realme 9 Pro+ Review: The Upgrade You Need

The realme 9 Pro+ is another installment to the realme's competitive portfolio of devices. It is the first ever 'Pro+' phone that the company has released in the country. On the get-go, the realme 9 Pro+ is an instant stunner with its Light Shift design, 50MP IMX776 camera, 90Hz AMOLED FHD+ display, and 65-watt SuperDart Charge capability. It is definitely something you cannot resist in this segment right now.

realme 9 Pro+ Review

realme 9 Pro+ Review

Almost a year after the release of its predecessor, realme is positioning the 9 Pro+ to be a considerable upgrade from the realme 8 Pro. We'll try to see if the 9 Pro+ is a worthy upgrade, and if you're considering of getting this one, join us in this review.

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Review Summary:

Pros

  • Trendy and unique design
  • Impressive lowlight camera
  • 60-watt fast charging

Cons

  • No support for microSD card
  • Fingerprint magnet back panel

Design

The realme 9 Pro+ has two color variants here in the Philippines - the Aurora Green and the Sunrise Blue. The latter features a color-changing back panel which turns into red when it's struck by direct sunlight. Our review unit is in Aurora Green; it's a subdued combination of green and black which is quite exquisite in the eyes.

realme 9 Pro Plus Review

The smartphone has a curved backing which is friendly on the hands. However, the glossy material makes the phone an instant fingerprint magnet. 

I love the fact that realme used the same footprint as the GT Master Edition. The phone's dimensions and size feel just right - not too big, yet not too small. This is one of the reasons why I love using this phone; I can't seem to put it down when I start using it. The frame, however, is flat. It may have improved the experience if this is curved, just like the Master Edition phone.

Overall ease of use and ergonomics of the phone are in high bars.

realme 9 Pro+ Review

You'll still get a no non-sense placements of the phone's ports and buttons. The left side houses the power button, while the right side has the SIM tray (which only has two slots for the SIMs) and the volume rocker. The bottom side is a home to the speaker grille, USB-C port, microphone, and 3.5-mm audio jack.

Display

There's a punch-hole in the front panel which is provisioned for the 16MP f/2.4 front camera. The phone's 6.43-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display is more than enough for content consumption and other smartphone activities. The screen is wide with minimal bezels except for its sizable chin. I also noticed the brightness level of the 9 Pro+ compared to other phones in its league - the panel is clear with good contrast.

realme 9 Pro+ Review

When it comes to color registry, the 9 Pro+ is great in color accuracy. Colors are also vibrant, but if you don't like the default setting, you can still slide to which color tones you prefer. 

On top of the beautiful display, the phone supports 90Hz screen refresh rate which is always a welcome feature for giving a perception of fluidity in the interface. This facilitates a leap in display experience especially if you're using apps that support 90Hz.

There's an in-display sensor which is quite zippy in unlocking the phone. On top of that, this area also doubles as a heart rate sensor, making realme the first in this segment to offer this feature.

Performance

The realme 9 Pro+ is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G chipset. The SoC is coupled by 8GB of RAM and we have 256GB of internal memory. 

Everything feels buttery when we navigated the phone's UI; this is due to the added smooth perception offered by the 90Hz refresh rate. Nevertheless, we still think the handset is fluid even when it's only rocking up to 60Hz of refresh rate.

realme 9 Pro Plus Review

The handset could handle any task thrown at it with ease. 

Games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang or Genshin Impact run smoothly with the smartphone. Graphic-hungry games are also playable with minimum frame drops; app crashes were not experienced. The support for 5G connectivity also makes on-the-go gaming very possible on top of the sufficient battery support. Moreover, the handset excels in heat management as I rarely experienced heating issues even when I'm playing for longer hours.

The realme 9 Pro+ also supports stereo audio in its loudspeakers. It has two speakers - one at the bottom side and one at the earpiece. Audio quality is rich with prominent bass and treble. This also propels the smartphone towards a solid multimedia device.

realme 9 Pro+ Review

Calls are clear using either the loudspeaker or earphones. Cellular connectivity is also fast; plus it supports Wi-Fi 6.

AnTuTu Score: 504245

realme 9 Pro Plus Review: AnTuTu Benchmark

3DMark - Gamer's Benchmark Test: 98.4% Stability

realme 9 Pro Plus Review: Gamer's Benchmark Test
Wild Life Stress Test: A 20-minute test that shows the performance of a device under long periods of heavy load. It mimics mobile games that are based on longer, more immersive experiences.

