Gradient-like everywhere else
Externally, the SE version differs from the usual MI 9 only in size (screen 5.97 versus 6.39 inches), otherwise, the smartphones are almost completely identical. As a result, we get one of the most compact flagships: Mi 9 SE is a full one and a half centimeter shorter than many “shovels”, and a width of 70 mm of comfort for use with one hand.
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The back cover is made of glass with an iridescent effect, like most modern "Chinese". A model with a blue panel arrived at us, but there will be variants with black and lilac-pink colors in the assortment. They all look spectacular but quickly collect fingerprints. To keep the phone clean comes with a translucent silicone case. The truth is slightly annoying that we have it in black: from under it look bright blue body elements - it looks a bit strange. But in any case, thank you for having at least some protection in the box.
The triple camera module bulges noticeably, it is in the upper left corner of the back cover, the lenses are arranged vertically. The sides of the Mi 9 SE are made of metal. On the right side of the set buttons and lock, on the opposite - a double slot for SIM cards (USB flash drive cannot be inserted). Bottom - connector for charging USB-C and a pair of speakers.
In general, the device looks great: there is no desire to quickly pack it in a complete case to hide this beauty from the eyes. Sad only the lack of a standard headphone jack, but this is trivial.
The screen is smaller but no worse
The frames of the display are thin, this is not to surprise anyone. Upstairs, there is a neat, drop-shaped notch for the front camera. A fingerprint scanner is built into the screen - a convenient solution and another tribute to modern fashion.
The diagonal of the AMOLED screen was 5.97 inches - slightly less than the flagship Mi 9 (it has 6.39 inches). But the resolution of the "brothers" is the same (Full HD +). And although the display is slightly lost in size, watch on it series and sit on social networks from this did not become worse. Brightness here is more than enough, in the sun the picture can be seen perfectly. Viewing angles are also worthy. You can only complain about the contrast: some colors in the standard mode seem too acidic. But the problem is quickly solved: you can adjust the values in the settings yourself.
There is a dark mode, thanks to which the phone is discharged more slowly (the pixels are not lit). Well, about Always on Display is not forgotten: the display can constantly show the time and notifications without any damage to the battery.
PUBG at max speeds? Easy!
It was interesting to look at the capabilities of the Mi 9 SE in demanding games and synthetic tests. If the usual Mi 9 could boast of super-powerful mobile iron and grabbed record-breaking indicators in AnTuTu, then the “younger brother” situation is slightly different. No wonder he, in the end, is considered a simplified version. For the operation of the system, there are responsible a weaker eight-core Snapdragon 712 processor (overclocked version 710) with Adreno 616 graphics. The RAM size is 6 GB of LPDDR4X type, constant - 64 or 128 GB to choose from.
As it turned out, not the most current today stuffing pulls all modern games. PUBG when you first start automatically set the maximum graphics settings and worked in this mode flawlessly. On the other hand, Shadowguns Legends on the “Ultras” podlag slightly (although there were also noticeable twitches on the flagship Mi 9. Probably, it was a matter of poor optimization). There are no complaints about the interface - there are no hints of slowdowns.
In the tests there were no unexpected revelations. Geekbench 4 showed that the performance of the smartphone is approximately on par with the flagship Samsung Galaxy S8 two years ago. In AnTuTu, the results are similar: the phone was between the Huawei Nova 4 and the Vivo V15 Pro. However, who needs these ratings if the device works almost perfectly?
The cameras in the trimmed version of the flagship also suffered, but not much. The number of sensors remained the same, and the main sensor at 48 megapixels is in place. But the resolution of “wide” and “telephoto” was reduced to 13 and 8 megapixels, respectively. How did this affect the photo capabilities of the device? Yes, almost nothing.
During the day, the device produces excellent pictures even in automatic mode. Here, and good detail, and the correct color (although on the smartphone screen it seems that there are some problems with contrast). There is support for artificial intelligence. True, the benefit of it is controversial: only a professional will see any differences in photos with or without AI.
In low light conditions, the pictures are mediocre. The night mode does not save either: photos are brighter, but because of this they are even more noisy and all sorts of artifacts.
But the work of the super-wide-angle lens left mixed impressions. On the one hand, much more detail really gets into the frame. On the other hand, a fish-eye effect appears, the image is noticeably blurred on the sides.
Portrait mode works well: in most cases, the software correctly covers the background. Depth of field can be selected already in the process of post-processing, which is nice.
Fast charge, slow discharge
The 3070 mAh battery is far from top, but the optimum capacity for a mid-range smartphone. The device quietly withstands a whole day of work, if you do not load it in full. In the mode of viewing the film on the average brightness, Mi 9 SE worked for us for about 16 hours. This is quite a good result, comparable to the same Mi 9 or even Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
Unfortunately, the super-fast 27 W wireless charging was not delivered (this is for the flagships). But wired with a maximum power of 18 W is supported.
One of the main competitors for the Mi 9 SE can be last year’s phone of the same line - the usual Mi 8 . There is a great Snapdragon 845 chipset and the same 6 GB of RAM. The resolution of the display is the same, except that there is an outdated “mono-brow” instead of a teardrop cut-out and there is no subscreen fingerprint scanner. There is almost no difference in price, so this is almost perfect for your money. But Mi 8 is noticeably larger. If you are looking for a compact flagship, then you need an SE.
The Samsung Galaxy S10e is probably the closest smartphone to the Mi 9 SE. It also became a trimmed version of the flagship. Of its advantages, it is worth noting a complete rejection of bangs in favor of a hole under the front-facing screen, a top-end Snapdragon 855 processor (or Exynos 9820) and an excellent dual camera. True, this device is much more expensive - from 40 thousand at the "gray" sellers and as much as 56 at the official!
Another interesting option - Honor 10 Premium . The model with nice gradient colors and high-quality dual camera is not outdated at all, you can buy it for about 25 thousand rubles (this is for the 8 GB version of the RAM and 128 GB of internal memory).
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