In the last few months, a relatively new player has entered the Indian market (and several others) and made quite an impact already. Started by Oppo’s former Senior Executive Sky Li, Realme started as a subsidiary of Oppo, however, it has been operating independently since May 2018. This was also the month when Realme launched its first smartphone, Realme 1, in the Indian market.
Fast forward to the present, September 2018, and Realme has become quite a known brand in the budget to lower mid-range segment thanks to its value for money smartphones. Only yesterday, Realme launched its third smartphone, Realme 2 Pro, in the Indian market. This is also its best phone till so far. Packing impressive specs and a surprisingly likeable take on the notch-display, Realme 2 Pro promises to be worth considering in the tightly packed lower mid-range category.
|Display||IPS LCD, 6.3-inch, Full HD+ 1080p x 2340p|
|Body||Multilayer plastic back, Polycarbonate frame, Gorilla Glass 3 display|
|Processor||Snapdgragon 660, 4/6/8 GB RAM, 64/128 GB storage|
|OS||ColorOS 5.2 based on Android Oreo 8.1|
|Camera||16 MP (f1.7) + 2 MP (f2.4) dual camera at back, PDAF. 16 MP (f2.0) at front|
|Battery||3,500 mAh (no fast charging)|
|Price||Rs 13,990 (4 GB/64 GB), Rs 15,990 (6 GB/64 GB), Rs 17,990 (8 GB/128 GB)|
Here is our very first impression of the Realme 2 Pro.
DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
A number of phones in this price range have metallic frame and body, but the Realme 2 Pro is different from all of them in this regard. The frame is polycarbonate and the rest of the body is made out of multilayer plastic (15 layers of it to be precise and it is done with the help of a laminated technology). However, it has a metallic look and finish to it, so basically it looks pretty good.
But the prominent visual feature of the phone is its “dewdrop” notch display (that’s what Realme calls it) especially when the phone is turned on. More on this later though. Other than this, there’s a fingerprint sensor at the back along with a horizontally aligned dual camera module. The Realme branding is around the bottom. Overall, it is a neat design and because of its material, it isn’t slippery to hold which is a good thing.
DISPLAY & SOFTWARE
The Realme 2 Pro comes with a humongous 6.3-inch display making it a phone with possibly the largest display in this price bracket (or among devices up to Rs 15,000). It is a standard IPS LCD display panel but more than the size, it is the dewdrop-notch which is the talking point and the sellout feature.
We are generally not a fan of the notch design because it hinders with the overall viewing experience, and also because probably very few companies can justify the presence of it. Gladly, we seem to like Realme’s take on the notch design. The “dewdrop” notch is subtle enough that it appears more like a small curve around the front camera rather than the dreadful cut-out. It appears like an original design (even though Oppo already has the F9 with similar notch design) in the sea of wide notches and it really doesn’t look bad, so far at least!
The display in general is good with nice colors and with its big size, it should deliver pretty satisfying multimedia experience. As far as the OS concerned, it is the ColorOS 5.2 which is basically designed on Android Oreo 8.1. For people who already own Oppo devices, they will find the user interface quite familiar. The so-called AI infused OS is supposed to enhance the user experience by accelerating app launched over a period of time depending on usage.
The Realme 2 Pro comes equipped with Snapdragon 660 octa-core processor clocked at 1.95 GHz even though the processor is capable of the maximum speed of 2.2 GHz. Along with this, there are three RAM and two storage options in the following combinations:
4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage
6 GB RAM / 64 GB storage
8 GB RAM / 128 GB storage
All storage options are expandable up to 256 GB. We believe that the 4 GB RAM variant will be enough for all kind of day-to-day performance. Honestly, we do not see much advantage of the 6 GB RAM variant, but it could be a touch quicker in app launches especially. However, the 8 GB RAM variant, even though it appears like overkill, should assist in gaming. The key word here is “assist” as we aren’t sure of how useful it is going to be overall. Specifically, the gaming performance depends on the GPU and of course, some decent amount of RAM which the 4 GB already is. Wait for our detailed review to know what kind of difference it really makes.
Nevertheless, we are expecting one of the best performing handsets between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 price range.
The Realme 2 Pro comes with a dual camera setup with a combination of 16 MP primary and a 2 MP secondary lens. The primary lens gets an impressive f1.7 aperture which should help deliver good pictures in lowlight (because of the large f1.7 aperture). On the other hand, the secondary lens gets f2.4 aperture size and it is meant for depth detection to help take good Portrait images.
Still, the image quality is not only dependent on the size of the aperture but greatly on the sensor being used. The primary lens has the Sony IMX386 sensor with 1.12um pixel size. Honestly, this isn’t the best. Secondly, the camera also gets AI feature to enhance the overall picture quality by recognizing a variety of scenes and thereby enhancing the color saturation accordingly. It is mostly a scene detection feature.
Nevertheless, the Realme 2 Pro’s camera gives an impression of delivering one of the best image qualities in its segment, if not the best. The 16 megapixel front camera, with f2.0 aperture, also promises impressive selfies. We shall soon present our detailed review on this.
There’s a 3,500 mAh battery onboard with a typical 5V-2A charger. It doesn’t come with fast charging which is a bit of a bummer. However, there are a number of phones with similar battery capacity with similar specifications and in this price range; on that basis, we can expect 1 full day of runtime at minimum. This should be good and anything higher is even better. What we will have to see how the battery drains in case of heavy usage. That will be interesting.
Starting at Rs 13,990, Realme 2 Pro promises to be one of the best performers in the lower mid-range segment. It has a good processor and the RAM options are pretty great (goes up to 8 GB which costs Rs 17,990). So far, we like the display and especially the fact that Realme didn’t go for a typical, and largely useless, typically big notch. The dewdrop design is fairly acceptable and not really bad to look at.
Look out for our detailed review in the near future in which we will have thoroughly tested and reviewed all aspects of Realme 2 Pro’s usage.