Our Opinion

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 (4GB RAM, 64GB) is a significantly better phone than the realme 5i 128GB, and is also significantly better value for money. What should you buy? Go for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 (4GB RAM, 64GB)!

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 (4GB RAM, 64GB)  realme 5i 128GB 
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 realme 5i
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
35.2
29.0
Value for Money Score
83.2
69.8
Price ₹ 11,499 onwards ₹ 11,999 onwards
Launch Date (India) Jul, 2020 Feb, 2020
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 10Expected update to next Android version Android 9.0 Pie, Upgradeable to 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, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
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 Night mode
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 Qualcomm Snapdragon 665Ranked #45 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Mali-G52 MC2 Adreno 610
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 microUSB
Primary Camera 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP 12MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (Full HD) Yes (4K)
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 12MP: F/1.8 Aperture; 5P lens; PDAF; 10x Digital Zoom, 8MP: 119° Wide-angle Camera; F/2.25 Aperture; 5P lens, 2MP: Depth Sensor, 2MP: Macro Camera; 4cm Shooting Distance, AI HDR, AI beauty, AI scene recognition, Chrome boost, Super nightscape, Filter mode, Panorama, Expert mode, Time-Lapse, EIS
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, 5P lens, AI beauty, AI HDR
Internal Memory 64 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 mmThick
Weight 199 gmHeavy 195 gmHeavy
Width 77.2 mmInconvenient for one-handed use 75.0 mmOk for one-handed use
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant Yes, Splash Resistant (P2i Coating) Yes, Splash resistant
Battery Capacity 5020 mAh 5000 mAh
Battery Standby N/A 718 hrs
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A 46.90 hrs
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A N/A
Fast Charging Support Yes, 18W Fast Charging
Included Fast Charger Yes, 22.5W Fast Charger
Other Battery Parameters N/A Gaming Time: 8.5 hrs, Audio Playback Time: 30.8 hrs
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)
  • Great design - similar to the Realme 5 & 5s, the Realme 5i has both a good build quality, and trendy looks - this time with a new sunrise design pattern on the back
  • The front is modern and sharp too with a 6.5-inch display, with a small dewdrop notch and fairly slim bezels all around
  • Both the rear fingerprint sensor, and face unlock work accurately and fast
  • There is an anti-fingerprint layer at the back which is effective to keep smudges off
  • Nice, large 6.5-inch IPS display, well suited to media consumption - with good color saturation, decent viewing angles and good sunlight legibility
  • ColorOS is now more streamlined, and cleaner than before, and of course packs a bunch of additional functionality over stock Android
  • Very good performance for the price bracket, with the excellent Snapdragon 665 at the core - everything from day-to-day use to high-end games is fairly smooth
  • Thermal control is good too - the phone doesn't get more than a little warm, even with long sessions of gaming
  • Realme 5i offers the exact same rear camera setup as the Realme 5 - there is a 12MP primary camera + 8MP wide-angle camera + 2MP depth sensor + 2MP macro camera for closeup shots
  • Overall image quality is good from the primary camera, especially in daylight - it meters light correctly - photos have decent dynamic range with good levels of detail, which is evident even after zooming in
  • Shots of people have good-looking skin tones, and edge detection is handled well when shooting in Portrait mode
  • The macro camera activated by switching to the ‘Ultra macro' mode yields some good results too - there's no autofocus, but when positioned correctly over a subject, you will manage to get some stunning details which aren't possible with a regular lens
  • Video recording is decent too - you can shoot at up to 4K (though stabilisation is only there till 1080p) - detail levels in videos are good in daylight
  • Overall, this is a good cameraphone for the price bracket, especially for day-time images
  • Decent bottom loudspeaker
  • Outstanding battery life with a gigantic 5000mAh battery same as the Realme 5 & 5s - you will get a cool 2 days of moderate use
  • Overall, the Realme 5i is another great device from Realme, - if you're on a tight budget and looking for a good all-rounder or a very good gaming phone, Realme 5i makes sense with its fast processor, and nearly two-day long battery life
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
  • This is a fairly large phone though - the size does make one-handed use cumbersome, and even with large hands, you will struggle to tap anywhere near the top of the display (thankfully, ColorOS offers a one-handed mode to help tackle this issue)
  • The Realme 5i is a bit heavy too, at 195g
  • Screen resolution is on the low side, so long text reading is not the most ideal experience
  • There is, as always, a plethora of preinstalled apps which will spam you with notifications (though thankfully these can be uninstalled)
  • The new 8-megapixel selfie camera is just average - backgrounds are often overexposed when shooting outdoors - the Realme 5i also offers portrait mode for the selfie camera, which is decent, but the edge detection could have been better
  • Low light performance is, as expected, average however, both for images, and video - there is some noise, and less detail in low light images - the Nightscape mode helps a bit, but not a lot
  • The wide-angle camera offers an interesting perspective but does not deliver the same level of detail as compared to the primary lens - the edges of frames appeared to be slightly stretched
  • No fast charging support - with the supplied charger, you will get around 24 percent charge in half an hour, around 43 percent in an hour, and 100 percent in about 3 hours
  • The main caveat to keep in mind is the size and weight of the phone - if you like your phones compact, and your routine involves a lot of one-handed use, then this might not be for you
  • At a slightly higher price, you could also grab some other very good phones in the under 10k price segment that offers higher resolution displays, better cameras, fast charging and equal or better processors such as the the Redmi Note 8 and the Realme 3 Pro
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. Powerful hardware at a more affordable price
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. Definitely recommended
    fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. The Realmi 5i looks promising and the overall experience is good in the affordable segment
    thenewsminute.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Budget smartphone with a large battery but nothing compelling beyond that
    firstpost.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. A good smartphone that probably wasn't needed
    zeebiz.com in-depth Read Review »
User Reviews
  1. Flipkart4.4 463+ reviews »
  1. Flipkart4.5 25,369+ reviews »
Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
Individual Review 2
  • Individual Review 2
Individual Review

Redmi Note 9 Review: You Need to Watch This!...

Beebom

Top Pick

Individual Review

Realme 5i Review – The Best New Budget Phone in Town?...

Gadgets 360

Top Pick

Full Review

Redmi Note 9 Review: You Need to Watch This!

Beebom

Full Review

Realme 5i Review – The Best New Budget Phone in Town?

Gadgets 360

Did you find phonecurry useful in your phone search? Drop us a testimonial, or Tell us how we can improve