The Realme 9 4G finally launches in the Philippines making it the latest device under the Realme 9 series followed by the Realme 9i. The Realme 9 4G boasts a triple camera setup aimed for flagship-level photography, a 90Hz Super AMOLED Display, 5000mAh battery, running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G chipset paired with 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM. Does its near-flagship level camera setup and specs justify the Php 14,999 price tag? Let’s find out
|Display||6.4in. (2400 x 1080p) 90Hz IPS LCD|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G | Adreno 610|
|Battery||5000 mAh; 33W Fast Charging|
|RAM||6GB | 8GB|
|Rear Camera||108MP f/1.8 Main Camera | 8MP f/2.2 Ultrawide | 2MP f/2.4 Macro|
|Front Camera||16MP f/2.5 Front Camera|
|Card Slot||2 Dual SIM + dedicated microSDXC|
|OS||Android 12 + Realme UI 3.0|
In other countries, the Realme 9 4G is offered in either 6GB or 8GB configurations alongside three color options: Meteor black, Stargaze White, and Sunburst Gold. Unfortunately, Realme Philippines will only bring the 6GB + 128GB configuration locally for Php 14,999 – a Php 3,000 premium over the Realme 9i. Our specific review unit is the 8GB + 128GB configuration so keep that in mind once you go to the benchmark portion of the review later.
A Closer Look – Realme 9 4G
The Realme 9 4G has the same packaging as its younger brother, the Realme 9i.
Contents of the packaging are as follows
- Realme 9 Smartphone
- 33W Dart Charger
- USB Type-C Charging Cable
- Sim Ejector Tool
- Warranty and Manual
- Transparent Case
The Realme 9 4G has a similar look to the 9i albeit the display is smaller by 0.2 inches which in turn results in a lower resolution of 2400×1800 compared to the 9i’s 2412×1080 display. However, the former sports a better screen quality overall as it has a Super AMOLED display as opposed to the latter’s IPS LCD, both of which have a 90Hz refresh rate.
There are three color options available on the Realme 9 4G: Meteor black, Stargaze White, and Sunburst Gold. Our specific unit for this article is the Sunburst Gold variant with a memory and storage configuration of 6GB+128GB. Realme uses a Ripple Holographic design inspired by Sandunes for its Stargaze White and Sunburst Gold. The design choice is refreshing as the market is flooded with smartphones having vibrant RGB-esque finishes.
The left side of the Realme 9i house the individual volume buttons, and the microSD and dual Simcard tray. The power/lock button is positioned on the right side of the device.
The Realme 9 4g uses a USB Type-C charging port as it supports 33W Dart Charge that can charge the 5000mAh battery from 0 to 100% in 75 minutes. There’s also a 3.5mm audio jack which is a nice addition as most devices no longer have the 3.5mm port.
Realme 9 4G Rear Cameras
Photography is the key feature of the Realme 9 4G as it’s packed with a triple-camera setup. It uses a 108MP ProLight Camera powered by a Samsung HM6 Sensor as its main camera for crisp and vibrant photos. Paired with the 108MP sensor are an 8MP f/2.2 120-degree super-wide camera and a 2 MP f/2.4 4cm macro camera.
Main Camera Pictures
The 108MP ProLight Camera does wonders in taking photos especially when you have ample lighting. The color profile is vibrant but not so outlandish that it makes the images look processed. In low light situations, the images appear cooler which makes it unpleasant depending on the subject. That aside, we are satisfied with the main camera of the Realme 9 4G.
Main Camera vs Ultrawide Camera
While the main camera is stunning, the ultrawide is disappointing. The colors are way off compared to the main 108MP sensor and the photos are grainy despite having good lighting. Night shots or dim shots on the other hand have too much noise to the point where the extra field of view isn’t worth it because of the quality. That said, we recommend using the main sensor unless you really need the 120-degree FOV that the 8MP ultrawide camera provides.
Ultrawide vs Main vs Portrait vs Macro
Unlike the ultrawide lens, the Macro camera is very fun to use with its 4cm distance. Portrait mode also gets a shoutout however one downside is the slight shift in the colors compared to the main sensor. Overall, these modes are not just gimmicks and provide enough incentive for you to use them especially when the details that you want to capture are not possible on the 108MP main sensor.
Realme 9 4G Selfie Camera
The front camera is a 16MP f/2.5 sensor that supports video recording up to [email protected] The 16-megapixel selfie camera uses Realme’s clear fusion algorithm for better color quality and facial recognition.
Selfie camera photos are what you would expect on a mid-range smartphone. The bokeh effect is more than enough to make the subject pop. However, like the ultrawide sensor, the selfie camera suffers in poor lighting conditions. Luckily the Realme 9 4G’s screen lights up when the camera app detects poor lighting.
Software and Bloatware – Android 12 + RealmeUI 3.0
Unlike the recently launched Realme 9i, the Realme 9 4G uses the latest Realme UI 3.0 built under Android 12. Navigating through the settings and switching between apps is a smooth experience thanks to the responsive AMOLED 90Hz display, better software optimization, and Snapdragon 680 4G CPU.
While you do have a large 128GB expandable storage to start with the Realme 9 4G, the number of pre-installed applications takes up 10.53GB or around 18% if you include the system-reserved storage. Frankly, the improved UI and OS are overshadowed by the amount of bloatware – I would like to see a much cleaner software suite in future devices.
Realme 9 4G Benchmarks
Conclusion – Not Just For Photography
As stated in our Realme 9 4G first impressions article, our verdict will greatly depend on the phone’s pricing, and for Php 14,999, the Realme 9 4G should be up your alley. The 1080MP ProLight main camera does carry most of its value as its primarily positioned as a photography device rather than a gaming one. That said, Realme didn’t skimp out on other key specs despite it being positioned as a smartphone for photos as it is equipped with a Snapdragon 680, 6GB RAM, 128GB expandable storage, and a 90Hz AMOLED display. For the price of 14,999 pesos, the Realme 9 4G is great for those looking for a budget smartphone that can take instagrammable photos without sacrificing on other use-cases such as gaming and specs. If you’re not into photography or don’t need the 90Hz AMOLED display, then you might want to save the extra cost by going for the Realme 9i instead or the Realme C35
Grant is a Financial Management graduate from UST. His passion for gadgets and tech crossed him over in the industry where he could apply his knowledge as an enthusiast and in-depth analytic skills as a Finance Major. His passion allows him to earn at the same time help Gadget Pilipinas' readers in making smart, value-based decisions and purchases with his reviews and guides.