Xiaomi Mi9 Pro 5G review: flagship with an eye on the future

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Recently, Xiaomi introduced an improved version of its flagship – Mi9 Pro 5G. The smartphone received an updated filling and support for fifth-generation networks. We tested the phone and are ready to tell how it works and how relevant 5G in Russia is now.

Xiaomi Mi9 Pro

5G in the Russian Federation: myth or reality?

Just say that there are no 5G commercial networks in Russia yet. However, operators began to deploy pilot zones in Moscow and other cities. Theoretically, our “Chinese” Xiaomi Mi9 Pro supports almost all current 5G frequencies. Including it should function in those ranges which are now tested in the Russian Federation. Therefore, it was interesting for us to check whether the smartphone will see the fifth-generation domestic network.

To conduct the test, we contacted the press service of one of the operators. Its representatives issued a special SIM, because on a regular SIM card 5G is not valid now. Together with the company’s technical specialist, we headed to the Moscow pilot zone.

Xiaomi Mi9 Pro

As it turned out, Xiaomi Mi9 Pro sees 5G and displays the corresponding icon in the top panel. True, the Internet refused to work: the browser and other applications simply did not download data. According to the technical experts of the operator, the smartphone supports Russian frequencies, but the manufacturer must make adjustments to the firmware. Similar models from HUAWEI and Samsung with 5G support initially also had problems in the Russian Federation, until the developers corrected the software. The setup took a week from the vendors.

There are currently no exact dates for the emergence of full-fledged 5G networks in our country. It is expected that in large cities they will be launched in 2021.

Xiaomi Mi9 Pro

Speed without compromise on paper

Inside the new Xiaomi installed Snapdragon 855+, this is the most powerful Qualcomm chipset at the moment. Our test sample is equipped with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of internal memory. Such a volume is not always found even in personal computers, not to mention mobile devices. Also on sale is a version with 8/256 GB of memory. There is no microSD support.

It is expected that with such a filling, the Xiaomi Mi9 Pro turned out to be one of the most powerful flagships on the market. The benchmark results confirm this: AnTuTu put the new product in first place among Android phones.

Xiaomi Mi9 Pro

Despite the outstanding numbers in synthetic tests, in real life everything spoils the dampness of the MIUI 11 firmware. So, the power of the Snapdragon 855+ is not enough for smooth animation of minimizing applications if gesture control is enabled. Logs are also noticeable when scrolling through lists in Youtube, Play Market and many other programs. Most likely, such moments will be corrected in future updates. And now, the Mi9 Pro in terms of speed does not at all look like the fastest smartphone in the world.

The device operates on the latest MIUI 11. True, the Android version is the ninth. It is strange that the manufacturer did not immediately install Android 10. Of the nice features of the shell are icons for all programs redrawn in the same style, the advanced option Always on Display and the Ultra Energy Saving mode.

Xiaomi Mi9 Pro

Like other flagship Xiaomi models, the new product has NFC. On our test copy, Google Pay swore at the open bootloader, so it was not possible to pay for purchases. Perhaps there will not be such a problem on other Mi9 Pros.

Triple camera

Mi9 Pro received a triple block of cameras. The main lens is 48 megapixels, wide at 16 megapixels and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. Technically, the modules are no different from the Mi9 photo. But, as the manufacturer claims, the fresh smartphone uses improved image processing algorithms. In theory, this should have a positive effect on image quality.

In practice, the device shoots at an average level. In the afternoon, frames lack brightness and saturation, and detail and clarity suffer in the dark. There is a special night mode. It does not always work automatically, so you need to look for it in the bowels of the menu. On the other hand, the night format produces a picture almost instantly. This is one of the fastest implementations of this feature among modern phones. However, the result is not very impressive – the quality is slightly better than that of a standard picture.

