Cheap smartphones with powerful performance and long battery life have always been the dream of most users in Indonesia. Especially when coupled with camera capabilities which are quite okay. There is no need to expect the quality of the image capture style of a medium or high-end cellphone, the important thing is that it is still ideal for capturing everyday moments and sharing them on social media.

This kind of formula is always put forward by Xiaomi in their entry-level series. Ready to repeat the success of Redmi 9, Xiaomi Indonesia recently brought Redmi 9T as their next hero. Are you curious about the sophistication of the device with a tag of 1.8 million rupiah? Come on , just take a look at the reviews!

POCO M3 change clothes?

There is one thing that I highlighted the most when Redmi 9T first set foot in Indonesia. Yes, especially if it’s not the resemblance to the POCO M3. In terms of hardware, extra precision is needed to find the difference. And it turns out that the most significant is the addition of an ultra-wide camera in addition to the price difference of Rp. 100,000, of course.

Maybe it’s not an exaggeration if I call Redmi 9T the POCO M3 changing clothes. The reason is, if you look at the specifications of the two on the official Xiaomi Indonesia website, the dimensions are 100 percent the same. Nothing has changed in height, width, thickness, and weight.

When viewed from the front, it is difficult to recognize which is the Redmi 9T and which is the POCO M3. Only then does the back look quite a contrast. It’s not just a matter of color selection, on the POCO M3 a black frame with the POCO logo that stretches from the camera housing to the side you won’t find on the Redmi 9T. In addition, on the Redmi 9T Xiaomi includes the Redmi logo from the bottom left towards the top.

Xiaomi Redmi 9T comes in three color choices, Carbon Gray, Twilight Blue and Ocean Green. The texture on the back cover is made a bit rough so it feels solid when held and is fingerprint-free. A bit surprised because it turns out that it is still light even though the battery is jumbo.

Honestly, I’ve never tested the POCO M3, but I’m sure, the grip sensation won’t be that different. Xiaomi itself says that the Redmi 9T design is indeed made ‘all rounder’, which means it can be aimed at a wider range of people. Maybe that’s also the reason why on the Redmi 9T I don’t see the bold design breakthroughs on the POCO M3. Okay, it all depends on each taste.

The rest is not much to talk about from the exterior appearance of this phone. Redmi 9T has adopted a USB Type-C port, which is positioned below alongside the speaker hole. The 3.5mm audio jack port is on top with the IR Blaster. While the fingerprint sensor is on the side and is integrated with the Power button. I myself prefer the position of the fingerprint sensor on the side because it makes the back of the phone look cleaner.

Netflix Full HD and Dual-Speakers

Turning to the screen business, Redmi 9T relies on a 6.53-inch IPS panel with Full HD + resolution complete with minimalist Dot Drop-style bangs. Like most smartphones in general, the bangs also function to accommodate the selfie camera.

Xiaomi’s move to continue providing a screen with Full HD + resolution deserves appreciation. Several competing phones in the same price class still rely mainly on HD + screens. In terms of color appearance, there is nothing special. Typical of IPS and of course it is still quite a feast for the eyes to enjoy a variety of content.

For the brightness level, in my opinion, it is still a little lacking. Sometimes I have a little trouble using the Redmi 9T under the scorching sun. Understandably, I often encounter similar problems on various other entry-level devices.

The plus point actually comes from the audio sector. Redmi 9T is equipped with dual-speakers capable of producing stereo sound. It’s quite fun to accompany me to play games or watch movies on Netflix. Speaking of Netflix, Redmi 9T already has Widevine L1 certification so that movies can be played up to Full HD resolution.

The camera results are quite good, but …

The Xiaomi Redmi 9T has a 48 MP main camera, 2 MP macro camera, 2 MP depth camera, and another extra camera with a 120 degree 8 megapixel wide-angle lens which is also a differentiator from the POCO M3. For selfies, Xiaomi has re-immersed an 8 megapixel sensor.

From the start I didn’t have high expectations for the capabilities of the Redmi 9T camera. Even so, the shots turned out to be quite satisfying for the size of a cellphone that costs 1 million rupiah. When the lighting is ideal, the captured image looks sharp and the color reproduction is good in its class.

In my opinion, the color character is more natural but with slightly elevated saturation. There’s an AI mode here which I’ve tried has tended to produce photos with more vivid colors. I personally prefer AI mode to be disabled. Meanwhile, the dynamic range is still fairly good as long as you use the main camera.

One other point that deserves to be underlined is the availability of Pro mode. Not only for photos, you can use this Pro mode to record videos. So you can manually adjust which lens you want to use, what is the ISO, exposure, focus, shutter speed, and white balance as needed.

