Realme 9 Pro Review
Realme’s 9 Series duo has arrived, and we’re excited to see not one, but two Pro variants – the original Realme 9 Pro and a Pro+ variant. It might easily be confused for a phone well above its price range, featuring a powerful Snapdragon CPU with 5G and a sleek design style. Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chipset, 64 MP triple camera, 120 Hz adaptive refresh rate display and more are among the highlights of the realme 9 Pro 5G.
This phone is well separated from the Plus version. Is it, however, better to save money and go with the less expensive, non-Plus option? Today we will be reviewing the Realme 9 Pro and see how it performs in day-to-day life.
Realme 9 Pro Price in India, Variants, Availability
Realme 9 Pro 5G price starts at Rs. 17,999 in India for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant (introductory pricing). The phone can also be purchased in an 8GB + 128GB option for Rs. 20,999. It comes in three colour options: Aurora Green, Midnight Black, and Sunrise Blue. The Realme 9 Pro 5G will go on sale at 12 p.m. on February 23.
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Realme 9 Pro Box Contents
Realme 9 Pro comes with the following items inside the box:
- 33W Charger
- USB Cable
- Quick Guide with Warranty Card
- Sim Card Tool
- Screen Protect Film
- TPU Case
Realme 9 Pro Specs at a glance
Before we talk in detail about the Realme 9 Pro, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 6.6 inches IPS LCD
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 695
- RAM & ROM: 6GB RAM 128GB Storage, 8GB RAM 128GB Storage
- Software: Android v12
- Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP
- Selfie camera: 16 MP
- Battery: 5000 mAh
- Weight: 195 grams
- Dimensions: 164.3 x 75.6 x 8.5 mm
Realme 9 Pro Design and Build
The shimmering glittering pattern on the back of the Realme 9 Pro is the first thing you’ll notice when you pull it out of the box. It is available in three different colours: Aurora Green, Midnight Black, and Sunrise Blue. When subjected to sunlight or UV, the Sunrise Blue colour variant changes colour. Realme refers to it as the Light Shift “Chameleon” design. Its only flaw is that it easily picks up fingerprints; however, the phone comes with a plastic case that solves this problem.
Realme 9 Pro is a nice size for most users, as it is neither too big nor too small. Because of the curved and glass-like back panel, the non-Plus variant seems sleek and premium — although still quite heavy— for a phone with a large 6.6-inch display and 5,000mAh battery. Oh, and there’s another difference. The Plus model features glass, while this one sports a plastic back. But that shouldn’t be a worry because they both look the same.
There’s a noticeable camera island on the back with a significant camera bump, as well as curved corners for improved ergonomics. The screen takes up most of the front of the device, with only a hole-punch selfie camera in the upper left corner. The bezels around the display are a little thicker than you’ll find elsewhere, but they’re not particularly wide either.
The volume controls are split on the left side and do not use a single strip of metal like other phones. On top of it, there’s a SIM tray. Unfortunately, it’s a hybrid sim tray. So you have the option of using a second SIM card or a microSD card. The right side only contains the power button with an integrated fingerprint reader. The USB Type-C connector, primary microphone, speaker, and 3.5mm headphone jack are all located on the bottom of the device.
Realme 9 Pro Display
Realme 9 Pro sports a 6.6-inch IPS LCD display with a Full HD+ resolution of 2412 x 1080 pixels. It has a 120 Hz refresh rate and a 240 Hz touch sampling rate, making it incredibly smooth to use. The phone offers a 6-level adaptive refresh rate, with 30 Hz, 48 Hz, 50 Hz, 60 Hz, 90 Hz, and 120 Hz options. You could fix the phone to run at 120Hz, but this would quickly drain the battery. You will have no problems browsing or gaming in it due to the outstanding refresh rate. It has an ultra-smooth display that provides a next-level experience.
Realme 9 Pro uses an LCD display, probably to keep the price low and the refresh rate high. Its sharp images and vivid colours are fine, but it can’t compete with an AMOLED panel’s deep blacks. If you want the AMOLED display, you’ll have to pay a little more to get the Realme 9 Pro Plus.
It’s also incredibly colourful, however, some may find it a bit too vibrant for their taste. You won’t receive the same degree of clarity as you would with a more expensive and premium phone, but most users won’t notice it on a daily basis. Under direct sunlight, the glossy display reflects a lot of light, making it difficult to view when you’re outdoors in the summer.
Now that Widevine L1 is supported by Realme, you’ll be able to watch FHD+ videos on OTT platforms like Netflix and Prime Videos. Altogether, the display could have been better, but it’s not terrible, so there’s not much to complain about.
Realme 9 Pro Performance
Realme 9 Pro 5G is among the first smartphones to feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G processor, which runs at 2.2GHz. When it comes to RAM and storage, the Realme 9 Pro 5G boasts LPDDR4x RAM and UFS 2.2 storage. It comes in two variants: one with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, and another with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. The Realme 9 Pro should be capable of handling most everyday tasks, and you can expand storage with the help of a MicroSD card if necessary. You also get a RAM expansion feature (in realme UI 3.0) that allows you to add an extra 5 GB of RAM (a total of 13 GB for the 8 GB variant).
The Snapdragon 765G processor is somewhat faster than the Snapdragon 720G featured in the Realme 8 Pro as well as other midrange phones. The performance can be expected to be suitable for daily usage as well as good for gaming; it can run numerous games smoothly on standard graphics settings.
Performance on this device is a breeze, both in everyday use and in hardcore usage, thanks to its snappy display. Video conferencing, video streaming, social media surfing, taking photos, and other basic tasks are all possible without a hiccup. Overheating is also not a concern.
