Realme 9 Pro 5G Review: Modern Hardware and great autonomy

Realme 9 Pro 5G Review: Modern Hardware and great autonomy

 

The Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone offers specifications that rank it among the best choices in the mid-range category, and you can read how it performed in our test in the detailed review below.

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Introduction

Realme is the fastest growing smartphone company that has been achieving significant success on the market for years. It is a young company that was founded in 2018 by the former Vice President of Oppo and the head of Sky Li's overseas affairs department. The company was initially planned as a sub-brand of BKK Electronics - Oppo Mobiles, but later became an independent entity. Realme finished last year as the seventh best-selling smartphone brand in the world, leaving behind some much more hyped brands like Nokia or Motorola. Despite this, Realme is still weakly, one might say, unjustifiably represented on our market. The success of this company was ensured by a good offer of mainly mid-range devices with a very good ratio of invested and received, and our test Realme 9 Pro 5G is on that track. Looking at the specs,

Realme 9 Pro 5G had its premiere together with the Realme 9 Pro 5G+ model in February of this year in India, and in the meantime it became available for purchase on the European market, so now we have the opportunity to test it. Some of the more significant features of the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone are a 6.6-inch screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor paired with 6 or 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory. You can see the full list of specifications on our Comparison below:


Realme 9 Pro - basic features

– SCREEN: 6.4 inches, IPS, 1080 x 2412 dots

– PROCESSOR: Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 (SM6375), 8 cores, 2.2 GHz

– RAM: 6 GB 8 GB

– INTERNAL MEMORY: 128 GB 256 GB

– FRONT CAMERA: 16 MP

– REAR CAMERA: 64 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP

- OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 12

- BATTERY: 5000 mAh

- DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT: 75.6 x 164.3 x 8.5 mm, 195 g

We received the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone for testing in a memory configuration that includes 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory. The Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone arrived in black, and customers were offered a choice of blue and green variants. The contents of the box in which the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone comes are standard, and in addition to the device itself, it includes some paperwork, a pin for opening the SIM tray, a USB cable, a charger and a protective mask.

The Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone can be purchased at the popular Hekka webshop , where in addition to the already favorable price and free shipping, you can get an extra discount if you enter " Racunalo10 " in the coupon code field, the price will drop by another $10 (that is, for any order above $29).


Design

In terms of appearance, the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone is just another in a sea of ​​similar or identical devices, and it doesn't really bring anything to stand out on the market. You could easily say that the company played it safe in this matter. This is not something that should surprise us because this is still a mid-range device that should attract its customers mainly with its specifications. That this is a device whose primary task was to offer the lowest possible price can also be seen from the materials of manufacture, where mostly plastic prevails. Thus, all the physical buttons as well as the frame of the device are made of plastic, and the same material dominates the shiny back panel.

Speaking of the rear panel, let's also mention that there is a module with three cameras next to which there is an LED flash, while in the lower part there is a Realme logo. The fingerprint sensor is placed in the power button. This fingerprint sensor proved to be very fast and accurate. The slightly rounded edges make this device very comfortable to hold, but at the same time very slippery in the hands due to the smooth surfaces, but luckily the package also includes a protective mask with which it is much more practical and safer to handle the device.

On the left side of the device, there are buttons for volume control as well as the tray for the SIM card. This layout of the buttons takes a bit of getting used to, so we have to admit that we much prefer when all the buttons are located on the right side of the device. The front of the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone is dominated by a 6.6-inch screen that occupied as much as 90.8% of the front panel. The company does not provide any information about whether the front panel of the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass or some other type of protection against scratches and other damage. In the upper left corner of the screen, there is a larger cutout in which the selfie camera is located. Just above the screen there is a wide speaker for calls. The lower part of the device is reserved for the 3.5 mm audio output, microphone, USB Type-C port and speaker.

Another useful feature that some of Realme's smartphones have is a certain water resistance, but in this case the company does not provide any information about it. In terms of dimensions, the Realme 9 Pro 5G is placed in a case measuring 164.3 × 75.6 × 8.5 millimeters, while its weight is 195 grams.

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Realme 9 Pro 5G Design


Screen

Although the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone with a recommended price of 319.99 euros belongs to the price range where you can find a device with a good AMOLED screen, the company still opted for an IPS variant of the screen. This is a very solid IPS screen, but considering the price range, we would still prefer to see an AMOLED screen here. Realme is the first company to install screens with a higher refresh rate in cheaper smartphones, and the Realme 9 Pro 5G has something to say about that.

