There is no denying that the Realme 9 Series made an impact this year. As soon as the Realme 9 Pro and the Pro + made it into the scene. They released the realme 8i’s successor, which is the Realme 9i. It may be smaller than the other 9 Series, but it shares a similar look and design. It showcases a 50mp triple camera setup, and a 90Hz refresh rate display, and it is protected by a Dragontail Pro Glass. So the question is, is the realme 9i really a successor? Or is it just a rebrand of the 8i? Keep reading to find out more.
With it comes to its design, the Realme 9i is a slim and light device and it has rounded corners. Like other budget Android phones, the Realme 9i has a reflective coating, but it is made of lightweight plastic. The color variant of our review unit is Prism Blue which is made of polycarbonate material with the effect of the “Stereo-Prism” design and it is attractive to look at.
On its right side is the power button that also serves as a fingerprint sensor. While on its left, there are volume rockers and a sim tray containing two nano-SIM cards along with a dedicated slot for expandable storage. Above it, there is a secondary microphone, and below is the USB C Port, 3.5mm audio jack, main microphone, and the speaker grille.
It has a large 6.6-inch 1080p LCD display with relatively thin bezels on the top and sides, while the chin is thicker. It has a punch-hole-type selfie camera on the top left which gives a better look. It also has FHD+ resolution paired with a 90Hz refresh rate with 480 nits of peak brightness. The display is great for indoor use and entertainment since the colors are sharp and it pops out. And even though peak brightness is low using it outdoors is still okay. You can comfortably see what is on the screen with the brightness set to maximum, and even though it’s not packed with a 120hz display like its predecessor, somehow it’s a good thing for its battery consumption.
Moving on to the cameras, it has a triple-camera setup in the main, 50MP wide, 2MP in macro, and also 2MP depth. It also has a 16MP selfie camera. Even without an ultra-wide-angle camera in the realme 9i, you can still shoot at full 50MP resolution, and with that, the pictures come out more detailed and sharp, especially in distant objects.
Portraits have good edge detection and the phone lets you select the level of background blur before taking a photo, which is great.
For macros, it provides decent detail, but still, images tend to come out blurry. And when it comes to night mode shots, in the right situation, can be stunning. If there is a lot of light around, even auto-shooting causes acceptable results.
Switching to its front camera, the selfie camera outputs bright and decent colors with a true to life skin tone. It also offers a wide lens to capture more subjects in one take.
As for video recording, the main camera supports 720p up to 1080p at 30fps. But expect it to be a bouncy footage since this smartphone does not have any stabilization feature, so might as well use a tripod when taking videos.
SPECS & PERFORMANCE
Realme 9i is running on an Android 11, which is filled in with Realme UI 2.0. The UI is user-friendly and you won’t have any problems finding your way around. There are also some pre-installed apps that you can uninstall anytime. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 with an Adreno 610 GPU, and 4GB of RAM. It also has a RAM expansion of up to 5GB of memory taken from your 128GB internal storage. Throughout my whole day of experience, the conditions related to the performance of this device have been quite entertaining. From switching to different applications, and opening apps, we experience no problems at all.
We will be putting out a full gaming review soon on our YouTube channel, so stay tuned for that.
Although the Realme 9i is not much of an upgrade, they still win it when it comes to battery life. It is packed with a 5000mAh battery, in which the full charge provides nearly eight hours of screen-on time with regular use. As for its charging, it is paired with 33W of fast charging, and juicing up the device from 0 to 100% took us about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The Realme 9i is one of the budget smartphones that are available at a lower price. It is priced at PHP. 11,990 and it offers a price-to-value ratio and more than adequate performance as long as you are not focusing on games and if photography and battery performance are your top priority. Nonetheless, we can’t say that it is an upgrade since it only provides minor changes from its predecessor. At this point, the realme 8i can still offer minimal value at the same price for some other users.