Shomik Sen Bhattacharjee Nov 28, 2018 21:02 PM IST
Realme a brand which made an entry into the market barely six months ago. Even in that short time, the company has made quite a splash in the budget and entry-level smartphone segment in India, and they're in no mood to stop just yet. The brand just launched its latest budget offering in India – priced at Rs 11,999 – at an event in Delhi.
While the company's extremely proud of what it's been able to do with the selfie camera, the highlight definitely has to be the introduction of the Mediatek Helio P70 chipset, which, on paper, is capable of giving its fellow Qualcomm and HiSilicon competitors reason to worry. Last year's P60-powered Realme 2 Pro was quite good, but Realme, for whatever reason, decided to cheat on benchmarks and position the phone as a Snapdragon 660 competitor. Hopefully, the new P70 is now up to the challenge.
Either way, the competitive pricing of the U1 gives it an edge.
Apart from the new chipset, Realme has also made a few changes to the display on the phone when compared to its flagship offering, the Realme 2 Pro. The U1 packs a larger 6.3-inch display with a waterdrop notch with a resolution of 1080x2340 pixels.
|Smartphone||Realme U1||Redmi Note 6 Pro||Realme 2 Pro||Honor 8X||Nokia 6.1 Plus|
|Display Size (inch)||6.3||6.26||6||6.5||5.8|
|Resolution (pixels)||1080 x 2340||1080 x 2280||1080 x 2220||1080 x 2340||1080 x 2280|
|Pixel Density (PPI)||409||403||409||397||432|
|Display Type||IPS LCD||IPS LCD||IPS LCD||IPS LCD||IPS LCD|
|Dimensions (mm)||157 x 74 x 8||157.9 x 76.4 x 8.3||156.7 x 74 x 8.5||160.4 x 76.6 x 7.8||147.2 x 71 x 8|
|Connectivity Types||GSM / HSPA / LTE||GSM / WCDMA / LTE||GSM / HSPA / LTE||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE|
|Processor||MediaTek Helio P70||Qualcomm Snapdragon 636||Qualcomm Snapdragon 660||HiSilicon Kirin 710||Qualcomm Snapdragon 636|
|CPU Clock Speed (GHz)||4x Cortex-A73 @ 2.1 GHz & 4x Cortex-A53 @ 2.0 GHz||8x Kryo 260 @ 1.8 GHz||4x Kryo 260 @ 2.2 GHz & 4x Kryo 260 @ 1.8 GHz||4x Cortex-A73 @ 2.2 GHz & 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.7 GHz||8x Kryo 260 @ 1.8 GHz|
|GPU||Mali-G72 MP3||Adreno 509||Adreno 512||Mali-G51 MP4||Adreno 509|
|RAM||3/4 GB||3/4/6 GB||4/6/8 GB||4/6 GB||4 GB|
|On-Board Memory||32/64 GB||32/64 GB||32/64/128 GB||32/64/128 GB||64 GB|
|Expandable Memory||Yes, up to 256 GB||Yes, up to 256 GB||Yes, up to 512 GB||No||Yes, up to 256 GB|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Fingerprint, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass||Fingerprint, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass|
|Rear Camera||13 MP f/2.2;
2 MP f/2.4
|12 MP, f/1.9;
5 MP, f/2.2
|16 MP, f/1.7; 2 MP||20 MP, f/1.8; 2 MP||16 MP, f/2.0; 5 MP; f/2.4|
|Optical Image Stabilization||No||No||No||No||No|
|Camera Array||Dual Camera||Dual Camera||Dual Camera||Dual Camera||Dual Camera|
|Autofocus System||Phase detection autofocus||Phase detection autofocus||Phase detection autofocus||Phase detection autofocus||Phase detection autofocus|
|Front Camera||25 MP, f/2.0||20 MP, f/2.0;
2 MP f/2.2
|16 MP, f/2.0||20 MP, f/2.2||16 MP, f/2.0|
|Video Capture||1080p @ 30 fps, 720p @ 90 fps||1080p@30fps||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps||1080p@30/60fps, 480fps||720p @120 fps, 1080p @ 30 fps, 2160p @ 30 fps|
|OS Version||Android Oreo 8.1||Android Oreo 8.1||Android 8.1 Oreo||Android Oreo 8.1||Android Oreo 8.1|
|AI (Smart Assistant)||Google Assistant||Google Assistant||Google Assistant||Google Assistant||Google Assistant|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot|
|Bluetooth||v5.0, A2DP, LE||v5.0, A2DP, LE||v5.0, A2DP, LE||v5.0, A2DP, LE||v5, A2DP, LE|
