The Xiaomi Mi 9 is a purebred top model, the Mi 9 SE smaller and cheaper. The Xiaomi Mi 9T is located in between and offers an extendable frontcam. Is that enough for a recommendation?
The Xiaomi Mi 9 (test report) was fully convincing in the test and also the weaker, but more compact Xiaomi Mi 9 SE (review) makes a very good overall figure. Although it comes with slightly stripped-down technology to the customer, but scores with the same chic design, fingerprint sensor in the display and top camera.
Now Xiaomi has brought the Mi 9T to Europe. The smartphone is technically located between the two older Mi-9 models, but thanks to the extendable pop-up front camera has a very special highlight to offer, which has a positive effect on the design.
There are two major differences in the appearance of the Xiaomi Mi 9T compared to the other two Mi-9 smartphones: The display does not marred Notch anymore, the cameras on the back are placed in the middle and stand out much less from the case. The Notch becomes obsolete because the front camera is housed in an extendable carriage. He brings the camera only when needed to light, otherwise it is safely stowed inside the case. Accordingly, no permanent cutout is needed in the display, the manufacturer brings the remaining sensors and the speaker in the extremely narrow frame above the display. When retracted, the frontcam looks like a SIM card slot that is a bit too big.
The back is made of glass, as in the sister models, which is strongly rounded towards the edges. A transition to the likewise gently rounded metal frame is as good as not to feel, the smartphone is overall very comfortable in the hand. As with the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE is Gorilla Glass 5, not harder gorilla glass 6 of the top model. A protective film therefore probably does not harm in both cases. The camera unit consists of three lenses, which are subdivided into the single main camera and the ultra wide-angle and teleoptics combined into a module. The main lens is framed in the same metallic shade of red that adorns the power button. All three cameras are just a touch out of the case, with Mi 9 and Mi 9 SE that's much more. The workmanship is just as high quality as with the other two models. More information about the design can be found in the review of the Xiaomi Mi 9.
The screen of the new Xiaomi Mi 9T is identical except for the missing notch with the display of the top model Mi 9. As a technique, the manufacturer uses OLED, the display diagonal is just 3.4 inches at 2340 × 1080 pixels and a display sharpness of just over 400 pixels per inch. A visible difference to the screens of the other two Mi9 models, there is not, even the screen of the Mi 9T punket with high brightness, rich black level, intense colors and excellent viewing angle stability. More information about the panel of the T-smartphone is available in the review of the Xiaomi Mi 9.
For the camera, Xiaomi has opted for the Mi 9T in the test for the same equipment as in the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE. Accordingly, there is again a 48-megapixel main lens with Sony sensor, which in the default setting 12-megapixel photos with pixel binning snaps, has calculated 1.6 micron pixels and an aperture of f / 1.75 offers. In Mi 9 and Mi 9 SE, however, it is a Sony IMX586, the T-model is an IMX582 used.
The 8 megapixel telephoto lens with 1.12 μm pixel size and f / 2.4, as well as the 13 megapixel ultra wide-angle lens with 1.12 μm and f / 2.4 are identical. This also applies to the front camera with its 20 megapixels, 0.8 μm pixels and f / 2.2 aperture. In Mi 9T, however, it is only extended if necessary. The process is accompanied by red light bands on both sides of the camera module and a sound sequence from the speaker – hardly any more attention. Sensors, like other smartphones with retractable camera, ensure that the extension mechanism retracts before the smartphone hits the ground in a fall from typical hip height.
Same camera data, same picture quality? Almost, the other camera sensor actually makes itself felt when looking very closely. Basically, the Mi 9T delivers qualitatively very similar image quality in comparison to its sister models. This means excellent picture quality in good light at eye level with the top models of the competition, in poor lighting conditions, this Mi-9 model is somewhat behind.
Overall, the Xiaomi Mi 9T scores in good light with high image sharpness, many details, low image noise and decent color reproduction and dynamics. Due to the successful bokeh, even apart from special modes, the pictures look very vivid. Selfies look as good as the two sibling models and videos can hardly be distinguished from device to device. More information about this and the extensive feature set of the camera app is available in the review of the Xiaomi Mi 9.
