Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Global: The new Pocophone F1?


Xiaomi-MI9-se Xiaomi Mi 9 SE not test

The Xiaomi Mi 9 SE is the mid-range variant of the Mi 9. The equipment is very similar to the main variant but is housed in a more compact form factor. As a processor, the Snapdragon 712 celebrated its debut in Mi 9 SE. And even though this is "just" a mid-range processor, the Mi 9 SE seems to be an alternative to the Pocophone F1 – especially as it is available as a global version. Reason enough to completely test the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE in the global version. And that's exactly what we did for over a week. In this review, you'll learn everything you need to know about this smartphone.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
Packaging and delivery

When unpacking, you do not expect big surprises. The packaging is a bit simpler than the flagship version. The dazzling finish gave way to a plain white. The top is decorated with a large "9" silver with a small "SE" on the side and a silver Mi logo in the upper right corner. The carton is made of sturdy cardboard and thus offers good protection on the way. Inside you will find the typical accessories: paperwork, protective case, power supply, USB cable and a 3.5 mm C-type adapter. Of course, a SIM needle is also included. The included power supply offers Quick Charge 3 with 18W and has a German plug. Packaging, instructions and device are marked with the CE mark and the waste bin symbol. The declaration of conformity is printed on the instructions. Therefore, import should not be a problem.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
Design and Processing

The Xiaomi Mi 9 SE impresses with an exquisite finish and a really nice design, which is not inferior to the emblematic version with the Snapdragon 855. The design is also almost identical. The biggest difference is the size. With only 147.5 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm (9.3 mm camera) and a weight of 155 g, the Mi 9 SE is not only a small thing by the current standards, but also the smallest of the current ones Xiaomi mid-range smartphones. Anyone who does not want to join the battle beyond the 6-inch mark in the display area will finally have a candidate here that comes into question. At hand, the handset is quite wonderful and is a welcome change if you do not have much time at hand smartphones in front of it.

Other differences in design can be found in front and back. The chin border is a bit thicker in Mi 9 SE due to the design. But that does not really matter. The flagship Mi 9 is 3.4 mm, the Mi 9 SE is 4 mm. The difference is unlikely to attract the attention of most people. In addition, Xiaomi painted the glass with dome on the back. Although the "rear window" of the Mi 9 SE has a clear 2.5D rounded towards the edges, the surface itself is flat. This even offers an advantage, because even if the camera module as in the normal Mi 9 stand out too far, the Mi 9 SE shakes much less if you operate it on a desk.

Visually, Mi 9 SE does not have to hide from its more capable brother. Once again, Xiaomi relies on laser micro-recording to visually illuminate the back of the glass. The blue version of the smartphone not only has a sleek and shiny blue metal frame, the surface of the rear glass shines in various colors, depending on the light. The effect already pleased us very well in Mi 9 and of course the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE is wonderful. The device is simply a decoy and looks through and noble. Those who prefer simple and serious, attacks the black model, which seems less playful and manages without the effects of light.

Provisional conclusion: The Mi 9 SE is a handsome, handsome mid-range smartphone that will be particularly popular with compact device lovers.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

size: 5.97 "
resolution: 2340 x 1080
technology: Samsung AMOLED
Max. Brightness: 600 nits
Number of contact points: 10
Tempered glass: Gorilla Glass 5 (both sides)
Anti Fingerprint Coating: yea

The screen of the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE, although 5.97 inches, is significantly smaller than the top-of-the-line version (6.39 inches), but the screen is identical by itself. Again, a Samsung Super AMOLED panel is used, which has the same high resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels. The density of pixels is correspondingly higher, and the coarser screening characteristic of the AMOLED screens is correspondingly less visible compared to the LCD panels. The screen achieves a maximum brightness of 600 nits and therefore is perfectly readable even in direct sunlight. The image looks crisp and the color rendering appealing. In the settings you can adjust the presentation to your personal taste. The Mi 9 SE can also display HDR content, which makes the content really great. The absence of a status LED is compensated by an Always On function on the display. Due to AMOLED technology, the feature consumes only a little more power than the normal standby mode – a useful replacement.

The glass surfaces of the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE are made of Gorilla Glass 5 on both sides and are therefore quite resilient. The scratches never reached the glass in everyday life. The front also comes with a coating against fingerprints. Clean the front of the smartphone rarely and the sliding properties of the glass benefit. The touch screen also knows how to convince and respond without delay to entries. The accuracy is very good, so even fast typing is possible without errors. Multi-touch inputs, for example, during the game were never a problem in the test. In addition, palm detection works perfectly. The thin edges of the screen are not bothering here.

