Xiaomi Redmi 9A Review — Budget Smartphone

I present a review of the Xiaomi Redmi 9A smartphone with a low cost and modern hardware. This is a solid state employee with a large screen, which is suitable as a second phone, a phone for a student, a schoolboy, or for older people. The smartphone is easy to use, has a built-in large-capacity battery (5000 mAh) and decent autonomy, a fast enough processor that can handle the load. Additionally, there is a rear 13 megapixel camera. Actually, I had an idea to create a secure smartphone based on a budget model. The article will be as a review of the Redmi 9A smartphone itself, its testing, as well as comparison with other smartphones, including protected ones.

SMARTPHONE XIAOMI REDMI 9A

SMARTPHONE XIAOMI REDMI 9С (WITH NFC SUPPORT)

The Redmi 9A smartphone attracted my attention, first of all, as a state employee or as a second smartphone. A simple phone with standard functionality, with a low cost (from $ 75). Sold in two memory options: 2/32 and 3/32 GB. Of the serious shortcomings, I note the absence of an NFC module (payment will be available via QR codes if such a payment system is launched in the near future). And for cases when you need a cheap smartphone with contactless payment, that is, inexpensive smartphones with NFC .

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Characteristics:

Brand: Xiaomi
Model: Redmi 9A
Type: budget smartphone
Processor: MTK Helio G25
Video subsystem: PowerVR GE8320
Screen: 6.53 “(16.5 cm) IPS HD + 1600×720 pixels (269 PPI)
Memory: 2 / 32GB (3/32 GB version available )
Camera: triple rear camera 13 MP, autofocus
Front camera: 5 MP (waterdrop notch at the top of the screen, center)
Charging: MicroUSB
Battery: 5000 mA
OTG support: Yes
Slot: two nano sim card slots, separate slot for MicroSD memory cards (up to 512 GB)
Wireless interfaces: 4G / LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GLONASS / GPS
Fingerprint scanner: No
Headphone jack: Yes, 3.5 mm
Features: Slim, 3D back cover design, dual speakers.
Apt-X support: No
Operating time: standby up to 600 h, talk time up to 38 h, active (games, video) up to 13–14 hours
OS: MIUI 12, Global version, support OTA Update
Dimensions: 77 x 164 x 9 mm
Weight: 194 g.

The smartphone comes in the classic white Xiaomi packaging, with a small MI logo in the corner. The kit includes a needle for simtray, instructions, charging, cable. I bought from Tmall from the presence in the Russian Federation, sent by courier service “to the door”, a smartphone of the global version with localization.

The appearance of the smartphone Xiaomi Redmi 9A is presented in the photo below. In principle, if there is no question of austerity, then I would still recommend dropping and taking the optimal price and quality ratio of Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S , and if necessary contactless payment: similar to the reviewed Redmi 9C with NFC module or advanced Redmi Note 9 Pro , which is also with NFC module.

The smartphone has a decent screen size (6.53 “) and dimensions of 77 x 164 x 9 mm. The smartphone weighs just under 200 g.

There is a textured plastic cover on the back.

The screen has a protective transport film, which must be removed before starting work.

The glass is so-called 2.5D, that is, it has a slight rounding. Bumpers or covers with edges to protect the edges from falling are recommended.

In the center at the top of the screen is a drop-shaped cutout for the front camera. The so-called “bangs”.

On the right side face there are volume buttons and a power button. On the left side there is a SIM tray.

At the top there is a headphone jack — a 3.5 mm minijack. It’s nice that this throwback was left in the smartphone.

At the bottom there are: a microphone, a speaker, a socket for charging and synchronizing MicroUSB.

Symtray is full-fledged — a separate slot for a microSD card (support is declared up to 512 GB), and one slot for each nano-SIM card.

The body of the smartphone is plastic. The rear camera is located in the upper left corner, there is also an LED flash.

The back cover has a specific texture. The lid shimmers slightly in bright light.

