This is the Redmi Note 9S and it just arrived at HQ. the global counterpart to the Redmi Note 9 Pro is on the shortlists of many and we’ll not try to have their questions answered.

We’ve already begun work on a detailed review, but while we’re testing the phone, we might as well do an unboxing and share some early impressions.

The Redmi Note 9S comes in a well-packed box with a 22.5W charger, complimentary silicone case and a USB-C cable.

Unboxing the Redmi Note 9S

Unboxing the Redmi Note 9S

The Redmi Note 9S is an affordable midranger at around $200/€200/£200/INR15,000 and, at least on paper, represents great value at that price point.

It’s a sharp 1080p LCD with an embedded cutout for the 16MP selfie camera. It offers nice colors and good contrast but is only average when it comes to brightness. You may find it somewhat lacking in brighter environments, but otherwise the screen does very well.

Redmi Note 9S in for review

Using an LCD means the fingerprint scanner needs to be the good-old capacitive type – Redmi have chosen to place it on the side of the phone. The sensor is fast and accurate and we found it comfortable to use.

Redmi Note 9S in for review

Our Redmi Note 9S’ comes in the lovely Aurora Blue color – its shades of blue and teal change depending on the light but the panel is always shining.

You get a nicely versatile camera setup for the price. There’s a main 48MP camera, an 8MP ultrawide and a 5MP dedicated macro. There’s also a 2MP depth sensor.

Redmi Note 9S in for review

The Redmi Note 9S is powered by a Snapdragon 720G chipset and runs Android 10 under MIUI 11 for a snappy and responsive UI.

MIUI 11 allows deep customizations but requires some time to get used to (changing the system navigation to gestures required a deep dive into the settings menu). There’s Dark Mode, the option to have a homescreen-only or homescreen-and-drawer layout, gestures or buttons and more. You get quick access to the camera or to the notification share and much more.

We’ve started our full review of the Redmi Note 9S so stay tuned!

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