Realme 9i is a new cheap phone from Oppo's spin-off Realme in India. This is the successor to the Realme 8i. The 9i boasts a new design, a quicker processor, and can charge more quickly.
Dual speakers are included in this model, which was not available in the 8i. The 9i is a phone that costs roughly Rs 15,000, which is around the same as the 9i. It will go up against Xiaomi's Redmi Note 10S. The Redmi Note 11S is also about to arrive, so we'll have to wait and see how that goes. We've had a chance to play with the Realme 9i. Here are our initial thoughts and impressions.
The Realme 9i has a totally new design. It's referred to as "stereo prism" by Realme. The back panel has a layered appearance that gleams when light hits it from various angles. It's a little electric, a little retro, and it just goes to show how far budget phones have progressed from being cheap and boring to being exciting and unique. Realme's more premium phones, such as the Realme GT Neo 2 and even the Realme GT 2 Pro,
have similar back camera arrays to the 9i. It's all plastic below, of course, but Realme has done a wonderful job with the fit and finish. The phone is available in blue and black.
The Realme 9i is a cheap phone that is both stylish and light.
It weighs roughly 190 grammes and is 8.4 millimetres thick.
Even though the Redmi Note 10S is even lighter and thinner, it's difficult to discern the difference.
Redmi does, though, have proper IP53 splash proof, which is a significant plus.
The display on the Realme 9i is the same size as the one on the Realme 8i.
This is a 6.6-inch device.
The resolution is the same as well.
This is a 1080p video.
But, the panel, which is another IPS LCD, max out at 90Hz.
The 8i had a 120Hz refresh rate, which is a slight reduction.
The fact that the 9i doesn't become as bright as the 8i is the actual deal-breaker.
In the 9i, Realme says to be using Dragon Trail Pro glass.
In comparison, the Redmi Note 10S can go even brighter and comes with an AMOLED panel.
The Realme 9i is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 CPU with a 6nm process.
Across the board, this is a great improvement over the 12nm Helio G96-based 8i.
Realme has up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS2.2 storage, which is also a plus.
The Realme 9i runs the Realme UI 2.0 software, which is based on Android 11.
At the time of writing, our review unit is running the December 5, 2021 security patch.
The cameras are similar to those of 8i.
This means that the Realme 9i has a triple camera setup on the rear, with a 50MP main camera (Samsung JN1), a 2MP depth sensor, and another 2MP macro sensor.
It sports the same 16MP camera on the front as the 8i.
Realme, interestingly, uses the same Sony IMX471 sensor that OnePlus uses in the OnePlus 9RT, which costs upwards of Rs 40,000.
A side-mounted fingerprint scanner performs biometrics.
It's quick and, for the most part, reliable.
This phone also has dual speakers.
The earpiece can also be used as a supplementary speaker.
The Realme 9i comes with a huge 5,000mAh battery, which is now standard for most inexpensive phones in this category.
The 8i had one 5,000mAh battery as well, however it only supported 18W fast charging, whereas the 9i supports 33W.
In the packaging, Realme includes a compatible charger.
Aside from fast charging speeds, the 9i is a battery powerhouse.
In our battery loop test, the phone lasted 21 hours and 55 minutes, which is quite impressive.
The Realme 9i is a good-looking budget phone with a unique design and solid hardware.
It basically demonstrates that there was still room to improve an already amazing affordable phone (the 8i).
The display appears to be the only area where it falls short.
The rest of the deal appears to be strong.
In India, the Realme 9i starts at Rs 13,999 for a model with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.
Rs 15,999 gets you a variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
Starting January 25, the phone will be available.
Keep an eye on this space for our complete Realme 9i review.
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