The majority of the equipment of the Xiaomi Mi 9T corresponds to that of Xiaomi Mi 9 and Mi 9 SE: 6 GB of RAM, depending on the model 64 or 128 GB UFS 2.0 memory without memory expansion capability and a fingerprint sensor in the display. Although it is sufficiently accurate and reliable, it was not very fast at first. But in the course of the test, this became better, so that the speed difference to a conventional scanner at the end of the test barely existed. The biggest difference is the processor. While in the Mi 9 is the current top chip from Qualcomm, Xiaomi builds in the T-model "only" a Snapdragon 730. From the performance point of view it fits in between the Snapdragon 712 of the SE model and the Snapdragon 855 of the Mi 9. For him, what we already wrote at Mi 9 SE applies: In everyday life, the difference to the top chip is barely noticeable.
In benchmarks, the Xiaomi Mi 9T, however, clearly shows its affiliation with the middle class, albeit the upscale. With around 210,000 points in the Antutu-Benchmark it remains behind the top model from the same house, but outclassed the average middle-class competition and is also clearly ahead of the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE.
For this, users of the T-model have to cope with small deviations elsewhere compared to the cheaper SE variant elsewhere. So the other two Mi-9 models offer an IR blaster, the Mi 9T is missing. In addition, the pop-up model has a USB-C port, but works only with 2.0 speed. To compensate, the latest model offers a 3.5 mm jack for headphones with a jack connection. The delivery is not a suitable headset, instead a protective cover for the glass smartphone. As software Xiaomi relies on Android 9 and above MIUI 10. More information can be found in the review of the Xiaomi Mi 9.
Another difference to the sibling models is the battery and the resulting battery life. The Mi 9T has the largest battery in comparison with 4000 mAh, Mi 9 and Mi 9 SE only offer 3300 and 3070 mAh. This makes a positive impact in everyday life. in the Battery test From PCMark the new smartphone managed a proud 14:21 hours, which is a very good value and confirms the impression that we have gained in the test of the smartphone.
Here it was found that the Mi 9T is usually good for 2 days without reloading, only the permanent gamers will be able to push the smartphone to less than 1 day. On the other hand, on-the-go users will get along for 3 days without power for their smartphone. The then takes place as in the SE model exclusively by cable – there is no wireless charging on the Mi 9T.
The Xiaomi Mi 9T is available in three colors: Carbon Black, Glacier Blue and Flame Red. With 64 GB of internal memory, the price currently starts at 313 euros. Because of lack of expansion capacity of the memory, we advise in any case to (depending on the color) not even € 30 more expensive version with 128 GB. The Mi 9 is currently barely more expensive.
64 GB black
128 GB black
64 GB blue
128 GB blue
64 GB red
128 GB red
Xiaomi makes the new Mi 9T only a real mistake: the naming. What does the T stand for? For "Turbo" hardly, because that would require a faster model than the Mi 9 – and that is not the Mi 9T. So be it: The T-model is a really great smartphone, which actually has only one enemy: His sibling models Mi 9 and Mi 9 SE.
The manufacturer here again acts very cleverly, because the one, the best Mi-9 model does not exist. Each of the variants has its advantages and disadvantages and it is up to the interested party to find out the best configuration for themselves. Sure, the Mi 9 is faster than the 9T, but it does not matter in everyday life. Instead lures the new model with cool extension camera and noticeably better runtime. Owners of more expensive headphones with a jack connector will also love the 3.5-millimeter connector. In contrast, the T model of the IR blaster is missing and there is only USB-C-2.0. Nevertheless, in terms of everyday use, the Xiaomi Mi 9T alone could be the best smartphone in the Mi-9 trio because of the fat battery.
Tip: If you want to have the best of Xiaomi in every respect, you should take a look at the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro. But this has to be imported, because in Europe, the model is not offered.