Realme's new trio of devices might rank among the best cheap phones and tablets

Realme 9 5G
(Image credit: Future)

It’s a busy week for phone news, as we’ve already had the Sony Xperia I IV and Google IO 2022, and now Realme is here with a launch of its own, but this one is aimed at the low end of the market.

The company has unveiled the Realme 9, the Realme 9 5G, and the Realme Pad Mini, all of which have temptingly low prices.

Starting with the Realme 9, this is a 4G smartphone with a 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED screen packing a 90Hz refresh rate. It also has a Snapdragon 680 chipset, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 5,000mAh battery with 33W charging.

The camera is a triple-lens one, with a 108MP main sensor, an 8MP ultrawide, and a 2MP macro snapper, and the phone also has a 3.5mm headphone port, and an under-display fingerprint scanner – which can also measure your heart rate.

The Realme 9 comes in a choice of gold, black or white, and it costs just £249 (around £305 / AU$440).

Then there’s the Realme 9 5G, which contrary to the name isn’t just the Realme 9 with added 5G. It does have 5G, but it’s quite different in other ways too, and not all of them are for the better.

It has a 6.6-inch FHD+ LCD screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, a Snapdragon 695 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of storage, and a 5,000mAh battery with 18W charging.

The cameras include a 50MP main sensor backed up by macro and black and white ones, while around the front there’s a 16MP camera, and the phone has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner and a 3.5mm headphone port.

The price for a 128GB model is the same as that of the Realme 9 (£249) and for now that’s the starting price in the UK, as the 64GB model isn’t currently available there.

Finally, there’s the Realme Pad Mini, which is a tablet with an 8.7-inch 1340 x 800 screen, a Unisoc T616 chipset (which is also ably used by the Realme C35), up to 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a microSD card slot, and a 6,400mAh battery with 18W charging.

The rear camera is 8MP and supports 1080p video recording, and the slate is just 7.59mm thick.

There’s no confirmed UK availability for the Realme Pad Mini just yet, but there’s the suggestion that it might land there later this year. In Europe it starts at just 130 euros (roughly £110 / $135 / AU$200), so it’s incredibly cheap. Note however that none of these devices have been confirmed for the US or Australia.

Analysis: these could be among the best cheap phones

Realme has a reputation for delivering excellent smartphones at a low cost, from the Realme 8 5G, which currently sits on our best cheap phones list, to the Realme GT 2, which makes our best smartphones list despite undercutting most other entries.

So there’s every chance the Realme 9 and/or the Realme 9 5G could be future additions to our best cheap phones guide – though we won’t know for sure until we’ve put them through a full review.

Certainly, their specs look reasonable for the money, though since they have the same price as each other, buyers might struggle to choose between them.

The Realme Pad Mini meanwhile is a possible contender for our best cheap tablets guide, though its specs are so basic that we’re less sure of that. Still, it certainly has a low price.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.