Solid mid-range smartphone under Rs. 20000

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realme recently launched the realme 7 Pro smartphone, successor to realme 6 Pro that was launched earlier this year. This has a completely different approach compared to the realme 6 Pro since it moves from a 90Hz refresh rate LCD screen to 60Hz AMOLED screen, doesn’t have a telephoto lens or a secondary wide-angle front camera, retains the same Snapdragon 720G SoC, but this brings 65W fast charging for the first time in the price segment. Is the phone worth the price when you already have a lot of phones? Let us dive into the review to find out.

Box Contents

  • realme 7 Pro smartphone in Mirror Blue color
  • 2-pin 65W SuperDart charger (10V-6.5A)
  • USB Type C Cable
  • SIM Ejector tool
  • Clear protective case
  • User Guide and Warranty information

Display, Hardware and Design

The realme 7 Pro has a 6.4-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED dew-drop screen with a pixel resolution of 2400 × 1080 pixels, 20:9 aspect ratio 2.5D curved glass screen with gentle rounded corners and pixel density of about 411PPI. The display is bright, and the sunlight legibility is good as well, thanks to 600nits brightness and has 98% NTSC color gamut so the colors are vibrant. It has 60Hz refresh rate and 180Hz touch sampling rate, which is decent, but if you have used 90Hz refresh rate you will find the difference. The phone as ultra-narrow border so it has high screen-to-body ratio of about 83%, even though the company says it is 90.8%. It also has HDR support, which works for supported YouTube videos, but you can’t control it manually. The phone has Corning Gorilla Glass 3+ protection.

Since this has a 20:9 aspect ratio screen, you can pinch to zoom to fill the screen when you use video apps, but the content is cropped. Under the display options there are Brilliant, Vivo and Gentle screen modes. There is also eye comfort mode that lets you reduce the display’s blue light emission so it doesn’t cause eye strain when you are reading at night. There is Dark mode, similar to other latest realme phones, and you can enable dark mode for third-party apps as well, but it is not perfect to view the content in some apps. DC Dimming option is present inside the realme Lab option. This reduces the screen flicker when the brightness is low, but realme warns that this might cause screen display issues and auto brightness issues, but I didn’t face any such issue.

Above the display there is an earpiece on the top edge that also doubles up as a secondary speaker. The ambient light sensor is present under the screen. It also has a gyroscope and a magnetic sensor, otherwise known as a magnetometer. There is also a 32-megapixel camera on the front with f/2.5 aperture.

The power button is present on the right, volume rockers and SIM + microSD slot are present on the left and the loudspeaker grill, USB Type-C port, microphone and the 3.5mm audio jack are present on the bottom. On the top there is a secondary microphone.

It has a dedicated dual SIM slot, similar to most other realme phones so that you can use dual SIMs and a microSD at the same time.

On the back there is a 64-megapixel camera along with an 8-megapixel 120-degree wide-angle lens, 2-megapixel depth sensor and a 2-megapixel macro camera. This has slight camera bump due to the large sensor, but the camera lens is protected by a scratch-resistant glass. realme says that the phone has three splash proof layers and the SIM card slot, battery cover, and component connectors feature foam splash proof ring for protection. However, it doesn’t have IP ratings. The phone weighs 182g, and the weight distribution is good.

This has popular AG processing with classic CD textures makes the phone looks premium even though it has a plastic back. It offers a matte finish so that it offers a good grip compared to glass but it is prone to smudges. The phone comes bundled with a clear protective case in the box which is good, and it is recommended to use a case to protect the phone from scratches.

The company recently launched the Sun Kissed leather edition that is priced the same as the normal edition, which is a better deal.

Camera

The phone packs quad rear cameras, that includes a main 64-megapixel primary rear camera with single LED Flash, 1/1.72″Sony IMX682 sensor, 0.8μm pixel size, f/1.7 aperture, has support for PDAF, EIS along with a secondary 8-megapixel camera with 119° ultra-wide angle lens with f/2.3 aperture, 2-megapixel B&W portrait camera and a 2-megapixel camera for 4cm macro with f/2.4 aperture. It has a 32-megapixel front-facing camera with f/2.5 aperture.

