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realme 9 Pro+ review - Great smartphone with Sony IMX766 OIS camera

Test report created by Timo A. on March 7, 2022

The realme 9 Pro+ is here! It is the top model of the new realme 9 series and promises to be a real surprise hit. Under the motto "Capture The Light", realme is putting the camera equipment of the new realme 9 Pro+ (379,99 euros RRP) in the limelight. So a lot of camera for little money? We do the test!

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9.1
Our rating
263 € amazon
Price Comparison
Specifications
Overview
Manufacturer

realme

Model

realme 9 Pro +

Specifications

 Processor and memory 
CPU: MediaTek Dimension 920 5G
GPU: ARM Mali-G68 MC4
Storage: 6GB / 8GB LPDDR4X + 128GB / 256GB UFS2.2
Memory extension: no

 Display 
Display diagonal: 6,4 inches
Display resolution: 2400 x 1080 pixels
Display frequency: 90 Hz
Display Type: AMOLED
Screen Protector: Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Multitouch: 10 fingers

 Cameras 
Main camera: 50 MP Sony IMX766 OIS (f/1.8 aperture)
Ultra wide angle camera: 8 MP Sony IMX355 (119 ° - f / 2.2 aperture)
Macro camera: 2 MP (f / 2.4 aperture)

Front camera: 16 MP (f / 2.4 aperture)

 mesh 
Dual SIM: Yes
SIM size: Nano SIM
eSIM: No.

2G GSM: 850 900 1800 1900MHz
3G WCDMA: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
4G LTE FDD: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/26/28/66
4G LTE TDD: 38/39/40/41
5G NSA / SA: n1/n3/n5/n7/n8/n20/n28/n38/n40/n41/n77/n78/n66

 wireless 
WiFi: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / ax
Bluetooth: 5.2
GPS: Yes
NFC: Yes

 Sensors 
* Ambient light sensor
* Accelerometer
* Proximity Sensor
* E-Compass
*Gyroscope
* Fingerprint sensor (in-display)

 Accumulator 
Battery: 4.500 mAh
Fast charge function: 60 Watt
Qi store: no

 other 
OS: Android 12 (realmeUI 3)
Audio: 3.5mm headphones / stereo speakers
Connection: USB-C
Size: 160,2 73,3 x x 7,99 mm
Weight: 182g

Review: realme 9 Pro+

For many, the camera is probably the most important feature of a smartphone. Telephoning is only a minor matter. However, there is a problem: The best smartphone cameras can usually only be found in high-end devices that cost 1000 euros and more. Not everyone wants to spend that much on a smartphone.

realme 9 Pro+ unboxing (1)

In the mid-range segment, the camera and other equipment usually have to struggle with compromises. The price determines the equipment. The realme 9 Pro+ promises to be an exception. It is equipped with the same 50 MP Sony IMX766 image sensor that many high-end smartphones have installed. In addition, there is optical image stabilization (OIS), which is not a matter of course in the mid-range segment.

realme 9 Pro+: design and finish

Realme is a smartphone manufacturer that attaches great importance to an extraordinary design and likes to experiment with the look and feel. In addition to being elegant and colourful, there is usually a special edition that stands out from the classic colours. With the realme 9 Pro+, it is the color "Sunrise Blue" that causes the smartphone to change color when the sun shines. When sunlight falls on the subtly shimmering blue back, the hue changes towards red.

The smartphone is also available in the colors "Aurora Green" and the more subtle "Midnight Black", both of which do not have a color change effect, but also shimmer effectively in the light.

realme 9 Pro+ unboxing (2)

With a size of 160,2 x 73,3 x 7,99 mm and a weight of 182g, the realme 9 Pro+ is an easy-to-handle smartphone. Not too big, but not too small either. The back is made of glass, but it doesn't feel too slippery by any means. Unattractive fingerprints are easily removed by the glass back.

The angular plastic frame is a matter of taste. It can be clearly felt in the hand, which I personally did not find negative. It gives a little more feeling of security when handling.

realme has once again dispensed with an IP rating. That means there is theoretically no protection from water. A few splashes of water in the rain shouldn't harm the smartphone anyway. As far as the processing is concerned, there is nothing to complain about. The smartphone makes a stable impression.

realme 9 Pro+ back cover (1)

From back to front, the realme 9 Pro+ features a triple camera system on the back. The camera arrangement is based on Apple's current iPhone 13 series. We would have placed the 50 MP main camera and the 8 MP ultra wide-angle camera on top of each other. Diagonally next to it is the 2 MP macro camera. Cameras and camera bumps clearly protrude from the back. Quite a shaky affair when typing on the table!

