Is the Realme 9 Pro+ really the best photo smartphone up to 2000 PLN? We check against the iPhone 11.
Some time ago a brand new one fell into my hands Realme 9 Pro+. The transfer of the sample came with the timid suggestion I was dealing with the best photo smartphone in its price range. I like these strong statements – you immediately want to check them in action.
And it turns out that courtesy of x-kom.pl store I had an ideal candidate for comparison at hand: iPhone 11. It is true that it is a somewhat older model, but it is still very popular and voluntarily chosen, incl. precisely because of the quality of photos and videos. And we can buy used art for less than PLN 2,000which coincides with the expected price of Realme 9 Pro+ (at the time of writing, we don’t yet know the official Polish price of the device).
Device specifications – generation gap
Of course, when you compare the camera specs of the two devices, you can see the generation gap at first glance. On board the Realme 9 Pro + we find a modern triple unit. The main module has a resolution of 50 MP. It was coupled with a lens with a focal length equivalent to 24mm for full frame and an f/1.8 aperture. It also has optical image stabilization (OIS). For this we get ultra-wide module with 8 MP resolution and viewing angle 119 degrees and a macro with a resolution of 2 MP.
There are only two “eyes” on the back of the iPhone 11. The main module has a resolution of 12 MP and a lens with a 26mm focal length and an f/1.8 aperture. Here too we can enjoy the benefits of optical image stabilization (OIS). The second module is rather ultra wide angle unit with 12 MP resolution and viewing angle 120 degrees.
Which of them will work better in practice? It’s time to take pictures and find out!
For comparison purposes, I took a series of photos with both cameras in automatic mode and with the default settings. Staffs may be slightly different, but I tried to be as close as possible and keep the same key elements. You can see the photos used for comparison below.
As for the photos taken with the main cameras of the two phones during the day, at first glance, there are no major qualitative differences between themand it is certainly difficult to speak here of an abyss. Either way, we get a crisp, detailed image with a wide tonal dynamic range, which is partly down to HDR mode support.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t visible differences – they’re just not directly related to quality. The fact that both phones have a different choice of white balance is certainly eye-catching. Photos taken with an iPhone tend to be a bit warmerwhile Realme 9 Pro+ leans towards a cooler palette. The angle of view of the two lenses is also slightly different. As the difference in focal length suggests, in the case of Apple equipment, a somewhat narrower frame is obtained.
To find the qualitative difference, you have to look a little closer, although this is a duel “blow for blow”. The main advantage in favor of Realme 9 Pro + is its large high-resolution matrix. The higher the number of photosensitive points, the more detail the camera can potentially capture and you can actually see it in many shots, for example as leaves or blades of grass that are better reproduced.
But even in this category, the iPhone 11 does not give up and often comes out on top. All because in addition to the great matrix Realme 9 Pro+ also uses very strong sharpening. Thanks to this, the photos look better when viewed from a distance, but in close-up it can cause artifacts, for example in the form of jagged edges. Its rival does not have this problem. Apple has opted for a much softer treatment of JPG files, which results in a slightly smoother, but often more pleasing image to receive.
For balance Realme 9 Pro+ is better at mapping detail in frame shadows. Again, however, we are talking about a nuance that, in principle, does not affect the daily use of the camera.
It’s interesting to compare how the two phones handle portraits – and I’m not even talking about the dedicated portrait modes, just photographing people. The iPhone software seems a little better suited to such applications. Lower sharpening effectively reduces skin blemishes, and software’s tendency to warm colors and harden contrast a bit in harsh light is generally beneficial. But Technically speaking, Realme’s photos are better. They’re sharper, more detailed and with natural background blur (the effect of using a large sensor and bright optics), and above all, closer to reality.
The difference is even bigger when you compare the photos taken with the front cameras. Again, the iPhone wins with a warmer, nicer tone, but Realme’s advantage in detail and correct color reproduction is obvious.
After dark, devices start up surprisingly regularly – definitely more than I expected. Privately, I prefer photos taken with Realme 9 Pro+. They’re a bit brighter, thanks to which it’s possible to pick up a bit of extra detail in the shadows, and the phone itself doesn’t run away in auto mode to use long exposure. Of course we have this option in night mode and it gives great results, but you don’t have to use it too often. On the other hand, the phone has a slight tendency to burn the bright parts of the frame, which may seem unfavorable if we have many light sources in the frame.
To balance, photos taken with the iPhone are a bit darker, but lanterns and neon lights retain their natural color. In practice, it is difficult to speak here of a significant qualitative difference, or rather, a different approach. What is better? It’s largely a matter of preference.
Ultra wide angle cameras
For formality, it’s also worth mentioning the ultra-wide-angle camera, although the spec itself suggests the iPhone has an edge. And guess what? I do not lie. Photos taken with an Apple smartphone are sharper, especially near the edge of the frame. They also have better corrected optical defects. Is the difference big? No, but visible to the naked eye.
On the other hand iPhone’s ultra-wide-angle camera has a much bigger drop in quality after dark. One point for Realme, although none of the phones being compared do particularly well under these conditions.
New segment leader up to 2,000 PLN?
Also, moving slowly towards the end of the conclusions, a few appear. First of all, that It is impossible to choose an unequivocal winner from this comparison. Both phones have their own strengths and weaknesses. Where Realme 9 Pro+ has a hardware advantage, the iPhone 11 compensates with highly polished camera software. In effect both phones can take great photos whatever the conditions.
But what does this have to do with the claim that Realme 9 Pro+ is the best photo smartphone in its price segment? Well, let’s start with the fact that it will probably cost less than 2000 PLN. We will buy an iPhone 11 at this price, but… only used. “Nówka” is still an expenditure of around 2,500 PLN in the basic version. Nevertheless, the new Chinese model is in no way inferior to it.
Sure, maybe his “best” slogans are a bit exaggerated – like the laws of marketing – but This does not change the fact that for less than 2000 PLN we get a phone capable of taking photos as well as a representative of the premium segment.. After all, it’s a win – if not for Realme, at least for us as consumers.
Shortly before the article was published, we received confirmation of the official prices of Realme 9 Pro + in the Polish market. We will buy a phone in the 6/128 GB version for PLN1,799while the 8/256 GB variant is a line spend 1999 PLN. This is a very interesting offer, especially since we will be buying more on the occasion of the first 200 PLN cheaper. Just take advantage of the sale that will take place February 23-24, 2022.
The article was prepared jointly with Realme, but the opinions expressed correspond 100% to the private position of the author.
Photo source: own
Text source: Own
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