The Xiaomi Mi 9T and the Samsung A80 are more similar than it appears at first glance. Sure, the phone’s look nothing alike, but they’re both equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 780 chipset. This makes for an interesting match-up, because of the massive price difference. The Xiaomi Mi 9T comes for RM 1199, while the Samsung A80 comes for RM 2499, making it quite expensive for a “mid-range” device.
So let’s go through some of the specs, and see if we’ve got a worthy, prize fight.
Price; Xiaomi’s Biggest Selling Point
The first thing we’ll get into is the very base of most purchase decisions. How much does it cost? Well as I mentioned before, the Samsung A80 comes for RM 2499, while the Xiaomi Mi 9T is RM 1199. So that’s a RM 1300 difference, and that’s a pretty big differentiator, especially when the core feature, the processor is the same. They’re both equipped with the Snapdragon 730, so they’re both capable of running the same games, apps, and basically anything, pretty much the same.
While it may seem like the A80 is a more ‘premium’ phone, the Xiaomi Mi 9T beats it out with value for what you get with the phone. The A80 can barely count as a ‘mid-tier’ device now, and it’s appeal is catered towards a different market than the Mi 9T. I’m always for the affordable, but capable devices, and that’s where the Mi 9T wins out over the A80.
Design and Display
In terms of design, the phones are quite different. The A80 feels a bit more industrial, and follows the same drab designs and form factors, with the exception of their rotating camera of course. The Xiaomi Mi 9T on the other hand, like I’ve mentioned before, is quite the looker. The fiery dynamic back makes for a unique, and good looking design, and not to mention the difference in weight/height of these devices.
The Xiaomi Mi 9T comes off as a sleeker, cooler looking device because of it’s proportions. The Samsung A80 kinda looks a bit more meh for lack of a better term. It’s quite similar to their previous A series lineup, and nothing new or exciting going on in terms of aesthetics and design.
The Mi 9T has a 6.39″ AMOLED FHD display while the Samsung A80 has a 6.7″ Super AMOLED FHD+ display. However, the Mi 9T does have a slightly higher pixel per inch density (PPI) than the A80. The Mi 9T comes in at a 403 PPI density, while the A80 has a 393 PPI density, and what this means is that the higher the PPI, the less pixels you can see on screen. And that means a higher PPI means a whole lot more detail. While we’ve reached a time where you can’t really see individual pixels with the naked eye, the Mi 9T does beat the A80 in this regard.
Now of course this is a matter of personal preference, but I prefer my devices in a smaller form factor, and that’s what you get with the Mi 9T. Considering that you still get a full-view display because of the pop up cam, it’s still a nice, attractive screen. Not to mention the Sunshine mode 2.0, reading modes 2.0, and other modes that Xiaomi implemented to make their screen a better viewing experience overall. The A80’s however seems to be more powerful, and a better looking display on paper, but does that justify a +RM 1000 price point over the Mi 9T?
Oh and a side note, the Mi 9T has a headphone jack, while the A80 provides you with a USB C dongle for wired headsets. So, that’s something to think about.
The Samsung A80 of course, has come out with a somewhat ridiculous, but simple solution to the disparity between the selfie cam and the rear cam. Just rotate it. And with that, they’ve got a single camera setup of 48.0 MP, 8.0 MP Ultra-wide camera and a 3D depth cam. So there’s basically 2 usable cameras, as the 3D depth cam basically only assists in taking Live Focus videos. It’s a good idea at it’s core because your selfie cam is as powerful, and reliable as the rear cam.
While the Mi 9T has a 20MP front pop up camera, and an AI Rear Triple camera setup with a 48MP main shooter, 8MP telephoto camera and 13MP ultra-wide angle camera. I mean, you can sorta tell that the Xiaomi Mi 9T has a bit more to offer in terms of range, and sensors. Also, what would happen if the rotating mechanism on the A80 is busted? You’re essentially then out of both a selfie, and rear camera. So that’s the kind of thing you should think about with all these new innovations for camera tech. How sustainable they really are, and how fragile they could be. Xiaomi has come out and said that it’s capable of 300,000 ‘pop ups’. So that’s something.
Performance and Battery
And for the main topic of discussion, we’re back to what really makes these two devices similar, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 processor. So with that, you have to see what other value they can add to the already powerful processor. The Mi 9T comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, with a 128GB option available as well. Samsung’s A80 comes with 8GB of RAM with 128GB of internal storage, so that’s where the A80 pulls ahead and brings you better, faster performance.
They both lack external storage capabilites, so, what you pay for is what you get. The 128GB version of the Mi 9T comes at RM 1399, so you can have an almost similar experience, and still paying considerably lesser than RM 2499 for the A80. However, if you consider day to day use, 6GB of RAM is still powerful enough to get you through the day, unless you’re constantly switching out of apps, and multitasking a lot. But that’s a simple enough problem to solve, so how much do you really miss out with those 2GB of RAM missing?
Another thing to consider about smartphones these days is the battery life. The A80 has a 3700mAh battery, while the Mi 9T comes with a 4000mAh battery. The Mi 9T wins out here, especially for the price you’re paying to get a 4000mAh battery. You’ll be able to last the whole day, with moderate-heavy use, and that’s pretty standard for smartphones these days.
So, Who Wins?
The real winner at this point, is you, the consumer. They’re both great phones, but at the end of the day, you have to consider what it is you’re really looking for.The A80 is an attractive package, that offers a somewhat revolutionary camera tech, a good display, high storage and RAM, but for RM 2499. The Xiaomi Mi 9T has the same Snapdragon 730 chipset, a bigger battery, good cameras, for more than RM 1000 less. That being said, for me, the Mi 9T wins in overall value, features, and an attractive design and aesthetics.