review

Redmi Note 9 Pro Max Review: The Note Pro, maxed out?

Will the real Note 9 Pro please stand up!

by: - Last updated on: September 4th, 2020

Two Redmi Note 9 devices – one in Blue and another in Black – walked into a cafe! The following conversation took place over Bluetooth with proper social distancing: (in the images, the black device with the blue and orange wallpaper is the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, and all the solo shots are of the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max – the Note 9 Pro is still sulking at getting no solo snaps).

Note 9 Pro and Note 9 Pro Max

Redmi Note 9 Pro: “So there you are! Have you any idea how long I have been waiting?

Redmi Note 9 Pro Max: “Hey, I am sorry…”

9 Pro: “I mean, come on, we came into this market together and you choose to turn up – wait for it – ALMOST TWO MONTHS late!?

9 Pro Max: “Hey, gimme a break, bro. There is a pandemic. A lockdown. I was stuck in the warehouse. At least you were available…”

Looks exactly like the Note 9 Pro

9 Pro: “Oh, all right. Can we have two coffees, please? Yes, Android 10 cappuccino with a sprinkling of MIUI! Yeah, I know there will be some ads. No problem, we can turn them off. I want mine in an Aurora Blue mug and this one will have it in an Interstellar Black one – yeah, I know it’s kinda blue-ish grey-ish, but they call it black. My name? Redmi Note 9 Pro. And the person with me? Same name. Can’t you see the similarity?

9 Pro Max: “Dude, actually my name is the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max!”

note 9 pro vs max back

9 Pro: “Oh yes, rub it in. Rub my face in it! Go ahead and say that you are the real Redmi Note!

9 Pro Max: “Bro, I was not saying that. Just that my name…”

9 Pro: “Your name! You even got to go on stage first at the launch. And now you are back, claiming to be…

9 Pro Max: “I am not claiming to be anything. I am just the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max!”

9 Pro: “Yeah, Max! I mean, the last Xiaomi phone that was called Max in India was the Mi Max 2. Now, that one looked like a Max. Big phone! Look at you – you are actually smaller than I am! And you are called ‘Max’!

9 Pro Max: “I am not smaller. I am exactly the same size as you are!”

9 Pro: “Hah! That’s what everyone thinks. But look at the fine print. I am 165.75 mm x 76.68 mm x 8.8 mm, while you are 165.5 mm x 76.88 mm x 8.8 mm. I am actually a quarter of a millimeter taller. And YOU get to be called ‘Max’!

9 Pro Max: “Well…”

9 Pro: “Don’t “well” me! I mean we both have the same processor – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, which is one of the better mid-segment chips out there and will let you play most games reasonably well (check out my review), we have the same 6.67-inch full HD+ display, and we both have the same sized battery – a big 5020 mAh.

9 Pro Max: “You know…”

9 Pro: “What I DO know is that we even have the same colors – Glacier White, Interstellar Black, and Aurora Blue, and have Gorilla Glass 5 protection. And the exact same design, with the same Wall-e like squarish quad-camera enclosure on the back (don’t say awww!), and fingerprint scanners on the right side below the volume rocker, also doubling up as the power and home keys (best place for a fingerprint scanner, I say). We have the same p2i splash resistance (watch that coffee!). I mean, no one can tell us apart. So why the heck do YOU get to be called ‘Max’?

But with some additions!

redmi note 9 pro max camera module

9 Pro Max: “Ok, right. Will you let me get a word in please?”

9 Pro: “Oh look at this one. Always ‘let me get in a word, please?’ Who got to be on the stage first? Who was two months late? And still got the ‘Max’ tag even when being exactly the same as the Pro?

9 Pro Max: “Oi! Hang on! Look, I do have some reasons to be called the Max!”

9 Pro: “Well, it doesn’t ‘look’ like it, bro. Because guess what? We both ‘look’ the same!

9 Pro Max: “Yes, we do…”

9 Pro: “See?! I TOLD YOU!

9 Pro Max: “It’s not just about looks, though…”

9 Pro: “Oh, don’t give me that ‘inner beauty’ shiz, plizz!

9 Pro Max: “Well, it’s more about inner power, actually. We both might have similar looking camera arrangements, but my main sensor is a 64-megapixel one, while yours is 48 megapixels. And yes, before you say it, our other cameras at the back are the same – 8-megapixel ultrawide, 5-megapixel macro, and 2-megapixel depth.”

9 Pro: “Look, the difference between 48 and 64 is not that great…

9 Pro Max: “Hey, I am not saying you have a bad camera. But I have a bigger sensor – 1/1.7 inches as against 1/2.25…”

9 Pro: “I have a bigger aperture – f/1.79 against f/1.89 on yours!

9 Pro Max: “Point conceded, but my larger sensor can make a difference, especially when you are looking for detail. I also think that the color reproduction on my images is slightly better than yours, although both of us follow the more realistic color approach, rather than the oversaturated one! And while I think some of your night shots seem to be a little less grainy than mine, but in normal conditions, detail hunters will get more from my camera than from yours. I agree 48 megapixels is a lot, but hey, 64 trumps 48 any day. Plus, the video is clearly better on mine. Pun intended.”

(Click here for full resolution pics and additional samples)

redmi note 9 pro max review 6

redmi note 9 pro max camera sample - flower

redmi note 9 pro max camera sample - landscape

redmi note 9 pro max camera sample - portrait

redmi note 9 pro max camera portrait mode sample

redmi note 9 pro max camera sample -macro

redmi note 9 pro max camera sample - low light

redmi note 9 pro max camera sample - selfie

9 Pro: “But I don’t have a bad camera!

9 Pro Max: “No, not that. And when it comes to ultrawide, macro, and portrait shots, we are pretty much equal. Incidentally, it is kind of interesting how both of us have got 5-megapixel macro sensors while some phones that are twice as expensive have 2-megapixel ones. And those megapixels count in macro shots!”

