Announced a few hours ago, the new realme 9 and 9 5G smartphones are the latest entry-level representatives of the brand and are offered for €279 and €259 respectively. And it’s been a few weeks since we had the first one in our hands, the opportunity for us to try this new Realme smartphone in very real conditions and now to bring you our full review.
The new Realme 9 5G in the test!
Let’s start with the visible: Realme lets you choose between two colors, one black, one white. We received the first. First of all, the coating on the back and the photoblock are not exactly the same. While the block is covered in a black mirror material, perhaps glass, the back is completely matte on multiple layers, giving small plays of light and color. It’s very basic, it retains a few fingerprints, but on the other hand, and this is a very good point, it doesn’t slip at all.
The shape is pretty good. The phone feels good in the hand, and with a medium-sized thumb, it’s neither too big nor too wide, so I couldn’t reach 80% of the screen real estate without rocking my hand. The fingerprint sensor is conveniently located in the power button, which makes it easy to forget about the latter.
For the front camera, realme has opted for a punch in the upper left corner. It’s a bit big but not too shocking, it’s also quite classic and easy to forget.
This Realme 9 5G is equipped with a 6.6-inch FHD+ panel (2412 x 1080 px), with a density of 400 dpi and 120 Hz. We immediately wondered if 120 Hz was really relevant in a model of this range are if the performance it would manage to follow. Well, we were quite surprised because the fact is that the processor is holding up pretty well, but we’ll see that later.
In terms of color, I found them a bit too cold and in fact, compared to photo editing, I had to constantly increase by about 200 Kelvin to have the same reproduction. Not too annoying either, you can also adjust it to your liking in the screen settings. Apart from these few complaints, the playback is quite good, enough to watch photos or videos without worry.
The smartphone is equipped with a Snapdragon 695 5G with 8 cores, 2 clock at 2.2 GHz and the others at 1.8 GHz. We are clearly going for an entry-level model from Qualcomm, which is not surprising for the price. It is accompanied by 4GB of RAM in its two versions (64GB and 128GB). To answer our previous question, we didn’t encounter any issues with system navigation or Instagram scrolling overall… except for certain apps like Twitter, which require a bit more resources because they’re more loaded with content where scrolling is a bit stuttered .
The 4GB of RAM keeps up pretty well, but don’t expect miracles from the device in demanding video games. As usual we made it spit blood on Genshin Impact, at low/very low the Adreno A619 didn’t seem to suffer too much, but the processor saturated quite often. We suspect RAM or storage is limiting asset loading and therefore causing small freezes.
But with smaller games like Clash Royale we don’t encounter any problems… Except once again with the loading of the menus. Because of this, we say that the problem mainly comes from the RAM or storage. On the other hand, it doesn’t heat up very much, 35° on average on Genshin.
When it comes to battery life, the Realme 9 5G is good, very good. With basic usage (understanding social networks, work, music, video) I was able to get almost 3 days without charging. In fact, a 5000 mAh battery is integrated, which is quite high compared to the energy consumption of its other components.
On the charging side we’re up to 18W, nothing stunning, but given that it doesn’t need regular charging it’s more than enough.
The new Realme 9 5G is equipped with 3 modules:
- The main module with a 50 MP sensor and an f/1.8 lens with a FOV of 77°
- An f/2.4 macro lens with a field of view of 88.8°
- A “B/W Portrait” lens with f/2.4 and a field of view of 88.8°
Initially, the camera focuses very well on its own, but when it’s us who want to show the point, it just doesn’t do it.
Then the colors are very dull. They’re fairly approximate indoors and better outdoors, although still not exact. Colors aside, the main module does its job quite well in x1, the image is really sharp, we don’t see any catastrophic sharpness problems… In short, the details are very well preserved. Also, the macro lens must have something to do with it because it’s really a strength of this Realme 9 5G.
2x digital zoom is included in the app, so I gave it a try and… It’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. I think of the Realme GT2 digital x2 results and we’re still pretty far from it.
The video mode is often less efficient, I think it’s pointless to dwell on it… But in short we find the same problems with much more grain in the shadow areas.
On the front is a 16 MP sensor with a lens opening at f/2.05 with a FOV of 79.3°. Although not exceptional, it must be said that it does its job quite well, especially in the treatment of lights, sometimes better than in certain photos taken with the rear module.
The smartphone runs Android 12/Realme UI 3.0, I’d be quick to say that overall it’s a good overlay, although it’s a bit messy in certain places, particularly in the settings…
Although a little cluttered and not necessarily always very intuitive, the interface of this Realme 9 5G offers interesting features such as the smart sidebar. I refer you to the latest realme GT2 review if you ever want to know more.
Our opinion on the Realme 9
Despite the many criticisms we have been able to give it, we must not forget that this new Realme 9 is a €250 smartphone. But for $250, realme really could have done better by focusing on the essentials instead of adding things right to left that ultimately aren’t necessarily useful. I am thinking in particular of the rather disappointing photo block, because the perfected main module could have been really very good for this price, moreover it is a bit good, but for that you would have had to remove the other two lenses that support the price of the phone for not much. But that aside, we benefit here from a really versatile entry-level phone that will suit most users, and that’s for ” just » 250€.
- The handle and the side fingerprint sensor
- Overall smooth to use
- The GREAT autonomy (and the price)
- Preservation of details on the main module
- A selfie camera that does the job
- The possibilities offered by Realme UI 3.0
We love less
- The screen is not calibrated very well
- Some freeze on loading (e.g. in game or on twitter)
- The lack of color accuracy in photos
- Incompetent semi-automatic autofocus
- The “Clutter” page of the Realme UI