Smartphone review realme 9i (RMX3491)

Table of Contents

Delivery set

  • Smartphone
  • Charger 33W
  • Type-C cable
  • Silicone Case
  • SIM tray eject tool
  • Protective film (already pasted)
  • User manual, warranty card


Dimensions and weight164.4 x 75.7 x 8.4 mm, 190 grams
Housing materialsPlastic (frame and back)
Display6.6 inches, 2412×1080 pixels (FHD+), IPS, 20:9 aspect ratio, 400 ppi pixel density, 90 Hz refresh rate, 180 Hz touch layer sampling rate, protective glass
Operating systemGoogle Android 11, realme UI 2.0 proprietary shell
PlatformSnapdragon 680, 4-core ARM Cortex-A73 up to 2.4GHz, 4-core ARM Cortex-A53 up to 1.8GHz, 6nm process technology, Adreno 610 graphics
Memory4 GB LPDDR4X, 128 GB UFS 2.2 storage, microSD support up to 1 TB
Wireless interfacesWi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac 2,4 ГГц/5 ГГц, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
Network2G: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
3G: bands 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 19
4G: bands 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 66
Two Nano-SIM cards + memory card (separate slot)
Sensors and connectorsFingerprint scanner (side), accelerometer, light sensor, proximity, compass, USB Type-C, 3.5 mm jack, two speakers
Main camera50 MP, wide-angle lens, f/1.8 aperture, PDAF 2 MP, macro camera, f/2.4 aperture

2 MP, monochrome module, f/2.4 aperture Video recording [email protected]/120 fps, [email protected] fps

Front-camera16MP wide-angle lens, f/2.1 aperture, 26mm equivalent focal length, [email protected] video recording, [email protected], beautification mode
BatteryLi-ion 5000 mAh, fast charging 33 W, reverse wired charging support
ColourBlue, black
Pricefrom 19 000 rubles


This year, in the realme number line, something went wrong in terms of the timing and logic of launching models. The basic realme 9i appeared on foreign markets in January, but so far it is not officially available in Russia, a smartphone available to purchase from the realme store on AliExpress. We have already officially seen the 9 Pro and 9 Pro + models on our market, even if they came out globally later. It’s too early to talk about intermediate devices, although who knows, maybe, according to tradition, we will have an announcement at the end of May.

But for now, let’s focus on the test device. Apparently, the realme 9i version with global firmware was tested on the test, in fact, it differs from the Russian one only in the absence of a list of domestic applications recommended for pre-installation and a set of already installed utilities. So these differences should not be considered significant.

In terms of evolution, the smartphone is a more energy efficient version of realme 8i. Of course, there are a number of differences, both positive and not so, we will try to talk about everything in this material.

Design, dimensions, controls

The black version of realme 9i was on the test, there is also a brighter blue color for sale. In terms of appearance, this is an absolutely standard smartphone by modern standards, made in the design language of the realme 9 line and reminiscent of the realme GT Neo2 camera unit. Of course, the situation here is simpler with materials: the glossy plastic of the back and plastic frames immediately determine the price segment. The assembly is reliable, no squeezing and twisting efforts will cause the case to creak or play.

In order to freshen up the appearance of the backrest, a multi-layer technology is used, giving a geometric texture in the form of many parallel straight lines. The picture is not tactile, shimmers when you change the angle of view on the phone. The discreet but curious design evokes a pleasant impression, which cannot be said about the tendency of the backrest to instantly collect dust and fingerprints. The case corrects the situation a little, but potential buyers need to keep this aspect in mind.

According to the location of the controls in realme 9i, the formula that has become traditional is chosen: a fingerprint scanner in the power button located just above the center of the right side panel, two volume keys and a tray for three slots on the left, on the bottom end there are slots for the speaker and microphone and two connectors, Type -C and 3.5mm. The role of the second speaker takes on the conversational speaker, so on the upper end we see only the hole of the second microphone.

The control concept is familiar and understandable for many mid-range smartphones, realme 9i is quite convenient to use, dimensions and weight are average for the market. The back is moderately slippery, the effect is not so pronounced. The camera block is thin, a little more, and it will completely merge with the body. Therefore, you can safely type text on a smartphone lying on the table, it will not swing, unless you click on the upper left corner of the display.


The realme 9i screen is protected by glass, using Asahi’s Dragontrail Pro. Not the most popular, but nevertheless a reliable option. The matrix is ​​almost identical to that in realme 8i – the same diagonal, resolution and technology. The refresh rate is different, the processor does not support 120 Hz, so the ceiling here is limited to 90 Hz. Not a bad option, especially with the experimental smooth scrolling option. Thanks for not being HD+.

In the refresh rate settings, in addition to fixed parameters at 60 and 90 Hz, automatic detection by the system is available. So, depending on the displayed content, the system will select one of five frequency levels: 30 Hz, 48 Hz, 50 Hz, 60 Hz or 90 Hz. This will have a positive effect on autonomy, which is already not bad here. And the increased sampling rate of the touch layer will only be at hand in dynamic games.

