£200 Can Go a Long Way


The Realme 9i is an Android smartphone which goals to ship a high-end enjoy for a low-end worth – slightly below £200. 

There’s quite a lot of festival at this worth level, with the Redmi Note 11 providing a equivalent performance-per-pound promise and the Poco M4 Pro 5G boasting lots of the identical options, however with added 5G fortify, for a bit extra at £239.

While there’s a lot to weigh up, by itself deserves, the Realme 9i already gives a lot – a 6.6in 90Hz show, all-day fast-charging battery, a triple lens digital camera – and desirous about simply two lots. Can the Realme 9i problem for the most productive price range phone.

Design & Build

  • Plastic frame, metal end 
  • Type-C reversible USB, 3.5 headphone jack
  • Fingerprint scanner constructed into energy key

Like a lot of price range Android telephones, the Realme 9i is constituted of light-weight plastic, but it surely has a reflective coating. It comes into two color choices, Prism Blue and Prism Black, and the blue choice I’ve examined is a great, gentle color very similar to that of a fancy bottle of gin. 

The Realme 9i’s lightness (190g) implies that the general public must be capable to with ease cling and use it in a single hand, however it is under no circumstances a small phone; it has got a 6.6in show, and is kind of 165mm tall. 

The energy key at the right-hand facet options a fingerprint scanner, which makes for quick and handy unlocking. This is a function that is more and more commonplace on price range telephones, however it is at all times a great addition. 

Type-C USB along side a common 3.5mm headphone jack take a seat on the base, subsequent to an exterior speaker and noise cancelling mic. On the left-hand facet take a seat two quantity keys and the mix SIM and microSD card tray. There’s not anything at the most sensible facet, save a hollow space for some other noise microphone. 

The earpiece speaker is razor-thin, stuffed into the highest, and is simply noticeable towards the super-thin bezels. Instead of a notch/teardrop on the most sensible for the front-facing digital camera, there’s a hollow punch for the digital camera set into the highest left-hand nook of the show. 

Screen & Speakers

  • 6.6in LCD 
  • Full HD+
  • 90Hz refresh charge
  • Dual audio system

The Realme 9i squeezes a 6.6in Full HD+ LCD show into a slender and light-weight frame. That can be just right going for a price range phone anyway, however, the Realme 9i’s show has some other ace up its sleeve within the type of a 90Hz most refresh charge.

This mainly implies that sport and video content material appears to be like as easy as polished silver, but in addition mundane such things as scrolling thru menus simply feels a tiny bit smoother with the 90Hz mode became on.

It’s arguably this selection greater than every other that makes you omit that the Realme 9i is a price range tool. Brightness could also be first rate, just right sufficient to punch in the course of the glare of a vibrant sunny day as I recorded a top brightness of 556 nits. 

Regardless, the Realme 9i’s show, as just right as it’s, can not fit that of the Redmi Note 11, as no LCD will ever beat an AMOLED within the distinction division. Still, it’s a just right sufficient show, able to making video content material and a few cell video games glance beautiful implausible. 

The exterior audio system are ok, now not too tinny, however they’re now not precisely going to make the room shake, so that you’ll almost certainly need to take a look at getting a Bluetooth speaker and a few headphones, too.

Specs & Performance

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 680
  • Up to 6GB RAM
  • Up to 128GB garage
  • No 5G

Performance of the Realme 9i is extensively inside of expectancies for a 2022 price range tool – it’ll do the fundamentals rather well, and in some instances, functionality blended with the 90Hz show will galvanize. In different spaces, it’s somewhat obviously missing. 

The most evident instance is gaming, which is a combined enjoy. Dead Trigger 2 appeared nice and performed extraordinarily effectively, with the sport assistant device telling me I used to be getting 55-58fps as a rule. On the opposite hand, the pre-installed beta model of PUBG Mobile, whilst somewhat strong, shuffled alongside at 20-25fps. No surprise I died repeatedly. 

The Realme 9i is powered through the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680, the similar mid-range eight-core processor which additionally sits below the hood of the Redmi Note 11 – it’s now not unexpected then, that benchmarking effects are very equivalent. The GPU rankings right here aren’t a lot to get occupied with. At a look, they’re simplest fairly higher than the ones of the less expensive Realme C31. 

