realme 9i Review: Get More For Less

Staff ni Anjie

realme has successfully grown from a neophyte smartphone name to a brand with launches anticipated by Filipino consumers. And from how it's consecutively releasing bang-for-the-back mobile devices, it's safe to say that it's keen on maintaining its position as the leading smartphone brand in the country. One new offering that will surely surmount this goal is the realme 9i. What does this smartphone have in store for us? Let's find out.

realme 9i Review: Get More For Less
realme 9i Review: Get More For Less


The realme 9i comes in – yes, you guessed it right – the brand's trademark bright yellow box, with a huge "9i" and "realme" printed on it. The package comes with the usual – the smartphone itself, warranty paper, SIM ejector tool, USB-C cable, wall charger, and a free silicone case.


Tall and slim, the realme 9i is undeniably a good-looking device. It's one of the many evidence found in the market that a budget device can also appear premium. It has rounded corners and an almost unibody look, and it feels light and sound in the hands. On its back is a polycarbonate panel with a frosted finish and striped detail with a bit of an ombre color touch. This is definitely the kind of rear smartphone design you wouldn't want to cover with a hard case, so we suggest using a transparent one. This is also to keep fingerprints at bay since the kind of finish the realme 9i has is prone to smudges.

realme 9i Stereo Prism Design
Prism Blue

Also situated on the back panel of the realme 9i are its rear cameras in a somewhat unconventional arrangement. You get two similar-sized larger lenses plus a smaller one and an LED flash. More about the camera performance later on in this review.

You get the standard buttons and ports on the realme 9i. On its right cheek is the power button that doubles as the fingerprint sensor, while on the opposite side is where you'll see the volume buttons. At the bottom are the 3.5 mm headphone jack (something that's slowly becoming uncommon among mid-range to high-end smartphones), a USB-C type port, and a speaker grille.

realme 9i Fingerprint Sensor
Fingerprint Sensor

The power button-slash fingerprint sensor of the realme 9i works impressively well – even on light touches.

All things considered, the realme 9i categorically falls under beautiful but affordable devices. If how the smartphone looks is of utmost importance to you, but you also don't want to break the bank, the realme 9i positions itself as a good choice.

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The realme 9i's display is perhaps one of its charms, despite some downgrades from its predecessor, the 8i. We've mentioned earlier that the device is tall, and one benefit that comes from this is a slightly bigger display. The realme 9i flaunts a 6.6-inch Full HD IPS+ panel with a 90hz refresh rate. In comparison, the realme 8i has a 120hz refresh rate. This display feature doesn't affect the overall smartphone usage experience; a 90hz refresh rate is also decent enough for smooth scrolling.

realme 9i FHD+ 90Hz Display
FHD+ 90Hz Display

Display-wise, the realme 9i does a great job. The color vividness and screen brightness (with 480 nits) are a-okay. Plus, we liked how realme applied a pre-installed layer of screen protection on the display to protect the smartphone from scratches from coins or keys, or other pointy objects when kept in pockets.

realme has also provided an option for users to toggle between a vivid and gentle mode for a screen appearance. Based on our experience with the realme 9i as our primary driver for days, the vivid mode consumes a higher percentage of battery life.


What keeps the realme 9i running under the hood is a Snapdragon 680 processor – which might be too familiar to you if you've been on the hunt for mid-range devices lately. This is the go-to processor of most smartphone brands for this price range of mobile devices. The main highlight of this processor with a 6nm chipset is maintaining power efficiency, which is somewhat evident in the realme 9i – but more about the battery life later.

Overall, the Snapdragon 680 processor combined with a 6GB RAM and 128GB storage fared well for the realme 9i. Switching between apps for social media, messaging, streaming, and productivity leads to no stutters and lags. We also appreciate how the smartphone doesn't overheat after a long period of use.

The realme 9i will also work to your delight if you're a casual gamer. This smartphone can handle popular mobile games like Mobile Legends, Call of Duty Mobile, and Genshin Impact with a breeze. We suggest switching to mid graphics to avoid draining the battery fast and for that real lag-less experience. The realme 9i doesn't also exactly excel in terms of providing high-quality graphics, but that's expected given its price.

Out of the box, the realme 9i comes with an Android 11-based realme UI 2.0, despite Google having rolled out Android 12 months ago. Hopefully, the device will get a software update for an even better smartphone usage experience.

