It’s not too far-fetched to say that smartphones offer an added element to a person’s fashion quotient. With a range of manufacturers pushing the envelope to produce unique, eye-catching designs across a variety of segments, your everyday communication gateway also serves as a statement piece — sharing something about you whether you’re snapping a selfie during a party or simply answering a call at work.
If there’s any company that’s really followed this vision through in 2022, it is smartphone giant realme. Post their high-profile launch of GT 2 Pro, the manufacturer recently launched their new head-turner: the all-new 9i 5G.
Most smartphone companies present a short palette of colors to choose from, but the realme Design Studio team takes things one step further with a comprehensive, thematic approach to smartphone aesthetics— one that adopted the lens of a visual designer, and saw their devices showcased at this year’s Paris Fashion Week.
The 9i 5G fuses together two concepts from the past and present of celebrity music culture for its stunning backplate design. Harkening back to the analog era of music distribution, the new unicover body offers a stunning holographic, radial effect that mimics the reflective texture of audio CDs — a stunning hit of nostalgia for anyone familiar with classics from the turn of the century. It isn’t all about nostalgia either, the 9i 5G also pushes the limits of how we define a mid-range handset’s capability in 2022.
Apart from packing an efficient powerhouse in the form of the Dimensity 810 5G chipset, the handset’s 50MP AI-powered triple camera array and the ultra-slim design with a segment-leading 8.1mm further highlight the 9i 5G’s elegant form.
While the ‘Rocking Black’ variant offers a subdued, minimalistic take on this concept, realme also went all out with the contrasting ‘Metallica Gold’ design. Inspired by this year’s ‘Gilded Glamour’ theme at the 2022 MET Gala, realme played their own hand as international trendsetters draped themselves in hues of gold.
Realme’s Design Studio first made waves with a physical location back in 2020, when they opened up a collaborative studio in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A unique investment for realme, the studio was founded with the intention to build upon unique visual concepts, foster collaboration between industry titans, and experiment with the wide variety of materials used in crafting iconic-looking tech from the inside-out.
Since then, the brand’s work with leading contemporary names, such as Naoto Fukasawa and Jose Levy, has built a strong reputation for unlocking the artistic, and visual potential of smartphones. The pursuit of the best designs through constant research and innovation is the backbone of realme’s design philosophy, and the realme Design Studio gives wings to this ideology.
With the 9i 5G, realme continues its goal of redefining the modern smartphone’s aesthetic — adopting new ideas while showcasing them in eye-catching, desirable, and even nostalgic ways, mimicking the evolution of the fashion industry itself across the last several decades.
Perhaps it’s time to leave behind the era of uniform, homogenous black rectangles, and evolve the way we use smartphones — not just as tools to communicate and compute, but also as a bold form of self-expression.
The realme 9i 5G is available from `13,999 onwards and is available in 64GB and 128GB variants.