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Redmi Note 9 5G series announced: Xiaomi's budget superstar gets 5G

Xiaomi's Redmi Note 9 Pro 5G also packs a 108MP camera for just under ~$250.

Published onNovember 26, 2020

Redmi Note 9 Pro 5G official
Supplied by Xiaomi

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note series is arguably the most successful family of devices in the brand’s portfolio, constantly delivering plenty of bang for not a lot of buck. We haven’t seen 5G-enabled Redmi Note phones yet, but that’s changing today.

The company unveiled two 5G capable phones in the Redmi Note series, namely the Redmi Note 9 Pro and Redmi Note 9. These phones aren’t to be confused with the 4G-capable Redmi Note 9 and Note 9 Pro released earlier this year, with cellular connectivity being one of many differences between the two families.

Redmi Note 9 Pro ups the camera ante

The Redmi Note 9 Pro is the most capable device announced by the Xiaomi sub-brand today, packing a Snapdragon 750G processor, 6GB to 8GB of RAM, and 128GB to 256GB of expandable UFS 2.2 storage. Xiaomi is also promising a liquid cooling system of sorts, so performance should keep up over time.

You’re also getting a 6.67-inch 120Hz LCD screen (with adaptive frame rate support), while a 4,820mAh battery keeps the lights on. Fortunately, 33W wired charging means you can be topped up from zero percent in a respectable 58 minutes.

The main selling point might just be the 108MP main camera though, as the phone uses Samsung’s new Isocell HM2 camera sensor (1/1.52 inch, 0.7 micron pixels). This sensor has smaller pixels than previous 108MP sensors, but Xiaomi is leaning on nona-binning technology which combines data from nine adjacent pixels into one. This therefore means that you’re getting images equivalent to a 12MP 2.1 micron pixel camera.

You can still capture full-resolution 108MP shots though, while Xiaomi notes that the sensor’s dual native ISO tech combined with night mode smarts means you can expect great low-light results.

The rest of the rear camera setup will look familiar to Redmi Note owners, comprising an 8MP ultra-wide sensor and a pair of 2MP sensors for depth and macro modes.

Other notable Redmi Note 9 Pro 5G features include a 3.5mm port, IP53 splash resistance, stereo speakers, side fingerprint scanner, IR blaster, and NFC.

A cheap 5G experience

Redmi Note 9 5G official
Supplied by Xiaomi

The Redmi Note 9 5G is a step below the Pro variant, as you’d expect. But it’s nothing to scoff at in terms of core specs, packing a Dimensity 800U processor, 6GB to 8GB of RAM, and 128GB to 256GB of expandable storage. In fact, this phone sports 5G+5G dual SIM support and the ability to switch between 5G networks based on signal quality. The Pro variant lacks 5G+5G capabilities.

The rest of the phone is par for the course as far as Redmi Note devices go, packing a 6.53-inch FHD+ LCD screen, and a 5,000mAh battery with 18W wired charging. You’re also getting a triple rear camera setup (48MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro), IR blaster, and stereo speakers.

These weren’t the only phones announced by Redmi at the event either, as the brand also announced the Redmi Note 9 4G. No, this isn’t the Redmi Note 9 device that first launched months ago, but rather a rebranded version of the POCO M3 with a tweaked design as well (or is it the other way around?). Check it out below.

Redmi Note 9 4G official
Supplied by Xiaomi

Gone is the OnePlus 8T Cyberpunk-inspired camera housing, with a more traditional but still OnePlus-inspired rectangular camera housing in its place instead.

Otherwise, the rest of the spec sheet is largely identical to the brand-new POCO release. So that means a Snapdragon 662 chipset, 6.53-inch FHD+ LCD panel, 4GB to 8GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage, and a gigantic 6,000mAh battery.

Other notable specs include a triple rear camera (48MP main, 2MP macro, 2MP depth), an IP52 splash coating, IR blaster, dual stereo speakers, and a side fingerprint scanner.

Redmi Note 9 5G series pricing

Pre-sales for the Redmi Note 9 5G series kick off today in China, with sales commencing from December 1. The Redmi Note 9 Pro starts at 1,599 yuan (~$243) for the 6GB/128GB model, 1,799 yuan (~$274) for the 8GB/128GB option, and 1,999 yuan (~$304) for the 8GB/256GB model.

Meanwhile, the standard phone starts at 1,299 yuan (~$198) for the 6GB/128GB option, 1,499 yuan (~$228) for the 8GB/128GB variant, and 1,699 yuan (~$258) for the 8GB/256GB option.

Chinese consumers can also snag the Redmi Note 9 4G today, starting at 999 yuan (~$152) for the 4GB/128GB model, 1,099 yuan (~$167) for the 6GB/128GB variant, 1,299 yuan (~$198) for the 8GB/128GB device, and 1,499 yuan (~$228) for the 8GB/256GB variant.

Xiaomi told Android Authority it has nothing to share regarding global availability right now. Nevertheless, we’d definitely like to see these affordable 5G devices launch outside China. These aren’t the only announcements made at the event, as Xiaomi also revealed the Redmi Watch. You can find out more about the cut-price smartwatch at the previous link.

Next: Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro review — A careful balance

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