Realme 9i 5G assessment: A well-designed budget 5G phone with some compromises

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Choosing an honest budget 5G phone is fairly onerous nowadays. With nearly all of units carefully resembling each other, the Realme 9i 5G is ready to distinguish itself from the remainder of the competitors with its glittering mirrored again. But is that sufficient to make it higher than the ocean pool of smartphones out there within the below Rs 20,000 class? Here’s our tackle the phone.

Realme 9i 5G specs: 6.6-inch 90Hz IPS LCD | MediaTek Dimensity 810 | 6GB RAM + 128GB storage | 50MP + 2MP + 2MP + 8MP entrance digital camera | 5000mAh battery + 18W quick charging | Realme UI based mostly on Android 12

Realme 9i 5G: What’s new?

The Realme 9i 5G comes six months after the launch of the Realme 9i, so that you may be questioning, what’s modified? The very first thing that involves thoughts is the shiny glowing again. Realme has additionally modified the digital camera island and switched from Qualcomm to MediaTek.

While the rear digital camera stays the identical, the entrance digital camera has been downgraded from 16MP to 8MP. Also, the Realme 9i 5G provides 18W quick charging in comparison with the 33W charging on the Realme 9i.

Realme, Realme 9i 5G The phone has a reflective again. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)

What’s good?

Design and construct high quality

The Realme 9i 5G sports activities a glittery CD-like again that displays mild. While seems to be are purely subjective, the Metallica Gold model is certainly eye-catching. When I used to be taking photographs, individuals would usually flip heads and stare. The solely downside is that the again is a mud and fingerprint magnet.

Coming to the construct high quality, the Realme 9i 5G has a great grip and is actually snug to carry. Weighing simply 187 grams, the corporate has managed to evenly distribute the burden. It has a plastic again that appears like glass whereas the body of the phone seems to be and appears like metallic. While I’d nonetheless advocate utilizing a canopy for the phone, not as soon as did I believe I’d drop it.


Powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 810, the Realme 9i 5G is certainly an improve over its predecessor. Compared to the Snapdragon 680 4G chipset on the Realme 9i, the phone is definitely sooner and has nice thermal administration. When I attempted pushing the CPU to its restrict with a stress check, not as soon as did the phone throttle the CPU to beneath 80 per cent, which implies you will get constant efficiency. However, the story is totally totally different when taking part in video games. (we are going to dive into that later)


Running on Realme UI 3.0 based mostly on Android 12 out of the field, the phone is as easy because it will get when performing day by day duties like watching a video or messaging or taking calls. There have been no stutters or lags in anyway whereas multitasking. I additionally acquired an OTA that up to date the safety patch to August. It additionally has extensive

5G Connectivity

The Realme 9i 5G helps each Standalone and Non-Standalone 5G. The listing of bands contains n1, n5, n8, n28, n41, n77 and n78, which means it’s suitable with main Indian telecom networks.

Battery Life

Another space the place the Realme 9i 5G excels is the battery life. With a 5,000mAh battery, the smartphone can simply final one to 2 days of sunshine utilization and a day filled with heavy utilization. And due to the power-efficient processor, it would final a full day even for those who often play graphic-intensive video games like BGMI and Call of Duty. Compared to the competitors, Realme ships the machine with an 18W charger, which is a letdown because it takes two to a few hours to totally cost the phone.

Realme, Realme 9i 5G It has a teardrop notch. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)

What’s not so good?

While the Realme 9i 5G does characteristic an upgraded processor, the budget phase has developed loads within the final yr. And it seems to be like the corporate has compromised in some areas to deliver 5G help.


Featuring a 6.6-inch 90Hz IPS LCD show, the display is under no circumstances dangerous with regards to color replica. But if we evaluate the Realme 9i 5G to different telephones on this worth phase, you will notice that corporations like Motorola and Poco provide AMOLED screens with related or larger refresh charges.

Also, I discovered the textual content onerous to learn when below direct daylight. Another downside I encountered is that the show on my unit had a hotter color tone, like somebody had turned on the evening mild toggle, however it seems to be like Realme has fastened the issue with a software program update.

Gaming efficiency

While you may play informal titles like Subway Surfer and Temple Run without any hiccups, I skilled random stuttering when taking part in some graphic-intensive titles like PUBG: New State and Apex Legends. But Call of Duty ran constantly at 60fps. And regardless of having a 90Hz show with a 180Hz contact sampling charge, RealmeUI restricts video games to 60 fps, which can be a letdown for the reason that chipset can run some video games at larger framerates.


Instead of a digital camera island, Realme has opted to make use of 4 particular person cutouts, three for the digital camera and one for flash. The rear digital camera protrudes out of the physique even for those who use a canopy, which implies the lens would possibly get broken for those who place the phone on a flat floor.

Realme, Realme 9i 5G camera The Realme 9i 5G takes respectable photographs throughout daytime. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)
Realme, Realme 9i 5G The photographs are good if you wish to add them to social media. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)
Realme, Realme 9i 5G On zooming in, the picture loses element. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)

Similar to most telephones within the budget phase, the rear digital camera on the Realme 9i 5G is a hit and miss. In daytime circumstances with ample mild, you may count on the machine to take some respectable photographs. While the phone manages to protect many of the particulars and the color is on the pure facet, the picture softens and loses particulars when zooming in. However, the picture high quality is nice if you wish to add them on social media.

Adding to the issue, Realme has opted to not use an ultrawide lens however has changed it with a macro and depth sensor, which to be trustworthy, are ineffective at finest. Similarly, when taking photographs at evening, the phone fails to protect even the essential particulars. While the 50MP main sensor manages to seize mild, the photographs are principally unusable due to the excessive quantity of noise.

Realme, Realme 9i 5G The macro sensor fails to concentrate on the topic at instances. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)
Realme, Realme 9i 5G The phone loses out many of the element when taking photographs in evening mode. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)

The entrance digital camera will not be good both. When taking selfies, the phone loses out on many of the particulars and distinction. Also, the AI beautify characteristic is overly aggressive and eliminates all facial particulars. It jogged my memory of these days when laptops, tablets and telephones shipped with 480p cameras. If you want to use the phone to attend conferences or online lessons, possibly it’s finest to keep away from this phone.


The Realme 9i 5G comes with Realme UI 3.0 based mostly on Android 12 out of the field. Though I didn’t face any random stutters or lags, it seems to be like Realme has stuffed the machine with a number of bloatware. Thankfully, many of the apps could be simply uninstalled with some exceptions like ‘Hot Apps’. It is actually annoying to have apps like Moj and Josh pre-installed.

And while you set up apps from the Google Play Store, a display pops up indicating that the app is put in alongside with an commercial on the highest. This is one thing that different smartphone producers have averted in the previous couple of years. It will certainly break your immersion in case you are putting in an app within the background whereas taking part in video games or watching movies.

Realme, Realme 9i 5G The phone has plenty of bloatware. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)

Verdict: Is the Realme 9i 5G price your money?

If you might be on the lookout for a phone that may carry out primary duties without any hiccups, the Realme 9i 5G is an efficient selection.

With a price ticket of Rs 14,999 for the 4GB/64GB inside storage variant and Rs 16,999 for the 6GB/128GB model, there are definitely higher choices within the worth vary like Poco X4 Pro, Motorola G71, Realme 9 Pro and the Vivo T1 5G.

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