The camera unit consists of only one sensor. True, there are no “fake” windows, as some dishonest manufacturers like to do, and thanks for that. The sensor is installed at 13 megapixels, in principle, at these 13 megapixels, he takes pictures, without any special frills. A detailed camera test will be below.

Also included was a MicroUSB cable for charging and synchronizing a smartphone.

And a charger with EU plug. Charging power 10 W (5V, 2A).

In fact, this is one of the simplest smartphones in the modern Xiaomi Redmi line (apart from the previous brothers Redmi 7A and 8A).

It looks pretty decent, at the level of other budget smartphones or previous generations of the same Galaxy.

Initially, I voiced the idea that you can take a fairly simple smartphone, install a shockproof case with a bumper and glass, and as a result, you get quite a mediocre protected smartphone of the Blackview level and others like them. For this experiment, two popular combo hard cases were purchased from Aliexpress: the KEYSION shockproof case and the Cenmaso shockproof case .

Such cases have certain advantages — the presence of a stand and a magnetic mount at once.

The peculiarities of these versions of the covers are the presence of a soft silicone insert in a hard case made of shockproof plastic. The plastic protects and the silicone softens shocks and falls. And the price, of course, is ridiculous.

Buttons, ends, edges — everything is protected.

A cutout in the case is provided for the camera, you can estimate the thickness of the case on the photo.

The second case, similar to the previous one, has a combined case, stand, magnetic mount.

Both cases will give you a second chance after a serious smartphone crash. The screen itself can be protected with polyurethane or hydrogel films or tempered glass.

I will prepare the smartphone for testing.

The first inclusion shows that we have a modern MIUI 12 shell installed on Android.

By the way, the edges of the screen at the bottom and top are rounded. Such a decision is not for everybody, but it definitely refers us to the previous (last year) Xiaomi design solutions.

Smartphone firmware is global, Russian is available.

MIUI 12 start screen.

A lot of shortcuts are hidden in the curtain, you can customize the display order, add or remove unnecessary shortcuts.

Another plus, which I forgot to mention at the very beginning, is the presence of a 3.5 mm minijack for connecting wired headphones.

Also, OTG adapters and drives work without any special remarks. The photo shows a fast UGREEN USB-C / SD card reader connected via a MicroUSB adapter.

Drives with OTG-MicroUSB connector can be connected directly, without an adapter.

In this way I moved files, screenshots and photos after testing.

As a comparison, I am attaching the Oppo A53 smartphone.

Both have similar parameters, sizes and positioning (both are budget).

Oppo differs somewhat for the better in the presence of an advanced camera, NFC module, and an SD460 processor.

For comparison, both smartphones are in cases.

Initially, I tried to achieve protection like the corresponding smartphones (Rugged). For example, as in the OUKITEL WP8 Pro smartphone .

Looking ahead, I will say that OUKITEL turned out to be almost the same in terms of basic characteristics, including processor performance tests: both Redmi and OUKITEL have similar indicators.

The difference is that Redmi, even with a case, lacks protective plugs for connectors (worth purchasing separately).

The only thing is that OUKITEL has a slightly better camera, and there is an NFC module available. In defense of Redmi, I’ll say that with a shockproof case, the smartphone is corny more convenient, and the camera glass is better protected.

Do not forget about protective glasses for the screen, which are not available in Redmi or OUKITEL.

Next, I turn to performance testing. First of all — at the games. In the photo, launched WoT Blitz on smartphones Redmi 9A and Oppo A53 .

Quite a playable smartphone, IMHO ping to the server has more impact than processor or memory performance. The game starts, does not crash, no special remarks.

It turned out to quite “dance” at the lower levels.

The only thing is, I would still set the minimum settings to optimize the graphics of the game for a smartphone.

Results ))))

The rest of the games are also running, but you need to remember that Redmi 9A has two versions, 2/32 GB and 3/32 GB, the latest games with heavy textures run slightly better. Although the very fact that such games are generally launched on a budget smartphone is a good fact!))

