REVIEW: Realme 6
Realme 6 brings flagship specs down further to the affordable range
When Realme was about to launch its X2 Pro not so long ago, they used the words 'flagship' and 'killer' in their promotions. And there are no signs of them letting up. This time, it's the Realme 6 that wants to stake its claim to that conversation. It's one of the devices in the newly-released Realme 6 series, the others being the entry-level 6i and the top-of-the-lot 6 Pro.
The middling Realme 6 has a simple design: a 6.5-inch display with a punch-hole selfie camera on the upper-left corner and thin-enough bezels on the top and sides. The controls are split up, with the volume rocker and SIM tray on the left, power/fingerprint scanner on the right, and USB-C and 3.5mm audio ports below. It is quite thick, but the edges have a metallic finish while its back has a plastic finish. And as is the case with fingerprint scanners on the side towards the centre, you might unsuspectingly unlock it while holding it, especially if you're using your left middle finger. In any case, it unlocks the phone quickly; ditto for face recognition.
If you missed it during the setup, this smartphone now comes with Realme UI 1.0, which is basically a rebirth of ColorOS used formerly in Realme devices. You may not see or feel the difference, but there's a host of new, useful stuff in Realme UI, including advanced security options (including prevention of personal data leakage and a virtual vault), screen recording, dual earphone connections, app icon customisation (if you're interested) and, everyone's favourite, dark mode.
Here's another proverbial kitchen-sink Realme threw in - a quad-camera setup. You'll get the usual suspects - wide, ultra-wide, macro and depth - with the first being the 64MP leader. The shots are pretty good, but I will say this: if you're used to other devices that light up images to the point of overexposure, you may find results on the Realme 6 a bit dimmer. That said, the photos seem more natural, which is a plus. I am particularly impressed with short- to medium-range shots as they give good detail. When the lights dim, prepare for smudges and grain. You'll only get up to 5x zoom, so plan shots accordingly. The only thing holding back the camera is its inconsistency when focusing; sometimes it's quick, sometimes it isn't. A software update should rectify this. Up front is a 16MP selfie camera. Its portrait mode is decent enough, but I do feel results are overexposed.
Battery life, on the other hand, is fair. In our standard test, it lost 15 per cent of juice. It won't last until late in the evening from early-morning use, so keep its charger ready.
Which brings us to one of Realme's strengths: charging. The company says you'll get a full charge in 55 minutes with its 30W charger, although, during our run, it took six more minutes to do so. That's not as good as the Realme X2 Pro's 33 minutes during our testing, but still is a quick way to get the phone back into action.
The Realme 6 continues to test the limits of how affordable companies can go in offering flagship specs; it may not be all of them, but it really feels good to have those without breaking your budget. The battery could've been better, but it is still able to hang in there when you need it. And you may forgive whatever shortcomings it has when you get to the price point.
MediaTek Helio G90T, octa-core; ARM G76
Realme UI 1.0, Android 10
6.5" IPS LCD, 2400 x 1080, 405ppi, 20:9, 84.1% ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Quad: 64MP wide (f/1.8) + 8MP ultra-wide (f/2.3) + 2MP macro (f/2.4) + 2MP depth (f/2.4), HDR Front camera 16MP (f/2.0)
4300mAh, 30W Flash Charge
Fingerprint, face unlock
I/O: USB-C, 3.5mm audio
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Price Dh799 (4GB)/ Dh999 (8GB)
PROS: Really affordable, fast charging, good short-/medium-range photos
CONS: Inconsistent camera focus, should've had storage options instead of RAM, battery could be better
AUTHOR RATING: 4/5