Thursday, 17 October 2019 20:01

FULL LAUNCH VIDEO: Realme, Australia's newest smartphone brand challenges with great features at amazing prices

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With 120 smartphone brands globally, you need to really stand out to make an impression, and with realme only 17 months old, it has launched into Australia with a bang, with top features (including Australia's first 64 megapixel smartphone) at very challenging pricing.

Quick, what does a flagship smartphone cost today? $1000? $2000? $2500?

While the iPhone 11 Pro Max, Samsung Note 10+, Huawei P30 Pro and Google Pixel 4 models stand tall with ultra premium features well above the $1000 price point, or even over $2000, not everyone needs the sheer power and brand prestige these ultimate flagships offer, and which are popular sellers despite, or even thanks to, the high-end pricing.

Below the $1000 mark you find the high-end mid-range market, with mid-range around the $500 mark. You then have various price points under $500 with models all aspiring to squeeze in as many features for the money, until you get towards the $100 level where you know that there's only so much that you'll get for that low amount of money.

So, when you get a smartphone challenger that operates online, while still having a few retail partners, and wants to make as big a splash as possible, you find a brand like realme, whose flagship device comes with Australia's first 64 megapixel quad-camera smartphone, the realme XT.

Dubbing itself "the fastest growing smartphone brand in the world", realme also characterises itself as a disruptive, challenger brand, boasting over 17 million users worldwide since its launch 17 months ago.

The company announced the launch of three quad camera smartphones: the realme 5 ($299 - on sale 25 Oct), the realme 5 Pro ($399 - on sale 30 Oct) and the realme XT ($499 - on sale 22 Oct) and dual camera ‘$199 value king’ realme C2 ($199 - on sale 30 Oct), at its official launch party in Sydney on Thursday night, which you can see in full below - the article contines thereafter, please read on!

Since announcing its imminent entry into the Australian market earlier this month, realme has enjoyed speculation about which products itwould bring to Australian consumers.

Founded in May 2018 by former OPPO Vice President Sky Li, the company launched four new devices tonight with its Australian MD, Andy Yang, at the helm to "deliver on its promise to enable young people - including students and young professionals - to experience premium functionality, technology and style at a reasonable price".

The company explains that "all four devices are ‘powered by OPPO’, with the smartphone giant supporting the young brand with a shared production line, supply chain and its ColorOS system. However, as a young brand with a ‘Dare to Leap’ spirit, realme has its own research and development facilities, independent design team and unique approach to communicating with its customers and fans."

All four devices will run off the Color OS 6.0 operating system, based on Android P.

realme Australia Managing Director, Andy Yang, said: “As a young and fearless brand, realme is excited to introduce Australia to the first 64MP camera smartphone in this market, with realme XT.

"In the four new devices - realme C2, realme 5, realme 5 Pro and realme XT - that we’re bringing to consumers in Australia, we are delivering premium functionality, superior camera technology, power and style at an affordable price.

“We are trying to redefine smartphone price points from $199 to $499, and offer new experiences to all realme fans in Australia. As a young brand, we are eager to grow together with our fans, inspiring and being inspired.”

Leap to Quad Camera Era

realme explained that its three new quad camera smartphones - realme 5, realme 5 Pro and realme XT - feature four individual lenses, each designed for a specific task. From top to bottom these include: 

  • Ultra wide-angle lens: Up to 119-degrees (realme XT), to capture more of the world around you - perfect for stunning landscape photography and group photos
  • Primary lens: realme 5 - 12MP, realme 5 Pro - 48MP, realme XT - 64MP
  • Portrait lens: For capturing the perfect portrait, with the ultimate balance of exposure and colour
  • Macro lens: For capturing the world up close, in-detail. The macro lens enables users to discover the beauty of the micro world with a mere
  • 4cm shooting distance to provide unmatched detail
  • Front camera: for capturing the perfect selfie. realme 5 - 13MP, realme 5 Pro - 16MP, realme XT - 16MP

So, what's more detail on the realme XT ($499) - 64MP Quad Camera Xpert - on sale 22 Oct?

