In 2020, Xiaomi has significantly expanded its line of the Redmi smartphones. The entry level now consists of three versions: the standard model Redmi 9, the simplest version of the Redmi 9A, and the new product which is the Redmi 9C. This is a slightly more advanced version of the 9A. The official prices of these smartphones differ by a little amount of money, but each of them offers very decent characteristics for its category. Given the different prices and names, it’s easy to guess that these Redmi have different advantages. However, many customers are confused by this choice. Does it make sense to overpay for the Redmi 9, or is it better to save money by buying the 9A or the 9C? In this video I’m going to explain the real difference among them. Let’s take a closer look at their characteristics in terms of design, display, interface, cameras, performance, wireless connectivity and battery.
The Redmi 9, 9A and 9C have a modern design, but for the sake of lowering the price tag, their cases were made of plastic. Their surface has a rough texture. The first thing that catches your eye is the unique design of the back panel for each version. The Redmi 9 cannot be confused with 9A or 9C. They are all different. The most minimalistic design belongs to the Redmi 9A, because there is only one main camera in this version.
The smartphones do not differ from their display side. They all have the same drop-shaped front camera and narrow bezels. But the standard version of the Redmi 9 has them the narrowest. Therefore, its dimensions are slightly smaller – they are about 163 mm in length versus almost 165 mm in the 9A and the 9C. Although the weight of the 9 is a couple of grams heavier.
The Redmi 9 is also the only version with a USB-C connector and an infrared transmitter for controlling home appliances. Whereas the Redmi 9A is the only version without a fingerprint scanner. Each version has a 3.5mm audio jack.
The diagonal of the display in all three Redmi smartphones is absolutely the same – it is 6.53 inches. There is a classic IPS liquid crystal matrix used to display the image. The 9A and 9C versions offer a decent resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels for the ultra budget category. But the Redmi 9’s screen resolution is increased to 1080 x 2340. This is very cool! It’s not easy to find a smartphone with a Full HD + display and such a low price tag. Keep in mind that even some more expensive brands (let’s not say their names) save on their IPS matrix.
Obviously, the image of the Redmi 9’s screen is as clear and detailed as possible. However, keep in mind that the versions 9A and 9C have the Android system which due to its medium resolution takes up less RAM and slightly less battery power.
There is another exclusive advantage of the standard version of the Redmi 9 – it is the presence of the protective Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
All Redmi smartphones are equal in terms of the available display settings options. You can adjust the color temperature and use the “Reading Mode”, which makes your eyes tired less. There is also a special “Day Mode”.
The general advantage of the Redmi smartphones is that all versions run on the latest 10th Android with an improved proprietary MIUI shell that is regularly updated. Not every brand cares about installing modern software on their ultra-budget smartphones.
The MIUI interface has a ton of interesting and useful features. For example, it supports gesture control, customization of themes, there is also a simplified mode that makes it easier to use the smartphone with one hand, and many other features.
It is clear that the smoothest interface and good multitasking are provided by the standard Redmi 9 version. This smartphone works quickly even with complex applications. In other versions, of course, the same smoothness is not guaranteed. Under high load, there can be some lag. As a rule, everything works fine if you run no more than 2-3 applications at the same time.
In terms of biometric security, the Redmi 9 and 9C versions look more advantageous because they have a fingerprint scanner on the back. The owners of the Redmi 9A can use the face recognition feature to unlock the smartphone via the front camera.
In terms of cameras, the Redmi 9 is the most advanced. The main unit on the back consists of 4 lenses, including the 8MP ultra wide-angle lens and the 5MP macro lens. The front camera has a maximum resolution of 8 megapixels, while the other versions have only 5 megapixels.
The Redmi 9C has two main cameras, although the square unit was originally designed for at least 3. Unfortunately, there is no ultra wide-angle lens. The second additional “camera” is a 2-megapixel depth sensor.
And the Redmi 9A smartphone does just fine with one main camera. The main thing is that its 13 megapixel resolution is not reduced in comparison with the other versions. And, oddly enough, only the Redmi 9A allows you to record videos in Full HD with 60 frames per second. The Redmi 9 and the 9C record video at a standard 30 frames per second.