The Redmi 9T camera is supported by Night Mode. Very useful when you want to capture the moment at night or in low light conditions. The result is quite good for simply getting brighter and sharper photos while maintaining the night atmosphere. In some scenarios, you can get better results by tinkering with Pro Mode. As for selfie matters, even though the details on the main subject look okay, the dynamic range is still typical of cheap cellphone cameras.

Turning to videography capabilities, Redmi 9T is not equipped with a stabilization feature to help withstand shocks when recording, both on the front and rear cameras. It’s a little difficult to use to create content such as vlogging because you have to be extra careful so that the video doesn’t wobble too much. Here’s an example of the video (click to play):

Play games smoothly, jumbo battery!

Well , finally getting to the part that I like the most about Redmi 9T. Armed with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 chipset, Redmi 9T automatically becomes one of the fastest performing cellphones in its class. You can also choose between two memory variants, namely 4/64 GB or 6/128 GB as we review in this article.

Especially for the 64 GB variant, Xiaomi uses storage with UFS 2.1 technology. As for the 128 GB variant, the technology is UFS 2.2. In theory, UFS 2.2 might look more tempting, although in reality, the speed difference doesn’t feel significant.

With a combination like this, Redmi 9T is capable enough to carry out daily tasks. Switching between applications is smooth and responsive. I didn’t even encounter any significant obstacles, except for super heavy games like Genshin Impact. If you want to force it, even in low graphics settings, I often find a decrease in fps which is quite annoying.

Mobile Legends can run stably in High graphic settings with HFR mode active. While I tried to play PUBG Mobile at the Smooth-High setting, and the results were also quite fun. Even during playing these two games, I didn’t feel an excessive increase in heat or a bad frame rate drop.

The battery is also a thumbs-up. In my opinion, the 6,000 mAh capacity and 18W fast charging support are very satisfying. Great durability for a full day of use. Meanwhile, it takes about 2 hours to charge it to be 100 percent full.

Interestingly, Xiaomi immediately provides a 22.5W charger in the Redmi 9T sales package. Indeed, the maximum capacity of the cellphone itself is only up to 18W. But by having a 22.5W charger, Xiaomi hopes that users can use it to charge other devices too.

One of the (again) most attractive options in its class

Honestly, I’m almost tired of calling every cheap Xiaomi smartphone one of the best options in its class. But it can’t be helped. Redmi 9T should again hold a similar title. I call one because he is not the only one. This means that apart from the Redmi 9T you still have other options that are no less interesting.

One thing that I regret a little is the absence of NFC in the Indonesian version. I think NFC can be a unique feature that will make the Redmi 9T different not only from the POCO M3, but also other phones in the same price class. But Xiaomi certainly already has careful considerations, especially regarding the price which they think is quite sensitive in the entry-level segment.

For those who are interested, the Xiaomi Redmi 9T can be purchased for Rp1,899,000 (SRP Rp1,999,000) for the 4/64 GB variant, and Rp.2,299,000 (SRP Rp.2,399,000) for the 6/128 GB variant.

Xiaomi Redmi 9T is suitable for:

  • College students and students who need affordable cell phones for online study needs and daily tasks.
  • Employees who are on WFH or often work on a mobile basis can make Redmi 9T a daily driver. The combination of a large screen, long battery life and smooth performance are the main factors to support these needs.
  • Gamers who want a cheap cellphone to play Android games should make the Redmi 9T a shopping target. Mobile Legends, PUBG Mobile, CODM, Wild Rift, everything is smooth. Snapdragon 662 is a ‘koentji’. But remember, graphic settings must be adjusted.
  • Housewives who like to play social media are suitable for using the Redmi 9T. This cellphone camera can also be relied on to capture moments with children.
  • Netflix and Korean Drama fans will have no problem because Redmi 9T already has Widevine L1 certification. Movies that are played can be presented in Full HD resolution.
  • Online drivers / motorcycle taxis can make Redmi 9T their flagship device for work. The 6,000 mAh jumbo battery will certainly be very helpful so you don’t charge often on the go.

The advantages of Redmi 9T:

  • The design is more elegant and doesn’t get dirty easily
  • Relatively light even though the battery is large
  • Smooth performance, great for gaming
  • There is a 6/128 GB variant at a pocket-friendly price
  • Full HD + and Widevine L1 screens
  • Dual-speakers
  • 6,000 mAh battery
  • The camera can be relied on in ideal light conditions
  • The side fingerprint is quite responsive
  • The sales package includes a 22.5W charger

Disadvantages of Redmi 9T:

  • The results of the ultra-wide camera can be improved again
  • Night Mode on the ultra-wide camera is blurry
  • It would be more interesting if there was stabilization in video mode
  • Front camera dynamic range is not good for video

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