|Fingerprint Scanner||Yes, Rear button||Yes, Rear button||Yes, Rear button||Yes, Rear button||Yes, Rear button|
|3.5 mm jack||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|USB Standard||USB v2.0||USB v2.0||USB v2.0||USB v2.0||USB v2.0|
|Colors||Ambitious Black, Brave Blue, Fiery Gold||Black, Blue, Rose Gold, Red||Black, Deep Blue, Light Blue||Black, Blue, Red, Pink||Black, Deep Blue, Light Blue|
|Prices in India||Rs 11,999||Rs 13,999||Rs 13,990||Rs 14,999||Rs 14,999|
Performance: Realme U1/ Honor 8X
In terms of numbers, it looks like the Realme U1 and Honor 8X do lock horns while the rest of the phones take a bit of a back seat. The Kirin 710 on the Honor 8X and the brand new Helio P70 on the Realme U1 pack the same cores with similar clock speeds. They're also both made using a 12 nm manufacturing process which should make them similarly efficient when it comes to battery consumption. Now, we are yet to game and benchmark the Realme U1, but considering that the Honor 8X did do well there, it would be interesting to see which smartphone performs better.
The Realme 2 Pro and Honor 8X both handily beat the Note 6 Pro in gaming tests, hence the Realme U1 shouldn't be too bad either, making all of these phones decent picks for gamers. However, we suggest you hold on for our detailed review of the Realme U1, as Realme and Oppo phones have been known to cheat on benchmarks.
Design: Nokia 6.1 Plus
This does boil down to personal preference. Personally, my pick would definitely be the Nokia 6.1 Plus. The Realme U1 does look great with the reflective glass back and the way it transforms the light, however.
If you are done with dull black phones and don't mind experimenting with colours, then the blue variant of Honor 8X is definitely worth considering. The 8X is a big phone though, so if you want something smaller, you might want to have a look at the Realme 2 Pro, which in my opinion looks better than the U1.
We are yet to test the camera on the Realme U1, but the phone to beat is definitely the Redmi Note 6 Pro. The Note 6 Pro features a very impressive dual camera on the rear and its selfie game is also on point. I'm especially curious to see how the selfie camera on the Realme U1 fares.
Levi Lee, Realme's Chief Product Officer did spend a good amount of time on stage talking about the capabilities of the 25 MP front camera, however, the company's lack of emphasis on upgrading the rear camera setup here could hurt its chances of being a camera champ at this price.
Battery: Redmi Note 6 Pro
The Realme U1 packs in a 3,500 mAh battery unit which is identical to that on the Realme 2 Pro. The display has gotten bigger though and battery life could take a bit of a hit because of it. The Redmi Note 6 Pro does have a slight edge here as it packs a larger 4,000 mAh battery which easily lasted about two days on light to moderate usage when I reviewed the phone.
The Honor 8X and Realme 2 Pro also did relatively well when we reviewed the phones and getting past a day without charging the phone shouldn't be a big problem. Considering the Realme U1 allows fast charging, juicing up the phone shouldn't be much of a hassle anyway, but you will have to get yourself a fast charger as Realme doesn't supply one in the retail box.
Given that the Realme U1 has debuted on an entirely new platform, it's hard to gauge where it stands. On paper, the new chipset and camera do look promising, and its pricing is certainly competitive. There's not enough information to pick a winner just yet, but the Realme U1 is certainly an exciting phone. Stay tuned for our full review, which should be coming soon.