EDIT: 12/03/2020: Xiaomi has taken the covers off the highly anticipated Redmi Note 9 phones. You can check this post for all the information on the new devices.
After selling more than 40 million Redmi Notes, Mi is coming back with an upgrade to the series: the Redmi Note 9 series. The current Redmi Note series (the Note 8 series) was launched in August of last year and went on to become one of the bestselling phones in emerging markets like India.
The highly anticipated Redmi Note 9 series is officially slated to launch globally on March 12 in an online-only launch event. The offline launch event was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. While we’re expecting only some incremental updates and nothing major, here’s everything we know about the new phones and what we expect to see at the event.
Redmi Note 9 & 9 Pro launch date
The Redmi Note 9 series is confirmed to launch globally on the 12th of March. Xiaomi’s global VP Manu Kumar Jain confirmed the launch date recently, and Amazon India also had a special landing page ready for the upcoming series soon after.
What’s surprising is that there are rumors of Xiaomi launching not just 2, but 3 Redmi Note 9s, the third one being called Redmi Note 9 Max. While we can’t deny the fact that Xiaomi can indeed make this move, but we’re sure about there being 2 devices at-least.
Redmi Note 9 series expected prices & availability
Mi has made it a habit to keep the base prices of its Redmi Note series under ₹10,000 (~ $140US), and the legacy is expected to continue this year too. The base variant of the Redmi Note 9 (4/64GB) could most probably start at ₹9,999, but we won’t be surprised if it starts at ₹10,499. Mi recently hiked the prices of the current Redmi Note 8 by ₹500 citing supply-chain issues due to coronavirus.
The Note 9 Pro shall most probably still start at ₹13,999 (~ $190US) for the 6-64 gigs base variant and go all the way up to ₹17,999 (~ $245US) for the maxed-out 8-128 gigs variant.
The Redmi Note 9 Max, if it is a thing, might start upwards of ₹17,999, but then again, that’s the Poco X2’s territory. We guess we’ll have to wait till the official launch to see what’s in store.
Redmi Note 9 series build & design
We aren’t expecting any major design changes in the Note 9 series, except the rear camera arrangement. As the promo images show, the quad-camera setup shall see a 2-up-2-down arrangement inside a rounded square housing (see image below).
Other than that, we might see the Note 9 Pro get a punch-hole selfie-camera instead of a waterdrop notch, but the Note 9 shall probably still flaunt the notch.
The rest of the build & design is expected to remain similar to the Note 8 lineup.
Redmi Note 9 & Note 9 Pro expected specs and features
The Amazon landing page has some interesting “teasers” for the upcoming Redmi Note 9 series, that boast different specs and features. While the company hasn’t revealed any specifics so far, there are certain things we know from leaks and rumors floating around. Let’s count them down.
For the past two generations of Redmi Note, Xiaomi has been advertising the camera prowess of the phones, and this year is no different. Xiaomi is claiming the cameras on the new phones to be beasty. We’re hearing rumors of Xiaomi packing in a stupid-crazy 108MP primary sensor in the Note 9 Pro, but it doesn’t sound very believable. We’re expecting to see a 64MP primary sensor on the Note 9 Pro and a 48MP primary sensor on the Note 9. The primary sensors are rumored to be accompanied by an ultrawide, a telephoto (replacing macro), and a depth-sensor this time. The selfie shooter is expected to be retained from the Note 8 series, i.e., 20MP (wide).
Talking about the internals, the Note 9 Pro shall most probably come with the new Snapdragon 720G, which is an octa-core 1.8GHz (base) CPU built on the 8nm process. A leaked Geekbench CPU benchmark report also hints at the same CPU. The 720G is Qualcomm’s lower-midrange gaming-centric processor that flaunts Qualcomm’s 5th gen AI engine and also supports the NavIC navigation system developed by ISRO.
The Note 9 is expected to come with the either the Snapdragon 665 or 670.
Smartphone gaming is the trend these days, and the Redmi Note series has been one of the top choices of budget smartphone gamers. The Note 9 series is said to offer a beasty gaming experience too. We’re expecting a display with narrow bezels and a punch-hole selfie camera on the 9 Pro, that could help with immersiveness while gaming. We could also see a 90Hz (higher-refresh-rate) display on the Note 9 Pro.
Like we said before, the 720G is a gaming-centric SoC. Combined with Qualcomm AI Engine and MIUI’s optimization, the 9 Pro can offer good gaming experience to the masses, but we’ll have to wait for the phone to launch to test that.
The hardware is rumored to powered by a 5,000mAh cell in the Note 9 Pro and a 4500mAh cell in Note 9 with support for 18W fast charging through the USB Type-C port.
Other than all these, other features shall be retained from the Note 8 series.