System Performance

Following our Snapdragon 855 device overview, we should be relatively familiar with how the Xiaomi Mi9 performs. The chipset is by now a very well known component and various devices with the silicon will only ever differ by the software stack implementation by the vendor.

In Xiaomi’s case in the Mi9, I didn’t see anything particularly standing out for the phone, performing quite well but also not particularly distinguishing itself as being among the best nor worst performers amongst its Snapdragon 855 siblings.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Web Browsing 2.0 PCMark Work 2.0 - Video Editing PCMark Work 2.0 - Writing 2.0PCMark Work 2.0 - Photo Editing 2.0PCMark Work 2.0 - Data ManipulationPCMark Work 2.0 - Performance

Overall in PCMark, we see the Mi9 also perform averagely but very much within the top tier devices this year. It’s not quite as fast as the Galaxy S10 (S855) or the odd device like the RedMagic 3, but it performs better than say the LG G8.

Speedometer 2.0 - OS WebViewWebXPRT 3 - OS WebView

Similarly, to the PCMark results, the Mi9 ends up quite in the middle of the Snapdragon 855 pack in the web browsing JS tests.

Overall, my subjective experience with the Mi9 was excellent. Xiaomi seemingly very well integrated the OS-side boosters and the phone is very responsive when opening or switching between applications. Again I have to mention that while this performance doesn’t really stand out much amongst other flagship devices this year, it’s an incredible showing at the price range that the Mi9 is at. Other mid-range phones in this bracket, such as say the Pixel 3a and similar just can’t really compete with the Mi9.

Introduction & Design Machine Learning Inference Performance
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  • Redmyth79 - Friday, September 13, 2019 - link

    What's better, the Mi 9Tpro or K20pro is not close to the Mi 9 in overall performance nor is it a flagship like the Mi 9.
    The Mi 9 has better display with better glass as well being Gorilla glass 6 vs 5, better DCI-P3 profile and HDR10.
    IR blaster, better bands,
    Better cameras 16 vs 13 and 12 vs 8
    Better cooling and performance overall by far without overheating.
    Better camera app.
    NFC over the K20pro version yet to fully know on the Mi 9Tpro
    The only thing the Mi9t or K20 variant have over the Mi 9 is the battery, everything else the Mi 9 clearly out does them in.
  • tdrsy - Saturday, September 14, 2019 - link

    Would have liked to see how OnePlus 7 pro fares now instead of the likes of Magic, Shark or even G8. Looks like OnePlus 7 pro have quite improved now going by recent comparisons. For example comparison with Note 10+ in review of Note10+ on Gsmarena.
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Saturday, September 14, 2019 - link

    Unfortunately currently I don't have the OP7Pro.
  • realbabilu - Saturday, September 14, 2019 - link

    I suggest a photoshoot shootout contest 855 series preferably blindfold by readers since the photo results are subjective.
  • Dragonstongue - Saturday, September 14, 2019 - link

    blekk @ 3k battery size, they should be using their "standard" 4k or larger, I personally care less at this point if 4nm, 7nm super amazing god ARM cpu...I want/need battery AND 3.5mm with also good speaker quality overall ...

    nothing like being "forced" to plug in every day if not every couple of hours because they them phone makers to damn @#$ cheap to put good size batteries in

    FLAGSHIP devices

    that like getting the most $$$$$$$$$$ crazy car you can get, just to see it runs with a gas tank that barely holds 1/2 the amount if reasonably can....

    WHY !!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • sleeperclass - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    As a user of the Mi 9 for a couple of months now. It is Superb. I paid $900 NZD. I jumped on a smartphone pretty late. My first smartphone was a Motorla Atrix 2, then Apple iphone 6 and now the Xiaomi Mi 9. As is evident, I keep my phone for a long time. I have to admit that I got caught into the iOs space and would have loved to continue with Apple. Their eco system is flawless and all of it just works like a charm. It will end up locking you in and the experience is unparalleled but an XR was going to set me back no less than $1400 for a 64gb variant. Prices have dropped as I type this, to $1150 which is pretty good. Getting back to the Mi 9. It took me a while to get myself to buy this phone. The usual and endless You Tubing and Googling on the good and bad of the Mi 9. Impressions were all positive, I took the plunge and I have no regrets. Took a bit to re adjust to Android and its been a big change from my Atrix experience. The phone is snappy to do just about anything. My son hammered it with some gaming and it just flies. I had reservations on the battery and end up with 50% or sometimes more by the end of each day. Definitely not a heavy user. While a bigger battery is good to have, most users won't have a problem with the 3300mAh battery. Charging is fast too with the supplied wired charger. The Camera gets the exposure right for the most part. It does tend to add some saturation to the colors though. Videos are alright but I have seen the occasional stutter during play back while moving the camera. I guess electronic image stabilization can only do so much. Have not tried night mode. The only hardware complaint I have with this phone is the weak external mono audio via that sole bottom mount speaker. Software wise, MIUI can add some irritants via adverts as already reported in the review. It does not come in the way of day to day use. It is only when you use the Cleaner and Security App, you tend to notice advertisements floating around the screen. What I cannot forgive them for, and this has been reported by other Xiaomi users is the little app notifications icons can disappear on the top edge o the screen. It shows once and disappears. Unless you pull down the Notification Drawer, you won't notice the icons or notifications ever again. There has to be a better way to implement this.

    Al in all, a happy Mi 9 user experience.
  • NXTwoThou - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - link

    It's the rom. Xiaomi has 3 different roms. Global( PFAMIXM), China( PFACNXM), and EEA(also known as EU, but not .eu PFAEUXM). They have beta trees, Global(9.5.23) and China(9.9.3). The China beta version is the root of everything that then gets eventually split out into all the others. It typically gets updated every week while the Global beta might be every month and the "official" every few months. I find the version numbering confusing as hell as 9.9.3 is a great deal more advanced than 10.2.25. Things get even more confusing when you look at They basically take the china beta builds, complete the language translations, remove the ads, and do a few tweaks. They have a stable and beta. Beta currently is 9.9.6 and stable Unfortunately they don't keep up with the stable version very much, there's such a push for the weekly beta versions. Honestly, the betas have been incredibly stable. For reference, the notification issue was fixed back in April. Why that's not fixed in the "official" roms, I have no clue except there's no telling how far behind the betas those are. I strongly suggest looking into moving to betas if they don't push you out a working "official" build next week along with the MIUI 11 stuff.
  • Jetfire93 - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    Hey Andrei nice and detailed review
    I just know what is mi sound enhancer and how it affects audio quality and is it different from Snapdragon audio+ equaliser

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