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Realme UI First Impressions: Better Features, Fluid Performance But Lacks Originality
Realme UI, the biggest upgrade to the company's custom skin has started rolling out to the compatible devices. It marks a new beginning for the brand, which is trying to get away with the image of an iOS-rip off user interface. But once again, the Realme UI is not an entirely new user interface. It is largely the new ColorOS 7 with some notable changes done by the brand to create a new identity for its devices.
Based on Android 10, the Realme UI brings new features, performance upgrades, and visual enhancements to Realme devices. We have upgraded our Realme XT unit to the latest custom skin. Before we start with the features of the Realme UI, you must note that the new update (3.52GB) demands at least 4GB of free space for a smooth update process. If you have a compatible Realme device, make sure you have enough free storage space and at least 80% battery to perform the update. Having said that, let's find out everything about the Realme UI starting with the ‘Visual Enhancements'.
More Like Android, Less Like iOS, But Still A Mix Of Multiple Skins
Starting with the design, the new Realme UI feels more inclined to stock Android and looks less like an iOS rip-off, even when the Home Screen mode is set to ‘Standard' and not to ‘Drawer'. This is going to be the biggest achievement for the brand as the ColorOS was always criticized for profoundly copying Apple's iOS. The home screen of the new Realme UI reminds me of the Google Pixel devices, especially the Google search bat at the bottom.
However, Realme UI is still far from being an original skin. As pointed out by some users and reviewers, the notification panel does remind us of Samsung's One UI. Some live wallpapers seem inspired by iOS and MIUI. Additionally, you can spot similarities with stock Android throughout the user interface. The Realme UI has also added ‘Screen Light Effect' which mimics Samsung's OneUI's Edge lighting effect.
Once again it seems that Realme has copied most of the elements from other manufacturers and tweaked them to create the new UI. However, the end result isn't that bad. It's visually appealing and feels refined.
Less Clutter- Better Icons And Typography
Realme UI's iconography has improved. The icons now look less animated and more intuitive. The UI feels much lighter and less cluttered as compared to the ColorOS 6. The settings menu also shows new icons. The default icons are rounded in shape; however, you can change their look and feel by choosing the icon styles from Default, Material Style and Pebble. You can also choose 'Custom' mode to further customize the look and feel of the icons but there's no option to select third-party icons, which is a slight disappointment.
The general operations such as swiping, scrolling and tapping now feel more responsive than before as the animations have been improved. The Realme UI also adds a ‘Simple Mode' which brings a clearer layout. The fonts and icons appear bigger enabling a comfortable viewing experience for elderly users. The new charging animation also looks cool.
New Static And Live Wallpapers
Realme has added several new wallpapers which add a splash of colors to the UI. The set of Live wallpapers brighten up the home screen, especially the one with Hawa Mahal that changes the animation with day/night time. If you are a wallpaper bug like us, you will appreciate the Realme's efforts in offering more options to the users.
Ease Of Use- New Search Bar In Settings, Double Tap To Lock And More
- The search bar is now available in the settings menu to help you find the required function you are looking for.
- The new launcher introduces some much-awaited features. You can now swipe down on any home screen to check notifications or activate Global search, which once again reminds us of the iOS search bar. You can now ‘Double-tap' to lock the device and set applications to show dots to notify app updates.
SideBar, Optimized 3-Finger Screenshot And Gestures
The smart sidebar's functionality has been improved. It is more fluid and allows you to open an app in split-screen mode by simply dragging it out. However, not all apps support the function.
- Realme UI straightforward borrows the 3-finger screenshot mode from the ColorOS 7. You can swipe down with three fingers to quickly capture a screenshot. Swipe down on the preview to share the screenshot with contacts. You can also capture screenshot of specific regions, partial screen capture, as Realme calls it, which is quite useful. Additionally, you can also use three fingers to capture long screenshots, which is not necessarily very useful.
- We found the Android 10 navigation gestures to be smooth and fairly functional. These gestures are now also supported in landscape mode.
- The useful screen recording feature gets a pause button and also records system sounds, which will come quite handy in a variety of situations.
- The Camera UI has been tweaked slightly for ease of use. You can now simply swipe in either direction to access all the modes.
- The Album app gets a new UI which looks cleaner. Album recommendations also get a boost.
Security, Audio And Communications
The new UI updates the Realme share feature to support file sharing with OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi devices. The new UI also brings a useful Dual Mode music share feature that allows you to connect a pair of Bluetooth and wired earphones at the same time. The company has also added dynamic ringtones that adapts to the current weather. Last but not the least; the company has also introduced ‘Random MAC Address Generator' which generates a random MAC address to protect your privacy. The company mentions that the feature also restricts unwanted advertisements. I wonder whether it blocks Realme's recently introduced ads on the company's devices.
The Realme UI is not a complete visual overhaul but still a massive update that addresses multiple pain points. The UI now feels less cluttered and less iOS inspired. The visual enhancements are in place and the company has also added some useful features to improve the overall user-experience. It's a step in the right direction that will make Realme phones more user-friendly.
The Realme XT performed really well with the new UI. The phone felt fluid and smooth. We still have to test the performance of the Realme UI on budget Realme devices, which will be the biggest test of the new user interface, so stay tuned.