First Look

Vibe Check: realme 9 4G

Our eyes are ablaze in awe with this Sunburst Gold colorway!

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realme, the Philippines’ number one smartphone brand for 2021, has continued to deliver innovative technology to the midrange segment.

Its latest offering is the realme 9 (4G), yet another option joining the realme 9 lineup. We’ve got plenty of time to play around with this new smartphone, and our eyes are ablaze in awe with this Sunburst Gold colorway.

Golden like daylight

Hit me like the ray of sun, burning through my darkest night. (Beyoncé, is that you?)

Kidding aside, I like how the realme 9 (4G), especially in its Sunburst Gold and Stargaze White variants, came up with a Ripple Holographic design encompassing its rear body. They look like sand dunes, akin to waves of shining, shimmering gold found by Aladdin.

The design is subtle that when you use a clear case, you’ll think there’s nothing extra about this smartphone. But when you let the light shine on it, it glistens and exudes a beautiful pattern.

Midrange smartphones usually forsake their design language to focus on battery and performance — something that budget-conscious consumers prefer.

But realme is bringing back the charm of its previous smartphones from a few years ago: so beautifully designed you’ll forget they offer these devices at a cut-rate price.

I still fondly remember caressing the realme 5 back in 2019 which, frankly, is the best style that captures realme’s brand and positioning.

It wasn’t experimental; it was something that helped people remember who they are. Its successors played around with new designs, instead of polishing what was already working.

Beautifully designed

Going back to its rear, the realme 9 (4G) has an aesthetically-pleasing camera island, housing its 108MP ProLight Camera powered by a Samsung HM6 sensor, an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera with a 120-degree lens, and a 2-megapixel macro camera.

It has a 16-megapixel selfie camera housed in a punch-hole cutout.

The brand’s logo is seamlessly etched in the lower-left corner.

The bottom side sports the most important stuff: speaker grilles, microphone input, a USB-C port, and a headphone jack. Yey!

Power under that gorgeous hood

Upfront, the realme 9 (4G) sports a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. We appreciate how realme puts a high refresh rate for people who simply want to game because they’re the ones who benefit the most from the feature.

With a Snapdragon 680 chipset and an Adreno 610 GPU, you can play heavy-duty games like Genshin Impact, Call of Duty, and Asphalt 9. It’s the same processor housed in most gaming-oriented budget smartphones for under US$ 300.

But let’s be real: this smartphone is perfect for multitasking and casual, everyday use. Its performance is seamless across different apps, thanks to its 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, which you can expand up to 256GB via a microSD card. More importantly, it offers a Dynamic RAM Expansion (DRE) of up to 5GB if you need extra memory.

It also comes with long-lasting battery life due to its humongous 5000mAh battery. If there’s one thing that stayed consistent in realme’s midrange lineup, it’s the battery that stays with you throughout the day. When you pair it with a 33W Dart Charge, you can get the juice back up in an hour and a quarter.

The new realme UI 3.0 based on Android 12

Watch to your heart’s content

As mentioned before, the realme 9 (4G) uses a Super AMOLED display. Visuals are definitely bright, vivid, and vibrant. It’s easy to watch even under broad daylight since the display delivers up to 1000 nits of brightness.

I remember using realme’s smartphones before and I have to step on a shade while I was in Boracay, simply because their previous devices deliver lower nits.

This time around, the realme 9 (4G) allowed me to watch my comfort shows to my heart’s content. Yes, I kept replaying Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Netflix whenever I’m sad or when I just need something familiar when everything around me is changing.

The realme 9 (4G) has a featherweight, slim body so it doesn’t put a strain on your hands when watching on a smartphone. That’s something to consider when you’re the type of person who keeps watching content while on the go.

Price and availability

The realme 9 (4G) retails for PhP 14,999 with a 6GB/128GB configuration. It’s available in all realme stores nationwide.

Vibe Check!

At a glance, the realme 9 (4G) has an inviting demeanor that makes you want to hold it. The experience is similar to most gaming-oriented budget smartphones, and you’ll have a good time using it for quite a while. But that’s where it ends.

When you factor in the overall experience with the realme 9 (4G), it doesn’t match with its competitors — offering better specifications and experience at the same price range. Some, even lower.

In a short amount of time, the realme 9 (4G) passed our vibe check. It’s worth checking out if you’re badly in need of a smartphone right away for your everyday needs.

But in the long run, being a 4G smartphone doesn’t serve any purpose if you live in a developing city — especially with 5G expanding its rollout and 6G is on the horizon, unveiling in a few years from now.

