Recently, I had the opportunity to thoroughly test the new Realme 9 Pro Plus smartphone. The flagship Sony IMX766 sensor with dual OIS, EIS and AI Noise Cancellation 3.0 technology should provide unparalleled photo quality in this price segment.
Realme models marked with numbers are aimed at a wider audience. The popularity of the line comes down to the fact that we can already demand special and additional solutions, but at a fairly low price. This is exactly what the 9 Pro Plus promises to be, to the review of which I invite you.
Specifications Realme 9 Pro Plus
|Screen||6.4″ Super AMOLED, 2400×1080 pixels (~411 ppi), 90Hz, 430 nits (typ.), 600 nits (HBM), 20:9 aspect ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, heart rate monitor function|
|CPU||MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G (6nm) Octa-Core (2x Cortex-A78 up to 2.5GHz + 6x Cortex-A55 up to 2.0GHz)|
|Inner memory||128/256 GB UFS 2.2|
|System and software||Android 12, RealmeUI 3.0 UI|
|Front camera||16 MP, f/2.4, wide-angle, 27 mm, 1/3.09″, 1.0 µm|
|Main camera||50 MP, f/1.8, wide-angle, 24mm, 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS + 8 MP, f/2.2, ultra-wide angle, 119˚, 16 mm, 1/4.0 inch, 1.12 μm + 2 MP, f/ 2.4, macro|
|Video recording||Main: [email protected], [email protected]/60/120/480fps, [email protected], Gyro-EIS Front: [email protected], EIS Gyro|
|Communication and connections||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.2, A2DP, LE, aptX HD, NFC, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, USB Type-C 2.0, USB On-The-Go|
|networks||GSM/HSPA/LTE/5G 2G GSM 850/900/1800/1900 – SIM 1 and SIM 2 3G HSDPA 850/900/1700(AWS)/1900/2100 4G bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 38, 39, 40, 41, 66 5G bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41, 66, 77, 78 SA/NSA|
|Sound and audio||Stereo speakers 24-bit/192 kHz, 3.5 mm jack|
|Sensors and features||Fingerprint scanner (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass|
|Battery||Li-Po 4500 mAh, non-removable, fast charging 60 W, 100% in 44 min (advertised), USB Power Delivery 3.0|
|Colors||Midnight black, glow green, sunrise blue|
|materials||Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), glass back, aluminum frame|
|Dimensions and weight||160.2×73.3×8mm, 182g|
Unpacking and kit
The Realme 9 Pro Plus smartphone comes in a yellow box, typical for the manufacturer, but there have been changes – there is more black and the overall design has changed.
But, the main thing is the content, and there are no changes here:
- Silicone Case
- USB-A to USB-C cable
- Charger SuperDart (60 W)
- Documentation and key for the SIM tray
One of the key innovations of the 9 Pro Plus is the presence of 5G. As such, Realme has stressed that the new communication standard should go public. However, in all materials, the company draws attention to the camera, which we can find on flagship smartphones.
Design and appearance
Realme 9 Pro Plus has a classic design with minimal edges, glass back and front with bumps on the corners.
There is no problem with slipping in the hands, but there is one familiar solution, the protrusion of the camera module still rises above the body. The most conservative, black version came to my review, although here, too, the play of light on the case is noticeable. Alas, fingerprints and other dirt are visible on the glossy surface.
Read Also: Motorola Moto G200 5G review: a smartphone with flagship performance at an affordable price
The build quality of the 9 Pro Plus is uncomplaining. The plastic used is in good harmony with other materials, and the smartphone itself fits comfortably in the hand.
The front includes a cutout in the corner for a selfie camera and an optical fingerprint scanner built into the screen. Above the display is a speaker, which is part of the stereo system. It all works pretty well, but Realme should consider chin reduction. The bottom of the 9 Pro Plus stands out from the competition.
The camera module in this model looks familiar, although this is an innovation for Realme. It is more interesting in terms of details, like imitation glass around the lenses, which is perfectly visible at an angle. Of course, there are curves on the back panel to make it easier to grip.
Along the edges of the reviewed smartphone, a lot of emphasis is placed on the flat sides, taking into account the appropriate slope so that ergonomics do not suffer. On individual faces we find:
- Above is an additional microphone.
- Bottom – speaker, USB-C connector, main microphone, 3.5 mm.
- The left side is the volume keys and the SIM card tray.
- The right side is the lock button.
Theoretically, the buttons could be a bit thicker, but separating tasks into two sides makes it easier to use. I also have to praise the stereo speakers, which, while not the best, are good. The sound stage, although limited, does not cut the ear. By the way, the sound is quite loud.
Theoretically, Realme 9 Pro Plus offers the same display as its predecessor. In practice, small changes can be seen.
Although for most users these are details, you should know that the screen of the tested smartphone is good. It does not try to match the flagships, but it is not average either. The fact that this is OLED is not always obvious, we get depth, good color reproduction, as well as HDR support.
This is indirectly connected with a good brightness of 470 nits, which is enough on sunny days, because it can reach 680 nits.
