comscore Realme U1 Review: New budget selfie champion?
BLA21 cibil.com ageas federal zee hindustan
Review

Realme U1 Review: New budget selfie champion?

The Realme U1 is aimed at the selfie-clicking young generation, but is there something more that it can offer?

realme u1 review lead image

Realme U1 3.5 5
BGR Rating :
3.5/5

Highlights

  • Realme U1 is the first smartphone powered by the Helio P70 SoC.

  • It comes with a 25-megapixel front camera.

  • The smartphone also comes with a dual-camera setup at the back.

When looking for an affordable smartphone, there are a lot of options to choose from. You have at least three different smartphones from Honor and Xiaomi dominating the space. Realme also has four smartphones in the market, and the latest Realme U1 is the company s fifth phone in the less than half a year since the brand was launched. This time around, Realme is focusing on the selfie-centric young crowd. Also Read - Realme GT 5G to get Super AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate

Also Read - Realme 108MP camera event on March 2: Realme 8 series could launch soon

The Realme U1 is priced at Rs 11,999 for the base model with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, and Rs 14,499 for the 4GB RAM with 64GB storage model. It is available exclusively via Amazon India, and the sale begins on December 5 at 12:00PM. At this price point, the smartphone will compete with the Xiaomi Redmi Y2, which is also a selfie-centric smartphone. And then, price wise, there are also the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, Honor 9N and Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro in the segment. With a 25-megapixel selfie snapper and the MediaTek Helio P70 SoC as the key highlights of the Realme U1, is it worth the purchase? Also Read - Realme 8 officially teased to arrive in India as company's first with 108MP camera

Watch: Realme U1 First Look

Design and display

Realme created a name for itself with its first smartphone, the Realme 1, which is priced under Rs 9,000, and the USP is the glass back with diamond finish design. In case of the Realme U1, the design still remains the highlight. Unlike its competitors that feature a metal back, the U1 comes with a transparent plastic with a laminated finish that looks like glass. It also offers a nice visual effect with the light bouncing off it when you turn it in different angles.

Also, if you keep the Realme 2 Pro and Realme U1 side by side, you won t be able to tell which is which, as both share the same design. At the back, you have the dual-camera setup at the top-left along with an LED flash, and a circular fingerprint scanner placed in the center. The volume buttons and the dual-SIM card tray are placed on the left, whereas the power / sleep button is on the right. The 3.5mm audio jack and micro-USB ports are at the bottom.

The front is dominated by the 6.3-inch Full HD+ display having a resolution of 1080x2340pixels. There is waterdrop style notch, which houses the front camera, proximity and ambient light sensors. Realme has also included an option to hide the notch, which adds black bars on the either side. The display is bright, has good color reproduction, and offers good legibility under direct sunlight.

Cameras

Now, one of the highlights of the smartphone is its 25-megapixel selfie snapper with f/2.0 aperture. Realme is using a Sony IMX576 sensor, the same one that we saw on the Oppo F7 as well. It supports face unlock, which is pretty fast, even in dim lighting conditions. So what about the quality? Well, the Realme U1 does a fairly good job in clicking detailed selfies with accurate skin tones and colors, at least in daylight. However, it does not work very well under low-light conditions, even when the surrounding is moderately lit.

The U1 does click decent photos, but as you start zooming in, smudging is easily noticeable. The selfie AI portrait mode works well and the edge detection is also pretty good, at least for its price point. Below are selfie samples, with and without portrait mode.

At the back, the Realme U1 comes with a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary depth sensor for portrait mode.

Outdoor photo quality under ample sunlight is pretty good for its price point, but the phone struggles a bit in low-light, especially with the focusing taking a couple of seconds. When indoors, it does take fairly decent photos. Below are a couple of samples.

realme u1 outdoor

realme u1 indoor low-light

Operating system

Starting with the operating system, the U1 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo-based ColorOS, and the company has promised an Android Pie update sometime early next year. My review unit is running on October 2018 security patch, which isn t bad. The ColorOS skin is typical to what we have seen on other Realme phones.

There are a couple of nice tweaks this time around. Firstly, the company has done away with the two-step process of clearing notifications, and you can now do it in one step by simply swiping to the right. Realme has also added a Smart Side that can be triggered by swiping on the top right edge of the screen. It has quick access shortcuts for screenshot, screen recording, file manager and camera. You can also add your favorite apps to the mix, such as Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, and more.

Realme has also loaded some bloatware apps, such as UCBrowser and Opera among others. But thankfully, you can remove these if you don t want them. There is also ORoaming app, which is a nice addition. This essentially creates a virtual SIM card on your phone allowing you to use local data services when roaming internationally. However, voice and SMS is not supported. Weekly charges for using services range between $11 to $21, and most countries across the globe are covered.

Lastly, there is also a smart scan feature that lets you take a photo of the text and translate it into different languages such as Korean, French, Spanish, and more.

