Oppo RealMe 1 review: Powerful yet affordable smartphone

A smartphone, that runs on AI

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    Oppo RealMe 1 4 GB RAM Review: Beauty with AI brain

    The Oppo RealMe 1 is the first smartphone from the new series of smartphones from Oppo to compete agains the other smartphone brands like the Xiaomi Redmi and the Huawei Honor. The Oppo RealMe 1 is available in 3 GB, 4 GB, and 6 GB RAM variants for a price of Rs 8,990, Rs 10,990, and Rs 13,990, respectively. Is this the mid-tier smartphone that you were waiting for? Let's find out.

    The Oppo RealMe 1 has a specs sheet, which is not usually seen on the smartphones which are priced around Rs 11,000. This review is based on the 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage model, which is available in India for Rs 10,990.

    In the box

    • The Oppo RealMe 1 comes in a bright red colored box
    • Oppo RealMe 1 (Silver color)
    • Soft Silicon Case
    • Charger
    • Micro USB Data cable
    • SIM removal tool
    • Documentation and warranty card

    Design

    have mixed feelings about the design of the Oppo RealMe 1. It does look premium. In fact, no other smartphone looks similar to the Oppo RealMe 1 but it does resemble Oppo F7. The smartphone is entirely made out of plastic and the frame has a nice metal chrome-like finish. As I have seen on the other smartphones, the chrome color will fade away in the long haul, which makes the smartphone look cheap.

    The Oppo RealMe 1 is a fingerprint magnet as well and it picks up fingerprints very easily. However, one can use the soft silicon case given in the retail package to protect the device from fingerprints. As this is a transparent case, you can still show-off the fancy design of the device without any issue.

    Display

    One thing that the Oppo RealMe 1 can stand stall against the competition is the display. The smartphone has a 5.99-inch FHD+ 2160 x 1080px IPS LCD screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection layered on top of the display. The display can reproduce crisp colors and warm saturation, which makes this device a multimedia-friendly smartphone. In fact, it has the best display if compared with any smartphones being sold under Rs. 15,000 price point. Even in the harsh sunlight, I was able to look at the contents of the display. As this device has an IPS LCD display, the color saturation is not as good as of the OLED display.

    The smartphone has a notch-less design (which I am a fan of) and has a thin bezel on the top and bottom of the smartphone. The RealMe 1 has the thinnest bezels that I have seen on any budget smartphone. In fact, the bezels are thinner than the smartphones, which almost costs Rs 25,000.

    Performance

    The smartphone is powered by the MediaTek Helio P60 Octa-core chipset, which is a flagship processor from MTK. This chipset is coupled with 4 GB LPDDR4x RAM and 64 GB of storage with a dedicated micro SD card slot, where a user can either use two nano SIM card and micro SD card slot altogether.

    Be it a day-to-day usage or intensive gaming, the smartphone never broke a sweat and offered a smooth user experience. Games like PUB G, Asphalt 8 and others ran smoothly even on high graphics settings.

    If we look at the benchmark numbers, the RealMe 1 scores 137083 points on AnTuTu benchmark. On Geekbench, the device scores 1513 points on the single core and 5818 points on the multi-core performance. If we compared these scores to other smartphones running on different chipsets, these scores are greater than the devices, which runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC.

    Overall, the smartphone offers a great performance at any given task. However, I did notice some sort of heating while I was playing games continuously for more than 45 minutes, but, it was not unbearable and the device did recover to a normal temperature within few minutes.

    Voice calls and wireless network

    The smartphone has a triple SIM card slot, which can accept two nano SIM cards and a micro SD card (up to 128 GB). One interesting fact about the Oppo RealMe 1 is the fact that the device supports dual LTE or VoLTE, where a user can use two 4G LTE SIM cards . It also has an integrated call recorder integrated in the dialer app. However, it does not support native video calling feature, which is a bummer.

    Even with respect to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, the smartphone has an excellent signal reception. Just like most of the mid-tier smartphone, the Oppo RealMe 1 also misses out on NFC support.

    Software and UI

    The Oppo RealMe 1 runs on the custom UI from Oppo called as Color OS based on Android 8.1 Oreo. The software has taken most of the design elements from the iOS counterpart and it looks like an iOS skin on an Android smartphone.

