Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Review

The latest in the Mi 9 Family!

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is no longer the latest model. A worthy successor, the Mi 9T, is now out. Of all the 9s, Mi 9 SE is considered to be the most compact. It features a Super AMOLED screen by Samsung. It has been priced very reasonably, making it one of the few devices out there that offer premium features at a budget. The phone boasts of a triple camera with regular, tele, ultra-wide lens. Although this device features the least powerful processor among others in the family, the Snapdragon 712 is not really that bad. With a smaller screen, it stands to reason that the 9 SE features a smaller battery too. This Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Review should throw some light on its features.


Known for being the smallest of all the Mi 9s, the 9 SE comes with a screen diagonal of 5.97 inches. It fits into the pockets easily and is perfect for one-hand use. With a triple camera at the rear, it doesn’t lack anything with its smaller size. The back of the phone could have been designed a bit better. The three camera modules tend to stick out by about 2mm, making it wobble if you lay it down. However, with big image sensors, it is a reasonable compromise. You might also see some similarity between the Mi 9 SE and iPhone X/XS. Thankfully, you will not see any notch at the top. Instead, there is a water-drop cut-out for the selfie camera.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Review
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Review

The bezels are quite thin, and it looks like the Super AMOLED display in 9 SE is designed after Mi 9 and Mi 9T. It has one of the thinnest chins in the market. The OLED panel features an under-display fingerprint reader. One of the downsides of the design is that the headphone jack is no longer there. Mi has chosen to follow the way of the other premium devices. The infrared blaster on the 9 SE works excellently with Xiaomi’s power button. One the left side is the volume controller while on the other end is the card slot. It can take two nano SIMs, but no microSD. 


The Xiaomi Mi 9 SE comes with a 5.97-inch display. Although it may seem large, this in fact, is what passes for small in today’s trend. The display features tall aspect ratio and slim bezels offering the users a brilliant and rich display experience. The 9 SE has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and a resolution of 2340x1080px for a pixel density of 432ppi. According to Xiaomi, the 9 SE can output 650 nits of brightness. With switching off the ambient light sensor and adjusting the brightness manually, you would be able to get 450 nits. This is, by most standards, good enough display stats.

Battery Life

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE features the smallest battery among the Mi 9 series. It makes sense since it is also the smallest phone. With a 3,070 mAh battery, the phone can last for about 25 hours of voice calls on a 3G network. If you tend to browse, you will still receive about 10 hours of use. The phone has also been designed to support Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ which means that it is compatible with the USB Power Delivery standard. In just an hour and a half, you will be able to get your device charged up fully. In about 30 minutes, the 9 SE will reach about 47%.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Display
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Display

Audio Quality and Loudspeaker 

The single down-firing speaker is excellent and is as loud as you could possibly wish it to be. It is better than most Mi phones and probably even others! The high volumes don’t distort the sound. It produces a rich, clear, and detailed sound. The headphones work very well too. Although the channel separation is not very great and it also has a bit of inter-modulation distortion, overall, the performance is quite reliable and app-laudable.

MIUI 10 with Android 9.0

The Xiaomi Mi 9 SE runs on Android Pie along with Xiaomi’s MIUI 10. The MIUI updates are pretty regular and promptly reach all the users. MIUI’s latest feature is the Always-on Display. While Samsung already has a similar feature in place, Xiaomi has introduced it for its phones as well. As the name suggests, the screen would stay on at all times. You can set it to switch on or off at particular times. There are plenty of themes available that you can set up which would suit this feature better. The under-display fingerprint scanner has improved in leaps and bounds. The phone also features a new unlock option – face unlock.

A feature carried here from Mi 9 to the 9 SE is the Dark Mode. This changes the system colors from white to black. This not only saves power draw but also gives a change of aesthetics. You might notice that the 9 SE comes with a ton of live wallpapers that changes based on different times of the day and so on. There are plenty of themes as well. There is no app drawer in MIUI, so all the apps on your phone would be there on the home screen. However, you would be able to group the apps into folders to organize them better.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Camera Review
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Camera Review

Camera Quality

The Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Review simply cannot be complete without talking about its excellent camera. The ultra-wide-angle, fixed-focus camera has a 13MP sensor with an f/2.4 aperture lens having a 15mm equivalent focal length. The 8MP telephoto shots come with an f/2.4 aperture. The camera also has HDR settings with On/Off/Auto toggles. If you love taking pictures, you will find a full range of filters as well. There is also a Beauty Mode. In the Pro Mode, you would be able to adjust white balance, focus, ISO, and shutter speed in addition to other factors.

Verdict – Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Review

While this is considered to be the smallest Mi 9 phone with the lowest battery capacity, other features more than makeup for this. Its size is not really a drawback since it can be easily used with one hand and it can fit perfectly in our pockets. The design of the device has been ingeniously thought of with the display being rich and detailed. The excellent sound quality, the appreciable camera, and Xiaomi’s very own MIUI, you can be sure that the Mi 9 SE is a remarkable option.

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With an experience of over 7 years in writing and translations, I combine my love of technology with writing. I love checking out new apps and smart electronics on the market, trying them out, and of course, writing about them!

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