Realme touts the new 9i as a budget smartphone with leveled-up power
Some Realme fans might already have noticed that the new 9 series of smartphones has launched in the absence of a true vanilla variant; the OEM has unveiled an all-new Pro+ version instead. Nevertheless, it has produced a direct successor for the 8i, which it backs as having "next-level power" by comparison.
This new tagline seems mostly based on a potentially important charging upgrade for the 9i: it has the same 5,000mAh battery as its predecessor, yet now charges at the same 33W of the 9 Pro rather than the standard 18W rate of yesteryear. This extra charging speed goes well with the new Snapdragon 680 processor, as opposed to the 12nm Mediatek Helio G96 of the 8i.
The display that benefits from these on-paper enhancements is a 6.6-inch 20:9 FHD+ LCD panel - just like that of the 8i. However, Realme has bumped its refresh rate down from 120Hz to 90Hz in 2022; furthermore, its typical brightness is now 480 nits, whereas the 8i could go closer to 600. It may be too early to say, but it looks like this decision might have been made to drive some customers to the 9 Pro instead.
The 9i's rear cameras are even the exact same as those of the previous generation, even if they are found in a new camera hump to match the rest of its brand's updated style thus far.
Realme has thrown Dynamic RAM Expansion into the Android 11-based new phone's package, at least; then again, it is only found in its 6GB RAM top-end SKU, theoretically boosting this spec as high as 11GB. Then again, that also applied to the 8i anyway.
The 9i is, at least, available to buy in India direct from its OEM right now, whereas the 9 Pro and Pro+ are not. It starts at INR 13,999 (~US$187 - and, again, just like the 8i before it!) for a 4GB RAM/64GB SKU.