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Interface and reliability
- Runs Android 9 with MIUI 10
- No apps drawer
- Dark mode issues
Running Android 9, the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro is in a great position from a future-proofing point of view. The phone has access to plenty of apps available in the Google Play Store, and while there’s a fair bit of bloatware on board, it features less than on past iterations of Xiaomi’s UI.
Xiaomi’s skin, MIUI 10, is a mixed bag. Like iPhones and Huawei devices, Xiaomi doesn’t load up an apps tray on the Mi 9T Pro by default, so forces users to organize apps into folders or install a custom launcher.
The nuts and bolts of the interface consists of a variable number of home screens, a Xiaomi 'Guide' screen to the left, with shortcuts to apps and a few tools, and a notifications bar that can be pulled down from the top. It’s all very smooth and stable, with no judders or slowdowns in sight, and the phone’s default wallpapers and icons look good.
There are also plenty of handy customizations in the settings, from gesture inputs through to a dark theme to truly take advantage of that AMOLED display. That said, the dark theme brings with it a few inconsistencies. Lock screen notifications, for example, display text that is the same color as the backdrop, rendering them unreadable.
The UI also doesn’t display notification icons in the bar at the top of the display; while this looks cleaner, it can leave you unaware of unread emails and messages.
While we don’t love what Xiaomi is doing with Android and the UI isn’t as refined as it could be, it is still perfectly usable, and almost everything we didn’t like can be corrected by installing a custom launcher and tweaking MIUI defaults.
Multimedia and specs
- Snapdragon 855 and 6GB of RAM
- 128GB of storage, no microSD card slot
- Dual SIM slot
With its Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset and 6GB of RAM, the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro is as powerful as we’d expect a flagship today to be. Benchmarks across AnTuTu and Geekbench beat out the pricier Galaxy S10 5G (Exynos 9820), and the phone handles demanding games like a champ.
The immersive all-screen display looks great when you’re gaming on it, and while the phone only packs a mono speaker, it’s loud and isn’t easy to cover up when holding it in landscape orientation.
Loaded up with HDR support, videos played back look sharp, bright and vibrant, and it’s a real boon that you can plug in a pair of headphones to round off that multimedia experience.
While the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro isn’t expandable, the 128GB of storage should be ample for most. Additional connections include a dual-SIM slot, NFC and Bluetooth 5.0 with support for aptX HD audio.
As for the under-display fingerprint scanner, it works nine times out of ten and isn’t as fast as the ones in the likes of the OnePlus 7 or Huawei P30 Pro. That said, in tandem with face unlock, you won’t be waiting to get into your Mi 9T Pro.
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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.