realme 9 Pro 5G Review: A Powerful and Stylish Smartphone For Street Photography
Finally, the realme 9 Pro 5G and realme 9 Pro Plus are now available here in the Philippines. But in this article, I will solely talk about the realme 9 Pro 5G, its features, capabilities and my hands-on experience about this cool smartphone from realme.
This newest mid-range smartphone under the realme 9 Pro Series will definitely elevate your creativity when it comes to smartphone photography at the same time enjoy the massive battery life that comes with it. You’ll know why as you read further.
So, let’s start?
So the realme 9 Pro 5G comes in its signature yellow packaging. But this time, it’s not the usual yellow box that we are seeing on other realme smartphones’ packaging. Now, it looks much bolder with that touch of black.
I kinda struggle a bit to remove the top cover. But on the brighter side, I believe it is a good thing, knowing that all of the contents inside the box remain secure and in place.
WHAT’S INSIDE THE BOX?
- Sim Ejector Pin
- Jelly Case
- 33W Dart Charger adapter
- USB Type-C Cable
- realme 9 Pro Unit
You may also watch my unboxing video here:
DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY
Out of the box, the realme 9 Pro 5G shows off a stunning back with Light Shift design that beautifully changes colors and shimmers when exposed to light. It has that glittery effect too.
This is different from other realme smartphone designs ever made because that glittery effect is realme’s first Photochromism Design which is my favorite design so far.
Just look how nice it is under direct sunlight. It has that purplish and reddish hues plus the glittery effect that I mentioned earlier. I love everything that glitters, so this is a plus for me. 😍
However, since it has that glossy back finish, it picks up fingerprint marks quite easily. Well, you don’t need to worry about that, because the 9 Pro 5G comes with a FREE protective jelly case. This will save you from cleaning the back part from time to time.
The materials used is not glass for the back, and the side frames are made of plastic, not what I expected from its price range but with that kind of design that I mentioned above, the phone looks premium and solid enough despite the materials used.
For the colors available in PH, there’s Sunrise Blue(the one i’ve got), and there’s also Aurora Green. To some countries, Midnight black is available but we still have to wait for further announcements if realme will launch the said color here in PH.
realme 9 Pro 5G measures about 164.3 x 75.6 x 8.5mm with curved back sides which is just right the size for me – not too big and not to small. It is easy to grip and use even with just one hand. It also weighs about 195g, light enough to use it comfortably.
Now for the external anatomy of the realme 9 Pro 5G, at the top, you’ll find the secondary microphone. On the right side, you’ll find the power button with built-in fingerprint scanner which can detect your registered fingerprint really fast. On the other side you’ll find the volume rocker adjacent to the sim/microSD card slot. The sim/ssd card tray is a hybrid set-up, meaning, one slot for the 1st sim and the 2nd slot is dedicated on either a 2nd sim card or microSD card. At the bottom, you’ll find the 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, type-C port, and speaker grille.
Since the speaker is not stereo and not dual, sound quality is a bit less impressive as the sound came out quite flat. It is loud, but I noticed a few distortions when volume is on full level. Overall, it is still acceptably clear and audible.
On front, you’ll find a punch hole which houses the 16MP front-facing camera at the top left corner which is small enough for users not to get distracted when watching movies or playing games. Side bezels are thin as well. As you flip the phone on the other side, the rectangular camera module which houses the 3 camera sensors protrudes at the back making the phone a bit wobbly when being placed flat on a table top.
I love watching movies, browsing, and playing games on this phone because of its slightly bigger 6.6-inch screen with 90.8% Screen-to-body ratio. The 2400 x 1080 Full High Definition LCD resolution display though is less vibrant compared to AMOLED screens, it actually has that bluish hue that quite tones down the color vibrancy. Good thing about this is that it is less straining to the eyes.
