2021 Winners and Losers: Realme


Realme had a powerful yr the place we noticed loads of units in all costs and classes. There have been gaming handsets, succesful higher mid-rangers with top-tier chipsets, and the standard legion of cellphone taking up the overly aggressive midrange market.

Because the yr is rounding to an finish, we determined to take a look at Realme’s successes and failures, and with such a large portfolio, it wasn’t exhausting to seek out loads of merchandise to placed on either side of the fence.

Winner: Realme GT Neo2

This cellphone arrived late within the yr however rapidly managed to steal our hearts. It’s, by far, the very best “flagship killer” available on the market with an unbelievable value/efficiency ratio. The Snapdragon 870 chipset is fairly succesful; the display screen is a neat OLED with excessive refresh fee.

We additionally liked the lengthy battery life, correct quick 65W charging and a few stable digital camera efficiency, though nothing extraordinary from this midranger.

2021 Winners and Losers: Realme

What we didn’t like in regards to the GT Neo2 and what might’ve made the cellphone good is the dearth of a microSD slot, official water safety and three.5mm audio jack. Aside from that, it’s a pretty simple cellphone to suggest for the vacations, particularly with its sub-€400 value.

Loser: Realme 8 Professional

This cellphone was presupposed to be an enormous deal, being the primary for Realme with a 108MP digital camera. Nevertheless, it has the identical chipset as its two predecessors – that’s proper, the Realme 8 Professional has the identical chipset because the Realme 6 Professional. And even when this cellphone wasn’t made for customers to improve from the Realme 7 sequence, it nonetheless appears like a disappointment.

2021 Winners and Losers: Realme

One other main subject with the Realme 8 Professional is the value tag. The corporate put it in opposition to the Redmi Word 10 sequence, notably the Professional variant, and it by no means stood any likelihood. Promoting this cellphone for €300 was a serious mistake that relegated the 8 Professional to the position of an also-ran.

Winner: Realme 8

The Realme 8 sequence as a complete wasn’t that dangerous. Though it confronted stiff competitors at its €200 value level, this vanilla possibility introduced loads of intriguing specs for its class – nice battery with quick charging and a beautiful display screen. Sure, the digital camera processing might’ve been higher, however we shouldn’t count on a lot from the Helio G95 chipset powering the Realme 8.

2021 Winners and Losers: Realme

It’s a cellphone for €200 in any case, and it was the primary of its kind with an AMOLED and under-display fingerprint scanner. We might simply establish a big group of those who want little else.

Loser: Realme GT 5G and the flagship battle

The one true flagship from Realme in 2021 was a large blunder. It launched the GT sequence that’s presupposed to have units as quick and snappy as a Grand Turismo automotive, and it slotted proper into the flagship killer territory.

The cellphone, albeit attempting to be a flagship and a gaming handset, didn’t ship on efficiency – video games had been capped at 60 fps, the cameras did not impress, and the throttling was a large subject.

2021 Winners and Losers: Realme

Right here’s the factor – the Realme GT 5G is a nine-month-old cellphone. We anticipated Realme to carry a slight improve, in all probability a GT Professional of some kind, with the Snapdragon 888+ whereas addressing its points. Nevertheless, the model determined to skip the summer time chip from Qualcomm and go straight for the 8 Gen 1 in Q1 2022.

Let’s put it straight – the loser right here shouldn’t be the Realme GT 5G in itself. The loser is the entire participation of Realme within the flagship battle. The corporate did promise a very premium cellphone within the early days of 2022 with the GT 2 Professional, nonetheless, so hopefully subsequent yr this one will likely be within the winners’ part.

Winner: Realme 8i

Realme is a model identified for its low-priced smartphones, and we have now to say the Realme 8i. It falls within the reasonably priced value phase and presents a quick easy expertise and an enormous battery for its value. Priced at $190/€170, the Realme 8i certain comes with many compromises. There is just one speaker, and it’s not that good, however we are able to’t maintain such shortcomming in opposition to it, when you think about the target market.

2021 Winners and Losers: Realme

The Realme 8i smashed all its opponents in our bespoke battery take a look at, profitable over people who need their telephones to be consistently out there to them. With over 131 hours in our assessments, this machine can go a great distance.

Loser: Realme 8s 5G

Whereas on the subject of reasonably priced telephones, we have now to say the Realme 8s 5G. It was presupposed to be a greater variant of the Realme 8 5G, however these two telephones had been someway much less succesful than the LTE-only Realme 8 and the Realme 8 Professional.

And even in case you do worth 5G connectivity, the cellphone is bought in India, the place the next-gen networks are nonetheless not out there, placing it in a extremely awkward place.

2021 Winners and Losers: Realme

Winner: Realme GT Grasp & GT Explorer Grasp

Some would possibly say it’s unfair to place these two telephones subsequent to one another as a result of they’re so completely different. And whereas that is true, we’re grouping them for the power to disrupt the midrange market like no different sequence.

Each the GT Grasp and the GT Explorer Grasp supply a Tremendous AMOLED display screen with a 120Hz refresh fee, Full HD+ decision and loads of succesful cameras. The 32MP selfie shooter performs nice, and we shouldn’t ignore the 65W quick charging.

Realme GT Master reviewRealme GT Explorer Grasp in Voyager Grey (Suitcase design) subsequent to the GT Grasp in Luna White

What’s most spectacular, nonetheless, is the seems to be of those two telephones. In a world the place specs hardly ever differ anymore, seems to be generally are the whole lot. The stunning Grey and Apricot again panels, impressed by a suitcase and developed by Naoto Fukasawa, are sweet to the attention. Even in case you don’t need the bizarre design, the white possibility feels easy and durable.

Loser: Realme UI 2.0

The Realme UI 2.0 relies on Android 11, which is great, however in a extra actual sense, it’s a rebadged ColorOS 11. Realme didn’t do something particular to distinguish its UI from Oppo. We do perceive each corporations are below the identical umbrella, and it’s cost-effective to slap a brand new coloration on an present UI and name it a day, nevertheless it nonetheless feels incomplete.

2021 Winners and Losers: Realme

One factor we have now to confess to Realme is the dedication to bringing software program updates to its units. The person interface was formally launched in September 2020, and the primary steady variations began hitting telephones in early 2021.

The Realme UI 3.0 is already in a closed beta stage, and it’ll once more be impressed from the ColorOS 12, however hopefully, this time, Realme will add one thing extra to make the interface a tad extra private.


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