Was that a clickbait title? Fine, it’s the Redmi 9i Sport, Redmi 9A Sport and the Redmi 9 Activ. Hopefully Xiaomi doesn’t confuse you.
With the advent of the Redmi 10, you’d think Xiaomi would stop expanding the Redmi 9 series? Well, if they can reboot the Redmi Note 8, they can obviously update the Redmi 9 series. This time, there are three phones which have similar specs to their original variants, but they are slightly modified. The three phones are: Redmi 9i, Redmi 9A Sport and the Redmi 9 Activ
By the way, these phones are near identical, and the naming alone doesn’t help avoid confusion. Even we are confused with such a naming scheme. Who cares about the names right? You’re buying a Xiaomi phone for the specs anyway. They can name the phone the Redmi 9 Excalibur and people would still buy it, despite having no relation to the Excalibur, being elegant or being rugged.
Redmi 9 Activ
The Redmi 9 Activ sounds like it’s built to be a rugged phone, but don’t let the name fool you, it isn’t a rugged phone, nor is it a replacement to the higher-specced Redmi 9. It’s just a typical budget phone. The phone is meant to be a higher-end alternative to the Redmi 9A, and just like the Redmi 9A, the Redmi 9 Activ uses a Mediatek Helio G35 processor. The phone also uses a 13mp primary sensor along with a 2mp depth camera filler. There’s also a basic 5mp camera at the waterdrop notch.
For the display, it’s just the typical budget phone: a tall 6.53in. HD+ (720p) IPS LCD waterdrop notch panel with a 20:9 aspect ratio. Nothing special to see here. For the battery, it uses a 5000mAh battery akin to the Redmi 9A. As a budget phone, there’s no fast charging and the phone uses a MicroUSB port as well.
What’s the difference between this and the Redmi 9A? The configuration and the colour options. You see, this phone ditches the orange and blue colourways for a green and lavender gradient, as well as black. The phone, in comparison to the Redmi 9A has a higher 4/64 and 6/128 configuration. In a nutshell, this is the only reason why this phone was released. Despite the name “Activ” there’s no IP rating so even the name is a filler.
The phone is available for Indian users, starts at INR 9499 (~Php 6.5K) for the 4/64 variant, and the 6/128 variant starts at INR 10,999 (~Php 7.6K). At this rate, you’re better off with the Redmi 10 or the Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro with just a slightly higher price tag, but also infinitely better specs.
Redmi 9i Sport and 9A Sport
If the naming already sounds confusing, that’s because it is. Get used to it, this is Xiaomi. It doesn’t help that these two are technically just the same handsets, but with different RAM and storage configurations.
The name “Sport” is there for relevance. Sure, the phone has some level of splash-proofing, but there’s no IP Rating listed in the spec sheet. Just like the Activ, don’t expect these to be highly water resistant that you can dunk in the pool for fun. They are not rugged phones.
Let’s start with the specs. Just like their original counterparts, both have the same chipset, display, battery and camera setups. Both phones are equipped with a Helio G25 processor, a 6.53in. HD+ IPS LCD panel, a single 13mp main camera and a 5mp front camera. The battery is rated at 5000mAh with no fast charging, obviously. Both are charged through a MicroUSB port. The phones do come with a 10W charger in the box.
So, if they aren’t rugged, what are they? They are just typical budget phones and a rereleased variant of the Redmi 9A. They come with an updated configuration though, which the Chinese company believes is enough for the phones to become relevant again. The Redmi 9i Sport comes with two configurations: 4GB RAM and a choice between 64 or 128GB storage. The latter costs INR 8799 (~Php 6.1K) and the former with 128GB storage starts at INR 9299 (~Php 6.4K). They are now available for ordering in India.
Meanwhile, the Redmi 9A Sport is the least powerful in terms of configuration. The 2/32 variant starts at INR 6999 (~Php 4.8K) while the 3/32 variant starts at INR 7999 (~Php 5.5K)