Reviewing a mobile phone has become relatively straightforward because brands like Xiaomi are releasing a new phone every month. While the successive launch of new phones has slowed down in the last few months, I’m yet to review one of the last phones of 2020 — the Redmi 9 Power.
The Redmi 9 series continues its predecessors’ legacy and aims to provide maximum features at the most affordable price. In fact, Xiaomi’s own portfolio is often confusing for the customer. The Redmi 9 Power is a brand new offering that’s supposed to be pushed to the extreme.
The Redmi 9 Prime is priced slightly lower, so what’s different about the Power? Plenty. Let’s find out!
It has a 6.5-inch LCD with a water-drop notch
The back has a grooved design that’s very grippy
For authentication, it gets a side-mounted fingerprint scanner
So far, all the usual Xiaomi features. So, what’s new?
The phone looks like a very conventional affordable phone consisting of polycarbonate construction. However, it feels very solid in hand. There’s no flimsy plastic or poor build, and I managed to drop it quite a few times, without any visible damage. Keep in mind, the plastic body is helping reduce the phone’s overall weight.
The outside of the phone may not be very amusing, but the internals indeed are. The phone packs a 6000mAh battery that supports 18W charging, so you’re practically never going to run out of juice. The phone easily lasts two days with heavy usage, and I often ended up using it as a power bank for my headphones, smartwatch, and even secondary phone (albeit very slow).
If you travel a lot, this phone can be an ideal secondary phone. It rarely runs out of charge, and you can afford to deplete your battery in low network regions. Another useful application of the phone is for studying online. Students can attend a full day’s lecture with the display switched on without needing a charger.
The Redmi 9 Power takes a little more than two hours to completely charge the battery but provides an insane screen-on-time of more than nine hours. No wonder the phone is called Power.
Designed for entertainment
The phone has a 6.5-inch display that’s bright enough, produces accurate colors, and offers decent viewing angles. At this point, Xiaomi has figured out the affordable display formula, and all their budget phones have consistent results.
Although, when paired with the massive battery, this phone is perfect for non-stop entertainment. Watch as many YouTube videos as you can, or maybe even binge-watch a show on Netflix. There’s a chance the show will end, but the phone still chugs along. The phone is available in 64GB and 128GB internal storage options, which is expandable via a microSD card.
Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 662 chipset, which is a slightly boosted sibling of the Snapdragon 660. It incorporates a faster Adreno 610 GPU, but don’t expect a radical change in gaming experience than the Redmi 9 Prime, which an Helio G80 processor powers. The phone comes with 4GB RAM only, so it’s safe to assume that it isn’t designed for hardcore gaming.
MIUI runs smoothly on the phone and enhances the user experience to a great extent. The Android skin is conveniently customizable based on preference, and day-to-day tasks are a breeze. I tried Call of Duty: Mobile, Asphalt 9, and Sniper Fury on the phone, and all of them ran smoothly. The phone rarely heats up unless you’re pushing it to the peak with performance and charging.
A reliable set of lenses
It has a quad-camera setup that consists of a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Together, the cluster gives many options to users, and MIUI’s add-ons further extend this. In a nutshell, the pictures range from good to decent, with nothing exceptionally good or bad.
Daylight pictures are capture a lot of detail but look dull due to inaccurate color saturation. In many pictures, the highlights are blown out, further making the image look unsatisfying. The same highlights issue is also observed in low-light shots.
Indoor pictures are pretty good, but it does feel like the phone needs a lot of manual attention to click an image. Xiaomi has made phones in the past that have sported brilliant cameras for the price. The wide-angle sensor works as you’d expect it but sometimes manages to distort the edges. Thankfully, the macro and depth sensor are uniform across all Xiaomi phones.
Coming to the front, there’s a 13-megapixel shooter located in a water-drop style notch. The selfies are on point and look appealing. You can toggle on/off the beauty mode based on your requirement or even tune it. The AI-based portrait mode is pretty good actually and detects edges accurately.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
If you’re looking for a phone that never runs out of juice and keeps you away from the wall as much as possible, this phone is perfect for you. I’ve also suggested the phone to many folks who’re using a flagship phone but would love to have a secondary option at an affordable rate. The Redmi 9 Power can seamlessly complement an iPhone or a Note 10.
With a starting price of INR 11,999 (US$ 165), the phone carves a perfect balance of features that make it a must-have. The display is enjoyable, the performance is above average, an unbeatable battery, and the goodness of MIUI. If you have a slightly flexible budget, the Redmi Note 9 is also a good pick that offers a much-improved design.
Samsung Galaxy F22 goes official with 48MP camera, 6000mAh battery
Also gets an AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate
The affordable segment has been a very competitive price segment for the last few years, and its demand is never-ending in the developing markets. Samsung has launched the Galaxy F22 in India, and its unique selling point is a massive battery, quad cameras, and an AMOLED display.
It has a signature Samsung design that we’ve seen on a lot of other F-branded phones. While the looks are conventional, it aims to cover up by offering as many features as possible. Despite intense competition from players like Xiaomi, realme, and vivo, Samsung has managed to hold onto its fort, unbudged.