Gaming was also smooth, despite the fact that the 120Hz refresh rate only supports a few titles from the Play Store. Realme 9 Pro can handle the top graphics settings in games like Asphalt 9: Legends and Garena Free Fire MAX, but it stutters when you ramp up the graphics on Genshin Impact to medium-high. After around half an hour of play, Call of Duty: Mobile ran quite well with High graphics settings with Maximum frame rates, with no significant overheating.
Realme 9 Pro Software
Realme 9 Pro, like the Plus variant, comes with Realme UI 3.0, which is based on Android 12. This means it has the same feel as Realme UI 2.0, but with more options, smoother animations, and other improvements. Realme picked up where they left from and built on it, which is exactly how it should be. Unfortunately, there will be some bloatware on the phone, however, it may be deleted if you don’t need it.
The Privacy Dashboard, which is available on all Android 12 devices, is one of the new additions. It displays all of the permissions you’ve granted in one spot. Realme 9 Pro still includes a number of customizable settings, including the general colour theme, icons, and more. There’s generally an Always-on display option as well, but since the phone has an IPS LCD panel, there isn’t one here.
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On the recent apps page, you’ll find multitasking features. You can select floating windows here, which allow you to keep supported apps open in a smaller window as you work on something else. You may also use the split-screen feature to run two apps simultaneously.
Overall, the Realme UI 3.0 looks fast and includes several new features. It’s also very customisable, which is something that many Android users want.
Realme 9 Pro Camera
The backside of the Realme 9 Pro 5G features a triple camera setup. It has a 64MP primary sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens, and a 2MP macro sensor on the back, as well as a 16MP selfie camera on the front. The camera quality isn’t the best, but it’s definitely good, and it can even outperform most of the competitors.
The main camera’s daylight shots appear to be about average given the pricing point. The contrast is good, the dynamic range is vast, and the details appear sharp, although the oversharpening may need to be toned down in post-processing. Colours aren’t always accurate, but that’s something that a software update can easily solve.
Realme 9 Pro, like all phones with a quad-bayer camera, allows you to use the main camera’s full 64MP resolution. However, the advantages are minimal to non-existent. Non-binned photos are often more detailed, but you’ll lose a lot of sharpness, and noise will become more noticeable.
The famous 8MP sensor appears to work similarly to all competing smartphones. The ultrawide shots have a low dynamic range, distortion, washed-out colours, colour fringing, and a lack of sharpness.
The 2-megapixel macro lens provides good images when needed, but you’ll need to get adapted to its 4cm focusing distance. Although a sharper sensor would make it more useful, we’d still prefer this over a depth sensor.
The quality of the selfie is below average. In terms of clarity and detail, we expected more from its 16MP camera, however, selfies are good enough in the proper lighting.
The camera has Street Photography Mode 2.0, which includes effects including Neon Trail, Rush Hour, Light Trail Portrait, and Light Painting. Other features include Dual-View Video, Film, Starry Mode, Tilt-Shift, and regular options.
Both the front and back cameras can only record videos at 1080p@30fps and rely on EIS, anyways no OIS was expected. In ideal lighting conditions, videos look great, but in low light or at night, the cameras struggle a little.
Realme 9 Pro Battery
Realme 9 Pro 5G has a 5,000 mAh battery, which is an upgrade over the Realme 8 Pro‘s (4,500 mAh), although it only has a 33W Dart Charger instead of the 50W seen in the Realme 8 Pro. If you don’t compare, the 33W fast charging speed is still acceptable for the price. The realme UI 3.0 is optimised for battery performance, and the new 6nm Processor plays a key role in battery saving. You can expect the device to last roughly 2 days on average use.
If you’re a heavy user, your device might not last the whole day. However, since it supports 33W fast charging, this shouldn’t be an issue. Just 30 minutes of charging can get you upto 50 per cent. You can fully charge the big battery from 0 to 100 per cent in just over an hour.
Realme 9 Pro Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
Realme has given a single bottom-firing loudspeaker instead of dual speakers. Even though the single speaker is clear and quite loud to enjoy YouTube videos or movies without earbuds, RealMe should have included stereo speakers.
One of the most notable features of the Realme 9 Pro would be its 5G connectivity, which is the first of its kind in the series. It contains around 11 5G bands, which includes n1, n3, n5, n8, n20, n28, n66, n38, n40, n77, and n78. It doesn’t have NFC or WiFi 6, but it does have dual-band WiFi 5. On the other hand, it has Bluetooth 5.1 and USB Type-C, and both performed well during our testing.
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The device can be unlocked using a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, although facial recognition is also available. In my opinion, it’s more accurate and faster than in-display fingerprint scanners, and it’s easily accessible.
Realme 9 Pro is definitely one of the most feature-rich Android phones available at this price point. The Realme 9 Pro 5G is a solid option for its pricing, with features like a fast Snapdragon 695 CPU, 120 Hz display, 33W fast charging, RAM expansion feature, and Android 12 out-of-the-box. The camera performs admirably, supports 5G, and outperforms its predecessor. Plus, you can’t take your eyes away from its dazzling Light Shift colour-changing design.
This phone lacks stereo speakers, an AMOLED screen, and 50W fast charging, yet despite these flaws, it is a good alternative for users looking for a smartphone around Rs. 20,000. Overall, if you’re on a limited budget, this is a wonderful option, as it offers everything you might want from a smartphone without costing a fortune. It’s an excellent mid-range smartphone.