realme 9 Pro+ 5G hands-on impressions, initial review

The realme 9 Pro series launched globally last February. Composed of the 9 Pro+ and the 9 Pro, the handsets will be realme‘s first smartphone launched in the Philippines in 2022.

[Update: The realme 9 Pro series is now official. You can check out our review of the 9 Pro+ here.]

We have the 9 Pro+ on hand for review. While that’s shaping up, here’s our quick unboxing and hands-on impressions

Unboxing, Accessories

Unlike the realme GT Master Edition’s fancy black box, the realme 9 Pro+ comes in the familiar yellow-colored packaging. This time though, the text and branding have a new layout with the phone’s name emblazoned with big black fonts, while the logo has been tastefully moved to the bottom.

realme 9 Pro+ Hands-on Review

Inside, you get the usual set of accessories that normally comes with realme phones.

In the box

  • realme 9 Pro+ 5G
  • Silicone case
  • 65W Fast Charger
  • USB-C cable
  • Documentation
  • Pre-installed screen protector
  • SIM Pin

Specs and Features Roundup

The 9 Pro series + the latest mid-range offering from realme. It is headlined by the realme 9 Pro+ which features a flagship-grade 50MP camera backed by a Sony IMX766 with OIS.

Under the hood, the smartphone is powered by a Dimensity 920 5G processor, a 6nm octa-core chip with powerful Cortex-A78 cores and efficient Cortex-A55 cores. It is paired with a Mali-G68 GPU. Our review unit has 8GB RAM with up to 5GB additional virtual RAM, and 256GB storage.

realme 9 Pro+ Hands-on Review

At the front, the 9 Pro+ has a 90Hz FHD+ AMOLED display which measures 6.43-inch across with a 360Hz touch sampling rate, up to 1000 nits of brightness, and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It also has an in-display fingerprint scanner and a heart rate sensor underneath.

Backing the 50MP main camera are two other cameras, an 8MP ultra-wide and a 2MP macro. For selfies, there’s a 16MP front camera on a punch hole.

realme 9 Pro+ Hands-on Review

Apart from the main highlights, the smartphone also features realme UI 3.0, Wi-Fi 6, Dolby Atmos stereo speakers, an x-axis linear motor, a 3.5mm headphone jack with hi-res audio, and a 4500mAh battery with a 60W fast charging.

realme 9 Pro+ 5G: Hands-on review

Our review unit is the Aurora Green colorway. I think the Sunrise Blue variant is more interesting, thanks to its UV-sensitive color-changing design (something the vivo V23 5G also offers). But to my surprise, Aurora Green isn’t all that bad.

When hit by the light, you could see rays of light that look like it’s under a few layers beneath the surface. It has that 3D-like effect with a sprinkling of glitters that’s both eye-catching and elegant.

realme 9 Pro+ Hands-on Review

The phone has a metal frame, sandwiched between a Gorilla Glass 5 and an unnamed glass panel at the back. It’s not a thin and compact device, by any means, measuring 160.2 x 73.3mm with a depth of 7.99mm. But it’s light with a substantial quality to it that feels good in the hand.

On the front, we have the spacious 6.43-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate and a small punch hole camera on the upper left corner. It’s surrounded by narrow bezels, except for the bottom bezel, which is noticeably thicker. The earpiece is hidden on the slim strip on the top bezel. It also functions as a second speaker.

realme 9 Pro+ Hands-on Review

The AMOLED display is bright with punchy colors and deep blacks. I recommend setting the Screen Color Mode to either Cinematic or Brilliant, to get the most out of it. On these modes, colors have more contrast, which makes watching videos a more pleasant experience. You can set this by going to Setting> Display & brightness> Screen color mode> Pro mode.

At the back, there’s a large island housing a triple camera setup. It has two huge lenses for the 50MP main and 8MP ultra-wide, and one smaller one for the 2MP macro. It kind of resembles the layout of the iPhone 12, only bigger. You will also notice right away that the camera bump is huge. It causes the phone to wobble when placed on its back.

On the left side is where the volume rocker and SIM tray reside. On the right, we have the power button. There’s a second mic at the top. And at the bottom, we have the 3.5mm headphone jack, a mic, USB-C port, and the speaker.

The 9 Pro+ runs on realme UI 3.0 on top of Android 12. Basic navigation is fast and responsive, while the 90Hz display makes animations smooth. The refresh rate, by the way, is set on auto by default. You can change this in the display settings should you want to set it to either 60Hz or 90Hz all the time.

We already know what to expect from the 60W fast charging. It topped up the 4500mAh battery from 59% to 100% in less than 35 minutes.

What surprised me were the Dolby Atmos stereo speakers and the x-axis linear motor. The speakers sound good with ample volume. While the x-axis linear motor provides considerable tactile feedback.

Wrap Up

So far, the realme 9 Pro+ is quickly looking like a very capable phone and I am liking what I’m seeing. The smartphone has an eye-catching design and decent specs that include a 50MP Sony IMX766 camera, a 90Hz AMOLED display, Dimensity 920 chip, the 60W fast charging, and Dolby Atmos stereo speakers.

Of course, its price, when revealed, will be the main deciding factor if all this is truly worth it.

That’s it for our unboxing and initial impressions. Stay tuned for our full review.

Also Read: realme 9 Pro+, 9 Pro now official: Flagship-level cameras, color-changing Light Shift Design

The realme 9 Pro+, together with the realme 9 Pro, will launch in the Philippines via livestream on March 15, 6 PM, on the realme Philippines Facebook page.

realme 9 Pro+ 5G specs

Display6.43-inch AMOLED Display, 2400 x 1080, 90Hz Refresh Rate, 360Hz Touch Sampling Rate, Up to 1000 nits, Gorilla Glass 5
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 920 5G
Mali G68 GPU
RAM6GB/8GB RAM, Up to 5GB Virtual RAM
Storage128GB/256GB Storage
Rear Cameras50MP Main, Sony IMX766, OIS
8MP Ultra-wide
2MP Macro
Front Camera16MP Selfie Camera
Network5G, 4G LTE, Dual SIM
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS
OthersIn-display Fingerprint Scanner, USB-C, Stereo Speakers, Hi-Res Audio, Dolby Atmos, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, In-display Heart Rate Monitor, Vapor Cooling Chamber, X-axis Linear Motor
ColorsSunrise Blue, Midnight Black, Aurora Green
OSrealme UI 3.0, Android 12
Battery4500mAh Battery, 60W Fast Charger

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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