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Home > New Gear > Xiaomi Mi 9 vs. Xiaomi Mi 9 SE: comparing this year's most exciting budget smartphones
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Xiaomi Mi 9 vs. Xiaomi Mi 9 SE: comparing this year's most exciting budget smartphones

Xiaomi Mi 9 vs. Xiaomi Mi 9 SE: comparing this year's most exciting budget smartphones

By  GB Blog Official 2019-02-26 19578 0

So far, 2019 has been to an impressive start when it comes to flagship launches. The Samsung Galaxy 10 already is out and widely talked about and we still have plenty to look forward to: iPhone 11, Huawei P30, OnePlus 7 — and more. But one of the most exciting budget smartphone launches this year is already here: the Xiaomi Mi 9. The phone was released in three versions: the standard Mi 9, the cheaper Mi 9 SE and the fancy Mi 9 transparent back edition. As you might have expected, all the three phones aim to offer similar features and capabilities as their more expensive counterparts — but let’s see how the phones compare between themselves. In this post, we take a look at the Mi 9 and the Mi 9 SE side by side.

Xiaomi Mi 9 vs. Xiaomi Mi 9 SE:specs

Let’s kick off the comparison of the two smartphones from the main specs.


Product name
Xiaomi Mi 9 4G Phablet
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE 4G Phablet
5.75 x 7.47 x 0.76 cm / 6.2 x 2.94 x 0.3 inches
14.75 x 7.05 x 0.75 cm / 5.81 x 2.78 x 0.3 inches
0.1730 kg
0.1550 kg
6.39 inch, 1080 x 2340 FHD+ pixel screen
5.97 inch, 1080 x 2340 FHD+ Pixel Screen
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa core 2.84GHz
Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 Octa Core 2.3GHz
Adreno 640
Adreno 616
Battery capacity
Bluetooth version
Bluetooth 5.0
Front camera
Rear cameras
48.0MP + 12.0MP + 16.0MP rear camera
48.0MP + 13.0MP + 8.0MP rear camera


Xiaomi Mi 9 SE 4G Phablet - Blue

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE 4G Phablet - Blue
Arrival Notice    


Xiaomi Mi 9 4G Phablet 6GB RAM - Gray

Xiaomi Mi 9 4G Phablet 6GB RAM - Gray
Arrival Notice    


Xiaomi Mi 9 vs. Xiaomi Mi 9 SE: displays, designs and dimensions

The Mi 9 and the Mi 9 SE look very similar — and both phones do not stray to far in design from last year’s Mi 8. The major differences are that the Mi 9 have smaller notches and a total of three cameras on the back compared to just two on the Mi 8.

The Mi 9 SE is slightly smaller than the Mi 9 — and, consequently sports a smaller display: the Mi 9 SE comes with a 5.97 inch AMOLED display compared to 6.39-inch AMOLED screen on the Mi 9.

Xiaomi Mi 9 vs. Xiaomi Mi 9 SE: displays 

Another difference is that the Mi 9 also sports an in-display fingerprint sensor (that is said to unlock the phone 25% faster than previous models). The fingerprint sensor also enables the nifty little option of bringing up a quick menu (including a QR code scanner, a web browser, etc.) — you just need to keep your finger on the sensor for a few seconds longer.

in-display fingerprint sensor 

Both phones come with a trendy iridescent finish and are available in black, violet and blue.

And, there is another important thing of note  — the phones come without 3.5mm headphone jacks. So, you will need to hook yourself up with wireless earphones or use the a USB-C converter to connect your audio equipment.

Xiaomi Mi 9 vs. Xiaomi Mi 9 SE: specs battle

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is the more powerful phone of the two — which is what Xiaomi intended. The Mi 9 features the Snapdragon 855 processor and you will be able to choose between 6GB or 12GB of RAM and enjoy up to 256GB of storage. The Mi 9 is one of the very few phones (up to now) to feature the Snapdragon 855 processor, which features a number of improvements and is geared to handle 5G connectivity, intense gaming, on-device AI — and more.

Snapdragon 855 processor  

Despite sporting a strong processor, however, the Mi 9 does not support 5G connectivity (at least, not yet) but it does support a variety of LTE networks.

The Mi 9 SE, though a bit less powerful, is still noted for its processor. In fact, the phone is highlighted as "the first smartphone in the world to come with the Snapdragon 712 CPU".

The Snapdragon 712 runs on a 10nm process and employs a sophisticated, multicore Qualcomm® AI Engine (employing the Qualcomm® Kryo™ 360 CPU, Qualcomm® Adreno™ 616 GPUand the Qualcomm® Hexagon™ 685 DSP). The processor comes along 6 GB RAM and you will have a choice of either 64 GB or 128 GB of storage. As for connectivity, you get the support of all the usual Wi-Fi standards, Bluetooth 5.0 and dual LTE.

Battery-wise, the Mi 9 sports more upgrades in the form of the new "Charge Turbo" wireless charging mode. In addition to coming with a standard 27W wired charger, the Mi 9 can also be charged wirelessly (20W) using Xiaomi’s dedicated Charge Turbo charging pad or a motorized car mount: the phone’s 3300mAh battery can go from zero to full in just 40 minutes.

Mi 9 wireless charging mode 

The Mi 9 SE also comes with a very decent battery of 3,070 mAh, which is, however, capped at 18W. And there is no fancy wireless charging option as with the original Mi 9.

Xiaomi Mi 9 vs. Xiaomi Mi 9 SE: triple cameras — but which phone takes better photos?

Cameras are another highlight of the Mi 9 series. In fact, the Mi 9 has been ranked as the world’s third best camera phone (right after the Huawei P20 Pro and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro) according to DxOMark. The smartphone comes with a triple rear camera with lenses for wide, telephoto and super wide angle 117 degree view. The main camera uses a 48MP sensor, which is backed up by a 12MP telephoto lense with a 2x zoom onboard and a 16MP super wide lense for capturing more inside one shot. There's also laser auto-focus for more accurate shots.

Xiaomi Mi 9 triple rear camera  

The Mi 9 SE also comes with three rear cameras: there is a 48MP main shooter with PDAF, a 13MP ultra wide lens with f/2.0 aperture and 1.12µm sized pixels and an 8MP telephoto lens with PDAF, f/2.4 aperture and 1.12µm sized pixels. There is also a 20MP selfie shooter on the front with plenty of beauty AI incorporated.

Mi 9 SE 20MP selfie shooter

Xiaomi Mi 9 vs. Xiaomi Mi 9 SE: the verdict

The Mi 9 and the Mi 9 SE are some of the most talked about smartphone launches for a reason. Both devices come with impressive upgrades in the processing and camera departments (as well as charging for the Mi 9). There are a lot of "firsts" and "best" in the reviews for both smartphones — and the value for money remains Xiaomi’s number one selling point in both cases.

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is definitely the stronger device of the two — but if you are looking for something cheaper and more compact, the Mi 9 SE is a great option to consider. The Mi 9 will be retailing at the starting price of over $440 while the cheapest version of the Mi 9 SE will be available for a bit under $300.


 You may also want to read:
 Xiaomi Mi 9 review: the world’s third best camera phone according to DxOMark
 Xiaomi Mi 9 SE review: the world’s first smartphone to feature Snapdragon 712 chipset
 Xiaomi 9 using experience: Is it worth buying?


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