The Realme 9 Pro+ is the top-spec phone in the recently launched Realme 9 series, which also includes the Realme 9i and 9 Pro.
With a bright and vibrant design, a 90Hz screen, and a triple camera setup with an IMX766 sensor, this phone feels like a flagship killer on paper. But will the Realme 9 Pro+ hold up to everyday use?
Design and build
- Color-changing chameleon trim on select models
- Headphone jack included
- No waterproofing and dust protection
Luckily, Realme has ditched the flashy slogan on the phones seen on the 8 Series and instead opted for a much more chic and bold finish for the 9 Pro+. At 7.99mm thick, this is a fairly thin and light device.
The 9 Pro+ comes in several finishes, but the main hue is Sunrise Blue, which boasts a color-changing photochromic finish. Under normal sunlight or UV light, the back of the phone changes color from red to blue like a chameleon.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to test this option, but the Aurora Green gradient finish I reviewed is still attractive enough. The phone also comes in Midnight Black. All colors have a shimmery finish that makes them stand out from the crowd.
The back is made of plastic, and while it doesn’t feel premium, it doesn’t look cheap. My main gripe is that the phone often makes leaps of faith off surfaces due to the smooth back. Luckily, you can use the included case to fix this problem.
In terms of ports, the Realme 9 Pro+ includes a USB-C slot for charging, a headphone jack, and a dual SIM slot. The power button is on the right side of the phone, while the volume controls are on the left.
The average ranger has to sacrifice something, and one of the advantages of the Realme 9 Pro + is the lack of waterproofing and dust resistance. Make sure you invest in a good case if you know you are clumsy.
The Realme 9 Pro+ comes with dual Dolby-enabled speakers that produce loud and punchy sound, making it perfect for listening to music or podcasts. My only complaint about the sound is that the bass is not as strong.
- Bright 90Hz AMOLED screen
- Decent in-display fingerprint sensor
The 9 Pro+ boasts a 6.43-inch AMOLED display with a refresh rate of up to 90Hz. You can run it at a high refresh rate, drop it down to 60Hz, or use it on auto-select to strike a balance between performance and battery life.
90Hz is not the highest refresh rate seen in the mid-range price segment. However, the screen is still colorful and bright, with good tonal contrast. There are glare in the sun, but still usable.
The display has an in-display fingerprint sensor that works well. There’s also a heart rate sensor below the display that you can use to read, as well as information about what you’ve been doing (working, walking, etc.).
I found it was very irregular and didn’t match what my smartwatch recorded – one of the readings showed my heart rate at 103 beats per minute while I was sitting at my desk. I don’t think many users will benefit much from this feature and the effort could be better spent elsewhere.
Specifications and performance
- MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G
- 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage
Realme has decided to use the MediaTek Dimensity 920 chip in the highest-end 9 series phone, which is the successor to the Dimensity 900. This is also seen in the Vivo V23 and is expected to appear in the Xiaomi Poco X4.
This is coupled with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, which is the only configuration the phone ships in.
It didn’t quite reach the same level of performance as other mid-range phones in our performance tests, including Realme’s GT Master Edition, which costs about the same as this phone right now. Look below:
In the real world, the Realme 9 Pro+ is reasonably fast and responsive, with occasional stuttering while switching between videos, social media, and instant messaging. However, don’t expect to be able to do any intense gaming or heavy tasks at this mid-range without any lag.
Even though the phone is equipped with a vapor cooling system, it still gets a little warm when doing more intense tasks.
- Sony IMX766 sensor on 50MP camera
- Not impressive wide-angle and macro lenses
- Mixed selfie camera
Realme 9 Pro + is equipped with a triple camera. This is led by a 50-megapixel main camera with a Sony IMX766 sensor – the same technology found in the OnePlus Nord 2. Impressive for the price, it also includes Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), which not only ensures smoother videos, but much more. . better performance in low light.
Textures render well on the Realme 9 Pro+, and while the colors are vibrant, they aren’t overdriven like what I’ve seen on other Realme phones like the GT Master Edition. Overall, this is a great main camera for an inexpensive mid-range phone.
