Initial Verdict: The realme 9 Pro+ successfully ticks all the boxes, giving it the makings of a solid mid-range option in the Philippines. We’ll still have to see how much the company sells the phone for, but as it stands, realme has a chance to shake up the local market if the price is right.
- Dimensity 920 processor has plenty of power
- Bright and crisp Super AMOLED display
- No microSD card slot
- Pricing will play a big factor
realme has grown famous for creating low-budget to midrange devices that punch way above their weight. It aims to do the same thing with this realme 9 Pro+, marketing its camera as one of the best (if not the best) in its segment. Here’s what we think of it so far:
realme 9 Pro+ Philippines Specs:
- Dimensity 920 processor
- 6GB/8GB LPDDR4X RAM
- 128GB/256GB internal storage
- 6.43-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display, 90hz refresh rate
- 50-megapixel f/1.8 IMX 766 main camera with OIS and PDAF, 8-megapixel f/2.25 ultra-wide-angle camera, 2-megapixel f/2.4 mono camera
- 16-megapixel f/2.45 IMX 471 selfie camera
- 4G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, in-display fingerprint scanner
- 4500mAh battery
- 60w fast charging
- Android 12, realme UI 3.0
The realme 9 Pro+ unit graciously shipped to us came in the Aurora Green color. It just oozes elegance every way the light hits it, with tiny specks reminding you of stars in the night sky. The realme branding can also be found at the rear, alongside the camera module. Everything is symmetrical and nothing feels off about the placement. Everything is balanced as all things should be.
When holding the phone, it feels quite premium in the hand due to its glass front and back. The edges are well-rounded off with a metallic-feeling plastic used for the frame. All these give the realme Pro 9+ a heft that other devices in this segment just don’t have.
The button arrangement is simple: volume rockers on the left side, while the power button resides on the opposite area. The phone uses a traditional, non-hybrid power button (the phone uses an under-display fingerprint scanner) which is flanked by the volume rocker.
Moving to the front, the star of the show is the 6.4-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 90Hz. The screen gets plenty bright (1000 nits to be specific) and projects vivid, sharp colors. With an adaptive refresh rate, the screen goes from buttery-smooth to static depending on the use case which saves a bit of battery life. The front Gorilla Glass 5 is flat all-throughout, keeping the clean lines consistent. Bezels are minimal as well, but we should note that there is a slight chin at the bottom of the device.
The punch hole for the selfie camera is in the right place though – no notches here. It can be found in the upper-left corner of the display with a tiny speaker grille embedded into the frame up top and center.
This is where realme threw most of its efforts when crafting this smartphone. Their marketing tagline for the realme 9 Pro+ is “Capture the Light” after all, showcasing its low-light shooting capabilities. Supported by AI Noise Reduction software, grainy pictures are minimized and might just be a thing of the past.
The device carries a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor in the main camera, along with the 8-megapixel ultrawide and 2-megapixel macro lenses. OIS is also present, making for effective stabilization at up to 4K30 video recording.
On the other hand, the selfie camera found in the punch hole is rated at 16-megapixels, with recording capabilities of up to Full HD.
Here are some sample shots to flex the capabilities of the realme 9 Pro+ camera system. We can’t help but be impressed by its consistent performance across the board in most, if not all conditions. We’d be very happy to have this as a mid-range camera phone to bring along anywhere if a quick snapshot is needed.
Performance and software
As mentioned earlier, the chipset onboard is the MediaTek Dimensity 920. This processor was released in October 2021 with a 6nm manufacturing process for improved battery efficiency. Network speeds are blazing fast with the ability to connect to 5G bands, a feature growing increasingly more common within the segment.
Using the phone for everyday tasks is a treat. We never experienced any stuttering or lag, which just goes to show that realme has taken the extra steps to deliver a polished real-world experience. Either 6GB or 8GB RAM options were sufficient for most purposes. The device ships with Android 12 and realme UI 3, which we found to be classy. One could say that the hardware and software are operating in symphony.
We downloaded the fan-favorite Pokemon Unite onto the device to see how it would run. It easily kept up 60FPS with no signs of bottlenecking or issues. Even after an hour of gameplay, the device remained unfazed in its performance. The 4,500 mAh battery held up pretty well too, and could easily be topped up via 60W charging.
Wrap Up and Early Verdict
While we’d have to spend a bit more time with the phone to push it to its limits, we’re happy to report that this device has everything the average user might need. The powerful processor will be usable for the years to come and you’ll find it hard to use inferior displays after spending some time with this. We’ve already given the brilliant camera enough praise, punching above its weight in terms of performance. The build is just good. The only issue against futureproofing in this device is the 256GB top memory option with no expandable storage.
realme has yet to reveal which variant of the 9 Pro+ it will bring to the Philippines. If we base it on the pricing in India, the realme 9 Pro+ will most likely retail for around Php 18.5k if they will follow the tradition of bringing over the 8GB/128GB variant to our shores.
realme will reveal more details about the realme 9 Pro+ on March 15.