We all know that this is an aeon of sub-brands from smartphone makers. These newly entered brands are mainly competing in the mid-range segment. Here we have another addition to the segment, which is from the online only sub-brand of Oppo, Realme.
Realme have made a huge impact in the mid-range with their debut device Realme 1, which was very stylish and also powerful. They recently launched The Realme 2, which wasn’t particularly bad for the price either. But it was much criticized for being a downgrade from the powerful predecessor. But now, the company spices things up a bit by their new heavily specced Realme 2 Pro, which outshines almost all its competitors on paper. Lets see how it performs in real life.
Realme 2 Pro has a unique design, which is different from the so called diamond cut design, what we’ve seen on it’s predecessors. They claim that it has a 16 layer lamination process, which looks very good. It sports a massive 6.3″ FHD+ LTPS IPS LCD Display with a tiny notch, which they call ‘Dewdrop Notch’ and claims that there is Gorilla Glass 3 on top of it for resisting the scratches. The rear camera is a dual setup of 16MP+2MP and on the front there is a single 16MP shooter. Under the hood, there is the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE and a decent 3500mAh battery. It has a fingerprint reader on the rear, and a dedicated Micro SD slot which means you can use 2 SIM cards and a memory card simultaneously. There is the standard Micro USB port, a mono speaker and a 3.5mm jack (yes it’s there!!!) on the bottom. Realme 2 Pro is available in 3 different configurations which are 4GB+64GB, 6GB+64GB, 8GB+128GB and also in 3 different colors. Only the 128GB version sports UFS 2.1 storage while the others are eMMC.
Display and Build
As mentioned above, the device sports a 6.3″ LTPS IPS LCD, which is said to be much more power efficient than the normal IPS LCD. It produces great colors even under direct sunlight. The brightness levels are pretty good, the contrast ratio is fine and the saturation is also well maintained. About the Gorilla Glass 3, the company claims it is there but in some durability test videos available online, we’ve seen the screen to start scratching from level 3, which implies to a plastic screen. That’s really a misleading factor and a minor concern. The phone comes with a pre-applied screen protector out of the box to resist the scratches to an extent.
The phone is built well and its in-hand feel is also great even if it is made out of polycarbonate. The front has only minimal bezels and the chin(bottom bezel)is a bit thick when compared to side and top bezels which is not good but OK. The front camera is placed on the tiny notch and the earpiece rests on above it. When you turn it to the back side, there is a polycarbonate resin material which looks like glass but it is not. The back does look good, but it is more prone to fingerprints and scratches. The company does provide a silicon case for protection and it is a good one. The Volume rocker buttons are on left while the power button and SIM tray are on right. It is also very well placed and is easy to reach. Overall it is a pretty well built device.
Performance and Software
Coming to the performance, the device has the powerful Snapdragon 660 SoC which is underclocked unlike the one we’ve seen on Mi A2. Yet it is impossible to find the difference in performance in day to day tasks. Even after being underclocked, it is one of the best performing device in the segment. The powerful processor coupled with 4GB RAM is a great deal for the price. I didn’t notice any lag or frame-drop while using it. The device is also good for gaming. The device manages to play heavy games like PUBG with ease. I’ve also tested Asphalt 8 in it, and it was very smooth and there were no frame-drops or lags. Overall the performance of this smartphone is great and it does perform well in both day to day tasks and intense gaming.
The Smartphone runs on the cluttered and heavily customized Color OS 5.2 based on Android 8.1 Oreo. It is one of the heaviest UI I’ve ever seen. Personally I don’t like the UI and it doesn’t give the full potential of the hardware that is present inside. It consumes almost a quarter of your internal storage. But it does pack a lot of customization and a bit of bloatware. It includes some extras like Gamespace, Private safe, etc. and it also has an inbuilt equalizer setup which only works with the system music player, and it gives a good audio output from it. There is also face unlock, which is really fast and has a brightness compensation feature when you are trying to unlock in lowly lit areas.The UI isn’t that smooth but it is OK. And It is one of the most stable UI among others. I really wished to have stock android or a near stock UI in it. If that was the case then there is nothing more you can ask for.