First Look

realme 9 Pro+ Unboxing and First impressions

All about that Sony IMX766 sensor

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realme 9 Pro+

Just in time as things slowly get back to its former nature with this pandemic, realme releases a combination of smartphones that are packed with serious image capturing devices — the realme 9 Pro and the realme 9 Pro+.

Right now, we will be looking at what the realme 9 Pro+ has to offer.

Once again, the signature yellow realme box

realme 9 Pro+

A warm welcome from the realme family

Some of the accessories, a smoke gray jelly case, SIM ejector pin and manuals

realme 9 Pro+

The 60W SuperDart charger and the USB-C cable

realme 9 Pro+

Here is the shiny realme 9 Pro+ in its classy looking Aurora Green colorway

realme 9 Pro+

At the bottom is the headphone jack, USB-C charging port and speaker grille

realme 9 Pro+

Onto its left is the SIM card slot and the volume rockers

 

realme 9 Pro+

And to the right is the power button

realme 9 Pro+

The realme 9 Pro+ has a 6.4-inch, 90Hz, Super AMOLED display with a punch hole selfie camera on the upper right

realme 9 Pro+

The screen is also home to the under display fingerprint sensor

realme 9 Pro+

A closer look of the cameras wrapped in blue green chrome rings with the OIS labeling

realme 9 Pro+

First Impressions 

What really got me excited with this phone is that it is armed with a Sony IMX766 sensor. It shoots 50 megapixels for its main camera, 8 megapixels ultrawide and 2 megapixels for its macro.

For those unfamiliar with camera sensors, the Sony IMX is what a lot of flagship phones run on. It’s bigger than the usual sensors we’re used to. That means it will capture more light and perform better under difficult lighting situations. This also means it will result in an overall cleaner image. Plus, a bigger sensor will also produce more depth and dimension creating a more desirable output.

I’ve already gone out for a test run with this camera and I am genuinely amazed at the images it can produce. So better watch out for our full review on this one.

Here are some of the samples I took.

Specs and performance

Onto its other specs, this is also equipped with the MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G Chipset, 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage that is all being powered by a 4,500 mAh battery.

A superior chipset to the already great performing Dimensity 900. So expect that this is also a capable performer for day-to-day tasks and will keep us connected with the fastest cellular networks available.

realme 9 Pro+

And judging by our initial testing, swift performance, high refresh rate display and great cameras, this is one snappy feeling phone.

I know you’re probably eager to get your hands on the realme 9 Pro+ to #CaptureTheLight so be sure to tune in to the livestream launch for the realme 9 Pro and realme 9 Pro+ on March 15, 2022 on realme’s official Facebook page.

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First Look

realme 9 Pro Unboxing and First Impressions

A real pro?

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realme 9 pro

realme redefines the midranger again this year with their release of their camera-focused powerful duo — realme 9 Pro and realme 9 Pro+. 

Now, let’s take the realme 9 Pro out of the box and check out what they have in store for us. 

realme 9 pro

 

The phone comes in realme’s signature minimalist yellow box with just their branding. 

realme 9 pro

 

Lifting the lid, you’ll be greeted with a slim yellow box welcoming you to the realme family.

realme 9 pro

This contains the jelly case that comes with it, SIM ejector tool and manuals.

Removing those from the box, you’ll be greeted by the phone. 

And underneath it, you’ll see the rest of the accessories such as the 33W Dart Charger and USB-C Cable.

realme 9 pro

Out of the box, you’ll see the unit that we got came in the Aurora Green varian. It looks pretty dazzling. 

realme 9 pro

At its left side, you’ll find the volume rockers. 

realme 9 pro

While on the right, you can find the power button that also doubles as a fingerprint scanner. 

realme 9 pro

Then at the bottom, you’ll find the 3.5mm audio jack even if there weren’t any earphones that came with the phone. You’ll also find the USB-C port and speaker grille beside it. 

The realme 9 Pro is powered up with a 5000mAh battery and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor with 8GB of RAM + 5GB Dynamic RAM along with 128GB of internal storage. 

With this chipset, the realme 9 Pro is a 5G capable smartphone that delivers an ultra-fast all around performance. 

First Impressions 

realme 9 pro

Out of the box, the first thing you’ll notice is its pretty design. Especially the back part where you can see a sparkling streak of light that resembles photos of how outer space looks like. Without touching it, it looks like it’s made of glass but it’s actually made of plastic. 

realme 9 pro

Bezels are pretty thin for this phone’s 6.6-inch FHD+ LCD Display except for the bottom bezels that’s a bit thicker. 

