It’s official! The realme 9 Pro series has officially been launched in the Philippines today (March 15, 2022) with pre-orders open from March 16 to 25. With #CaptureTheLight as their main hashtag for the latest Number Series lineup, one can expect that the realme 9 Pro+ can deliver high quality photos and videos despite being in the midrange segment. With that and the young generation’s need to continuously churn out content on social media in mind, here’s a lifestyle-centric review of the unit:
DESIGN AND DISPLAY
Measuring only 7.9mm thin, the realme 9 Pro+ is the slimmest out of its Pro predecessors. Compared with the realme 9 Pro, it’s also smaller at only 160.2mm in height and 73.3mm in width. Given these dimensions, the realme 9 Pro+ is easy to grip and it’s easy to navigate the screen with only one hand. Due to its weight of 182 grams, you can scroll through your feed for hours without hurting your wrists, too.
I got a muted Aurora Green color but the realme 9 Pro+ is also available in a beautiful Sunrise Blue variant with a color-changing Light Shift Design. Coming from a flashy realme 8; however, I personally prefer lowkey colors like the Aurora Green at the moment. Although it’s hardly noticeable when indoors, the glittery design on the glass panel reminds me of OPPO F9’s Starry Purple variant. It’s not too eye-catching but it’s there when you look closely. It’s really pretty, but it also gets smudged with fingerprints easily so adding a jelly case will save you time from continuously wiping the back portion.
In front, you’ll find a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen with 1080 x 2400p resolution, a small punch-hole front camera on the upper left corner, and an in-display fingerprint scanner at the bottom. It has thin bezels, which provide more screen space but I can’t help but notice how the bottom bezel is thicker than the rest. The thin grille on top makes its stereo speakers x earpiece almost unnoticeable, too.
The 3.5mm jack, speaker, USB-C port, and mouthpiece are all in its usual places at the bottom of the device, dual-SIM tray and volume keys are at the left side, power x lock key on the right, and there’s a microphone on top. Note that the realme 9 Pro+ does not come with a slot for microSD expansion, but given its storage space, I don’t think I’ll need it in the near future.
At the back, aside from the glittery design, you’ll find the triple rear camera setup on the top left corner along with a small realme logo at the bottom left side. The cameras are still protruded, but I love how realme adjusted their jelly case to cover everything except for the lenses. Most jelly cases that come with midrange phones leave the whole rectangular piece exposed.
The realme 9 Pro+ takes pride in its flagship-level 50MP Sony IMX766 camera (OIS), 8MP Ultra-Wide Angle Lens, and 2MP Macro Lens with LED flash at the back. In front, it has a 16MP camera for clear selfies. While it tends to enhance saturation of some photos, the quality is really good even at night.
NIGHT/ LOW LIGHT:
When using zoom, it starts to become a bit grainy past 10x but you can push it further to 20x if you have super steady hands. Default is at 2x zoom, but you can also adjust it down to 0.6x for wide shots.
2X – 20X ZOOM
WIDE SHOT VS 5X ZOOM (NIGHT)
There are a lot of filters to choose from under Photo, Street, Portrait, Night Mode, and even under Video. My favorites are Modern Gold and Cyberpunk under Night Mode, but during rush hour, I keep myself busy by trying to take Long Exposure photos – Neon Trail, Light Trail Portrait, Rush Hour, and Light Painting. You’ll need steady hands and a bit of practice to master Light Painting, though!
NIGHT MODE FILTERS:
For mobile photographers, you can also take RAW shots instead of the usual JPG via the main camera when using Street Mode. Other camera features include 50MP, Ultra Macro, Panorama, Pro, Starry Mode, Tilt-Shift, and Text Scanner for photos; Time-Lapse, Slo-Mo, Film, and Dual-View for videos.
It’s a really good smartphone for aspiring content creators! Aside from the long list of creative filters and effects, realme 9 Pro+ can still shoot videos up to 4K resolution — something that other midrange smartphones have already discontinued.
Given two speakers – one at the bottom and one on top which doubles as an earpiece, the realme 9 Pro+ provides a balanced audio quality. Max volume is enough to be heard across a small room and it doesn’t become muffled even if you binge-watch videos for hours.
STORAGE, PERFORMANCE AND UI
MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G processor paired with 8GB + 256GB storage is a pretty decent combination. However, still expect some frame drops from time to time even if it’s at 90Hz refresh rate. Personally, it’s not that bothersome. As long as I manage to get things done without lags, play games like Pokemon Unite, and watch Netflix smoothly, I have no complaints. This smartphone also comes with a Vapor Chamber Cooling System which reduces the temperature and keeps the phone in a high-performance state.
Running on Android 12 with realme UI 3.0, expect a nice interface and more customization options. There are various icon packs and shapes, fonts, and wallpapers that you can choose from. My favorite part is the Always-on Display which you can personalize to include the time, date, battery level, notification icons, and a nice design – either a sketch of yourself or a pattern. This can run without draining your battery since you can schedule it to be hidden once it becomes idle for some time, but you also have the choice to keep it visible all the time.
I also like its Edge Lighting feature since there’s no notification LED light on the device. You can make the sides of the screen turn blue, red, or yellow when there are notifications or calls. You’ll have to enable this via Settings, though! It’s not automatically enabled on your first use.
For health-conscious users, you’ll also appreciate the Realme Lab feature where you can measure your heart rate through the under-display fingerprint scanner. While it’s not medical-grade, it’s a good estimate and it helps you track the changes in your heart rate, mood, and activities within the day/week.
Like earlier realme models, you can further customize the realme 9 Pro+’s app drawer, floating window, side bar, and the like.
In terms of security, you can choose between fingerprint unlock, face unlock, or pin unlock. Based on my experience, face unlock is the fastest of them all but I opt for fingerprint unlock since I wear my face mask most of the time anyway.
Don’t judge a phone for only having 4,500mAh battery. This smartphone was able to live longer than I initially expected. From 90% on a typical work day with Skype, social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter), and Shopee app running in the background, making occasional calls and texts, and listening to music via Spotify while on transit, the realme 9 Pro+ managed to end at 20% within 12 hours – enough to stay alive while I’m outdoors. In case you’re like me who gets anxious when their smartphones reach 20%, you can enable Power Saving Mode to conserve more battery.
In terms of charging, the realme 9 Pro+ supports 60W SuperDart Charge which enables us to charge up to 50% just in 15 minutes. To get to 100%, you’ll have to give it around 45 minutes, though. Not bad, especially if you’re in a rush.
PRICE AND PERKS
The realme 9 Pro+ (8GB + 256GB) will retail for SRP Php 23,990 but you can bring the price down by Php 2,500 when you avail the early-bird offer online. From March 16-18, you can get the realme 9 Pro+ at only Php 21,490 along with an additional one-year warranty exclusively via the realme Official Store on Lazada.
If you prefer purchasing in-store, you can now find the realme 9 Pro+ at official realme stores and partner dealers nationwide. Early buyers will be receiving a FREE realme Cobble Bluetooth Speaker, realme Cooling Back Clip Neo, and one year’s worth of extended warranty when you buy from March 16-20, 2022.
This is also available for purchase through Home Credit (6 or 9-month installment) and via major credit cards (6 or 12-month installment) at 0% interest.
P.S. I’m now using this as my main phone. 😊