Realme debuts the 9 Pro series in India with a flagship camera and up-to-date 5G processors
Realme has made its new 9 series of affordable smartphones official today (February 16, 2022) in India. Accordingly, the brand has now effectively confirmed that it seems to have replaced the vanilla 9 with a new Pro+ variant. It and its closest sibling, the successor to the 8 Pro, are quite similar in terms of looks, yet have some differences that might prove important to their potential buyers.
For example, the 9 Pro and Pro+ have nearly identical rear panels, finished in the same colors (Sunrise Blue, Aurora Green and Midnight Black) and "Light Shift" finish, which confers a slight chameleonic (and also glittery) effect on their glass backs.
The 2 phones also have the same camera hump, which have f/2.2 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP "4cm" macro lenses in common. However, where the 9 Pro has an arguably dated 64MP main shooter, the 9 Pro+ has the 50MP Sony IMX766 with OIS instead.
Therefore, Realme almost inevitably asserts that the newer variant offers improved low-light performance, portraits and autofocus, not to mention tricks such as hyper-lapses; "Smart Long Exposure"; Tilt Shift and AI noise reduction.
On the other hand, the 9 Pro will ship with the larger rear panel, as it also has the larger screen. Its 6.6-inch FHD+ panel also has a 120Hz refresh rate, as opposed to the 90Hz of the 6.4-inch 9 Pro+. Then again, the latter has an AMOLED display whereas that of the Pro is LCD.
The former is driven by one of MediaTek's latest 5G SoCs, the Dimensity 920, whereas the 9 Pro has a 6nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 695. These processors will be kept on with 4,500mAh and 5,000mAh batteries respectively - however, Realme has reserved higher-end 60W SuperDart charging for the 9 Pro+, leaving its Pro counterpart with older 33W tech.
The brand claims that a 9 Pro or Pro+ could be described as up to 13GB RAM phones; however, this is just because of the "Dynamic RAM Expansion" (DRE) feature baked into the phones' build of Realme UI 3.0 based on Android 12, which can cause up to 5GB of their UFS 2.2 fixed memory capacity to act as "extra RAM".
Both new 9 Pro variants actually come out of the box as 6 to 8GB SKUs with 128GB storage options, with an 8/256GB configuration exclusive to the Pro+.
The 9 Pro is now slated to start at INR 17,999 (~US$240) on its February 23 release to Realme.com/in, Flipkart or selected offline retailers in India. The 9 Pro+, on the other hand, will do so from INR 24,999 (~$335) on February 21 via the same vendors.
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