Marko Idžan

Three years later – Real life and super long-term review of Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro

Just to start off, it’s been three years already since I began using Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 9 Pro which was midrange smartphone at the time as my daily driver and primary device. It took me this long to compile a genuine long-term review, so here we go.

As someone who has used phones from various brands, I must say I’m thoroughly impressed with this device. It has stood the test of my daily usage, making it one of the longest-lasting devices I’ve used to date. This might sound unusual, as I typically changed phones whenever my mobile provider contract was extended, averaging about two years per device.

One important note to begin this review: this will be the final month of using this phone as my daily driver, as I’ll be switching to a new phone within the next month. You can expect a review of the new phone after a month of use.

Now, let me emphasize that the original review still holds true throughout the entire time I’ve been using this phone. I won’t dwell on specifications, as everything was already covered in the original review. While I was particularly impressed with certain specs, given that my previous phone was the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) and I briefly used an iPhone 6, I can now share a few thoughts on specifications, having also used the Realme 6s as my primary device for a short period.

On the downside, the 60Hz display can be a bit frustrating, especially when I use the phone for various random reasons even today. Another drawback, from my perspective, was the limited 64GB of internal storage. Unfortunately, at the time in Croatia, it was hard to come by the 128GB model, and whenever I did find it, it was always in Tropical Green, not in the Interstellar Gray, which was my preferred color.

Moving on to the positives: three years of security updates. Nowadays, this may be the standard for phone support, but back in those days, especially for a midrange smartphone, it was above average. The phone received two major Android updates officially and four MIUI updates (starting with Android 10 and MIUI 11). The latest officially supported Android version is Android 12, running on MIUI 14. Unofficially, this phone even managed to run (bleeping) Android 14 with custom ROMs (check the image below to see me using PixysOS 7.0 Official Beta based on Android 14).

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro using PixysOS version 7.0 Beta as daily custom ROM which is based on Android 14
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro using PixysOS version 7.0 Beta as daily custom ROM which is based on Android 14

Another positive for me is the versatility with ports, including the 3.5mm headphone jack, IR blaster, and USB Type-C. Having transitioned most of my devices away from the microUSB port over the last two and a half years, I have to say, that port has become a nuisance for my old tablet (Meanit X10). The IR blaster has come to my rescue a few times while on vacation, as the original remote was glitchy and couldn’t make some necessary adjustments.

With all the positives, let’s circle back to some negatives: the battery capacity has dropped to about 65% of its original state. Today, the battery can barely make it through two days with light usage and just a single day with a bit more activity (it managed an entire day of navigation and music playback this summer from a 100% charge after an overnight charge, ending the day with 12% battery).

Now, onto another positive: the cameras. They’re still performing admirably for a midrange device, even for some random 4K recordings. I’ll say this – GCam and the MIUI Camera both work splendidly for me. I switch between the two depending on what I need from the camera. For night shots, it’s GCam; for everything else, it’s the MIUI Camera, including the Leica mods. Oh, you didn’t know? There are modified versions of the MIUI Camera with Leica options, and those have been fantastic for me especially on AOSP Custom ROM’s which support it.

You can check out some shots from last review in my Google Photos gallery here.

In closing, let me just say, thank you Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro for standing strong with me for the past three years. You’re a hero, enduring a few drops, long days of being my GPS and media player in the car, handling various camera tasks, enduring lengthy work calls, and even stepping in for video calls when my webcam wasn’t cooperating. Legends like you will always hold a special place in my life. You convinced me to fully adopt the USB Type-C connector, and the original cable from the phone still works perfectly for charging all my devices.

Again, thank you Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro for being my hero and daily, your days are almost over. Now it is time for Poco F5 to shine.

This text has been reviewed by ChatGPT for clarity and grammar.

All photos included in this review were taken by me using the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro except cover image which was taken on Realme 6s.

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Posted on: 31. October 2023
Last edited on: 31. October 2023
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