"Featuring Australia’s first and only 64MP AI quad camera smartphone, the realme XT has the highest resolution sensor ever seen on a smartphone.

"Available in two colours - Pearl White and Pearl Blue - the phone’s quad camera features 4-in-1 intelligent pixel binning, f/1.8 aperture and 6P lens with superior light-gathering capability for expert-level photography. The realme XT’s hero feature is its 64MP ultra high-resolution camera, with the quad camera set-up able to take 9216 × 6912, highly-detailed and super-crisp resolution photos via the Ultra 64MP mode.

"The quad camera also features an ultra-wide-angle lens, a macro lens and a portrait lens, as well as a 16MP AI front camera. The ultra wide-angle camera packs a 119° field of view that’s up to 50 per cent wider, along with realme’s Dual Lens Distortion Correction (DLDC) engine that smartly corrects edge distortion. The macro lens enables users to discover the beauty of the micro world with a mere 4cm shooting distance to provide unmatched detail.

"The super Chroma Boost mode ensures better imaging effect and more options for colours and styles, while the AI engine recognises scenes and uses its unique human visual model to restore brightness, finishing and colour. realme XT also leverages the most advanced version of Nightscape, optimising images taken in night mode including creating a more natural skin tone."

Boosting speed and power

"Powered by the powerful 10nm octa-core Snapdragon 712 AIE processor with 2.3 GHz sCPU, realme XT has a third generation AI Engine that accelerates AI computing. It also houses the Qualcomm® Adreno™ 616 GPU, giving users an outstanding performance, enhanced gaming and entertainment experience."

High quality display

"The realme XT features a 3D glass hyperbola curve back design developed using Gorilla Glass 5 hot bending technology that gives the phone a fantastic eye-catching visual. It sports a Super AMOLED Dewdrop Full Screen high quality display, having 91.9 per cent screen-to-body ratio."

Features: 

  • Rear camera: 64MP AI Quad Camera, ultra wide camera and macro lens
  • Front camera: 16MP AI Camera Sony IMX471 Sensor
  • Camera features: Supports Ultra 64MP, ultra wide-angle, ultra-macro, Super Nightscape
  • Screen: 6.4 inch Super AMOLED Dewdrop Full Screen Gorilla Glass
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 AIE
  • Battery: 4000mAh
  • Charge: VOOC 3.0 Flash Charge (20W)
  • System: ColorOS 6, based on Android P Hyper Boost 2.0
  • Storage: 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM (UFS 2.1) with the compatibility of expandable storage of up to 256GB (independent SD card slot)
  • Colours: Pearl White & Pearl Blue

What about the realme C2 ($199) - which the company dubs the “$199 Value King”?

"The entry level realme C2 lives up to its reputation as the ‘$199 value king’, offering power and style at an affordable price. The device offers Australian consumers best bang for their buck at this price point and specifications.

"With a beautiful 6.1 inch HD+ Dewdrop display and impressive battery life, it’s striking ‘Diamond-Cut’ design is available in two colours.

"The 2.0GHZ and octa core MediaTek Helio P22 processor for realme C2 is capable of a long lasting battery endurance and powerful performance. The well-customized AI dual rear cameras (13MP+2MP) are apt for more definite and natural photos and portraits and offer stable and smooth video shooting with the multi-frame anti-vibration technology. The C2 comes with 4x Digital Zoom."

Features:

  • Rear camera: 13MP + 2MP AI dual rear camera for high quality photography
  • Front camera: 5MP front camera with AI Beautification & Bokeh Mode
  • Camera features: 1080p video recording Bokeh Effect Slo-Mo
  • Screen: 6.1 inch HD+ Dewdrop Full Screen
  • CPU: MediaTek Helio P22 processor
  • Battery: 4000mAh, with a day usage assured without charging
  • System: Colour OS 6 based on Android P
  • Storage: 3GB RAM + 64GB ROM with the compatibility of expandable storage of up to 256GB (independent SD card slot)
  • Colours: Diamond Black and Diamond Blue 

Then there's the realme 5 ($299) - dubbed the “Quad Camera Power Hero” - on sale 25 Oct

The company explains that the realme 5 "delivers power and style, living up to its name with a 5,000 mAh battery life that allows consumers to continuously play 30 hours of music, 21 hours of video, enjoy 49 hours of talk time and 718 (29.9 days) hours of screen-off stand-by.

