By: Rohan Pal, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : May 15, 2018 1:24 pm
The Realme smartphone comes loaded with a unique and premium design coupled with interesting specs at a price point which is the sweet spot for smartphones. So, the question here is: Will it shake up the phenoms in the budget segment? Let's find out.
Poor outdoor visibility
No fingerprint sensor
Oppo has finally announced its first sub-brand for the Indian market. Dubbed as Realme, the brand is destined to challenge the ‘Pros’ of the budget segment. For Oppo, Realme 1 isn't just the first of a possible series to take on the dominance of Xiaomi and others. It is also playing catchup in the online segment, which is growing fast, although it is still just over 30% of the total market size.
The Realme 1 comes loaded with a unique yet premium design coupled with interesting specs sheet at a price point, which attracts maximum users. The smartphone comes with a price tag of Rs 13,990 for 6GB RAM and 128GB storage option, Rs 10,990 for 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage variant and Rs 8,990 for the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage option. So, the question here is: Whether it will be able to take on the Phenoms of the budget segment? Let's find out.
This phone has a fibreglass body with a Diamond-like finish at the back, a look that really works for us. There are 15 tangent planes carved on the back body which reflect different shades of black when viewed from different angles. The all-black looks definitely work in favour of the device and slightly curved edges make it easier to hold in hands. However, the back attracts some smudges, though it is as visible as we have seen in many other glass backs. That said, this phone is high on style quotient and it is definitely a head-turner.
Coming to the performance, the Realme 1 is powered by octa-core MediaTek Helio P60 processor. The phone packs in 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 128GB via micro SD card slot. Let's face it, the Realme 1 specs sheet is impressive and so it manages to do pretty much everything you ask of it in a day to day ops. Be it daily usage or multitasking, we felt no lag and the whole experience was pretty much smooth and you can thank the 6GB RAM for that. The 128 GB storage means you will have plenty of space for your photos, videos, apps and more.
On the gaming front, the phone handles most of the casual games like a Pro and demanding games like PUBG Mobile ran smoothly with medium-level graphics. Further, the overheating issue was minimal in our testing.
The Realme 1 does come with some host of smart features that makes the whole experience much smoother. The one thing we like about the phone was the fact whenever you are watching a movie or playing games and someone calls, it will be shown as a banner on the top of the screen so that you attend the call without exiting the game or other things. Secondly, there is a gaming mode which enhances the gaming experience on this smartphone. Then another smart feature we like on this smartphone was the ability to copy the OTP directly from the notification panel, which comes handy on multiple occasions.
All these goodies on the Realme 1 are fueled by a 3410 mAh battery, which in our testing easily lasted more than a day with normal usage. Under power usage which included answering some calls, texting, browsing Facebook, streaming videos, playing games at regular intervals and more, the phone still manages to last almost a day.
The smartphone comes loaded with a 6.0-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD display with a screen resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels. Though the display comes with some narrow bezels and colour output is decent, the outdoor visibility struggles on this smartphone.
The brightness is an issue and this is especially noticeable when you go outside. Reading or performing some tasks become a tad difficult task when you are using the phone in outdoor lighting conditions, which sometimes leaves you frustrated.
The Realme 1 features a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash. For the front, there is an 8-megapixel sensor for selfies and video calling. Though the selfie mode does a good job in most of the light conditions and some its features like stickers works just fine, but the beauty mode is frankly an overkill. It makes you more a case for those scammy before and after fairness complexion ads!
Coming to the rear camera, the colours came out to be pretty washed out and the detailing was missing in some photos we clicked in broad daylight. However, there is a Super Vivid mode in the camera, which increases the saturation levels. The low light performance is also quite average with photos coming out to be noisy and grainy when the lights are scarce.
Despite sporting some really helpful smart features, the ColorOS 5.0, which is based on Android 8.1.0 Oreo, is, let's say, complicated. The user interface is quite complex in our opinion as for each setting we have to thoroughly search the Settings menu. There is no option to go to shortcuts right from the home screen—the settings you get when you long press on the home screen to get wallpapers, widgets and different settings. Secondly, we felt the UI is over-optimising the smartphone.
So, for example, if you have opened different apps and then start using one app. After a while, all the apps from the recent menu will vanish and the current app you are using stays. This is frustrating at times as it seriously hinders the multi-tasking experience. Thirdly, the apps are placed randomly and not alphabetically, which makes it difficult to scroll to find the right app. Thankfully, the brand has given a search option, which can be accessed by swiping down anywhere from the screen, to look for the desired app.
The fingerprint sensor has now become a hygiene factor for the smartphone manufacturers and it is surely one of the most-used options in any device. However, in case of the Realme 1, there isn’t one. The phone solely relies on Face Unlock feature, which in our testing works fast when the lights are ample in the environment. But when the lights are not that well lit, the face unlock simply fails. This is where you feel that the fingerprint sensor would have been handy, and one really has to wonder about the logic of doing away with it altogether. Bad idea.
To conclude, the first smartphone from Realme has its fair share of hits and misses. The smartphone is high on style quotient and the performance of the device is pretty impressive. The smart features make our daily life easier and the battery backup is quite good. On the downside, the phone is marred with poor outdoor visibility and lack of fingerprint sensor does bother you.
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