Xiaomi Mi 9 SE review

Mini Mi 9 with very few compromises

Image credit: TechRadar
(Image: © Future)

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Battery life

  • 3,070mAh battery lasts a day of regular use
  • Charges from 0-100% in under 80 minutes

We had our doubts that the humble 3,070mAh battery would keep the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE going a full day, but it turns out our fears were for nought. After 90 minutes of video playback, the phone lost 14% of its battery life, and after a day of regular use, it still had about 15-20% left in the tank.

In the settings there are also a host of battery optimizations, so you can shut down rogue processes and limit battery usage for apps you don’t use often. Xiaomi has also loaded up the Mi 9 SE with 18W fast charging, powering it up from 0-100% in under an hour and twenty minutes.


  • Triple-lens camera is impressive for the price
  • Selfies are also solid

The Xiaomi Mi 9 SE features a triple camera array around the back, which consists of a primary 48MP camera (f/1.8), a secondary telephoto 8MP camera (f/2.4, 2x zoom) and an ultra-wide 13MP camera (f/2.4). None have optical image stabilization (OIS), and only the primary and telephoto cameras pack autofocus. 

Pictures taken on the Mi 9 SE are impressive considering its price. In good light, all three of the sensors do a good job, grabbing a lot of detail.

Make sure you switch Auto HDR on for the best results in bright conditions, and the versatility they deliver will compete head-on with many flagships and more premium devices, like the Huawei P30.

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar (Image credit: Future)

Despite its 48MP resolution, the main sensor grabs 12MP images, producing pictures that are smaller file sizes, and pack better tonal range and noise suppression than full-res shots. Detail is strong, and while contrast is a little high for us by default, in the settings you can dial it back, along with saturation and sharpness.

Given the lack of OIS, the zoom camera only really shines in good light, unless you’re steadying the Mi 9 SE on a tripod or surface, and jump into Pro or Night mode, engaging a longer exposure.

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar (Image credit: Future)

The portrait mode works brilliantly in bright conditions though, using that telephoto camera to deliver a roughly 50mm equivalent focal length. 

Selfies are captured on the phone’s 20MP front camera, and while it doesn’t pack autofocus, it delivers a fair amount of detail - just hold the phone an arm’s length away if you really want to get the best from it.

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar (Image credit: Future)

As for video recording, the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE impresses in Full HD, with solid image stabilization, color reproduction and clarity in good light. Focusing isn’t as fast as some flagships which have ToF (time of flight) sensors, or laser autofocus, but it is fair compared to other phones in its price range.

Fire up 4K shooting though, and the image stabilization takes a back seat, despite clarity getting a boost - so definitely keep the resolution down unless you are tripod or gimbal shooting.

Camera samples

Basil Kronfli

Basil Kronfli is the Head of content at Make Honey and freelance technology journalist. He is an experienced writer and producer and is skilled in video production, and runs the technology YouTube channel TechEdit.