realme 9 Pro+ back cover (2)

The power button is on the right side. The volume buttons are opposite on the left. The dual SIM slot, into which two nano SIM cards can be inserted, is located above the volume keys. Inserting a microSD memory card instead of a SIM card does not work. The realme 9 Pro+ does not offer any storage expansion options, which is not to be criticized too much with 128GB or 256GB of data storage.

realme 9 Pro+ scope of delivery

Below is the classic USB-C socket in the middle. To the left of this is a microphone and next to it a 3.5 mm headphone input. Another microphone is located inside the top frame section. The speaker has been placed to the right of the USB-C socket. The second speaker has been integrated into the earpiece, which means that the smartphone is able to produce stereo sound. More about the display that adorns the front.

realme 9 Pro+: Screen

A 6,4-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels or 411 PPI awaits us here. Narrow bezels ensure a screen-to-body ratio of 90,8 percent. The 90 Hz refresh rate, which leaves the viewer with a particularly smooth impression, is now standard in the middle class. Coupled with a 360 Hz sampling rate, the touchscreen also reacts precisely and quickly. Otherwise, the display still supports HDR10 and covers the DCI-P3 color space.

realme 9 Pro+ display with punch-hole front camera

In practice, the display of the realme 9 Pro+ shines with realistic, powerful colors, high viewing angle stability and an excellent black value. The display remains easy to read in bright surroundings, especially outdoors in sunshine. In the dark, the display can be dimmed very much. If you look at your smartphone at night, you are guaranteed not to “go blind”. The automatic brightness adjustment reacts really well here.

realme 9 Pro+ display (2)

The setting options for the display are versatile. The screen colors can be adjusted in the modes "Vivid", "Natural" and "Pro". Colors are slightly cooler in Vivid mode, while colors appear warmer in Natural and Pro - Cinematic modes. The color temperature is continuously adjustable in "colder - standard and warmer". Video color enhancer automatically converts SDR content from video apps to HDR. There is also a light and dark mode and an eye comfort mode. Both controllable by schedule.

The screen refresh rate is adjustable in Automatic, High and Standard. High means 90 Hz, default is 60 Hz. On Automatic, the refresh rate is chosen according to the app. Unfortunately, very few apps worked at 90 Hz in the test. It doesn't matter whether Automatic or High was selected. The user interface, on the other hand, works constantly at a smooth 90 Hz.

There is an always-on function for notifications. Which information (time, date, battery and app notifications) is displayed can be specified under the "Personalization" menu item. There are also different designs to choose from and you can specify when the AOD should be active.

realme 9 Pro+: performance

The MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G delivers enough power. The chip is manufactured using the efficient 6nm process and offers, among other things, an 8-core CPU (4x Cortex-A78 @2,5 GHz & 4x Cortex A55 @2,0 GHz) and an ARM Mali-G68 MC4 GPU. There is also fast 5G mobile communications (SA & NSA), WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.

The realme 9 Pro+ is available with 6+128GB or 8+256GB of storage. The main memory is of the LPPDR4X type, the data storage of the UFS2.2 type. Theoretically, the Dimensity 920 would also support LPDDR5 RAM and UFS3.1 memory, but the cheaper memory was chosen here. As already mentioned, expanding the data storage with a microSD memory card is not possible.

The realme 9 Pro+ does well in the performance test. This is proven by the benchmarks carried out in the test and the experiences made in everyday life. Typical everyday situations such as starting apps, switching between several open apps or fast scrolling are almost instantaneous. Longer loading pauses and stutters can occur here and there, but they are a rarity.

 Gamers will also get their money's worth with the realme 9 Pro+. Even demanding games like PUBG or Call of Duty Mobile can be played smoothly on high details. However, what was said about the refresh rate also applies to mobile games. No game makes use of the full 90 Hz. The display limit is 60 FPS, which also runs constantly across the screen in the test with PUBG. There are no heat problems. The smartphone doesn't get uncomfortably hot even under prolonged full load, and the performance isn't reduced (thermal throttling). Realme has installed a really good "Vapor Chamber Cooling System" here.

realme 9 Pro+: user interface

The realme 9 Pro+ comes with realmeUI 3.0 based on Android 12. The look and functions are very similar to OPPO's ColorOS. The user interface itself looks modern and tidy. However, Realme also insisted on installing some third-party apps (TikTok, LinkedIn and Co.). If you don't like it, you can simply uninstall the apps.

