Our Opinion

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 (4GB RAM, 128GB) is a slightly better phone than the Samsung Galaxy M21 (6GB RAM, 128GB), and is also significantly better value for money. What should you buy? Go for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 (4GB RAM, 128GB)!

Samsung Galaxy M21 (6GB RAM, 128GB)  Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 (4GB RAM, 128GB) 
Samsung Galaxy M21 Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
37.4
38.3
Value for Money Score
73.5
84.0
Price ₹ 14,999 onwards ₹ 12,499 onwards
Launch Date (India) Mar, 2020 Jul, 2020
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 10Expected update to next Android version Android 10Expected update to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 6.4 inches 6.53 inches
Screen Resolution 1080x2340 pixels (~ 403 pixels per inch) 1080x2340 pixels (~ 395 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 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 2.3 GHz 2 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Samsung Exynos 9611Ranked #37 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks MediaTek Helio G85Ranked #33 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Mali-G72 MP3 Mali-G52 MC2
RAM 6 GB 4 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 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (4K) Yes (Full HD)
Other Camera Features 48MP: f/2.0 aperture; 26mm Focal Length; 1/2.0" Sensor Size; 0.8um Pixel Size; PDAF, 8MP: f/2.2 aperture; 12mm Focal Length; Ultra-wide; 1/4.0" Sensor Size; 1.12um Pixel Size, 5MP: f/2.2 aperture; Depth Sensor, Panorama, HDR, Video: [email protected]; [email protected]; EIS 48MP: f/1.8 aperture; 1/2.25" 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, 2MP: 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 13MP
Secondary Camera Features f/2.0 aperture, 26mm Focal Length, HDR 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 (Wireless) Yes
Dual SIM GSM+GSM GSM+GSM
Thickness 8.9 mmMedium 8.9 mmMedium
Weight 188 gmMedium 199 gmHeavy
Width 75.1 mmOk for one-handed use 77.2 mmInconvenient for one-handed use
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant Yes, Splash Resistant (P2i Coating)
Battery Capacity 6000 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, 18W Fast Charging
Included Fast Charger Yes, 15.0W Fast Charger Yes, 22.5W Fast Charger
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features Noise Filtration 9W Reverse Charging; Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Decent looks and build quality - very similar to the Samsung Galaxy M31, with a a unibody polycarbonate design, and glossy finish on the back panel - the only major difference is the camera module which houses a triple rear camera
  • The plastic body keeps the phone feeling relatively lightweight at 188 grams, which is mighty impressive for a phone packing a big 6000 mAh battery
  • It also feels great to hold with a seamless curved panel that meets the display up front
  • Modern, Infinity-U front - bezels around the screen are slim, except for a slightly thick chin - you still get around 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio, which is great
  • Fingerprint sensor at the back is easy to reach and work very well
  • Gorgeous, 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display with excellent viewing angles, and brightness levels - easily one of the best displays in the price bracket
  • It also comes with "Widevine L1" certification, which helps stream content in crisp HD resolution
  • Blacks are deep on the AMOLED display, which looks good with Night mode enabled
  • Samsung's OneUI is today one of the more clean, refined Android UIs that's especially well optimised for large displays like this
  • One UI also brings in other useful stuff, like a System-wide Dark mode (which turns the background completely black, and looks great on the M21's AMOLED display), and Always On Display option
  • Decent performance with the Exynos 9611 at the core (similar to Snapdragon 665) - the device is fairly quick to load up apps - multitasking is a breeze
  • Decent triple rear camera setup - a 48MP primary snapper, an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 5MP depth sensor
  • In broad daylight, you'll get consistent, crispy shots with decent dynamic range and sharpness levels are respectable with the primary lens
  • The ultra-wide sensor, like on any budget phone, is a good addition - it takes social media-worthy images in great lighting conditions (in low-light, the quality dips and pictures look grainy and noisy, wide-angle shots also have barrel distortion at the edges)
  • Live Focus shots are quite good and the camera app does give you the option to set the level of blur before taking a shot - edge detection is very good and the Galaxy M21 does a good job of separating the subject from the background
  • The 20MP selfie camera is quite good and takes detailed selfies (though, in low light, the quality goes down a notch and results are grainy)
  • Monster 6000 mAh battery delivers an incredible 2-3 days of usage easily, making for one of the largest battery life smartphones currently available
  • Supports 15W fast charging
  • If you're someone who consumes a lot of content on their phone, the Galaxy M21 is a good phone for you, it has great AMOLED display, outstanding battery backup that will last you for days
  • Fresh, bright and vibrant design, with a gleaming, reflective rear panel - the design here is very similar to that of the Note 9 Pro’s with the back is now made of polycarbonate
  • The distinctive camera bump design plays into the theme of symmetry - this is a beautiful design touch that sets the Redmi Note 9 series apart and makes this phone and its siblings recognisable
  • The front of the phone looks modern and defies expectations for its price category - the hole-punch is now on the left unlike the other 2 Note phones that have it in the center
  • Fingerprint sensor is moved to the back, and it is swift at unlocking the phone
  • Xiaomi's trademark infrared emitter is on the top and can be used to control several home appliances