As for common phone operations, the Realme 9i is basically high-quality. There’s rarely any lag, zipping thru menus and leaping from tab to tab within the browser feels somewhat fast, and the digital camera is fast to reply to instructions.

Rarely did I’ve to close down dormant apps to disencumber reminiscence. The model I used to be despatched for trying out featured 4GB of RAM, so possibly, the 6GB model will will let you do extra of the similar with no need to kibosh previous processes somewhat such a lot.

How effectively a 4GB phone will final you over time is some other factor – if you’ll be able to select up a 6GB model, that’s clearly the only you must opt for. This model is nowhere to be noticed at the legit UK retailer, however you do get 128GB of garage as same old.

Less just right information is the absence of 5G connectivity, even though if that is a downside for you, then it’s possible you’ll need to cling on in your pockets for the Realme 9 5G and Realme 9 Pro telephones, either one of which function 5G fortify. If you’re now not fussed about last-gen cell speeds, otherwise you are living someplace which nonetheless can’t get 5G reception, this will not be a downside anyway. 


  • 50Mp primary digital camera with 2Mp black & white and a 2Mp macro sensors
  • 16Mp entrance going through digital camera
  • Records as much as 1080p @30fps
  • Time lapse and slo-mo modes

The Realme 9i’s 50Mp primary digital camera can take some superb stills, however, as is ceaselessly the case with reasonable telephones, there are some obstacles; the autofocus every so often struggles with fast-moving topics, and coffee gentle photographs are in most cases somewhat noisy. 

The photograph of the white spider at the crimson acer is a just right instance of the Realme 9i’s skill to fasten focal point on a gently transferring topic. When taking this photograph, a gentle breeze used to be transferring issues round a lot, so it is spectacular that the spider is as detailed as it’s right here. However, as you’ll be able to see from searching on the leaves within the foreground and background, further element is misplaced.

Realme 9i cameras

The primary digital camera is in most cases talking higher at shooting wide-angle photographs. The devoted macro mode didn’t, in my enjoy, seize a lot more element than close-ups taken in auto mode, and in most cases ended in a lot darker photographs, with much less natural-looking colors. So similar to nearly each price range phone, then. 

Night photographs, in the suitable instances, may also be shocking. If there is quite a lot of ambient gentle, even taking pictures on auto produces appropriate effects, however the Night mode lengthy exposures actually carry it on house. Look on the footage of the National Theatre development for a just right instance of the affect Night mode has.

In much less certain information, colors have a tendency to be a bit exaggerated and unnatural however that is nonetheless beautiful just right going for a price range phone. A large number of different telephones on this class don’t seem to be part as just right (searching at you, Realme C31), simply bear in mind that you’ll be able to almost certainly be taking ten footage, discarding 9, and preserving the person who’s just right a lot of the time. 

Realme 9i camera test

Selfies, as it’s possible you’ll be expecting, glance their perfect should you’re taking them in well-lit spaces with quite a lot of gentle. There’s a fill gentle impact, which will alleviate gloomy photographs, however as you’ll be able to see, the effects aren’t implausible, particularly should you’re dressed in glasses.

The Realme 9i can document 1080p video at 30fps, and effects are in most cases appropriate, regardless that effects are perfect in case you are the use of a tripod, or have the phone propped up on one thing. The digital camera sensor is just right at adjusting to lights prerequisites at the fly, and ensuing photos in most cases appears to be like easy, however pans and tilts ceaselessly pop out searching shaky. 

Battery Life & Charging 

  • 4880mAh battery
  • Over 12 hours of energy
  • 33W instant charging

Battery functionality is a actual standout function of the Realme 9i. It delivered effectively over 12 hours of energy in benchmarking checks, even with the upper 90Hz refresh charge became on.

Anecdotally, I might finish maximum operating days with round 60% energy left over after taking calls, streaming track to a Bluetooth speaker, and enjoying idle video games on lunchbreaks. This method many customers gets two days out of it.

Running the PC Mark Work benchmark, which simulates a differ of duties like internet surfing and video streaming, the Realme 9i gave me 16 hours and 49 mins with the easiest refresh charge surroundings on, outpacing maximum opponents.

