Just when we thought Xiaomi was ready to put the Mi 9 series to bed, the maker announced two new additions to the lineup – the affordable Mi 9CC9 and flagship Mi 9 Pro with a bleeding-edge chip. The Mi CC9 is truly the cheapest among the Mi 9 phones, but it’s anything but cheaply made.
The Mi CC9 joins the Mi 9 SE, Mi 9T, Mi 9T Pro, Mi 9, and Mi 9 Pro, and it seems the lineup is getting overcrowded and confusing. And we certainly won’t argue with that, but we won’t be ruling out the Lite as the one too many yet. At least, not before we see what it is capable of.
And the Xiaomi Mi CC9 looks quite promising with its large 6.39″ 1080p+ AMOLED, a Snapdragon 710 chipset, a triple camera on the back (wide/ultrawide/depth) and a massive 32MP selfie shooter at the front.
The Mi CC9 also impresses with a large 4,030 mAh battery, capable of fast charging; there is Android 9 with MIUI10; and we get all kinds of connectivity options including FM radio, an audio jack, IR blaster, and you can put in a microSD as well.
Xiaomi Mi CC9 is a rebranded version of the Asia-only Xiaomi Mi CC9. So, all findings in this review apply to the CC9, too.
Xiaomi Mi CC9 specs
- Body: Aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass 5 front, glass back;
- Display: 6.39″ AMOLED, 2,340×1,080px resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 402ppi; HDR 10; notched.
- Triple rear camera: Wide – 48MP f/1.8, 1/2″, 0.8µm pixel size, PDAF; Ultra-wide – 8MP, f/2.4; Depth sensor – 2MP; 2160p@30fps, 720p@960fps.
- Front camera: 32MP, 0.8µm pixel size, f/2.0; 1080p@30fps video recording.
- OS: Android 9 Pie; MIUI 10.
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 710: octa-core CPU (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 360 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver), Adreno 616 GPU.
- Memory: 6GB of RAM; 64/128GB storage; hybrid microSD slot.
- Battery: 4,030mAh Li-Po (sealed); 18W fast charging.
- Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE-A, Cat.15/13 (800Mbps/150Mbps); USB-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; dual-band GPS; Bluetooth 5.0, FM radio, IR blaster.
- Misc: Under-display fingerprint reader; single down-firing speaker; 3.5mm jack
The Xiaomi Mi CC9 looks beyond promising on paper, and we guess if it is priced right, it should be able to cement a spot in the market. Let’s get down to business, shall we?
Xiaomi Mi CC9 retail bundle
Our Mi CC9 unit arrived without a retail box, but we can still shed some light on what you will find inside. Xiaomi is shipping the phone with a USB-C cable and an 18W charger.
A soft transparent case is also part of the bundle, and some markets may even get the phone with a factory-applied screen protector.
With the latest Mi 9 lineup expansion, the series is already getting a bit overcrowded, and the names are starting to get confusing, especially when you throw those Pro variants in the mix. So, was the Mi CC9 really necessary?
Well, let’s start by saying the Xiaomi Mi CC9 delivers a stellar presentation across the board – it is a beautiful smartphone, with a large OLED screen, a fast and modern chipset, one beefy battery, and of course, the cameras impress with great photos and videos.
Indeed, once again Xiaomi has lived up to its promise and the Mi CC9 is a well-executed phone with a thoughtful pick of features and competitive price. So far, so good. But…
The Mi CC9 is a lighter version of both the Mi 9 and Mi 9T. And that’s great and was probably a good idea on paper before you realize it costs just €50 less than the Mi 9 or Mi 9T, while on some markets the price difference is even lower. And that’s the issue – both of these Mi 9 phones offer faster chips and additional zoom cameras on their backs. Oh, and the Mi 9T screen is notch-less. It’s hard to pass on either of these for the Lite.
Then we have the Redmi Note 8 and Note 8 Pro, which are both cheaper than the Mi CC9 but offer a similar feature set. Except their screens are LCD instead of OLED. The Redmi Note 8 is half the Mi CC9 price, but even its Pro version is still at least €60 cheaper than the Lite.
Xiaomi Mi 9 • Xiaomi Mi 9T • Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 • Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
Xiaomi has so many phones to offer and they pretty much suffocate the Mi CC9 and we have a hard time imagining it will win many customers over the existing offers.
Outside Xiaomi’s own series, the Realme XT is a real treat with a dual Gorilla Glass 5 body, a large OLED screen, same chip, and a similar large battery. The Realme XT is priced closely to the Mi CC9 but has a more versatile camera with its 64MP primary cam and a fourth camera for macro shooting.
The Samsung Galaxy A70 has an even larger Super AMOLED screen, packs a similar punch under the hood, and its triple-camera is more or less the same as on the Mi CC9. The A70 boasts a larger battery with faster charging, and One UI is a pleasure to work with.
Realme XT • Samsung Galaxy A70
The Xiaomi Mi CC9 is a great smartphone which few will buy, unless you value its microSD card slot too much. Even if it were cheaper, the Redmi series would have still been the better choice. We think Xiaomi has gone too far with its Mi 9 series saturation and the Mi CC9 will be the first, and we hope the last, to fall into the oblivion because of that.
But if you happen to be among those few that discover enough reasons to buy a Lite – we’re sure it won’t disappoint you for a second.
- Excellent and large OLED screen
- Stunning design, Gorilla Glass 5 on top
- Dependable battery
- Snappy and sustained performance
- Excellent photo quality day and night
- Excellent video quality
- FM radio, IR blaster, NFC, microSD
- Price too close to other Redmi and Mi phones
- Poor grip without a case on