Forget OnePlus Nord – Xiaomi's Redmi 9 is $300 cheaper 🤑

It's the battle of the budget phones with the new Redmi 9 taking on the OnePlus Nord

Xiaomi Redmi 9
(Image credit: Xiaomi)

After a never-ending parade of expensive flagship devices that have seen smartphone prices skyrocket, OnePlus broke away from the pack last month to follow up its premium OnePlus 8 Pro (winner of T3's Gadget of the Year and Best Phone Award) with a budget/ mid-tier device that saw it return to its roots. 

The OnePlus Nord boasts some great features at an amazing price - starting from just £379. But a challenger approaches in the form of Xiaomi's brand new Redmi 9, and with an even lower price point, the Nord should be worried. 

Launching today, the Redmi 9 is just £149 - an unbelievably low price for a smartphone, and £230 cheaper than the OnePlus Nord. It's currently discounted by £10 thanks to Xiaomi's 10th anniversary sale, and comes with a free Mi Smart Band 4 to boot (RRP £34.99/ $34.99), which made T3's list of best sleep trackers.

If you're in the US, the Redmi 9 price tag will come in at around $195 using a straight conversion, but that's just an approximation, as you'll have to allow for tax and regional pricing. The Nord isn't out in the US yet - with rumours of a second budget handset, codenamed Aurora, debuting there instead - but the £379 price tag converts to around $496 - that's a $300 difference!

On the specs front, the Redmi 9 sports a 6.53-inch FHD+ LCD display, compared to the Nord's 6.44-inch FHD+ AMOLED display; the Nord's screen is disrupted by the Notch in the top left corner, while the Redmi 9's front-facing camera has the brand's usual waterdrop notch in the centre.

Speaking of cameras, the Redmi 9 has an 8MP selfie camera with a palm shutter feature that lets you snap selfies by holding up your palm, and a quad camera setup on the rear - 13MP wide-angle main lens + 8MP ultra-wide lens + 5MP macro lens + 2MP depth sensor. 

The OnePlus Nord on the other hand features a 32MP + 8MP front camera setup and over on the rear, a 48MP main camera + 8MP ultra-wide lens + 2MP macro lens + 5MP depth sensor, so they're fairly similar with the exception of the main rear camera, and the dual front-facing camera setup. 

Redmi 9

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Battery-wise, the Redmi 9 has the OnePlus Nord beat with its generous 5020mAh battery. The handset comes with a 10W charger but supports 18W Fast Charge. It has a fingerprint scanner on the back, as opposed to the Nord's in-display sensor, and unlike the Nord, the Redmi 9 houses a headphone jack. 

The Redmi 9's Media Tek Helio G80 processor will undoubtedly be outperformed by the Nord's 5G compatible Snapdragon 765G chipset, but real-world performance and properly optimised software could do away with any concerns in that department. 

The Redmi 9 is available in three colours - Carbon Grey, Sunset Purple, and Ocean Green - with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. There's a 3GB+32GB option but it's not for sale in the UK.  

As budget handsets go, neither the Redmi 9 or the Nord are the best in terms of photography, but they have solid specs elsewhere, and if you're looking to keep spending to a minimum, Xiaomi's new offering is worth a look. It's got nothing on the company's Mi 10 Ultra, but we won't see that here in the UK anytime soon. For more budget smartphone options, checkout out our round-up of the best cheap phones.  

Shabana Arif
Shabana Arif

Shabana is T3's Tech and Gaming News Editor, and has been writing about (and playing) video games for years. Her pile of shame is huge, but only because there are so many games, and so little time; she prefers to think of it as video game tapas, which explains a lot. She loves RPGs and zombie games, and exhaustively researches romance options. For science.