  • Crisp, vivid and bright 6.53-inch IPS display with a tall aspect ratio - the panel delivers punchy and vibrant colours and the large screen work nicely for consuming videos and games
  • The display also gets sufficiently bright for outdoors use
  • MIUI is one of the more refined and smooth Android skins around, and has a lot of customisation/theming options - there are 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 make the phone your own
  • Good performance for the price powered by the respectable new MediaTek G85 SOC - the day-to-day tasks on the Redmi Note 9 feel light and effortless and it can run heavy 3D games like PUBG at low or medium settings
  • Decent quad cameras for the price - a 48MP primary shooter, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a 5MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor
  • In daylight, the primary camera takes reasonably good shots - Xiaomi has opted for a very natural-looking colour science, the colour temperature and white balance are spot-on which is very good to see, and the dynamic range isn't too bad either (though, there is a certain softness to images, which can be fixed with a software update)
  • The ultra-wide-angle mode works well to capture a wide frame without much effort, and the quality is decent
  • 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
  • The macro camera delivers good quality shots than from most other 2MP macro cameras because of the autofocus
  • The 13MP front camera is fairly good in the daytime as well as at night - details are crisp, and portrait shots have nicely blurred backgrounds, which can be pre-adjusted
  • Very good battery life with the 5020 mAh battery - with ordinary use, the Redmi Note 9 easily lasts through a full day and nearly half of the second day before needing a recharge
  • Decent fast charging with the 18W fast charger in the box, takes nearly 2 hours to fill the phone (though this isn't the fastest charging phone and the Realme 6i's 30W charging is much better)
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • The power button and volumes are quite flush with the frame which means they lack that tactile, clicky feel
  • Design feels a bit dated and underwhelming, there is no spark in Galaxy M21's design as we see in other brand's phones like Xiaomi and Realme
  • However, this is an old chipset and heavy gaming isn't best on this phone - the Redmi Note 9 Pro and the Realme 6 are much better options that will handle gaming better than the Galaxy M21
  • Photos taken in low-light are average - focusing gets worse in low light and the extreme noise-correction makes images look like water paintings
  • Overall, the cameras on the M21 are decent, but there are better cameras available in this price bracket, including the Galaxy M31, which is just a tad bit pricier
  • Samsung Galaxy M11 falls behind in fast charging as competitors are offering close to 30W fast charging, the 15W on M21 feels low
  • Having said that, the Redmi Note 9 Pro and the Realme 6 will still offer you more bang for your buck, overall and when it comes to intensive tasks like gaming, you’ll be better off choosing the Realme 6 or the Redmi Note 8 Pro that are probably the best phones for gaming in this segment
  • At 8.9mm thick and 199g in weight, the Redmi Note 9 is a bit bulky and unwieldy
  • It continues to pack a lot of bloat though - you get many pre-installed applications with wide-ranging requirements for user permissions
  • The gaming performance is a downgrade from other Note 9 series phones, you'd be better off with phones like Redmi Note 9 Pro or Redmi 6i if you want a phone for heavy gaming
  • Low light photography is average, images are grainy with digital artefacts and splotches creating a nearly unusable shot
  • Overall, this is not the best camera setup at this price and this time Realme has done a better job which with its Realme 6i which offer better cameras at this price
  • The Realme 6i out-specs the Redmi Note 9 at every corner, be it high refresh-rate 90Hz display panel, or the supported faster 30W charging as well as the much better MediaTek G90T SOC, at just marginally higher price - Realme 6i is an all-round better deal
Expert Reviews
  1. All the battery life you need
    fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. Big battery and display at an affordable price
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  3. A good option if you are out in the market looking for a capable smartphone that is not Xiaomi or Realme
    business-standard.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. A Phone That Caters Best To Video Content Consumers
    in.mashable.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. Sharp display, good cameras, decent performance and an amazing battery life, though the Galaxy M31 is better
    zeebiz.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  7. economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. gadgetsnow.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. gsmarena.com hands-on Read Review »
  11. ibtimes.co.in hands-on Read Review »
  1. Hard to recommend, because of the alternatives like the Realme 6i
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. Decent value
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. If you want to get a balanced performance for the price, the Redmi Note 9 is a good option, though better options exist
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  4. A Note For The Not-So-Heavy Users
    in.mashable.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. tech.hindustantimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. timesnownews.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. techpp.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  11. gadgetsnow.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. thenewsminute.com in-depth Read Review »
  13. firstpost.com in-depth Read Review »
User Reviews
  1. Flipkart4.3 55+ reviews »
  1. Flipkart4.4 441+ reviews »
Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
Individual Review 2
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