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Realme 9 4G review: A mid-range champ but is it any good?


Realme 9 4G review: If you’re a realme smartphone user you probably already know what to expect from the company. Realme has been quite busy in Kenya since entering the market offering some good solid and value-for-money devices. 

One of these devices is the Realme 9 4G that the company officially made available in Kenya a week ago. The new Image sensor-powered smartphone was unveiled together with the realme C35 and it’s first model in the country to have a resolution of 108MP. 

One thing though, the Realme 9 series is a bit confusing – There is the Realme 9 4G which is what we will be talking about in this review article, there’s the Realme 9 5G then there’s the Realme 9 Pro. There is the Realme 9i that was launched back in March this year. Realme is however only making the 4G variant available in Kenya starting at Ksh.30,999. 

The Realme 9 4G is quite an interesting mid-range featuring a 90Hz AMOLED screen, an in-display fingerprint scanner, loads of storage space, and a nice high-resolution 108MP camera which is actually the key selling point. Well, that’s not really bad given the cost. But why should you really buy it? This review article should help you decide.

We already did the unboxing and first impressions video but in case you missed it, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel and watch it below:

Design and Display

Realme 9 4G review

The Realme 9 4G is available in Starbust White, Meteor Black, and Sunburst Gold. Our review unit was in Meteor Black featuring a plastic back panel with a wavey-like pattern that looks pretty good. 

There’s a 3.5mm jack at the base and a USB-C port alongside a mono speaker. On the right of the phone is a power button, with the volume buttons located on the left. One thing that I mentioned earlier is that we’re also getting ​​ an under-display fingerprint scanner, quite an interesting addition for a phone at that price. 

Still, on aesthetics, we’re getting what most phones are offering in 2022 – some thin bezels, a punch hole notch at the corner of the screen, nicely rounded edges and corners and the rear camera module placed at the top left corner of the phone on the back. 

Realme 9 4G review

The screen on the Realme 9 4G is a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel that runs at a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels and a refresh rate of 90Hz. This screen works just fine. It’s crisp, vibrant and sharp and very bright.  One will however argue that maybe the screen should have been bigger but again, it’s all about personal preferences. 

The phone measures 160.2 mm x 73.3 mm x 8 mm and weighs 178 grams and feels comfortable and solid in the hand. Important to also mention that there’s a think protective layer on top of the screen straight out of the box.  

Realme 9 4G Camera

The Realme 9 4G is a camera phone. It builds on continuous upgrades from realme 5 Pro, one of the first mid-range smartphones to feature a 48MP camera, and realme 8 among the few smartphones to feature a 64MP camera. 

The 108MP ProLight Camera on the Realme 9 4G is powered by a Samsung ISOCELL HM6 image sensor-  a super-wide lens and a macro lens. This is probably the most exciting thing about this phone.   

The 8 MP ultra-wide camera is powered by an OmniVision sensor and features an f/2.2 lens. The 2MP fixed-focus macro camera on the other hand uses a  GalaxyCore GC02M1 sensor (1/5″). For the selfie camera, we’re getting a 16MP camera powered by a Sony IMX 471 with an f/2.5 lens. For shooting, Realme has added a number of camera modes including a dedicated night mode, Street, Video, Photo, Portrait,  Pro, Pano, Ultra Macro, Film, Slo-Mo, Time-Lapse, Text Scanner, and Tilt-Shift. 

The camera produces some decent shots, especially in good lighting and of course, you have so many modes to play around with. In low-light, the phone produces not-so-good results but the shots are usable. Check sample shots below

Night Mode

The 16MP selfie camera also does a pretty good job as evidenced by a sample shot below.

 

 

Video shooting is capped at 1080P so if you’re looking to get 4K videos from the Realme 9 4G you might be disappointed. The reason for this is that despite Samsung’s camera sensor supporting 4K, the Snapdragon 680 chip powering this phone doesn’t. 

Realme 9 4G Performance and battery life

Powering the Realme 9 4G is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680, not so powerful but it gets things done including running some heavy games. You can close and open your favorite app with no lags. The phone also comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. 

The RAM is also a standout feature on this phone worth talking about. Apart from the 8GB, there’s also a 5GB dynamic RAM meaning you can boost the RAM to 13GB total to enable you easily multitask smoothly. 

The Realme 9 runs Android 12 with Realme UI 3.0 on top of it. If you’ve used a realme phone you know the UI is quite a straightforward operating system. The phone comes loaded with some bit of bloatware including apps from Amazon, booking.com but the good thing is you can easily get rid of them. 

Other realme UI features to check out include a Smart Sidebar, floating windows, and a quick launch panel. You can choose to use them or not. 

For the battery life, the massive 5000mAh cell does a great job. The phone was able to give us a full day without worrying about running out of juice. With 33W fast charging, you should be able to get a full charge in around 90 minutes, which is pretty impressive for a phone at this price point. 

Should you buy the Realme 9 4G? 

Realme 9 4G review in kenya
Realme 9 4G [Photo: TechTrendsKE]
The Realme 9 4G is an all-round phone or a mid-range champ as we referred to it in our unboxing. The phone comes with a number of stand-out features – a 108MP main camera, a massive battery, and a decent screen.

Realme is selling it at Ksh.30,999, quite a fair price. Buy if the above-mentioned features really matter to you. You however have an option of adding digging deeper into your pockets to get the Realme 9 Pro or the 5G variant. Reason? They offer better performance based on the specs and also if you’re just looking for a 5G device. 

Overall, the Realme 9 4G offers some good value for money. 

Have anything to add to our Realme 9 4G review? Follow us on TelegramTwitter, and Facebook, or subscribe to our weekly newsletter to ensure you don’t miss out on any future updates. Send tips to info@techtrendske.co.ke 

 

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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