Huawei’s global market share has slumped from 17% to 4% in just two years, benefiting phonemakers like Vivo and Oppo, as well as Xiaomi, which has seen its market share rally from 8% to 14%. The brand has been popular in SA, despite the long wait for new models.
We’ve been testing the Redmi Note 9T, which comes with a tempered glass screen protector. The handset offers 5G connectivity, dual SIM slots, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage (expandable to 256GB) and a 5000mAh battery. It has a 3.5mm audio jack and supports 18W fast charging. It also has near-field communication (NFC).
The phone has a fingerprint-resistant finish and its patterned matte texture is noticeable on the daybreak purple shade we have on test. On the one hand, it doesn’t give off a premium finish, but on the other, you’re not going to wipe off smudgy fingerprints all day.
The 6.53-inch handset has DotDisplay with the selfie cam on the top left, which offers an uninterrupted view of its 1080p HD display, making it suitable for viewing multimedia content or anything in full screen.
I also like the trend where the fingerprint sensor is on the power button to the side; those on-screen sensors were not great. Unlocking it is fairly quick and always works on the first try.
The phone does not run a Snapdragon processor like Xiaomi’s premium lineup, but features a MediaTek 800U 2.4GHz octa-core CPU — good performance for its positioning, which also makes it an affordable dual 5G handset.
The triple cameras are a 48MP wide, 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensor, which shoots in 4K at 30fps. It has a 13MP selfie camera with 1080p video support. The cameras are decent but it’s not close to what Huawei offered at these price points. Also, annoyingly, there is a watermark turned on by default for all photos.
Still, Xiaomi is a worthy replacement for Huawei. The Redmi Note 9T is a great budget phone with dual 5G SIM slots and full access to Google services, and NFC support means it can be used for contactless payments.
It retails for R4,799 at mia.africa.com.
Cool factor 3/5
Value for money 5/5
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 14 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org