Realme, a former subsidiary of Oppo, since its incorporation in 2018 and its arrival in European markets at the end of 2019, has grown well. After the box of the Realme X2 then the growing success of its annual series, Realme returns at the start of 2022 with the 9 series. Realme 9 pro, Realme 9 pro 5G, Realme 9 pro+ and Realme 9i. The success of this newcomer to the already busy smartphone market in Europe owes a lot to the quality of the products and their price.
Offering mid/high-end smartphones at entry/mid-range prices, Realme goes even further this year with the 9 series. This model does not deviate from the recipe and even tries to cover more features. He also tries. to improve some points of its predecessors to become the essential mid-range smartphone and convince a greater number of users.
It targets in particular those of countries such as India or Spain, the two most established markets of Realme. So, successful bet or breathless recipe? Let’s see what the Realme 9 pro 5G has in store.
Realme 9 pro 5G spec sheet
The Realme 9 Pro 5G offers everything we’d expect from a phone at these prices, but without standing out too much.
An effective design for this Realme 9 pro 5G
To perform this test, I received the “Aurora Green” version of the phone, dark but shiny, cyan/petroleum blue highlights and glittery at the bottom. The effect is very nice and I’m now curious to see the other colors live, especially the midnight black which promises to be quite classy, I’ve always had a preference for dark colors for my phones. Appearance is subjective, let’s move on.
The phone itself is comfortable to hold, the weight is decent and feels solid despite its plastic frame. The 120Hz FHD screen is black, with very thin edges and, as expected, it is very fluid. We could be worried, given the data sheet, to have a little low brightness levels, but it turns out not, we can see the screen well outdoors even if a little more brightness would have not hurt.
The Realme 9 pro 5G sounds really crisp, even at maximum volume, but it’s not the loudest I’ve heard in this range. In situations where you really need that extra volume, you can use its high-res 3.5mm jack to plug in your favorite headphones and send all the decibels you want straight to your ears.
To my delight, the Realme 9 Pro 5G has a fingerprint sensor on the side which is also very fast. I love this system which allows you to stick your thumb and unlock your phone in one second, I would never understand why manufacturers insist on putting digital sensors directly on the touch screen, it’s less accessible and less precise…
It’s quite personal, but for me it’s a positive point! Finally, the Realme 9 Pro 9G comes with a 33W Dart charger in the box, a USB-A to USB-C cable, and a transparent case.
The 9 Pro 5G comes with Realme UI 3.0, the software is quite lightweight and doesn’t take up space compared to other systems. The software is built with the BBK ecosystem also used by Oppo and certain features such as the personalization settings page and certain pre-installed applications are very clear reminders of this.
Its 3.0 version also gets a bunch of unique features, for example it natively supports streaming YouTube videos in the background. Functionality that requires a Youtube subscription otherwise. Otherwise, Realme UI 3.0 is based on Android 12. This latest version uses a host of animations and transitions, clearly reminiscent of Apple and IOs to keep the phone always looking smooth.
This ubiquitous fluidity is very pleasant to use, but it does not hide the small flaws of Realme’s software. Despite these impressive capabilities, I noticed some lags and weird transitions when doing simple things. This also applies to other parts of the software, where you will occasionally find that the phone takes a split second before performing an action, such as when opening the password manager after pressing the autofill prompt.
These few problems are probably to be reported on the software and its optimization. The processor is excellent, application performance is excellent. I experienced little to no issues with the processor to handle all the apps I use regularly.
It even manages games very well, without any heating problems, although it is not made for the graphics settings offered by the most demanding games. Thanks to my 8 GB version of RAM, this was never a problem, the dynamic addition of RAM allows to increase these 8 GB to 13 GB in case of high demand, I opened several games and apps simultaneously … none problem. A great success!
The 5000 mAh battery suggested a long enough duration, but I was far from the mark. The phone is exceptionally durable in battery life, and can be actively used for more than 15 hours at a stretch before the battery expires. You get a 33W Dart charger in the box, I measured 45 minutes to go from 2% to 100%. 30% is reached after 10 minutes of charging, 50% from 20 minutes, ideal when you need a quick recharge.
An amazing camera!
And another a little less. The Realme 9 Pro 5G has a 64MP Nightscape front camera. Therefore, it takes great photos in daylight and maintains great quality even indoors. The colors in these photos look natural and are not over-processed. Low-light photos taken by the main camera are also surprisingly usable with great quantity and quality in detail, the HDR mode handles overexposure issues perfectly.
Night mode also works very well. This camera does the job very well with quite satisfactory portraits. The skin tone is natural and the portraits are beautiful, however it is better to turn off the non-transcendent AI photo enhancement features. It’s a fun camera to use with all the expected features, like background blur control, long exposure photos and image filters. The 8 MP ultra-wide-angle camera also takes great pictures.
The problem is at the front. I have a little trouble finding the resolution of this camera, the info is not very highlighted. The selfie camera has a resolution of 16MP and takes above average photos, the colors are nice and the contrasts are good. However, your selfies, when zoomed in, show a lot of flaws, details are ugly, and edge detection (for applying a background fade) is very noticeable.
Who is the Realme 9 Pro 5G for?
Realme has clearly delivered on its promises with the 9 pro 5G and arguably the whole range. Very efficient, durable, beautiful, fluid… all the required boxes have been checked without trying to surprise. A cold efficiency that pays, since with a price of 299€99 currently, the Realme 9 Pro 5G is clearly above most models in its price range. There are a few alternatives, some centering their specs around a more powerful processor, others around cameras similar to the Realme 9 Pro 5G.
If you are looking for specific performance for games or photo processing, it is possible to find smartphones that meet your expectations. But the strength of this phone is above all its excellent compromise between all these points and, if you are just looking for something globally very effective at these prices, it is an excellent product.
Finally, those of you who are looking for a durable, self-contained product without unnecessary options, this is also one of its strong points. Finger sensor on the side, long battery life, fast charging and solid and continuous performance, it’s a smartphone that works from start to finish.