Realme is Oppo's online-only sub-brand.
The Realme 1 prices start at Rs 8,990.
First sale is on May 25 via Amazon India.
There are all types of smartphones out there, from entry-level to the top-end ones, but in India, the budget and mid-range segment is the sweet spot to hit. Xiaomi and Honor have found success in the price bracket, Asus with its new Zenfone Max Pro M1 is finding some success there. Now, Oppo has debuted its online-only sub-brand “Realme” in India, and the first smartphone from the brand is called Realme 1.
With the Realme 1, Oppo is trying to offer users with a good mix of software, hardware and design combination. And because there are no overheads, unlike in offline model, Oppo can really go aggressive with the pricing. The Oppo Realme 1 is priced at Rs 8,990 for the base storage variant, with the top-end variant being sold for Rs 13,990, exclusively via Amazon India, and it goes on sale starting May 25. I spent some time with the Oppo Realme 1, and here are my first impressions.
The Realme 1 looks a lot similar to the recently launched Oppo F7 Diamond Black Edition, as it borrows its design cues from there. The front houses a 6-inch Full HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio, and the bezels along the top and bottom are relatively thin. And despite the large screen, the Realme 1 is very compact and easy to operate with one hand.
Turn to the back, and it looks stunning. You have a glass back with glossy finish, and diamond pattern glittering beneath it. The design is very appealing, but as in case with other smartphones with glass back, it attracts fingerprints very easily, and it becomes very smudgy too. But overall the Realme 1 looks very appealing, and everyone that I have shown the smartphone to, found it hard to believe that it is priced under Rs 9,000.
Watch: Oppo F7 Vs Vivo V9: Specifications compared
Under the hood
The Realme 1 comes with a Helio P60 octa-core SoC under the hood, and it is a powerful mid-range chipset. It comes with AI CPU which learns from your usage patterns and allocates tasks accordingly. And when you need power, the AI chipset increases efficiency while ensuring it does not overheat.
The chipset is coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage for the base variant, 4GB RAM with 6GB storage for the mid variant, and 6GB RAM with 128GB for the top end variant. Well, and you get a dedicated microSD card slot too for expandable storage.
Camera and Software
Today, there’s AI everywhere, and besides the chipset, the cameras on the Realme 1 also have AI chops. It features AI scene recognition to adjust contrast, brightness and color based on the scene, AI beauty mode to make you look good in your selfies and a bokeh mode that uses machine learning to blur the background. The bokeh mode doesn’t need dual cameras, and it works on both front and rear cameras.
front is an 8-megapixel sensor, whereas the rear houses a 13-megapixel sensor. And both of them also include AR sticker support to let you add Instagram and Snapchat like effects to your photos.
Talking about software, the Realme 1 comes with Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box with EMUI 8.1 layer on top. It is a single layer UI with no app drawer. And unlike before, the smartphone comes with limited pre-loaded apps, with the Phone Manager, Oppo AppStore, Gallery, Music and Videos being the prominent ones. Oppo has also pre-loaded Google Apps for convenience.
Oppo lets you operate the phone with the Android navigation buttons at the bottom, or using gestures, letting you get more screen real estate. And there is AI in the Gallery app too which will recognize the scene if there are trees, building, humans and animals among others to sort photos. I will be testing it thoroughly when I review the smartphone before passing any judgment.
Oppo’s Realme brand is here to disrupt the mid-range market that is dominated by the likes of Xiaomi and Honor. It clearly has an edge over the competition with its offering right from the design, to software and the hardware. The top-end variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage is a real disruptor, with no clear competition offering such specifications.
Oppo has ditched the fingerprint scanner in favor of facial unlock feature, which also gives the smartphone maker some room to add better specifications. Now, will all this work in favor of Oppo Realme 1? Does the smartphone have what it takes to offer a good value for money? I’ll answer all those questions in my review, so stay tuned for that.