Is the Xiaomi Redmi 9AT smartphone a sham?
With the Redmi 9A, a very affordable Redmi smartphone passed through our test course last year. The "improved" version of the Xiaomi smartphone with the designation "Redmi 9AT" also convinces with long battery life and solid build quality in our review. This is an additional model in the Redmi 9 entry-level series. However, little information can be found about the AT model, especially regarding the differences to the Redmi 9A. Even Xiaomi doesn't list the low-budget phone on its European websites, and the Chinese online presence of the company from the Far East doesn't make mention of it either.
According to reports, the Redmi 9AT should have an additional microphone compared to the Redmi 9A and consequently offer improved noise cancellation. However, we can only see two cutouts for microphones on the Redmi 9AT. As far as we can tell, the cases of the two Redmi smartphones are identical.
Nevertheless, we can't say the same about the built-in IPS panels. The maximum display brightness of the 9AT is at a solid entry-level with an average of 345 cd/m², but the 9A sibling model is about 20% brighter and has a more homogeneous brightness distribution. With 375 cd/m², even the more realistic APL50 test, which simulates an even distribution of bright and dark areas on the LC display, doesn't improve the lower luminance. An IPS panel never achieves the perfect black level of an OLED panel due to its backlight, but the Redmi 9AT's black level of 0.45 cd/m² is visibly worse than that of the Redmi 9A, resulting in different contrast values for the panels as well.
Furthermore, we get very good runtimes with the Redmi 9AT in our Wi-Fi test under realistic conditions (display brightness at 150 cd/m²), but the Redmi 9A gets about 3 hours more out of the 5,000 mAh battery with (almost) identical hardware.
Review of the Redmi 9AT