Realme 9 4G review

4 days ago 9

The Realme 9 is simply a perfectly fine, precise affordable Android phone, with a truly bully surface and better-than-average artillery life. But you could reason that determination are amended worth phones to beryllium had some further down and further up the terms standard astatine the moment.

Pros

  • +

    Impressive screen

  • +

    Battery beingness is great

  • +

    Affordable price

Cons

  • -

    Plain looks

  • -

    Average performance

  • -

    No 5G connectivity

Two-minute review

The Realme 9 being held up   look   forwards against a wall

(Image credit: Future)

At this signifier successful the Realme story, we beauteous overmuch cognize what to expect from the brand: solid, unspectacular, bully worth smartphones, and rather a batch of them. The Realme 9 is 1 of the latest to arrive, and it offers immoderate appealing features for the precise tenable terms of £249 successful the UK.

It's absorbing to comparison the telephone we're reviewing present straight with the Realme 9 5G – which, arsenic the sanction suggests, adds 5G. The modular Realme 9 sticks with 4G, though it does person a faster wired charging complaint and an OLED alternatively than an LCD screen. It seems that Realme is trying to screen arsenic galore bases arsenic possible. 

Even conscionable wrong the existent Realme range, the Realme 9 risks getting mislaid successful the noise, and that's earlier you've weighed it against different smartphones astir this terms point, similar the Oppo A74 5G and the Samsung Galaxy A33 5G. It's a pugnacious conception of the marketplace to carve retired abstraction successful and you could reason that the Realme 9 doesn't rather bash enough.

While it lacks 5G, it does person a bright, crisp OLED surface moving astatine a 90Hz refresh rate, and notably bully artillery beingness – this is simply a telephone that volition agelong to 2 days betwixt charges if you're cautious with it. It besides has a rear camera that's amended than you mightiness expect astatine this terms point, 1 that's really susceptible of taking shots astatine nighttime (not ever a fixed erstwhile you're spending this magnitude of wealth connected a phone).

On the downside, arsenic good arsenic missing retired connected 5G you don't get waterproofing oregon wireless charging. The interior specs are thing to constitute location about, and portion this doesn't marque the telephone peculiarly laggy and sluggish, you'll get amended show crossed a longer clip framework from thing much expensive.

Keep a adjacent oculus connected the pricing of the Realme 9, due to the fact that if you tin get a bully woody connected it past it mightiness beryllium worthy investing in. In general, though, we'd similar to spot a fewer much features that we could get excited about.

Realme 9 terms and availability

  • UK terms of £249
  • Availability looks limited
  • No US/Aus availability

Realme has stated that the Realme 9 volition spell connected merchantability successful the UK for the precise tenable terms of £249, though availability mightiness beryllium an issue... astatine the clip of penning we can't find it for merchantability anyplace successful the UK, including Realme's ain UK site, truthful ticker this abstraction for updates. As is mean for Realme, the telephone isn't going connected merchantability successful the US oregon Australia.

Realme 9 design

The backmost  of the Realme 9 being held up   against a wall

(Image credit: Future)
  • Standard smartphone looks
  • Rippled effect connected the back
  • Room for a headphone jack

There are nary existent surprises oregon innovations successful the plan of the Realme 9 – and thing to peculiarly enactment you disconnected the telephone either. In presumption of its aesthetics, it's astir arsenic modular arsenic a smartphone gets successful 2022, with the bladed bezels astir the display, the punch spread notch successful the country of the screen, the mildly rounded edges and corners, and the rear camera module stuck connected the backmost up successful the apical near corner. There's besides a fingerprint sensor embedded successful the show for easier unlocking.

And we accidental the camera is conscionable stuck on, we bash mean stuck on: there's nary finesse successful the mode that the rear camera module has been attached to the integrative backmost of the Realme 9. It would've been bully to spot Realme bash thing a spot much subtle oregon tasteful here, but it's not a implicit disaster. There's thing successful the plan of the Realme 9 that would drawback your oculus successful a store model oregon peculiarly enactment you disconnected buying the handset, though the backmost of the telephone does person a reasonably absorbing ripple effect that catches the airy rather nicely. Black, achromatic and golden (the 1 we had) are the colour choices.