1/9
Photo on the main camera in cloudy weather. Due to the lack of optical stabilization, the camera sometimes lubricates parts – the brickwork in the upper part of the picture turned out to be fuzzy
The same angle on the wide. A completely different color rendering: the building has become darker. The real color was somewhere in the middle
Good photo on the main module. You can notice small greases on the paving slabs, but the color reproduction and exposure of the image at a high level
The wide-angle module also does a good job
There are also no comments on double optical zoom
Another shot on a regular camera. I want to tweak the brightness and saturation in a graphical editor, because the picture is too dark
An example of shooting in night mode. The smartphone works well with light, but the level of detail is low.
The Bolshoi Theater at night. People below and objects on the sides are noticeably blurry
At night, the wide-angle module is better not to use because of the large amount of grease

The smartphone can record videos in 4K at a frequency of 60 frames per second. True, in this mode there is no digital stabilization, so it is better to shoot at 30 fps. Video shooting is not Xiaomi’s greatest strength. In Mi 9 Pro, the clips are of low quality and with an unpleasant “jelly” effect.

Old screen and new vibration motor

The display is similar to that of Mi 9 – it is a regular 6.39-inch AMOLED matrix, DC dimming and Full HD + resolution. The picture quality is excellent: the color rendition is precisely calibrated, 600 nits brightness is enough even in bright sunshine. Support for HDR 10 is provided. Only 90 Hz is not enough – I would like to see this technology in the top model of the end of 2019.

A nice bonus was the new vibration motor, which provides realistic tactile feedback when you click on the screen. The vibration in the Mi 9 Pro 5G is not as good as in the latest iPhone. However, it definitely improved when compared with older Xiaomi devices.

Xiaomi Mi9 Pro

The fingerprint scanner is built into the display. Its accuracy and response speed are among the best among modern smartphones. Difficulties arise only with wet fingers, but in this case it is better to use the face recognition function. There are no complaints to her at all.

Fast and reverse charging

Mi 9 Pro 5G has received all the latest technology in the field of battery filling. There is a quick charge of 40 watts – up to 100% of the 4000 mAh battery gets in just 48 minutes. By the way, such a powerful adapter does not need to be bought separately, it is included. You can also charge laptops from it: for example, Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro, Apple MacBook Pro and the like.

Xiaomi Mi9 Pro

The smartphone supports fast wireless charging at 30 watts. But it will have to be bought separately. From 0 to 100% of the battery, the news will be filled in about 70 minutes. I got the Mi 9 Pro 5G and the function of reversible wireless charging with a power of 10 watts. With its help, it is easy to “revive” compatible smartphones and accessories by simply attaching them to the back cover of the phone.

Battery life is the strength of the Pro version. The 4000 mAh battery lasts for a full day and remains a little more for the next. This is enough to not charge your smartphone every night. You can do this in the morning or afternoon at work, since the percentage of the battery grows right before our eyes.

Xiaomi Mi9 Pro

Specifications

DISPLAY
6.39“, AMOLED, 2340×1080, Gorilla Glass 5
CHIPSET
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ CPU, Adreno 640 GPU
RAM
AND STORAGE
8/12 GB
256/512 GB
BATTERY
4000 mAh
CAMERAS
main: 48 megapixels (f / 1.75) + 16 megapixels + 12 megapixels
front: 20 megapixels (f / 2.2)
FEATURES
support 5G, built-in display, fingerprint scanner, NFC, fast charge 40 W

Test results

ANTUTU
449,705
GEEKBENCH 5
783 single-core
2 752 multi-core
AUTONOMY
up to 19 hours of video playback
up to 5 hours of playing PUBG
Xiaomi Mi9 Pro

Summary

Xiaomi Mi9 Pro 5G is a good choice for people who are used to using one phone for more than three years. The new product has enough performance margin to comfortably launch the most demanding applications. True, 5G support will reveal the device’s potential only after 2-3 years, when the fifth generation networks appear in our country.

Forum discussion
Open topic of discussion

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