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera and 5MP macro camera. Manufacturers often omit telephoto lenses when they have a very high-megapixel main camera since crops from it can be used as a zoom feature adequately.

Xiaomi promises sharp and well-balanced photos with great detail even in low light thanks to the phone’s dedicated Night mode.

Redmi Note 9S price and release date


Now for the best part: the price. The Note 9S was often compared to the Galaxy A51 during the presentation and on paper has it beat in several aspects. That includes the price.

The Redmi Note 9S will cost $249 for the 4+64 version and $279 for the 6+128 option. That’s pretty cheap as is, but if you want to get it even cheaper, you can do that during the initial flash sale of the device on AliExpress.

The phone will be released for sale there on April 7 and for the first two days (April 7 and 8) there will be a flash sale with prices of $200 and $239 for the two models, respectively. If that’s not a value proposition, we don’t know what is!

Related phones

Redmi Note 9S
  • Display 6.7 inches
    2400 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 48 MP (Quad camera)
    16 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 5020 mAh
  • OS Android 10

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