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OPPO has ventured into an e-commerce sub-brand by the name of Realme and has unveiled the first budget smartphone- Realme 1 for the Indian market. Launched at a starting price of Rs. 8,999 for the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant, the company took everyone by surprise by unveiling the 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM variant at just Rs. 13,999. Besides, a 4GB RAM variant is also due for a launch next month at Rs. 10,990.
With this aggressive pricing, the new brand by OPPO can give Honor, Xiaomi, Infinix, etc. a tough fight in sub Rs. 15,000 price segment. The 6GB RAM+128GB ROM and 3GB RAM+32GB ROM variants will go on sale on May 25th, 12 Noon onwards exclusively on Amazon.in with offers for Jio and SBI debit and credit card users. Let's take a closer look on the Realme 1.
Design: Inspired by OPPO F7
Realme 1 is basically an OPPO F7 with some cosmetic design changes to differentiate the handset from company's standard smartphone line-up. If you add a notch in the full view screen of Realme 1, you will find it tough to make a difference between the two handsets. The rear panel of Realme 1 is what makes the handset interesting. Notably, it's made of plastic and not glass, but the Diamond Black design is inspired by Sapphire and will appeal to users who prefer glass-finish handsets over metal devices. The Solar Red color also looks quite appealing. The reflection at the back of the device changes with different angles of light, but sadly, both the variants are fingerprint magnets.
As per Realme, the back cover of Realme 1 uses a 12-layer nanotech composite material made by 10-nanometer titanium and 20-nanometer Niobium oxides carefully polished and crafted to create a shiny and luxurious metallic luster. The handset is very light, which made us give some definite thoughts on its durability. The company highlights that the polished frame uses complex 7-layer processing where the unibody is first formed and then drilled. This strengthens the integrity of the wholesome look with exquisite details so that the touch and feel of the phone are significantly improved.
Display: 6-inch FHD+ Screen
The 6-inch FHD+ IPS screen of Realme 1 looked quite bright indoors but the colours seem washed out. We are yet to test the display's response in direct sunlight. The touch response was good. The Realme 1 offers a screen-to-body ratio of almost 85%, which will offer immersive video playback, multitasking and gaming experience.
Camera: Loaded with features but performance seems questionable
Realme 1 sports a 13MP rear camera with LED flash that works on f/2.2 aperture. There's an 8MP front-facing camera that is also backed by a f/2.2 aperture lens. Powered by MediaTek's Helio P60 NeuroPilot AI technology, the cameras on Realme 1 comes equipped with deep-learning facial detection, object and scene identification capabilities. The AI Shot included in Realme 1, acts as a personal beauty artist to customize beauty based on your unique facial features. The AI Shot captures 296 facial points and divides the face into zones to perform finer beauty enhancements. The company says that this highlight your distinctive features for a more realistic and natural effect. Besides, the front camera also supports beautification for group selfies, which is an interesting feature. The company has also added AR Stickers for both front and back photography as well as for video recording.
The 13MP rear camera also features the AI Scene Recognition which can intelligently and accurately identify different scenes and objects in real-time. Besides, you will also see the Vivid Mode that we tested on OPPO F7. It enhances the overall colors of the images while keeping the face natural.
Overall, Realme has thrown a lot of features in the camera department; however, the real-life performance is a bit questionable. During our brief stint with the smartphone, we found out that the camera was an average performer and fails to match the likes of Redmi Note 5, Note 5 Pro and Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1. We will test the camera in detail in our comprehensive review in the coming weeks to give our final verdict.
Hardware and Software
OPPO Realme 1 is powered by the World's first 12nm AI CPU MediaTek Helio P60 CPU which is built on 12nm FinFET technology. As per OPPO, the CPU is very energy efficient and offers 50 % faster processing speed than other devices in the segment. The processor is paired with 3GB, 4GB and 6GB RAM variants to take care of multitasking. As per your usage requirement, you can choose a variant. The 6GB RAM variant comes with 128GB inbuilt storage, which can further be expanded by up to 256GB via a dedicated microSD card slot. At Rs. 13,999, this is a great deal for consumers.
The 6GB RAM variant can give a good fight to Honor and Xiaomi smartphones priced in sub Rs. 15k segment; however, we will reserve our verdict for now and would like to give Realme 1 a thorough testing to give you a better understanding of its real-life performance. As far as everyday tasks are concerned, OPPO Realme 1 will not disappoint you while using camera, browsing the web, posting updates on Instagram, Facebook, etc. The 6-inch FHD+ display will also serve well for video playback and gaming.
There's no change in the software and the Realme 1 ships with the same Color OS that we have tested on the recently launched OPPO F7. The smartphone runs on ColorOS 5.0 based on Android 8.1.
To cut the cost, the company hasn't included a fingerprint scanner but the handset comes with Facial Unlock technology. Realme says that the facial unlock function on Realme 1 can accurately identify 296 facial points to provide better security and takes less than 0.1 seconds to unlock your phone, even in low-light conditions. We did not get the chance to test the face unlock in action in our brief time. We will give it a thorough testing in our comprehensive review. Here I would like to mention that a fingerprint scanner would have still made a lot of sense. I would any day prefer a fingerprint scanner over the software-driven facial unlock technology as it's not very reliable without a support from a dedicated hardware chip.
Battery and Connectivity
OPPO Realme 1 is powered by a 3,410mAh battery unit. It is a decent sized cell at this price-point; however if the long-lasting battery is your sole requirement, you should consider the new Redmi Note 5 handsets and the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 which offers a massive 5,000 mAh battery unit. The battery unit on Realme 1 will also take some help from AI battery management feature which as per Realme won't let longer and higher usage affect the performance. We will evaluate the battery performance in our detailed review of the handset to give you a final battery performance overview.
Availability and Offers
Realme 1 will be available in three versions- 3GB RAM+32GB ROM at Rs. 8,999 in Diamond Black and Solar Red colour variants by May 25, 2018. The 4GB RAM+64GB ROM variant will be available in Moonlight Silver and Diamond Black at Rs. 10,990 in June. The aggressively priced 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM variant will sell at Rs. 13,99 in Diamond Black and Solar Red colour variant by May 25, 2018.
The company has also announced a bunch of offers for interested buyers. Realme 1 buyers will be offered a No Cost EMI on Amazon.in with offers for SBI cardholders, 5% cash back, and for Jio customers a cashback of Rs. 4850/-. Realme 1 buyers will also be offered Amazon Prime deliveries for their orders.
OPPO has introduced Realme brand with an intention to evolve the current Indian online smartphone market by offering Premium-mid range smartphones at disruptive price-point. Focused on the young online consumers, Realme 1 has a couple of things going in its favor such as aggressive pricing, appealing design, good RAM-ROM combination, and some level of AI intelligence. We will review the handset in the coming days to give you a better understanding of its overall performance.