Realme has been in Indian for under seven months, but has managed to carve a space for itself. Realme’s parent company is Oppo, though for branding, marketing and product design purposes the former operates separately. However, Realme is relying on Oppo for its production lines and also uses the ColorOS software, which is found on its parent company’s phones.
Realme claims to have sold close to 3 million phones in India since its launch. A Counterpoint Research study has also noted that Realme was among the top three smartphone brands in India during the recent Diwali sales.
Data from Counterpoint says Realme captured 9 per cent market share during this period, and was the second largest in the online segment with 18 per cent share.
The latest phone from the brand is the Realme U1, which combines good specifications at an affordable price, and starts at Rs 11,999. The 4GB RAM variant will cost Rs 14,999.
Realme U1 is part of the brand’s selfie-focused series of phones, and here’s what we thought after using it for a few days.
Realme U1: Design, Display
There are clearly some benefits given Oppo is the parent company of Realme. It shows in the design quality, and for its price is impressive. Realme U1 continues with the waterdrop notch design in the display, which is less intrusive. We have also seen a similar display on flagships like Oppo R17 Pro, and the recently introduced OnePlus 6T.
Realme U1’s display size is 6.3-inches with a full HD+ resolution of 2340*1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. Realme U1 sports a polycarbonate body, which does help keep the phone light, despite its big 6.3-inch display.
However, Realme has added a 2.5D glass on both sides of the phone, which makes it look more glossy. That also means more smudges on the device and a cover is recommended, since it can be slippery. The company is packing a standard case in the box as well.
The phone comes in three colour options: Black, Blue and Gold and it does manage to stand out in the budget segment. The display quality is impressive so far, and it is bright enough to make most video-watching experiences enjoyable. The colours are not washed out either, which can be a problem on some of the lower budget phones.
Realme U1 Performance, Battery
Realme U1 sports the MediaTek Helio P70 octa-core and comes in two RAM and storage variants: there’s the 3GB RAM + 32GB and 4GB RAM + 64GB with up to 256GB expandable storage support. So far, the phone’s performance has been smooth, and it did score around 1,44,231 for us in the Antutu benchmark tests.
This puts it above rivals like the Redmi Note 6 Pro and Honor 8X. Of course, benchmarks never tell the complete story, but the phone has managed to handle games like Asphalt 9 smoothly with no noticeable lag.
We are yet to run the device through a complete battery of tests, but there is no heating or other issue that we faced. Multi-tasking does not appear to be a problem. Keep in mind we have the 4GB RAM variant for review.
The phone sports a 3500 mAh battery on board, which lasted a day, but that’s with minimal usage. Realme U1 comes with a standard micro-USB port at the bottom, and takes close to two hours to get fully charged.
Realme U1: Camera
The Realme U1 comes with a 13 MP + 2 MP rear camera, and a 25MP front camera. The rear camera supports Portrait mode, where you can create a shallow depth of field. However, the front camera does not appear to have a Portrait mode support. The camera app does seem a bit cluttered, and a cleaner UI would have been better.
The rear camera does deliver, even if the details aren’t very sharp in low-light. The colours are bright, and the image quality in HDR mode is excellent, if one keeps the price of the phone in the mind.
The selfie camera’s beauty mode will appeal to those who like to make a lot of tweaks to their pictures, though I found the AI feature aggressive when it came to the colours, which are over-saturated. Still the 25MP camera will keep selfie buffs happy with the results.
Realme U1: Competition
Realme U1 is a direct competitor to the newly launched Redmi Note 6 Pro and the Honor 8X. The price of the phone, coupled with its performance and features make it a viable alternative to the Xiaomi device, which tends to enjoy a lot more hype. For now, this looks like a promising phone, with very little to fault.