It is reported that Xiaomi is prepping the launch of one of their most affordable phones of the year, the Redmi 9. It is expected the launch will be on the 25th of June and as usual for Redmi devices, it won't be launching in the UK immediately.
Currently, the older Redmi 8 is sold on Amazon for a bargain £127.01, it has been a well-reviewed phone and good for anyone that wants a basic phone that just works.
Recently the Redmi 9 has been listed on a Philippines eCommerce website Lazada where the full specification has been revealed along with the price.
So how does the new phone compare with the older Redmi 8 and affordable options from Realme?
Chipset, RAM and Storage
It was originally rumoured that the Redmi 9 would launch with the MediaTek Helio G70, but Lazada has listed it has the slightly more powerful Helio G80 which is the same chipset that is used in the Realme 6i, while the Realme C3 uses the G70.
The older Redmi 8 uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 439. I have been a little critical of the Mediatek G70/G80 in some posts, but when you compare them to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 439, this represents a massive upgrade.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 has:
- 4×1.95 GHz Cortex-A53
- 4×1.45 GHz Cortex A53
- Adreno 505
The Mediatek Helio G80 has:
- 2×2.0 GHz Cortex-A75
- 6×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55
- Mali-G52 2EEMC2 950MHz
The Mediatek Helio G70 has:
- 2x Cortex-A75 at 2.0GHz
- 6x Cortex-A55 at 1.7GHz
- Mali-G52 2EEMC2 820 MHz
In terms of benchmarks that should give the Redmi 9 a massive 127% advantage in Antutu 8 and 97% & 61% advantage in Geekbench when you move from the SD439 of the Redmi 8 to the G80 of the Redmi 9.
Geekbench 5 (Single-Core)
- Snapdragon 439 – 177
- Helio G80 – 349 (+97% )
Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core)
- Snapdragon 439 – 799
- Helio G80 – 1283 (+61%)
Antutu Benchmark v8
- Snapdragon 439 – 87706
- Helio G80 – 199058 (+127%)
The display has had a massive upgrade too, now both being larger and higher resolution at 6.53 inches running at 2400x1080p vs 6.22 inches running at 1520×720 on the Redmi 8.
Redmi have also slimmed down the bezels, giving you a better screen to body ratio.
In comparison, both the Realme devices use a 6.5-inch display running at 1600×720 and they both have a notch.
The camera has sort of been upgraded, you now have four lenses vs two, so it sounds impressive at first, but one of those cameras is a 5MP macro lens so not all that useful.
You do get an 8MP ultra wide which is a nice upgrade giving you more versatility.
The primary camera may end up worse, the MP count has gone up to 13MP from 12MP, but the sensor size is smaller at 1/3.1″ vs 1/2.55″. It probably won't make a massive difference though.
As for the Realme devices, the C3 is basic with a 12MP primary lens then a macro and depth to pad out the numbers.
The Realme 6i is well specced for its price point with a 48 MP 1/2.25″ primary lens then 8MP ultra-wide plus the standard macro and depth sensors.
One thing that has not been confirmed is the front camera, it has been previously rumoured as 5MP a downgrade from the 8MP of the Redmi 8.
The Realme 6i has a 16MP wide lens while the C3 has a 5MP
It's strange that at this price point companies stick in huge batteries, all four phones have 5000mAh. More expensive phones have increased their battery size a lot recently, but it is rare to get a flagship or mid-range phone with anything close to 5000mAh.
As for charging, both the Redmi phones have 18W as does the Realme 6i. The Realme C3 is slower at 10W
The Redmi 9 is currently available on Lazada. The 3GB/32GB version is priced at PHP6,990 (£110/$140/€125) and the 4GB/64GB at PHP7,490 (£118/$150/€135).
However, that won't be accurate for the UK price if/when it gets launched.
The current Redmi 9 with 4GB/64GB is available for £127.01, so I would expect around £150-ish
The Realme 6i with 4GB/128GB is available for £165.61
The Realme C3 has not launched in the UK officially, but you can pick it up from BangGood for £112.96
The Redmi 9 is a massive upgrade from the Redmi 8, and as critical as I have been about MediaTek recently they are doing better than Qualcomm for price/performance at this end of the market.
UK price and availability remains to be seen, but there is a good chance this will come in cheaper than the Realme 6i. The two phones will likely be slugging it out as the best budget phone on the market. You get a much better camera with the Realme, while the display is a worse spec, it could be argued that this will be advantageous for performance. You also get a lot more storage with the Realme.
However, price is critical, if the Redmi undercuts the Realme significantly, then it will likely be the logical choice for budget buyers.
Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API