The Realme 9 gives you overall performance at a price of Rs. 17,999. But is it worth buying among other competitive budget smartphones?
Since the beginning of 2022, we’ve seen smartphones move to 5G, but the cost of other specs has come down due to high component prices. This is obvious, especially in the budget segment of smartphones. This is where 4G smartphones manage to pack innovative features, a clean user experience and value without having to worry about haggling over something more important than connectivity. With no immediate hope of 5G in India, it still makes sense to look for a capable 4G smartphone.
Realme took the opportunity to pursue innovative features beyond just 5G with the Realme 9, which brought a 108MP main camera, bigger battery, AMOLED display experience, and a Snapdragon 680 processor running on the latest Android 12 for the price of Rs. 17,999. in Asian Rupees. 20,000 space, full of competition from Xiaomi, Poco, Vivo, Samsung and even Realme, can this smartphone bring something new? Let’s find out in the comments..
Realme 9 design
The Realme 9 has a glossy finish on the plastic body, while keeping the overall design clean and minimal – just the rear camera module and the Realme logo. I got the Realme 9 in Sunburst Gold and it’s bright enough to grab your attention. When the light falls on the back panel, it creates a rippling effect while emitting shades of different colors. If bright colors are not your thing, you can also choose from the Meteor Black and Stargaze White color variants. The design of the rear camera module is the same as we have seen in many other Realme smartphones. On the front, the Realme 9 has a punch-hole cutout display and rather thick bezels at the bottom instead of the sides. Overall, it feels light (178 grams) and is comfortable to use even with one hand.
Realme 9 display
While the 5G version of the Realme 9 misses out on the AMOLED display, it’s the 4G version that fills the gap. The Realme 9 features a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a bright display of 1000 nits peak brightness for a good viewing experience.
Even in sunlight, the screen is sharp enough to read and pay attention to full-brightness notifications. In addition to that, with its 90Hz refresh rate display, scrolling through pages and social media feeds makes the experience smoother. The Realme 9 display also supports Widevine L1, which means you can enjoy watching all your HD content over OTT without worry. It also comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor that doubles as a heart rate monitoring sensor, which was introduced in the Realme 9 Pro+ earlier.
Realme 9 performance
The Snapdragon 680 processor, widely used in the budget smartphone segment, is built into the Realme 9. From everyday use such as calls, messaging, scrolling pages and social media to modest gaming sessions, the smartphone works with ease. However, the slight lag when moving from one app to another will test your patience. Also, if you’re an avid gamer looking to keep playing for over an hour, the Realme 9 isn’t for you. After an hour of performance in Call of Duty: Mobile and BGMI, the rear panel started to heat up.
The Realme 9 ships with Android 12 based on Realme UI 3.0, which is simple and customizable. A variety of options for animations and themes help refresh the display. Although, the sad part is that as usual Realme continues to throw out bloatware, but it can be uninstalled. Its single speaker is perfect for occasional use, and the 3.5mm audio jack is perfect for audio performance. The smartphone comes with 4G connectivity, while leaving 5G to the rest of the Realme 9 series. Calling and internet experience using Vodafone’s 4G SIM is easy.
Realme 9 camera
The camera is one of the highlights of the Realme 9, featuring a triple-camera setup with a 108MP Samsung ISOCELL HM6 primary sensor paired with an 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro sensor. The camera does well in daylight photography for bright, natural-looking color photos. Well, its macro mode struggles to keep colors intact and brings a mild yellowish array to the picture. The ultra-wide-angle camera also worked fine until it had lighting issues. That being said, night photography cameras struggle to take noise-free photos. Manage to bring in enough light, it’s the only solution to keep a good shot at night.
Check out the photo samples here..
Its 16MP selfie camera is great for taking selfies with detail and true skin tones in natural light, but indoor shots miss that. Edge detection issues in portraits are also something you’ll notice sometimes.
Realme 9 battery
Moderate use of the smartphone for messaging, listening to music, and 1-2 hours of calls can keep it alive for over a day on its 5000mAh battery. Even heavy use such as playing games, taking pictures, watching movies, etc., can easily be used for a day. A 33W charging option is included in the box, helping to restore the battery from 10% to full in approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.
The Realme 9 takes a simple approach to Android smartphones – a simple and feature-rich experience that makes it ideal for everyday use.Plus, it adds some specs that the Realme 9 series’ 5G siblings miss out on rupee20,000, such as the AMOLED display and 108MP camera, is worth considering. With a clean user experience, a good display with a fingerprint sensor, decent cameras, satisfactory performance for everyday use, and, yes, long battery life, the Realme 9 doesn’t disappoint. The gorgeous rear is another reason to consider it. That said, the recipe is still the same “Redmi Note” iteration, and Realme doesn’t do anything special, or a gimmick to get us excited. For me, this is a missed opportunity, considering the focus is not on 5G.
For those looking for something more for the same price, you can consider one of our top recommendations under Rs. 20000, the Redmi Note 11 Pro, which offers a 120Hz refresh rate display, a more powerful MediaTek Helio G96 and a 67W fast charging option, but currently uses the outdated Android 11 operating system. And if you still want it all, with a Snapdragon 695 processor, 64MP main camera, and 120Hz refresh rate, the latest Poco X4 Pro 5G remains our favorite in this segment. Bring us something more tempting next time, Realme.
- bright display
- good battery life
- Decent main camera
- Inferior secondary camera
- UI lags
6.4-inch AMOLED 90Hz
5000mAh, 33W wired charging
Android 12, Realme UI 3.0