Asphalt game. The situation is similar, it starts, you can play. The smartphone has a slight heating during long-term gaming, but the capacious battery makes it possible to play for a rather long time.

Immediately after turning on via OTA, a fresh update for the system was received. I recommend charging your smartphone before installing the firmware.

AIDA64 test package — the processor model is clearly visible (8 cores are indicated). The size of the battery capacity is also confirmed — 5000 mAh.

The CPU-Z test suite produces similar results.

The 3DMark test suite shows very sad performance values ​​- 420 units.

The PCMark test suite shows the result at 4896 units. Additionally, a battery test was performed, which showed the result of 8.5 hours of operation at full load. The battery was discharged from 80% to 20% during the tests. In mixed mode, the smartphone lasts a couple of days, and in economy mode (according to reviews), it squeezed out for three days.

The Geekbench test suite also shows a very low result: 132 and 466 units, respectively.

The throttling rate is sad — the processor skips clock cycles during a long full load. But it catches satellites well, there are no problems in this regard with the ITC. Honest multitouch, 10 touches.

The Speedtest utility showed a decent Wi-Fi access speed (tariff “50”).

The promised camera test.

The camera application is typical, from MIUI, but the options are noticeably fewer. Since there is only one rear camera sensor, there is no possibility of optical zoom of images (only digital zoom).

The result is quite a “normal” picture, there is little noise in good lighting, colors are more or less natural.

General plan photograph.

As you can see from the properties of the photo file, pictures from the main camera are obtained with a resolution of 4160 x 3120 pixels, which corresponds to approximately 13 megapixels.

In the camera application there is a soft macro mode that allows you to focus on objects at close range.

An example of a photo from the front camera.

Selfie image file properties: 2592 x 1936 pixels, this is an honest 5 megapixel.

In the camera application there is HDR, AI, as well as “Pro” mode with manual focus.

Screenshots of camera app settings.

In general, the smartphone is very convenient just as “not a pity” when you can take with you on the same fishing trip or on a mushroom hike. Yes, and in a car as a navigator will do.

The Redmi 9A smartphone cannot boast of a good rear camera. The camera is very average, rather “for show”. The quality of the images is far from ideal and one cannot count on high-quality images. However, there is and is, it is foolish to demand a top-end photosensor in a cheap smartphone. Otherwise, this is a decent smartphone with a large screen and modern hardware for little money, which can be taken for as much as $ 75 in shares (just over 5,000 rubles). In the pluses, I also note the presence of a 3.5 mm headphone output. This is especially pleasant, since many manufacturers have recently been “clamping” on such a standard. And the battery life of the smartphone is quite decent.

There are other disadvantages besides the camera — there is no NFC module, and if you need contactless payment, then it is better to choose the Redmi 9C or Redmi Note 9 Pro model. As for the processor, here is MTK Helio G25, a cheap Chinese process, unfortunately. But the previous generation Redmi 8A was on Snapdragon. Alas, this good tradition was not continued. Also, I note the minuses of the de facto outdated MicroUSB connector. This is a move by marketers saying that you have an “old generation” and you need to change it to a new smartphone. But in fact, there are a huge number of MicroUSB-compatible devices, cables and gadgets and using the Redmi 9A smartphone will not be uncomfortable. This also includes the old design solutions with a “bang” camera and rounded corners of the screen.

As for the experiment with adding protection to a smartphone, I will say that it has completely reached the level of simple protected smartphones of the ~ $ 120 category. The same bumper with corner and glass protection. The price of the covers is cheap, but the ability to repair / change the phone is several times higher than that of various “non-kills” with Aliexpress, for which it is difficult to find banal glasses. It is worth saying that I have not yet received the rubber plugs for the MicroUSB and 3.5mm ports, after the installation of which the similarity and protection will be higher.

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