£200 Can Go a Lengthy Manner

£200 Can Go a Lengthy Manner

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

There’s loads of competitors at this value level, with the Redmi Word 11 providing the same performance-per-pound promise and the Poco M4 Professional 5G boasting lots of the identical options, however with added 5G assist, for a bit extra at £239.

Whereas there’s quite a bit to weigh up, by itself deserves, the Realme 9i already presents quite a bit – a 6.6in 90Hz show, all-day fast-charging battery, a triple lens digicam – and all for simply two tons. Can the Realme 9i problem for one of the best price range cellphone.

Design & Construct

Plastic physique, metallic end 
Kind-C reversible USB, 3.5 headphone jack
Fingerprint scanner constructed into energy key

Like a number of price range Android telephones, the Realme 9i is made out of light-weight plastic, nevertheless it has a reflective coating. It comes into two color choices, Prism Blue and Prism Black, and the blue possibility I’ve examined is a pleasant, gentle shade much like that of a elaborate bottle of gin. 

The Realme 9i’s lightness (190g) signifies that most individuals ought to be capable of comfortably maintain and use it in a single hand, nevertheless it’s on no account a small cellphone; it is obtained a 6.6in show, and is roughly 165mm tall. 

The facility key on the right-hand facet contains a fingerprint scanner, which makes for quick and handy unlocking. It is a function that is more and more frequent on price range telephones, nevertheless it’s all the time a welcome addition. 

Kind-C USB together with an everyday 3.5mm headphone jack sit on the base, subsequent to an exterior speaker and noise cancelling mic. On the left-hand facet sit two quantity keys and the mix SIM and microSD card tray. There’s nothing on the highest facet, save a cavity for an additional noise microphone. 

The earpiece speaker is razor-thin, crammed into the highest, and is barely noticeable towards the super-thin bezels. As a substitute of a notch/teardrop on the prime for the front-facing digicam, there’s a gap punch for the digicam set into the highest left-hand nook of the show. 

Display & Audio system

6.6in LCD 
Full HD+
90Hz refresh fee
Twin audio system

The Realme 9i squeezes a 6.6in Full HD+ LCD show right into a slim and light-weight physique. That will be good going for a price range cellphone anyway, however, the Realme 9i’s show has one other ace up its sleeve within the type of a 90Hz most refresh fee.

This mainly signifies that sport and video content material seems as easy as polished silver, but in addition mundane issues like scrolling by menus simply feels a tiny bit smoother with the 90Hz mode turned on.

It is arguably this function greater than another that makes you overlook that the Realme 9i is a price range machine. Brightness can be respectable, ok to punch by the glare of a brilliant sunny day as I recorded a peak brightness of 556 nits. 

Regardless, the Realme 9i’s show, nearly as good as it’s, cannot match that of the Redmi Word 11, as no LCD will ever beat an AMOLED within the distinction division. Nonetheless, it’s a ok show, able to making video content material and a few cellular video games look fairly unbelievable. 

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

Specs & Efficiency

Qualcomm Snapdragon 680
As much as 6GB RAM
As much as 128GB storage
No 5G

Efficiency of the Realme 9i is broadly inside expectations for a 2022 price range machine – it’ll do the fundamentals very nicely, and in some instances, efficiency mixed with the 90Hz show will impress. In different areas, it’s fairly clearly missing. 

The obvious instance is gaming, which is a blended expertise. Lifeless Set off 2 regarded nice and performed extraordinarily nicely, with the sport assistant software program telling me I used to be getting 55-58fps more often than not. However, the pre-installed beta model of PUBG Cellular, whereas moderately steady, shuffled alongside at 20-25fps. No surprise I died always. 

The Realme 9i is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680, the identical mid-range eight-core processor which additionally sits below the hood of the Redmi Word 11 – it’s not shocking then, that benchmarking outcomes are very comparable. The GPU scores right here aren’t a lot to get enthusiastic about. At a look, they’re solely barely higher than these of the cheaper Realme C31. 

