The battle for the best budget phone in 2020 is heating up as Xiaomi releases Redmi 9 in the Philippines. But, out of nowhere, Samsung went ahead and launched the online-exclusive Galaxy M11. If you have only P8,000 to spend on a smartphone, these two devices should be on your list. And as we compare them, hopefully, you’ll be able to decide what to get.
Samsung Galaxy M11 and Redmi 9 Similarities and Differences
Which is the better buy between the Samsung Galaxy M11 and Redmi 9?
Design and Display
Seeing the Redmi 9, it’s like the subdued version of POCO F2 Pro. It gets the same rounded camera module and finish but in a more conservative manner. But for the Galaxy M11, it may also be sporting polycarbonate build but the pictures show a metallic-like(or matte) finish. And yes, both come with rear-mounted fingerprint scanners with Xiaomi’s implementation almost hiding along with the cameras. When it comes to weight and thickness, both are on par with each other at 198g and 9mm. Neither of the two really stood out to us, so we’re going to leave this one for you to decide.
For the displays, Redmi 9 is sporting 6.53″ IPS LCD with a crispy FHD+ resolution and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The average brightness is also impressive, reaching around 400 nits. However, you still get the same teardrop notch. But in the real world, this isn’t a deal-breaker over the pinhole cutout that’s becoming a mainstay recently. With that said, Galaxy M11 goes for the Infinity-O cutout for the smaller 6.4″ HD+ display. While Samsung has developed its PLS TFT which boasts better colors and brighter output than IPS, we can’t ignore the fact that we’re still looking at a low-resolution screen.
Unless we’re talking about OLED, we’re giving this one to Redmi 9.
Snapdragon 450(14nm) vs Helio G80(12nm) – Redmi 9 gets the power and efficiency advantages here thanks to the newer MediaTek Helio G80 chipset. And given how lightweight MIUI 12 is, you can expect good performance for the most part. As for the Galaxy M11, Samsung is trying to get away with a two-year-old chipset. While we don’t really mind it, especially for a budget phone, One UI 2.0 requires more power to properly render animations and keep the performance stable. Who knows, maybe the company did a few tweaks here and there just like how Vivo did with the V19 Neo sporting Snapdragon 675? But as it stands right now, Redmi 9 is winning this category. We don’t even have to mention the fact that Xiaomi’s budget gaming phone supports 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage versus the single-model 3GB/32GB of Galaxy M11.
With the Redmi 9, you’re getting the standard quad-cameras we’re used to seeing this year. It features 13MP main sensor alongside 8MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, and 2MP depth. As for the Galaxy M11, it gets rid of the macro lens for a triple-camera setup. However, there’s now 5MP ultrawide and a 13MP sensor with a wider aperture opening. In theory, this should let you capture brighter photos at night and with shallower depth of field on close-up subjects. Video-wise, we’re still looking at up to FHD@30fps with no support for any kind of stabilization.
When it comes to selfies, neither was able to take the lead as we’re comparing two 8MP selfie cameras. Aside from the placement, the difference can be seen from the way each phone processes images and videos.
From the spec sheet, Redmi 9 is winning this one.
Not a lot can be said about the speaker quality of the two budget phones. What’s more interesting to talk about is the presence of FM radio. In case you’re still into that, Redmi 9 can take advantage of this feature even without a connected headphone. With that in mind, Xiaomi is taking this one once again.
Battery and Charging
We’ve got at least 5000mAh battery capacity with the Redmi 9 only leading by a hair with its 5020mAh. While both support fast charging via USB-C, Galaxy M11 goes up to 15W only while the Redmi 9 goes up to 18W. Although this type of advantage speaks little in the real world, on paper, an advantage is an advantage, so we’re giving it to Redmi 9.
Samsung Galaxy M11 is available exclusively online for P7,490 (3GB/32GB) while Xiaomi Redmi 9 comes in two models — 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB for P6,990 and P7,490, respectively. The latter is available to purchase at authorized Mi stores starting June 30 but you can place an order already via the Official Xiaomi Global Store on Shopee.
With Redmi 9 winning every category, it’s clear which comes out on top of this comparison. If only Samsung managed to put an OLED instead of TFT PLS on the Galaxy M11, this would’ve been a more competitive battle. But just like in the past, Samsung just can’t keep up with the affordable smartphone market.