If you are not obsessed with taking photos and videos, the camera capabilities of the Redmi 9A will be more than enough. A noticeable increase in the quality and functions of the camera is observed only in the Redmi 9 version.
The Redmi 9 also provides maximum performance thanks to its very powerful Helio G80 chipset with an 8-core processor that runs at up to 2 GHz. This version offers the most gigabytes of memory as well – it is up to 4/64. The minimum option is 3/32 GB.
I will give the silver medal to the Redmi 9C smartphone, which also has an option with a 64 GB drive, but the amount of RAM is limited to 3 GB. Although the operating frequency of the Redmi 9C processor reaches 2.3 GHz, its cores are simpler and the video chip is weaker.
The third place is taken by the basic Redmi 9A version. You will receive 2/32 GB of memory and the most budgetary Helio G25 chipset.
Nevertheless, each smartphone functions quite quickly. All the processors confidently cope with everyday tasks and demonstrate good performance in games. Especially the Redmi 9, as its chipset is literally 2x more powerful. Well, its 4 GB of RAM also plays a role. The 9A and 9C versions are more suitable for undemanding users, children or the elderly.
There are no fundamental differences in wireless functions between the Redmi 9 smartphones. Each version is equipped with a Bluetooth 5 module, supports 4G cellular networks, GPS satellite navigation systems, Glonass and Beidou. However, the Redmi 9A was left without an NFC module, so it’s clearly not for those who like to pay with their phone. And only the Redmi 9 version provides the radio that works without headphones and dual-band Wi-Fi.
Despite the same battery capacity in all versions of Redmi, the 9A and 9C models often last longer due to their lower screen resolution than the standard Redmi 9.
But, unlike its “classmates”, only the Redmi 9 supports fast charging technology, which is a prerequisite for the comfortable use of the smartphones with 5000 mAh batteries. True, the Redmi 9 comes with an ordinary 10W power adapter. With its help, a complete recharge of such a capacious battery takes 2-3 hours. The more powerful 18 W unit will have to be purchased separately.
The battery life with a continuous backlighting (when watching a video) reaches 20 hours. In games, the battery runs out at about 10% per hour. In standby mode, the Redmi smartphones can hold a charge for about 30 days.
The service life of the Redmi batteries is designed for 1000 recharge cycles. If you do not play around the clock using the Internet via 4G, the battery capacity will begin to decrease no earlier than in 2 years.
Next, let’s get acquainted with the popular opinion about the 9th series of the Redmi smartphones.
The Redmi 9
- The smartphone takes a few seconds to take one photo. It would be better to have 2 normal cameras instead of 4 useless ones.
- There isn’t a notification light.
- There is often a problem with the proximity sensor. The screen does not turn on or off automatically. Calibration is needed.
The Redmi 9C
- The cameras are so-so. There isn’t good quality and they’re not suitable for shooting at all.
- There isn’t any wireless charging.
- The resolution is too low for such a large 6.5-inch screen.
The Redmi 9A
- Last year’s 8A has a Type-C port, while this models has a usual micro-USB.
- It lacks a fingerprint scanner, but that’s not a big deal considering the price.
- There is just one main camera.
The Redmi 9
- It’s good that there is an infrared transmitter. You can control TV, air conditioning and other equipment from your phone.
- There is a large and clear display with Full HD resolution.
- There are cool characteristics and battery for the price.
- It’s the best gaming smartphone in the budget category, it has many useful features.
The Redmi 9C
- It never gets hot in games. Super!
- The battery life is amazing. The sound is also above average.
- The quality is good. It’s a nice phone.
- The Redmi 9C fully meets the needs of budget device buyers.
The Redmi 9A
- It’s a decent budget smartphone with a massive 5000mAh battery.
- The best ratio of price and quality.
- It has a very user-friendly interface. It also looks modern.
- A good phone for calls, internet and social networks.
Hopefully, we have now sorted out the initial line of the Redmi smartphones. As you can see, each version has its own advantages. All of them are concentrated, of course, in the Redmi 9. But if, for example, you do not use a smartphone for photos, then the Redmi 9A is a good choice. If you need more memory or NFC, you can choose the 9C version.