Realme has just formalized its new smartphones in the 9 Series range and we spent some time with the top of the range. Here is our review of the Realme 9 Pro+.
The MWC is fast approaching and like every year, realme begins its wave of updating its ranges and it started with the new Realme 9 Series with three models, the 9 Pro+ that we test there, the 9 Pro and the 9i which is below the 200 euro mark. Still, in this test, it is the Realme 9 Pro+ which interests us with its brand new SoC MediaTek.
This is not all since the Realme 9 Pro+ embeds a main camera whose sensor is none other than the Sony IMX766, a sensor usually found on higher-end smartphones. Available in a week, we spent almost two weeks with it, it’s time to go to the verdict. And we can already say it, it is a safe bet.
Realme 9 Pro+ Features
As a reminder of the characteristics, the new Realme 9 Pro+ offer you :
|Realme 9 Pro+|
|Screen||– 6.4″ 2.5D AMOLED display
– Full HD+ 1080 x 2400 resolution
– 409dpi density
– 20:9 aspect ratio
– Gorilla Glass 5
– 600 nits
– 98% NTSC
|Design||– Metal outline
– Glass back
|SoCs and GPUs||– Mediatek Dimensity 920 (MT6877T)
– Mali-G68 MC4 GPU
|Memory||– 6GB or 8GB of RAM in LPDDR4X
– 128GB or 256GB of storage in UFS 2.2
– No MicroSD memory port
|Colors||– Midnight Black
– Aurora Green
– Sunrise Blue
– FreeFire Edition
|Camera||– 50 MP Sony IMX766 main sensor (F/1.8, 23.6mm, OIS and EIS)
– Ultra wide-angle Sony IMX355 of 8 MP (F/2.2, FOV 119.7°)
– Macro 2 MP (F/2.4)
– HDR pictures
– Wide-angle front camera with a 16 MP Sony IMX471 sensor (F/2.45, 78°)
|Audio||– Stereo speakers
– 3.5mm jack
|Drums||– 4500mAh battery
– SuperDart Charge 60W fast recharge (100% in 44 min)
|Connectivities||– USB Type-C (USB 2.0)
– Optical fingerprint sensor under the screen
– GPS, GLONASS, A-GPS
– Wi-Fi 6
– 2x nanoSIM
– Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, Pedometer,
– Light sensor, proximity
– Realme UI 3.0
|Height and weight||– 160.2 x 73.3 x 7.99mm
|Starting price||– 379.99 euros (128GB+6GB)
– 429.99 euros (256GB+8GB)
|Availability date||– February 23, 2022|
For the packaging itself, it’s classic and unsurprisingly, there is a 60W SuperDart USB charger, a USB Type-C cable, a transparent protective shell and instructions for a first grip.
For its price, count officially €379.99 for the 128GB+6GB version and €429.99 for the 256GB+8GB version for availability from February 23, 2022.
Design, Screen and Audio
Positioned as a mid-range smartphone, we were surprised to see realme do not use a polycarbonate (plastic) back but a glass back, such as high-end smartphones. It’s a pleasant surprise, especially for the user who finds himself with a smartphone with a successful finish. We didn’t have the blue version in hand, which changes color in the sun, but the black version, which allowed us to see that the mirror side of the back caught fingerprints quite easily. Similarly, we would probably like a better integrated photo block, it is somewhat plain.
With a normal size and size, the screen offers a classic diagonal of 6.4 inches. The edges are clearly not the thinnest, especially at the level of the chin, but they remain reasonable and above all, the reality is that we forget these edges with use. Speaking of the screen, there is a punch at the top left and above all an AMOLED panel which is very pleasant on a daily basis. As always, there is a brightness that we would have liked more important but at this price level, it is correct. The contrasts are more than good, the colors are well reproduced and the definition Full HD+ is more than enough on a daily basis. And because it’s 2022, the Realme 9 Pro+ offers a refresh rate of 90Hz. It’s not the 120Hz of other smartphones but it’s more than enough to feel this extra fluidity compared to a simple 60Hz screen.
On the sound side, there are stereo speakers, which is starting to become a standard at this price level. The sound volume is rather well contained without saturation. Of course, these are still smartphone speakers and will be more than enough for short content on the internet. Finally, note the 3.5mm jack, always practical.
Realme UI, Performance and Autonomy
the Realme 9 Pro+ comes with Android 12 as well as an overlay Realme UI 3.0. As we had already said for a few generations, Realme UI allows an experience very close to Android Stock. It is true that for some time now, on all smartphones, switching between the different overlays has been done without any discomfort, especially between Chinese manufacturers. We now find the gestures of Android 12 as well as the support for theme colors depending on the wallpaper. Convenient. Note also that this year, no Micro-SD port to expand its memory.
On the performance side, the Realme 9 Pro+ is one of the first smartphones to integrate the SoC MediaTek Dimension 920 which is intended to be an excellent price-performance ratio and for once, we were pleasantly surprised by the processor from the Asian founder. Indeed, whatever the daily uses, the Realme 9 Pro + has never had to be ashamed. No lags, no slowdowns, everything is fluid. The only concern we noted was mainly in terms of games, but we think there may be a lack of optimization since it’s a brand new SoC. But, to be honest, there weren’t really any problems in absolute terms, we were able to play all our games without any particular problems. The smartphone does not heat up, regardless of the applications launched.
As with every new smartphone, you will need a few days of use before obtaining cruising autonomy. But with a battery of 4500mAh, we have what it takes to hold a busy day very easily but above all easily count on the two days of autonomy without forcing too much. In addition to that, realme added the SuperDart Charge 60W fast recharge, really practical since you recharge your smartphone from 0 to 100% in just 34 minutes.
Photo and Video
For the photo part, no surprise in itself. Indeed, there is a block composed of three cameras. So we obviously have a wide-angle main camera and an ultra-wide-angle one. Alongside, Realme offers a third camera dedicated to macro. The big news therefore concerns the main camera which offers a 50 megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor with optical stabilization. This is a novelty in itself since this sensor is usually found on high-end smartphones and not mid-range.
If we are happy to see such a main camera, the biggest concern does not concern it in itself but rather the two other cameras which are clearly on the pick-up. All you have to do is take a few photos with the ultra wide-angle and you will discover soft photos without sharpness. The difference is obvious with the main camera.
And it’s all the more disturbing that in our uses, the photos taken with the main camera are really successful during the day, they are sufficiently detailed and controlled that we forget that we are on a “simple” smartphone mid-range. It is the ultra wide-angle which clearly reminds us of this and which shows us a real lack of coherence between the wide-angle and the ultra-wide-angle. Pity.
We obviously find assistance by Artificial intelligence which allows to optimize the photos just like a mode Night. And speaking of the latter, it is better from year to year but we find that the Chinese manufacturer still tends to smooth the photos too much. This results in a lack of sharpness in low light conditions. Now, for a mid-range smartphone, it’s very good in real life!
On the video side, note the possibility of recording videos up to 4K, which is good for this price range. Afterwards, with such a sensor, the results are rather flattering but clearly, the post-production is not yet up to par with more high-end smartphones, but we won’t complain about it given the positioning.
More words, examples: