Catering to the budget segment of the Indian market, the Redmi Note series from Xiaomi has delivered some bestsellers, but lately has started to feel the heat from Oppo’s sub-brand Realme. Bracing to tackle that growing competition, Xiaomi is refreshing its budget line for 2020 by adding two new handsets to the mix. While we expected to see a Pro model accompanying a standard one, the Chinese brand took a page out of Apple’s book and announced the Redmi Note 9 Pro and Note 9 Pro Max today in India.

Featuring Xiaomi’s ‘Aura Balance’ design, the two phones are aesthetically identical and differ only on a few grounds, such as their memory configurations and charging speeds. Both the Pro and Pro Max are splash-proof and sport a 6.67-inch 1080p LCD DotDisplay—a fancier term for a hole-punch screen. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor, which was recently seen on two Realme phones, powers both the Note 9 Pro and Pro Max. They even have a similar battery size of 5,020mAh, though it charges at different rates on each.

While the Pro Max can juice up its battery with a 33W charger, the non-Max variant supports a slower 18W speed. Besides that, you can configure the Note 9 Pro with up 6GB of RAM, while the Pro Max tops at 8GB; their storage options remain the same. In the camera department, the Max again takes the lead with a higher-res 64MP primary camera, which also has a bigger sensor, versus 48MP shooter on the Pro. Its front camera uses a 32MP sensor that supports pixel binning, something the Pro’s 16MP selfie camera doesn’t.

Specs

Processor Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
OS Android 10-based MIUI 11
RAM 4/6GB (Redmi Note 9 Pro), 6/8GB (Redmi Note 9 Pro Max), LPDDR4x
Storage 64/128GB UFS 2.1, expandable up to 512GB
Display 6.67-inch IPS LCD, FHD+ (2,400 x 1,080), 20:9, 450 nits, hole-punch, Gorilla Glass 5
Battery 5,020mAh, 18W charging (Redmi Note 9 Pro), 33W charging (Redmi Note 9 Pro MAx)
Front camera 16MP, 1μm (Redmi Note 9 Pro); 32MP, 1.6μm, 4-in-1 Super Pixel (Redmi Note 9 Pro Max)
Rear cameras (Pro) 48MP, 1/2.25-inch sensor, 1.6μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel, f/1.79 (main) + 8MP, f/2.2, FOV 119° (ultra-wide) + 5MP, 2cm focus distance (macro) + 2MP (depth)
Rear cameras (Pro Max) 64MP, 1/1.17-inch sensor, 1.6μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel, f/1.89 (main) + 8MP, f/2.2, FOV 119° (ultra-wide) + 5MP, 2cm focus distance (macro) + 2MP (depth)
Connectivity Dual-SIM (dedicated slot), 4G VoLTE, VoWi-Fi, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0
Dimensions 165.5 x 76.68 x 8.8mm, 209g (the Pro is 165.75mm tall)
Ports USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Colors Glacier White, Interstellar Black, Aurora Blue
Biometrics Side-mounted capacitive fingerprint reader

Xiaomi has so far announced the Redmi Note 9 Pro and Note 9 Pro Max only for the Indian market, where they’re priced starting ₹12,999 ($175) for the 4GB+64GB variant of the Pro. The higher-end variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage costs ₹15,999 ($215). On the other hand, you can grab the Pro Max for ₹14,999 ($200) for its 6GB+64GB option, or go for 128GB of storage with the same RAM capacity for ₹16,999 ($230). You can get the Max’s top-tier model with 8GB of RAM for another ₹2,000 ($27). The Pro will go on sale on March 17 and the Pro Max on March 25 through mi.com, amazon.in, and Xiaomi's offline stores.