The 8-megapixel wide-angle lens shows deterioration in quality, with details becoming more washed out and colors less vibrant. However, it will be enough for any panoramic travel shots or large group photos.
Even though this camera has an “ultra macro” mode (headed by a 2MP macro lens), it doesn’t produce good shots. It’s also hard to get it to focus on the subject. Also, don’t use anything above x2 magnification, as details are quickly lost.
The 9 Pro+ has a 16MP selfie camera on the front. While the textures stand out, the colors only look good in daylight. Artificial light or low light makes photos blurry.
The portrait mode on this camera is enough to blur the background, and it’s on par with what I’ve seen from mid-range competitors. However, some fine textures (such as loose strands of hair) can sometimes be erroneously blurred.
Night mode does improve colors and details quite a bit, but to the point where everything looks a bit unnatural. The sky, for example, often has a much more bluish hue than what the real eye picks up.
- Fast charge mixed
- Long battery life
- Wireless charging not supported
Realme 9 Pro+ with 4500mAh large capacity has decent battery life overall. In our battery test, the phone lasted 13 hours and 23 minutes of continuous video playback.
In real life, this means about two days of use between work and other tasks. I’ve streamed Twitch, taken photos and browsed Twitter and never felt like the battery was draining quickly.
While the Realme 9 Pro+’s 65W charging promise is impressive on paper, the actual results are sometimes inconsistent.
Under ideal conditions, it charged the battery to 75% in 30 minutes, but the charging rate fluctuated during my testing, and the final figure sometimes fell well below this 75% threshold. Moreover, the phone itself noticeably heated up.
It’s hard to know if this was a one-time anomaly – perhaps it wasn’t helped by the fact that I was given a foreign-made charger and had to test charging through a travel adapter – or if it’s a wider issue with Realme’s quality control when it comes to ultra-fast charging. .
- Realme 3.0 UI
- Convenient interface
- Some kind of app bloat
The Realme 9 Pro+ runs on Realme UI 3.0, a skin of Android 12. Although not pure Android, the user interface is familiar to Google users and the apps are laid out simply and coherently.
As with other Realme devices, there are a lot of pre-installed apps here, including PUBG and booking.com. You can remove them if you need a cleaner layout.
Realme UI benefits include the Kid Space interface, which can be customized with kid-friendly apps, limited usage time, and online shopping and mobile data blocking. There’s also a Sleep Capsule that lets you restrict apps during your idle period if you find it hard to reach your smartphone when you should be sleeping.
Price and availability
Realme 9 Pro+ will go on sale in the UK on March 4, 2022. It costs £349, although retailers will offer a £50 discount if you buy before March 6th.
When it goes on sale, you can buy it at Amazon and Realme. The phone is not officially sold in the US, but you can probably import it from sites like AliExpress.
For a similar price, you can also consider the Poco F3 or the slightly more expensive (but more impressive) OnePlus Nord 2.
You can check out our roundup of the best Realme phones to see how past generations compare, as well as the best mid-range phones in general for more of the competition.
The Realme 9 Pro+ has some notable mid-range features: an impressive main camera lens, an aesthetically pleasing design, decent battery life, and user-friendly software.
Inconsistent charging and unsatisfactory secondary cameras make it clear that this isn’t quite the flagship killer that Realme promises, but at this price, it never will.
For less than £350, there’s plenty more to do – it all depends on what you’re willing to compromise on.
Realme 9 Pro+ Specifications
- 8 mm thick
- Finishes: Aurora Green, Midnight Black, Sunrise Blue
6.43″ FHD+ Super AMOLED display
refresh rate 90 Hz
MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G
8 GB RAM, 256 GB storage
Fast charging 65W
battery 4500 mAh
50MP Sony IMX766 main camera, 8MP ultra-wide camera, 2MP macro camera
16MP selfie camera
Dual stereo Dolby speakers
Realme 3.0 UI based on Android 12