The Realme 9 5G is arguably one of the greatest mid-range 5G smartphones currently on the market. Recent reviews by AndroidHeadlines included the Realme GT2 Explorer Master and the Realme GT Neo 3 Naruto Edition, two exceptional and uncommon smartphones. I complied when Realme requested that I review their entry-level 9 series 5G device. Additionally, I was interested in comparing the Realme 9 5G to the Realme 7 from roughly two years ago.
The base 4GB/64GB variant of the Realme 9 5G costs around 260. Motorola, Xiaomi, and POCO are some of the competitors at this pricing bracket. So let’s open the Realme 9 5G and compare it to the competition.
REALME 9 5G UNBOXING
You will find the Realme 9 5G smartphone, an 18W charging brick, a USB-C cable, a SIM ejector tool, and documentation inside the standard yellow and black retail box. A pretty high-quality smoke-gray TPU case is also included in the box, which is a wonderful gift. Additionally, the phone has a factory-applied film screen protector as usual.
Advertisement A PREMIUM FEEL IS PRESENT IN THE REALME 9 5G HARDWARE DESIGN.
The in-hand ergonomics of our Meteor Black Realme 9 5G evaluation device are outstanding. And at first sight, you could think it’s a high-end item that costs hundreds more. The headphone connector on the bottom rail is the only obvious indication that this is not a high-end gadget. And the fact that Realme has preserved a working headphone jack on a 5G handset in 2022 makes me very happy.
On the bottom rail, in addition to the headphone jack, are the microphone, USB-C port, and speaker grille. An embedded fingerprint scanner is built into the power button on the right-side rail. The second microphone is located at the top. The dual-SIM/micro SD card slot and the volume buttons are located on the left side rail.
1 The triple camera module on the back has a classy look and exudes luxury. Although it has a matte appearance, the plastic back cover doesn’t do a great job of preventing fingerprint smudges. The non-garish realme logo, which gives the phone a good, tidy appearance on the back, is another feature I enjoy.
The front of the device has a big 6.6-inch display with a hole for the selfie camera. The bezels are all the same size but the top and sides are a little thick. The bottom chin, which is evident but not as thick as handsets from Motorola or POCO, is the only additional indication that this is not a luxury gadget.
REALME 9 5G HAS A 120HZ REFRESH RATE 6.6-INCH DISPLAY
Large 6.6-inch IPS LCD display on the Realme 9 5G. This is undoubtedly one of the nicest LCD panels I have seen in 2022, despite the fact that we all would prefer an AMOLED display. It is bright, the colors are vivid, and the combination of the 240Hz touch sampling rate and the 120Hz refresh rate makes for a wonderful viewing experience.
The display panel features a 400 ppi pixel density and a 2412 x 1080 resolution. The Realme 9 5G offers a great 90.8% screen-to-body ratio and reasonably thin bezels. You’ll discover that there is plenty of space for social media scrolling or watching videos.
Advertisement 5G IS ANDROID 12
7 SOFTWARE ON THE REALME
Realme 9 5G uses Android 12.0 with a customized interface called realme UI 3.0. You receive all of Android 12’s benefits along with a few Realme-exclusive features. Overall, I appreciate how the user interface feels and looks because it resembles that of Google quite a bit.
There is a complete set of Google apps, and none of them have the same functionality as one another. There is very little bloatware; there are only 6 apps. And you may remove each and every one of them. So props to Realme for starting out with a clutter-free software experience. Additionally, unlike devices from Xiaomi or POCO, the UI is free of advertisements, which is a pleasant touch.
Advertisement But there are a few irritating details. First off, a left swipe from the home screen has no effect, and for some strange reason, Google Discover is not accessible. Second, August is when this review is being written. Our review unit, however, is still unable to move past the March 2022 security patch. From the perspective of software updates and security, this is undoubtedly bad news.
FOR DAILY TASK, INCLUDING GAMING, PERFORMANCE IS GREAT
Snapdragon 695 5G CPU is used in the Realme 9 5G. (6nm process). The Adreno 619 GPU is also a part of the octa-core (22.2 GHz Kryo 660 Gold and 61.7 GHz Kryo 660 Silver) CPU. Scores on Geekbench are actually extremely impressive. My current everyday driver is a Pixel 5 with a Snapdragon 765 processor. Furthermore, the Realme 9 5G benchmark scores are higher, so there should be no performance concerns for routine work.