The camera UI is familiar with other realme smartphones running reame UI with flash, HDR, AI Dazzle Colour (Chromaboost in some phones), Filters and settings on the top. There is option for ultrawide, 1x, 2x and 5x options on the bottom. Below that there are options for Night, Video, Photo, Portrait, 64MP, and more options to choose Movie, Google Lens, Time-Lapse, Ultra Macro, Slo-Mo, Expert (Pro) and Pano. Beautify option for the front camera lets you adjust several features, in addition to smoothness. The night mode also works for the front camera. realme has enabled Cam2API by default so you can side-load ported Google Camera APKs for advanced editing including RAW capture.

Coming to the image quality, daylight shots came out well with good dynamic range, thanks to the new sensor. HDR shots are better with improved dynamic range and the AI Dazzle Colour uses AI to boost the colors those who like it. The dedicated 2MP macro sensor is just average since it can only shoot from 4cm distance and the colors in the mode are muted. It is better to use the 2x option in the main camera for better closeup shots. Wide-angle shots are decent, and the portrait shots have good edge detection. 64MP mode that offers a lot of details, but images are huge.

Low-light shots are good, thanks to pixel binning that lets the camera’s sensor hardware combine 4 pixels into a single 1.6μm large pixel, and the nightscape mode is even better making the images brighter offering more details. There is also starry mode and new night filters that include Cyberpunk, Flamingo and Modern Gold. Images with flash are good and the flash is not overpowering. Daylight front camera shots are good, and low-light shots could have been better, but the night mode helps. Edge detection in portrait shots is decent, but not perfect.

Check out the camera samples (Click the image to view the full resolution sample.).

It can record videos at 4k resolution at 30 fps, 1080p at up to 60 fps, and it also has slow motion 720p resolution video recording at up to 240fps. You can also shoot 1080p 30 fps videos using the ultra-wide camera. There is also bokeh mode for video for both front and rear cameras, including wide-angle front camera, which works well only in people, but it is a good addition. There is also AI Color Portrait Video mode, which can be selected from the filter. Check out the video samples below.

Software, UI and Apps

It runs Android 10 out of the box with realmeUI on top and it got Android security update for October, 2020 recently. It has a lot of features such as new UI, Customizable Icon Style, Animated Wallpapers, Focus Mode, Screen Recording with Internal Audio Recording, Smart Sidebar, and more.  You can check them out here. It has always-on display option, but it shows only the lock and doesn’t show notifications. Full Always On Display with different themes will be available with realme UI 2.0 that will roll out soon. Early access will be available from November for the 7 Pro.

Out of 8GB RAM, you get 7.55GB of usable RAM, and about 5.5GB of RAM is free when default apps are running in the background. Out of 128GB internal storage, you get about 108GB of free storage. Since this has UFS 2.1 storage, we got sequential read speeds of about 507MB/s. Apart from the usual set of utility apps, Google apps and realme’s own set of apps, it comes pre-loaded with WPS Office, Amazon Hot apps and Hot games tab. You can easily uninstall these apps.

There are ads that appear in several places, and is turned on by default, but you can disable it by turning off “Get recommendations” option in the settings.

Fingerprint sensor and Face unlock

The phone has an in-display fingerprint sensor, and the company is using new GOODIX sensor. It immediately unlocks the phone just by keeping your finger so that you don’t have to press it. You can select fingerprint animation as well, but can’t disable it. You can add up to 5 fingerprints. You can also use the fingerprint for app local and payments in apps. The phone also has face unlock, but it is not as secure as fingerprint since it can be unlocked with a photo, but there are some additional options so that it doesn’t detect when you close your eyes.

Music Player and Multimedia

The realme Music Player is the default music player with usual Dolby audio effects and equalizer. The phone doesn’t have FM Radio, which was present in realme 6 Pro. It has dual stereo speakers with 10x12mm top speaker and 12x17mm bottom speaker so the audio quality is good. Since the speakers are powerful the back of the phone vibrates a bit, which is common in phones with stereo speakers. Audio through earphones is good as well, and has Dolby Atmos. The phone also has dual-mode audio in the realme Lab that lets you listen to both wired and wireless headsets at the same time.

