The Redmi 9 Power stands out in two areas: its excellent battery life and the inclusion of dual stereo speakers. The dual stereo speakers, FHD+ screen, and ability to stream HD content on YouTube and Netflix make this a sweet offering in this region if you’re someone who consumes a lot of media on their devices. In most other ways, the phone performs as expected for a phone in this price range.
Xiaomi has come a long way to becoming one of the country’s most successful smartphone brands in a series of price ranges. The company also has a strong grip on the budget market, with phones like the Redmi Note 9 and Redmi 9 Prime costing about 10,000. The Redmi 9 Power, which starts at Rs 10,999 for the base model, has a single focus with a few extra features. And power is the product of that single emphasis, hence the nomenclature. The budget phone has a 6,000mAh battery, which we’ve only seen on a few other budget phones like the Poco M3 and the Motorola Moto G9 Power.
REDMI 9 POWER: BUILD AND DESIGN
Despite the fact that it houses a massive 6,000mAh battery, the Redmi 9 Power is surprisingly light. Unlike a few smartphones with large batteries that are usually very heavy, the Redmi 9 Power weighs 198g, which is less than the Redmi 9 Pro, which despite having a smaller battery, weighs 209g. The phone is 9.6mm thick, so it’s not exactly a slim device. Nonetheless, the weight of the handset is well-balanced, and the ergonomics are adequate.
On the back panel, there’s a rather obnoxious big Redmi branding that, to be honest, we’d do not want to see. The textured plastic back, on the other hand, has an iridescent effect that seems to radiate from the camera modules. The back has a style that divides opinion; you either love it or hate it, in our opinion. The textured finish, on the other hand, helps to hold fingerprints at bay. Blazing Blue (which we have), Electric Green, Mighty Black, and Fiery Red are the four colors available for the handset. A transparent silicone case is included in the package, which is always appreciated.
The power button, as well as the volume controls, are on the side, with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor atop it. The buttons are easy to press and feel, and the fingerprint sensor is accurate despite not being the fastest. The SIM card tray is located on the left side and can accommodate two NANO SIMs as well as a microSD card. The memory can be expanded via a microSD card up to 512GB, so even if you get the base 64GB model and run out of space, you can always upgrade. The selfie camera is housed in a dewdrop-shaped notch on the front. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is used to shield the front glass.
Redmi also upped the ante by including dual stereo speakers in the smartphone, which means you get a top and downwards firing speaker for the price. A USB-C charging port is located on the bottom, and a 3.5mm headphone jack is located on the top. The Redmi 9 Power comes with a 22.5W Fast Charging charger, but the Redmi 9 Power is limited at 18W for Fast Charging. The Poco M3, which we recently tested, has the same problem. Overall, the Redmi 9 Power is well-built for the price, but it faces stiff competition in terms of design from phones like the Poco M3.
REDMI 9 POWER: PERFORMANCE
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 SoC, which runs on an 11 nm process and is a direct competitor to the MediaTek Helio G85 chipset found in competitors like the Realme Narzo 20, is found in the Redmi 9 Power. The Redmi 9 Power performed admirably in our standard benchmarking tests, but the aforementioned Narzo 20 outperformed it in a number of them. We ran AnTuTu on the computer and got a score of 182796, which put it slightly behind the Narzo 20 and the Micromax In Note 1, but only ahead of the newly released Poco M3.
In Geekbench Single Core, the 9 Power remained behind the Narzo 20 and Micromax In Note 1, but in Multi Core, it edged out both devices by a small margin. When it came to the GFX Bench, the Realme Narzo 20 fully dominated the Redmi 9 Power, but it did manage to outperform the Micromax In Note 1 in this test. The Redmi 9 Power again trailed both phones in PC Mark Work 2.0. So, in terms of benchmark scores, the Redmi 9 Power ain’t so great. In AnTuTu, it also loses to the Redmi 9 Prime and the Redmi Note 9, despite the fact that the Note 9 and the 9 Prime are currently the same prices.
The Redmi 9 Prime does an inadequate job when it comes to gaming. In the Gamebench app, we played a game of Call of Duty and got an average FPS of 29 with 66% stability at high graphics and medium frame rate. The game was playable with the graphics set to Medium, but it felt choppy and laggy at times and got hot quickly. When gaming, however, the battery lasts a long time. After 15 minutes of Call of Duty, the battery had dropped by 5%. Overall, simple games like Candy Crush will run smoothly on this handset, but more graphically demanding games like COD and Asphalt 9 will not. At this price point, that’s to be expected.
