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Review

Realme 2 first impressions: The ‘notched display’ smartphone on budget

The new Realme 2 smartphone comes with a dual-camera setup and a fingerprint scanner at the back.

realme 2 first impressions

Highlights

  • Realme 2 price starts at Rs 8,990.

  • It will be a Flipkart exclusive.

  • Realme 2 features a bigger 4,320mAh battery.

Earlier this year in May, Oppo introduced its online-only sub-brand, Realme, in India. Realme 1, the first smartphone from the company is aggressively priced starting at Rs 8,990, and taking on the likes of Honor 9 Lite, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. Now, three months later, Realme has been separated from Oppo, and will operate as a separate entity.

The company has today launched its second smartphone in India, the Realme 2, which comes with a number of improvements over its predecessor. The 3GB RAM with 32GB storage variant is priced at Rs 8,990, whereas the 4GB RAM with 64GB storage variant will set you back by Rs 10,990. The new smartphone retains the design elements from the Realme 1, and comes with an improved chipset, dual-camera setup at the back and a higher screen-to-body ratio, among other improvements. I had a chance to use the Realme 2 for a few days ahead of the India launch, and here are my first impressions.

Watch: Oppo F9 Pro First Look

Look and feel

Design wise, there are minor tweaks that the company has made to the new smartphone. If you hold both of them side by side, with the screen turned off, you won’t notice a difference. But the moment you turn on the 6.2-inch HD+ screen, the “notch” on the Realme 2 differentiates it from the Realme 1. The panel is made from metal, but while the previous device had a shiny coating, the new smartphone has a matte finish, making it easier to grip.

The dual-SIM tray along with a dedicated microSD card slot has now been moved from the right to the left, just above the volume buttons. The notch on the top houses the earpiece, an 8-megapixel front camera, and the proximity and ambient light sensors. The notch also allows the phone to have a higher claimed screen-to-body ratio of 88.8 percent, compared to 75.7 percent on the Realme 1.

Turn to the back and you have the glass panel with diamond finish adding to the premium look and feel of the smartphone. However, there are a few changes though. The Oppo branding has completely gone, and you only get the Realme branding now. The single rear camera is now replaced with a dual-camera setup – a 13-megapixel primary sensor paired with a 2-megapixel secondary depth sensor.  Now, you also get a fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication, something that was missing on the Realme 1.

Specifications

The Realme 2 also comes with the 14nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC with an octa-core CPU, which should offer a slightly better performance compared to the 16nm MediaTek Helio P60 chipset on the Realme 1. Lastly, the battery capacity on the smartphone has also been increased to 4,230mAh, which is 820mAh bigger than the 3,410mAh one on the Realme 1. The battery life on the Realme 1 was already good, and the Realme 2 should offer even better battery time.

On the software front, you get the latest Android 8.1 Oreo with ColorOS skin on top, and there is now a dedicated gaming mode that lets you toggle between high, balance and low power performance, block call, messages and browser notifications, lock brightness or follow system settings for an uninterrupted gaming experience.

Final thoughts

Overall, the Realme 2 brings some important upgrades in terms of chipset, battery capacity and the dual-camera setup at the back. The fingerprint sensor is also a welcome change as the face unlock isn’t entirely reliable due to lack of infrared or 3D scanning as on high-end smartphones. And you also get a notched display, which is now teh big trend of the year. I will be thoroughly testing the smartphone over the next few days, and we will soon be posting our in-depth review, so stay tuned for that.

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Realme 2

8990

Android 8.1 Oreo-based ColorOS 5.1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC
12MP + 2MP
  • Published Date: August 28, 2018 1:31 PM IST