Released in Mar and April 2020 respectively, the Note 9 Pro and Pro Max are Xiaomi’s latest incarnations of their Note series that started way back in 2014. Fortunately, the name is all it shares, as this latest version is streets ahead of the original and a definite upgrade on the 8.
Firstly, there are 2 models, the Pro and Pro Max but there are very few differences between them – mainly cameras and battery. So, let’s dive in and have a look, starting as always with the screen.
Both models have a 6.67 IPS LCD screen with Gorilla Glass 5. They also have a Gorilla Glass 5 back and plastic frame giving them a weight of 209g. This setup is claimed to be splash resistant, but not IP68 compliant, so don’t try dropping it in the sink. The screen has a screen to body ratio of 84.5%, 1080-pixel resolution, and 450 nits advertised brightness.
Good mid-range processor
Moving on to the internals and again there is very little difference between the two. Shipping with the Snapdragon 720G processor, Android 10 and MIUI 11. Both are available with 64 or 128GB of expandable storage but whereas the Pro has 4 and 6 GB of RAM options, the Pro Max offers 6 or 8GB of RAM.
Finally, in this section, both come with a fast charging 5020 mAh battery, the Pro at 18W and the Pro Max at 33W, giving 50% charge in 30 minutes.
Decent camera array- but no telephoto lens
With regard to the rear camera array, both have quad layouts, arranged in a black rectangular unit, that look similar to the new Samsung S20 but placed centrally in the top back (and look better for it as well in my opinion). Three of the four cameras are the same, so we will start with those. An 8MP f/2.2 ultrawide, 5MP f/2.4 macro and 2MP f/2.4 depth. Sadly, it seems to have gone the way of many camera arrays currently and forsaken a telephoto lens for a macro. Hopefully that trend will change soon.
The main lens is a 48MP f/1.8 wide on the Pro and a bigger 64MP f/1.9 wide on the Pro Max. The selfie cameras are also different. With the Pro Max getting a 32MP compared to the 16MP on the Pro.
Worth looking out for
Wrapping up, both have a 3.5mm headphone jack and a rapid acting, side-mounted fingerprint scanner and are available in Aurora Blue, Glacier White and Interstellar Black. Prices haven’t been confirmed for the UK as at the time of writing but are expected to be around the £200 mark, with the Pro being the slightly more expensive.
With its high specs, good looks and low-price, this is certainly a smartphone worth looking out for.