Performance

Now, the second highlight of the Realme U1 is that it is the first smartphone to be powered by the MediaTek Helio P70 octa-core SoC that is built on the 12nm process. It also comes with a dedicated core for AI specific tasks. The chipset offers a good performance with usual daily usage. I had no issues browsing websites on Chrome with a few tabs open, timeline scrolling on Facebook and Instagram was smooth too. Essentially, the chipset handles daily tasks with ease.

Even gaming performance on the smartphone was good. Asphalt 9: Legends with high graphics settings ran pretty well, with only occasional frame drops. Even PUBG Mobile on medium settings ran without any issues, which is good for a smartphone under Rs 12,000. There is also a game speed booster which accelerates the performance by clearing the RAM and background apps, and dedicating resources to the game. You also get a DND mode where you can block notifications and calls while gaming.

Lastly, talking about battery life, the phone is armed with a 3,500mAh battery and comes with a standard 10W charger, which can offer a full top-up in less than two hours. On a single charge, I was able to use the phone for one full day with basic usage including accessing emails, and some social networking on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. With some more controlled usage, you can fetch a battery life of more than a day.

Verdict: Should you buy the Realme U1?

Well, the Realme U1 has a lot going in its favor, such as the design, look and feel, a good display, a good selfie snapper and a powerful chipset on a budget. Android Oreo OS can be a bummer, but the company has promised Android Pie update in the coming weeks. For Rs 11,999, the Realme U1 could be a good option if you like taking selfies.

However, if you are going for the higher end model that costs Rs 14,499, you might want to consider the Realme 2 Pro, as it comes with a better chipset. It doesn t have as good a front camera, but it offers better performance. And then, if you prefer near-stock Android OS and want a bigger battery, there is Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. Another selfie-centric smartphone at this price is the Xiaomi Redmi Y2, but you’d rather get a newer phone at this stage. And lastly, there are the Honor 8X and Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro that you can consider too in this price range. The latter comes with a dual-camera setup at the front, which further adds to the appeal for selfie lovers.

 

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel.
  • Published Date: December 4, 2018 11:07 AM IST


You Might be Interested

Xiaomi Redmi Y2

8999

Android Oreo
Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core
Dual Cameras - 12MP + 5MP
Realme U1

8999

Android 8.1 Oreo
MediaTek Helio P70 octa-core
Dual - 12MP + 2MP
Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro

13999

Android 8.1 Oreo
Snapdragon 636 octa-core SoC
12MP + 5MP

new arrivals in india

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Poco M2
Poco M2

10,999

Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro

22,990

Realme 7 Pro
Realme 7 Pro

19,999

Realme 7
Realme 7

14,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9A
Xiaomi Redmi 9A

6,799

Vivo Y20
Vivo Y20

12,990

Xiaomi Redmi 9
Xiaomi Redmi 9

8,999

Nokia 5.3
Nokia 5.3

13,999

Motorola Moto G9
Motorola Moto G9

11,499

Realme C15
Realme C15

9,999

Realme C12
Realme C12

8,999

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Samsung Galaxy Note 20

77,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime

9,999

Oppo Reno4 Pro
Oppo Reno4 Pro

34,990

Samsung Galaxy M01 Core
Samsung Galaxy M01 Core

5,499

Realme 6i
Realme 6i

12,999

Asus Rog Phone 3
Asus Rog Phone 3

46,999

OnePlus Nord
OnePlus Nord

24,999

Infinix Smart 4 Plus
Infinix Smart 4 Plus

7,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

11,999

Samsung Galaxy M01s
Samsung Galaxy M01s

9,999

Vivo X50 Pro 5G
Vivo X50 Pro 5G

49,990

Vivo X50 5G
Vivo X50 5G

34,990

Realme C11
Realme C11

7,499

Poco M2 Pro
Poco M2 Pro

13,999

Realme X3
Realme X3

24,999

Realme X3 SuperZoom
Realme X3 SuperZoom

27,999

Tecno Spark Power 2
Tecno Spark Power 2

9,999

Oppo A12
Oppo A12

9,990

Oppo A52
Oppo A52

16,990

Samsung Galaxy A21s
Samsung Galaxy A21s

15,999

Oppo Find X2
Oppo Find X2

64,990

Motorola One Fusion Plus
Motorola One Fusion Plus

17,499

Samsung Galaxy A31
Samsung Galaxy A31

20,999

Samsung Galaxy M01
Samsung Galaxy M01

8,999

Samsung Galaxy M11
Samsung Galaxy M11

10,999

Infinix Hot 9 Pro
Infinix Hot 9 Pro

9,999

LG Velvet
LG Velvet

Price Not Available

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite

Price Not Available

Apple iPhone SE 2020
Apple iPhone SE 2020

42,500

Honor 30 Pro
Honor 30 Pro

Price Not Available

Best Sellers