To put things into perspective, here are the results from popular benchmarking apps:
  • Antutu - 256,040
  • Geekbench Single-Core - 386
  • Geekbench Multi-Core - 1,523
  • Geekbench Compute - 442
  • PC Mark Work Performance 3.0 - 8,724
  • PC Mark Work Storage 2.0 - 19,912
  • 3D Mark Wild Life - 420
  • 3D Mark Wild Life Stress Test - 423
  • 3D Mark Wild Life Extreme - 114
  • 3D Mark Wild Life Extreme Stress Test - 110
  • 3D Mark Sling Shot - 2.125
  • 3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme - 1,334


The three main cameras of the realme 9i – 50-megapixel with Samsung JN1 sensor (f/1.8), 2-megapixel (f/2.4) black and white portrait, and 2-megapixel (f/2.4) 4cm macro with LED flash – work together to produce impressive photos.

realme 9i 50MP Triple Cameras
50MP Triple Cameras

Under well-lit environments and outdoor settings, the realme 9i takes photos that could pass a curated Instagram feed edit-free. Colors are vivid, and details are sharp. We couldn't say the same about its low-light photography capabilities, though. While the pictures taken by the realme 9i at night are visibly better than its competitors under the same price bracket, there is still evident noise in the photos, and the colors sometimes look dull.

realme 9i 16MP Front Camera
16MP Front Camera

Selfie lovers, meanwhile, would appreciate the 16-megapixel front camera of the realme 9i. You get natural-looking portraits with a smooth bokeh effect when taking selfies in areas with enough lighting.

Camera Samples:

realme 9i Camera Sample - Pool, 1x Zoom
Pool, 1x Zoom
realme 9i Camera Sample - Pool, 2x Zoom
Pool, 2x Zoom
realme 9i Camera Sample - Pool, Night, Normal
Pool, Night, Normal
realme 9i Camera Sample - Pool, Night, Night Mode
Pool, Night, Night Mode
realme 9i Camera Sample - Playground, 1x Zoom
Playground, 1x Zoom
realme 9i Camera Sample - Playground, 2x Zoom
Playground, 2x Zoom
realme 9i Camera Sample - Playground, Night, Normal
Playground, Night, Normal
realme 9i Camera Sample - Playground, Night, Night Mode
Playground, Night, Night Mode
realme 9i Camera Sample - Buildings, 1x Zoom
Buildings, 1x Zoom
realme 9i Camera Sample - Buildings, 2x Zoom
Buildings, 2x Zoom
realme 9i Camera Sample - Buildings, Night, Normal
Buildings, Night, Normal
realme 9i Camera Sample - Buildings, Night, Night Mode
Buildings, Night, Night Mode
realme 9i Camera Sample - Flower, Normal
Flower, Normal
realme 9i Camera Sample - Flower, Macro
Flower, Macro
realme 9i Camera Sample - Selfie, Normal
Selfie, Normal
realme 9i Camera Sample - Selfie, Portrait
Selfie, Portrait
realme 9i Camera Sample - Selfie, Night, Normal
Selfie, Night, Normal
realme 9i Camera Sample - Selfie, Night, Portrait
Selfie, Night, Portrait
realme 9i Camera Sample - Selfie, Night, Night Mode
Selfie, Night, Night Mode

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Another good thing about the realme 9i is that it supports 33W fast charging, which allows a jump from 0 percent to 100 percent battery life in just an hour. Its 5,000 mAh battery can last you up to a whole day of moderate usage, with a bit of juice left for the next day.


realme 9i Philippines
realme 9i

So, is the realme 9i for you? If you want a device with an eye-catching design, impressive display, good cameras, and great battery life, you better get your hands on this new offering by realme now.

How much is the realme 9i price in the Philippines?

When will be the realme 9i available in the Philippines?

  • The realme 9i is now available in the Philippines.

realme 9i Specs Philippines:

  • Dual SIM, dual standby, supports 5G connectivity
  • 6.6-inch FHD+ TrueView Punch-hole AMOLED Display, 90Hz refresh rate, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection
  • Dimensions: 164.4 mmx 75.7mm x 8.4mm
  • Weight: 190 grams
  • realme UI 2.0 based Android 11
  • Octa-core (4x2.4GHz Kryo 265 Gold + 4x1.9GHz Kryo 265 Silver) CPU, Adreno 610 GPU, Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 680 4G 6nm chipset
  • 4GB/6GB RAM
  • 128GB storage, expandable up to 512GB via MicroSD, uses a dedicated slot
  • 50MP f/1.8 PDAF main + 2MP depth + 2MP macro triple rear cameras, 1080p video recording at 30fps
  • 16MP f/2.1 front camera, 1080p video recording at 30fps
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • Bluetooth v5.1
  • USB Type-C 2.0 with OTG function
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, Galileo
  • Multimedia Player
  • Hi-Res Audio
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Sensors: fingerprint (side-mounted), light, proximity, accelerometer, gyroscope
  • Battery: 5,000mAh non-removable lithium-ion polymer; supports 33W fast charging
  • Colors: Black, Blue
  • Price: Php11,990

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