Review Verdict: The realme 9 Pro is the perfect example of the phrase the whole is greater than the sum of its parts as far as its debut in the Philippines goes – it doesn’t have anything awe-inspiring but its combination of features makes it a good buy if you’re looking for a midrange phone to grab this year.
- 120hz screen refresh rate
- Capable processor
- Two 5G sim card slots
- Single speaker
- Low-resolution selfie camera
realme 9 Pro Philippines Specs
- Snapdragon 695 5G
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB storage
- 6.6-inch IPS LCD display, 120hz refresh rate
- 64-megapixel f/1.8 main camera with PDAF, 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera, 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera
- 16-megapixel selfie camera
- 4G, LTE, 5G
- WiFi, Bluetooth 5.1, side-mounted fingerprint scanner
- 5000mAh battery
- 33w fast charging
- Android 12, Realme UI 3.0
The realme 9 Pro is finally official in the Philippines. More than anything else, it promises to deliver lightning-fast performance, ultra-smooth display, and well-detailed images even in low-light environments. Does the phone live up to its potential?
The realme 9 Pro uses the brand’s “Light Shift” design language that gives the phone a subtle elegance that their previous phones lacked. The Aurora Green colorway provided to us for review looks gorgeous without feeling too overbearing, and realme nailed the Northern Light-ish effect that they were going for with the coloration and design of the phone. The only downside is that it’s a fingerprint magnet due to its glossy surface.
Unlike the back of the phone, the sides have a matte-like surface giving the phone a contrasting color combination. This matte-like surface also provides a good amount of grip, making the phone easy to hold. As for the buttons, the volume rocker sits nicely on the left side while the power button, which also doubles as a fingerprint scanner, sits perfectly on the right where you can easily reach it.
You’ll find the USB-C port, speaker grill, and 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom of the phone. The audio jack comes in handy when you get tired of the tiny sound coming from its single speaker.
The realme 9 Pro doesn’t have an OLED display, unlike the much more expensive 9 Pro+. Nevertheless, there really isn’t anything major to complain about its display, unless the hole-punch camera at the top left corner disturbs you.
It comes with a 6.6-inch FHD+ IPS LCD screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate. This basically translates to smooth scrolling and swiping experience when you’re navigating through the phone and various apps. The higher refresh rate is nice, but we’d have wanted an OLED panel instead even if it meant going to a lower refresh rate like 90Hz.
Despite the IPS LCD screen, colors are vivid and images are sharp. Watching videos and scrolling through photos are nevertheless enjoyable on this smartphone. To be honest, it has a display that is hard not to like.
As mentioned, the phone promises to deliver sharp photos. True enough, it takes surprisingly good photos— all thanks to its very capable main camera: 64-megapixel f/1.8 main sensor, 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide, and 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro.
As long as there is enough light, the camera takes very detailed photos without effort. There’s just one problem: colors are a little off when using the ultra-wide-angle camera compared to the regular shooter. Thankfully, sharpness is not affected. As for its low light performance, the photo quality is noticeably less sharp at nighttime, even when using the nightscape mode.
The same goes for the selfie camera, which is a 16-megapixel f/2.1 shooter. It’s very dependent on lighting. However, unlike the main shooter, the selfie camera performs terribly when there’s not enough light.
The phone can also take good videos, as long as you don’t mind the crop. The ultra steady mode is also handy for those with shaky hands. Vloggers will also like the dual-view video feature that enables you to record with both the front and back at the same time.
It is also worth noting that it comes with a street photography mode. This allows you to shoot with familiar focal lengths like 50mm, 24mm, and 16mm.
Internals and Battery Life
At the heart of the realme 9 Pro is a Snapdragon 695 5G processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. realme claims it can smoothly run even the most resource-demanding apps available today.
Overall, the processor is capable enough. It feels smooth to use, whether you’re just browsing or playing games. Even downloading anything over 5G seems like a breeze, the same goes for uploading on Instagram or TikTok. All these are evident in the benchmark numbers, making the phone very competitive for its price range. The downside with Snapdragon 695 5G is that it cannot shoot in 4K. Also, for a few bucks more, you can get the more expensive realme GT Master which comes with a superior Snapdragon 778G.
Moving on to the gaming performance, the phone was very consistent throughout the different games. It can handle heavy loads without throttling the framerate. Games such as Wilf Rift: League of Legends and Asphalt 9: Legends are just a piece of cake.
As for the battery life, PCMark gave the 5000mAh battery on this phone a score of 23 hours and 10 minutes, which is just enough by today’s standards. Should you find it short, charging is not a problem with the 33W super dart charging feature. A 30-minute charge is enough to last you a day—around 80 percent.
Wrap up and Conclusions
Without a doubt, our review of the realme 9 Pro shows that it’s a solid contender in the midrange market in the Philippines. It comes with all the stuff you could want in a smartphone: smooth display, sharp camera, competent processor, and a good design. It is even equipped with 5G capability that will come in handy now that all three telcos are pushing 5G services nationwide.
While it’s true that the phone doesn’t have exceptional, stand-out features, it also doesn’t have any big issues or problems. Overall, it is perfectly balanced and fits the job as a mid-range phone. Whether or not that’s enough to compete with other big hitters in the mid-range market today remains to be seen.
realme 9 Pro Review Price Philippines
The realme 9 Pro (8GB+128GB) has a price of Php 16,990. As an added bonus, you can get the phone for only Php 14,990 if you purchase via the realme Official Store on Lazada on March 16-18. Pre-order will start tomorrow, March 16 to 25. Those who will avail will get a free realme Pocket Bluetooth Speaker, realme Type-C Superdart Cable, and realme Mobile Game Finger Sleeves.