Cheap flagship smartphones are fading. Huawei released the prices to the skies, ASUS and OnePlus followed, Meizu dying and no one else presses prices, Nokia lags behind in quality even from the Chinese. For Samsung and Apple, without a thousand bucks come on. Remain Xiaomi, which also announced that Mi 9 would be the last affordable flagship. And now we have to test a cheaper version of the latest affordable flagship. Understand, what kind of phone and not vparivayut us budget-with the new label at a higher price.

Appearance and ergonomics

You still will laugh, but with a touch 9 Mi SE much better and more convenient than the usual 9 Mi.

First, 9 Mi SE compact. Not so much that the screen no longer meet modern standards of size, but enough to keep it easier. With 5.97 inches screen Junior Mi 9 much easier the older model-the”spade” with her 6.39 inches.

Second, 9 Mi SE easier to hold due to the flat back instead of curved. Don’t know why many manufacturers are so fond of arching of the back, but cut smartphone have to hold on, and the remnant edges without appreciable slip in the palm of your hand almost always. Well, okay — maybe my hands are, some are not.

And 9 Mi SE easier. For some it is even a disadvantage, but if you had to “crack” via video link with relatives for several tens of minutes, holding a cell phone in hand, you will love the lightweight smartphone for real.

Back phones are very similar — triple camera with flash and logo of the company.

On the bottom end from 9 Mi SE is a USB-C port as the older model, upper — a IR transmitter, and… not a 3.5 mm.. Forget it. Today indicates that the premium is better than the absence of the normal connector normal headphones? (Sarcasm).

Slot for nano-SIM dual, while the MicroSD card can not deliver. Like all Mi 9.

The fingerprint scanner in the screen. Works Well… about the same as in Mi 9 — that is, not perfect. Like all smartphones where such a scanner built into the screen.

Perhaps the only thing that I didn’t like in terms of ergonomics Mi 9 SE — it’s like there is a vibration, for example, to enter text. Here he is a rough, rattling, though it’s not Xiaomi, and some Fly. In Mi 9 handjob. The rest 9 Mi SE either in the same or better.

And yet (it will be opening for those who think that the design of phones from year to year does not change) 9 Mi SE looks better than last year’s “top model” Mi 8 — thinner, bezrobocie, without a thick “bangs and with more beautiful design cameras. Time does not stand still.

Is there a close price more beautiful smartphones? Perhaps the ceramic white Meizu 16 not worse. And Huawei P20, if he didn’t have “bangs” and can be purchased at a reasonable price in the official retail is good too. The other devices in something, but not short. And the fact that it’s not a slider or a camera with a mobile camera, probably a good thing — people who buy economy-the flagship, the prospect of fixing all this the switched mandula 2 years later, will not be happy.

Screen and interface

With decreasing diagonal, keeping the same number of pixels (dots) the picture was slightly clearer than on the big Mi 9. Not significantly, however. But retained the support of the “theatrical” rendering HDR10 is commendable. You can watch videos on YouTube in HDR, for example. Well or movies any.

Maximum brightness is now slightly lower, but not too critical. 426 CD/m2 is still a lot and no worse than the top-end of Huawei.

Interface… Well, everything is clear — even at low-cost Redmi/Redmi Note is still the same shell MIUI. She is nice and easy for beginners, and for fans of the Xiaomi familiar as his own mother.

Performance and autonomy

Xiaomi Mi 9 is, as usual, not only “bought a flagship smartphone as cheaply as possible”, but “the most powerful processor in an Android without an overpayment!”. Since then, how come Pocophone F1, and now here-here will come a new “Pekopon” called “flagship Redmi”, the title of Xiaomi Mi series as the most powerful cheap smartphones no longer relevant. But enthusiasts remember.

And Mi 9, as you can see the graphs of performance, running on low CPU.

But personally, I was glad to find in Mi 9 it SE Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 — new version of the 710-th model, and not, say, 660. Because this CPU is somewhere between the top 8xx (which really are not cheap) and 6xx mainstream (which is in Redmi Note 7 for 14 thousand and in the more expensive models now seem a mockery).

In my opinion, 7хх is the best processor in terms of price and quality. No, even so — 7хх processors today are more than enough for any purpose. I emphasize — for any. At the same time, they still have stock for a couple of years. If you want to save money when buying a smartphone, but to soul not gnawing thought of “got greedy, now you suffer” — it is necessary to choose a model that is on 7хх processors.

In General, iron in Mi 9 SE works enough smartly, while heating during benchmarks I didn’t notice. I, for example, tested Mi 9 — close all apps, restart the smartphone, start applications, and run a benchmark, then wait until the smartphone cools down. After all, if you run a benchmark immediately (and I always ran the benchmarks several times), even with a reboot, there is a high probability of running into throttling — processor will start overheating and temporarily relieves the capacity to to burn.

As was the case with Mi 9 SE? The smartphone remained cold. Well, that is, room temperature. Though I’m not a benchmark ran, but just turned it time to see.

On the other hand, retired from 845 Snapdragon Xiaomi Mi 8, anyway, still cheaper than a new “semisotka” in all disciplines. And that the CPU is dispersed by 10% (and this Snapdragon 712 differs from the old Snapdragon 710 of Xiaomi Mi 8 SE), the weather does.