Functionally, realmeUI 3.0 offers extensive personalization options. Background images, symbols, colors and fonts can be adjusted to suit your own taste. Various animations are available for the in-display fingerprint scanner. In addition to the always-on display, you can also use edge lighting to draw your attention to notifications.

Functions related to privacy and data protection are also not neglected. The privacy dashboard provides an overview of which app has requested which permission (location, camera, phone, etc.) in the past 24 hours. You can manage the permissions of the individual apps via the permission manager. Camera and microphone access can be switched off completely and there is the option of locking apps with a password, hiding apps or cloning the system. Private data that nobody should see can be stored in the protected "private safe".

Special functions make multitasking easier. There is "flexible window", i.e. apps can be operated simultaneously in the split-screen, there is an intelligent sidebar in which apps and functions can be stored, a separate area for children and a "simple mode" with icons and text enlarged. By the way, the easy mode is great for seniors. The realme Lab offers experimental functions. One example is the heart rate measurement using the in-display fingerprint scanner.

realme 9 Pro+: Camera

Now it's getting exciting, because the realme 9 Pro+ promises to be equipped with one of the best cameras, which can even hold a candle to smartphones in higher price ranges. The main camera uses the 50 MP Sony IMX766 image sensor (f/1.8, 1/1.56″ sensor size), which is also installed in many a 1000 euro smartphone. In addition, the main camera offers optical image stabilization (OIS), which compensates for movements and ensures shake-free photos and videos.

realme 9 Pro+ triple rear camera.

The remaining sensors of the triple camera include an 8 MP Sony IMX355 ultra wide-angle camera (f/2.2, 119°) and a 2 MP OmniVision OV02B macro camera (f/2.4). This is typical standard in the mid-range segment. For selfies, there is a 16 MP Sony IMX471 front camera (f/2.4), which is embedded in the display on the left.

main camera

Good light conditions (day)

The main camera takes photos in 12.5 MP by default. This is due to the "Quad-Bayer" matrix, which provides 2×2 pixels with a common color filter. The advantages of the Quad-Bayer-Technology are a higher sensitivity of the sensor, a better dynamic range and a lower noise behavior. Taking photos in full 50 MP is also possible, but makes little sense due to the large file size and the low added value.

In practice, the main camera of the realme 9 Pro+ is superior to most other mid-range smartphones in the same price range. The color representation looks natural, the image sharpness is high, albeit a bit oversharpened, and details are reproduced very well. Visible image noise was not noticeable on any of the test shots. The main camera copes well with simultaneously bright and dark image areas, which speaks for a decent dynamic range. The automatic HDR mode rarely has to intervene.

Poor light conditions (night)

Even in poor lighting conditions, there is not much to complain about in terms of the recording quality. The Sony IMX766 is a high-intensity sensor that takes great night shots even without night mode. The optical image stabilization also contributes to this, which compensates for movements very well and ensures good image sharpness. The colors of the recordings are correct, albeit with a somewhat warm note. The image noise does not increase visibly compared to the daytime recordings. Details are also well reproduced without becoming very muddy.

In summary, the realme 9 Pro+ is one of the few mid-range smartphones that takes usable pictures in poor lighting conditions. If there is very little ambient light, it is advisable to switch to night mode. It also brightens the image and provides more details in dark areas of the image. In addition, the colors look even stronger, but some of the shots look a bit too artificial.

camera zoom

Zooming is possible with up to 20x magnification. The main camera of the realme 9 Pro+ enlarges up to 2x losslessly.

Porträt

The realme 9 Pro+ doesn't offer a depth sensor, but bokeh shots are still possible. People and objects are cleanly cut out and the background is pleasantly softened. The degree of blur can be adjusted before recording. Subsequent processing is not possible.

realme 9 Pro+ bokeh shot

Ultra wide angle camera

The 8 MP ultra wide-angle camera is nothing special compared to the 50 MP main camera, but it also delivers usable pictures. The dynamic range fits, the colors are consistent and there are no visible distortions. In a direct comparison with the main camera, the images are blurry and the level of detail is reduced. However, if you look at the photos on a small screen, the difference is hardly significant.

