Our Opinion

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max (6GB RAM, 128GB) is a significantly better phone than the Samsung Galaxy A31, and is also slightly better value for money. What should you buy? Go for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max (6GB RAM, 128GB)!

Samsung Galaxy A31  Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max (6GB RAM, 128GB) 
Samsung Galaxy A31 Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
38.5
46.9
Value for Money Score
70.1
74.4
Price ₹ 16,999 onwards ₹ 17,499 onwards
Launch Date (India) Jun, 2020 May, 2020
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 10Expected update to next Android version Android 10, Upgradeable to Android 11Expected update to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 6.4 inches 6.67 inches
Screen Resolution 1080x2400 pixels (~ 411 pixels per inch) 1080x2400 pixels (~ 395 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Display Type AMOLED IPS LCD
Screen Refresh Rate 60 HzStandard 60 HzStandard
Display Features Super AMOLED Sunshine mode, Night mode, Colour temperature adjustment, Anti-oil and anti-fingerprint protective coating
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2 GHz 2.3 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name MediaTek Helio P65Ranked #43 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Qualcomm Snapdragon 720GRanked #21 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Mali-G52 Adreno 618
RAM 6 GB 6 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
5G
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
VoWiFi/WiFi-Calling Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB-C USB-C
Primary Camera 48MP + 8MP + 5MP + 5MP 64MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (Full HD) Yes (4K)
Other Camera Features 48MP: f/2.0 aperture; 1/2.0" Sensor Size; 0.8um Pixel Size; PDAF, 8MP: f/2.2 Aperture; 13mm Focal Length; Ultra-wide Lens; 1/4.0" Sensor Size; 1.12um Pixel Size, 5MP: f/2.4 aperture; Macro Lens, 5MP: f/2.4 aperture; Depth Sensor, Panorama, HDR 64MP: f/1.9 aperture; 1/1.72" Sensor Size; 0.8um Pixel Size; PDAF, 8MP: f/2.2 aperture; 119° Field-of-view; 13mm Focal Length; Ultra-wide; 1/4.0" Sensor Size; 1.12um Pixel Size, 5MP: f/2.4 aperture; Macro Lens; 1/5.0" Sensor Size; 1.75um Pixel Size, 2MP: f/2.4 aperture; Depth Sensor, HDR, Panorama, Video: [email protected]; [email protected]/60/120fps; [email protected], EIS, Ultra Nightscape mode, AI scene detection, Smart ultra-wide angle mode, Ultra wide-angle edge distortion correction, AI Beautify, Burst mode, Tilt-shift, Level display, Custom watermark, Pro mode, Portrait mode background blur adjustment, Studio Lighting, Panorama mode, AI high resolution photos
Secondary Camera 20MP 32MP
Secondary Camera Features f/2.2 Aperture Panorama selfie, Palm shutter, AI silhouette detection, Wide-angle distortion correction, HDR, Selfie timer, Face recognition, Age recognition, AI Beautify, AI feature adjustment, AI makeup, AI portrait mode, AI scene detection, AI studio lighting
Internal Memory 128 GB 128 GB
Expandable Memory Slot Yes, up to 512 GB Yes, up to 512 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio Yes Yes
Dual SIM GSM+GSM GSM+GSM
Thickness 8.6 mmMedium 8.8 mmMedium
Weight 185 gmMedium 209 gmHeavy
Width 73.1 mmOk for one-handed use 76.6 mmInconvenient for one-handed use
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant Yes, Splash Resistant (P2i Coating)
Battery Capacity 5000 mAh 5020 mAh
Battery Standby N/A N/A
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A N/A
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A N/A
Fast Charging Support Yes, 15W Fast Charging Yes, 33W Fast Charging
Included Fast Charger Yes, 15.0W Fast Charger Yes, 33.0W Fast Charger
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features In-display Fingerprint Sensor; Noise Filtration UFS 2.1 Storage; Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Decent looks, similar rainbow-like effects at the back as other Galaxy A series phone when caught against the light, and a prism-like pattern that Samsung calls a “3D prism design” - the design is been overused by Samsung
  • While it supports a polycarbonate back, it still manages to look premium
  • Compact and light for the display size and battery capacity, at just 185g, and 8.6mm in thickness
  • Sharp, bright 6.4-inches Super AMOLED panel with a full-HD+ resolution - its vivid colours make it a joy to stream content, while games also look great on the panel because of its high colour accuracy
  • There's Widevine L1 support by default, which makes streaming content in HD possible
  • Comes with Android 10 out of the box - Samsung's One UI 2 is now one of the better, more clean and streamlined Android UIs around, and is well optimised for modern large displays (like this one)
  • Samsung has also added some neat features including a Game Booster and an intuitive gesture-based navigation system
  • Decent quad camera setup at the back - a 48MP primary sensor + 8MP wide-angle camera + 5MP macro camera + 5MP depth sensor
  • Under good light, the Galaxy A31's primary camera manage to capture detailed shots with good dynamic range - images are reasonably sharp, noise is also competently removed, colours are generally nice, and the phone strikes a good balance with saturation
  • The ultra wide-angle cam is decent at capturing more scene in the image (though, the quality is lower than the main camer)
  • Macro camera turns out quite good close ups - you can get a lot closer to your subject when using the macro camera and the sensor picks up a fair bit of detail
  • Very good portrait mode ("Live focus") - image quality is good and the depth camera helps the Galaxy A51 do a decent job of edge detection
  • Photos from the 20MP front camera looks very impressive - selfies have plenty of detail and look really sharp, colors are pleasing, the dynamic range is impressive for a selfie camera - Selfie portraits are a thing on the A31 and surprisingly impressive - subject separation with a single camera is hard to pull off, and Samsung has done a great job of it
  • Decent bottom-firing speaker - sufficient for personal listening
  • Good battery life from the 5000 mah battery - easily able to go well beyond a day on a single charge
  • Reasonable 15W fast charging - charges 67 percent in an hour (though, not as quick as others in this segment such as the Redmi K20 Pro)
  • Fresh, bright and vibrant design, with a very shiny, reflective rear panel - you'll see light play across the surface when using this phone, giving the feeling of depth
  • The distinctive new camera bump design plays into the theme of symmetry - this is a nice design touch that sets the Redmi Note 9 series apart and make this phone and its siblings recognisable
  • The front of the phone looks modern and definitely defies expectations for its price category
