(Pocket-lint) - There's an expanding collection of Redmi phones, with each family spawning multiple devices. For the Redmi 9, there's also the 9A and the 9C; for the Redmi Note 9 there's also the Note 9 Pro and Note 9S.
We've previously compared all the versions of the Redmi Note 9 family, but now we're going to look at how the regular Redmi 9 compares to the popular Redmi Note 9.
Price and availability
- Redmi 9: €149
- Redmi Note 9: €199/£199
The Redmi Note 9 has been widely available for some time, officially launching in the UK in early June 2020.
The Redmi 9 has had a slower roll-out, launching in some parts of Europe in early June too, but only hitting other markets in July. It's still not officially available in the UK.
- Redmi 9: 163.32 x 77.01 x 9.10mm, 198g
- Redmi Note 9: 162.30 x 77.20 x 8.90mm, 199g
Both phones have a similar look, but the Redmi 9 puts the camera in a circular detail on the rear of this phone and continues this patterning across the rear of the phone. It's a little thicker than the Note 9 and fractionally taller, but generally speaking, the size of these phones is very close.
The Note 9 has a quality finish too, it doesn't have the patterning, but does have a deep lustre to it. The Redmi Note 9 also has a nanocoating for water protection, but both have a plastic body.
- Redmi 9: 6.53in, 2340 x 1080 pixels, 394ppi, 19.5:9 aspect
- Redmi Note 9: 6.53in, 2400 x 1080 pixels, 394ppi, 19.5:9 aspect
At first glance you might think that both these phones have the same display. They are both the same aspect, they both have the same resolution and they are both the same size.
That's great, because you're getting a big display with a good resolution on the Redmi 9 - it's a lot of display for the money.
However, they're not quite the same. The Redmi Note 9 is a little brighter at 450 nits compared to 400 nits and it's topped with Gorilla Glass 5 whereas the Redmi 9 has Gorilla Glass 3 - so the Note will have better scratch resistance.
Of course there's another major difference: the Redmi Note 9 has a punch hole front camera where as the Redmi 9 is a water drop front camera. From a design point of view, that makes the Note 9 look a lot more modern.
- Redmi 9:
- 13MP f/2.2 AF main
- 8MP f/2.2 FF ultra-wide angle
- 5MP f/2.4 FF macro
- 2MP depth sensor
- 8MP f/2.0 FF selfie
- Redmi Note 9:
- 48MP f/1.79 AF main
- 8MP f/2.2 FF ultra-wide camera
- 2MP f/2.4 AF macro
- 2MP depth sensor
- 13MP f/2.25 FF selfie
Scan over the specs for the cameras and you'll see that some of the numbers are pretty different, but these systems have a lot in common. They both have a main camera paired with an ultra-wide camera and then a macro camera. A depth sensor sits in support on both.
The big difference is in the main sensor resolution, with the Redmi Note 9 getting a 48-megapixel main camera - but using pixel combining to give you 12-megapixel photos. It's a bit of an oversell, pushing big numbers to no real benefit, but it's a good enough camera.
The Redmi 9 we've not had that chance to test, but if it's using the same AI camera system as the Note 9 we'd expect similar performance from the 13-megapixel camera, but the aperture here might mean it's not good at dealing with lower light conditions. However, it's worth considering that the Redmi Note 9 has more powerful SoC hardware to support the camera - and that might give it the edge over the Redmi 9.
Both are limited to 1080p video capture.
- Redmi 9: MediaTek Helio G80, 3/4GB, 64GB, 4500mAh battery
- Redmi Note 9: MediaTek Helio G85, 3/4GB, 64/128GB, 4020mAh battery
The Redmi Note 9 is an incremental step forward over the Redmi 9, which has slightly older hardware. The CPU on both these devices is essentially the same, but the Redmi Note 9 has slightly more graphics power, so likely to be a little stronger in gaming performance.
In reality, there's not going to be a huge difference in the overall experience, because things are very close. You'll have to check the configuration that's available in your region, but the Note 9 comes with a 4+128GB RAM/storage option.
The battery capacity is different however, and the larger battery in the Redmi 9 is likely to mean that it lasts longer. Both support 18W fast wired charging, but the Redmi 9 only comes with a 10W charger in the box, whereas the Note 9 has a 22W charge - although again there may be some regional differences here.
Both devices are also available with NFC for Google Pay, although again this might differ from region to region.
Redmi devices offer great value for money and here you get a powerful phone, a great display and a camera will some useful functions, which ever of these two models you choose.
They are very closely aligned and while the Redmi 9 might be a little more interesting from the rear, it's a little more dated from the front. The Redmi Note 9 is a tiny step beyond the Redmi 9, but there's not a lot in it.