Another thing is that the Mi 8 was so-so autonomy at the time, and it’s still not the fountain and today with 3400 mAh old flagship is discharging faster than 9 Mi SE 3070 mAh. And, as is regularly the case with AMOLED screens — the reading time was less time watching videos. Because of the white background of the text, of course — in video in dark areas much more.

Of course, 9 Mi SE works not as long as Mi 9, due to the smaller capacity battery in the first place (here, 3070 mAh). However, just look at his “neighbors” on schedule with 3500-4000 mAh battery to make sure and the choice of CPU models is correct, and optimization on top.


Here we are getting to the most important point of comparison — how does the camera? As I said, the weaker the processor is fine for “lightweight” version of the flagship. But if the camera will be much worse — it is quite another smartphone, which is unworthy to bear the name of a top model.

Well… here we Have three modules: 48-megapixel “normal” (wide-angle) lens, telephoto and swearshirt. That is, the main camera is the same (48 MP sensor Sony IMX586), which was in Mi 9. Just in case, let me remind you that the quality of shooting Mi 9 compared with the predecessor, the Mi 8, was seriously increased, and sometimes even fell due to the fact that Xiaomi greedy set optical stabilization — for example, the same definition as in the Mi 8, when shooting Mi 9 can only be achieved by enabling the mode 48 MP, which in General is inconvenient to use because it is easy will not switch on no zoom, no wide angle camera. Leave it to the conscience of those for whom the camera switch with 48 MP to the other sensors takes place “through the ass”.

In 9 SE Mi camera is almost the same as the “Mi just 9” in the same way, except that the picture sometimes slightly different, Sometimes slightly better, sometimes slightly worse, but on average at the same level.

And here telephoto and swearshirt there’s definitely other — and, sirokouhly even better than in Mi 9 a day because it captures a wider angle (your captain Obvious).

The quality is definitely difficult to say here — they are also about the level of Mi 9, but the sharpness just below.

Selfie camera is here too, in theory, should be exactly as in the Mi 9, but the pictures are different. I like the version 9 SE Mi, but this applies only to color rendering, and apparently it was at the level of post-processing. Quite possibly, the same applies to the main camera (module 48 MP) — just different “brains” to manage an older camera.

Now as for the video — Mi 9 there is definitely more functional and generally better. He has shot in 60 frames per second in Full-HD and 4K. And in Mi 9 SE — only 30 fps at any resolution (but 4K is also available).

This video, unfortunately, removed from twitching (if included stabilization) — it is hoped that this will correct firmware, but still in overall good picture quality, call 9 Mi SE a good video camera do not dare. Moreover, in 4K twitching at all just dirty.

Well, really that saved fast motion 960 fps. But if in Mi 9 it can be done in Full HD, then 9 Mi SE — HD only.


Samsung Galaxy A70
Unlike Xiaomi, Samsung decided to play “lightweight flagships” (S10e — so-so economy version with its 57 thousand rubles official prices). Galaxy A70 not trying to sound S10, although the specifications are promising. To us, this phone only came to the test, too early to draw conclusions, but the battery capacity is impressive — it’s sure to be a very hardy smartphone. However, I note that the CPU here from the line Qualcomm Snapdragon 6xx, though the newest of them. But in Galaxy A70 left 3.5 mm connector and it even supports FM radio.

The question is to the camera — unwritten rule, the Samsung Galaxy A series should remove it sucks that people had the motivation to save thousands of dollars on a Galaxy S or Note of the latest generation. I will be glad to be wrong this time.

Nokia 8.1
Slightly worse camera, but a brighter screen (though there is a wide unibrow — again bad). In General, the specs of the Nokia 8.1 looks weaker than Xiaomi Mi 9 SE — processor-that is about the same, but less memory (with support for MicroSD). But Android One will allow the smartphone to always have the latest OS — in any case, within the time of support.

Who else? 16 Meizu smartphone with the same quality of the main camera, and even a little more cool design. But no NFC, less hardy in real conditions of use, and the main thing — with absolute carelessness of the manufacturer to update Android. With a large number of “glitches” in the standard firmware.


So, it is worthy of 9 Mi SE bear the name “big brother”? More likely than not. It is more convenient, the screen is just as good, processor perfect ratio of speed and autonomy, has the same camera quality photography. And cheaper. It is necessary to take?

Yes. But don’t forget about the possibility to buy an old “Executive” class in the price of a new “business class”. I allude to the Xiaomi Mi 8, which is in the official stores are selling at a price of 25 thousand rubles. In comparison with the hero of our test Mi-eighth faster, shoots better video and slightly better photographs in the dark. But the worst is shooting in a Sunny day, runs out quickly, looks worse (“eyebrow” takes up a lot of useful screen space), and still no super wide-angle cameras in order to “push nevpihuemoe” in the frame.

And most importantly, fellow enthusiasts, please remember that we now criticize the model, which is almost 2 times cheaper than the flagship Huawei P30, and the price is slightly more expensive budget to the bone Samsung A50 with 128 GB of memory, but incomparably better. This means that the right way go comrades samouce. They associated the wind.

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