The screen of the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone would definitely not be a segment of this smartphone on which we would spend too many words if it did not have a 120 Hz refresh rate. In addition, as we have already mentioned, the Realme 9 Pro 5G comes with a 6.6-inch IPS LCD screen, which, as we have already written, has a hole-shaped cutout inside which the selfie camera is located. The screen is adorned with an FHD+ (2,412 x 1,080 pixels) resolution image, and the company also states that the body-to-screen ratio is as high as 90.8%. We will also mention the touch response speed, which is 240Hz. Basically, it's a solid screen that won't disappoint, but it can hardly compete with competing AMOLED solutions.

The company does not provide information about the brightness level of this screen, according to some unofficial data it has a brightness of 430 nits, however we can confirm first hand that this screen can be used in open spaces, but in direct sunlight it is better to seek shelter. This screen offers six refresh levels depending on the content being displayed. Thus, the screen will have a refresh rate of 30Hz for static display, 48Hz for movies, 50Hz for Teleplay, 60Hz for video content, 60/90Hz for games and 120Hz for streaming information. In addition to automatically changing the refresh rate, it is possible to set the screen to a constant 120Hz or 60Hz refresh rate. When setting the screen refresh rate to 60Hz, the autonomy of the battery increases, while at 120Hz, more realistic animations and better, faster, more fluid scrolling of the screen are obtained. In the screen settings, it is possible to additionally adjust the color temperature, but it was best for us to leave it at automatic settings. In addition, the user can choose between Bright (P3) or natural color display mode on the screen.

There is also the already well-known "reading mode" intended for those who like to read on their smartphone late at night. The emission of blue light, which normally makes reading tiring, is reduced, the light becomes warmer and yellowish, and it is much easier to read in the dark, and you can manually adjust the color level in the settings. There is also "Dark mode" thanks to which a dark color palette is used on the screen for system backgrounds and applications, and the main task is to reduce eye strain when the device is used in darker spaces with less natural light.

We have to praise the gestures on the lock screen. In this way, the camera can be quickly started by simply drawing a circle on a blank screen, or music can be controlled, for example, by characters such as <>. In addition, gestures on the lock screen can be personalized for a whole range of additional actions. In addition to gestures, the screen can also be woken up with a double tap, which is a feature we really like. Overall, this screen offers good color rendering, contrast and viewing angles, as well as warm and vivid colors, and with its 120 Hz refresh rate, it guarantees a pleasant and fluid user experience.


Hardware

Realme has decided to offer customers two variants of the Realme 9 Pro 5G model, Realme 9 Pro 5G and Realme 9 Pro+, which differ in several areas, and one of the main differences is the processor. Our test Realme 9 Pro 5G runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor, while the Realme 9 Pro+ relies on a MediaTek Dimensity 920 processor. Thanks to the Snapdragon 695 processor, you can trust that the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone will perform all the tasks you put in front of it without any problems, and among other things, what you can count on is support for 5G networks. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 is an octa-core processor that was introduced in August last year as the successor to the Snapdragon 690 processor with the primary task of bringing support for 5G networks to the more affordable mid-range smartphone segment.

Snapdragon 695 is made in the 6nm production process and uses two Kryo 660 Gold (Cortex-A78) cores that work at a maximum clock of 2.2 GHz and six Kryo 660 Silver (Cortex-A55) cores at a clock of 1.7 GHz, while it is responsible for graphics Adreno 619 GPU. In terms of memory, the Realme 9 Pro 5G offers its customers 6 GB of LPDDR4X working and 128 GB of UFS2.2 internal memory in the basic variant, and if that is not enough for someone, there are also variants with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of memory. If the specified amount of internal memory is not enough, there is also support for MicroSD cards.

The hardware configuration of the Realme 9 Pro 5G model is quite sufficient, not only for a pleasant user experience, but also for smooth playing of the most demanding games. We tried several more demanding games on the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone, which worked on this device without noticeable problems and without significant heating. This hardware configuration on the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone brings really good, we would even say excellent performance in the middle class. The most important thing is that everything works satisfactorily quickly, fluidly, without any friction and without any pauses. Overall, the hardware configuration of the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone is at the level of the standards imposed today in the mid-range smartphone segment.


