Realme has just released its first smartphone for the first quarter of the year and arrived at the Malaysia stores on 22 January 2022. So today we’ll have a first look at the phone’s design, specification, performance and also, does it worth a buy?

PACKAGING & DESIGN

The packaging for Realmi 9i is rather bulky. It has a yellow and black design as a theme with a large “9i” along with the brand logo printed on top of the package. It’s also worth mentioning that the package containing the phone itself is composed entirely out of hardened cardboard. That being said it acts as an extra layer of protection if one decided to order the unit online and have it delivered to your doorstep.

Now let’s take a look inside, right off the bat you’ll find the following content :

  • 1 unit of Realme 9i
  • 1 set of type-C USB and 33W charger plug

Along with a slim yellow cardboard box containing :

  • 1 unit of Realme 9i cover case
  • 1 copy of user menu (with warranty included inside the pages)
  • 1 unit of SIM card ejection pin

In terms of phone design, it’s absolutely stylish for a phone that has a low to mid-price range. It comes in 2 colors, notably prism black and prism blue while the unit we received is in prism black. The entire phone is slim in design so it makes it easier for users to hold in hand. It has a height of 164mm (6.47 inches), a length of 75.7mm (2.98 inches), as well as a slim width of 84mm (0.33 inches). Weight wise it holds at 190g (6.7 Oz), making it one of the lighter phones available out there. The front screen is made out of Dragontrail Pro glass surrounded by a matte plastic frame. As for the back, is made out of glassy hard plastic, in other words, you could easily see your own reflection through the back of the phone. One downside, however, it is extremely vulnerable to fingerprints and dust. So you must constantly clean it with a dry cloth if you aren’t using any phone cover case.

As for the sides, you’ll find your typical power button located on the right side, whereas the volume buttons, and the dual SIM (Nano-SIM) slot are located on the left side. The bottom of the phone consists of the main microphone along with the speakers, a Type-C charging port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. While on the top, there’s a noise-canceling microphone situated there. Overall the phone emits a very elegant feel in terms of design and overview.

CAMERA (OVERVIEW & PERFORMANCE)

Realme 9i’s main camera comprises a rectangular island with 2 large identical lenses (1 being 50-megapixels while another being 2-megapixels) along with 1 small lens (2-megapixels) situated within. While 2 megapixels doesn’t sound impressive it is considered passable for a budget phone. Moving on to the front camera it has a more cut-in design which is located at the top left corner of the front screen. The front camera has a 16-megapixel lens which, if you ask me is kinda not bad for selfies.

Moving on to camera performance, images taken during the daytime are considered crisp as the colours, saturation, and contrast are captured beautifully and detailed through its default 12.5 megapixels settings, this is also thanks to the built-in HDR function. However, like most budget models, it will become rather blurry when it is zoomed in to a certain degree. As for closed ups and selfies, it performed decently with portrait mode as all the details are able to be captured sharply almost flawlessly. In terms of nighttime pictures, it performed surprisingly well when there’s the right amount of lighting exposures in the surroundings. Attached herewith are the samples of photos and portraits taken with the Realme 9i camera lens :

PERFORMANCE & BENCHMARK

Moving on to performance, Realme 9i is running on Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 680 4G processor chip, consisting of 128GB internal storage, 6GB RAM, and 5000mAh(Typ) battery life. I have not encountered any major issues thus far, the refresh rate is decent as scrolling around with the phone is smooth and has no lag whatsoever. Moreover, the phone charges rather quickly with the 33W charger provided inside the package.

Not the most ideal phone for games that require high resources such as Genshin Impact

On the gaming side, it performs decently with mid-tier games such as Mobile Legends, it can run smoothly with no trouble at all. Provided that all settings were set to mix or custom medium. However, when it comes to higher-tier games such as Genshin Impact, there will be stutters from here and there even when the display settings were set to the lowest resolution. Not to mention it also drained up a significant amount of battery during gaming. Just 15 mins into Genshin Impact and the battery dropped 4%. But despite that, the phone still managed to keep the heating under control, only getting slightly warmer instead of straight-up overheating after 30 minutes to further gaming. In other words, this phone is much suitable for mobile eSports titles.

Attached above is the benchmark performance chart, based on the benchmark results, the phone could only deliver a mid-range performance which is expectable since it is considered to be an affordable phone catered for the mass audience.

SPECIFICATIONS

Processor/SOCQualcomm Snapdragon 680 Processor
CPU: Octa-core, 6nm, up to 2.4GHz
GPU: Adreno 610
Display90Hz FHD+ IPS LCD Ultra Smooth Display
5-Level Refresh Rates
CameraRear
50MP Primary Camera, f/1.8 aperture with PDAF
2MP Macro Lens, f/2.4 aperture
2MP B&W Lens, f/2.4 aperture
Front
16 MP wide lens
Storage/RAMRAM: 4GB/6GB LPDDR4X
ROM: 128GB UFS 2.1
Up to 1TB External Memory
Battery33W Dart Charge
5000mAh(Typ) Battery
Includes a 33W Charging Adapter
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC
PriceRM849

VERDICT

Personally, I think the phone would come in handy for work and study purposes. As it has no issue displaying videos and capturing photos. If anyone ever considers the phone for gaming purposes, it is better to get another alternative. Not to mention the phone does not support 5G connectivity. Overall it is good for social media, calling, and non-intensive mid-tier gaming.

Pros :

  • Decent camera performance
  • Has dedicated MicroSD Card Slot

Cons :

  • Fingerprint Magnet

Anyone that is interested to get their hands on a unit of Realme 9i, may purchase the phone from Shopee.

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