Realme 9i vs Realme 8i: price in India, specifications, and features compared

Is Realme 8i a better buy than the Realme 9i?

Realme launched its latest smartphone in the numbered series, the Realme 9i, in India on Tuesday. The phone is the successor to the Realme 8i, which was launched in September last year. We naturally decided to compare the newly launched Realme 9i with its predecessor to find out what’s different between the two. The main difference is in the choice of CPU, wherein the new Realme 9i now uses a Snapdragon chipset instead of a MediaTek SoC. In our Realme 9i vs Realme 8i comparison, we take a look at the phones’ prices, specifications, and features to see just how different they are.

Realme 9i vs Realme 8i: price in India

The Realme 9i price in India starts at Rs 13,999 for the base variant that comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. The variant with 128GB storage and 6GB RAM is priced at Rs  15,999. As you can see, the pricing is identical to the Realme 8i’s price.

Realme 9i launch timeline
Realme 8i

The Realme 8i also costs Rs 13,999 for the base variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The 6GB/128GB version gets a price tag of Rs 15,999. Realme has not discontinued the Realme 8i yet, so you can still grab it if you feel it offers better value than the Realme 9i. But does it?

Realme 9i vs Realme 8i: specifications, features, and design

Design

You won’t be able to tell any difference between the two when looking at the smartphones from the front. Both the Realme 9i and the 8i features a hole-punch cutout on the front, which is placed on the top left corner. The phones have slim bezels and a small chin at the bottom. The volume buttons are on the left side, whereas the power/fingerprint scanner is on the right side. 

Realme 9i featured
Realme 9i

Turn the phones over and you’ll be able to tell them apart with ease. The rear camera module is the main differentiating design, and so is the rear panel pattern. Both phones use a USB Type-C port for charging, and also offer a headphone jack. 

Processor, RAM, storage

In the hardware department, the RAM and storage options remain the same for both smartphones. You get up to 6GB LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 storage. The phones also feature a microSD card slot for storage expansion up to 1TB. 

The Realme 9i comes equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset, which is a 6nm processor that’s sure to give better efficiency. It’s still an octa-core processor but isn’t as powerful as the chipset found on its predecessor. The Realme 8i features a MediaTek Helio G96 processor, which offers much better gaming performance, higher refresh rate display support, higher resolution camera support, and is a better overall performer. 

Display

Realme 9i

Coming to the displays, the new Realme 9i features a 6.6-inch display that offers FHD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate, 480nits brightness, and 90.8 percent screen-to-body ratio. On the other hand, although the Realme 8i comes with the same 6.6-inch FHD+ panel, it offers a 120Hz refresh rate, 180Hz touch sampling rate, and a higher 600nits brightness. The lower refresh rate on the newer smartphone appears to be a limitation of the Snapdragon 680 chipset. 

Both smartphones feature a punch-hole cutout on the top left corner for the front-facing selfie camera. 

Cameras

The Realme 9i and the 8i feature a very similar triple rear camera setup, however, the placement of the sensors and lenses are different. Both phones come with a primary 50-megapixel sensor, which is accompanied by dual 2-megapixel sensors for macro and depth. For selfies, a 16-megapixel sensor is available on the front of both phones. 

Realme 9i

In our Realme 8i review, we noted that the 50-megapixel primary Samsung sensor keeps a lot of details in the photos, but the colors can be average. You could expect a similar performance from the newer Realme 9i, as it uses the same sensor and we don’t really see any mention of new camera software or features. 

Connectivity

Realme 9i and Realme 8i offer very similar connectivity options. You get dual-band Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, dual-SIM, Bluetooth 5, GPS, a headphone jack, and USB Type-C port for charging/data transfers. 

Battery

Realme hasn’t really changed much in terms of battery capacity between the two phones. Both the Realme 9i and 8i come with a 5,000mAh battery, which should be enough to last a full day or more between charges. However, the newer Realme 9i offers 33W fast charging support compared to the 18W charging speeds on the Realme 8i. You can therefore charge the Realme 9i much faster, and it should also last a couple of hours longer thanks to the more efficient 6nm Snapdragon 680 processor. 

Realme 9i vs Realme 8i: Verdict

Alright, it’s time to get real. The Realme 8i looks better on paper as it gets a higher refresh rate display and a better-performing processor. The MediaTek Helio G96 is just a better chipset when it comes to performance, gaming, and multi-tasking. The only thing the Realme 9i does better is charge the 5,000mAh battery faster thanks to 33W fast charging support. We reckon that you should go for the Realme 8i if you want a faster phone with better gaming performance.