If you're wondering if the handset is going to acceptable successful your pocket, its dimensions are 160.2 mm x 73.3 mm x 8 mm (that's 6.3 inches x 2.89 inches x 0.31 inches) and it weighs 178 grams (or 0.39 lbs). It feels comfy and coagulated successful the hand, and it's not a telephone you're going to easy drop. One bonus worthy mentioning: there's a bladed protective furniture connected apical of the surface that's already successful spot erstwhile you instrumentality the smartphone retired of its box, though the telephone itself isn't waterproof oregon dustproof.

As you look astatine the telephone from the front, the measurement keys are down the right-hand broadside of the handset, with the powerfulness cardinal connected the left. At the bottom, Realme has recovered abstraction for a headphone jack, and there's a USB-C larboard for charging and information transfer. In the container and there's some a USB-C to USB-A charging cablegram and a powerfulness adapter – that second inclusion is thing of a rarity these days, though you get a European-style two-pin plug alternatively than the modular 3-pin 1 for the UK. A elemental integrative lawsuit is besides included.

Realme 9 display

The Realme 9 lying look   up   connected  a model   sill

(Image credit: Future)
  • 6.4-inch Super AMOLED
  • 90Hz refresh rate
  • High brightness level

The surface connected this telephone is simply a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED sheet that runs astatine a solution of 1080 x 2400 pixels and a refresh complaint of 90Hz. Ramp it up to the maximum brightness and it's really a decent screen: crisp, vibrant and sharp. In the show settings connected the phone, you tin prime betwixt a Vivid (P3), Natural and Pro mode, and set the surface somesthesia utilizing a abstracted slider.

During our clip with the Realme 9, we watched immoderate videos, browsed the web, flicked done photos, checked societal media, navigated astir utilizing maps, played immoderate games, and did each the different tasks that you mostly bash connected a smartphone. The surface stood up precise good successful each case. We'd accidental it's 1 of the highlights of the phone.

If you're being peculiarly picky you mightiness accidental that the show could beryllium bigger, but that's truly down to idiosyncratic preference. The OLED exertion deployed present works truly well, and we don't deliberation anyone who picks up the Realme 9 arsenic their adjacent smartphone is going to beryllium disappointed with the display.

Realme 9 camera

A adjacent  up   of the rear camera module connected  the Realme 9

(Image credit: Future)
  • Decent shots a batch of the time
  • 108MP main camera sensor
  • No optical zoom available

The Realme 9 comes equipped with a triple-lens 108MP wide + 8MP ultrawide + 2MP macro camera. The astir noticeable portion of that is the 108MP main camera lens. That's up to flagship levels successful presumption of megapixel count, though of people photograph and video prime aren't each astir the fig of megapixels. On the beforehand of the telephone is simply a 16MP selfie camera that isn't peculiarly notable. Video signaling tops retired astatine 1080p and 30fps.

In use, the rear camera is susceptible of producing immoderate precise bully shots. Pictures travel retired crisp and detailed, with well-balanced colors that are lone occasionally oversaturated by default. The HDR processing works good to support the lighter and the darker parts of images visible.

The Realme 9 rear camera besides performs beauteous good successful debased airy conditions – not rather arsenic good arsenic the cameras connected top-level flagship phones, but inactive good capable to get usable photos. There's a dedicated nighttime mode successful the camera that helps bring retired much details and trim the sound successful darker images, arsenic good arsenic a pro mode that gives you much power implicit ISO, achromatic equilibrium and truthful on.

Considering the terms you're paying for the phone, the camera prime is good truly – a batch of the clip you're going to get perfectly decent shots, and determination are tons of modes and settings to play astir with. A much costly telephone volition get you a camera that does amended astatine nighttime and has optical zoom, but the Realme 9 does okay.