Provisional conclusion: For a mid-range smartphone, we have to make a first-class screen here, which can be built as a synonym for an expensive high-end smartphone.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
Hardware and Performance

processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 (10nm)
4x Cryo 385 Silver @ 1,708 GHz
4x Cryo 385 Gold at 2.304 GHz
GPU: Adreno 616
RAM (speed): Dual Channel 6 GB LPDDR4X 1866 MHz
(Cut: 8.04GB / s | Peak: 13.21GB / s)
Memory (R / W speed): 64GB / 128 GB UFS 2.1
(Seq Read: 467MB / s | Write: 192MB / s)
Micro SD (R / W speed): not
Fingerprint Scanner: Yes (on display)
sensors: Magnetic field, acceleration, linear acceleration, pedometer, rotation vector, gyroscope, compass, gravity, ambient light, approximation, motion detection, capture, alignment
special features: Always On Display, USB Type C 2.0, Infrared Blaster, NFC, Fingerprint On Screen, Waterdrop Notch, Narrow Frames, Very Compact, No 3.5mm Connector
Dimensions / weight: 147.5 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm (9.3 mm with camera)

The Snapdragon 712 is a new Qualcomm midrange chip, manufactured in 10 nm and promises corresponding efficiency. At least as far as residual heat is concerned, you can also sign it. The drowning test does not show noticeable loss of energy after 15 minutes of full load. The residual heat in the back is noticeable but does not disturb. On a day-to-day basis, the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE performs well, which in normal operation, although Antutu's much lower score of 178,887 points is not to be distinguished from his older brother. Only with massive multitasking and games does the noticeable difference. When switching between applications, the Mi 9 SE seems a bit slow, but still offers great performance. Current games like Shadowgun Legends can be played at the highest level of detail. Here and there sometimes there are short hooks, but overall the gameplay is remarkably fluent. The Snapdragon 712 relies heavily on chips like the Snapdragon 660 in terms of graphics performance. For memory, Xiaomi also uses RAM Mi 9 SE LPDDR4X and UFS 2.1 memory. RAM is connected here, but it is slower than the main variant and reaches, on average, only 8.04 GB / s. The large Mi 9 is above 24 GB / s. With the USB-C connection, you need to settle for USB 2.0 as usual.

The sensor equipment, however, is identical again and includes everything that is important and some bonuses. As usual, the gyroscope and compass were scrutinized day by day and showed no dropouts. The fingerprint sensor has also entered directly into the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE monitor and works very reliably. Only rarely are two attempts to unlock necessary. However, the detection works slower than the large Mi 9, which is probably due to the smaller distance between the pixels. Putting your finger on the home screen usually takes a second, sometimes a little longer.

Provisional conclusion: Solid performance and features for the upper middle class. Before the big Mi 9, the Mi 9 SE does not need to hide, despite the overall lower performance.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

variation: MIUI 10 Global
Android version: Android Cake 9
Security patch under test: February 2019
Certified by Google: yea
DRM Technologies: Level Widevine 1, QTI PlayReady 2.0, ClearKey CDM
bloatware: Yes, it can be uninstalled
Root access: not
OTA Updates: yea
Malware: not

The Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Global comes with MIUI 10 in the global version, including Google certification and the German language. The base of the system is the Android 9 Pie, with a fairly up-to-date security patch. There are updates regularly, in the developer's version even once a week. Xiaomi also significantly reduced the number of bloatwares pre-installed in Mi 9 SE. The remaining applications can be uninstalled as usual. A great advantage is Widevine Level 1 DRM support. Netflix and Amazon content can be viewed in HD and you can also play HDR content thanks to the corresponding display. In the end, there are criticisms only for Notch integration. The space available in the information bar is difficult to use. Notification icons are displayed quickly, and then replaced with time.

Provisional conclusion: Solid, fast and stable software, including DRM Widevine Level 1.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
Reception and connectivity

Mobile Communications: 2G GSM: B2 / 3/5/8
3G UMTS: B1 / 2/4/5/8
4G FDD LTE: B1 / 2/3/4/5/7/8/20/28
4G TDD LTE: B38 / 40
WLAN: WLAN 802.11a / b / g / n / ac
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0
NFC: yea
HotKnot: not
Dual SIM: Dual Nano SIM
positioning: GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, Galileo

At the mobile reception there is nothing to complain about. The signal strength moves in the midfield. Indoor there were no problems in place despite poor development. On the outside, the connection remained stable. LTE works well, including volumes 8, 20, and 28. HD telephony and VoLTE are supported, VoWiFi is missing. Also, overall frequency support is not supported. In some countries like the US do not support every carrier or mobile network. In Wi-Fi, the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE operates according to the AC standard with 2.4 and 5GHz without MIMO and therefore with a maximum of about 288Mbit / s of net throughput. One floor below the router is a 2.4GHz retreat with 48Mbit / s stable. Bluetooth is supported with version 5.0 and has covered an entire floor in the site without interruptions. For mobile payments and other applications, there is also NFC. The antenna is located in the center in the back. The GPS reception is excellent. Almost always more than 20 satellites are integrated and the signal strength is good even in adverse weather conditions. The accuracy of the tracking leaves nothing to be desired. The same applies to navigation.

