Budget phones are a hectic and vibrant market where it's not easy to stand out. What has Realme done right? Or wrong? Seems they have made a few strides forward and a few steps back.
Build and display
Yellow is a happy colour and their packaging is all that minimalism solid colour for an upmarket treatment. The phone has some good features to start with. Super AMOLED display and a sleek form give it visual appeal. However, the 60Hz refresh rate doesn't quite cut it these days when competitors are busy giving more. Makes you wonder why the 7 Pro goes to 60Hz when the regular 7 offers a 90Hz display. You wonder why because the previous Realme 6 also offered high refresh rates. That's because Realme asked users about their preference between 60Hz OLED and 90HZ LCD. People chose the former.
Here's why it matters and the lower refresh rate is not a deal-breaker. The 6.4-inch Super AMOLED has a resolution of 2,400 x 1,080 (411PPI) and a 98% NTSC colour gamut coverage. That makes for a brilliant display with accurate colours and absolute black blacks making it quite a big deal especially at this price point. Then there's the on-screen fingerprint scanner.
It has a plastic back in two tons of matt blue and a quad-camera placement in the top left. While plastic doesn't scream premium, it pays dividends in being lightweight and easy to carry all day. The matt finish looks cool while avoiding fingerprints.
It's powered by a Snapdragon 720G chipset which serves in many other budget phones. The octa-core chipset built on the 8nm process is paired with the Adreno 618 GPU and supported by 8GB FRAM. The 720G is a very capable and reliable chipset in this range. It consistently outperforms similar devices by competitors in single-core and multi-core performance.
Loading games, switching between web pages and applications is a smooth transition. While the GPU proves average it does run all the games you can throw at it. Although graphics-heavy titles like PUBG and COD will suffer from lower frame rates at high settings. Will you stutter? No, but you won't get the max pretty scenery.
This is a terrific phone if you watch a lot of videos. It is rare to see phones with stereo speaker setups even in many high-end phones. You get two speakers top and bottom which are not necessarily high on clarity but are adequately loud.
The Pro has an upgrade over the previous unit at 4,500mAh. A unique feature is the 65W fast charging, making it the fastest charging phone at this price point and above. 35 minutes from empty to full. The lower refresh rate of the screen has surely helped keep battery consumption low while the Snapdragon chipset also helps. While you get a day's usage easily, what's really important is the quick top-up should you run low on juice.
Realme 7 Pro has a 64MP main camera featuring f/1.8 Sony IMX682 image sensor. It did give up the telephoto lens that was on the 6 Pro. An 8MP ultra-wide lens manages a surprising amount of detail which you usually forgo in wide lenses on phones. The other two are both 2MP units serving as a macro (with f/2.4 aperture) and depth sensor respectively. Testing macro on fine decals on car models, it did an average job of capturing details despite the software tendency to smooth over grain. A little low on light and blur creeps in.
The main camera takes very good shots though. Colour is neutral for most instances though HDR amps up the saturation a bit too much. You might actually like it though. Contrast is very good while details are well preserved at the expense of keeping some grain. Low light photography is also very good while focusing takes a split second to target. There's plenty of shooting modes to play with including astrophotography, many night filters, ultra-steady video, night filters, portrait mode and AI colour portrait video to name a few.
Selfies are taken via 32MP f/2.5 unit, excellent for social media uploads. I like how it manages strong lighting from the background and still manages to show everything without blowing out the highlights.
Video capture can be done with the main camera and ultrawide with the former capable of shooting 4K at 30fps although detail is below average. You're better off shooting at 1080p at either 30 or 60fps.
You get Android 10 Realme's UI overlay offering lots of customization options with everything from unique icons to themes.
You get a very capable mid-range device with a good battery, very fast charging, stereo speakers, surprisingly good photography (not macro though) and a beautiful AMOLED screen. A 3.5mm headphone jack is there if that's still a thing. Those are the pros. Cons would be if the refresh rate is a big deal for you. And that's it/ It looks good, performs well, handles tasks smoothly. It's a great everyday device capable of casual gaming also. Realme made some tradeoffs to make way for some improvements. While they have been releasing a steady flow of capable lower mid-tier performers, the 7 Pro is where it finally hits the mark.
Photos: Ehsanur Raza Ronny