Realme 9i 5G Review: A promising affordable 5G smartphone!

One of the most affordable 5G phones in India is the Realme 9i 5G, which costs Rs 14,999.

5 min read
Realme 9i 5G Review: A promising affordable 5G smartphone!
Realme 9i 5G

The connectivity option is progressively making its way to devices below Rs 20,000, and in some cases, it has already reached the Rs 15,000-mark. 5G capability has become a norm for smartphones over Rs 20,000. Realme just unveiled the Realme 9i 5G, which has a starting price of Rs 14,999, after previously promising to release a 5G smartphone for around Rs 10,000. Additionally, it is discounted on Flipkart, where the base model with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage is presently selling for Rs 12,999. As a result, it is currently one of the cheapest 5G phones in the nation.

In addition to connection, the Realme 9i 5G aims to outperform competitors by providing a fluid gaming experience, strong battery life, and a dependable camera system. It has a 90Hz screen, which may seem significantly better than the 60Hz screens on the far more expensive iPhone 13 and iPhone 14.


Three color variants are available for the Realme 9i 5G; for this review, I selected the Metallica Gold color option. Additionally, customers have the choice of selecting either a blue or a black alternative, dubbed Soulful Blue or Rocking Black, respectively.

The rear cover of the Realme smartphone is made of PMMA, a plastic substance with a gloss that resembles glass. The same material is also utilized by several of the less expensive Motorola cell phones. However, despite the possibility of scratch marks, the PMMA material does not feel inferior. A transparent silicone case is included in the delivery, which is extremely kind.

The Realme 9i 5G continues the tradition of Realme phones, which are noted for being flamboyant and flashy.

I'm particularly pleased that the Realme 9i 5G still has the 3.5mm audio connector, which is gradually disappearing from smartphones priced above Rs 20,000.

It took me a little while to get used to the arrangement, but I thought the volume buttons to be a little awkwardly placed on the left. Overall, there aren't many issues with the design. I already noted that the design is flamboyant, which not everyone would find appealing.


Realme 9i 5G display

The 6.6-inch display on the Realme 9i 5G is big and definitely overpowering at first. Whether you like it or not, it's gradually arriving on all devices, therefore I advise you to get used to it. Even Apple attempted to revive small screens with its iPhone minis, but due to weak sales, the company abandoned the product this year.

The selfie camera on the Realme 9i 5G has a water drop-shaped notch. This notch seems a little antiquated to me, and the majority of Android competitors in this market use a more stylish hole-punch cutout on the front panel. Realme has a relatively young and tech-savvy user base in India, therefore it could have utilized the latter on the front panel.

Second, the 90Hz refresh rate is smooth and available on the monitor. Given that phones at this price point come with a 60Hz display, it is a good bonus. Although I don't really see much of a difference between 60Hz and 90Hz screens, the Realme 9i 5G does tend to give a more consistently smooth gaming experience than its competitors in this price bracket.

The phone has L1 Widevine certification, and users may watch videos in Full-HD definition. It was enjoyable to view quick YouTube and Instagram videos on a large screen. On Disney Hotstart, I watched a cricket match, and there wasn't anything to be upset about. However, I still believe that using an IPS screen with a 90Hz refresh rate instead of an AMOLED display with 60Hz could have made a significant impact.

Battery and Performance

Although customers have a less expensive alternative with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, I utilized the Realme 9i 5G's top variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The top option costs more, at Rs 16,999, but Flipkart is giving customers with Axis Bank cards a generous discount of Rs 1,250. In light of this, I advise users to purchase smartphones with at least 128GB of storage, as 64GB in 2022 is absurd.

The Dimensity 810 chipset from MediaTek, a popular choice for low-cost 5G smartphones, powers both storage configurations. In summary, my variation with 6 RAM provided a performance that was mostly passable with some noticeable stutters. These stutters will probably be more noticeable on the 4GB RAM version.

Additionally, this outperforms the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered Xiaomi 12 Pro, which only operated for one hour before overheating caused it to shut down. Due to their low price and large battery, phones under Rs 20,000 typically do well in video loop testing.

However, using the included 18W charger required about 1.5 hours to fully charge the Realme 9i 5G. To be honest, this is the norm for phones in this price bracket, but I believe Realme offers a lot of promise for speedier charging, even on low-cost models. Will that alter as a result of the Realme 10 line? Time will only tell.


Realme 9i 5G camera

The Realme 9i 5G's primary 50-megapixel sensor well surpassed my expectations in terms of cameras in many ways. In daylight, it captures lots of details. The images appear good and provide a good level of information even in low-light conditions. Full-HD video recording on the phone is sufficient for social media applications like Instagram. Disappointingly, Realme has not included an ultra-wide sensor. Instead, we get two 2-megapixel sensors for macro and depth sensing. In portrait mode, the depth sensor performs its function well. When the blur level is set to the maximum, though, its AI struggles to distinguish between the subject and the background.

The 8-megapixel front camera, however, only produces middling images, making it unsuitable for selfies. Most front-facing camera images lack fine resolution, and occasionally, in normal mode, I detected an odd blush effect. This was true in low light conditions as well as during the day. Additionally, I observed it as I was using the front camera sensor to make videos. The overall performance is still far superior than that of competitors in this price range, in my opinion.


In a word, the Realme 9i 5G is a basic, reasonably priced 5G smartphone that should satisfy the needs of the majority of consumers in this price range. Additionally, it supports nine 5G bands, which is fairly impressive when compared to the immediate competitors. Apart from its surprisingly good cameras, don't anticipate anything extraordinary.

Instead of using an IPS screen, Realme could have chosen an AMOLED display, which would have improved the viewing experience significantly. I don't have any issues with the design because the business is known for going for a flamboyant appearance; yet, everyone's taste is different. Users should still choose the more expensive 6GB RAM model, as the cheaper 4GB RAM and 64GB storage option might not be sufficient in 2022.

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