Provisional conclusion: All good reception including Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and good GPS. What unfortunately is missing is a global frequency support in mobile communications. But this weakness also has the Mi 9 Global.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
Voice and audio quality

loudspeakers: Mono (lower frame)
Microphone with Noise Canceling: yea
DAC dedicated audio: 3.5mm USB Type C Adapter
Dedicated Amplifier: 3.5mm USB Type C Adapter

The Xiaomi has the Mi 9, which itself has lost an improved speaker, which offers incredibly good sound even without stereo. The same speaker also lost Mi 9 SE. Although the sound provides a bit less depth, since the box does not offer as much volume, but sounds much better for a smartphone so compact very well. In addition to listening to music, watching YouTube videos and sometimes watching a movie comfortably in bed without ear plugs, the sound of the smartphone is definitely fun. Those who prefer to wear headphones, unfortunately, should settle for a type C adapter or switch to wireless or native type C headphones. A 3.5 mm connection is missing from Mi 9 SE. The quality of voice when making calls on both sides is very good. Despite the small size, the phone receiver provides a clean sound with a rather loud volume. The handsfree function also works well, the other part does not hear itself. The noise suppression is also very good with noisy environments.

Provisional conclusion: The sound technically convinced the Mi 9 SE as its older brother, although the basses pass through the minimally weaker media loudspeaker. However, this is due to the smaller form factor.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

Main Camera: Main Camera: 48MP f / 1.75
Second camera: 8 MP f / 2.4
Third camera: 13MP f / 2.4
Video: FHD 60fps, 4k 30fps
frontal camera: 20MP f / 2.0
Video: FHD 30fps
Flash: Dual LED (monochrome)
focus: PDAF
Slow motion: 720p @ 960fps

The camera equipment of the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE is very similar to the regular Mi 9, but differs anyway. Together, the devices have all three sensors. You get a main sensor with aperture of 48MP and f / 1.75, a 2x zoom telephoto lens, 8MP f / 2.4 aperture (f / 2.2 on Mi 9), and a 120 ° wide angle lens with field of vision of 120 ° f / 2.4 Aperture (f / 2.2 to wed 9). Xiaomi does not provide information about installed sensors, nor can data be extracted from the operating system. Judging by the quality at night, however, other sensors appear to be installed on the telephoto and wide-angle camera. As far as the main sensor is concerned, we prefer not to comment on that. Pure Qualitativ seems to be the same Sony IMX586. Xiaomi is called, but in Mi 9 SE only "Sony" as a sensor manufacturer, the Mi 9, however, is explicitly the Sony IMX586 in the data sheet. What this means now, everyone can interpret themselves.

Much more important in the end, however, is what comes out in the photos and it is exactly here that shines the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE and stands out from the upper middle class market. The smartphone delivers stunningly good photos with excellent color reproduction, sharp detail reproduction and sharpness, and low noise content. Photos can also come from a next-generation smartphone in the premium price range. For the photos, by the way, we deliberately waive KI mode to show what the camera offers without any change. In our eyes, the photos look even better in standard mode than the older brother. There we criticize that fine and distant details can be minimally muddy, which is not the case in 48MP mode. Mi 9 SE now looks the other way around. In regular mode, the photos look good, in 48MP mode, the camera weakens the detailed playback when you analyze the images on a large screen in more detail. If that changed in the regular Mi-9 now in that direction, we can not tell you, unfortunately, because our test device was just a loan.

Unfortunately, the zoom and wide-angle sensors are not always convincing in the Mi 9 SE as opposed to the normal Mi 9. Although the wide-angle lens makes stunning landscape photos, it should be used for group photos if you emphasize sharpness and detail. Distant objects, such as buildings and trees, are clearly muddy. Only from a shorter distance, the quality is compelling. In addition, the camera is not really suitable for night photography. The quality is so bad.

