Turn the media volume down: If the phone isn't on a call, then the volume controls control the media volume, so just hit the buttons to turn that up or down. Hold volume down and the media volume will go all the way to silent - while some others will only go to vibrate. Mute media in silent mode: Silent mode stops calls and notifications, but will allow media sounds like music.
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That means you can be in silent, you can open a game and the music will still play. You'll then see a toggle to "mute music stream". Allow vibration in silent mode: The meeting room classic, the volume is down, but phones are buzzing away. You can also use the camera flash. Turn off unnecessary system sounds: There are sounds for things like locking the screen or vibration on tap, which you might want to control. At the bottom of the list you'll find the controls for all those sounds you might not want. You'll also find here to option to turn off "vibrate on tap".
Sadly, one noise you can't control is the "sound restored to normal" notification.
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The quick settings is a great part of Android, letting you get to all the important settings easily. Press and hold on an icon and you'll go through to the full settings menu for that section. One swipe shows you the a single row of settings - five - a double swipe opens the full grid, nine icons. Edit the quick settings: Swipe down from the top of the phone and open the full grid of quick settings. Swipe it left and you'll see the option for "more". This will let you rearrange, add or remove options from the quick settings menu. Remember the first five on the list will be those apps you see on a single swipe.
Show on lock screen: You can opt to show the quick settings and notifications shade on lock screen - meaning some control of your device without unlocking. It will then be accessible without unlocking your phone - although some features might need you to unlock your phone fully. Search settings menu from quick settings: The default option on MIUI is it have access to the settings menu from the quick settings shade by tapping a button.
Rather than accessing the menu, you can type in what you want to find. There's a triple camera on the rear of the Mi 9 with loads of functions.
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Here's how to find everything and get the best results. Quick launch the camera from standby: You can launch the camera with a double press of the volume down button. This is then a quick way straight into the camera. Use AI to make your photos look better: This is a tap option at the top of the camera app. Just tap the AI button and it will turn on. Turn off the watermarking: The Mi 9 has a watermark in the camera turned on by default.
Turn off the camera sounds: In the same camera menu as mentioned above, you'll find the option to toggle off the camera sounds. Turn on 4K 60fps video capture: The video camera offers a whole range of settings up to 4K 60fps. Of course, you should select the quality you actually need, remembering that lower resolutions will take up a lot less space and be much faster to share. Change the exposure of a photo: Tap to focus and you can then swipe up or down to change the exposure compensation. This will help bring balance to a photo if it the automatic metering doesn't look right.
It's great for things like photos of people on stage. Take a burst of photos: Just press and hold the shutter button and it will burst shoot. You can then use Google Photos to turn these into an animation. Use portrait mode on selfies: You might miss this, but you can flip to the front camera from portrait mode or shift to portrait when in front camera to get those depth effects. You can adapt the effect live by tapping the shutter icon and dragging the scale up or down. Remember, the smaller the f number, the more blurred the background.
Use studio lighting for added effects: When you're using portrait on either the front or back camera, you can add lighting effects. Tap the bottom button in portrait mode that looks like a glowing dot. This lets you select a range of styles.
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Edit blur or lighting effects after you've taken a photo: Once you've taken the photo you can go and change things. You can do that by tapping the preview button in the camera app, or by opening the Gallery. Photos with depth have a shutter icon on them and you can then tap that and make changes to get the photo you want.
Note that Google Photos doesn't support this depth editing on the Mi 9. The Mi 9 battery life is pretty good, with fast charging both through wired and wireless sources. Here's some additional tips to help things last longer. Here you can see what's using power and there's even the option to uninstall apps that you decide are just too power hungry. It will then put apps to sleep and take other actions to prolong your phone. MIUI loves to notify you about all sorts of system things as well as regular notifications from apps you have installed.
Many apps by default will pop-over and get irritating, but you can tone things down. Top notifications tip: To control any notification you receive, slowly swipe the left and you'll get a settings cog.
Tap on this and you'll be able to turn off notifications for that specific app. Show notification icons in the status bar: The status bar is the bar at the top with the time, battery and so on. Control how notifications are delivered for each app: There are loads of options for what happens when a notification arrives and these can be managed on an app-by-app basis. Tap on an app and you'll see the options available including app icon badges.
Tap through to "notifications" again and you can control floating notifications, sound, vibrate and the LED for each individual app. MIUI goes a little crazy by default, so it's worth customising everything here. Reply directly from a notification: Some apps allow a direct reply from the notification. It's a standard Android setting, but MIUI has a little bug that sometimes won't open the box so you'll be typing over the letting that's already there. It still works though. Just look for the option on a notification when it comes in. Wake lock screen for notifications: You'll never miss a notification with this setting.
Or even better, turn it off. Hide notifications on lock screen: You might want a little more privacy and not have everything spread over the lock screen. The options are nothing, everything and icons only. Control recommendations about cleaning and battery life: MIUI loves to tell you about storage you're using or things that could be cleaned up. This is all handled by an app called Security.
You can control those recommendations too, but heading into the Security app, opening up the Cleaner or battery sections and drilling through the menus to turn off these recommendations. Outside of the standard Android offerings, Xiaomi offers a range of additional security features. Some, if you're a Google user, you won't need. How to locate your lost Mi 9: Xiaomi pushes it's own service to locate your phone - but you'll have to sign into a Mi account to use it.
Google offers that feature as part of its own accounts, so you don't have to sign into a Mi account if you don't want to. Just type "where's my phone" into Google and it will attempt to locate your Mi 9. If you're using the Mi account, head to i.
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Overall, the Mi 9 is the best phone for video texture we have tested so far. The camera not only manages to capture excellent video detail, it is also capable of keeping noise low across most illumination levels. Noise becomes more visible in low light, however, especially on moving subjects in the scene.
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Given that video footage in 4K resolution requires a lot more processing power for efficient stabilization than Full-HD video, the Xiaomi also performs impressively well for stabilization, achieving a score of 92 points. Stabilization is slightly more efficient in bright outdoor light than under typical indoor lighting conditions, but works equally well when holding the camera still or when walking while recording.
The Mi 9 is also our top device for video color, thanks to generally pleasant color rendering in all situations and no color shading. White balance transitions under changing light sources are fine as well, with only some slight stepping under indoor lighting. Target exposure is very good, even in low light, and transitions are smooth.
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Dynamic range is somewhat limited, but the Mi 9 has that in common with most of its direct competitors and overall, only the Apple iPhone XS Max with its HDR video algorithm achieves better dynamic range in video mode. Artifacts are well-controlled overall, but we noticed some aliasing on diagonal lines and a slight judder effect when panning. There are also some dropped frames in all conditions, but our testers counted only about four dropped frames per minute of recording, so the effect will hardly be noticeable to the casual viewer.
The Xiaomi autofocus system worked well in video mode, too. It is good at tracking and is always responsive. The only situation in which we noticed a loss of focus was walking while recording under indoor lighting.