Samsung may have grabbed the headlines with its Galaxy S22, but with MWC 2022 on the horizon, there are plenty of other contenders for the title of best Android phone. If you’re looking for high-end, low-cost Android, the new Realme 9 Pro and Realme 9 Pro Plus might be the phones for you.

We’re particularly taken with the Realme 9 Pro Plus, which offers a seriously impressive spec for a rock-bottom price: when it launches in March in the UK, it’ll cost £349 (around $470, AU$660). That’s not a lot of money for a lot of phone.

Realme 9 Pro Plus specs and value for money

The first thing you’ll notice is the casing, which changes from blue to red when exposed to direct sunlight. The rest of the device is simpler: a 6.3-inch screen with 1080 x 2400 at 90Hz, a triple camera set with a 50MP main camera (powered by a Sony sensor that’s ideal for shooting in low light), 8 MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro. The selfie shooter is a very respectable 16MP, and you can shoot video at up to 4K and 30fps, or 60fps if you go down to 1080p resolution.

The processor here is the mid-range MediaTek Dimensity 920, which offers similar benchmarks to the iPhone XR and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G – so it’s not exactly state-of-the-art, although it does offers speeds that would have seemed awfully impressive just a few years ago. It’s still good for the price. There’s 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 4,500mAh battery, and 5G. It runs Android 12 with Realme UI on top.

There are some weird differences between the Pro and the Pro Plus. The cheaper Pro gets a faster 120Hz display at 1080 x 2412 resolution, its battery is bigger at 5,000mAh and its best camera is 64MP. The processor is a Snapdragon 695, however, which is about 10% behind the Pro Plus’ MediaTek processor with overall similar battery life. The price difference isn’t dramatic – in the UK it’ll be £50 cheaper – but unless you really want a 120Hz display (and, really, 90Hz is easily good enough), the Pro More faster seems to be the better to buy.