Realme 9 5G First impressions: More power at lesser price | Mobile News

Realme 9 5G First impressions: More power at lesser price

The Realme 9 5G has been launched in India starting at Rs. 14,999. Here are our first impressions of the smartphone.

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 10:38 IST
Realme 9 5G
Realme 9 5G first impressions: Definitely appears to be an all-rounder budget phone. (Akash/HT Tech)

Realme 9 5G First impressions: The Indian budget smartphone consumer is spoilt for choice with new smartphones launching every other week. And with so many smartphones releasing, it often becomes difficult for brands to stand out and fall prey to the mediocre choices. But every once in a while comes a smartphone that manages to surpass expectations and redefines what a budget smartphone can be. The Realme 9 5G is that smartphone.

And I do not mean to exaggerate. In all fairness, the spec sheet of the smartphone is not that fancy. It does not have an AMOLED display that Poco M4 Pro offers in this price range, no 120Hz refresh rate like the Realme 8i or a Snapdragon 675 like the Vivo U20. And if any of those specifications are a priority for you, then you may not find Realme 9 5G very enticing. But what Realme has managed to do is  that it has brought together a series of decently performing specifications and optimized them together in a smartphone that just makes it stand out. we would have probably found it to be a good value even if it was in the sub-Rs. 20,000 category, but at its starting price of Rs. 14,999, it is definitely impressive. But, that's still just on paper. How exactly does Realme 9 5G fare in our first impressions? Read on to find out.

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Realme 9 5G specifications

Realme 9 5G
Realme 9 5G (Akash/HT Tech)
image caption
Realme 9 5G (Akash/HT Tech)

The Realme 9 5G features a 6.5-inch FHD+ LCD display with a refresh rate of 90Hz. It also has a 180Hz touch sampling rate. The display takes a step down compared to its premium SE counterpart which comes with 144Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate, but like its higher specs, Realme 9 5G SE is also placed at a higher price point.

Under the hood, Realme 9 5G is equipped with MediaTek Dimensity 810 SoC, which we have previously seen in last year's Realme 8S. However, now the 5G supporting processor is made available at a cheaper price point. The company also claims that after spending more time with an older chip, it has made some improvements on its optimization.

The smartphone sports a triple rear camera setup with a 48MP primary camera, a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, it carries a 16MP selfie camera. On connectivity, it supports dual 5G SIM cards along with a dedicated SD card slot. Realme 9 5G is backed by a 5,000 mAh battery and an 18W fast charging support.

The smartphone will be available in two variants - 4GB+64GB which has been priced at Rs. 14,999 and 6GB+128GB which has been priced at Rs. 17,499. The smartphones will be available to buy from March 14, 12 noon on Realme websites and on Flipkart.

Realme 9 5G First impressions

Realme 9 5G
Realme 9 5G (Akash/HT Tech)
image caption
Realme 9 5G (Akash/HT Tech)

It is hard to talk about a Realme smartphone and not spend some time going over its design. The Realme 9 5G has a gradient matte finish with a ripple holographic design which gives it a nice sparkling effect. It might not be for you, if you are a fan of minimalism and solid matte finishes.

The smartphone is also surprisingly slim and lightweight, making it very comfortable to hold. The form factor is quite fluid and it lacks the slightly uncomfortable pointy volume buttons that the Realme 9 SE has. The side mounted fingerprint sensor on the power button is placed just right so your thumb never has to struggle to unlock the device. The sensors are quite fast as well.

The front camera has a punch hole design and is placed on the left corner of the display. I did feel that the punch hole was slightly larger than what I would have preferred. Over and above, Realme 9 5G design is delightful and personally, I found it to be better than the Realme 9 SE.

The display is LCD and manages decent picture quality and while the viewing angles are quite good indoors, in bright sunlight, it does fade out a little. The 120Hz refresh rate can also handle most games, from BGMI to Call of Duty in medium to high graphics. Higher end games like Genshin Impact make the phone run out of breath easily. It is not a gaming smartphone and if that is what you are expecting from it, you should look for other options.

One mild annoyance is the pre-installed apps and the constant notifications from them. The Realme UI 2.0 is still a little bloated and does not give you the stock android experience of Motorola smartphones.

The camera performance and different photography modes are fun to play with. The 48MP shooter takes good images indoors and in low light. However, the macro images are average at best. Also, the color production is a little on the saturated side. And even with the AI and beauty mode turned off, selfies tend to come out with slight enhancements.

However, in my opinion, Realme 9 5G has managed to bring out 5G support in a sub-Rs. 15,000 smartphones along with clear performance and feature improvements. After my brief spell of using the smartphone, it definitely appears to be an all-rounder rather than a specialist. But, this is still an ‘at a glance' review. We will soon come back with a full review of the smartphone where we will analyze all its features in much more detail. You should wait for that before making your mind up about the smartphone.

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First Published Date: 11 Mar, 11:35 IST