Even though the company says that the phone comes with Widevine L1 support to play HD content on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, our unit still shows Widevine L3 on DRM Info app and Netflix even after the October security patch. This can be fixed with an update in the future.

Dual SIM and Connectivity

It supports 4G VoLTE for Reliance Jio and Airtel as well as support Dual 4G VoLTE that offers 4G in both the SIM cards at a time. There is Snapdragon X15  Cat-15 LTE modem. Other connectivity options include Dual-Band Wi-Fi 802.11 ac with dual network acceleration, VoWiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 LE and Dual Frequency (L1 + L5) GPS, as it also has NavIC, but it doesn’t work yet. relame might push an update to enable it. It also has USB OTG support that lets you connect USB drives.  Moving on, the call quality is good, and we did not face any call drops and the earpiece volume was loud.

Body SAR of the phone 0.516W/Kg and head SAR is at 0.734W/Kg which is less than the realme 6 Pro and is well below the limit of 1.6W/kg (over 1 g) in India.

Performance and Benchmarks

Coming to the performance, this is powered by an Octa-Core Snapdragon 720G 8nm Mobile Platform, which has 2 x Kryo 465 Performance CPUs (A76-based) clocked at up to 2.3GHz and 6x Kryo 465 Efficiency CPUs (A55-based) at up to 1.8GHz. It has Adreno 618 GPU with support for Open GL ES 3.2, Open CL 2.0, as well as Vulkan 1.1 graphics, 8GB LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 storage.

Thanks to the slightly higher clocked larger Kryo 465 cores based on new Cortex A76, this is faster than the Snapdragon 730G that uses Kryo 470 cores. The Snapdragon 720G also features select Snapdragon Elite Gaming features including Game Anti-Cheat Extensions and Game Fast Loader, True HDR Gaming featuring 10-bit color depth and aptX Adaptive audio provides high-quality synchronized sound. We did not face any issues or frame drops in the graphic-intensive games. It gets a bit warm on intensive gaming and 4G data use, but it doesn’t get too hot to handle. That said, check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.

Battery life

Coming to the battery life, the 4500mAh (2250 x 2) built-in battery offers brilliant battery life. It lasts for a day even with heavy use and over two days with average use, and I got about 6 hours of screen on time (SOT) during my use. Since the phone has support 65W SuperDart fast charging, it takes about 35 minutes to charge it from 0 to 100%, and 0 to 50% takes 14 minutes with the bundled 65W charger. The phone gets a bit hot when charging, which is common in most smartphones with fast charging. It also supports 18W PD/QC charge, so you can use an 18W charger if you want to improve the battery health.

It achieved One Charge Rating of 19 hours and 45 minutes in our battery test, which is good for a phone with a 4500mAh battery.

Conclusion

Overall, the realme 7 Pro, is a worth upgrade to realme 6 Pro at a slightly higher price compared to the predecessor. It has improved main camera, AMOLED screen, 65W fast charging and offers good battery life even with a 4500mAh battery, but there is no high refresh rate screen and the phone doesn’t have a glass body.

Competition

POCO X3 at a cheaper rate has high refresh rate LCD screen, latest 732G SoC and a bigger battery. Another competitor is the Samsung Galaxy M31s in the similar price range that offers a bigger battery and better wide-angle camera.

Availability

The realme 7 Pro is available from Flipkart, realme.com and offline stores priced at Rs. 19,999 for the 6GB RAM with 128GB storage version and the 8GB RAM with 128GB storage version costs Rs. 21,999.

Pros

  • Brilliant AMOLED screen
  • Good cameras
  • Good battery life with 65W fast charging
  • Smooth performance
  • Stereo speakers

Cons

  • No telephoto camera camera which the realme 6 Pro had
  • Always-on-display is coming only in realme UI 2.0
  • Average low-light camera performance


Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram





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