Updated: April 15, 2020 12:36:06 pm
“6 is the new Pro”. Even before Realme launched its latest series, it insisted that the Realme 6 will be a successor to the Realme 5 Pro and not the Realme 5. It means that the specifications of the Realme 6 are a big upgrade over its predecessor, though the price tag is also higher compared to the previous offering. Initially, I took it as some sort of marketing gimmick, but when I used the Realme 6 as my daily driver, I did feel like I was using what could have been the Realme 6 Pro.
Here is my review of the Realme 6 smartphone, which is divided based on its design, display, overall performance, cameras, and battery.
Realme 6 price: Rs 12,999 for 4GB/64GB, Rs 14,999 for 6GB/128GB, Rs 15,999 for 8GB/128GB
Realme 6 specifications: 6.5-inch FHD+ 90Hz punch-hole screen | MediaTek Helio G90T processor | 64MP+8MP+2MP+2MP quad-rear camera setup | 16MP front camera | 4300mAh battery | 30W fast charging | Android 10
Realme 6 review: How’s the design?
The Realme 6 sports a beautiful design that will want you to take it out of your pocket just to look at it. I usually prefer clean-looking back like the ones at the Realme X2 Pro and the Realme X50 Pro, but the comet design on the glass back of Realme 6 doesn’t leave space for complaints. Both the Comet Blue and Comet White colour models look super cool and premium.
When I saw the Realme 5 lineup, it gave me an impression of an unpolished product– something that was built hastily. Thankfully, the build of Realme 6 is refined, polished, and looks like designed with ample time on hand. The curved back ensures better handling and the volume rockers + power button are within the reach.
Also, the volume rocker doubles as fingerprint-scanner. Some people don’t like side-mounted fingerprint sensors but in my view, it is the best position to place the scanner. Just enrol both your index fingers and thumbs to utilise it to its maximum potential.
Realme 6 review: How’s the display?
Coming to the front, the Realme 6 sports a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with a punch-hole in the top left corner. I was relieved to see Realme ditching the dew-drop notch after putting it on every single one of their 2019 offering (Realme X is an exception).
The Full HD+ display has good brightness levels– enough to let you use messaging apps outdoors during the day. The screen produces vibrant colours and the viewing angles are brilliant. There is no shimmering or changing of colours, even if you look at the screen from an angle close to 180-degree.
The best part about the display is its 90Hz refresh rate. The subtle smoothness is noticeable when you scroll through the user interface or your Insta-feed. It also makes gaming sessions more enjoyable but we’ll come to that later in the review. If you want to feel the smoothness whenever you unlock the phone, just set the blue Live Wallpaper from the list of default options.
The only problem I have with the screen is its size. I don’t know why smartphone manufacturers are hell-bent on making phones with bigger displays when the smartphones are supposed to fit in our pockets. The 6.5-inch screen size could have been 6.0 and things could have been simpler. You cannot use the Realme 6 with one hand and even though gestures make it easier to navigate, sometimes you are required to touch the upper part of the screen, for which you have to use the other hand.
Realme 6 review: What about performance and gaming?
The Realme 6 is powered by the MediaTek Helio G90T processor– the same chipset which powers Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 8 Pro smartphone. This chipset is every bit as good– and definitely better than the Snapdragon 712.
I had the 8GB RAM model of the Realme 6 and it could handle day-to-day tasks like using social media, listening to music, and watching videos quite easily. Even with my extensive usage, the phone did not stutter a bit while switching between apps, editing photos, opening webpages in multiple-Chrome tabs, and more. The usage experience always stayed smooth.
Since MediaTek G90T is a gaming processor, it shines in the gaming department as well. I had the 8GB RAM model and it could play PUBG Mobile at HDR graphics with Ultra frame rates. The game doesn’t lag, doesn’t stutter, and frame drops are so minimal that you will not even notice it’s there. The temperature of the phone does rise a bit after 20 minutes of gameplay, but it stays at the same level even after an hour.
Notably, the base model of the phone with 4GB RAM doesn’t support HDR + Ultra Mode, so if you really want to enjoy heavy graphics games, you’ll have to shell out more than Rs 12,999.
