Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC vs. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro: price duel

The Poco X3 is the new mid-range king, but what makes it different from the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro? TechStage compared both devices and reveals which is the better model.

In our review of the Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC (review), we called the cheap smartphone the new middle-class king; this title was previously given to the Xiaomi Remi Note 9 Pro (review). But what exactly is the difference between the two models? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at it.

When it comes to design, the Poco X3 and Redmi Note 9 Pro go different ways – which one is better depends primarily on personal taste. The new X3 is more extroverted, with a conspicuously hatched central area on the back with large-scale Poco lettering, and the camera unit is not only larger, but also has a black circle behind it. It screams “look here, I’m the new middle class king!”. The Redmi Note 9 Pro relies on a more subtle appearance. It looks chic, but depending on your point of view, it looks more elegant or simply more boring. However, two facts speak in favor of the Redmi model: the camera unit protrudes noticeably less from the housing, and glass instead of plastic is used for the back. That feels more valuable. Both models, on the other hand, have a plastic frame and both models do not show any weaknesses when it comes to workmanship.

There is also considerable agreement on the dimensions. Despite the glass back, the Redmi smartphone is even slightly lighter at 209 grams (X3: 215 grams), but that makes no difference in everyday use – both models are quite heavy. With the remaining dimensions, the differences are negligible, the differences are in the decimal places. Just taking a look at the thickness of the devices may still be worthwhile, but even 8.8 millimeters (Redmi) or 9.4 millimeters make no real difference in everyday life, especially since many users put their smartphones in protective cases anyway.

Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC

One of the biggest differences is the display of the two models. The IPS LCDs are the same size with 6.67 inches each and the resolution of 2400 × 1080 pixels is identical. However, the screen of the Poco X3 NFC can not only play HDR-10 content, but also offers 120 Hertz playback. The Redmi Note 9 Pro cannot do both and the higher refresh rate in particular is a significant advantage of the X3 when it comes to the smooth display of content when scrolling or in games.

At first glance, the Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC (test report) and Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro (test report) are again very similar, but there are subtle but important differences in the details. Although the main cameras of both devices each deliver 64 megapixels and an identical aperture of f / 1.89, the Redmi model has a Samsung sensor, while the Poco phone has a Sony sensor.

The Poco X3’s camera is cockier, but also better

When viewed in full screen, recordings from both smartphones are very similar. However, we already had both models in the test and can therefore rightly say that a difference is clearly visible in the details. The level of detail of the Poco X3 with its Sony sensor is clearly better during day and night shots, even if nobody should expect noise-free night shots with the two mid-range models.

The Redmi Note 9 Pro’s camera is good for the price, but doesn’t quite come close to the X3

The X3 is also ahead in terms of wide angle. The 13 megapixels provide more details here compared to 8 megapixels, and the better image dynamics are a clear plus point in favor of the Poco smartphone. We won’t go into the macro and depth sensors at this point, both of which can hardly be used in everyday life. That leaves the front camera. The X3 can also book this section for itself. This is not only due to the 20 to 16 megapixel better resolution, the more light-sensitive aperture and the resulting better image sharpness, but also to the somewhat pale selfies of the Note 9 Pro. Self-portraits with the X3 simply look more natural. In the case of videos, the X3 decides for itself simply because of its higher resolution: 4K / 30 is possible here instead of 1080p as with the Redmi model – including image stabilization.

When it comes to the camera, the Poco X3 is clearly ahead, even if only at second glance.

The equipment of both models is largely identical at first glance, but it is also worth taking a closer look here. It’s less about the chipset. The Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC (test report) contains the nominally newer and more powerful processor (the GPU is identical) with the Snapdragon 732G, but the overall performance hardly differs in everyday life. Here, the X3 scores above all with the 120 Hz playback, which suggests superior performance to the user through smooth scrolling. This advantage cannot be denied.

The difference in the SIM slide therefore seems more important to us. Because the X3 takes either two SIMs or a SIM and a micro SD (hybrid slot). The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro offers clear advantages in terms of flexibility with recording options for two SIMs and an additional micro SD card. In return, the X3 scores with a stereo loudspeaker that sounds fuller than the mono loudspeaker in the Redmi smartphone. But it’s not bad either.


Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro

Plastic, extrovert

Glass back, introverted

HDR10, 120 Hz

no HDR10, no 120 Hz

Better quality

Good quality

BT 5.1, hybrid slot

BT 5.0, 2 SIMs + Micro-SD

5020 mAh

5160 mAh

10 to 20 euros more expensive

10 to 20 euros cheaper

The rest is largely identical. Although the X3 has another small advantage thanks to more modern Bluetooth (5.1 instead of 5.0), this is not noticeable in everyday use and otherwise there is a tie anyway. There are versions of both smartphones with 64 or 128 GB of internal UFS memory, 6 GB of RAM are always included. WLAN ac, NFC, fingerprint sensor in the power button and even the typical Xiaomi IR blaster are also available in both models. In terms of software, the X3 is still ahead, buyers already get the newer user interface MIUI 12 instead of MIUI 11. The Redmi Note 9 Pro should get it sooner or later. The underlying Android 10 is the same in both cases anyway.

At first glance, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro (test report) is inferior in terms of battery performance; after all, it is weaker with 5020 to 5160 mAh. In everyday life, the Redmi model still lasts longer than the Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC (test report), because its 120 Hz display is more energy-hungry. Buyers don’t have problems with either model, they can manage at least one day. With moderate use, both smartphones can easily be used on the second day without power. And apart from energy-saving modes, X3 users can also activate 60 instead of 120 Hz playback, then the X3 lasts even longer. But who wants 60 Hertz when 120 is possible?

As mentioned, the Poco X3 and Redmi Note 9 Pro are available in two versions with 6/64 and 6/128 GB of memory. The Note 9 Pro is available in gray, green and white, the Poco X3 only in gray and blue. The biggest problem right now: The Poco X3 NFC is sold out in many places, so the Redmi model is not only better to get, but also 10 to 20 euros cheaper, depending on the version.

As so often in life, the (first) appearance is deceptive. Because while Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC (test report) and Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro (test report) are the same at first glance, a closer look reveals some differences in detail. In our opinion, the biggest – apart from the design – are the X3’s better camera and its 120 Hz display. The slightly better battery life and the simultaneous usability of two SIM cards and a micro SD card speak for the Redmi Note 9 Pro.

Interested parties have to weigh up exactly how important these points are for them – we would go for the X3. The bottom line is that these differences are not serious – both smartphones offer excellent value for money and nobody goes wrong with one purchase.