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Realme 1: Can this Beat Redmi Note 5?

Realme 1 is the first smartphone by Oppo’s online-only sub-brand Realme, exclusively available on Amazon. Priced starting at Rs 8,990, Realme 1 is an attempt by the Chinese vendor to capture the budget smartphone segment, which is dominated by Xiaomi in India. Oppo Realme 1’s price goes up to Rs 13,990 for 6GB RAM+128GB storage variant, which we got for review. It directly competes with Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, which is priced starting at Rs s9,999 for the base model with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. We used the Realme 1 for over a week and here is our full review:

What is good?

Realme 1 has a stunning design, which will easily attract attention from people. Thanks to a diamond cutting reflection effect at the back, it definitely stands out and in a good way. Realme 1’s design is unique for a smartphone in the price range. I was surprised with how light the fibreglass body feels and the overall build instills a lot of confidence.

Realme 1 gets a 6.0-inch FHD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio. Despite a large screen size, the phone fit perfectly in my hand, which is great. The screen is a delight to look at and viewing angles are good, even in bright outdoors. I especially liked watching videos and playing games on the Realme 1, thanks to the good quality display.

Realme 1 features a 13MP rear shooter and an 8MP front camera. Both the cameras support depth of field or Portrait effect, and Augmented Reality (AR) stickers. The camera functions are quite similar to that on Oppo F7. Just like the premium F7, the Realme 1 does not fail when it comes to camera department. The photos clicked with rear camera are crisp, detailed and colour reproduction is impressive.

Realme 1 has the same Helio P60 processor that we saw on the Oppo F7. The phone is capable of handling multitasking as well as day-to-day tasks. The battery will easily last a day with moderate to heavy usage. On a daily basis, I binge watched videos during my review period, played games, used social media, messaging apps, made calls as well as listened to music online.

What is not good?

The big flaw with the face unlock feature is that it refuses to work at night time. I woke up in the middle of the night to check my phone and had to put in my code to unlock it. Of course, it is unfair to expect a flawless face recognition feature on a Rs 14,000 phone. But if face unlock is being pitched as the primary method to unlock device, then it better be good.

Another issue is with the option to show notifications on locked screen. In this case, the phone just unlocks when you click the power button to raise the phone, which is something I did not want, when all I wished to do was glance at notifications.

Oppo Realme 1 is a serious challenger to the Redmi Note 5. The phone has one of the best cameras in the price range, a good processor and battery that lasts for a day.

* Estimated street price: Rs 13,990 (6GB RAM, 128GB storage) – Financial Express

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