Realme just launched some relatively affordable phones in India – Realme C35, Realme 9 5G and Realme 9 5G Speed Edition. The company also already has a Realme 9i (review) and several older models that are still selling for around the same price. Today we get our first look at the new Realme 9 5G. It should be an affordable all-rounder, but what does that mean in 2022, and does it offer all the features and functionality you could expect from this price tier?
The Realme 9 5G is priced at Rs. 14,999 in India for the base variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage (initial offer) and Rs. 17,499 for the second variant with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. SBI and ICICI Bank cardholders can enjoy an instant discount of Rs. 1500. It will go on sale for the first time on March 14th. The more powerful Realme 9 5G Speed Edition starts at Rs. 19,999 with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage and goes up to Rs. 22,999 for 8 GB of RAM and the same 128 GB of storage.
As the name suggests, this is a 5G capable phone, which is interesting because not all competitors are at or near Rs. 15,000 will get you connected to 5G networks when they launch in India, possibly later this year. However, does this mean you have to compromise in other areas? Let’s find out.
Realme is using a 6.5-inch Full HD+ 90Hz panel. The MediaTek Dimensity 810 processor supports 5G. The battery is 5000mAh, but the charging speed is only 18W, and the charger you get in the box is quite bulky. This phone also supports Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.1 and all the usual location services.
Although the main specs are a little weaker than the more expensive Realme 9 Speed Edition, both models seem to have the same camera configuration. You get a 48MP main camera, a 2MP macro camera, and what the company calls a “black and white portrait lens” on the back. There’s no ultra-wide-angle camera, which is somewhat disappointing. There is a 16-megapixel front camera for selfies.
The Realme 9 5G is made out of plastic, and while the build quality is good, it doesn’t look particularly impressive at first glance. Unlike previous models, there is no eye-catching design flair here. The phone is available in Stargaze White and Meteor Black. The first finish, which I have with me, catches light at certain angles and refracts pinkish-yellowish tones, while the second one is simple and uncomplicated. This phone is 8.5mm thick and weighs a reasonable 188g.
The back panel curves on the sides to fit the plastic frame, making this phone relatively comfortable to hold and use. The fingerprint sensor is built into the recessed power button, which is within reach. You’ll find the volume buttons and the SIM tray on the left (with two Nano-SIM slots and a microSD card slot). At the bottom, there is a USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a speaker.
Realme 9 5G is not going to draw attention in terms of design. It also lacks the specs that will immediately draw people in. However, it can be a solid 5G-enabled workhorse for those who just want to use everyday apps and aren’t too picky about game or photo quality. We’ll be doing a full review of this phone shortly to check its performance, cameras, software, battery life, ease of use and more, so stay tuned to Gadgets 360.