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Last Updated : Mar 24, 2020 04:32 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Realme 6 Pro Review: Style meets performance at an affordable price

The spec-sheet does look impressive on paper, and after using the device for well over a week, we can say that the Realme 6 Pro offers value-for-money performance for its price.

Perhaps the most competitive and crowded price segment currently in the Indian smartphone market is between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000. The likes of Realme, Xiaomi’s Redmi, and Samsung have spoiled consumers with a truckload of options that offer absolute performance without making their wallets feel light. 

Realme has had a history when it comes to frequent smartphone launches across various price segments. The company’s latest offering includes the Realme 6 Pro — part of the Realme 6 series— which comes with some first-in-class features like 20x digital zoom. The smartphone also features Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, which brings support for India’s own navigation system, NavIC. 

While we are at the specifications, here is what the Realme 6 Pro offers: 

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Realme 6 Pro specifications

Display: 6.6-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD with 90Hz refresh rate and a dual punch-hole cutout.

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G. 

RAM/Storage: 6GB/ 8GB RAM, 64GB/128GB UFS 2.1 internal storage.

Rear camera: 64MP f/1.8 primary lens + 8MP f/2.3 119 degree ultra-wide lens + 12MP f/2.4 telephoto lens with up to 20x zoom and a 2MP f/2.4 macro lens.

Front camera: 16MP f/2.0 + 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lens.

Battery: 4,300 mAh with 30W VOOC Flash Charge 4.0.

Operating System: Realme UI based on Android 10 and Color OS 7.

The spec-sheet does look impressive on paper, and after using the device for well over a week, we can say that the Realme 6 Pro offers value-for-money performance for its price. However, as mentioned earlier, there are a bunch of smartphones that go neck-to-neck with the Realme 6 Pro, like the Poco X2 and the newly launched Redmi Note 9 Pro series.

Does the Realme 6 Pro have what it takes to one-up the competition? Read our Realme 6 Pro review to know how the smartphone performed during our 10 days usage period.

Realme 6 Pro review

Design and Display

Realme 6 Pro is a fairly tall smartphone. The smartphone sports a 6.6-inch screen with a 20:9 aspect ratio. Users will particularly enjoy the massive screen for streaming content. Regarding the pill-shaped dual punch-hole cutout, it did not bother us while watching videos or playing games. However, you will notice some colour bleeding around the cutout, something that most LCDs are prone to. 

The display is bright and even in outdoor conditions, should not be much of an issue if you keep the brightness levels on the higher side. When it comes to colours, they are punchy and vibrant, except the deep blacks. Realme 6 Pro offers a couple of screen colour modes in the display settings, and we opted to stick to the default ‘Vivid’ mode that offers more vibrant colours as compared to the ‘Gentle’ mode. The display, by default, leans towards the cooler side of the colour spectrum, which you can adjust in the settings.

There’s also 90Hz refresh rate support. Realme 6 Pro is among the very few smartphones in the price segment that offers a higher screen refresh rate option. Coupled with some software tricks for more fluid animations, 90Hz refresh rate does make the scrolling experience a bit smoother. It is hard to notice, but when you switch back to 60Hz, you will notice the slight difference.

Realme 6 Pro display

In spite of sporting a tall form factor, reaching out to the power and volume buttons positioned on either edge should not be a problem. This does not make it a smartphone that can be used single-handedly. The person reviewing this smartphone has fairly large hands but still could not manage to reach out to the top portion of the display with ease. You could do so, but there are chances that the phone might just slip out of your hands.

Absence of an AMOLED panel has led to Realme 6 Pro featuring a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the power button. For a right-handed smartphone user, the thumb can be easily placed upon the fingerprint scanner. But for lefties, they might require some time to get used to placing the finger correctly for the device to unlock. There’s the less-secure face unlock as an alternative to fingerprint scanning, which is lightning fast.

We mentioned lightning, which takes us to what the new design on the back panel seems to be taken inspiration from.

The ‘Lightning’ design is perhaps one of our favourite Realme designs and something that we have not seen in any other smartphone from the brand. The gradient rear panel comes in two colour options — Lightning Orange and our review unit in Lightning Blue. You’ll notice a shimmery and saturated 'S’ shaped pattern like the lightning bolt which fades out to darker hues of blue as you tilt the smartphone to different angles. 

Realme 6 Pro rear

The glossy back also attracts fingerprints and add to how slippery the phone can get, we recommend slapping the transparent case that Realme ships with the box. 

Coming to the rear cameras, they protrude. The camera bump is not very huge, but thick enough to make the smartphone wobble while using on a flat surface. There are four camera sensors on the back, more about that in the camera review section below.

Camera

Realme 6 Pro has six cameras — four on the back and two inside the pill-shaped punch-hole.