  • Fingerprint sensor is integrated into the power key and it is extremely fast at unlocking the phone
  • Xiaomi's trademark infrared emitter is on the top, and can be used to control several home appliances
  • There's also a notification and charging LED hidden in the earpiece, a rarity to find in modern smartphones
  • Bright, crisp and large 6.67-inch IPS display with a tall 20:9 aspect ratio - the panel delivers punchy and vibrant colours and the large screen work nicely for consuming videos and games
  • MIUI is one of the more refined and smooth Android skins around, and has a lot of customisation/theming options - there’s ample features for power users - from gestures to the ability to switch around button layouts as well as a robust home screen customisation experience, you can really make the phone your own
  • Class-leading performance for the price backed by the snappy Snapdragon 720G - the Redmi Note 9 Pro is more than powerful enough to handle anything from basic calls and messaging all the way up to heavy 3D gaming, with no trouble whatsoever, multitasking is also smooth and trouble-free
  • Good quad camera at the back - a 64MP primary shooter, an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, a 5MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor
  • Daylight shots from the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max turn out quite well - photos look sharp and the details are good - phone automatically enables HDR in appropriate situations
  • The Ultra-wide camera on the device offers a wider field of view with good quality images - wide-angle correction is implemented which prevents barrel distortion
  • Xiaomi has done a particularly good job at optimising the portrait mode and the phone does a fantastic job at edge-detection, creating a natural-looking blur
  • Macro camera is good for extreme close-ups - it captures very good details in good lighting conditions - the resolution is also higher at 5-megapixels than what you usually get from other smartphones
  • In low-light, the phone manages to keep noise under control and offer good images - with Night Mode enabled, the phone combines multiple exposures, the output is sharper, with much better detail, and objects in the shadows are more visible
  • The 32MP front camera is good - in daylight, you get sharp selfies - there is a portrait mode for the selfie camera as well, and it does manage to accurately separate the background from the subject
  • Video recording is decent as long as there's good light (though, in low-light the phone struggles to stabilise the footage and creates a shimmer effect)
  • Overall, it has one of the best camera performances in this price segment
  • Very good battery life with the 5020 mAh battery - with ordinary use, the Redmi Note 9 Pro easily lasts through a full day and nearly half of the second day before needing a recharge
  • Excellent fast charging with the 33W fast charger in the box, takes nearly an hours to fill the phone completely, which is one of the fastest for this price
  • The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is almost identical to it's younger sibling the Redmi Note 9 Pro, the only exceptions being the better cameras and faster charging - and if you value these features, it's worth spending the extra bucks on the Max
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • The front has some thick bezels for the price
  • The in-display fingerprint sensor, as well as the facial recognition, are on the slower side
  • The glossy body is prone to picking up fingerprints
  • There's still some bloatware pre-installed, including third-party apps and some of Samsung's own apps such as Samsung Shop (though most of them can be uninstalled)
  • Average performance from the MediaTek Helio P65 - it feels a bit sluggish overall, there's a persistent hint of stutter in the animations, and lag when switching between apps
  • No video stabilisation - video results are just average
  • Low light photos out of the Galaxy A31 aren't great - the main camera's output is soft and noisy, while the colors are relatively desaturated
  • Overall, while the Galaxy A51 offers good cameras, there are certainly better options available, such as the Redmi K20 Pro
  • The Galaxy A31 has hardly anything going for it - the middling SoC performance and underwhelming cameras do nothing to help, there are better options available from Xiaomi and Realme
  • At 8.8mm thick and 209g in weight, the Redmi Note 9 Pro is bulky and unwieldy
  • It is a standard 60Hz panel and doesn't have a high refresh rate - this is a missed opportunity that puts the Redmi Note 9 Pro on the back foot compared to its peers
  • It still continues to pack a lot of bloat though - you get many pre-installed applications with wide-ranging requirements for user permissions
  • However, if you are looking for a higher refresh display, you can consider the POCO X2 or the Realme 6, other specs are very similar
Expert Reviews
  1. The A31 can stand on its own as a decent mid-ranger... but the competition is just brutal
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. The middling SoC performance and underwhelming cameras are faults that are too glaring to ignore
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. The Samsung Galaxy A31 is a decent smartphone... but it is facing competition in-house only, its M-series sibling the Galaxy M31 is a better and much affordable option
    gadgetsnow.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. An A-lister you should probably ignore
    neowin.net in-depth Read Review »
  1. Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is powerful, offers great battery life and packs in good cameras
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. If you are confused between Redmi Note 9 Pro and Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, the decision boils down to how important that 33W fast charging is to you
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  3. Max Performance, Max Value
    news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Better than sibling, but not an outright choice
    livemint.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. Redmi Note 9 Pro Max excels in battery life, camera and build quality, but the competition from other brands especially Realme is quite fierce
    themobileindian.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. The Note 9 Pro Max is highly impressive... but the competition is tough
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  7. Incredible camera, satisfactory performance
    zeebiz.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. techpp.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. timesnownews.com in-depth Read Review »
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Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
Individual Review 2
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