Advertisement There are two versions of the Realme 9 5G: 4GB/64GB and 8GB/128GB. Even though there is an inbuilt micro SD card expansion slot, I advise getting the higher capacity option since it is only $20 more expensive.
No specific gaming mode exists. To increase performance when gaming, however, go to Battery options, Advanced settings, and Performance Mode. Users shouldn’t have any trouble completing ordinary work or playing games. The dynamic RAM function in the settings menu allows you to add 3GB RAM even though the basic RAM is just 4GB.
BATTERY LIFE IS OUTSTANDING Even though charging rates could be improved
Advertisement With the Realme 9 5G, battery concerns are eliminated. With a huge 5,000 mAh battery and the Snapdragon 695’s reasonable power efficiency, this gadget may easily survive from morning until night. Even a 2-day battery life is quite doable for moderate users.
My primary complaint is that the Realme 9 5G came with an 18W charging brick, which confused me a little because earlier models had a 30W charging brick. Compared to the Realme GT Neo 3 Naruto Edition, which can charge from 0 to 50% in under 5 minutes, a 30-minute charge will only get you to 50%. Furthermore, a full charge takes an incredible one hour and twenty minutes, thus I assume it is advisable to charge the phone overnight. In this manner, adaptive charging can support maintaining battery health.
ADVANCED AUDIO PERFORMANCE
There is only one bottom-firing speaker because this is not a flagship gadget. The audio output is adequate for a single speaker, albeit it does become fairly tinny if the speaker grille is covered at the bottom.
The audio output via the headphone connector, on the other hand, is excellent, especially if you have a pair of good wired earphones. Thankfully, once you connect the earphones in, the Real Sound Technology feature in the Sound and Vibration settings is activated by default. I chose a pair of Realme TWS earbuds for the review because the audio output over Bluetooth is fairly strong.
The majority of the time, the REALME 9 5G camera’s performance is rather good.
On the back, there are three cameras. Unfortunately, you will only use the 50MP main camera the majority of the time. This is due to the fact that the other two only have a 2MP sensor for depth and macro tasks. A 16MP selfie camera is located on the front, which is sufficient for sporadic social media posting.
In both daylight and cloudy/rainy conditions, the main camera on the rear does give high-quality results (picture and video). With little experience, it can even capture images reasonably well at night. Even though they are a little soft, overall, photographs are good for posting on social media because of their excellent color composition, white balance, and contrast. View the example images in our Flickr gallery and make your own judgment.
ON THE REALME 9 5G, THE CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS ARE MANY (
Therefore, even though the Realme 9 has a Snapdragon 5G CPU, I was unable to use it with T-Mobile in Southern California to access 5G. However, I believe it shouldn’t be a problem in regions of the world where Realme directly sells this device.
However, I was able to connect to 4G immediately away, and the speeds were on pace with other 4G devices I have tested. There are no concerns with the device from the standpoint of a real-world use case. In reality, I had no problems using this phone in Arizona, Puerto Rico, or Costa Rica.
The handset or hands-free speakerphone modes worked well for phone calls. It was simple to pair the headphones or automobile via Bluetooth. Contactless payments via Google Pay were successful using the onboard NFC. To view media or share files, you can also use the screencast and nearby share options. Although it can appear like there are less possibilities than with prior Realme devices, you shouldn’t generally experience too many connectivity issues.
ARE YOU SUITABLE FOR THE REALME 9 5G?
When it comes to what a great smartphone should be, the Realme 9 5G ticks a lot of the right boxes. It has a clean, bloat-free software environment, a 120Hz refresh rate display, an excellent battery life, and a superb hardware design language. NFC, a headphone jack, and a quick and accurate fingerprint scanner are also included.
There is an extendable storage option, built-in 5G connectivity, and a decent camera experience. A twin speaker arrangement and a stronger haptic motor are both desirable improvements, although ultimately these are modest ones given the price.
It is undoubtedly a fantastic smartphone to have for the price. However, the normal Realme 9 is a fantastic choice to consider since it has a superior AMOLED display if 5G connectivity isn’t that excellent in your area.