Cameras

The triple camera on the rear panel of the Realme 9 Pro 5G model consists of a primary 64 MP sensor that comes with an aperture of f/1.79. Those who want 64MP photos will have to use the separate 64MP shooting “mode” that already comes as an option when the camera app is opened. Photos obtained when using the 64 MP recording mode have a resolution of 9,280 x 6,944 pixels.

The primary sensor is joined by an 8 MP wide-angle (119°) sensor with an aperture of f/2.2. The third sensor in this camera module is a 2 MP macro sensor with an aperture of f/2.4, with which it is possible to shoot from a distance of 4 cm. These cameras also bring a lot of features related to the AI ​​segment, such as AI HDR, AI beauty and AI scene recognition, while phase focus takes care of precise focusing. Next to the camera module, there is also an LED flash.

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This configuration with triple cameras is currently in line with the trends in the mid-range Android smartphone market, but unfortunately the Realme 9 Pro 5G is having a hard time keeping up with the competition. While its 64MP main camera can take some very detailed photos in good natural light, its quality tends to drop in almost all other conditions. So this camera doesn't handle too well in low light and darker conditions. The 8MP ultra-wide lens is useful for capturing unusual panoramic shots, but with fewer megapixels, it doesn't offer as much detail or sharpness as the 64MP primary camera.

The camera application is mostly the same as that of the company's other smartphones, it is very easy to use and is set up so that the most used recording methods such as photos, videos and portraits are available as soon as the application is launched. For other recording modes such as 64 MP mode, night recording, panorama, manual mode, fast-motion recording, slow-motion recording and macro recording, it is necessary to reach for an additional menu. In our opinion, the weakest link in this module is the macro camera, which is somewhat usable only under ideal lighting conditions.

All in all, if you don't have too high expectations, the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone will do well for taking simple photos that can be shared on social networks or kept as memories.

The rear camera of the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone also boasts a standard range of video recording options. Thus, Realme 9 Pro 5G can record FHD video at 30 fps and HD at 30 or 60 fps, while it records slow-motion footage in FHD and HD resolution at 120 fps and 240 fps. When recording video content, the Realme 9 Pro 5G also offers Dual-View, Film, Time-Lapse, AI Video and Starry recording modes.

Realme 9 Pro 5G Cameras


Play audiovisual content

The camera located inside the hole in the screen is responsible for taking selfies, and it comes with a 16 MP sensor with an aperture of f/2.05. To make the selfie photos as good as possible, there is the AI ​​Beauty software and other AI options such as AI HDR. We have an AI beautification option where one can slim the face, enlarge the eyes, narrow the nose, narrow the chin, fill the lips and much more.

The selfie camera can record video content in 1080p and 720p resolution at 30 frames per second, and in addition to taking photos and recording, this camera is also used for the Face Unlock feature, with the help of which the device is unlocked by recognizing the user's face.


Audio i video

The speaker opening on the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone is located on the bottom side next to the USB Type-C port, and thanks to the Res Audio feature, it is capable of reproducing loud, rich and overall good sound. This is another area where the Realme 9 Pro 5G lags behind the competition, as in the mid-range category solutions with two speakers are becoming more and more standard in order to get surround sound.

In addition to the USB Type-C port, Realme 9 Pro 5G also has a 3.5 mm audio output. We can say that users will be satisfied with the volume of the reproduced sound and its clarity, and the same applies to playing games, as well as watching videos, which is comfortable thanks to the large enough 6.6-inch screen.


Operating system, additional applications

After Realme separated from the company Oppo and became a separate brand, they also developed their own user interface based on Android. It is about the Realme UI 3.0 user interface, which is based on the Android 12 operating system.

It is one of the most interesting Android interfaces available at the moment, and some of its main advantages are that it is very clean, uncluttered and easy to use. Despite its simplicity, Realme UI 3.0 also offers a lot of space for customization and personalization. Thus, it is possible to change the color scheme and fonts to suit the user's taste, also the size and appearance of icons can be changed to give the OS a different look.

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Another negative fact is that Realme only promises two years of stock software updates for the 9 Pro 5G, which means that users will only be able to get the Android 14 update one day at best. We will also mention that the system allows the user to play with icon styles and thus further personalize the interface.

Overall, the Realme UI on this smartphone works extremely fast and super smooth, which can largely be attributed to the 120 Hz screen refresh as well as the very capable processor that can keep up with all of this and ultimately provides a very pleasant user experience, but we can't escape the impression that some things could have been done much better.


