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The phone still uses an LCD display but the bezels are narrow and thanks to the punch-hole cutout positioned in the center, it looks more expensive. The chin is still noticeable and looks ugly but given the price, this is something we have to put up with. The fingerprint sensor sits on the power button and similar to the Poco X2, it is slightly difficult to reach for smaller hands. The volume buttons are positioned too high even for larger hands. Overall conclusions?
15 New MIUI 11 Features You Should Know
The Redmi Note 9 Pro feels more upmarket than it is and due to the added weight, some may be more confident in using it outdoors. However, the grams weight is a concern for users with smaller hands and I wish Xiaomi found a way to keep the weight under check. Cheaper phones are getting better and one area where that improvement is visible is the display. Sadly, the wait continues. The display on the Redmi Note 9 Pro is a massive one it measures 6. My mom liked the mega size of the display and she said she would like to watch YouTube more on this one than her ageing Mi A1. The narrow bezels also help the cause.
While the big size helps, the quality of the LCD panel is sub-par. The backlight distribution is uneven around the camera cutout and at times, it is disturbing. Storage is bumped to 64GB as standard but you can upgrade to GB on the top model. The Snapdragon G has garnered praises for its performance and I have nothing new to add. The chipset is powerful and on a phone that costs Rs 12,, the performance it delivers can be termed blistering. These 3D games run at high graphics by default but the frame rates are restricted. Some games like Asphalt 9 need to be optimised for the chipset but on the whole, the Redmi Note 9 Pro can handle most of the popular games with ease.
While gaming is a big concern, most users will also be worried about how it performs in daily usage. Xiaomi optimises its MIUI interface quite well for any given phone and on the Note 9 Pro, it ensures that the experience is pleasing. MIUI 11 has smooth animations and the interface now feels more modern than before. The gesture navigation makes this big phone easy to use with a single hand. The dark theme has been implemented tastefully and every corner of the OS feels like this OS has been designed by someone who loves phones deeply.
Sadly, the marketing department at Xiaomi has to make money and it has littered this nice OS with a host of promotional pre-installed apps and games that most of us may not even use ever. Most of the system apps such as GetApps, Mi Browser and some pre-installed apps kept throwing incessant notifications with irrelevant ads. A swipe up gesture open the Mi browser by default and I had to dig deep in the Settings to disable it. Hence, I installed the Poco Launcher to declutter the UI further and shut off ads to make my experience better.
Some notable upgrades made in this department are the haptics and the NavIC support.
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Xiaomi says the Note 9 Pro uses a new vibration motor for flagship-phone-like feedback experience. You get mild vibrations while pressing buttons on the quick access tray and even when you are swiping down the notifications tray. The NavIC support makes locating more precise in maps apps in theory. In reality, I did not find it to be much different from GPS.
However, you can be rest assured that getting a lock-on on your location will be faster than ever inside India. I recently did an in-depth camera review of the Redmi Note 9 Pro and you can check it out to get a better idea about the camera performance. In short, the new cameras perform on par with what the Redmi Note 8 Pro cameras could do. The new megapixel Samsung GM2 sensor has improved in terms of details and colours.
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In daylight, you will find vibrant colours and high contrasts if you are using the sunlight to your advantage. With falling light levels, the MIUI camera app tries to enhance the exposure but balances it out in different parts of the frame.
Hence, despite a higher exposure on the ground, you will see clouds and blue skies together not fused up as just white light. At night, the camera struggles with sharpness and details but the colour reproduction is nice. The ultra-wide-angle camera is average at best and you can only get decent pictures in daylight. The new macro camera now takes sharper images but you will still have to ensure brighter ambient lighting to get good looking macro shots.
Video performance is capped to 4K at 30 fps but the quality is great.
The new Movie Frame mode gives an interesting perspective while shooting videos to make them more dramatic. The megapixel front camera is good overall but the colours could have been richer. Most of the selfies under direct sunlight look nice but as soon as you are indoors on in the shadows, the colours appear washed out. Redmi Note phones have always had massive batteries to help Indian users go about their busy schedules and the Redmi Note 9 Pro ups that massively.
The new mAh battery is the biggest ever to be plonked in a Redmi Note and along with clever MIUI optimisations, this phone was easily lasting two days on moderate usage. Both of these hardware features are absent from the Band that is sold outside of China. But for users in Europe where NFC sees higher usage for payment solutions, the lack of this hardware module can be a problem.