Macro camera

Please, dear smartphone manufacturers, drop the 2 MP macro camera! Playing around with the smartphone is fun at first, but the macro camera doesn't offer much added value in the long run.

realme 9 Pro+ macro camera test shot

video quality

The main camera is capable of recording videos in 4K at 30 frames per second. 1080 frames per second are possible on a reduced 60p. OIS and EIS ensure particularly smooth shots on the main camera. As far as the recording quality is concerned, the same can be said about the photo quality. The 4K videos look very good and the sound is also recorded in good quality. It is also possible to record videos with the ultra-wide-angle camera. Here the resolution is limited to 1080p at 30 frames per second.

front camera

The 16 MP front camera is typical mid-range average. The colors look natural, maybe a bit too weak for some tastes. The image sharpness is okay, but a slight blurriness is noticeable when zooming in. The images become blurred, especially when there is little light available. Then the level of detail also decreases and the image noise increases. Background and foreground are neatly separated in portrait mode. The front camera records videos in 1080p at 30 frames per second. HDR is supported.

Camera app

The realme camera app offers extensive functions and recording modes. Stronger colors can be achieved with the AI ​​mode, for example. The AI ​​scene recognition automatically recognizes the subject and adjusts the colors accordingly. This makes the grass even lush green and the sky even bluer. But be careful, the camera AI can falsify the color rendering by overly saturated colors!

The Pro mode, which can also record in RAW in addition to JPG, offers extensive setting options for ISO, Shutter, EV, MF and WB. Otherwise there are other recording modes tailored for almost every situation, such as street mode, star mode, panorama, tilt-shift and many more.

realme 9 Pro+: connectivity and sensors

Mobile

The 5G expansion is in full swing and chips with 5G modems are also increasingly being installed in the inexpensive middle class. The Dimensity 920 also offers a fast 5G modem with SA & NSA support in the frequency ranges common in this country. Here is an overview:

  •  5G SA:  n1/n3/n5/n7/n8/n20/n28/n38/n40/n41/n77/n78/n66
  •  5G NSA:  n1/n3/n5/n7/n8/n20/n28/n38/n40/n41/n77/n78/n66
  •  GSM: 850/900/1800 / 1900MHz
  •  WCDMA:  Bands 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
  •  LTE FDD:  1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/26/28/66
  •  LTE TDD: Bands 38/39/40/41(2496-2690)

Telephony and mobile surfing work smoothly. The voice quality is clear in both directions and leaves nothing to be desired.

realme 9 Pro+ Dual SIM slot

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

With WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, the realme 9 Pro+ supports current wireless standards. The reception range and the data throughput in the WLAN are above average. Bluetooth connections remain stable even at a range of 15 meters.

GPS and sensors

The same picture also with GPS reception. The position is determined within a few seconds and is then constantly stable. Navigating through town and country works without dropouts and without deviations. The smartphone always has enough satellites (GPS, AGPS, Beidou and Glonass) in view. An e-compass is available.

The other sensory equipment includes a proximity sensor, an ambient light sensor, an acceleration sensor, a gyroscope, a G-sensor and a Hall sensor. NFC for mobile payments is also available.

Fingerprint scanner

The realme 9 Pro+ has hidden the fingerprint scanner under the display. Unlocking the smartphone works reliably and quickly. An alternative unlocking method besides the classic PIN or password would be facial recognition. This also works well, although not quite as reliably as the fingerprint scanner.

Audio

The stereo speaker system of the realme 9 Pro+ produces a great sound. The loudspeaker system is divided into a loudspeaker located at the bottom of the frame and the telephone handset as a second loudspeaker. The bottom speaker is marginally louder than the top one. Nevertheless, the sound is very balanced and is convincing when watching films, listening to music and playing games. The volume reaches a comfortable level without distortion. Dolby Atmos completes the sound experience.

 Headphones can be connected via Bluetooth, USB-C or 3.5 mm jack. There is no FM radio function.

realme 9 Pro+: Battery

The realme 9 Pro+ has a battery with a capacity of 4500 mAh. Despite the 90 Hz display, which theoretically ensures higher consumption, the smartphone is frugal in consumption. Runtimes of 1 1/2 to 2 days can be achieved without any problems under normal use.

Fast charging is guaranteed by realme's "SuperDart" charging technology, which charges the realme Pro 9+ with up to 60 watts. Converted into charging times, the smartphone is charged to around 30 percent in just 75 minutes. After only 50 minutes, the battery is completely full. Wireless charging is not supported.

Price Comparison

iconGerman warehouse
iconDelivery time 2-5 business days
263,29€
Rating
Positive

Design with great color effect
Good 90 Hz AMOLED display
Good performance in everyday life and in mobile games
Android 12 (realmeUI 3.0)
Very good main camera with OIS
Good cell phone reception (5G, VoLTE, VoWiFi)
NFC for contactless payment
In-display fingerprint scanner
Good stereo speaker
Good battery life and 60W fast charging

Negative

No IP rating
No memory expansion
No 90 Hz in mobile games

Summary

If you are looking for a smartphone with very good camera equipment and still want to stay under 400 euros, you should definitely take a look at the realme 9 Pro+. In the test, the main camera of the realme 9 Pro+ in particular impressed with its first-class recording qualities. Comparable equipment with a Sony IMX766 image sensor and optical image stabilization (OIS) is usually only found in significantly higher price ranges. The most obvious competitor in the same price range is the OnePlus Nord 2.

