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Redmi Note 9S: First Camera Samples

OPPO
Huawei
Even if the new Redmi Note 9S is an affordable smartphone, Xiaomi claimed that it has the ability to take stellar images. Based on its camera specs, it appears that the Chinese tech giant is telling the truth.
48MP quad-cam

At the back, it sports a square camera hump featuring four cameras in total. The star of the show its 48MP f/1.79 Samsung ISOCELL GM2 primary camera.

Some may argue that it is just the same sensor found on the Redmi Note 8 and they are correct. BUT, don't forget that the Redmi Note 9S is equipped with the brand new Snapdragon 720G chipset with the newer 350L image signal processor and more advanced AI capabilities than the Snapdragon 665 of the Redmi Note 8.

The 48MP camera is paired with an 8MP f/2.2 119-degree ultra-wide camera, 5MP f/2.4 macro camera, and a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor.

This camera also has a handheld Night mode and Pro mode with RAW support.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight main cam
Daylight main cam
Daylight ultra-wide
Daylight ultra-wide

It is obvious that the Redmi Note 9S has the ability to shoot beautiful photos in daylight. It is a bit warmer than what I wanted, but details are crisp on both the main cam and the ultra-wide cam. The main cam will just have a brighter exposure and wider dynamic range due to its larger and better sensor. But, the ultra-wide cam is not bad and it has some sort of distortion correction.
Close-up flower shot
Close-up flower shot
I tried it with some of the devices I'm using right now
I tried it with some of the devices I'm using right now
I also like that its main cam can shoot images with good depth of field on close-up images even without the use of the depth sensor. And yes, it is rich in colors and details as well. Noise is hardly noticeable.
Normal
Normal
100 percent crop
100 percent crop

As mentioned, its main cam packs plenty of details and it is very visible the normal and 100 percent crop images above.
Macro shot
Macro shot

Of course, it has the ability to do super close-up shots using its 5MP camera with a 2cm macro mode. Colors will be paler. But hey, at least it can do super close-up shots.

It is not advisable to use this mode for indoor shots though. The macro camera needs abundant lighting to shine.
10x zoom
10x zoom

By the way, this device has up to 10x digital zoom. It is not really advisable to use it often. It can help you see things somehow from afar though,
Portrait mode
Portrait mode

This handset also has a depth camera at it did a decent job. Don't expect it to deliver flagship-level blurs and background to subject separation, but this is fairly clean for the price. Not bad.
Indoor main cam
Indoor main cam
Indoor 2x zoom
Indoor 2x zoom

If you really like to zoom, it has a decent up to 2x zoom that is almost lossless with minimal noise.

Meat shot
Meat shot

How about this piece of butter-aged ribeye steak? Redmi Note 9S got its colors correctly this time. It shows the beautiful marbling of the meat as well.
Low light
Low light

In low light, it takes decent images even without using the Night mode. It is a bit soft with minimal grain, but that's understandable. This is still considered as great (arguably the best) for the price.
Night mode
Night mode

The Night mode will just make your image shine better. It'll deliver a shot with a wider dynamic range and sharper details.
Low light ultra-wide
Low light ultra-wide

Sadly, there's no Night mode using the ultra-wide camera of the phone. I hope that Xiaomi will seed an update to enable that feature soon.
16MP selfie cam
16MP selfie cam

In the front, it uses a new 16MP f/2.48 camera instead of a 13MP f/2.0 shooter. It has the usual Beauty mode and Portrait selfie. But, it has a new feature, the selfie slow-mo. It shoots up to 1080p 30fps videos.

Selfie Camera Samples

Selfie daylight with Beauty mode
Selfie daylight with Beauty mode
Indoor selfie with bokeh
Indoor selfie with bokeh
Low light selfie
Low light selfie

This device takes beautiful selfies with crisp details as long as the lighting condition is sufficient. There are times where the selfie will be warmer than usual though. In low light, expect it to struggle. It would be better if Xiaomi can add a Night mode for selfies like other some similarly priced phones.

Note: We included a few more shots and video samples in our unboxing and impressions below:


For videos, the back cameras shoot up to 4K 30fps videos. Image stabilization (EIS) is available using the 4K and 1080p at 30fps. Stabilization is not available at 1080p 60fps. In front, the selfie cam shoots up to 1080p 30fps w/o stabilization. The crop is small though and it has up 720p slow-mo selfies.

Quick thoughts

So far, I think this is a reliable shooter with fast focus speed and decent performance in different lighting conditions. In fact, it shoots incredible Instagram-ready daylight images. For the price, it takes stellar photos and above-average selfies. The video performance is also considered as decent. I also like the fact that it has a selfie slow-mo feature.

That's it for now. Watch out for our full review soon.
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