I tried browsing through webpages for a quick test run and I quickly noticed how ultra smooth the experience is thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate. With its adaptive technology, every swipe and scroll feels more instant and responsive. 

realme 9 pro

Now onto its cameras. The phone packs a 64MP Nightscape Camera, an 8MP 119° Super-wide Lens, a 2MP Macro Lens and a 16MP Selfie Camera. 

Camera samples

I took the phone out for a photowalk and enjoyed it thoroughly. The realme 9 Pro produced really amazing shots, especially with its Street Photography Mode and its filters. I’m actually thrilled at how I can maximize the camera’s capabilities for my content creation. 

With its early indications, I can say that this is a pretty badass midranger. To know more about the features of the realme 9 Pro and realme 9 Pro+, watch out for our review. Find out whether these power duo can really #CaptureTheLight. 

Also, don’t forget to tune in to the realme livestream launch on March 15, 2022 at 6PM on realme’s official Facebook page. 

 

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Convenient Smart Home

This is not your usual projector

It’s the Samsung Freestyle

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Samsung’s Lifestyle TV lineup is already diverse as it is. But it’s expanding even further by adding The Freestyle. 

What exactly is The Freestyle? Samsung fancies calling it “not a projector, not quite a TV, but an entirely new type of device.” And it’s true, to a certain extent. There’s certainly nothing like it.

In terms of how it showcases images — both moving and otherwise — it has most in common with a projector. But it’s also running the same Tizen OS and interface found on Samsung Smart TVs. And most importantly, it’s super compact. 

Tiny and light

진짜?

It’s hard to really show a gauge of it’s actual size, but here it is side-by-side with the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Now, Samsung’s latest flagship is quite the chonker, but for it to be close to size with The Freestyle when viewed like this is a testament to lifestyle product’s tiny-ness. 

If you’re curious, here’s the actual measurement of The Freestyle: 4” x 6.8” x 3.75”. To boggle your mind even further. It weighs less than a kilogram, 0.83kg to be exact. And that’s with the lens cap on!

Maximum portability

It’s tiny form factor makes it the kind of device that you can take with you wherever you go. It even has accessories for any outdoors plan you may have. These include a Carrying Case that almost makes it look like a water jug, a Battery Bank for extended outdoor sessions, and many more. 

That portability also translates indoors. You can prop it up in any room in your house with a blank wall. Plug, place, and play. 

 A projector? A TV?

Park Min-young in Forecasting Love and Weather 😍

The Freestyle falls under Samsung’s lifestyle TV category where you’ll find products like The Sero, The Serif, and The Frame. These are all fresh takes on what a usual Smart TV is. And The Freestyle falls perfectly in that category. 

Essentially, it is a projector. But in terms of smart technology and design, it’s certainly more than that. You still need to place it in a room with a blank, flat surface so it can project the content. But what The Freestyle does is eliminate all the hassle usually associated with projectors. 

Instead of having to calibrate the image, The Freestyle smartly does it on its own. No need to worry about the picture looking squeezed, smushed, or overextended. The screen size is dynamic. It can go from 30” to 100” at 1080p resolution.

You also have access to the same version of Tizen OS found on other lifestyle TVs — specifically the Tizen 6.0 with the new 2022 Smart Hub. This lets you project not just Netflix shows and YouTube videos, but also some artwork or false window scenes. 

For audio, it has an eARC port and supports 5W (360) sound. I don’t have the exact measurements of the room where it was demonstrated, but it was large enough to comfortably hold about 20 people. Even then, The Freestyle was able to fill the room with its sound. Safe to say, it won’t leave you wanting in the volume and clarity department. 

Accessories and more

We already mentioned the Carrying Case and Battery Bank which are sold separately. Other accessories include a Bulb Socket and Freestyle Skins that come in three colors: Forest Green, Blossom Pink, and Coyote Yellow. 

There’s also a lens cap that comes with the box. Speaking of things that come in the packaging, you get this sleek-looking remote control.

 

Aside from the usual navigation dial and volume control buttons, there are also dedicated buttons for streaming apps Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime. It relies on Infrared (IR) technology instead of bluetooth so you have to know where you place The Freestyle to make it work. 

Price and availability 

The Freestyle retails for PhP 54,999. Pre-order period is from March 14 to April 17, 2022.

Samsung is holding a pre-registration raffle where users can win one of five Samsung The Freestyle units. It’s happening from February 14 to March 13, 2022. Details of the raffle are available in the link below:

Pre-register here. 

 

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