It also has 120Hz adaptive refresh rate with 240Hz touch sampling rate which automatically adjust among six refresh rates (30Hz, 48Hz, 50Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz) based on the user’s on-screen content. That’s why browsing or scrolling through web pages and social media were really smooth, feels more instant and responsive.
realme 9 Pro 5G has peak brightness of up to 480 nits, so the screen is slightly visible but also not bright enough to be clear when being viewed under the sunlight.
SOFTWARE AND CUSTOMIZATION
realme 9 Pro 5G boots with the latest OS which is Android 12 and the new realme UI 3.0 which made customization and personalization more fun in this smartphone. It’s has a very user-friendly interface. I can customize the display and choose over a variety of customization options from system colors, themes, wallpapers, fonts and display size, and icon styles.
It also has extra features which includes Flexible Windows which allow you to multi-task with floating windows. The Smart Sidebar is a big help in terms of accessibility on certain apps and tools
Got one issue though with regards to downloading certain apps like GCASH and NETFLIX. As of writing, Netflix cannot be downloaded to the realme 9 Pro 5G due to incompatibility issue. I cloned my old phone to the realme 9 Pro 5G and the only two apps that were not downloaded were GCASH and Netflix. The GCASH I was able to download through App Market and not from the usual Google Play store. Netflix is not available there and I cannot find it on Goole Play as well. I’m still waiting for the next update. I hope that it will be resolved soon.
UPDATE: Today, March 26, 2022. I tried again searching the Netflix app on Google Play. Finally! I was able to download it already! ❤️
The realme 9 Pro 5G has 16MP front-facing camera that can take good quality selfies. It has Beautification mode which can enhance your face’s features giving you that flawless look. In Portrait Mode, you can adjust the blur effect of your background and there are filters as well to give your selfie photos a different vibe. Check out the photos above.
As for the rear camera, the 9 Pro is equipped with a 64MP primary sensor(F1.8 ), 8MP(F2.3 119° )ultra-wide lens, and 2MP(F2.4) macro sensor. Check out the sample photos below. For the FULL RESOLUTION of the Photos click here.
Using the default 12MP point-and-shoot settings, you’ll be able to take decent photos of cityscapes, landscapes or any subjects available. When in good lighting conditions, this shooter produces snaps with good details, contrast, and colors.
Taking far subjects is easy-peasy as well as it can zoom up to 6x. Wide-angle photos using the default camera are fairly acceptable with fair level of colors and details.
The 64MP primary sensor can shoot quality photos as well. At a glance you would hardly see the difference between the default camera and the 64MP, not unless you zoom it in where details are much more distinguished with the latter. Colors were vibrant but tends to pop a little more compared to the actual subject. Texture, details and contrast are good as well. No need for editing. The file size is pretty big when you shoot using this camera feature which is expected since it is higher in quality.
On lowlight conditions, photo quality tends to suffer a bit which is understandable, but thanks to the Night Mode feature, each night shot now got an extra boost of brightness and details.
Taking macro shot is a hit or miss. Some photos are good and acceptable if taken in good lighting condition. To some, colors tend to look overly saturated, other were soft, lacks in depth, and texture. But overall, it can still do its purpose of taking decent super close-up photos.
The Portrait mode photo quality came out to be overly saturated with reddish-yellowish hues. Turning off the AI Scene Enhancement though would tone it down a bit. Other than that, the brightness, contrast, depth of field, texture, and sharpness are all good and acceptable.
STREET MODE/ FILTERS:
My favorite camera feature so far… The Street Photography 2.0 that will make you shoot like a pro! No need for manual adjustments of long exposure settings. With this mode, you can shoot and adjust to different focal lengths such as 50mm, 24mm, and 16mm. It also has Long Exposure mode where can choose among four(4) different settings: Neon Trail, Light Trail Portrait, Rush Hour, and Light Painting. Choose. Exposure time can also be adjusted ranging from 0-12 secs. You may also use different filters available under Street Mode like 90’s Pop, Cyberpunk, Flamingo, Astral and many others to give your street photos a unique look.
As for the video quality, realme 9 Pro 5G does video recording of 60fps at 1080p on its rear camera. It does not record videos in 4K quality though but still records nice quality videos especially in well-lit environment.
