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Realme 9 5G

Communication, software and operation

The realme 8 5G already offered WiFi 5, and nothing has changed in the successor. The speeds in our test with the reference router Asus GT-AXE11000 are also quite similar and on the usual level for the price range. The transmission is quite stable according to our test.

What has changed compared to the last generation, however, is the availability of more 4G frequencies, so you are even more flexible when traveling. 5G is on board again, as the name suggests. During our test period, we check the reception quality every now and then compared to high-end smartphones in the same place. The realme 9 5G does not do badly here and at times can offer similarly strong signal quality as higher-end phones.

Android 12 and the overlying realme UI 3.0 are preinstalled, the security patches are from March 2022 at the time of testing and should thus be updated once again.

The fingerprint sensor in the standby button on the casing’s right unlocks the phone almost immediately when you put your finger on it. There are occasional problems when recognizing the finger, but overall the sensor works reliably. Face recognition is also possible, but only as a software solution via the front-facing camera and thus not as secure as hardware-based recognition.

Display

The Full HD display of the realme 9 5G is based on IPS technology. There are also phones with an AMOLED screen in this price range, such as the Galaxy M32 or the Moto G41 but in both cases without 5G support.

It is nice that realme provides a panel with 90Hz support so that movements look smoother and the operation feels more responsive.
In terms of brightness, the screen performs well, but cannot quite keep up with AMOLED screens. In the more detailed measurements with the software CalMAN, we ascertain quite similar readings as in the realme 9 Pro so we can assume that it is the same panel.

Cameras

This shows a clear difference to the realme 9 Pro – the realme 9 5G does not have an ultra-wide-angle lens next to the main camera. Instead, there is a macro lens and a ToF camera that supports portrait shots and does not take photos itself.

The Samsung Isocell JN1 is used as the sensor for the main camera. It offers a resolution of 50 megapixels, but usually only uses a quarter, i.e. 12.5 megapixels, for pictures with a higher light yield. The pictures are decently exposed but lack details and there is also room for improvement in terms of sharpness.

Videos can be recorded in a maximum of 1080p and 30 fps; 60 fps is also possible in 720p. It is pleasing that the autofocus works quite precisely and without visible pulsing. Likewise, the exposure is adjusted quickly.
The front-facing camera has a resolution of 16 megapixels and takes usable selfies in good light. However, you should not enlarge it too much or details will be lost quickly.

The camera equipment is overall similar to that of the realme 8 5G and is typical for the price range. However, an additional wide-angle lens for more flexibility is also possible for little money, for example on the Samsung Galaxy M32.

Performance, emissions and battery life

In terms of performance, the realme 9 5G and the realme 9 Pro are both on par. No wonder, since both use the same SoC, the Snapdragon 695 from Qualcomm. Thus, they offer considerably more power than other smartphones in the price range and enable smooth operation. Users who switch from a high-end smartphone to the realme 9 5G might notice a slight delay here and there, but the overall performance is easily sufficient for everyday use and for averagely demanding games.

However, the realme 9 5G is a bit slower than the predecessor in terms of memory, which seems to be due to the SoC, since the realme 9 Pro has to live with the same limitation.

The heating is on a normal level and could at most become unpleasant only in very high ambient temperatures.

The mono speaker on the casing’s lower edge emphasizes trebles very strongly and is thus a bit unpleasant for our ears at high volumes. Better sound can be achieved with external speakers or headphones, which can be connected via Bluetooth and all currently important codecs. A 3.5 mm port is also available if you still have classic wired headphones.

Like the predecessor, our test device has a charging technology with 18 watts and thus recharges in about 1:45 hours when the battery is completely empty. The 5,000 mAh battery enables runtimes of over 17 hours in our WLAN test, which should easily last a normal workday. And if you forget to charge the battery, you can even manage another day with the smartphone battery under a low load.

In terms of performance, the realme 9 5G and the realme 9 Pro are both on par. No wonder, since both use the same SoC, the Snapdragon 695 from Qualcomm. Thus, they offer considerably more power than other smartphones in the price range and enable smooth operation. Users who switch from a high-end smartphone to the realme 9 5G might notice a slight delay here and there, but the overall performance is easily sufficient for everyday use and for averagely demanding games.

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