Thursday, 22 October 2020 08:00

Review: among the 5G hype, realme 7 Pro is a 4G challenger

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The Mirror Blue realme 7 Pro model. The Mirror Blue realme 7 Pro model. Supplied

The latest Chinese challenger, realme, has unveiled a new model for the Australian market, with the realme 7 Pro being launched today.

The device is well-made, with the back being plastic; its matte finish means you won't find it being messed up with fingerprints. But one really doesn't need to use the phone without a case, when one is thoughtfully provided.

By releasing a 4G device at a time when 5G devices are coming out of every company's ears, realme appears to be sending a subtle message: you don't need 5G phones, not for a long time. A high-end 4G-LTE phone that works on the mid-range spectrum band will do just fine.

big body

The Mirror Silver realme 7 Pro model. Supplied

Initially, when realme first hit the market it used the same UI as OPPO's ColorOS. But around the time when the realme 6 was released, there was its own UI plastered over Android 10. In the 7 Pro, the UI is slowly beginning to develop a distinct character.

realme has moved the fingerprint authentication from the right-hand side start button in the realme 6 to in-display. This, in my book, is a wise move; using the start button made the registration of a print quite a fiddly process.

Security features like fingerprint and facial recognition are now standard — though some misers like Google will not offer facial recognition on phones that cost the same as the 7 Pro — and there is no need to even comment on them unless they do not work as intended.

flowers bokeh

Taken with Portrait mode.

The realme 7 Pro has a couple of features that are notable, among them the charging technology. In my tests, the 65W SuperDart Charge took 38 minutes to charge the device from zero to 100%; the manufacturer claims 34 minutes, so that's not far off the mark.

Tests for shorter periods showed an impressive 34% charge in 11 minutes and 69% in 21 minutes. Additionally, there is a decent sized battery at 4500mAh, so one does not really need to charge that often.

The 7 Pro has a headphone jack and very good sound, not anything like the tinny sound that I experienced on the Google Pixel 4a. The charging connector is an USB-C as is becoming standard on smartphones across the spectrum.

There is sufficient storage and memory, with 128GB of the former and 8GB of the latter. Once again, this is a step up from manufacturers like Apple which offer only 64GB on the base model.

stream park

Distance shots also show an impressive amount of detail.

But if one requires additional storage, there is provision for a SD card up to 256GB. There are two SIM slots.

The camera produces very good pictures, be they close-ups or distance shots as can be seen from the pictures embedded in this article. [The image on the right, below, is an unusual one]. The 32MP in-display selfie camera takes good shots as well and also has a Nightscape mode.

The realme 6 was sold for $469 while this device costs $599. Two things could account for this: a Qualcomm SoC has been used and it has a Sony 64MP Quad Camera. This SoC is also touted as being aimed at gamers, same as the realme 6.

But it lacks the faster 90Hz screen refresh rate which makes the gaming experience that much smoother.

scomoParts made by big brand names like Qualcomm and Sony cost more than the lesser-known ones; the 6 had a Helio G90T octa-core CPU and a generic camera. One could account for the increased price of the 7 Pro that way.

realme has made good progress since it emerged in Australia in October 2018, with the company claiming that it has sales in 59 countries and a user base of some 40 million.

The device has gone through TÜV Rheinland’s Smartphone Reliability Verification, which includes 22 major and 38 minor tests that cover three areas: daily use, component reliability and extreme environment.

The realme Pro 7 will be available from 5 November at realme e-store, JB HI-FI, Officeworks, Bing Lee, Make it Mine, mobileciti, 5GWORLD, Essential Appliance Rentals, Amazon, Kogan, eBay and Catch.com.

Specs

Body Dimensions 160.9 x 74.3 x 8.7 mm (6.33 x 2.93 x 0.34 in)

Weight 182 g (6.42 oz)

SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)

Water-repellent coating

Display Type Super AMOLED

Size 6.4 inches, 98.9 cm2 (~82.7% screen-to-body ratio)

Resolution 1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~411 ppi density)

Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3+

Always-on display

Platform OS Android 10, Realme UI

Chipset Qualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G (8 nm)

CPU Octa-core (2x2.3 GHz Kryo 465 Gold & 6x1.8 GHz Kryo 465 Silver)

GPU Adreno 618

Memory Card slot microSDXC (dedicated slot)

Internal 128GB 8GB RAM UFS 2.1
Main Camera Quad 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.73", 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.3, 119˚, 16mm (ultrawide), 1/4.0", 1.12µm
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)

Features LED flash, HDR, panorama

Video 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, gyro-EIS

Selfie camera Single 32 MP, f/2.5, 24mm (wide), 1/2.8", 0.8µm

Features HDR, panorama

Video 1080p@30/120fps, gyro-EIS

Sound Loudspeaker Yes, with stereo speakers

3.5mm jack Yes
24-bit/192kHz audio

Comms WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot

Bluetooth 5.1, A2DP, LE

GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, NavIC

Radio No

USB USB Type-C 2.0, USB On-The-Go

Sensors Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass

Battery Type Li-Po 4500 mAh, non-removable

Charging Fast charging 65W, 50% in 12 min, 100% in 34 min (advertised)

Colours Mirror Blue, Mirror Silver

Models RMX2170

SAR 0.73 W/kg (head) 0.52 W/kg (body)

Price $599

Tests

Performance AnTuTu: 278414(v8)
GeekBench: 1811 (v5.1)
GFXBench: 14fps (ES 3.1 onscreen)
Display Contrast ratio: Infinite (nominal)
Camera Photo / Video
Loudspeaker -24.8 LUFS (Very good)
Battery life Endurance rating 113h


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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