REVIEW: Realme 9 Pro+ is a solid midranger with a really good camera

Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 05 2022 06:22 PM

The realme 9 Pro+ ABS-CBN News
The realme 9 Pro+ has a very nice color-changing finish. Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Lots of midrange phones promise camera features that touch flagship levels of performance but sadly underdeliver. But the realme 9 Pro+ is one of the few that manage to make good on this promise.

I’m not going to say that it’s got as many whiz-bang features as phones twice or thrice its price–that’s just not realistic. But for a midranger, this phone is a real standout because of its camera. 

But first the looks, the realme 9 Pro+ has a shimmering back like a lot of phones right now that target the Gen Z and Y demographic. 

The realme 9 Pro+ ABS-CBN News
The realme 9 Pro+ has 3 cameras at the back. Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

Our review unit came in “Aurora Green” and depending on how you hold it against the light, the back changes color from black to very dark green. It is quite remarkable. But if you’re a Gen X holdover like me who prefers black or very dark grey, the phone also comes in a “Midnight Black” colorway. 

Another thing that’s remarkable about the back is that while it has a very glossy finish, it doesn’t seem to collect fingerprints as much as other phones. 

On the left of the phone as the volume controls and the simcard tray, while the power button is on the right side. At the bottom are speaker grills, a USB-C port for data transfer and charging, and a headphone jack–which is really nice for those who still prefer wired headphones.

Midrange phone specs are where brands cut each others’ throats, and realme has equipped the 9 Pro+ with enough blades to hold its own. 

Our review unit came with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The realme 9 Pro+ runs on the MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G, a relatively new 6nm chip that can go up to 2.5 GHz. Powering the whole thing is a 4500 mAh battery with a fast charger that can fully juice it up in about 40-50 minutes.

It also has a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 2400x1080 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. On the left of the screen is a punch hole where the selfie camera resides. Protecting all that is Gorilla Glass 5, which is really good for something in this price range. 

But what really makes the 9 Pro+ stand out is its camera system. It has a 50MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide lens, and a 2MP macro lens. It all seems pretty standard at this price point, but the ace up the sleeve is the Sony IMX766 sensor in the main camera. This image sensor is also used in the flagship Oppo Find X5 Pro and the much more expensive Xiaomi 12. 

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REVIEW: Realme 9 Pro+ is a solid midranger with a really good camera Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

REVIEW: Realme 9 Pro+ is a solid midranger with a really good camera Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

REVIEW: Realme 9 Pro+ is a solid midranger with a really good camera Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

REVIEW: Realme 9 Pro+ is a solid midranger with a really good camera Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

REVIEW: Realme 9 Pro+ is a solid midranger with a really good camera Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

REVIEW: Realme 9 Pro+ is a solid midranger with a really good camera Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

The 8MP ultra-wide lens goes to 0.6x zoom for those landscapes as well as tight indoor shots, while the 2MP macro lens is just OK. Optical zoom here maxes out at 2X, which may seem underwhelming, but it’s good enough for most use cases. There aren’t a lot of times you want to use 5X, 10X, or even 100X zooms anyway.

But the 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor paired with an f/1.8 aperture lens and OIS beats most mid-range phones at capturing light and making detailed, vibrant images.

I actually prefer the night shots taken with the realme 9 Pro+ than with the slightly more expensive (bought in 2021) Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. 

The 16MP selfie camera is also pretty good.

Gaming is OK on this device as the hardware can pretty much handle whatever mobile game you throw at it. However, some gamers might not think that the 90 Hz display is the best in this price range, considering that other brands offer 120Hz displays on their midrange devices. 

But all in all, if you’re switching to a 5G phone from a 2 or 3-year old 4G device, the realme 9 Pro+ is a worthy upgrade considering all of these features and specs will cost you only P21,490.