We’ve always been happy with realme devices and with good reason. They have always been great value-for-money. The realme 9 Pro+, one of two smartphones recently launched in the country, is the latest device that falls in this category.
Priced at Php 23,990, the realme 9 Pro+ promises a flagship-grade camera experience with an IMX766 sensor. It also comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G processor and a 90Hz AMOLED display, for good measure.
The spec sheet already impresses, but how does it perform in real life? Can it deliver on its promises? Well, that is what we’re going to answer in our review of the realme 9 Pro+. Let’s dive in.
If you’re up for some light reading, do check out our unboxing article here.
The realme 9 Pro+ comes in the familiar yellow-colored packaging. But this time around, the box has a different text and branding layout with big black fonts, and the logo moved to the bottom area.
In the box
- realme 9 Pro+ 5G
- Silicone case
- 65W Fast Charger
- USB-C cable
- Pre-installed screen protector
- SIM Pin
Design and Display
The realme 9 Pro+ features a familiar design we usually see on realme’s midrange phones. It has metal and glass construction, a flat display, and a large camera island at the back.
Our review unit is the Aurora Green colorway. I would have preferred the Sunrise Blue variant which has the UV-sensitive color-changing design (like the vivo V23 5G), but this one isn’t bad at all. The colorway has an interesting design with a 3D-like light ray effect which is both attractive and eye-catching.
The phone has Gorilla Glass 5 on top and an unnamed glass panel at the back. It’s sleek, but it is chunky, measuring 160.2 x 73.3mm with a depth of 7.99mm. Despite the size, the phone is light with a solid quality that feels good in the hand.
On the front, you have a spacious 90Hz 6.43-inch AMOLED display with a small punch hole camera in the upper left corner and an in-display fingerprint scanner. It’s not as smooth as a 120Hz, but it’s noticeably better than a standard 60Hz. The screen has narrow bezels, except for the bottom one which is thicker. The earpiece is hidden on the slim strip at the top bezel, which also functions as a second speaker.
The AMOLED display is one of the phone’s many bright spots. The colors are punchy with deep blacks. Overall, it was very appealing, and watching videos was a pleasant experience.
One thing I recommend is to set the Screen Color Mode to either Cinematic or Brilliant. Both of these modes offer a wider color gamut, meaning you see more range in colors. You can do this by going to Setting> Display & brightness> Screen color mode> Pro mode.
The display also features a heart rate monitor underneath, tucked in Settings> realme Labs> Hear rate measurement. It will record for 15 seconds, after which you can assign what activity you were doing at the time.
At the back, the large camera island holds 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. It’s has a significant bump, which causes the phone to wobble when placed on its back.
On the left side sit the volume rocker and SIM tray. While 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+ is powered by a Dimensity 920 5G processor, a new 6nm octa-core chip clocked at up to 2.5GHz. It is paired with a Mali-G68 GPU, 8GB RAM, and 256GB storage.
The smartphone runs on realme UI 3.0 on top of Android 12. It also comes with realme’s RAM expansion feature, which uses storage space to add virtual RAM by up to 5GB (for a total of 13GB). Should you want to change this, just go to Settings> About Device> RAM> RAM Expansion.
It also comes with the highest Widevine L1 certification, which means it supports HD playback for Netflix and other streaming platforms. But it does not support HDR playback.
As for performance, the realme 9 Pro+ is fast and responsive. Basic handling and navigation are fast and smooth. Overall, I find the user experience quite pleasant.
The Dimensity 920 is also adept with games. It easily runs Genshin Impact on medium settings.
If you’re into benchmark scores, here’s how the Dimensity 920 performed.