9 Pro: “They surely do. You simply get more minute details!

9 Pro Max: “Exactly, which is why my selfie camera is also better than yours…”

9 Pro: “My selfie camera is NOT bad. I have a 16-megapixel selfie…

9 Pro Max: “Don’t get into a huff, I never said yours was bad. Just that mine is a 32 megapixel one, so basically you get more detailed selfies, and if you are looking at snaps with lots of background detail or group selfies, I will be able to deliver more!”

9 Pro: “So that’s what the Max is about: more megapixels?

9 Pro Max: “Well, there’s a little more. We both have 5020 mAh batteries, but I come with a 33W fast charger in the box while you come with an 18 W one. In simple English, I charge a lot faster than you do – you can charge me from zero to full in less than two hours, while you will go beyond two hours.”

9 Pro: “Well, we both last comfortably close to two days…

9 Pro Max: “I am not saying that we don’t. I think we actually have perhaps the best battery life on any device in the Rs 10,000 – 20,000 range. I am simply saying that I charge much faster than you do. Check the video if you do not believe me!”

9 Pro: “Well…

9 Pro Max: “And finally, my base version is 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. Yours is 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. Of course, both can be topped off to 512 GB using a memory card and we both have a dedicated micro SD card slot on the dual SIM tray.”

9 Pro: “Wait, I have a 6 GB/ 128 GB variant too…

9 Pro Max: “Yes, but that is your topmost variant. Mine is 8 GB/ 128 GB!”

9 Pro: “Oh, all right…

9 Pro Max: “So, basically, I get the Max moniker because I have better cameras, a faster-charging battery and more RAM on the base model!”

Need to Max out Note-ably? This is the Redmi for you!

9 Pro: “Right, you may have the Max name, but I have a lower price. I mean, I start at Rs 13,999 and you start at Rs 16,499!

9 Pro Max: “That’s true, but then I do bring a bit more to the table.”

redmi note 9 pro max speakers

9 Pro: “It also means that you have to tangle with the likes of the Realme 6 Pro, which has a slightly smaller battery but a 90 Hz refresh rate on its display, and our own Poco X2, which I think has a better rated rear camera, dual front cameras and a display with a 120 Hz refresh rate!

9 Pro Max: “The perils of competition, bro. Even within the family. By the way, I saw you chatting with the X2 the other day, and honestly until he started scrolling his photo gallery, I could not really see the difference that refresh rate makes.”

9 Pro: “You gotta scroll, that’s the way it rolls!

9 Pro Max: “Look, I mean, I know there’s competition. But that’s good. We are kind of Note-able, right?”

9 Pro: “So we are. But why would anyone pick you over me?

9 Pro Max: “Well, honestly, I would say it would be if they just want a more power-packed experience. Someone just starting out on the Note series might well prefer you. But someone looking for a lot more…”

9 Pro: “Ahem!

9 Pro Max: “All right, someone looking for a bit more perhaps would go for me. Those cameras make a difference and when it comes down to heavy-duty multitasking, the extra RAM will come into play.”

9 Pro: “Yes, but I am a proper Note!

9 Pro Max: “Yes, absolutely. No doubting that. I am just a little bit extra!”

9 Pro: “Good. Could we have the cheque please? He will pay. After all, he is the Max guy, with ’64 MP camera’ written beneath his cameras, I have merely ’48 MP camera’ written below mine (rolls eyes). What do you mean it is a very tiny font? Get a macro sensor. Like we have! Now, can we get that bill please?”

redmi note 9 pro max review 6

9 Pro Max: “Why am I paying? You are the Pro, aren’t you?”

9 Pro: “Dude, you are the one with the big price! The M.A.X!

9 Pro Max: “Oh all right, by the way, when you met the Poco X2, did you ask him THE question?”

9 Pro: “What’s that?

9 Pro Max: “When’s the Poco F2 coming?”

9 Pro: “This is your review, dude. THAT is another story. Let’s minimize that and max-imise you.

9 Pro Max: “Noted!”

9 Pro: “I am very Pro-you, you know.

9 Pro Max: “Oh my support for you is Max-ed out!”

9 Pro: “See ya.

9 Pro Max: “Ping me sometime?”

9 Pro: “I will Zoom in to find out WhatsApp!

9 Pro Max: “Of course. Pun intended?”

Pros
  • Generally smooth performance
  • Great battery life (and fast charging)
  • Good cameras
Cons
  • Definitely on the big side
  • Exactly the same design as the Redmi Note 9 Pro
  • Ads in the UI (can be disabled, but still...)
Review Overview
Build & design
Performance
Camera
Software
Price
SUMMARY

It was announced alongside the Redmi Note 9 Pro but its arrival in the Indian market was delayed because of the lockdown caused by the Covid crisis. But now, the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is finally in the market. But is it a big step forward from the Redmi Note 9 Pro? Well, we decided to let the two phones talk it out among themselves to figure that out!

4.0

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  1. I loved the screenplay between the Redmi Note 9 Pro and Redmi Note 9 Pro Max! the major difference is only in terms of the camera arrays, but not much difference in the camera outputs

    1. Am so glad you liked it. We did sense some difference in camera performance, to be honest, but both phones have decent camera set ups.