(Pocket-lint) - Realme has really taken it to the mid-range/low-end market in 2020, and that focus on offering lots of handsets with different focuses is continuing right into the holiday quarter. In the UK, it was one of the first to offer a 5G phone under £300, and now it's launching a new series of powerful, well made non-5G phones in the same bracket.
The Realme 7 series is less about speed and performance and more about design, battery and camera performance, and the more expensive of the two phones in the series is the Realme 7 Pro, which comes with some features you'd only have seen on top tier flagships just a year or two back.
Design and display
- 160.9 x 74.3 x 8.7 mm
- 182 grams
- Mist White and Mist Blue colours
- 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display
- Full HD+ (2400 x 1080) 60Hz
- Single hole-punch cutout
Realme 7 Pro comes in two finishes: Mist White and Mist Blue. Our unit is the deep blue model and has this unique and attractive finish on it. The entire thing has that frosted glass effect, which we've seen on a number of phones already, but Realme mixed it up by making one part along the left edge reflect light the opposite way to the section on the right.
That means when you're looking at it, you get this effect where - if the right side of the phone is reflecting light at the top - it's the bottom half of the strip along the left that reflects. It's eye-catching without being too in-your-face. The rear feels solid and sturdy too, so no hollow bendy plastic feel.
Its camera housing is relatively subtle too. The four cameras are housed in a small rounded rectangle which protrudes slightly from the left corner, but not too much. It's not an eye-sore in the slightest.
As for buttons and ports, you get everything you'd expect. The right edge has the single power button with a neat little gold accent, while the two separate volume buttons live on the left. The bottom features the Type-C port and speaker grille, but also a 3.5mm input which will make any wired headphone users delighted.
The front is dominated almost entirely by the 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display built by Samsung. It has skinny bezels up the sides and a small cutout for the camera in the top corner, ensuring that you get that real full-screen effect. The bottom bezel (or chin) is quite a lot thicker than the rest of the frame, but that's to be expected at the lower end of the market. It's not really an issue.
On first impressions, the full HD+ AMOLED panel certainly seems vibrant and punchy. Colours are vivid without being too oversaturated and although 'only' 1080p, it still seems sharp to the eye at arm's length.
Performance and hardware
- Snapdragon 720G processor
- 8GB/128GB RAM and storage
- 4,500mAh battery
- 65W SuperDart Charge
It's not just the outside of the phone that looks decent for the money, the internals are pretty spicy too. To keep it ticking over smoothly, the engine behind all the processes is the Snapdragon 720G platform. It's not quite top tier, but it's certainly powerful enough to ensure you can get everything done and with little effort.
It's joined by 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage, ensuring there's not only enough memory to run background processes smoothly but also plenty of storage. If the 128GB isn't enough for all your apps, photos and media, you can expand it further using the MicroSD slot which lives on the same pull-out tray as the nano SIM slots.
As for the battery, that's a 4,500mAh cell - or rather - it's two 2,250mAh cells joined together to form a 4,500mAh total capacity. The reason for this is that it uses that tasty 65W fast-charging technology developed by Oppo that can fully charge your phone in less than 40 minutes.
In the past, we've mostly seen it on higher-end devices, and it really does change your battery charging cycle completely. You just don't need to plug your phone in overnight, ever. 15 minutes plugged in is enough to get you a full day's worth of power and so you can just plug it in before you start work while you get showered, dressed, breakfasted and you'll have more than enough charge when you're done and ready.
- Quad camera system
- 64MP f/1.8 primary (Sony IMX682)
- 8MP f/2.3 119-degree ultra-wide
- 2MP B+W portrait sensor
- 2MP f/2.4 macro sensor
- 32MP front-facing camera
As with most modern phones, there's a quad-camera system here. And as with most modern mid-rangers, only two of those are actually usable on their own. You have a primary and an ultra-wide camera joined by two additional low-resolution sensors for capturing additional data.
One of those low res cameras is a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor that captures depth information and keeps your black and white photos looking contrasty. The other is a macro sensor.
As for the main cameras, they sound pretty solid. There's a Sony-made 64-megapixel sensor which you'll be using most of the time, and it's joined by the 8-megapixel ultra-wide for those times you want to cram in more into your photos.
We're yet to test the camera system, but we'll be updating this review with full results once we've done some proper testing.
Running up and down the spec list there's very little here not to like, especially in the price bracket the phone fits in. When it comes to pure numbers and performance, you'll struggle to find anything as compelling at the budget end of the market.
In fact, even within our first 24 hours or so of using the phone, there's so much here going for it. Sure, it might not have 5G, but the rest of the experience seems fantastic given the price range.
Realme has given this phone a sub £300 recommended retail price in the UK, and for that to have a decent-looking AMOLED panel, super-fast charging and at least one capable camera is great value for money.
If you do want 5G for this price, there's the Realme X50 5G which launched a little earlier in the year, but with that device you lose out on the AMOLED screen, in-display fingerprint sensor, fast charging and the build doesn't feel as sturdy and premium.