Connectivity

Realme 9 Pro 5G already brings standard Dual SIM support, so two NanoSIM cards that can work on 5G networks can be placed inside the SIM drawer. Thus, on the left side of the device we can find a tray for two NanoSIM cards that can be used simultaneously, and there is also an additional space for a MicroSD card that can be used to expand the device's internal memory.

In the area of ​​Zagreb and the surrounding area, where the Realme 9 Pro 5G was tested, there were no difficulties when it comes to signal reception and volume and sound quality when making phone calls. Among the more important connection options, we will mention NFC support. This smartphone does not have an infrared port, which can be a disadvantage for those who like to control various devices with their smartphone.

Regarding positioning, Realme 9 Pro 5G has support for GPS/AGPS, Beidou, Glonass, and positioning works quickly and without problems.

Realme 9 Pro 5G donosi slijedeću paletu povezivosti:

– 5G NR: n1/n3/n5/n7/n8/n20/n28/n66/n38/n40/n41/n77/n78

– 4G LTE FDD: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B13/B17/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28/B66

– TD-LTE: B38/B39/B40/B41(2496~2690MHz)

– 3G WCDMA: B1/B2/B4/B5/B6/B8/B19

– 2G GSM: 850/900/1800/1900- NFC podrška

– WiFi 4, WiFi 5 (802.11b/g/n/a/ac)

– Bluetooth 5.1

– NFC


Battery

The Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone is equipped with a battery with a capacity of 5,000 mAh, which is roughly the standard in this class of device, and it is on the same track in terms of charging speed, which could also be said to be within this average range. But what is not average is the autonomy that surpasses other devices with the same or similar battery capacity. The package with the device comes with a European charger that supports 33W Dart fast charging.

During a full day of using the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone, which includes our standard actions such as syncing emails, using social networks, surfing, taking photos and playing games, at the end of the day there would be about 60 to 70% battery left, which for most users will be more than satisfactory data. In any case, even if you go a little too far with playing demanding games, the battery of this smartphone will certainly last until the end of the day, and our battery used to last for two days.

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See below how fast we charged the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone with the associated charger:

– 9 minutes = 20%

– 35 minutes = 50%

– 44 minutes = 70%

– 1 hour and 15 minutes = 100%


Benchmark tests

Realme 9 Pro 5G is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor whose primary task is to provide an optimal ratio between performance and energy efficiency and to bring support for 5G networks to the mid-range segment. Although this processor is not designed to break records on benchmark tests, you can be sure that in whatever memory combination you use it, everything will work very smoothly and it will perform all the tasks you put in front of it without any problems, and these are exactly the things that every user would want should be the most important.

You can view the benchmark test results below:

– AnTuTu – 402,217 points

– AI Benchmark – 58.0 points

– PCMark – 9,553 points

– Geekbench – Single core: 690 points, Multi core: 1,983 points

– 3DMark – 1,211 points


Conclusion

There is no doubt that the Realme company becomes more and more interesting to customers with each new generation of smartphones, and this is evidenced by excellent sales results, and their devices, in addition to an excellent ratio of investment to profit, often offer extra accessories that stand out from competing solutions. Realme 9 Pro 5G is a smartphone intended for those who want to get a device with capable hardware that supports 5G networks for a good price. That this is so is evidenced by the fact that the Realme 9 Pro 5G is probably the cheapest device on the market that is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor. Apart from the processor, in our opinion, the best feature of this device is its autonomy, which proved to be significantly better than competing devices with the same or similar battery capacity.

As for the downsides of our test Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone, they are mostly of a software nature, such as a large number of installed and pre-installed applications, as well as some other minor flaws. Our test copy of the Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone is apparently intended for the Romanian market, and we believe that this is the reason for most of the problems that appeared.

The Realme 9 Pro 5G smartphone can be purchased at the popular Hekka webshop where, in addition to the already favorable price and free shipping, you can get an extra discount if you enter " Racunalo10 " in the coupon code field, the price will drop by another $10 (that is, for any order above $29).

Play audiovisual content

We praise

+ autonomy

+ 5G

+ 3.5 mm audio output

+ support for MicroSD cards

+ 120 Hz screen refresh

+ fluidity and stability in operation

+ 120 Hz screen

+ charging speed

We regret

- it does not have an AMOLED screen

- it does not have an IR port

- it does not support 4K recording

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