"Available in two colours - Crystal Blue and Crystal Purple, realme 5 features a 6.5 inch HD+ Mini-drop full screen display, giving a larger field of view for an excellent gaming, audio and video experience. The diamond-cut design has been enhanced with holographic colour and reflective texture.

"It features an AI Quad Camera set up including an 8MP 119-degree ultra wide-angle lens, 12MP primary lens, 2MP portrait lens and 2MP macro lens, as well as a 13MP AI front camera. The realme 5 offers outstanding features and technology for a smartphone priced under $300."

Features:

  • Rear camera: 12MP Sony AI Quad Camera Ultra-Wide Angle Macro Lens
  • Front camera: 13MP Camera
  • Camera features: AI Beauty, HDR, Panorama Mode, Portrait, Timelapse, Slo-mo, Nightscape, Expert
  • Screen: 6.5 inch HD+ Dewdrop Fullscreen
  • CPU: Snapdragon 665 AIE
  • Battery: 5000mAh, providing 29.9 days screen off stand-by time
  • System: Color OS 6, based on Android P Hyper Boost 2.0
  • Storage: 4GB RAM + 128GB ROM, with the compatibility of expandable storage of up to 256GB (independent SD card slot) 

Finally, there's the realme 5 Pro ($399) - known as the “Quad Camera Speed Master” - on sale 30 Oct

"realme 5 Pro is engineered to deliver a power-packed performance with a Snapdragon 712 processor from Qualcomm, for consumers who want power and speed.

"8GB RAM and internal memory of 128GB guarantees speed, while five minutes charging allows users to enjoy two hours talk time. The realme 5 Pro will especially impress those who love gaming and demand fast charging, with VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 (20W).

"Available in two colours - Crystal Green and Sparkling Blue - the realme 5 Pro has an 8MP 119-degree ultra wide-lens, massive 48MP Sony IMX586 primary lens, 2MP portrait lens and 2MP ultra macro lens, along with a 16MP Sony IMX471 AI front camera.

"The realme 5 Pro features a 6.3 inch FHD+ Dewdrop Full screen and comes with 20W VOOC 3.0 Fast Charge technology."

Features:

  • Rear camera: 48MP Sony AI quad camera
  • Front camera: 16MP AI Camera Sony IMX471 Sensor
  • Camera features: Supports 960fps slo-mo, macro mode, AI scene recognition, HDR, Super Nightscape, Chroma Boost, Pano, Expert, Time Lapse, Bokeh
  • Screen: 6.3 inch FHD+ Dewdrop Fullscreen
  • CPU: Snapdragon 712 AIE
  • Battery: 4035mAh
  • Charge: VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 (20W) - flash charging while gaming
  • System: ColorOS 6, based on Android P Hyper Boost 2.0
  • Storage: 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM (UFS 2.1), with the compatibility of expandable storage of up to 256GB (independent SD card slot)
  • Colours: Sparkling Blue and Crystal Green

So, how can you get one?

realme devices will be available via the e-commerce sites of traditional retailers including electronics giant JB HiFi, The Good Guys, Bing Lee and more.

The phones will also be available on e-commerce sites including eBay, Amazon, Kogan, Catch and Mobileciti, as well as realme's website here. At time of publication on Thursday night, the site was still in pre-launch mode, but if you're reading this on Friday morning, it should be active and ready to go.  

realme says it will also enter the consumer finance market in Australia, working closely with leading provider Make It Mine, with consumers able to access realme products through the platform.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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