    The Color OS has features like the gesture-based navigation buttons (inspired by the Apple counterpart) this feature work flawlessly and offers more screen real-estate to the user.

    Some features that I didn't like about the Oppo RealMe 1 are: it takes 2 swipes to delete or remove a notification, which is almost two steps more than what I do on a normal smartphone; the OS does support themes and customizations, but there is no option to change fonts, unless you install a custom launcher.

    The smartphone is running on Android 8.1 Oreo OS, which is the latest software from Google and the company has also promised that the device will receive Android P update in the future, which is a great thing about the smartphone.

    The smartphone does come with a bunch of bloatware, but, compared to the previous Oppo devices, the number of bloatware have been reduced drastically. The phone still has two browser (Chrome and Oppo browser), two music player (Google Play music and Oppo music player) and two app stores (Google Play store and Oppo App store). There is also a set of apps like weather, tips, and phone manager, which cannot be uninstalled.

    Though the smartphone has a heavy skin, I did not face any issue on RAM management on the 4 GB version of the Oppo RealMe 1. All the apps were in the background for the most part. However, if you stack up more than 10 apps, then the smartphone will start the RAM management, where the first opened apps will be eased from the memory to make room for the recently opened apps.

    The smartphone has a gaming mode, which detects whenever a user opens a game and clears the background memory (RAM) to offer seamless gaming experience.

    Camera

    The Oppo RealMe 1 has a 13 MP rear-facing primary camera and 8 MP selfie camera. The smartphone does support bokeh effect on the main camera and the front-facing shooter. In terms of video recording, the main camera can record 1080p videos at 30fps and the front-facing selfie camera can also record 1080p video footages at 30fps.

    The photos taken by the ReamMe 1 on well-lit or the natural lighting conditions look clear and vivid. While, I was not impressed by it's performance on low-light conditions, the shutter response seemed to be fast enough. Yet another camera element which the latest offering from Oppo fails to offer is the 4k video recording, which is a bummer. Moreover, it looks like Oppo has not unlocked much of the features of the competitive chipset the RealMe 1 has.

    The Oppo RealMe 1 does offer a fully fledged manual mode, where a user can manually select the white balance, EV, ISO, Shutter speed, and AF speed to capture professional looking photographs. Overall, the camera performance from both the main and the selfie camera is on par with the other devices in this price range. This does make the RealMe 1 a note-worthy device for photography enthusiasts who are looking at a budget-friendly price.

    Face Unlock

    The Face Unlock on the Oppo RealMe 1 achieved using the 8 MP front-facing camera and the AI capabilities of the Helio P60 SoC. The Face Unlock feature of Oppo RealMe 1 is pretty swift and can be considered as one of the best among smartphones which are being sold under Rs 25,000.

    The smartphone misses out on a fingerprint sensor, which means that the Face Unlock is the only way of securely locking the smartphone. With the latest software update installed on the phone, the Face Unlock on the RealMe 1 became more secure. With this update the device will not unlock if the owner's eyes are closed.

    The Face Unlock works for the most part, where it works 95 out of 100 times and it works even in an absolute darkness (user has to increase the brightness of the screen). Still, it is not as secure as the fingerprint sensor, as the Oppo RealMe 1 does not have the true depth sensor similar to the other flagship smartphone, which means the Face Unloock can be fooled.

    Battery

    The smartphone has a 3410 mAh battery, and it takes an average time of 2 hours to charge from 0 to 100% using the charger that comes in the package (5 volts, 2 amps) and the device charges via a micro USB port located on the bottom part of the smartphone.

    The battery lasted for a day under heavy usage (includes gaming, photography, and streaming) and it did last up to 1.5 days on normal usage with data turned on all the time. The phone has a decent battery life and charging speed is not bad either.

    Verdict

    The Oppo RealMe 1 is a great budget smartphone, which offers a lot of features like faster Face Unlock, AI camera with bokeh effect and decent battery life. However, the absence of a fingerprint sensor and the plastic build quality are the only two things, which are not great about the Oppo RealMe 1. If you are looking for a smarphone in the market under Rs 12,000, then the Oppo RealMe with 4 GB of RAM is one of the smartphones that you can consider.

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