The zoom lens also depends greatly on the lighting conditions and is only activated by the software if conditions permit. Unfortunately, this occasionally leads to misrecognition, so you sometimes accidentally shoot with digital zoom while you think optical zoom is on. It would be nice if Xiaomi here would show the current status in the camera software. If you have optical zoom active, but the results can be seen. More distant things are very well sought after and also for macro and close-ups, the zoom lens is adequate despite the lack of image stabilization.

In portrait or bokeh mode, the Mi 9 SE works relatively well, but it can not approach devices such as Redmi Note 7. As with Mi 9 it is magnified, which makes the mode more susceptible to faltering. But recognizing complex objects works well most of the time, rarely does the algorithm have dropouts. The appearance of the effect is, as usual, the Xiaomi, but a blur. After all, bokeh recordings can be reworked and therefore you can also generate circles of light or even swap the entire background. The whole works with the main camera and the front camera.

At night, the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE cuts slightly worse than normal Mi 9. The camera seems to capture less light, fine details are not so good. However, the camera delivers very good performance at night. Night Mode works as badly as the big Mi 9, and it does not even come close to Redmi Note 7, where it can convince us for the first time on a Xiaomi smartphone. Night Mode seriously degrades image quality. The LED flash is quite bright and makes good pictures. The medium sized rooms are bright enough and the closes are not overexposed. If you want to take perfect night shots, even if only little residual light or street lighting is available, you can display up to 32 seconds in manual mode, whether in standard or 48MP mode. The result is a very good image quality with attractive color rendering. However, the Mi 9 SE does not offer laser focus. This can cause problems if it is too dark. The remedy then creates manual focusing.

Night shots in standard mode

Night scenes in night mode

Night photos with long exposure

Night photos with lightning

Night photos with wide angle

The front camera of the Mi 9 SE is identical to the Mi 9 high-end camera and offers the same image quality. Selfie fans receive their money. Bokeh shots generated by AI are also possible here. Again, the effect can be adjusted later and change the background.

Videos can be recorded with the main camera at up to 4k resolution. However, a maximum frame rate of 30fps is possible. If you want to record at 60fps, you have to switch to Full HD mode. 4k shots show the supersaturation typical of the Xiaomi smartphone and a slight reddish sting is visible. Full HD recordings seem more balanced. Auto focus works very fast and reliable. EIS is not really noticeable in 4k mode. The audio quality is good. The front camera videos look good. Slow-motion shots are possible with the Mi 9 SE with up to 960 fps. The maximum resolution is, however, 720p. The large Mi 9 can also record in Full HD at 960 fps. For both devices, however, only short shots with this frame rate are possible.

Provisional conclusion: Excellent camera, which can score with functionality and quality. For a mid-range smartphone, you get a lot here.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

Capacity (indication): 3070mAh (typical) / 2970mAh (min)
Capacity (measured): 2947mAh
removable: yea
Fast loading: Fast Charge 3

The battery life of the Mi 9 SE is also the biggest weakness of the smartphone. Although power consumption should theoretically be smaller (weaker processor, smaller screen) than the Mi 9 based on Snapdragon 855, the runtime is significantly worse. In normal use, you can easily spend the day but as soon as you work a lot with the camera and uses GPS, it may happen that you have to in the late afternoon to the power outlet or power bank. A slightly larger battery would definitely not have hurt the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE. After all, the loading is fairly quick to equip. The 70% is completed in half an hour and for a full charge, the smartphone takes about an hour. Wireless charging is not supported. If you value, you have to reach Mi 9.

Provisional conclusion: Mostly enough, but no battery life, which we could call good. Charging is still fast.

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

The Xiaomi Mi 9 SE is a successful middle-class smartphone that confuses the limits with high quality reach in some places. Especially the camera and the processing make the Mi 9 SE a Pocophone F1 alternative. But even users who value a compact smartphone find here a successful alternative to the great Mi 9. Xiaomi has once again created a smartphone, which does not have much competition in the price range between 270 and 230 ¬ and is therefore worth a recommendation. However, users who have high demands on battery life should refrain. Unfortunately Mi 9 SE can not deliver here.

per against
+ Compact and beautiful design – Battery life during intensive use
+Top workmanship, more stable than the big Mi 9 Bad night fashion
+Fine display edges with compact notch Notch integration, space is not exploited
+Great AMOLED display with HDR and 600 Nits
+Reliable touch screen with Gorilla Glass 5 and anti-grease coating
+Sufficient performance even for players without high demands
+Fast Memory, 6 GB RAM
+ Good reception
+ Good and customizable software with regular updates over several years
+ Very good speaker
+ Ordinary Voice Quality and Noise Canceling
+ Fast charge 3 included Power supply included
+ Surprisingly good triple camera
+ Reliable fingerprint sensor in the display


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