The Realme 2 Pro packs a decent 3500mah to juice up the device. We were a bit concerned about the battery life, as the device sports a powerful processor under the hood. But it surprised us as it managed to last a full day with a bit of gaming, watching Youtube and surfing through the social media. The software doesn’t let us know the screen ON time and battery graph, So on my rough figures, the device managed to get a screen ON time in between 7-8 hrs, which is good. We even think that the display also helps in improving the battery life as the LTPS IPS LCD display used in it is said to be more efficient. The charger is rated at 5V-2A, implies to a 10W charger, which means there is no fast charging present, but we wished to have it as the device takes 2 hrs and a bit more to fully charge from death. There wasn’t any noticeable temperature rise while charging. We even tested the charging speed while using the device, surprisingly it charges at the same rate as it does when the screen is OFF.
Camera is one place where Realme 2 Pro really shines. Coming to the specifications, the rear camera sports a dual setup, the primary lens is a 16MP sporting a wide f/1.7 aperture, which uses Sony IMX398 sensor (same as the one on OnePlus 5T) and the secondary lens is a 2MP one, which is used for depth sensing while using portrait mode. The photos taken in daylight is really good. It has really good details and dynamic range. The HDR mode is pretty good and it really increases the overall quality of the image, and the focusing speed is also fast as it has Phase Detection Auto-Focus. The colors were a bit on the cooler side, albeit it looked pretty close to natural. The Contrast and Saturation are well balanced. Coming to the low light photos, the device takes good pictures, there are enough details and sharpness throughout, and there was noise on the dark areas though it is not that really bad and it doesn’t affect the overall quality of the pictures. But we hoped that it could perform better as it sports a great sensor and a wider aperture.
The portraits taken on this one was pretty good. It had almost perfect edge detection, not to the level of what we’ve seen on Redmi Note 5 Pro. It produces great portraits, has a great bokeh and the colors were a bit more saturated. One real problem is that there is a forced beauty mode on the portraits of humans, which is really annoying, because it really messes up the skin tones and smoothens it, and in turn loses the natural look. Apart from that, the portrait mode works like a charm and there is the AI beauty mode which beautifies your face according to the conditions and makes it unnatural in many cases, because it boosts the skin tones overlay and whitens the overall image.
There are many options like sticker, which lets you play with cool stickers on your face. There is also a panorama mode which captures good panoramas, the details were good and the stitching of images are done well. And you have an ‘Expert Mode’ which is basically the manual mode or pro mode, gives you full control over the settings like white balance, focus, shutter speed etc.
The front camera is a single 16MP shooter which is of f/2.0 aperture. It captures good images in daylight, the details were decent and colors were OK though a bit washed out, and the overall image is a bit over-exposed, yet is usable. Here also the annoying forced beauty messes up the image, it really boosts the skin tones and smoothens the skin even if the so called ‘AI beautification’ is turned off. When the AI is turned ON, it really ‘whitens’ your skin and smoothen your skin much more aggressively. The portrait mode is there on the front camera as well, and it takes good portraits, the edge detection was OK but the colors were a bit boosted and the overall image was heavily processed but still usable.
On the video department, the rear camera can record videos upto 4K at 30fps without EIS and 1080p at 30fps with EIS. The overall video quality is good and the colors were close to natural and the focusing was fast. We are happy that they’ve managed to include EIS, as it is a really useful feature, and it really works like a charm. The videos were stabilized pretty well and there was no quirks at all. The audio quality was also great. There is also a Time-Lapse mode. One thing is that, it can’t record any slow-mo videos as of now, and it’s not really a deal-breaker, yet for some, it is.
On the front camera, it can record videos upto 1080p @30fps and there is no EIS available for the front camera. It records pretty good videos with good details and colors. The audio output is also pretty good.