realme, a company that is a sub-brand of OPPO and was spun off to its own sub brand under OPPO’s parent company, BBK Electronics, launched in Australia just last year. The company has gone from strength to strength, with Optus alongside the big retailers such as Big W and JB Hi-Fi now offering realme devices.
realme’s latest device, the realme 7 Pro, is “the next evolution in smartphone technology”, having a quad rear camera set up, 32MP front facing camera and 65W super fast charging which is impressive for such a competitive price of $599.
So can the realme 7 Pro really live up to the hype and provide a great user experience?
Holding the realme 7 Pro is a little awkward to hold in the hand. This could be due to the flat rounded edges of the sides not making the device feel as natural to hold in the hand.
Talking about the design, the front of the realme 7 Pro houses the 6.4-inch SuperAMOLED display which is bright and clear, with a hole punch for the 32MP selfie camera located on the front top left hand side of the device.
The display also houses the in-display fingerprint sensor which is more sensitive and accurate than my Galaxy Note 10+ in-display fingerprint sensor. Personally I still prefer the physical fingerprint scanner on the rear of devices as I find them more easily accessible and easier to use.
It is interesting to note that the display seems to be slightly raised above the poly-carbonate plastic housing by approximately one to two millimetres or so. I believe this contributes to the somewhat awkward but still relatively comfortable feeling in the hand — yes that’s a weird statement but it is both. As stated above the edges of the realme 7 Pro are a flat rounded edge, with the power/standby button housed on the middle right hand side and the left hand side housing the volume rocker.
The bottom of the device houses the speakerphone on the right hand side, with the USB-C charging port located in the middle and for those who still prefer having an audio jack, the realme 7 Pro comes with a 3.5mm audio jack on the right hand side bottom of the device.
Of course the rear of the device houses the camera module which is made up of a 64MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro and 2MP depth camera sensors along with a single LED flashlight that is all contained within a rounded rectangular housing that comes out by a couple of millimetres.
The realme 7 Pro is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chipset, alongside 8GB of RAM with an Adreno 618 GPU and 128GB of onboard storage that can be expanded another 256GB via MicroSD card.
I found switching between multiple apps along with loading various file sizes, and scrolling web pages and social media was a breeze for the realme 7 Pro with very little lag or buggy which seemed to really help thanks to the Snapdragon chipset and RAM combined.
Of course gaming wise the realme 7 Pro did ok, though if your intensive gamer then you may wish to look elsewhere given the realme 7 Pro only has a 60Hz refresh screen rate and can suffer a little from the lower end of the mid range Snapdragon chipset.
The realme 7 pro also comes with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct support, as you would expect in 2020. Bluetooth wise, the realme 7 Pro comes with Bluetooth version 5.1LE (low energy) which enables a strong connection between my Bluetooth speakers and earphones.
There is also NFC capabilities which is a good thing and Google Pay worked without any issue at all.
Lights, Camera, Action
The realme 7 Pro comes with a quad rear camera setup which includes a 64MP main sensor, an 8MP ultra wide lens, a 2MP macro sensor and a 2MP depth sensor.
This combination allowed for photos which were certainly more great dynamic range, decent colours and ample details within the photos that I took. The ultra wide lens did allow for some good sharpness when cropped in whilst the macro sensor took some decent pictures, though in fairly low resolution, while the 2MP depth sensor appeared to improve the shots that were taken — as far as we could tell.
The night feature on the camera was a bit of a surprise and reminded me of the night setting feature on Google’s Pixel cameras. The photo I took just before midnight of my street made it look like it had just become dark with the camera able to pick up what light it could from the street light both in front of my house and down the road making for a very clear picture with a lot more light and detail.
One feature of the camera in video mode is the ability to control the exposure, isolation and frame rates to help make a flawless video mode allowing for more stabilisation than normal video mode. Looking back at the movie video I did take though it seemed a little jumpy in the frame rate when moving about slightly.
The front of the realme Pro 7 also contains a punch hole 32MP front facing self camera which did allow for some fairly decent selfie pics and was a little bit of a surprise with how good the selfie pictures turned out.
Battery – can it last the day?
The realme 7 Pro comes with a 4500mAh battery lasted the day from taking it off charge at 7am and not needing to really charge the device again until about 5-6pm — this was only with medium usage. With some higher usage, I could see the 4500mAh requiring at least a quick top up during the day to see it last until night.
That is where the 65W charger is a winner. The ability to plug in the phone for 12 minutes and get another 50% of charge (or 100% from 34 minutes) is something that cannot be overstated.
The realme 7 pro comes with realme’s own version of a UI that sits atop of Android 10 — realme UI. As you will recall from previous realme reviews it is/was based on OPPO’s ColorOS but is an attempt to move away from ColorOS and closer to Google’s stock Android.
realme state that the new UI unleashes a “cleaner, lighter and smoother user experience” than with previous UI’s and devices that also includes a range of experience-enhancing features such as icon customisation, personal information protection, smart gestures and dual-mode music connection. I found it to be that although I would much prefer they continue this destination further away from ColorOS.
The realme UI does seem to function quite well and it does have its own apps like calculator, clock, compass, game space, music, one tap lock (which can lock the device), phone manager, recorder, theme store, video and weather. There is also a realme connect app that enables you to be able to connect various OPPO and realme smart devices like the OPPO Fit Band or the OPPO Watch to name a couple.
In terms of security and firmware updates, realme are promising regular security and firmware updates though no time frames or suggestions when an update to Android 11 will occur. It is important to note that there were two security updates performed during the review period.
Should you consider buying one?
The realme 7 Pro offers some fairly good specs while packing a decent camera system and ticks some of the big boxes required in a mid-range device however there are a couple of issues — mostly in the software — which could cause some to pass on this device. The UI is improving over time and it is something realme are aware they need to continue to work on.
For the price, specs and overall experience the realme 7 Pro is offering though, I have to say this device is worthy of consideration and recommendation — at just $599 it sits comfortable in the mid-range and is great value for money.
The realme 7 Pro is available from the realme website along with JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Bing Lee, Make it Mine, Mobileciti, 5GWORLD, Essential Appliance Rentals, Amazon, Kogan, eBay and Catch websites and retail stores for $599 from November 5th.