Realme U1 vs Redmi Note 6 Pro vs Honor 8X vs Realme 2 Pro: Is there a winner?

The Realme U1's USP is the MediaTek Helio P70 SoC, which could make it a great option for gamers.

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.

The Realme U1 starts at a price of Rs 11,999 for the 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage variant. Image: tech2/ Nandini Yadav

The Realme U1 starts at a price of Rs 11,999 for the 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage variant. Image: tech2/ Nandini Yadav

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.

But does it beat the Redmi Note 6 Pro and the Honor 8X? Here's a rundown of all the numbers that matter.

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
Weight (g) 168 182 174 175 151
Dual SIM Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
SIM Type Nano-SIM Nano-SIM Nano-SIM Nano-SIM Nano-SIM
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 Cores Octa-core Octa-core Octa-core Octa-core Octa-core
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
Ruggedness Splashproof
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
Flash LED Dual-LED LED LED Dual-LED
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
GPS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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
NFC No No No No Yes
Infrared Yes Yes No No No
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
Radio No No Yes Yes Yes
USB Type microUSB microUSB microUSB microUSB microUSB
USB Standard USB v2.0 USB v2.0 USB v2.0 USB v2.0 USB v2.0
Battery (mAh) 3,500 4,000 3,500 3,750 3,500
Fast charging Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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.

The Realme U1 has a nice looking design but fails to feel refined. Image: tech2/ Nandini Yadav

The Realme U1 has a nice looking design but fails to feel refined. Image: tech2/ Nandini Yadav

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.

Camera: TBD

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.

Conclusion

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.

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