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Xiaomi Mi 9T Unboxing and First Impressions

Boasting an affordable price tags of PHP 15,990 (64GB) and PHP 17,990 (128GB), Xiaomi's Mi 9T is the newest ultra-promising mid-range phone in country.
Xiaomi Mi 9T Unboxing and First Impressions
Meet Mi 9T with a pop-up cam

Basically, it is a mid-ranger packed with a unique-looking premium build/design, notchless all-screen display with automatic pop-up selfie camera, triple-camera setup, and pretty powerful overall specs.

On paper, it could even compete or beat most phones in the under PHP 25K price range except for the Xiaomi's own Mi 9 flagship and the SoC (processor) of POCO F1.

It is also more promising than its similarly priced sibling, the Mi 9 SE.

Sounds promising? Here's the part 1 of our review.



Xiaomi Mi 9T comes with standard looking box with an 18W fast USB charger, USB-A to USB-C data/charging cable, black colored hard case, SIM ejector tool, and paper documents.

The phone doesn't come with a pre-installed screen protector and an earphones with mic.

Build Quality/Design

Gorgeous patterns!
Gorgeous patterns!

If Mi 9 SE's aesthetics is great. Xiaomi's craftsmanship on the Mi 9T is on a different level. To my eyes, it is arguably the best looking phone for the price.

Gorgeous/unique finish!

Behind, it goes with a Gorilla Glass 5 protected 3D curved glass design with a unique gradient pattern. It is available in glacier blue and flame red colors with stunning flame like reflections. There's a carbon black variant with carbon fiber like texture underneath the glass. The unit I have for this review is the glacier blue edition.

Its texture is smooth which feels good in the hands. It goes with good grip that is surprisingly not that slippery to hold. It is just a bit prone to fingerprint smudges.

There's a vertically aligned triple-camera setup in the middle of the back. The top camera lens is the 48MP sensor followed by the 13MP and 8MP camera.

The frame is made out of sturdy metal with good curves and traditional antenna lines.
By the way, it also goes with an In-Display fingerprint reader
By the way, it also goes with an In-Display fingerprint reader

Up front, it uses a 6.39-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5 protected Super AMOLED screen at 2289 x 1080 pixels per inch. I like the fact that Xiaomi added Gorilla Glass at the back and in front.

All screen, no notch!

The special thing about this phone it goes with a true full screen design with no notch. It goes with a 91.9 percent of screen-to-body ratio. Basically, it has a near all screen experience with minimal bezels. The chin bezel is also slimmer than expected.
Pop-up cam with LED light
Pop-up cam with LED light

As expected, Xiaomi made this feat possible by implementing a pop-up camera system. Even if Xiaomi is not the first to do a pop-up mechanism, they still managed to make it look a bit more unique by added an LED light which indicates that you opened the selfie camera. 

Xiaomi even added an emergency drop detection, downward pressure detection which automatically closes the selfie cam, and up to 300,000 ups that is good up to 8 years of use.

Despite its moving parts, the company managed to add P2i coating, a protection against accidental water splashes.

The phone is not that big despite the large screen size and not thick even if it goes with a large primary camera and 4,000mAh of battery. It measures at 156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8 mm. But since it uses premium materials, Mi 9T is understandably hefty at 191 grams.

On top, you'll see the pop-up cam together with the 3.5 mm headphone female jack port and a microphone.

Below, there's the single primary speaker, another mic, USB-C port, and the dual SIM tray. Sadly, it doesn't have a slot for microSD cards.

The left side of the phone is clean. The power button with red paint and volume rocker are found at right.

Initial findings

1. Mi 9T is one of the few mid-range phones with a 6.39-inch AMOLED screen and FHD+ resolution. As expected, it goes with great colors and deep blacks. It even has HDR support for better viewing experience.

Xiaomi managed to squeeze an In-Display fingerprint reader as well. Mi 9 SE's In-Display fingerprint scanner, but the one found with the Mi 9T is also considered as quite fast.
Over 213K score
Over 213K score

2. Inside, it runs with the 8nm Snapdragon 730 octa-core processor and Adreno 618 GPU. It is a chip that is faster and more powerful than the SD712 of Mi 9 SE. It is also way faster than the Snapdragon 710 of the PHP 26,990 OPPO Reno. Like what we mentioned above, there are few phones with speedier chips than this.

Great specs for the price!

The phone is also paired with 6GB LPDDR4X RAM, 64GB or 128GB storage, and 4,000mAh battery with USB-C 18W charger.

3. It loads with Android 9.0 Pie OS with MIUI 10 skin on top. Bascially, it is the same clean skin found with the Mi 9 SE.

4. This phone is also one of the most affordable with 48MP Sony primary camera. In particular, it uses the 48MP f/1.75 Sony IMX582 sensor. It is even paired with a 13MP f/2.4 w/ 124.8-degree ultra wide-angle sensor + 8MP f/2.4 2x telephoto sensor. The cameras comes with PDAF and CAF focus. No OIS was mentioned, but it has EIS for stabilization.

For selfies, it has 20MP f/2.2 shooter with AI portraits.

Note: Camera samples tonight!

5. Mi 9T comes with WiFi 802.11ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5, NFC, FM Radio, OTG, GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM. it also goes a 3.5mm headphone jack slot (YES!!!), Qualcomm WCD9375 HiFi audio chip, and gyroscope sensor.

Xiaomi Mi 9T Specs

Display: 6.39-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5 protected Super AMOLED screen w/ FHD+ 2340 x 1080 resolution at 403 ppi
CPU: 2.2GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 730 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 618
ROM: 64GB/128GB UFS 2.1
Back Camera: 48MP f/1.75 Sony IMX582 sensor w/ PDAF, CAF + 13MP f/2.4 w/ 124.8-degree ultra wide-angle sensor + 8MP f/2.4 2x telephoto sensor w/ LED flash
Selfie Camera: 20MP f/2.2 w/ AI portraits
Battery: 4,000mAh w/ 18W fast charging
OS: Android 9.0 Pie w/ MIUI 10
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5, NFC, FM Radio, OTG, GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: In-Display Fingerprint sensor, USB-C, Qualcomm WCD9375 HiFi audio chip, P2i water splash resistance, Colors: carbon black, glacier blue, flame red
Dimensions: 156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8 mm
Weight: 191 g
Price: PHP 15,990 (64GB ROM), PHP 17,990 (128GB ROM)

As of the moment

Arguably, it is the most impressive all-rounder for the price. It a phone that looks as good (or even better) than some flagship phones with 2018 flagship phone speed and new generation cameras.

The fact that it goes with a true full screen design with no notch is a huge plus for me as well.

I'm very impressed with the Mi 9T so far!

See you in our full review!
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