- AnTuTu – 501,716
CPU – 139,473
GPU – 134,988
MEM – 99,391
UX – 127,864
- Geekbench – 815(Single-core); 2322(Multi-core)
- 3D Mark – 631 (Wild Life Extreme)
For a better appreciation of the Dimensity 920, here’s a comparison table with another Dimensity 920 chip in the vivo V23 5G, the Dimensity 1200 on the vivo X70 5G, and the Snapdragon 778 on the realme GT Master Edition.
|MediaTek Dimensity 920|
(realme 9 Pro+)
|MediaTek Dimensity 920|
(vivo V23 5G)
|MediaTek Dimensity 1200|
(vivo X70 5G)
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 778|
(realme GT Master Edition)
|Geekbench 5||815 (Single-core)|
Wild Life Extreme
One of the strengths of the Dimensity 920 5G chip is its power efficiency. With the 4500mAh, the phone can last a workday with moderate to heavy usage. You’ll have some left for the commute home or the rest of the night.
As for 60W fast charging, it topped up the 4500mAh battery from 59% to 100% in less than 35 minutes. From empty, it took just 50 minutes to reach 100%.
Another bright spot for me is the Dolby Atmos stereo speakers. They sound really good with ample volume. The main speaker at the bottom fires a little louder, but they sound balanced overall when watching videos.
The realme 9 Pro+ 5G features a 50MP main camera with an f/1.8 aperture lens and 2x zoom. The secondary cameras include an 8MP ultra-wide and a 2MP macro. Meanwhile, a 16MP punch hole camera
The main camera is backed by a flagship-grade Sony IMX766 sensor with a 6P element lens, OIS, and EIS.
The camera app is typical of realme and comes with various features such as Street Photography 2, night mode, portrait, expert, and more.
Shots from the 50MP camera have great quality. Photos are sharp, with good detail, good exposure, and a wide dynamic range. The colors look good, so too the contrast and white balance.
Indoor shots are good as well, with lots of details and decent colors.
Low light photos, however, are excellent, especially in its range. It has ample detail and good color.
In night mode, you get longer exposures. The resulting images look pleasant with accurate colors and good detail. The dynamic range appears wider, compared to regular low light shots as well.
The 9 Pro+ 5G’s 16MP front camera takes good selfies. The dynamic range and contrast are good, but the sharpness is a little soft. Skin tones are accurate as well. Overall, selfies are pleasant and are about right for a mid-range phone.
realme has a new value-for-money contender with the realme 9 Pro+. It’s a strong mid-range phone with a lot to offer.
Its greatest asset is its 50MP main camera. The IMX766 sensor clearly gives it an edge over its competition, punching above its range with great image quality. Moreover, the smartphone offers decent performance, thanks to the MediaTek Dimensity 920 chipset, on top of the very appealing 90Hz 6.43-inch AMOLED display. And that’s not all. It also comes with 60W fast charging, which at this point is icing on the cake.
So if you’re in the market for a good camera phone at mid-range pricing, then consider giving the realme 9 Pro+ a look.
Price and Availability
realme 9 Pro+: Php 23,990
realme 9 Pro: Php 16,990
The realme 9 Pro+ 8GB + 256GB is priced at Php 23,990. The smartphone will be available as an early bird offer exclusively on Lazada from March 16 to 18 with a Php 2,500 discount.
It will come with a free realme Cobble Bluetooth Speaker, realme Cooling Back Clip Neo, and one year’s worth of extended warranty when you buy from March 16 to 20.
Meanwhile, the realme 9 Pro with a Snapdragon 695 5G, a 120Hz IPS display, and a 64MP main camera is priced at Php 16,990. This is also coming to Lazada with a Php 2,000 discount from March 15 to 18.
realme 9 Pro+ 5G specs
|Display||6.43-inch AMOLED Display, 2400 x 1080, 90Hz Refresh Rate, 360Hz Touch Sampling Rate, Up to 1000 nits, Gorilla Glass 5|
|Processor||MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G|
Mali G68 GPU
|RAM||6GB/8GB RAM, Up to 5GB Virtual RAM|
|Rear Cameras||50MP Main, Sony IMX766, OIS|
|Front Camera||16MP Selfie Camera|
|Network||5G, 4G LTE, Dual SIM|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS|
|Others||In-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|
|Colors||Sunrise Blue, Midnight Black, Aurora Green|
|OS||realme UI 3.0, Android 12|
|Battery||4500mAh Battery, 60W Fast Charger|