We’ve already listed the camera specifications at the very beginning of the review, so let’s get straight to how it performed. The primary 64MP sensor uses pixel-binning to generate 16MP images. In daylight conditions, you will absolutely have no issues as the images are vibrant, sharp and you get a good amount of details. If you want higher contrast and saturation levels, there’s a Chroma boost mode that pops up the colours. 

The ultra-wide shots, although good, bump up the shadows. Do not expect a lot of details, especially around the corner of the frame as you will notice some smoothening while trying to reduce noise. 

Realme has borrowed a page from its former parent company Oppo and brings support for up to 20x digital zoom, which is also found on the more expensive Reno3 Pro (Review). With the first-in-category feature, you get 2x optical, 5x ‘hybrid zoom’ and it goes up to 20x zoom.  Switching between the lenses is quite easy too as the camera UI offers toggle switches that can be tapped for up to 5x zoom, and also offers a slider which can be rolled forward to 20x zoom.

Compared to the primary lens, you get good details till 5x zoom and maybe 10x depending upon how far the subject or point of focus is actually away from the phone. 20x is something that still feels more like a gimmick as there isn’t much that you can do with the output. You will also notice a slight difference in colour temperature between the primary and telephoto lens, with the latter offering more warmer tones.

Low-light shots were decent but what surprised us what Night mode. We clicked a couple of shots wherein the software tried to get the best result but introduced noise and overexposed the highlights. After using the dedicated Night Mode, the output was significantly better for the price.

Portrait mode is excellent as edge detection too was on point in most situations. When it comes to selfies, the photos are very close to real provided you turn off the infamous beauty mode that softens the skin and adjusts the tone to a fairer shade. Take a look at some of the photos clicked using the Realme 6 Pro in the Flickr album below.

Shot on Realme 6 Pro first impressions

Performance and Software

Realme 6 Pro gets powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor, which comes with support for India’s very own navigation system, NavIC. The processor is paired with Adreno 618 for handling graphics and also comes with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 internal storage. 

Performing basic tasks like browsing the web, scrolling through the feed and switching between apps can be done with ease. 

The new processor has similar benchmark numbers to the Snapdragon 730G and MediaTek Helio G90T. While playing games like Subway Surf, the device did not cause any problems. We did experience some frame drops here-and-there while playing PUBG Mobile but the other times it was all smooth. Other graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 8 also loaded and ran without any lag. 

Battery drain during 30 minutes of gameplay was around 10 percent on an average. On a day-to-day basis, we managed to get a screen on time of about 6-7 hours on an average. This included playing games, scrolling through Twitter and Instagram, streaming on Netflix/ Prime Video with the brightness mostly on the higher side, listening to some downloaded music, and texting. Keep in mind that the screen refresh rate was kept to 90Hz all the time.

Realme claims that the 4,300 mAh battery can be charged from zero to 50 percent in 20 minutes using the 30W VOOC 3.0 fast charger. The claim is true in most cases and the best time during our review period was 19 minutes. The remaining 50 percent was charged within the next 45 minutes on an average.

We did not experience any apps, including games like PUBG Mobile, getting suspended in the background.

Software-wise, Realme 6 Pro runs on Realme UI, which is based on Android 10 and heavily inspired (more like a carbon copy) from Color OS 7. The new UI has a lot less bloatware and comes with some pre-installed apps like Soloop, DailyHunt, WPS Office, etc. There’s also Hot Apps and Hot Games which recommends you to install some of the popular games.

Realme UI takes cues from Color OS 7’s ‘Lock App’ feature, which prevents from suspending or closing any app. When in the multitasking window, tap on the two dots on the top of the app and select ‘Lock’. That way, even when you clear all the RAM, the smartphone will not close any of the locked apps, hence also avoiding suspension. 

Another cool feature of Realme UI is icon styles. The new Oppo custom skin offers three different icon styles — default, rectangle, and pebble, which can be selected as per the user’s preference. You can also hit the settings and choose to customise the icon size.

Final Verdict

So should you buy the Realme 6 Pro? We would say, yes. The smartphone ticks the right boxes that make it eligible to be called a value-for-money smartphone.

Opinions over the design may be subjective —  some may call it flashy while the rest like us would call it one of the best-looking smartphones in the price range. 

The camera, too, performs quite well in most scenarios. If you click many selfies or shoot telephoto photos, Realme 6 Pro can definitely one of your picks to buy a smartphone under Rs 20,000. Add to it the long-lasting battery life coupled with quick refuelling. 

The performance unit, too, is good and you can rely on it for a smooth experience. However, if you play a lot of games on your smartphone, we would recommend buying the Poco X2 (Review), which also offers a better deal with its Rs 15,999 price tag. The smartphone one-ups Realme 6 Pro with its 120Hz refresh rate display and a slightly better camera performance.

The Poco X2, if you ask us, is the best smartphone under Rs 20,000 for those who also play games and perform graphics-intensive tasks on their smartphone. For the rest, you would certainly not regret buying the Realme 6 Pro.
First Published on Mar 24, 2020 04:32 pm
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