But the rest of the equipment of the realme 9 Pro+ doesn't need to hide either. The MediaTek Dimensity 920 mobile platform gives the smartphone enough power to perform very well in everyday life and in gaming. Demanding mobile games like PUBG run with it at a constantly high frame rate, even if the full 90 Hz is not exhausted and you have to be content with a stable 60 FPS. In addition to a decent performance, the Dimensity 920 also shines in terms of 5G mobile communications. The voice quality leaves nothing to be desired.

The 90 Hz AMOLED delivers crisp colors and an excellent black level. Videos, apps and games can be enjoyed very well on the 6,4 inch display. I actually didn't miss a 120 Hz refresh rate. Probably also because the jump from 90 Hz to 120 Hz is less noticeable to the eye than 60 Hz to 90 Hz. You can already drive very well at 90 Hz. The 120 Hz would have been the icing on the cake.

The battery also offers no attack surface. On average, 1 1/2 to 2 days are easily achievable under normal use. The 60 watt quick charge function fully charges the smartphone in just 50 minutes. Both typical values ​​that you can expect from a good mid-range smartphone.

Again in a nutshell: The realme 9 Pro+ is a successful smartphone that scores well to very well in all areas and that I can recommend without hesitation.

9.1
Our rating
author

Launched the website techreviewer.de in 2016 and has been an active editor of news and test reports in all areas of technology ever since.

5 comments

5 comments

  1. Question

    17. March 2022 12 to: 18

    Does only the main camera have image stabilization or do the other cameras too?

    • Timo admin

      20. March 2022 11 to: 45

      Hello, only the main camera is optically stabilized.

  2. meringue

    25. March 2022 15 to: 48

    The Realme GT 2 Pro and this one have the same camera installed. Conversely, does that mean that if I only want a good camera, can I also use this one? So photos and videos come out in identical quality?

    • Timo admin

      27. March 2022 21 to: 16

      Hi Meringer, unfortunately you can't say that in general terms. Identical sensor does not mean identical photos and videos. Image processor and software also play an important role in recording quality. I haven't held the realme GT 2 Pro in my hands yet. As soon as that changes, I will report. 🙂

      • meringue

        31. March 2022 18 to: 03

        Thank you again I've now got the 9 Pro+ and I'm very satisfied with it in terms of price-performance. The quality of the camera is great!!

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Overview
Manufacturer

realme

Model

realme 9 Pro +

Specifications

 Processor and memory 
CPU: MediaTek Dimension 920 5G
GPU: ARM Mali-G68 MC4
Storage: 6GB / 8GB LPDDR4X + 128GB / 256GB UFS2.2
Memory extension: no

 Display 
Display diagonal: 6,4 inches
Display resolution: 2400 x 1080 pixels
Display frequency: 90 Hz
Display Type: AMOLED
Screen Protector: Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Multitouch: 10 fingers

 Cameras 
Main camera: 50 MP Sony IMX766 OIS (f/1.8 aperture)
Ultra wide angle camera: 8 MP Sony IMX355 (119 ° - f / 2.2 aperture)
Macro camera: 2 MP (f / 2.4 aperture)

Front camera: 16 MP (f / 2.4 aperture)

 mesh 
Dual SIM: Yes
SIM size: Nano SIM
eSIM: No.

2G GSM: 850 900 1800 1900MHz
3G WCDMA: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
4G LTE FDD: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/26/28/66
4G LTE TDD: 38/39/40/41
5G NSA / SA: n1/n3/n5/n7/n8/n20/n28/n38/n40/n41/n77/n78/n66

 wireless 
WiFi: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / ax
Bluetooth: 5.2
GPS: Yes
NFC: Yes

 Sensors 
* Ambient light sensor
* Accelerometer
* Proximity Sensor
* E-Compass
*Gyroscope
* Fingerprint sensor (in-display)

 Accumulator 
Battery: 4.500 mAh
Fast charge function: 60 Watt
Qi store: no

 other 
OS: Android 12 (realmeUI 3)
Audio: 3.5mm headphones / stereo speakers
Connection: USB-C
Size: 160,2 73,3 x x 7,99 mm
Weight: 182g

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