Realme 6 review: How is the user interface?
Realme has improved its UI a lot since last year. The phone runs Android 10 with a customised Realme skin over Color OS 7. I hated the shape and size of the icon the most on Color OS but this time around, you can actually change icon size and style. There is an option to change the font of the interface and the new somatosensory features like “auto ear pickup calls” and “auto-switch to ear receiver” are quite handy. It’s good to see App Lock, Kids Mode, and Private Safe on the phone.
One negative aspect of the UI is that most of the wallpapers, icon packs, fonts, and themes are paid. Also, there is a new thing to hate on the OS– there are ads and you see one every time you install a new app. In 2019, during the launch of Realme 3, Realme CEO Madhav Sheth said, “We sell phones, not ads.” It was meant as a jibe at Xiaomi for showing ads in their phones, but both are now on equal grounds.
Realme 6 review: How is the camera?
Realme 6 features a quad-rear camera setup carrying a primary 64MP camera sensor clubbed with an 8MP ultrawide-angle lens with 119-degree field of view, a 2MP B&W portrait lens, and a 2MP macro lens with 4cm focus. On the front, the phone features a 16MP selfie camera.
In daylight, Realme 6 captures beautiful pictures that are vibrant yet colour accurate. The images carry good amount of details, the exposures are nice, and I loved the dynamic range. The blue sky in the landscape shots looks too good and even when the subject is close to the camera, the background doesn’t get washed out. The 64MP sensor clicks 16MP shots by default and while there is an easy-access option for 64MP, I’ll recommend using the default mode only because the pictures turn out a bit shaky otherwise.
With all of its positives, the Realme 6 struggles to focus on a subject when it’s too close to the camera. Even if you try to focus by tapping on the screen, it struggles– and that has led to some problems with portrait shots and completely ruining the macro mode.
While clicking portraits pictures, if you are not being careful, the camera might shift focus away from your subject. Apart from that, portrait shots turn out quite nice. The edge detection is on the point and you can shoot pictures with natural-looking depth.
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Since there is no manual mode to switch to macro mode, the camera automatically switches to ‘macro’ when you are too close to a subject– and there lies the problem. It’s already hard to point focus on a subject close to the camera and when you go too close to the subject for that macro shot, the camera refuses to focus altogether. It starts to feel like there is no macro mode.
The ultrawide-angle shots taken by the Realme 6 are not as good as shots taken by the primary camera sensor, but it doesn’t mean it is bad. While the ultrawide-angle images do not carry as much details, these pictures are rich in colour and have equally nice dynamic range– something I did not expect.
The selfie camera on the Realme 6 doesn’t impress. When the lighting is ample, it takes good pictures but starts to struggle in low light. One thing I noticed in particular with the selfie camera is that it retains the details on hair and facial hair but smudges the skin at the slightest decrease in lighting.
The low light performance of the rear-camera setup of Realme 6 is not good. The pictures lack details as the software tries to decrease the noise. The colours look artificial even if you are taking the picture under artificial lighting. Good thing is, there is a night mode, which works better than Realme’s Nightscape mode, which used to oversaturate the pictures.
Realme 6 review: How is the battery?
The battery backup of the Realme 6 is impressive. With heavy usage involving an hour of gaming, four hours of video playing, three hours of combined internet browsing and social media, I was left with 30-35 per cent battery. On moderate usage, the 4,300mAh battery easily lasts a-day-and-half. The charging is even more impressive. The 30W fast charger comes in the box, and it charges the phone from 10 per cent to 100 per cent in around an hour. Within half an hour, the phone gets 60 per cent charged from zero.
Realme 6 verdict: Should you buy?
While I did not use Realme 5-series phones, I’ve reviewed all the Realme 3-series devices including few other Realme phones. I can safely say that the brand has managed to completely refine the user experience, overall phone’s performance, and the camera quality over the period of one year.
When people asked me whether they should or shouldn’t buy the Realme 6, I did not have anything negative in particular to tell them. The phone offers good performance, nice display, long battery life, a spectacular design, and a camera that takes good daylight pictures. The Realme 6 is a value for money device and I believe it is can give tough competition to its closest competitor– the Redmi Note 9 Pro.
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