The release of the Redmi Note 9 Pro yesterday was a bit underwhelming, with many voices saying that the device is not really an improvement over last year’s devices, let alone compared to the other smartphones released recently like the Poco X2 or the Realme 6. Let us take a look at these devices and see which one is truly better and what are the strength of each. And, as a bonus, I also threw in here last year Redmi Note 8.
Redmi Note 9 Pro vs Realme 6 vs Poco X2 vs Redmi Note 8 – Design
I won’t be focusing on the design too much since this is subjective, but both the Poco X2 and the Realme 6 have better looking back covers, with interesting patterns on the back. Even the Redmi Note 8 has a wave pattern that, in my opinion, looks better than the simple design that the Redmi Note 9 opted for. The front is pretty much the same for all three devices launched this year, the only major difference being the position of the camera punch-hole. Poco X2 also has slightly slimmer bezels at the bottom of the display.
Redmi Note 9 Pro vs Realme 6 vs Poco X2 vs Redmi Note 8 – Specs
Specs-wise is where things get interesting. Each phone has a different chipset, but as you will see, performance is not that different. The Redmi Note 9 Pro comes with the Snapdragon 720G, an octa-core CPU with 2xKryo 465 Gold cores and 6xKryo 465 Silver cores. Compared to the Redmi Note 8 from last year which came with the Snapdragon 665, this is definitely an improvement. However, looking over the Realme 6 and the Poco X2, the Redmi Note 9 Pro is not that impressive anymore. Realme 6 comes with a Mediatek Helio G90T CPU, a game-centric chipset with 2xCoretx A76 cores and 6xCortex A55 cores. The core and frequency combination ensures that the Realme 6 has almost identical performance with the Redmi Note 9 Pro, but some may not like having a Mediatek chipset. The Poco X2, even though it has a better CPU on paper, the Snapdragon 730G, it does not perform better in synthetic benchmarks due to slightly lower core frequency and because of the screen (more on that later). Notice that I sais “synthetic benchmarks”. This is because in real-life situations, you won’t see any major differences and all three smartphones should handle everything just fine.
The screen is the big selling point at the beginning of 2020, with even mid-range smartphones having high-refresh-rate panels. Well…not exactly. Even though the Poco X2 has a whopping 120Hz refresh rate and the Realme 6 managed to include a 90Hz panel, Redmi Note 9 Pro still comes with a traditional (dare I say old?) 60Hz display. All three come with FullHD+ resolution and IPS LCD panels. Both the Poco X2 and the Redmi Note 9 Pro have a 6.67″ screen, with the Realme 6 using a slightly smaller 6.5″ display. All three phones are big compared to last year’s Redmi Note 8, which only had a 6.3″ screen.
Redmi Note 9 Pro vs Realme 6 vs Poco X2 vs Redmi Note 8 – Cameras
Cameras is the next big focus in smartphones right now, and the Redmi Note 9 Pro falls short here as well. While both the Realme 6 and the Poco X2 use a 64MP main sensor, the Redmi Note 9 Pro only has a 48MP camera. The rest of the cameras on the back are almost identical all over the board, with an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2MPMP depth-sensing and a 2MP macro camera. The Redmi Note 9 Pro bumps the macro camera to 5MP, but it still won’t compensate for the smaller pixel count for the main sensor. For selfies, both the Redmi Note 9 Pro and the Realme 6 use a 16MP camera, with the Poco X2 being more advance and having two cameras on the front, 20MP + 2MP (depth-sensing).
Redmi Note 9 Pro vs Realme 6 vs Poco X2 vs Redmi Note 8 – Price
Pricing is what will determine many to choose one phone over the other and it is clear that Redmi and Realme are in a price war. The cheapest Redmi Note 9 Pro, which has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, will be available for 12999 rupees in India, the exact same price as the 4GB+64GB version of the Realme 6. The 6GB+128GB version is 16999 rupees, 1000 rupees mroe expensive than Realme’s variant with same storage and Realme even has an 8GB+128GB for the price of the Redmi Note 9 Pro. Even the Poco X2 starts at 15999 rupees for the 6GB+64GB. At this prices, I find it a litle harder to recommend the Redmi Note 9 Pro over the other two.