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Realme 9 Pro+ review: Great camera, but is that enough?

Does the Realme 9 Pro+ deliver on these fronts? Moreover, who should buy this phone? Read on to find out. Let’s start with a quick look at the specs of the phone.

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Realme 9 Pro+ specs: 6.4-inch FHD+ AMOLED with 90Hz | MediaTek Dimensity 920 | 6/8GB RAM, 256GB UFS 2.2 storage | 4500mAh battery + 60W charging | 50MP main + 8MP ultrawide + 2MP macro camera, 16MP front camera |


Realme 9 Pro+: What’s good?

The Realme 9 Pro+ has a bright, colourful display that looks crisp, has punchy AMOLED colours and works well under direct sunlight. While the 90Hz refresh rate isn’t the highest in phones right now, it would be good for most people. One of the highlights of the Realme 9 Pro+ is the colour changing back of the phone, which has become a fairly common trend this year.

The Realme 9 Pro Plus has a good AMOLED screen that has nice outdoor visibility. (Express Photo)

While I am not a fan of the glossier designs of phones, this might be appealing for those who do like this design language.

The phone is also very slim at under 8mm. The build quality feels very premium in-hand. With no wobbly buttons and creaking backs, this is likely the best built phone in Realme’s number series yet. I’d also like to point out that there is a 3.5mm audio port on the bottom as well as an in-display optical fingerprint scanner. I felt the scanner should have been placed a little higher on the screen.

Realme 9 Pro+ has an excellent main camera, capable of taking some really nice shots both during the day and night. Colours are accurate and don’t look oversaturated, something I had observed in previous phones in this series. The sensor also captures good details.

The Realme 9 Pro Plus features a triple camera on the back. (Express Photo)

Realme 9 Pro+ review: Great camera, but is that enough?

The ultrawide camera works as expected during the day but also captures more light in low-light scenarios than most phones in the segment. Your wider shots in low light now look closer to pictures taken from the main camera.

Check out our camera samples by clicking on the picture below.

The macro camera wasn’t in the same league as the other sensors, but the front camera is really nice here and captures good details and colours. Realme has also thrown in a number of software modes from the commonly found night and macro modes to the new street photography options that let you take more creative photos.

The phone offers more-or-less the same battery life you’d expect from a 4,500mAh battery phone. For me, this meant a day’s worth of juice on light usage and one charge in the late afternoon or evening during heavier days. However, the 60W fast charging lets you top off the battery again pretty quickly. Expect about an hour for a full charge, or a little longer when using the plugged in phone.

The Realme 9 Pro Plus heart-rate monitor feature in action. (Express Photo)

Other features like the fingerprint scanner and the dual stereo speakers worked well in my experience. The speakers were loud and with enough bass while the audio felt balanced on both ends of the device. The fingerprint scanner was very fast and accurate. There’s also a heart-rate feature under Realme Labs that is alright for an approx reading. But it could be a few updates before this gives you the same accurate results your fitness band offers.

Realme 9 Pro+: What’s not good?

Realme 9 Pro’s performance isn’t bad but not spectacular either. I noticed longer load times while opening apps like the Play Store than what I had expected. Although a software update received days ago seems to fix this. For daily use, the Realme 9 Pro+ will be good enough for people looking for a phone in this segment.

The gaming performance of the phone is also average given the price. While the phone breezes through casual games like Subway Surfers, Battlegrounds Mobile India lets you play at Low/Extreme or Balanced/Ultra (in the graphics/frame rate format). The phone gets warm once you clock more than 20-30 minutes of graphically intensive games.

The software experience on the Realme 9 Pro Plus is feature-packed, but still riddled with bloatware. (Express Photo)

The software on the Realme 9 Pro+ is another area where that leaves a little more to be desired. Opening the app drawer and seeing a lot of bloatware. While I like the abundance of features that Realme user interface offers, a bloat-free experience could make the overall experience better.

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Verdict: Should you buy the Realme 9 Pro+?

The Realme 9 Pro Plus is a fantastic device in terms of the design and the camera. These two elements alone make it possible to recommend the phone to a lot of people. However, this isn’t the most performance-gaming-oriented phone at this price, and neither does it offer the cleanest software experience.

If you’re looking for a device with good looks and a great camera for the price, the Realme 9 Pro+ is one the few options you will find in this segment. However, if you are a gamer or someone who needs sheer performance, this might not be the best fit.

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