Realme 9

  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Battery: 5000 mAh, 33W, 100% in 75 min
  • Camera: 108 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP
  • Selfie: 16 MP, f/2.5
  • Display: 6.4 inches, Super AMOLED, 90Hz
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G
  • Connectivity: Dual sim, 4G, Wi-Fi
  • Colors: Black, Gold, White
  • OS: Android 12, Realme UI 3.0

KSh29,999 KSh37,000

NB: Prices are subject to change without notice.

Realme 9 has kept the design simple, clean, and minimalistic, making it quite similar to previous devices in its budget range. A polycarbonate unibody build with a gradient finish makes up the back panel while the triple-camera setup is positioned on the top-right. I do like Realme’s use of an optical fingerprint sensor as opposed to the usual side-mounted fingerprint and power button combo which is prevalent in this price range. The device is quite light at 178g and the back panel curves smoothly for a gentle in-hand feel.

Dispensing with an LCD display, the Realme 9 has an AMOLED panel which I appreciate due to its good contrasts ratios, deeper blacks, and in general better colour accuracy. It doesn’t hurt that the panel also refreshes at 90Hz although there were significant issues I faced with jitters evident while swiping up to the home screen. Apart from that, while switching between apps, I saw a marked drop in refresh rate for a second before it got adjusted back to 90Hz.

As far as cameras go, Realme 9 is using a 108MP Samsung ISOCELL GM6 sensor coupled with an 8MP ultra-wide and a 2MP macro sensor. The super high-resolution sensor doesn’t necessarily translate into better photos, Realme have learnt over time. Daylight shots are colour rich and have plenty of dynamic range to play around with. Exposure levels are handled quite well while the highlights in the background are not overblown. The sensor uses 9-in-1 pixel-binning to churn out razor-sharp 12MP photos although you can take a full-resolution 108MP picture as well.

For low light shots, the images clicked were mostly a hit or miss depending on how steady I held the phone while taking the photo. The absence of stabilization, understandable at this price point, does introduce a lot of shake while operating the dedicated Night mode. However, with perfectly still hands I managed to click some very decent shots that have a real-life colour resemblance, good detailing and measured exposure even with the absence of sufficient external lighting. The post-processing work done by the sensor is decent but I did find some overzealous usage to smoothen out noise in the night sky.

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