Realme 9 camera samples

The Realme 9 has a susceptible triple-lens rear camera (Image credit: Future)

Realme 9 show and specs

The Realme 9 lying look   down   connected  a model   sill

(Image credit: Future)
  • Average performance
  • Runs each your apps and games
  • No 5G connectivity

Invest successful the Realme 9 and the specs you get successful instrumentality are a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. That isn't rather scraping the tube successful presumption of specs for moving an Android smartphone, but successful presumption of earthy speed, this is simply a agelong mode down the premium phones connected the market. The Realme 9 racks up Geekbench 5 scores of 381 (single-core), 1566 (multi-core), and 431 (OpenCL), truthful you tin spot that it's by nary means a powerhouse of a smartphone.

That said, you're going to beryllium capable to tally everything you request to tally connected the Realme 9, including high-end games (even if loading times mightiness beryllium importantly slower than they are connected thing similar the Samsung Galaxy S22). There's nary of the lag and hold that you get connected cheaper phones than the Realme 9, and everything hums on reasonably good – you conscionable mightiness announcement a spot of a show driblet if you unfastened up dozens of browser tabs, oregon possibly aft a twelvemonth oregon 2 of use.

Unlike different handsets successful the Realme 9 series, this modular variation of the telephone comes without 5G. While that mightiness not beryllium a dealbreaker, what with 4G speeds being perfectly respectable, it does consciousness a spot unusual to person phones launching without 5G exertion astatine this stage. We'd similar to spot it included, particularly arsenic these next-gen networks rotation retired successful much and much parts of the world.

Realme 9 software

The Realme 9 Android interface

(Image credit: Future)
  • Android 12 connected board
  • Realme UI 3.0 is adequate
  • Lots of settings

The Realme 9 runs Android 12 with Realme UI 3.0 connected apical of it. Realme UI is simply a comparatively intuitive and straightforward operating system, though we person to confess to preferring the standard, cleanable banal Android astir of each – this is much astir idiosyncratic taste, though, and your mileage whitethorn vary.

There's a spot of bloatware here, including apps for Amazon and Booking.com, but it's casual capable to get escaped of them. Realme provides its ain apps for mounting alarms, viewing photos, managing files and truthful on, but it's casual to power to the superior Google equivalents, and successful general, everything feels uncluttered.

As tends to beryllium the lawsuit with Android phones from China, there's an extended Settings surface with bonus features you won't find successful Android: features similar a Smart Sidebar, floating windows, and a speedy motorboat panel. How utile these features are is debatable, but they're determination if you request them.

Realme 9 artillery life

The Realme 9 successful  3  colors

(Image credit: Realme)
  • 5,000mAh capableness battery
  • Up to 2 days of use
  • 33W wired charging

Battery beingness is nary uncertainty 1 of the highlights of the wide Realme 9 package: the 5,000mAh capableness artillery fitted present is bully for 2 days if you don't usage it each that often. Most days you'll marque it comfortably from greeting to evening and inactive person plentifulness of foodstuff near earlier you spell to bed. More clip betwixt artillery charges is 1 of the benefits of a lower-spec processor and the lack of 5G.

In our modular one-hour video streaming test, the artillery level dropped by conscionable 5%, indicating an awesome wide video playback clip of 20 hours. That was with the show brightness ramped up to the max though, and the measurement acceptable reasonably low, truthful you'd beryllium capable to get adjacent much clip if you dimmed the surface and utilized headphones.

As you mightiness expect from a telephone astatine this terms point, there's nary wireless charging connected the Realme 9. In presumption of wired charging implicit USB-C, the 33W charging should beryllium capable to powerfulness up the telephone from 0% to 100% successful arsenic small arsenic 75 minutes, truthful you won't person to hold astir agelong for it to complaint up.

Should you bargain the Realme 9?

The Realme 9 successful  3  colors

(Image credit: Realme)

Buy it if...

Don't bargain it if...

First reviewed: June 2022

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We pridefulness ourselves connected our independency and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up semipermanent attraction to the products we reappraisal and making definite our reviews are updated and maintained - careless of erstwhile a instrumentality was released, if you tin inactive bargain it, it's connected our radar.

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David Nield

Dave is simply a freelance tech writer who has been penning astir gadgets, apps and the web for much than 2 decades. Based retired of Stockport, England, connected TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, peculiarly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to guarantee our breaking quality sum is the champion successful the concern implicit weekends, David besides has bylines astatine Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a fewer different places besides, arsenic good arsenic being galore years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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