The battle between 4G and 5G hasn’t been decided yet – 5G will win out in the end, but in the meantime, the price of the modem means losing out on a few other perks. Do you have 5G in your region and do you think it’s worth it?
Realme 9 (4G) highlights
The new Realme 9 may have you answering “no”. Don’t confuse this with the Realme 9 5G, the two are related but different. For starters, the new model is a 4G phone that is powered by the Snapdragon 680 instead of a Dimensity 810. Both are 6 nm chips, but the 680 has older CPU cores (based on Cortex-A73 and A53, compared to A75 and A55) and a less capable Adreno 610 GPU.
Snapdragon 680 chipset
The less capable chipset left room in the budget for some upgrades. For example, the phone is now equipped with 8 GB of RAM (the 5G model only offers 4 and 6 GB). Realme UI can add 5 GB of virtual RAM to that.
The biggest upgrade, however, is the 108 MP ISOCELL HM6 sensor for the main camera (this is the first phone to use the HM6). It features an improved NonaPixel Plus 9-to-1 pixel binning tech (1.92 µm effective pixel size). The new tech promises a 123% increase in light gathering ability compared to previous sensors.
The first phone with the 108 MP ISOCELL HM6 sensor and its new NonaCell Plus tech
The 4G model also sports an 8 MP ultra wide-angle camera (120°), whereas the 5G model has none. The third module on the back is a 2 MP macro cam that can shoot from 4 cm distance. There is no dedicated telephoto camera, but the high-resolution main sensor offers up to 3x lossless digital zoom.
0.64 µm native pixels, 1.92 µm with 9-to-1 binning • Much improved light gathering ability
The display is interesting too. The IPS LCD panel is replaced by a 6.5” Super AMOLED display. It offers the same refresh rate of 90 Hz, but the touch sampling rate has been doubled to 360 Hz. This display is also brighter (1,000 nits vs. 600 nits) and gains Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
The phone is equipped with an in-display fingerprint reader and what’s interesting about it is that it can measure your heart rate.
The in-display FP reader is a heart rate monitor too • Thinner, lighter body, same 5,000 mAh capacity
The Realme 9 has a 5,000 mAh battery, the same capacity as its 5G sibling. However, it is thinner, measuring a hair under 8 mm (down from 8.5 mm). The 4G model is 10g lighter at 178g to boot. The phone retains the 3.5 mm headphone jack.
Realme 9 colorways
Besides the Realme 9, today’s event brings a few other devices. This includes the higher end Realme GT2 Pro (which we’ve already reviewed). This phone has a larger 6.7” AMOLED display, an LTPO 2 panel with up to 120 Hz refresh rate, along with QHD+ resolution and Gorilla Glass Victus. The GT2 Pro is in a higher class, clearly.
It is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and has a pair of 50 MP cameras – one big sensor (1/1.56”) for the main camera and a smaller one for the ultra wide (the lens is really, really wide at 150°). The battery capacity is the same at 5,000 mAh, but it charges faster with support for 65W (100% charge in 40 minutes, based on our tests).
Also coming are the Realme Buds Air 3, which impressed us with their capable active noise cancellation when we reviewed them. These are light and comfy, while offering solid battery life.
Realme Buds Air 3 • Realme Smart TV Stick
The Realme Book Prime is also launching today. This 14” laptop has a 2,160 x 1,440 px display, with 400 nits peak brightness and offers 100% sRGB coverage. The laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5-11320H processor (35W, 4-cores, 8-threads, Iris Xe graphics with 96 EU), paired with up to 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB storage. It has a 54 Wh battery (up to 12 hours of battery life with mixed use), and 65W USB-Power delivery (0-50% in 30 minutes). The laptop boasts a Thunderbolt port as well.
Finally, there is the Realme Smart TV Stick if you want to spruce up an existing TV that is lagging behind current smart TV tech. It can output 1080p video at 60 fps and supports HDR10+.
Let’s talk about pricing. The Realme 9 (4G) is launching on April 12 and will cost INR15,999 ($210/€195) for the 6/128 GB variant and INR16,999 ($225/€205) for the 8/128 GB option. Sales will begin at noon at Realme.com, Flipkart, and some offline stores.
The 8/128 GB Realme GT2 Pro starts from INR44,999 ($590/€545) , but users opting for the 12/256 GB version must spend INR52,999 ($700/€640). The launch is scheduled for April 14.
The Realme Book Prime laptop is also arriving next week, April 13, for INR57,999 ($765/€700). The Realme Buds Air 3 are priced at INR3,499 ($46/€42), while the Realme Smart TV Stick is INR2,999 ($40/€35).
During the event, Madhav Sheth, CEO, also revealed that Realme GT2 will arrive in India “soon”, and it will happen at the company’s 4-year anniversary, which is next month.