Over the last few years, OPPO has become a household name in India. The company’s presence in the offline market is beyond question but now the brand is aiming to woo online customers as well. As part of this new strategy, the company has introduced an online-exclusive brand called Realme. The first smartphone from this lineup, called the Realme 1, has just been launched by the company, and we’ve already spent quality time with the handset to understand what it truly offers. To find out if the Realme 1 is actually worth its bucks, read on our detailed review.
Design and Display
Dimensions: 156 x 75.3 x 7.8 mm
Weight: 158 grams
Size: 6.0 Inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2160 pixels
Display Type: IPS LCD
Pixel Density: 402 ppi
Without a shadow of a doubt, the Diamond Black pattern at the back of Realme 1 is an eye-catcher. The glass back is definitely a fingerprint magnet but the handset manages to stand out from the flood of smartphones that feature metallic backs. The Realme 1, despite its large screen size, is easy to hold even with one hand. The volume rocker and power button are conveniently placed on the right side of the handset while the SIM slot is at the left side of the smartphone. The rear camera setup is placed on the top left at the rear and notably, the fingerprint sensor and home button are absent on the Realme 1. The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed beside the bottom-firing speakers and micro-USB charging port.
The Realme 1 comes with a 6-inch FHD+ (2,160 x 1,080 pixel) display with the modern standard aspect ratio of 18:9. The handset features narrow bezels at top and bottom of the display and there is no home button at front, as mentioned earlier. While the display on the smartphone is acceptable in terms of quality, unfortunately, the display’s maximum brightness let us down. In outdoor conditions, we struggled to see the content on the display as the highest brightness levels are nowhere near satisfactory. Otherwise, the colours don’t look oversaturated and the narrow bezels are easy on the eyes. Here’s a closer look at the design.
Primary camera: 13 MP
Flash: LED Flash
Secondary camera: 8 MP
If we talk about optics on the new offering by OPPO, the Realme 1 comes with a single 13-megapixel rear-facing primary camera and an 8-megapixel selfie shooter. In the default camera app, users get various options including the option to shoot time-lapse videos, and clicking pictures with stickers or in panorama and expert modes. In the expert mode, users get to adjust ISO and shutter speed to click pictures. You can click pictures with a timer as well as in HDR mode. In our testing, we found that the handset managed to click decent pictures in outdoor conditions with apt lighting conditions, though the images clicked by both rear and front cameras lacked detail. The pictures clicked by the rear camera seemed soft as soon as we zoomed into them for a closer look. Again low-light pictures looked good as long as we did not zoom into them, for the lack of details.
In conclusion, the Realme 1 offers an acceptable camera performance but based on its performance in our review, we would say that the smartphone did not deliver overly impressive pictures. You can be your own judge by looking at our camera sample gallery right below:
Software and Performance
CPU: Quad core, 2 GHz + Quad core, 2 GHz, MediaTek
GPU: Mali-G72 MP3
RAM: 6 GB
Memory: 128 GB + Up to 256 GB
SIM Slots: Dual SIM , GSM+GSM
Operating System: Android
OS Version: 8.1, Oreo
OPPO’s new smartphone is powered by MediaTek MT6771 Helio P60 processor coupled with 6GB of RAM. As you might have guessed from the specs on paper, the handset packs in a lot of horsepower. The Realme 1 managed to run most apps and games on the Google Play store with ease and even multitasking did not pose any problems for the smartphone. Thanks to OPPO Game Acceleration, the company claims that the handset can optimise the display configuration to fully utilise the hardware resources. However, the best feature that comes along with OPPO Game Acceleration is that users can block banner notifications and sound alerts while playing games. We faced some heating issues while playing particularly demanding games but nothing too concerning.
Overall, the smartphone doesn’t let users down in terms of performance and manages to breeze through most of its way. Moving on to the software, the Realme 1 runs Android 8.1 Oreo-based ColorOS 5.0 out of the box, without too much bloatware. There are plenty of customisable options available for users. Users get an assistive ball, which works just like the Assistive Touch on iOS. The SmartSMS feature extracts key content from the messages, like flight or movie tickets, and displays them as cards to the users.
For security, there is app encryption as well as a personal information protection feature, which prevents an app from getting access to users’ personal information. There is a ‘Nightly Shield’ to prevent eye strain and Clone Apps for those who like to use the same apps with two different accounts on the same handset. As the Realme 1 notably misses out on a fingerprint sensor, the company has offered Face Unlock feature as a solution for unlocking the handset in quick time. In our testing, we found that the facial recognition offered by the handset is lightning quick but not as secure as one might hope. Unfortunately, we were able to unlock the handset with our eyes closed and even with half a face covered with a hand. Needless to say, the passcode is the best security option available on the Realme 1 as of now. However, we would like to add that this feature can be improved by the company with future software updates.
Capacity: 3410 mAH, Li-ion, Non removable
In our HD loop video test, the Realme 1, which houses a respectable 3,410mAh battery, managed to last 15 hours. This test involves running an HD video on loop till the smartphone’s battery percentage drops from 100 percent to 0, and logging the time. As per the performance of the battery, it is safe to say that Realme 1 can easily last a day on a single charge. It is also worth noting that the handset retains battery in an efficient manner in standby mode.
Priced at Rs 13,990 for the 6GB RAM variant, OPPO’s new Realme 1 seems like a handset that could have been a great option in the affordable segment, but falls short slightly, especially in the camera department. As we now have smartphones like Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 Pro (review) and the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (review) in the same price range, we feel that OPPO can sort out some basic shortcomings with the Realme 1, possibly via software updates. The new phone is still worth considering if you’re in the marked for an affordably-priced daily driver that looks stylish and helps you turn heads wherever you go.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Brilliant diamond-cut pattern
- Powerful performance
- Decent battery life
- Camera performance could be better
- Sunlight legibility isn’t too good
- Lacks fingerprint scanner
Photos by Raj Rout