Say hello to the Realme 9i, the entry-level option in the maker’s new 9 series. It may be the lesser of the 9 Pro and Pro+, but it does share DNA with both devices, and even the GT2 Pro. A quick look at the rear panel with its Stereo Prism Design, as Realme calls it, the 9i looks very good.
The Realme 9i is anything but a straightforward successor to its predecessor. On one hand, it has a smarter design, a much better chipset, and faster charging. But on the other its display is slower, its battery is the same size, and its cameras are unchanged.
The price has remained unchanged – the Realme 9i starts at INR 13,999 for the 4/64GB model and goes up to INR 15,999 for the 6/128GB one, the same as the current-going Realme 8i, so it’s a matter of screen vs chipset with the cameras and battery more or less the same. Well, and the design, which is completely in favor of the newer phone.
The screen in question is a 90Hz unit, down from 120Hz on the 8i, the chipset a respectable Snapdragon 680 on a 6nm node – much better than the Helio G96 sitting on its 12nm. The Realme 9i also has the upper hand in audio, thanks to an added second speaker, which would do wonders for watching video on the device.
Here’s a full overview of the Realme 9i as a package.
Realme 9i specs at a glance:
- Body: 164.4×75.7×8.4mm, 190g; Glass front (Dragontrail Pro), plastic frame, plastic back.
- Display: 6.60″ IPS LCD, 90Hz, 480 nits (typ), 1080x2412px resolution, 20.1:9 aspect ratio, 400ppi.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 680 4G (6 nm): Octa-core (4×2.4 GHz Kryo 265 Gold & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo 265 Silver); Adreno 610.
- Memory: 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM; ; microSDXC (dedicated slot).
- OS/Software: Android 11, Realme UI 2.0.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/2.76″, 0.64µm, PDAF; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4.
- Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.1, 26mm (wide), 1/3.0″, 1.0µm.
- Video capture: Rear camera: 1080p@30fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
- Battery: 5000mAh; Fast charging 33W, 100% in 70 min (advertised).
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); 3.5mm jack.
Judged on its own merit, and not just as a successor to another device, the Realme 9i is a balanced and reasonable package. It’s a good middle size – not small, not too big, just right with its 6.6-inch display. On the other, it packs an ample battery – 5,000mAh, which will ensure long hours of use.
It may have a pair of near-useless 2MP cameras, but the main 50MP serves up 12.5MP images that we loved on the Realme 8i, even at night time.
Unboxing the Realme 9i
The Realme 9i comes with a USB cable, a 33W charger, and a case. That’s the same scope of delivery as the 8i, save for the difference in charger power – 33W vs 18W.