The Redmi 9A is Xiaomi’s latest in the budget phone category. Priced at USD123, this entry level Android has quite a number of excellent, appealing features such as a high capacity battery, a large screen as well as a modern chipset. The question is whether it is worth the money when compared to other phones that are in the same price category.
List of Specifications
|Dimension||164.9 x 77.1 x 9.0 mm (6.49 x 3.04 x 0.35 in)|
|Weight||196 g (6.91 oz)|
|Display||6.53 in IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen|
|720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~269 ppi density)|
|Storage Options||32GB 2GBRAM, 32GB 3GB RAM, 12GB 6GB RAM Internal|
|Storage, micro SDXC (dedicated slot)|
|Software||Android 10, MIUI 12|
|Rear Camera||Single: 13 MP, f/2.2, 28mm (wide), 1.0um, PDAF, LED flash,|
|Front Camera||Single: 5 MP, f/2.2 (wide), 1.12um|
|Battery||Non Removable Li-Po 5000mAh, non-removable, 10W|
|Other Features||Accelerometer, proximity.|
- It is a very affordable phone
- Overall design and build is of quality
- Battery can last up to 2 days
- Can become laggy when a number of applications are open simultaneously
- Only supports 10W charging
- Camera is so-so
Design and Layout
The Redmi 9A is quite similar to the Redmi 8A in terms of design. For example, the bezel has an identical waterdrop notch that houses the front camera. However, the bezels on the phone are quite large, which speaks volumes about this phone belonging in the budget category.
On the back, the primary camera is now located at the upper left corner as compared to the center in the Redmi 8A. The matte corrugated plastic finishing for the back ensures easy grip and prevents your phone from slipping out of your hands.
Redmi’s glossy and attractive branding can be seen on the bottom part of the phone.
The Micro USB port, microphone as well as audio speaker is located at the bottom of the phone. There is also a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones.
On the right side of the phone is the volume rocker and the power button. On the left side you will find the dual nano-SIM card slots as well as a dedicated slot for a memory card.
Overall the build quality of the phone is quite good, especially considering its low price. It is durable and its polycarbonate body does not attract fingerprint smudges, making it easier to care for the phone surface. Unfortunately, there is no fingerprint sensor so only pattern and face unlock is supported.
This device is available in midnight black, sea blue and nature green colors.
This phone has a 6.53 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels, and 20:9 aspect ratio.
While the size of the screen is good for watching movies and playing games, the lack of a full HD resolution means that your eyes will most probably get tired more quickly.
Additionally, the large screen might be a problem for those who tend to use their devices with one hand.
As for brightness, the phone was okay for indoor use but struggled under bright sunlight.
This phone has a huge 5000 mAh battery which means that the battery life is excellent. Moderate use of the battery will still give you up to 40% of charge at the end of the day. Light use will give you up to 2 days of charge.
Additionally, the ultra battery saving mode works to reduce heavy phone loads.
Unfortunately, this device does not have fast charging. It only comes with a 10W charger which takes more than 3 hours to go from 0 to 100% of charge.
This will be frustrating for those who do not have the time to sit around waiting for their phones to charge up. Thus, it would be wise for you to check how much charge you have left before heading out.
Software and Performance
The Redmi 9A is powered by the MediaTek Helio G25 chipset with a 12 nm gaming-oriented silicon processor. Oddly, the gaming experience on this phone is not one to look forward to.
If you intend to play games such as PUBG and Call of Duty, then this is not the phone for you as these games were still unplayable even in the minimum settings. Lighter games were smooth and worked fine but the overall experience of this phone is slow and laggy. Additionally, the phone tends to heat up quite quickly when it is used for gaming.
There is only one modification available with this phone – 2GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, compared to Redmi 8A which had 3, or 4GB of RAM and 32 or 64 GB of internal memory. Based on this, it is expected that the performance of this phone will not be as good as its predecessor.
For example, while the phone will do okay with two or three applications running at the same time, opening a large number of applications will most likely cause the phone to have significant lag.
However, this phone has the latest Android 10 with MIUI 12 user interface, which in itself is quite speedy. This also gives this device many useful features and functions. Themes can be customized to personalize the phone. Gesture controls are also available.
The Redmi 9A comes with a single, 13 MP rear camera and a 5 MP selfie camera. The rear camera is located in a teardrop notch. Images from this camera are pretty decent, with excellent color accuracy and precise detailing. Pictures have a smooth and vibrant texture but colors can be a little undersaturated.
This phone struggles with dynamic range but fortunately, the HDR works to moderate this. Unfortunately, HDR falls short when it comes to wide range shots. The HDR mode also takes a bit of time to process images and this means that you need super steady hands when capturing an image or you will be disappointed with a blurry outcome.
The front camera produces vibrant selfies with great color saturation when there is good focus. Portrait shots give similar results. Overall, both the front camera and the rear camera are quite good when images are taken in good lighting conditions.
In low light, quality does deteriorate as this phone does not have a dedicated night mode. Images can turn out grainy with reduced sharpness. However, the camera on this phone is quite okay if it is compared to phones in the similar price range.
As for videos, the Redmi 9A has a 1080P at 30FPS video for both the front and rear cameras. Videos tend to turn out shaky and blurry as there is no stabilization at all. If you like to take videos with your phone, then it is best to consider another phone to avoid disappointing videos.
The main competition for Redmi 9A is actually its predecessor, the Redmi 8A. It is similar in many ways, including RAM and internal storage. The operating system and processor for the 9A is a little bit better, but the 8A has a better front camera. The 9A also does not have the Gorilla Glass 5 protection that the 8A has, and the 8A supports 18W fast charging. Price wise, the 9A is slightly higher than the 8A.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the Redmi 9A is a phone that can be considered to be quite an excellent entry-level smartphone that is good value for money. It has amazing battery life, a good build quality and is attractive looking. However, the vast number of phones in this category, means that there may be other phones that give better value, depending on what features you want in your phone.