scorecardRealme 9i first impressions — Tall display, stylish design and promising specs
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Realme 9i first impressions — Tall display, stylish design and promising specs

Realme 9i first impressions — Tall display, stylish design and promising specs
Tech3 min read
  • Realme 9i is the company’s first smartphone of the year and the latest in the Realme 9 series.
  • It comes with a 90Hz display, Snapdragon 686 processor, a 5,000mAh battery and a 50MP camera.
  • Here are our first impressions of the newly launched smartphone.
Realme today launched its first smartphone of 2022 in India and it’s also the first in the Realme 9 series. The launch comes shortly after the company announced it reached 40 million shipments on its ‘Number series’ which includes smartphones from Realme 1 to Realme 8. The latest Realme 9i comes packed with a flashy design, promising cameras, a smooth display and fast charging.
Price and availability
The Realme 9i starts at ₹13,999 for the base model with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. Its other model with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage is priced at ₹15,999. The smartphone will go on an early sale on January 22 via and Flipkart, and the first sale will take place on January 25. You can get the phone in two colours: Prism Black and Prism Blue.
In terms of specs, the Realme 9i has a 6.6-inch FHD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate and a 180Hz touch sampling rate. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 686 processor, and packs a 5,000mAh battery with 33W Dart Charge. The phone has a 50-megapixel primary camera along with a 2-megapixel portrait and macro camera. For selfies, you get a 16-megapixel front camera. On the software front, the Realme 9i runs on Android 11-based realme UI 2.0.
First impressions
It’s almost impossible to find a “bad looking” phone these days as companies make sure to give a very appealing look and style. And you also get choices on top of that. With the Realme 9i, you get a flashy back in colours of blue and black and a “prism” effect. We got the Prism Blue variant of the Realme 9i which looks sleek and stylish. Those who want a slightly subtle look can go for the Prism Black variant.

It’s also very light on the hands and has a slim design. The display is big though with a 6.6-inch screen which makes it a great option for watching movies, videos and playing games too. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack and dual stereo speakers on the phone.

The power button is located on the right side of the phone and it also doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The volume buttons are on the left side but they’re very thin with a very plasticky feel. The Realme 9i’s rear panel tends to catch quite a bit of fingerprint smudges. And since the blue colour is light it becomes quite visible too.

I quite liked the camera module which is a glossy surface housing the three rear cameras — a 50-megapixel primary camera along with 2-megapixel portrait and macro cameras.

The overall feel of the phone on the hand is good but since it has a tall display you most likely will end up using two hands. Speaking of which, the Realme 9i has a 6.6-inch FHD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate. You can choose between 60Hz and 90Hz refresh rates or set it to auto. It also lets you choose the colour temperature of the display.

There’s also a 16-megapixel front camera in a punch-hole design which takes up very little space and you get more room for the display.

The Realme 9i ships with realme UI 2.0 that’s based on Android 11. The UI will feel familiar to those who have used Realme phones before with the off-white background in the app drawer and notification panel. The phone has its fair share of preinstalled apps like Spotify, Snapchat, Prime Video, and It also has Glance for lockscreen wallpapers that you will have to manually sign up for.

But overall, the UI feels very less cluttered in comparison to others like Samsung. Setting up the phone also takes only a few steps and you can customise it later according to your preferences.

Our brief usage with the phone went smooth as expected and the phone has all the major requirements for its price. So in a nutshell, you get a good looking and stylish design with a tall display, headphone jack, and stereo speakers. How the phone performs, in the long run, is something we’ll talk about later in our detailed review of the Realme 9i.