New for Realme in this class is the combination of an OLED screen with a refresh rate of 90Hz, this value clearly changes the display experience. Unfortunately, although this aspect is noticeable in system navigation and many applications, games still run at 60 frames per second, there is still room for improvement.
Cameras in 9 Pro Plus
The Realme 9 Pro Plus greeted me with a new camera system, but not exactly a new photography app.
Basically, the software was updated stylistically, which had a positive effect not only on the appearance, but also on the readability of the elements. All functionality remained unchanged, and at a very good level. Ergonomics are improved by the ability to set modes under each other, several options in the settings, and retractable panels with important switches.
Of the interesting modes, it is definitely worth highlighting – Street, it allows you to create interesting effects. AI additions also try to improve image quality, although they can sometimes do more harm than good. The main thing is that everything works quickly and efficiently.
Realme 9 Pro+ allows you to record video in resolutions:
- 4K at 30 fps.
- 1080p at 30 and 60 fps.
- 720p at 30 and 60 fps.
- 960 fps at 720p.
- 480 fps at 1080p.
The fashion for unnecessary cameras has not passed, so in the 9 Pro Plus we will find a 2-megapixel macro lens. There’s also a basic wide-angle lens that works well mostly during the day. A relatively narrow tonal range is difficult in the case of cloudless weather, and the colors are clearly different from the main matrix and real ones.
Don’t expect a high level of detail either. At night, the overall visibility and noise is not encouraging. Therefore, let’s move on to the main camera, which Realme loudly calls the flagship. The Sony IMX766 sensor is used in many high-end smartphones (for example, OnePlus 9 Pro ), and in slightly cheaper ones (like OnePlus Nord 2 ).
This is to be commended, but there are additional aspects of mobile photography to consider, namely the image processing unit (ISP) as well as the software. So we don’t get 100% flagship experience. However, the 9 Pro+ really raises the bar for camera performance in its segment.
Very good detail, during the day it is generally difficult to find fault with the quality. At night, the results are also good, with one exception - the white balance. He clearly gravitates towards warm shades, which is unnatural and surprising. In this regard, even a wide-angle lens works better when there is enough light.
Moving on to shooting video, the optical image stabilization deserves praise, which works without any complaints. Sharpness adjustment is also not a problem. In turn, videos can boast the same characteristics as photographs.
It can be seen that the shell of the company is ripe for the needs, including the European user. That is why the interface becomes more thoughtful, readable and useful at every stage. In the case of the 9 Pro Plus, it is worth emphasizing the presence of an extensive haptic system that works well with Android.
By the way, there are many standard options here, we still have a smart sidebar, a lot of personalization options, flexible windows and several features from Realme. Including heart rate measurement through a fingerprint scanner. However, you will notice ads and minor translation errors.
The new MediaTek processor in Realme’s top-of-the-line model replaces the well-worn Snapdragon 720 from the previous three generations of Realme Pro smartphones.
This is a very good change and a clear update that was needed. The Dimensity 920 chipset performs well, you can feel that it has a lot of performance left.
Realme’s internal memory expansion technology also makes itself felt in everyday work. You definitely don’t have to worry about performance here.
Autonomy Realme 9 Pro Plus
Realme in the latest generations of its smartphones has messed up a little with batteries, more precisely, with charging technology.
All models marked Pro, and now Pro +, are equipped with a 4500 mAh battery. Due to the fact that the display is of a similar level, all the advantages and disadvantages of battery life are clearly balanced.
The smartphone will work without problems for about 2 days with the display on or:
- 7 hours in normal mode (websites, YouTube, social networks).
- 4 hours at full load.
The main thing is that Realme 9 Pro Plus does not get hot during intensive use, as well as charging. By the way, the smartphone offers 60W fast charging, which replenishes the battery up to 100% in 45 minutes. After the first 30 minutes we get 85%. The results are almost identical to previous generations and better than its predecessor.
Realme 9 Pro Plus is the latest addition to the company’s portfolio. On the one hand, this is the successor to Realme 8 Pro , on the other, something completely new and more expensive. This is evidenced by the price, which makes one believe that this is the successor to the Realme GT Master Edition and the main competitor of the OnePlus Nord 2.
Undoubtedly, the 9 Pro Plus has a lot to offer, like better performance, a clearly improved main camera and up-to-date software. Of course, you can also see things that need to be improved in the next edition, like the reduction of bezels around the display or the quality of all cameras.
- Nice 90Hz OLED display
- Flagship main camera
- Improved performance with 5G
- Autonomy and fast charging 60 W
- Good value for money
- Increased price
- Not everyone likes a glossy case
- It’s time to get rid of unnecessary cameras
Is it worth buying
Many people expect affordable smartphones with lots of features from Realme, and the 9 Pro Plus is no exception. First of all, it is worth evaluating the improvement in the quality of photos and videos from the main camera, although other matrices are clearly worse. In addition, the display and general characteristics are good.
Realme 9 Pro Plus review
Realme 9 Pro Plus is a device aimed at mobile photography enthusiasts. The device has a good processor, screen and main camera, taken from the flagship brothers.