Aside from benchmark results, the Redmi 9 Power performs admirably in everyday situations. Apps load easily, though the camera takes a little longer than expected to be ready to shoot. Multitasking on the phone was also nice, though the 4GB RAM limits the number of apps that can be open in the background at the same time. Also, when switching between apps in the multitasking window, there were a few stutters. Nonetheless, activities like sending texts, emails, searching social media, and more went smoothly for the most part. Overall, if you’re a light consumer, the Redmi 9 Power should suffice for the majority of your needs.
REDMI 9 POWER: DISPLAY
Because of the crisp FHD+ display and, of course, the stereo speakers, we enjoyed watching content on YouTube and other OTT platforms on the Redmi 9 Power. The phone has a 6.53-inch IPS LCD display that is good for content consumption, but the dewdrop notch detracts from the immersiveness. The colors are bright (with a setting in Settings for a more natural look), but the viewing angles are poor.
You also get Widevine L1 support, so you can watch HD content on OTT platforms without any problems. The screen is bright enough to see from indoors. It has a brightness rating of 400 nits, and we were able to get a peak brightness of 220 nits. The phone can even go as low as 5 nits, but at that brightness level, the Poco M3 only records 1.2 nits. The display, on the other hand, is a little difficult to see outside under direct sunlight. Even at maximum brightness, we struggled to use the screen, which is a little troubling. Nonetheless, we’re glad Xiaomi included an FHD+ display, as most companies at this price point opt for an HD+ display.
REDMI 9 POWER: BATTERY LIFE
Now we’ll talk about what we think is the Redmi 9 Power’s main selling point. There are no second guesses: it’s the massive 6,000mAh battery. The massive cell does just what it’s meant to do: provide enough juice to ‘Power’ you for about two days of moderate use and a day and a half of heavy use.
Playing sports, watching HD content on Netflix, GPS navigation, and the like are all examples of heavy use, which is very impressive. After 30 minutes of Netflix streaming, the phone lost 6% power, and with an hour of Google Maps, the phone lost around 7% battery.
If you’re a light user, you can go days without charging your phone. If you use your phone a lot, there’s an Ultra Power Saver Mode that will help you get even more battery life out of your phone. When you do need to charge the phone, it takes about 2 hours and 50 minutes to go from empty to complete, which is a little long. This makes you wonder why the company didn’t just push for 22W charging, particularly because the charger included in the box is capable of doing so.
REDMI 9 POWER: CAMERA PERFORMANCE
A 48MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor make up the Redmi 9 Power’s quad-camera setup. Xiaomi’s camera app remains unchanged, with plenty of features, camera modes, and even filters to keep new users occupied for a long time. The fact that the Macro mode is tucked away in a separate sub-menu, making it difficult to locate, was somewhat irritating. The images below have been reduced in size for the web; high-resolution images taken with the Redmi 9 Power can be found in our Flickr gallery.
When it comes to the primary lens, the Redmi 9 Power takes good daylight images. When taken in bright daylight, the shots are usually sharp and vivid, with a passable amount of detail. Although lacking in some areas, the dynamic range is adequate for this price range. The shadows are lacking in detail and the highlights are blown out in especially difficult circumstances.
We also experimented with HDR mode to see if it affected the dynamic range, and while we were pixel-peeping, we did notice some more clarity in the shadows. The camera’s Pro Color mode adds a splash of color to photos taken with the main camera, but it can appear cartoonish at times, as it has on other Xiaomi cameras. There’s even a manual mode, which is pretty cool.
In daylight, the 8MP ultrawide lens produces only average images with a poor dynamic range. While it isn’t the best lens, having it as an option is important, particularly when competitors like the Poco M3 have ditched the ultrawide lens in favor of a triple-camera module.
Portrait shots have good edge detection on both the rear and selfie cameras, but the dynamic range suffers in this mode. Edge detection is also messed up by stray hair and tricky edges, but that’s to be expected at this price. The 8MP camera takes good selfies; there’s a little too much softening, but it’s acceptable.
The Redmi 9 Power stands out in two areas: its excellent battery life and the inclusion of dual stereo speakers. The dual stereo speakers, FHD+ display, and ability to stream HD content on YouTube and Netflix make this a sweet offering in this field if you’re someone who consumes a lot of media on their devices. In most other ways, the phone performs as expected for a phone in this price range. The Poco M3 costs the same and makes a strong argument for itself thanks to an additional 2GB of RAM and a premium back finish, but the Redmi 9 Power contains the ultrawide lens, which the Poco M3 does not.