The "1-Minute" Review
- 90Hz refresh rate is less than the previous 8i
- Too much bloatware
- Dim display
The Realme 9i claims to be a budget phone that intends not to feel like one. Does it succeed? Or does it make poor compromises like so many budget phones in the past? Read on to see what reviewers have to say!
The Realme 9i is very thin and relatively light. Reviewers stated the prism color for the backplate was clever and effective. The backplate has a pretty matte striped detail, but reviewers note it’s partial to picking up fingerprints and smudges.
However, the size of the phone leaves it inconvenient for one-handed use. The fingerprint scanner is located with the power button, a design choice some like and others do not.
If it weren’t for the deep blacks giving it away, this LCD would almost pass for an OLED. The colors are bright, vivid, and accurate.
However, reviewers didn’t like that the screen couldn’t be toggled any brighter, claiming the highest option lacked the necessary brightness for use in sunlight.
Initially, reviewers were pleased with how the Realme 9i was performing. Unfortunately, as time went on, they noticed that severe amounts of bloatware and ads playing on the interface were slowing things down considerably. A lot of it could also not be uninstalled.
Reviewers went on to say if not for that, the phone would’ve performed excellently.
Software & Storage
Reviewers were disappointed that the device did not ship with Android 12 pre-installed, but that was rectified when it was apparent that it would get it in the next update.
The phone does offer a MicroSD expansion slot which is becoming increasingly rare and is nice to see. Otherwise, you have the option of 64GB or 128GB for baseline storage.
The 50MP primary lens does a brilliant job capturing in broad daylight, even coming the closest to real color accuracy than many other budget phones.
But at night, that’s a different story. Unless one has an extremely stable hand, your pictures in low light will come out grainy and blurry with very little contrast to help.
Despite the bloatware problem with the phone, reviewers could still report multi-day battery life with casual use. When they put the phone to the test, running HD media at the highest frame rate, it still managed to clock about 22 hours on the battery—an impressive feat for any phone, especially a budget model.
There are dual speakers on the phone, one on top and the other at the bottom. Reviewers stated they were not balanced, and the speaker at the bottom was far louder than the one at the top.
While it got loud enough, the sound became screechy and nearly unintelligible at a certain point. Thankfully there’s the option of both Bluetooth and wired headphones as this phone has a headphone jack.
Specs at a Glance
- Plastic chassis
- 6.6-inch LCD
- Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 680 4G processor
- 4/6GB of RAM
- Android 11
- 64/128GB of storage with MicroSD expansion possible
- 50MP camera
- 5000mAh battery
If it weren’t for the bloatware on the Realme 9i, this phone would be a fantastic budget option. The rest of the specifications and reviews are stellar for something like this at such a price point. But because it causes the phone to show ads and have apps that cannot be uninstalled, it falls below being something to highly recommend to those on a budget.
Deccan Herald says, “Realme 9i is a decent value-for-money budget phone. It is a good option for people to gift children for online studies, as it can easily last long the entire session with a full charge. Also, the display is good for its asking price.”
Android Police states, “The Realme 9i is a capable phone, but the unsatisfactory camera performance and bloatware hold it back.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
Realme backs up the 9i with a 2 Years parts & labour warranty.
If your 9i has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Realme support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Realme's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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