Realme 9 5G review: Budget ‘5G-ready’ phone, but worth considering?

Realme 9 5G reviewExactly what qualifies as a ‘good’ device at a specific price point can often be a matter of intense debate. Is it about the specifications alone? What about software? Are you willing to compromise on the camera? As someone who reviews a fair number of phones priced in the Rs 20,000 and under segment, there are no simple answers to these questions. In my view, this particular segment has gotten a lot more complicated this year for a variety of reasons.

For one, there are several 5G phones being introduced under Rs 20,000 and some at a little higher price. The specifications at times are very similar, with a few tweaks here and there across brands. All of this only creates confusion for users. So where does the Realme 9 5G fit in and does it fulfil all the qualities of a ‘good’ device? Here’s my take.

The Realme 9 5G has what I’d call a fairly standard design for this particular segment. The curved back fits well into your hand and the camera module is not very huge, which is refreshing to see. I liked that this is not particularly bulky either. The phone comes in the ‘Stargaze White’ colour variant. This does change colour based on light and has hues of purple, similar to countless other phones I’ve seen this past year. The fingerprint sensor is part of the power button and works accurately to unlock the device.

The phone has a 6.5-inch Full HD+ display with a 90 Hz refresh rate. Realme is letting users stick with an auto-refresh option for this, which is better for battery life, though one can go into the settings can change this as per preferences. The display is acceptable for the price and should be good enough for users who wish to watch content on YouTube and Netflix as well as for regular social media scrolling. It is legible in bright sunlight.

The phone is powered by the Mediatek Dimensity 810 5G ready processor and the performance is solid, given that it is priced under Rs 20,000. Playing games such as Genshin Impact, Asphalt 9, etc was not a problem on this device. I did not notice any significant lag or stutter, though I kept the game settings to the basic levels and did not ramp up graphics on either. As a daily driver, this phone lives up to most expectations.