On the front is a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen with HD+ resolution, a 90Hz refresh rate, and a waterdrop notch. The Galaxy F22 is powered by a MediaTek Helio G80 SoC with up to 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. There’s a microSD card slot for storage expansion.
The rear sports a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The front features a 13-megapixel selfie camera.
Backing these internals is a 6000mAh battery with 25W fast charging. Although the charging brick included with the phone is rated for 15W only, so you’ll have to buy a faster charger adapter separately. The fingerprint scanner is located on the side for authentication. It ships with Android 11-based One UI 3.1 out-of-the-box.
The Samsung Galaxy F22 is priced at INR 12,499 (US$ 167) for the 64GB+4GB storage and INR 14,499 (US$ 195) for the 128GB+6GB option. It’ll be available in Denim Blue and Denim Black color options, and sales start from July 13. Online sale partner includes Flipkart and Samsung’s in-house online website.
Mi Watch Revolve Active is a premium fitness tracker with 14 days battery
Has more than 100 workout modes
The Mi Watch Revolve was launched last year, and it sits in a comfortable spot — not too expensive, but loaded. Now, the brand’s expanding its offering and bringing in a much more fitness-oriented product dubbed the Mi Watch Revolve Active.
As the name suggests, the watch is designed to keep you outdoors as much as possible. Or in the new normal, as active and fit as possible. It has a far more sturdy build and continues the premium design language.
It has a 1.4-inch AMOLED display with an always-on display, eliminating the need to touch the screen just to view the time or other essential details. In addition, the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and weighs just 32 grams.
The fitness front comes equipped with LifeQ Health algorithm, which analyzes more than 30 key data points like blood oxygen, stress, heart rate, sleep quality, energy levels, calories burned, and more. All these data points are leveraged to process your lifestyle, fitness regime, and overall performance.
Together, these data points deliver more accurate blood oxygen levels (SpO2), sleep cycles, real-time heart rate, stress levels, body’s oxygen consumption (Vo2 Max), and calories burned. In addition, more than 117 workout modes are supported, including triathlons, swimming, HIIT, Boxing, Water sports, and Yoga.
GPS tracking features an Airoha GPS chip that supports GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BDS navigation systems. Simple operations will be far simpler when you summon Alexa, as the watch supports the voice assistant for reminders, alarms, and other instructions.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active is water-resistant up to 50 meters and comes pre-installed with basic apps like alarm, timer, stopwatch, weather, find my phone, flashlight. It connects to the phone via Xiaomi’s Wear App and has a mini-store for watch faces, which has more than 100 options right now.
Lastly, Xiaomi says the watch can deliver up to 14 days of battery life on a single charge. If you toggle the long battery mode, it can stretch up to 22 days. While these numbers may seem inflated, Xiaomi has an irrefutable history of delivering solid numbers in the real world.
Price and availability:
The Mi Watch Revolve Active is priced at INR 9,999, and sales start from June 25. It’ll be up for purchase via Amazon, Mi.com, and other partner stores. It comes in Beige, Black, and Navy Blue watch case options, with six strap color options, including Black, Blue, Green, White, and Purple.
Mi 11 Lite launches with Snapdragon 732G, triple-rear cameras
The lightest phone to launch in 2021 so far
The second wave of Coronavirus has eased in India, and the country is gradually opening up. A few brands decided to avoid any new launches amid the raging pandemic, creating a vacuum in an otherwise fast-paced industry. Thankfully, Xiaomi has returned with a new offering, and it’s called the Mi 11 Lite.
The Mi 11 series is designed to offer a more premium experience without making a huge dent in your pocket. It follows the same design language as the Mi 11X but is far more thinner and light. At just 6.8mm thickness and 157g weight, it’s touted to be the lightest phone of 2021 so far.
On the front, its got a 6.5-inch AMOLED screen with Full HD+ resolution, a 90Hz refresh rate, and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. In addition, to make the phone lighter, Xiaomi incorporated a “flat flexible OLED” and a redesigned circuit board that is 35 percent smaller than conventional ones.
Powering the Mi 11 Lite is a Snapdragon 732G processor with up to 8GB RAM and expandable storage. A side-mounted physical fingerprint scanner is included for authentication, and there are dual speakers with Hi-Res Audio support.
The rear sports a triple camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 5-megapixel telephoto sensor. There’s a 16-megapixel selfie camera that is housed in a punch-hole cut-out. The software supports AI Beautify, Night mode, Time burst, and much more.
Backing these internals is a 4250mAh battery with 33W fast charging. The brand claims the battery has an endurance rating of more than 100 hours, and the compatible fast charger is bundled along. The Mi 11 Lite is IP53-certified for minor dust and water splashes.
The Mi 11 Lite is priced at INR 21,999 (US$ 300) for the 6GB+128GB option and INR 23,999 (US$ 325) for 8GB+256GB. It’s available in three color options — Jazz Blue, Tuscany Coral, and Vinyl Black. Pre-orders start from June 25, and the sale starts from June 28 via Flipkart, Mi.com, and partner physical stores.
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