Apparently, the brightness of the display is similar to that in the predecessor of the hero of the review, the standard indicator is declared at 480 nits, if you use a light theme, the screen is well read even under direct sunlight. Screen settings include eye protection, automatic brightness settings, interface rotation and screen timeout.

Battery and performance

The battery installed in the smartphone has a capacity of 5000 mAh, a standard parameter for the market and for the segment. And it was not without reason that in one section it was decided to combine autonomy and performance. Apart from the reduction in the peak refresh rate, the main change in realme 9i compared to its predecessor is the switch to Snapdragon 680 with a thinner 6nm process technology. And even despite the 6 energy-efficient cores in the Mediatek Helio G96, the autonomy indicators in the model on the new processor are an order of magnitude better.

So, the test for autonomy in PCMark gave an indicator of 18 and a half hours, an excellent result. Testing the smartphone in normal mode with instant messengers, calls, several YouTube videos a day and no games showed that in automatic hertz mode, the smartphone can easily work for two days with 4 hours of screen per day.

A fully discharged smartphone can be fully charged in 70 minutes, while in the first half hour the charge rate will be 53%. Still, there is a feeling that the transition to 33 W should have taken place in the last generation. Fast charging is always a plus, especially in such a “popular” segment.

The Snapdragon 680 is already quite widely represented on the world market and in synthetic tests showed an almost complete absence of throttling, as well as a rather “cold” operation even under load. 250,000 points in AnTuTu for a gadget with 4 GB of RAM is a good indicator, but the memory speed is average, quite normal results for UFS 2.2. In games, the FPS indicators will also be average, however, with 4 GB of RAM, in any case, you won’t really clear up, and even the additional 3 GB allocated from permanent memory will not make much of a difference.

Communication options

I don’t know about you, but I don’t quite like the decision to use the earpiece speaker as the second main one. It is clear that two are better than one, but in the same games you can feel the difference in sound depth, the lower speaker sounds noticeably better. Moreover, this implementation is used even in realme flagships. Perhaps it’s a matter of taste, and no one bothers to connect headphones, including wired ones.

Otherwise, there is nothing to complain about, the voice quality is good, NFC works like a clock, GPS does not deceive with the route and quickly clings to satellites.


Despite the new processor, no critical changes have taken place in this aspect, so here is an excerpt from the realme 8i review:

“The main camera is a system of 3 lenses:

  • 50 MP, Aperture f / 1.8, 5 lenses, PDAF
  • Macro module 2 MP, Aperture f/2.4, Focal length 4 cm
  • Black and white module 2 MP, Aperture f/2.4

Of greatest interest is the 50 MP module from Samsung – ISOCELL S5KJN1 1 / 2.76 ″, which combines 4 pixels into one. So
Thus, the final photo resolution is 12.5 MP.

The camera has a simple and intuitive interface. All the necessary settings are within 1-2 taps on the screen.

Immediately I want to note the extremely low noise level and excellent contrast. In daylight, the pictures have excellent dynamic range and saturated colors (perhaps even too much, sometimes you can turn it off when shooting HDR). The camera has a shooting mode with artificial intelligence. This mode should probably be used with caution as the AI ​​tends to make the world much brighter than it really is.”

I didn’t really like the night mode, the frames go too “watercolor” in places. But the detail is getting better, that’s for sure.


Unlike the same realme 9 Pro, the base model has not yet received an update to Android 12 / realme UI 3.0, so here we see the already well-known version 2.0 shell. Most of its features are described in a separate material.

Competitors, impressions

As I have already noted, vendors have actively begun to use the Snapdragon 680 in their devices. The first and probably the most obvious competitor is Redmi Note 11, which you could already meet in a separate review. From the point of view of characteristics, the device from Xiaomi is slightly more compact, it has 4 cameras (there is an ultra-wide-angle module), protection against water and dust according to the IP53 standard is declared. The cost of devices on AliExpress is approximately the same, even if you lower the fluctuations in sellers’ rates

Most recently, the Honor X8 went on sale: the same processor, 6 GB of RAM in the base, a 64 MP main camera, but slower charging with a 4000 mAh battery and no memory card slot. If the device gets to online stores, then the cost will be quite competitive, 27,990 rubles is definitely expensive.

The Poco M3 Pro and the aforementioned realme 8i still look good against the background, they lose in some aspects, but their cost has also managed to win back down.

The prospects for realme 9i in the Russian market are not easy to assess. Firstly, the official release of the model has not yet taken place, sales are on AliExpress. In addition, it is not clear what price we will eventually see as the recommended retail price.

In my opinion, the model is designed for those who need a sane camera and decent autonomy without any compromise on the screen refresh rate. The smartphone copes with its tasks effortlessly, from the claims – probably only the subjective intolerance of the always dusty and dirty back, from the wishes – 6 GB of RAM in the database.

Source: — Все о мобильной технике и технологиях by

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