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Smartphone Camera Comparison Review: The Xiaomi Mi 9T cannot hold a candle to the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro

Smartphone Camera Comparison Review: Xiaomi Mi 9T vs. Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 vs. Redmi K20 Pro)
Smartphone Camera Comparison Review: Xiaomi Mi 9T vs. Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 vs. Redmi K20 Pro)
Do not let the megapixels fool you - The Mi 9T and Mi 9T Pro may look alike, but Xiaomi has equipped the devices with different hardware including rear-facing camera sensors. The two devices may both have modern Sony IMX58x sensors, but the differences between the IMX582 and IMX586 are stark. Read on to find out which device, also marketed as the Redmi K20 and K20 Pro, comes out on top in our short camera comparison review.

The main rear-facing cameras of the Mi 9T and Mi 9T Pro appear uncannily similar on paper, with them both being 48 MP Sony IMX sensors that have an f/1.75 aperture. However, Xiaomi equips the former with an IMX582, the latter has an IMX586. The two sensors have the same pixel and sensor size too. In short, the only difference between the two on paper is the FPS at which they can record 4K video. Whereas Sony limits the IMX582 to 30 FPS, the IMX586 can reach 60 FPS. So, the two devices should have the same image quality, with one able to shoot smoother 4K videos, right? We wish it were that simple, as the Mi 9T and Mi 9T Pro produce noticeably different photos even in daylight.

We should point out that our test devices were running slightly different versions of Xiaomi’s in-house camera app during our tests. The Mi 9T Pro had V10.3.16.0 installed, with its non-Pro sibling running the slightly older V10.3.10.0 instead. You can view our full resolution test shots by clicking on them individually.

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Daylight & Low-Light Photography

Both sensors take sharp and detailed photos in good ambient lighting. Qualitatively, little separates the Mi 9T and Mi 9T Pro, but they have subtly different dynamic range and focal length. There are sharpness differences too, but these are minor and not consistent enough to say that one sensor is better than the other. 

Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro)
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro)
Xiaomi Mi 9T
Xiaomi Mi 9T
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro)
Xiaomi Mi 9T
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro)
Xiaomi Mi 9T
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro)
Xiaomi Mi 9T

However, the superiority of the IMX586 shines through in low-light conditions, with it generally better exposing dark scenes than the IMX582 can. Moreover, the latter has a harder time reproducing details and keeping objects in focus the former does. Overall, photos shot at night using the Mi 9T Pro have better dynamic range than those taken with the Mi 9T, allowing the former to capture more details than the latter too.

Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro)
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro)
Xiaomi Mi 9T
Xiaomi Mi 9T
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro)
Xiaomi Mi 9T
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro)
Xiaomi Mi 9T
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro)
Xiaomi Mi 9T
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro)
Xiaomi Mi 9T

Verdict

The Xiaomi Mi 9T and Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro smartphone camera comparison review. Test devices courtesy of Xiaomi Austria and TradingShenzhen.
The Xiaomi Mi 9T and Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro smartphone camera comparison review. Test devices courtesy of Xiaomi Austria and TradingShenzhen.

The Sony IMX582 is a competent sensor by midrange smartphone standards and takes impressive photos in good ambient lighting. However, it proves no match for the IMX586 that Xiaomi uses in the Mi 9T Pro, despite the two having comparable specifications on paper.

In short, if you are torn between buying the Mi 9T and Mi 9T Pro, but like taking low-light photos, then choose the latter because of its superior IMX586 sensor. However, the IMX582 will serve most people well if they plan on mainly taking photos during the day.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Smartphone Camera Comparison Review: The Xiaomi Mi 9T cannot hold a candle to the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro
Marcus Herbrich, 2019-08-20 (Update: 2019-08-27)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including and Apple Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.