As for common cellphone operations, the Realme 9i is totally superb. There’s hardly any lag, zipping by menus and leaping from tab to tab within the browser feels moderately speedy, and the digicam is fast to reply to instructions.

Hardly ever did I’ve to close down dormant apps to unlock reminiscence. The model I used to be despatched for testing featured 4GB of RAM, so presumably, the 6GB model will allow you to do extra of the identical with out having to kibosh outdated processes fairly a lot.

How nicely a 4GB cellphone will final you over time is one other factor – in the event you can decide up a 6GB model, that’s clearly the one you need to go for. This model is nowhere to be seen on the official UK retailer, however you do get 128GB of storage as customary.

Much less excellent news is the absence of 5G connectivity, though if it is a drawback for you, you then would possibly need to maintain on to your pockets for the Realme 9 5G and Realme 9 Professional telephones, each of which function 5G assist. In the event you’re not fussed about last-gen cellular speeds, otherwise you stay someplace which nonetheless can’t get 5G reception, this may not be an issue anyway. 


50Mp fundamental digicam with 2Mp black & white and a 2Mp macro sensors
16Mp entrance going through digicam
Data as much as 1080p @30fps
Time lapse and slo-mo modes

The Realme 9i’s 50Mp fundamental digicam can take some excellent stills, however, as is commonly the case with low cost telephones, there are some limitations; the autofocus generally struggles with fast-moving topics, and low gentle photographs are typically fairly noisy. 

The photograph of the white spider on the crimson acer is an effective instance of the Realme 9i’s capability to lock deal with a gently transferring topic. When taking this photograph, a light-weight breeze was transferring issues round quite a bit, so it is spectacular that the spider is as detailed as it’s right here. Nonetheless, as you possibly can see from wanting on the leaves within the foreground and background, further element is misplaced.

The primary digicam is usually talking higher at capturing wide-angle photographs. The devoted macro mode didn’t, in my expertise, seize far more element than close-ups taken in auto mode, and usually resulted in a lot darker photographs, with much less natural-looking colors. So identical to nearly each price range cellphone, then. 

Night time photographs, in the fitting circumstances, will be gorgeous. If there’s loads of ambient gentle, even taking pictures on auto produces acceptable outcomes, however the Night time mode lengthy exposures actually convey it on house. Take a look at the photographs of the Nationwide Theatre constructing for instance of the impression Night time mode has.

In much less optimistic information, colors are usually a bit exaggerated and unnatural however that is nonetheless fairly good going for a price range cellphone. A whole lot of different telephones on this class aren’t half nearly as good ( you, Realme C31), simply bear in mind that you’re going to in all probability be taking ten photographs, discarding 9, and conserving the one which’s good a number of the time. 

Selfies, as you would possibly count on, look their greatest in the event you’re taking them in well-lit areas with loads of gentle. There’s a fill gentle impact, which may alleviate gloomy photographs, however as you possibly can see, the outcomes are usually not unbelievable, particularly in the event you’re carrying glasses.

The Realme 9i can document 1080p video at 30fps, and outcomes are typically acceptable, although outcomes are greatest in the event you’re utilizing a tripod, or have the cellphone propped up on one thing. The digicam sensor is sweet at adjusting to lighting circumstances on the fly, and ensuing footage typically seems easy, however pans and tilts usually come out wanting shaky. 

Battery Life & Charging 

4880mAh battery
Over 12 hours of energy
33W quick charging

Battery efficiency is an actual standout function of the Realme 9i. It delivered nicely over 12 hours of energy in benchmarking exams, even with the upper 90Hz refresh fee turned on.

Anecdotally, I’d finish most working days with round 60% energy left over after taking calls, streaming music to a Bluetooth speaker, and taking part in idle video games on lunchbreaks. This implies many customers will get two days out of it.

Operating the PC Mark Work benchmark, which simulates a spread of duties like internet shopping and video streaming, the Realme 9i gave me 16 hours and 49 minutes with the very best refresh fee setting on, outpacing most rivals.

