In case the realme 9 Pro 5G isn’t looking enough for you, then you can check out this higher realme 9 Pro+ 5G which features a few flagship specs, especially in its camera department with a 50MP Sony IMX766 OIS main sensor. Despite the flashy specs and design, the question is, what makes it “Pro Plus”? Is it really a better option than its lower Pro model? Let’s find out in this review.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
Alright, starting with the design and build. When holding the phone, it feels comfortable and light to grip. We get a plastic frame and a glass back which gives a more premium touch compared to the polycarbonate build of the lower realme 9 Pro.
Speaking of which, the realme 9 Pro and Pro+ share the same style language and color variants. What we have here is in the Aurora Green colorway, while other versions available are Midnight Black and a fun Sunrise Blue that changes color from light blue to red when exposed to sunlight. It’s pretty cool!
Meanwhile, this Aurora Green color flaunts a glowing-like glass back, which looks like subtle shimmering stars. It’s not as bold as the text design on their realme 8 series, but it looks more classy and it does make a hell of an impression.
Found on the upper left corner is its protruding square camera module to house its triple rear cameras and LED flash.
Then for buttons and ports, on the right side is the power button, while the volume rocker is placed on the left. Personally, I’m used to having all the buttons on the right side, so it can take some getting used to unless you prefer this setup.
You can also find on the left side its dual nano-SIM card slot with no space for a microSD card.
There is a secondary noise-canceling microphone at the top of the phone. Then at the bottom, we are greeted with the down-firing stereo speaker, the USB Type-C port, the main microphone, and the handy 3.5mm headphone jack.
Display and Multimedia
The realme 9 Pro+ sports a 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED screen with thin bezels and a little bit of a chin. On the upper bezel, of course, is the call speaker that’s also utilized as a secondary speaker. And then, as you can see, the front camera is placed on the upper left corner on a hole punch, while on the lower part of the panel is the in-display fingerprint scanner. We also get Gorilla Glass 5 for protection and an additional screen protector pre-installed.
When it comes to quality, it’s more similar to the AMOLED display of the realme 8 Pro, since the 9 Pro sibling has a slightly bigger IPS 120Hz display. The 9 Plus, however, features a 2400 x 1080px resolution, a pixel density of 411ppi, HDR10, and up to a 90Hz refresh rate that can be adjusted in the settings to the standard 60Hz or on auto-select.
This display offers good viewing angles and it is vibrant which is expected as it has an AMOLED panel. Colors look vivid and blacks look pleasingly inky. To top it all off, it also comes with a 360Hz touch sampling rate, making this not only highly responsive to your finger but also gives a better edge when it comes to something like gaming.
As for sound quality, its down-firing loudspeaker and earpiece can get really loud for a small room. The quality is mostly balanced between the highs and mids, though, with almost no bass unless you cup your hands against the grilles, which is a little bit expected on this type of phone.
One of the main highlights of this phone is its cameras. The realme 9 Pro+ has a triple camera setup on the back, composed of a Sony IMX766 50MP OIS main, an 8MP ultrawide, and a 2MP macro. For selfies, there’s the 16MP front camera.
The cameras provided us with awesome daylight photos with very good colors and sharpness. Its HDR works great but we still suggest taking multiple shots or focusing the phone correctly as it has tendencies to look overexposed at times.
If you’re into high contrast and saturation shots, you’ll definitely appreciate the 9 Pro+’s camera quality. The quick zoom toggles from 2x to 5x, but it’s still capable of zooming in up to 20x just in case you need it. Its quality will be sacrificed, of course, but you can just use the 50MP mode if you want to capture more details and overall a high-quality photo.
As for the ultrawide camera, it allows you to take wider scenes at a similar quality as the main sensor, with almost no distortion. We also appreciate how there’s not much fisheye effect in the results we got.
One of the things we liked most is its portrait mode. It often provides on-point subject-background separation, plus you can adjust the aperture to what you prefer.
Moreover, we were also impressed with its 50MP wide Sony IMX766 OIS main camera with a single 1.0μm large pixel. It processes a very good amount of light intake that helps improve lowlight or night photography to look crisper, cleaner, and well-lit. It’s highly recommendable for nighttime neon light shots, as well as night sky shots by using the Starry Mode. The Starry Mode is great, but do note that you need to keep the phone really steady for 4 minutes to achieve a stunning shot. It’s best to use it with a tripod or place the phone on a stable surface.
Checking out some selfies, its 16MP front shooter works best under natural lighting, falling more on cooler tones. The skin tone tends to alter in rare scenarios, but most of the time, it worked fine. With very good lighting or sunlight, you can get a natural-looking photo.