You cannot use it with other assistants or for other functions. Overall, I really like the design on the Mi Band 4.
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It has a very understated and discreet look to it, one that does not have any intention of drawing attention to itself. This may not work in the favor of the Band when the occasion demands a flashy accessory on your wrist, but my personal preference is for function over form, and the Mi Band 4 aces this aspect. The Mi Band 4 lets users use customizable watch faces band faces? There are a few options available within Mi Fit, but you can also easily sideload watch faces from third-party websites such as amazfitwatchfaces.
Depending on the watch face, the band homescreen can display the time, day, date, steps taken, distance walked, calories burned, and band battery status. You can swipe left from the homescreen to quickly jump into the music control screen. With this screen, you can control music which is currently playing on your connected smartphone.
You can resume, pause, go to the next track or previous track and control volume. Music Control is one of my favorite features on the new Mi Band 4: my new Sony WFXM3 noise-canceling earbuds do not come with volume controls, so having the ability to control volume came in handy on my wrist. Another handy addition is the ability to lock the Mi Band 4 with a 4-character PIN 1 to 4 only when it is not being worn.
This fixes one of the minor issues I had with the previous Mi Band 3, as now others cannot read your notifications in uncleared history if you leave the band unattended. When the Band 4 is locked, only the homescreen is visible.
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This appears to be an odd omission, as there are far more features that can be initiated or accessed right from the band itself without needing the Mi Fit app. Some means of organization would have been appreciated here, and I hope a future update to the Band firmware brings back this ability. The Mi Fit app should be familiar to anyone who has used a Mi Band in the past, as it serves as the primary means of communication with your Band. From here, you can control and customize various aspects of your band, including loading up the different watch faces and setting up which apps can notify you on the Band, and idle alerts.
The app is also needed to update the firmware on the Band from time to time, so it does form an essential part of the Mi Band 4 experience. If you would prefer not using the Mi Fit app, you currently do not have a lot of options.
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The primary recommendation of Gadegtbridge , the open-source app that lets you connect to various trackers without needing to transmit any data to the vendor, has not yet been updated with Mi Band 4 support. The Mi Band 4 focuses on fitness and activity tracking as one of its highlight selling points, and for the most part, the Mi Band 4 does not disappoint, especially when you keep in mind its price. The Mi Band 4 comes equipped with a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope, allowing users to count their steps, track distance walked and calories burned. This count came through the hand movements I probably made during my sleep.
The inaccuracy is within bearable limits though, and the Mi Band 4 should provide you with reliable data on your steps for the most part. You can also view your step count history to get a better idea of how your performance has changed over time. The Mi Fit app attempts to categorize activities automatically, which is great if you are a casual user who wants to spend more time doing the activity rather than pouring through data. These data categorizations can sometimes be off, so if you prefer your data to be accurate, I would suggest periodically monitoring the same.
Inaccuracies with categorization are an inherent limitation to smart trackers, so I do not judge the Mi Band 4 too harshly on this aspect. Much like how the step tracking is handled automatically, sleep tracking is also handled automatically. The thicker Mi Band 4 may not be as comfortable as the thinner Mi Band 3, so you would need some getting used to the increased bulge on your wrist while sleeping, especially if you come from the earlier Mi Band. The performance in this section is admirable, as the Mi Band 4 has been accurately able to detect when I fall asleep and when I get up, with variances lower than 2 minutes.
I find this impressive because I usually spend a lot of time in bed peeking at my phone before falling asleep and after getting up, often using my phone with the kickstand to watch movies or catch up on YouTube. So wrist movement during these periods slows down without me falling asleep — and the Mi Band 4 handled it all like a champ.
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Heart rate measurements on the Mi Band 4 have been a stark improvement. I have had very poor experiences with heart rate measurements on previous Bands from Xiaomi, as they failed to pick up any readings whatsoever because of my darker skin tone. This is an issue with how light-based heart rate sensors work, as they often are unable to pick up blood flow readings through darker skin.
I have experimented with having friends with lighter skin tones use the same bands Mi Band 2 and Mi Band 3 in this context , and the bands promptly returned readings. On my wrists, the same bands failed to pick up data even after multiple attempts right after they had reported success.