Our Opinion

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 (4GB RAM, 128GB) is a slightly better phone, but the realme Narzo 20 128GB is slightly better value for money. Which phone should you buy? It’s a close call, but if your budget allows for it, then Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 (4GB RAM, 128GB) might be a slightly better choice.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 (4GB RAM, 128GB)  realme Narzo 20 128GB 
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 realme Narzo 20
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Excellence Score
38.3
37.0
Value for Money Score
84.0
85.8
Price ₹ 12,499 onwards ₹ 11,499 onwards
Launch Date (India) Jul, 2020 Sep, 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 6.53 inches 6.5 inches
Screen Resolution 1080x2340 pixels (~ 395 pixels per inch) 720x1600 pixels (~ 270 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Yes
Display Type IPS LCD IPS LCD
Screen Refresh Rate 60 HzStandard 60 HzStandard
Display Features Sunshine mode, Night mode, Colour temperature adjustment, Anti-oil and anti-fingerprint protective coating N/A
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2 GHz 2 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name MediaTek Helio G85Ranked #33 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks MediaTek Helio G85Ranked #33 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Mali-G52 MC2 Mali-G52 MC2
RAM 4 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 + 2MP + 2MP 48MP + 8MP + 2MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (Full HD) Yes (Full HD)
Other Camera Features 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 48MP: f/1.8 aperture; 26mm focal length; 1/2.0" sensor size; 0.8um pixel size; PDAF, 8MP: f/2.3 aperture; 119-degree ultra-wide; 1/4.0" sensor size; 1.12um pixel size, 2MP: f/2.4 aperture; macro camera, HDR, Panorama
Secondary Camera 13MP 8MP
Secondary Camera Features 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 f/2.0 Aperture, AI Beauty, Filter Mode, HDR, Panoramic View, Portrait Mode, Timelapse
Internal Memory 128 GB 128 GB
Expandable Memory Slot Yes, up to 512 GB Yes, up to 256 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio Yes Yes
Dual SIM GSM+GSM GSM+GSM
Thickness 8.9 mmMedium 9.8 mmThick
Weight 199 gmHeavy 208 gmHeavy
Width 77.2 mmInconvenient for one-handed use 75.9 mmOk for one-handed use
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant Yes, Splash Resistant (P2i Coating)
Battery Capacity 5020 mAh 6000 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, 18W Fast Charging Yes, 18W Fast Charging
Included Fast Charger Yes, 22.5W Fast Charger Yes, 18.0W Fast Charger
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features 9W Reverse Charging; Noise Filtration Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • 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)
  • Pleasant, refreshing design - back is textured and the Narzo 20 looks and feels almost exactly the same as its C-series cousins
  • Front has a similar affair with a dew-drop notch and thin bezels
  • The patterned back almost completely eliminates the chances of getting fingerprints or smudges - it also adds a lot of grip and gives the phone a very solid, sturdy feel
  • Face recognition and fingerprint sensor are quick to unlock the smartphone
  • Large, 6.5 inch IPS display with HD+ resolution - the colors are vibrant with a decent amount of sharpness
  • The Narzo 20 comes with Realme UI based on Android 10 which is much more streamlined and clean compared to previous realme phones - it still packs a lot of useful features like Dark mode, Focus mode, Game Space and Personal Information Protection
  • Performance is good for the price - the Realme Narzo 20 runs smooth in day-to-day situations, UI is pleasantly fluid and flipping between apps is quite easy - heavy gaming is possible, but don't expect too much
  • Good triple camera setup for the price - a 48MP primary shooter, an 8MP ultra-wide, and a 2MP depth sensor
  • The main camera can click photos with decent details in bright light - colours have a punch, they come out well even when shot against a direct light source, thanks to the HDR and chroma boost
  • The ultra-wide camera captures a wider perspective (though the details are on the weaker side)
  • The macro camera produces fun, usable photos as long as you give it a lot of light and the correct focal distance
  • The portrait shots look good, and the edge detection is decent as well
  • The 8MP front camera can shoot decent selfies - the portrait mode works for the front camera as well
  • Decent video recording quality, with a option to shoot slow motion videos
  • Monster 6000mAh battery delivers an incredible 2-3 days of usage easily, making for one of the largest battery life smartphones currently available
  • Supports 18W Fast charging with an included fast charger
  • The Narzo 20 is a decent phone with great battery life and good enough performance for occasional gaming, therefore much easier to recommend than its C series cousins, and a much stronger offering in its segment
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • 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
  • Quite hefty, at 208g weight and 9.8 thickness
  • The Narzo 20 misses out on a full HD panel that some of Realme’s competitors have already started offering at this price
  • There is no Widevine L1 certification which means that you cannot enjoy HD content on Netflix and Amazon Prime
  • There's still some bloatware that comes pre-installed
  • Low light photos are average, as expected, they lack detail and aren't very sharp
Expert Reviews
  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 »
  1. For its Starting price, this is a decent phone with great battery life and good enough performance for occasional gaming
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. Consider the Realme Narzo 20 if battery life is one of the areas that you just don’t want to compromise on
    news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. themobileindian.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. timesnownews.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. techpp.com in-depth Read Review »
User Reviews
  1. Flipkart4.4 452+ reviews »
  1. Flipkart4.4 5,515+ reviews »
Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
Individual Review 2
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