Xiaomi Mi 9T Review: Hands-on

Xiaomi's Mi 9T brings together the best of Redmi and Mi, with a large AMOLED Full-HD+ display, a high-capacity battery, a pop-up selfie camera and a headphone jack. Here are our first impressions.

Should I Buy The Xiaomi Mi 9T?
The Mi 9T is the most balanced Xiaomi phone we've seen so far, combining the best of Redmi with the best of Mi to create a promising mid-range phone. The large notch-less display, its huge battery and a triple-display camera promise to revolutionise the mid-range phone market.

Price When Reviewed
  • TBC
A rebadged Redmi K20 Pro, the Mi 9T joins the Mi 9 and Mi 9 SE family and is now official in Spain, France and Italy.

Mi 9T arguably has a more balanced specification than any other Xiaomi phone, bringing together the best of both Redmi and Mi phone lines.

Price & Availability
Not officially announced in the UK just yet, in Europe the Mi 9T starts at €329 for the entry option, which has 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. A 128GB version will cost €369 and both will be available in parts of Europe from 17 June.

For the first 24 hours of launch you'll be able to pick up Mi 9T at the introductory price of €299 from Mi.com (where it is already available to pre-order) and Amazon.

Mi 9T has a choice of three gradient finishes, in Carbon Black, Glacier Blue and Flame Red. Choose carefully which storage option you plump for, since there is no possibility to expand this later through microSD. 
We had an opportunity to go hands on with the latest addition to the Mi 9 event following the 12 June launch event in Madrid.

At first glance, it stands out for its amazing 6.39in full-display, an AMOLED panel that supports a Full-HD+ resolution of 2340x1080 pixels and a tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio.

The elimination of the notch in favour of a pop-up selfie camera allows the user to enjoy content without distraction. 

The build quality is very good, and the elegant design points to a premium model. The glass back can be rather slippery in the hand, but Mi 9T will be sold with a case that both solves this problem and helps to avoid damage.

The Snapdragon 730 processor makes its world debut inside the Mi 9T. It's a mid-range chip that promises decent performance and, thanks to its Adreno 618 GPU, some strong gaming framerates. It can also push the cameras to some great results.

Mi 9T features a 48Mp Sony IMX582 lens as part of its triple-lens primary camera module. It is paired with the same telephoto and wide-angle lenses we saw in the Redmi K20 and K20 Pro, and in the Mi 9 SE. Thus, the photographic section is complemented with a 13Mp wide-angle and 8Mp telephoto sensor.

At the front is a 20Mp camera that pops up using a mechanism that is smart enough to retract should it detect that you have dropped the phone.

As we saw on Mi Mix 3 with its sliding screen, when engaging this mechanism the phone will emit a customisable sound. When the camera is popped up you'll also see a luminous ring that acts as a notification for incoming messages and indicates the state of charge.

What Else Is New In Mi 9T?

The Mi 9T runs the latest version of MIUI (v10), which is based on Android 9 Pie. We enjoyed using this interface and found it quick and easy to move between settings and open and close apps.

You can choose to use the Mi 9T with either onscreen buttons (the usual home, back and recents) or in full-screen mode with gesture navigation. Though we liked the latter we were less keen on how you manage notifications in this mode, and often found the phone unresponsive when pulling down from the top of the display.
Some customisable actions have been added to the volume and power buttons, and these can be rather useful, imitating what other brands have been doing for some time, such as Lenovo with its Moto models.

We also got a chance to try the new in-display fingerprint sensor, and found it very quick to respond to touch. It didn't recognise the input every time, however, which meant we often had to reposition our finger.

Mi 9T promises long runtime with a high-capacity 4000mAh battery inside. This is more than capable of keeping that large display going so you can continue to enjoy watching high-resolution video and playing games.

Though it does not support wireless charging it does have fast-charging at 18W. Xiaomi claims this makes it the fastest-charging mobile phone on the market, though we're not sure that is actually true. Maybe it's referring to a very particular market.

While Xiaomi has removed its headphone jack from the flagship Mi 9 and also Mi 9 SE, it remains intact on the Mi 9 SE. Though relying on USB-C for audio is becoming increasingly popular with phone makers, there are still plenty of users out there who just want to plug in their existing earphones without reaching for an adaptor.

Xiaomi Mi 9T Pros & Cons
  • Large, high-quality AMOLED screen
  • Pop-up selfie camera allows for true full-screen display
  • Same 48Mp triple-lens camera as Mi 9 SE
  • Big battery that charges fast and will last all day
  • Retains the headphone jack that has been removed from other Mi 9 models
  • Protective case supplied in the box
  • NFC connectivity for mobile payments
  • Slightly slippery design
  • No support for microSD
  • In-display fingerprint sensor is not always responsive
  • No waterproofing
  • No wireless charging
  • Notification management in Full Screen Display mode can be awkward
  • 6.39in Full-HD+ (2340x1080, 403ppi) AMOLED display, Gorilla Glass 5
  • MIUI 10 (based on Android 9 Pie)
  • 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 10nm processor
  • 610MHz Adreno 618 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB/128GB storage
  • In-display fingerprint sensor
  • Dual-SIM dual-standby with dual-4G
  • Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 48Mp (f/1.75, 1.6um) + 13Mp (f/2.4, 1.12um) + 8Mp (f/2.4, 1.12um) camera, 2x optical/10x digital zoom, 4K video
  • 20Mp (f/2.2, 0.8um) pop-up selfie camera, 1080p video
  • 4,000mAh battery, 18W fast-charging over USB-C
  • 156.7x74.3x8.8mm
  • 191g

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