“Does the newly-launched Realme 1 have enough firepower to beat the Redmi Note 5 Pro?”

Anyone who follows the smartphone market in India would know how serious OPPO is for the country. The brand has spent heavily on advertising, and has churned out one good smartphone after another in recent times. But this time, what we’re up for is a new sub-brand from OPPO called Realme. The sub-brand has marked its debut with the launch of the Realme 1 smartphone. The Realme 1 directly takes on the big gun in its segment, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (review) – a smartphone that has been extremely popular, but one that’s quite hard to acquire. In case you’re wondering how the two smartphones differ on paper, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started.

Design and display

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The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro is a decent-looking device with its metal back and vertically placed dual cameras. The fingerprint scanner is placed at the back, while the front comes with minimal bezels around the display. On the other hand, Realme promises to shift away from the generic metallic smartphone design by offering a unique “Diamond Black” variant. The back is still flat, yet the “Diamond Black” variant of the smartphone gets a unique design on the rear to offer a bit of differentiation. If you’re looking for a fingerprint scanner on the Realme 1, you’re out of luck as the smartphone opts for face unlock instead of a traditional fingerprint sensor.

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In terms of display, the Realme 1 comes equipped with a 6-inch FHD+ panel, while the Redmi Note 5 Pro also utilises a similar 5.99-inch FHD+ canvas. Both displays come with the newer 18:9 aspect ratio along with curved corners.

Processor, RAM and storage

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Under the hood, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro comes powered by a Snapdragon 636 processor, coupled with 4GB or 6GB of RAM depending upon the variant. In comparison, the Realme 1 opts for a MediaTek MT6771 Helio P60 SoC, aided by 3, 4 or 6GB of RAM. In terms of storage, the Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with 64GB of internal memory, while the Realme 1 offers 32GB, 64GB or 128GB depending upon the variant. That said, both smartphones do come with the option of memory expansion through microSD cards.

Software and battery

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When it comes to the software, the Redmi Note 5 Pro boots Android 7.1.2 Nougat out of the box with MIUI on top. Xiaomi’s MIUI has come a long way over the years and has gradually become one of the more refined Android-based platforms from Chinese manufacturers. On the other hand, the Realme 1 runs ColorOS 5 based on Android 8.1 Oreo.

Talking about the battery capacities, the Redmi Note 5 Pro gets the upper hand in this department with its 4,000mAh battery, which is way more powerful than the 3,410mAh battery found inside the Realme 1.

Camera

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The Redmi Note 5 Pro is the first smartphone in the brand’s Note series to make use of dual rear cameras. It does so with its 12MP + 5MP primary camera setup, which proved to be quite capable in our review. In contrast, the Realme 1 uses a single 13MP rear camera, but the brand has tinkered with software to include a depth mode for better portrait shots.

At the fascia, the Redmi Note 5 Pro goes all guns blazing with a 20MP selfie snapper. In comparison, the Realme one opts for an 8MP front shooter. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. Which brings us to…

The power of AI

The Realme 1 bets big on AI. Not only does the Helio P60 facilitate the use of artificial intelligence, but the company has utilised the technology to tweak quite a few areas of the smartphone. These include battery management, which supposedly manages the battery use intelligently to ensure long-lasting performance. Moreover, the brand has also used AI to enhance the photos and selfies you click using the smartphone.

Pricing and availability

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With the recent change in pricing, the 4GB RAM variant of the Redmi Note 5 Pro has become dearer by Rs 1,000, and is now priced at Rs 14,999. That said, the 6GB RAM variant is still priced at Rs 16,999. Despite being available both online and offline at Mi stores, the Redmi Note 5 Pro has so far been difficult to buy due to limited stocks. Meanwhile, the Realme 1 has been launched by the company as an Amazon exclusive at a price of Rs 8,990 for the 3GB / 32GB variant and Rs 10,990 for the 4GB / 64GB variant. The 6GB / 128 variant will cost Rs 13,990.

Closing thoughts

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With Realme, OPPO is trying to solve one of the biggest issues with its devices – pricing. Not only is the Realme 1 very competitively priced, but it is also backed by some impressive hardware and software. The smartphone may not be able to turn the tables on the Redmi Note 5 Pro, but it can certainly eat away some of the market share of its younger sibling, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, specially with the aggressive pricing.

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