Realme 9i battery life

Dropping right down to 60Hz, I ran the similar take a look at once more to look how a lot energy you should save through having the display screen refresh at a decrease charge, and I were given 17 hours 22 mins – a distinction of about part an hour. In different phrases, in case you are low on energy, you should almost certainly transfer to 60Hz and squeeze in yet another episode of Selling Sunset sooner than peeling your self off of the sofa in an effort to find your charger. 

And talking of charging, you in truth may not be bereft of Netflix for too lengthy, for the reason that provided 33W charger gets you from flat to complete in slightly below 1 hour 20 mins. Half an hour at the mains from empty will web you round 45% whilst an hour will see you stroll away with kind of 80%. That’s instant through any phone’s requirements, however very good for a price range blower. 

Software & Apps

  • Android 11
  • Realme UI 2.0 customized interface

The Realme 9i runs Android 11 out of the field, with model 2.0 of Realme’s customized UI, the cryptically-named ‘Realme UI’, slapped on most sensible. 

Custom interfaces on Android telephones may also be a ache, as a result of they’re every so often poorly idea out, and/or aesthetically offensive. Realme UI isn’t both of the ones issues, but it surely additionally doesn’t actually fortify the inventory Android enjoy in a significant approach both.

That stated, it is a easy sufficient person interface to navigate, and whilst there are a bunch of apps and video games pre-installed at the phone, maximum of them may also be uninstalled should you don’t need to use them.

The ones which will’t, just like the Compass app, are tiny, and don’t take in a lot area – so should you don’t use them, you received’t actually pass over them and with 128GB of garage as same old in the United Kingdom it isn’t a subject to fret about.

You can, for probably the most phase, customize issues in your liking. You can simply exchange the app icon alignment grid in order that the whole lot snaps to a 5×6 grid, stick no matter wallpapers and widgets you favor at the house display screen, toggle darkish mode should you’d slightly that the menus have been a extra nightime-friendly black than white. 

Price & Availability 

The Realme 9i is in the stores now in the United Kingdom, immediately from Realme for £199 SIM-free and unlocked. This is for the 4GB of RAM and 128GB of garage model.

You too can select up the similar type from Amazon UK, Ebuyer and Laptops Direct, additionally for £199.

At the time of writing, no UK pricing data for 4/64GB or 6/128GB variants have been to be had, and the Realme 9i may not be to be had within the United States or Australia, even though you’ll be able to purchase some variations on Amazon US for around $215.

As discussed previous, there is quite a lot of festival round this worth level so take a look at our chart of the most productive price range telephones to look what else would possibly take your fancy.


The Realme 9i is a implausible worth for cash Android phone which does the fundamentals in taste, gives nice battery functionality, and the cameras are beautiful just right too. It’s priced very properly, appears to be like just right, is light-weight and is straightforward to make use of. It’s ideally suited for patrons on a price range, or individuals who need a dependable back-up phone. 

That stated, the Redmi Note 11 is priced the similar, gives a lot of the similar options, and should you have been to separate hairs, you could be tempted through the truth that it has an AMOLED display screen, while the Realme 9i has an LCD. The older Realme 8 additionally has AMOLED on be offering.

It’s additionally now not a 5G phone, and when you shouldn’t essentially be expecting 5G fortify for £200, the Poco M4 Pro 5G does come with this, and it’s simplest about £40 extra, in order that would possibly sway you. 

These are moderately small problems, regardless that. The Realme 9i is a wonderful price range phone that can greater than fulfill maximum patrons after a reasonable ‘n cheerful tool.


Realme 9i: Specs

  • Android 11 with Realme UI R Edition
  • 6.6in 2412×1080 90Hz LCD show
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor (as much as 2.4GHz octa-core)
  • Qualcomm Adreno 610 GPU
  • 4GB/6GB RAM
  • 64GB/128GB inside garage
  • microSD as much as 1TB
  • 50Mp primary digital camera, f/1.8
  • 2Mp black & white lens, f/2.4
  • 2Mp Macro lens, f/2.4 aperture
  • 16Mp selfie digital camera, f/2.1
  • Fingerprint scanner (on energy key)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou
  • 4G
  • Dual SIM
  • 4,880mAh battery
  • 33W charging
  • Prism Blue, Prism Black
  • 164.4 x 75.7 x 8.4mm
  • 190g


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