And for those with shaky hands, you can turn on the Ultra Steady Mode for some stabilization. Fps also shifts from 60 to 30fps when you turn this feature on.
Equipped with high-powered Snapdragon 695 octa-core processor with 5G capability, plus 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the 9 Pro 5G performs very well on different mobile activities such as browsing the web and social media, including video streaming.
The realme 9 Pro also has 5G connectivity feature that will make the most out of the fastest internet speeds available. Well, that’s if you live in an area that supports it. Like in my case, I got only intermittent 5G signal in my area, most of the time it’s just 4G. So unfortunately, I cannot maximize the 5G signal usage.
When it comes to playing games, the Adreno 619 GPU can handle graphic intensive games with ease even on high settings. I played Mobile Legends for hours and never experienced any FPS drops even I have other apps running in the background. So multi-tasking is A-OK!.
Overheating is not a problem on this phone because it is equipped with a Liquid Cooling System for sustained core peak performance, making it work harder for longer.
The realme 9 Pro also boasts a Dynamic RAM Expansion with 5GB of additional virtual RAM, so users can open even the most resource-intensive apps in a snap. Wow! That’s 13GB total RAM storage!
CHARGING AND BATTERY LIFE:
Powering this mid-ranger is a 5,000 mAh battery with 33W fast charging support. The 33W charger takes about 1 hour and 16 mins or a little less than that to fully charge the device(1% to 100%).
Overall, the battery will last for almost a day(about 20-21 hours) with light to average usage like browsing social media, watching a few movies and minimal gaming. That also depends when you go on full brightness for the screen, high volume level and other battery-draining mobile activities.
LET’S WRAP IT UP!
Starting off with its Light Shift and Photochromism design which is strikingly appealing to the eye giving the overall look a modern and premium touch. The large display made gaming, browsing and watching more enjoyable. The cameras, especially the rear cam provides nice quality, social media-worthy photos not to mention that added feature which is the Street Photography. Performance wise, it is fast and multitasking is a breeze. And lastly, it has huge battery capacity that will let you do a lot of mobile activities in a single charge.
Undeniably, the realme 9 Pro is a good contender to other mid-range smartphones in the market. It may have very few letdowns, but I believe that this phone is packed with good specs and still worth buying. If you’re on a budget, this smartphone is a good choice.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The realme 9 Pro Series will be available for pre-order from March 16-25 at all realme official stores and partner dealers nationwide. Get the realme 9Pro (8GB+128GB) priced at SRP P16,990 and get FREE realme Pocket Bluetooth Speaker, realme Type-C Superdart Cable, and realme Mobile Game Finger Sleeves upon claiming on March 26 to 27.
Get the realme 9 Pro+ (8GB+256GB) priced at SRP P23,990 and get 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.
Early Bird Offer: Get the realme 9 Pro 5G at P2,000 OFF exclusively on realme’s official store in Lazada for only P14,990, and P2,500 OFF on the realme 9 Pro+priced at P21,490 starting March 16-18.
realme 9 Pro 5G Full Specifications:
- Display: 6.6-inch IPS LCD display, Full HD+ resolution, 120 Hz refresh rate, 240 Hz touch sampling rate
- Software: realme UI 3.0, Android 12
- CPU: 6nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 octa-core SoC clocked at 2.2 GHz
- GPU: Adreno 619
- Memory: 6 GB OR 8 GB LPDDR4x RAM (Up to 13 GB Dynamic RAM)
- Storage: 128 GB OR 256 GB UFS 2.2 internal storage, microSD slot
- Main Camera: Triple cameras (64 MP + 8 MP ultra-wide + 2 MP macro), single LED flash
- Selfie Camera: 16 MP wide-angle
- Others: Side-mounted fingerprint scanner, Face Unlock
- Cellular: 5G network, dual SIM, dual 5G standby support
- Battery: 5,000 mAh battery
- Charging: 33W Dart charging
- Weight: 195 grams