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[Review] First Impressions and Overview: The realme 9i

realme has recently launched the realme 9i in Malaysia, describing it as the game-changing and benchmark-setting smartphone for devices below RM1,000. It has been upgraded with a more powerful Snapdragon 680 6nm processor. Compared to its predecessor, it shows a 25% increase in CPU performance, a 10% increase in GPU performance, and a 25% increase in AI performance.



At first glance, the realme 9i has some sort of a glossy and prism design on the back cover, which realme calls the Stereo Prism design with a design concept of "capture the light". The unique design holds a prismatic texture of more than 3,000 prism-like line combinations, showcasing an overflow of color-like rhythm.

It comes in a yellow and black box, which includes the phone, charger, USB-A to USB-C charging cable, SIM card ejector, a transparent phone cover, and paperwork. Weighing only 190g, the phone is light and really comfortable to carry. While the back cover is pretty, it collects fingerprint smudges easily but hey, this is why realme gives you a free cover to protect its beauty.


Display and Audio

It offers a big 6.6-inch screen on an LCD panel which delivers content in Full HD+ resolution. Viewing experience is pretty great as colors appear crisp and accurate on-screen. However, the phone's refresh rate is downgraded to 90Hz as the realme 8i has a higher 120Hz refresh rate. Interestingly, the phone can intelligently adjust the 90Hz adaptive refresh rate depending on usage to reduce power consumption.

  • Static - 30Hz refresh rate

  • Movie - 48Hz refresh rate

  • Teleplay - 50Hz refresh rate

  • Video - 60Hz refresh rate

  • Game - 60Hz or 90Hz refresh rate

  • Information stream - 90Hz refresh rate

As for audio, everything's loud and clear thanks to its dual stereo speakers so you'll be able to enjoy high-quality sound either when you're binge-watching All of Us Are Dead or playing mobile games.



When it comes to smartphones, we're pretty sure most people would want one with well-performing cameras. At least they have to be worth the price especially in this world where social media is literally everything. On the front display, a punch-hole is located on the top left corner, housing a 16MP selfie camera that supports up to 1080p video recording at 30fps.

The camera island on the back includes a 50MP Ultra HD main camera (F1.8), a 2MP macro lens (F2.4), and a 2MP black & white portrait lens (F2.4) for professional portrait mode. It may be a miss for taking group pictures as the phone doesn't come with an ultrawide camera. It offers several photography modes that we see in most phones, such as Night mode, Panoramic view, Timelapse, Portrait mode, AI beauty, Macro mode, and many more.



Despite its lighter weight, it still retains the same massive 5000mAh battery compared to its predecessor. It purportedly supports up to 116.3 hours of music playing, 48.4 hours of phone calls, 20.7 hours of WhatsApp texting, and 8.3 hours of gaming. To charge up from 0-100, you'll only need to be hooked at the wall for 70 minutes with its faster 33W Dart Charge capabilities.

The charging unit now features a combination of high-voltage and low-current charging technology for fast charging. It also comes with an intelligent five-core protection system to ensure safety during charging.



Powering the device is a 6nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset that is capable of delivering a 45% boost of overall performance and up to 62% lower power consumption. It supports Android 11 and runs on realme UI 2.0.

It is equipped with 4GB or 6GB of RAM, which can be further expanded by realme's Dynamic RAM Expansion (DRE) technology. Basically, it converts available internal storage to virtual RAM for users who would like to play more resource-intensive games or run multiple apps at the same time. The 4GB version can be expanded with up to 3GB of virtual RAM while the 6GB version can be expanded with up to 5GB of virtual RAM.


Pricing and Availability

The realme 9i comes in Prism Blue and Prism Black. The 6+128 GB variant is now available at RM869 and can be purchased at realme's official store on Shopee. Meanwhile, the 4+128 GB variant will be available at a later date for RM799.


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