Realme 2 is the company’s second phone in India. Earlier this year, Realme made its debut in the country as Oppo’s sub-brand, but later announced that it is now a separate brand. Realme devices compete in the budget segment, where Xiaomi dominates. Huawei’s online-only brand Honor also has a slew of phones in the under Rs 10,000 price bracket like Honor 7A, Honor 7C, and more.
Realme 2 is priced starting at Rs 8,990 for the base storage model, which is exactly the same price as its predecessor for the same storage variant. However, the phone lacks a Full HD+ display, and the processor is now a lower-powered Snapdragon 450, compared to flagship Helio P60 on Realme 1.
Realme 2 is similar to its predecessor in terms of design. It uses a micro USB 2.0 port for charging, which is placed at the bottom alongside a 3.5 mm headset jack. The power button is on the right, while volume rocker keys can be found on the left. I liked that Realme 2 comes with a dedicated microSD card slot in addition to dual nano-SIM card slots. The authentication method for unlocking the phone include a fingerprint scanner as well as face unlock. Here is our review of the Realme 2.
Realme 2 specifications: 6.2-inch HD+ display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor | 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage | 13MP+2MP rear camera | 8MP front camera | 4,230mAh battery | Android Oreo 8.1
Realme 2 price in India: Rs 8,990 for 3GB RAM+32GB storage, Rs 10,990 for 4GB RAM+64GB storage
Realme 2 review: What’s good?
Do not expect many changes on the design front. Realme 2 sports the same diamond-cutting reflection back cover that we saw on Realme 1. The phone looks stylish and sure does stand out in this segment. We got the Diamond Red colour option for review, but ones who find this a bit too flashy can go for Diamond Black or Diamond Blue colour variants.
However, Realme 2 is heavier thanks to a larger 4,230mAh battery, compared to a 3,410mAh on the original phone.
The fingerprint sensor was quick to unlock the phone almost each time I tried. I was impressed with the face unlock feature, as it was quick to open the phone and worked accurately in most scenarios.
The display on Realme 2 is a 6.2-inch HD+ with a notch on top and an aspect ratio of 19:9. This is one of the cheapest phones to offer the notch design, which has a slightly taller aspect ratio and also means more screen real estate.
The display is decent and the viewing angles are also good. In bright outdoors, I had to turn the screen brightness to maximum to use the phone. Thanks to a larger, edge-to-edge display, there was more viewing space and I enjoyed playing games and watching videos.
On the performance front, I would say Realme 2 is a downgrade from Helio P60 processor on Realme 1. The new phone is powered by the Snapdragon 450 processor, and it has been optimised for heavy-duty games such as Asphalt-8 and PUBG. Realme 2 is good when it comes to daily usage, which includes making calls, browsing social media pages, clicking pictures, messaging, etc.
Battery is one of the strengths of Realme 2 as it lasts for a good one and a half day with moderate to heavy usage. I used the phone for playing games, watching videos, making calls, browsing Facebook, etc and the battery refused to die, which is great. The downside is its takes close to three hours for the phone to get fully charged from around ten per cent.
The camera will not disappoint you, especially if one looks at the price. Pictures clicked in bright outdoors look decent have details and I was also happy with the colour reproduction. Those clicked indoors, say inside a mall, also seemed fine, considering the price segment of this device.
Of course, low-light performance is something that a lot of phones struggle with in this price range and Realme 2 is no exception.
The front camera should keep most selfie buffs happy, with pictures that have good colour reproduction, though do not expect much details. Here, I would like to point out that even with Artificial Intelligence (AI) features switched off, the camera tends to brighten and smoothen your face too much, which I did not care for too much.
Realme 2 review: What’s not good?
I was disappointed the phone packs a HD+ and not a full HD+ display like the Realme 1. The icons are not as sharp as on the Realme 1. But a HD+ screen seems okay when one looks at the price segment. Keep in mind that the base variant of Redmi Note 5 starts at Rs 9,999 and the phone sports a full HD+ display.
My advice would be not to play graphics-heavy games on the device as they can slow it down. The phone starts to stutter with multiple tabs open. I experienced lag while opening apps and even while browsing the phone.
Realme 2 is quite slippery and I would recommend a back cover, which will also protect the phone from smudges. The fiberglass back cover tends to pick up fingerprint smudges easily.
A lot of apps have not been optimised for the notch, which was irritating especially while watching videos. Also, there does not seem to be an option to turn off the notch.
Realme 2: Verdict
Realme 2 impresses with its design, battery performance and it is one of the cheapest phones to come with a notched display. Performance is good, I would say, when it comes to daily usage. However, Realme 2 seems like a stripped down version of Realme 1 with a lower-powered processor and HD+ screen.
In terms of processor, Realme 2 is at par with most other similar priced devices on the market like the Honor 7A, Xiaomi Redmi Y2, etc. Realme 2 seems like a good budget option currently, though those willing to spend an extra Rs 1,000 can go for options like Redmi Note 5 or Asus Zenfone Pro Max M1.