As for videos, you can shoot up to 4k at 30fps and the quality looks sharp with boosted colors. If you want to kick it up a notch, then you can turn on the AI for videos which is limited to 1080p at 30fps.
OS, UI, and Apps
Checking out software, the 9 Pro+ is one of the first realme smartphones that’s running on Android 12 skinned with realmeUI 3.0. The interface still has some resemblance to realmeUI 2.0 with some improvements on customization options, multitasking features, and even a more fluid experience.
There is still, however, a number of bloatware and pre-installed apps such as Google, Booking.com, Facebook, Messenger, Agoda, TikTok, and Lazada, which you can always uninstall if you don’t plan on using them.
There are tons of customization options here where you change icon styles, app layout, fingerprint style, font, and colors. There’s also an option in the settings to toggle the home screen app arrangement and gesture navigation.
As for other features, there’s dark mode, digital wellbeing, parental controls, smart driving, riding mode, and mini window or flexible window for compatible apps.
Out of the 256GB of storage that we get, about 231GB is available right out of the box. As mentioned earlier, this device doesn’t have a dedicated microSD card slot, so there’s no expandable storage.
Performance and Benchmarks
When it comes to performance, under the hood, this phone is equipped with a 5G ready MediaTek Dimensity 920 chipset, together with a Mali-G68 MC4 GPU, and locally it’s available with 8GB of RAM with +2/3/5GB of RAM Expansion.
Within its range, it’s a high-performing phone that can breezily handle daily tasks without any stutters. It can even handle heavy graphic games like Asphalt 9 and Genshin Impact well, with only rare hiccups under the highest settings.
The realme 9 Pro+ also has a vapor chamber-based cooling system that keeps the device cool, or rather not too hot when gaming or various multitasking.
Take a look at the benchmark scores that we got:
- AnTuTu v9.3.1 – 508,319
- AnTuTu v9.3.1 Storage Test – 43,637, (1,039 MB/s Seq. Read, 843.3 MB/s Seq. Write)
- Geekbench 5.4.4 – 798 (Single-Core), 2,154 (Multi-Core)
- PCMark – 10,702 (Work 3.0)
- 3D Mark – 2,302, 13.80 Ave FPS (Wild Life), 638, 3.80 Ave FPS (Wild Life Extreme)
When it comes to biometrics and security, you can unlock the device with an in-display fingerprint scanner and face unlock. They both work fast, but the fingerprint scanner is oddly placed lower than expected so it can take some adjustment. Then again, it’s still reliable.
Connectivity and Battery Life
Connectivity-wise, this 9 Pro+ is ready with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, dual-5G, 4G LTE, OTG, and GPS.
Keeping everything running is a 4,500mAh battery, and on average use, it is good enough to last throughout the day. When we ran it in the PCMark’s Work 3.0 battery test, the device yielded 17 hours and 42 minutes. Meanwhile, in our standard video loop test which involves playing a 1080p video on loop under the 90Hz refresh rate, 50% brightness, 0% volume, and Airplane mode turned on, we got a long 25 hours and 32 minutes of playback.
And for juicing this phone up, it supports an upgraded 60W SuperDart charging that only takes about 45 minutes to reach from 0-100%. It’s one of the significant upgrades that we get over the lower realme 9 Pro that has 33W fast charging.
To wrap things up, let’s talk about the price. Locally, the realme 9 Pro+ now has an SRP of PHP 23,990 (8GB + 256GB). It got some minor upgrades from the regular 9 Pro version that can cater to specific users’ wants such as better cameras, fast charging, and a more vibrant AMOLED display. Unless these aren’t a big deal for you, then the lower 9 Pro might be a better choice, or yet, you can still even consider last year’s realme 8 Pro if 5G connectivity isn’t your priority.
And yeah, that wraps up this review. How about you? What do you think of this realme 9 Pro+? Let us know in the comments.
realme 9 Pro+ specs:
6.4-inch FHD+ (1080 x 2400) super AMOLED
90Hz refresh rate
360Hz touch sampling rate
MediaTek Dimensity 920
256GB UFS 2.2 storage
• 50MP f/1.8 Sony IMX766 OIS (main)
• 8MP f/2.2 (ultrawide)
• 2MP f/2.4 (macro)
16MP f/2.4 front camera
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6
Fingerprint scanner (in-display)
realme UI 3.0 (Android 12)
Dolby Atmos Dual Stereo Speakers
4,500mAh batter w/ 60W superdart charge
160.2 x 73.3 x 7.99mm
Sunrise Blue, Aurora Green, Midnight Black