With a launch price of PhP4,590, Redmi 9A is one of the most affordable smartphones in Xiaomi’s arsenal, giving users access to decent hardware and MIUI 12’s goodies in a pocket-friendly package.
Design and Build Quality
While mostly plastic, the Redmi 9A doesn’t look or feel cheap when you hold it. It feels more like a midranger than a budget device. The back panel has a textured finish, though it can still easily slip out of your hand especially without a case.
The single-camera module slightly protrudes, and you also get a Redmi branding. All the buttons are on the right side, and you get a standard micro USB port at the bottom, along with a headphone jack, microphone, and speaker grille.
The device boasts a 6.53-inch display with HD+ resolution that shows decent visibility even under direct sunlight. Colors aren’t as punchy as an AMOLED display, but that’s something to be expected at this price point.
Powered by an Helio G25 SoC, the Redmi 9A works as a decent daily driver. Things like email, social media updates, binge-watching on YouTube and Netflix, are all handled-well, even if one were to run a combination of those apps at the same time. I did encounter occasional stutters with the UI, but nothing deal-breaking.
Those who like to run a ton of apps may have to look elsewhere, as this only has 2GB of RAM. 32GB of storage should be good for more casual users, but if you have a large collection of songs or videos, investing in a micro SD card or simply getting something with more storage are your options.
Despite that however, the device was still able to run CoD Mobile at Low + High FPS settings, which gives you a very playable game with some occasional hiccups. Mobile Legends, on the other hand, will run smoothly even with HD and HFR modes enabled. Asphalt 9 can be played on its default settings with minor stutters.
Genshin Impact or Black Desert Online are both incompatible with this phone, most likely due to hardware limitations.
Despite having only a single 13MP rear camera, the Redmi 9A is still able to capture stills with decent amounts of detail and good sharpness. Even low-light shots are better than what you’d expect from a device at this price point.
Selfies on the other hand, offer a good level of detail, and the depth of field effect looks pretty convincing.
The Redmi 9A runs Android 10 with MIUI 12 on top, and while this UI runs smooth most of the time, it does come with a lot of pre-loaded apps.
On the flip side, it does offer a lot of options to personalize the device. You can adjust the color temperature for the display, Dark Mode, enable or disable the app drawer, change the size of icons, and more.
While the device doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner, you do get face unlock which works fast enough.
Using PCMark’s Work 2.0 benchmark that simulates tasks like basic data manipulation and video editing, the Redmi 9A managed to score almost 18 hours, which is pretty impressive given its price point. Charging the phone from around 10% to full took around 2.5 hours, which is to be expected.
While certainly not for power users and heavy multi-taskers, the Redmi 9A offers a decent user experience for those who just want a simple and affordable device that can handle the typical daily tasks.
Don’t get me wrong though, you can game on this device, but don’t expect a buttery smooth experience, unless you’re talking of Mobile Legends or some lightweight apps/games.
Camera-wise, it’s surpsingly able to deliver decent quality photos at least for day shots. You also get an insane amount of uptime in one charge.
Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.