Call it whatever you want. Call it growing up. Call it a “flagship killer” (possibly the most overused term in the smartphone business). What’s definite: Xiaomi’s Mi 9T is a kick-ass smartphone with a killer price. If I was a competitor, I’d be incredibly worried right now. Like apocalypse-level worried.
Known as the Redmi K20 in its homeland China, the Mi 9T is all sorts of wonderful things packaged in a sleek glass body. Like I mentioned in a previous post, the Mi 9T muddles Xiaomi’s Redmi line—value-packed devices that have catapulted Xiaomi to cult status and commercial success it is today.
It’s easy to see why the Mi 9T excites. It’s a double-edged sword really. As a complete package, the Mi 9T obliterates everything in its path—Xiaomi’s own offerings included. I’m talking about the Mi 9 SE, Pocophone, and Mi A2. If you’re not too bothered that the device runs a slightly lower-specced Qualcomm Snapdragon 700-series processor, it kills the Mi MIX 3, and Mi 9, too.
And we haven’t even touched on the Mi 9T Pro yet.
If you’re wondering what the “T” in the Mi 9T stands for, Allen An, Xiaomi Malaysia’s country manager said that it stood for “Trendy yet Tough.” In China, it’s also known as “The Terminator.” Hasta la vista, baby.
Allen explained that the Mi 9T was born out giving users the features they want. In this case, it was a big battery, headphone jack and notchless display.
So, let it be known that Malaysians are a lucky lot because… we’re the first country out of China that’s getting the Mi 9T.
Pricing and availability
Officially launched in Malaysia on Thursday, Xiaomi is offering two configurations: 6GB RAM + 64GB of storage and 6GB RAM + 128GB of storage. The 64GB storage version sells for a jaw-dropping MYR1,199 while the 128GB storage model is going for an equally gut-punching MYR1,399.
The 64GB model will be available for pre-booking starting 20 June until 24 June 2019 through the Mi Official Store on Lazada Malaysia. On 25 June, Lazada will be having an exclusive first sale offer where you can purchase the Mi 9T for MYR1,099. The “pre-order” is simply adding the Mi 9T to your Lazada wishlist. Also, it’s worth to note, Xiaomi is giving away a free Mi 9T for every 10,000th unit added to your wishlist.
The 128GB storage variant will be available at all authorised Mi Stores across Malaysia starting 29 June 2019.
To compare, the Mi 9 SE retails for MYR1,299 for the 6GB RAM + 64GB of storage model, and MYR1,499 for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant.
The Mi 9T sports a notchless, punch-hole-less, 6.39-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display that integrates an in-display fingerprint sensor. The immersive screen delivers an impressive 91.9 percent screen-to-body ratio and is protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
Design-wise, the phone features a 4-sided 3D glass back cover with a dynamic holographic design. It comes in beautiful Carbon Black, Flame Red and Glacier Blue.
Under the hood, the phone is powered by the 8nm Snapdragon 730 processor, a power-efficient chipset that delivers 800-series-level performance. This is mated to 6GB and up to 128GB of storage. Unfortunately, the dual-SIM device does not come with microSD storage expansion.
In line with the trend of notchless displays and pop-up cameras, the Mi 9T features a 20MP pop-up selfie camera. Xiaomi says the camera elevates in as quick as 0.8 seconds.
In terms of rear optics, the Mi 9T packs a triple camera system comprising a 48MP f/1.75 main shooter, 13MP f/2.4 ultra-wide-angle camera, and an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto shooter with 2x optical zoom.
The phone offers a large 4,000mAh battery that charges via USB-C. It does not offer wireless charging but does offered 18W fast wired charging.
Like the Pocophone, the Mi 9T comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top. A welcomed addition, seeing that the flagship Mi 9 doesn’t feature one.
Out-of-the-box, the Mi 9T runs MIUI 10 based on Android 9.0 Pie.
The phone to beat
If you take today’s flagship devices out of the picture—I’m talking about the Galaxy S10 series, Huawei P30 series, Honor 20 series—the Mi 9T literally blows everything else out of the water in its price bracket and more. It certainly punches well above its weight. If you have any qualms about this device at all, don’t. In my opinion, it’s the phone to beat under MYR2,000, and that speaks volumes of how much kit it offers for so little money.