Camera

In this segment, realme 9 Pro+ is a contender when we talk about camera performance. The handset sports the flashy 50MP Sony IMX776 as its main sensor. There's also an 8MP ultra-wide sensor and a 2MP macro sensor.

realme 9 Pro+ Review

In general, photos coming from the realme 9 Pro+ are straight-out beautiful. The photo quality is rich in details and contrast. Photos are also sharp with great color accuracy and saturation. I'm quite surprised how details are preserved when using the ultra-wide camera - which was not the case in majority of mid-range smartphones.

realme 9 Pro+ Review Sample Photos
Sample Shot: Main vs Ultrawide

realme 9 Pro+ Review Sample Photos
Sample Shot: Main vs Ultrawide

realme 9 Pro+ Review Sample Photos
Sample Shot: 2x Zoom

realme 9 Pro+ Review Sample Photos
Sample Shot: Main Camera

realme 9 Pro+ Review Sample Photos
Sample Shot: Main Camera

In lowlight, the realme 9 Pro+ is an instant winner. Its Nightscape mode is something to be lauded about. Low-light photos look bright with less evident noise. Colors are preserved, as well as the details. Dark areas of the frame are exposed without blowing up the exposed parts.

realme 9 Pro+ Review Sample Photos
Nightscape Shots

There's a new Street mode which is pegged for street photography. This feature comes with unique filters that are fun to use. The 16MP front-facing camera gets the job done in shooting good social media selfies. It also offers a decent amount of details and color saturation. 

realme 9 Pro+ Review Sample Photos
Sample Selfie Photos

Finally, you can record videos in 4K at 30 fps and 1080p at 60 fps.

Software

The realme 9 Pro+ boots with realme UI 3.0 based on Android 12. We love the new customizations this version brings into the table, like color pallets, Quick Launch, Flexible Windows, and more. However, a number of bloatwares will keep you busy uninstalling them. The system now allows you to designate the navigation option that you wanted to use right off the bat - either button navigation or gesture navigation. Of course, we always love to use the latter.

realme 9 Pro+ Review

The user interface is quite snappy due to the Dimensity 920 chipset and 90Hz refresh rate. Controls and notifications are still on the Notifications Shade, while icons are still rounded by default. 

My overall experience with the software is quite smooth; and on top of that, apps are easy to pull up. Running multiple apps in the background does not significantly affect the fluidity of the interface.

Battery

We have a 4500 mAh battery that supports 65-watt fast charging. With the new powerful chipset, this capacity seem to settle on the "above average" side. You can expect the battery to last for a day with moderate use. If you add intensive gaming, photo shoots, and/or video recording in the mix, expect that these will considerably take their toll on the phone's battery life.

We also run PCMark Work 3.0 Battery Life Test that's based on everyday activities, and the realme 9 Pro+ scored 12 hours and 14 minutes.

realme 9 Pro+ Review: Battery Test

I am quite amazed with its charging speed. We did a charging test from 0 to 100% using the 65-watt SuperDart Charger, and we were able to fully charged the phone in 62 minutes (1 hour and 2 minutes).

realme 9 Pro+ Review: The Upgrade You Need

Verdict: Should You Buy The realme 9 Pro+?

The realme 9 Pro+ is a great phone if you love flashy designs; more so if you're a fan of mobile photography. Among its peers, the phone is a killer in terms of photo quality, especially in lowlight. It also has some gems that make user experience even more exciting, like the 90Hz screen refresh rate, stereo speakers, and heart rate sensor. Of course, its charging speed is also very impressive, as well as the new version of the realme UI. 

The realme 9 Pro+ is a worthy upgrade if you're coming from the realme 7 Pro or even realme 8 Pro. And with its price of Php 23,990 (8GB + 256GB), it could be a bit pricier than most realme phones, but I do think that it still gives a lot of value for the price.

realme 9 Pro+ Specs

  • 6.43-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display, 1080 x 2400 pixels, 409 PPI, 20:9 ratio, 90Hz, 430 nits (typ), 600 nits (HBM), Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G (6 nm)
  • 2.5GHz Octa-core CPU
  • Mali-G68 MC4 GPU
  • 256GB 8GB RAM UFS 2.2
  • Triple rear cameras: 50MP, f/1.8 main with OIS, PDAF + 8MP, f/2.2, 119˚ ultrawide + 2MP, f/2.4 macro
  • Front camera: 16MP, f/2.4
  • Videos: up to 4K@30fps with gyro-EIS (rear), 1080p@30fps with gyro-EIS (front)
  • Loudspeaker with stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Dual SIM (Nano)
  • Dual-5G
  • 5G, 4G/LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6
  • Bluetooth v5.2, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • NFC
  • USB Type-C 2.0, USB OTG
  • Fingerprint (under display, optical)
  • Heart rate monitor feature
  • realme UI 3.0, based on Android 12
  • 160.2 x 73.3 x 8 mm, 182 grams
  • Li-Po 4500 mAh battery
  • 60W Fast charging, USB Power Delivery 3.0
  • Aurora Green, Sunrise Blue
  • Php 23,990 SRP

Related: realme 9 Pro Series launched in the PH with up to P2,500 OFF!

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