Dropping right down to 60Hz, I ran the identical check once more to see how a lot energy you possibly can save by having the display refresh at a decrease fee, and I obtained 17 hours 22 minutes – a distinction of about half an hour. In different phrases, in the event you’re low on energy, you possibly can in all probability change to 60Hz and squeeze in yet one more episode of Promoting Sundown earlier than peeling your self off of the sofa to be able to find your charger. 

And talking of charging, you truly will not be bereft of Netflix for too lengthy, as a result of the equipped 33W charger will get you from flat to full in slightly below 1 hour 20 minutes. Half an hour on the mains from empty will internet you round 45% whereas an hour will see you stroll away with roughly 80%. That is quick by any cellphone’s requirements, however wonderful for a price range blower. 

Software program & Apps

Android 11
Realme UI 2.Zero customized interface

The Realme 9i runs Android 11 out of the field, with model 2.Zero of Realme’s customized UI, the cryptically-named ‘Realme UI’, slapped on prime. 

Customized interfaces on Android telephones could be a ache, as a result of they’re generally poorly thought out, and/or aesthetically offensive. Realme UI isn’t both of these issues, nevertheless it additionally doesn’t actually improve the inventory Android expertise in a significant approach both.

That mentioned, it is a easy sufficient person interface to navigate, and whereas there are a bunch of apps and video games pre-installed on the cellphone, most of them will be uninstalled in the event you don’t need to use them.

Those which may’t, just like the Compass app, are tiny, and don’t take up a lot area – so in the event you don’t use them, you gained’t actually miss them and with 128GB of storage as customary within the UK it is not a difficulty to fret about.

You’ll be able to, for probably the most half, customise issues to your liking. You’ll be able to simply change the app icon alignment grid in order that the whole lot snaps to a 5×6 grid, stick no matter wallpapers and widgets you want on the house display, toggle darkish mode in the event you’d reasonably that the menus had been a extra nightime-friendly black than white. 

Worth & Availability 

The Realme 9i is available for purchase now within the UK, straight from Realme for £199 SIM-free and unlocked. That is for the 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage model.

You can even decide up the identical mannequin from Amazon UK, Ebuyer and Laptops Direct, additionally for £199.

On the time of writing, no UK pricing data for 4/64GB or 6/128GB variants had been out there, and the Realme 9i will not be out there in america or Australia, though you should purchase some variations on Amazon US for round $215.

As talked about earlier, there’s loads of competitors round this value level so take a look at our chart of one of the best price range telephones to see what else would possibly take your fancy.


The Realme 9i is a unbelievable worth for cash Android cellphone which does the fundamentals in model, presents nice battery efficiency, and the cameras are fairly good too. It’s priced very properly, seems good, is light-weight and is simple to make use of. It’s excellent for consumers on a price range, or individuals who need a dependable back-up cellphone. 

That mentioned, the Redmi Word 11 is priced the identical, presents a number of the identical options, and in the event you had been to separate hairs, you is perhaps tempted by the truth that it has an AMOLED display, whereas the Realme 9i has an LCD. The older Realme Eight additionally has AMOLED on supply.

It’s additionally not a 5G cellphone, and whilst you shouldn’t essentially count on 5G assist for £200, the Poco M4 Professional 5G does embrace this, and it’s solely about £40 extra, so that may sway you. 

These are comparatively small points, although. The Realme 9i is a wonderful price range cellphone that may greater than fulfill most consumers after an affordable ‘n cheerful machine.

Realme 9i: Specs

Android 11 with Realme UI R Version
6.6in 2412×1080 90Hz LCD show
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor (as much as 2.4GHz octa-core)
Qualcomm Adreno 610 GPU
64GB/128GB inner storage
microSD as much as 1TB
50Mp fundamental digicam, f/1.8
2Mp black & white lens, f/2.4
2Mp Macro lens, f/2.Four aperture
16Mp selfie digicam, f/2.1
Fingerprint scanner (on energy key)
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou
Twin SIM
4,880mAh battery
33W charging
Prism Blue, Prism Black
164.Four x 75.7 x 8.4mm

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