When it comes to smartphones, brands who sell their variants in the budget and mid-range segment, have now developed a tried and tested winning formula. The competition is now all about how well a company now executes this formula. One of the newer brands on the block, Realme, has been excelling at this game since their first device. It has come to a point where they just can’t do anything the wrong when it comes to budget smartphones. In this review, we are going to take a look at the new Realme 7 and find out whether or not Realme has kept their budget smartphone winning streak if you recall we reviewed Realme 6 was a fantastic budget-friendly smartphone
Design – Realme has built a reputation for bringing something new to the table in terms of design. The brand understands that there there is not much they can do on the front, so they go all out on the back panel. In the Realme 7 as well, Realme has come up with yet another style that they have nicknamed ‘The Split AG Finish‘. Here, the back panel is split into different shades of the base colour of the phone. For example, if you have opted for the white variant, the back panel features two shades of white, which is clearer under the light. We did find this style a bit odd at first, but after a few days with the device, we can conclude that this style is growing on us.
A neat little touch here is the Anti Glare coating that Realme has applied on the back panel. This makes the device look classy and also prevents fingerprints. This is a great improvement as earlier Realme smartphones were known fingerprint magnets. Staying on the back panel, we have a redesigned camera housing. The Realme smartphones are among those that feature a quad-camera setup, and this time around, rather than going for the usual slim strip block that you find on past models, the company has slightly changed the design and we now have a more fleshed out rectangle and that really adds to the overall aesthetic of the design. Coming to the build, the whole device is made out of polycarbonate, which something you would not call premium, so that’s a bit of a compromise, which seems unreasonable, as you have many budget smartphones made out of metal unibodies these days. We have the usual button placement of volume rockers on the left, power button on the right, and a rare 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type C charging port, and speaker grille on the button.
Overall, the design hs its hits and misses. We really love the split-tone design on the back panel, the quad-camera housing looks better, but the polycarbonate body is a definite let down. But, if you don’t mind material choice as much, you can definitely consider the Realme 7 for your next smartphone purchase.
Display – The Realme 6 rocked the market with its absolute budget price and a great display with an insane refresh rate. The Realme 7 carries forward this formula as well with a gorgeous 6.5-inch LCD panel with a Full HD+ (20:9) resolution. The smartphone is then taken things up a notch with a refresh rate of 90Hz, something that is not present in any other smartphone in its segment. If you are an OLED display fan, the LCD panel probably won’t catch your eye as much, but we were pleasantly surprised to see the colour output and contrast, which is visibly better than its competitors. The blacks are just right and the vibrance levels also hold a sweet spot in the benchmarks. What we did find lacking was the max brightness. Realme could have improved in this regard, as currently, using the Realme 7 outdoors is a bit of a hassle.
The real winner in the display section is the 90Hz refresh rate. You will immediately see the change in how fluid the whole experience is. The gaming performance will be much much better, especially if you are used to playing popular shooters. The display is the adaptive type, which means when you are using less intense apps, the refresh rate gets dialled down, but what we love is the absolute immediate spike in the refresh rate when you switch to a game.
Overall, we love what Realme has done with the display in the new Realme 7 smartphone. Smartphone displays and refresh rates are all the rage at the moment, and Realme seems to have got their hands wet at the right time. If you are in the market for a smartphone that suits a restricted budget, but gives you a classy display, the Realme 7 is definitely worth considering.
Performance – When Realme launched their smartphones, they stayed very close to the gaming segment. To date, every Realme device has been tipped as one fo the best budget and mid-range gaming smartphones in the market. The Realme 7 seeks to walk along the same lines with a brand new MediaTek Helio G95 chipset, which makes its global debut on a smartphone. What we get is an improved GPU what clocks at 900MHz, which makes the Helio G95 a proper gaming chipset.
Accompanying the GPU, we have two RAM options of 6GB and 8GB. Irrespective of which one you opt for, you are guaranteed a strong showing when you start up your favourite games. Now, do not assume that this is the best gaming performance you are going to get in a smartphone because it isn’t. Yes, the processor is supposed to be a great gaming chipset, but it does come with its own set of flaws. The touch response is rated at 120Hz on the Realme 7, where the optimum value for gaming is 180Hz. This can be a serious bottleneck for higher end games.
All in all, the Realme 7 is a very reliable budget smartphone, especially if your requirement is a performance grade device. The Helio chipset has come a long way and we are very happy with the bang for the buck output that we get when we do our gaming. Just make sure you run higher-end games on slightly lower graphics settings in order to enjoy them to the maximum.
Camera – When it comes to the camera department, the Realme 7 comes with a fair setup that is not the worst, but not the best either. So, on the back end, we have the trending quad camera setup. let’s break it down – First, we have the primary sensor rated at 64MP. To be more specific, it is an f/1.8 camera implementing the Sony IMX682 image sensor at its heart. Realme claims that it is better than the Samsung GW1, but we feel it was a bit of an exaggeration as the quality is just about the same. Next, we have the 8MP ultra-wide camera is pretty much a default with a wider field of view. The camera output is above par budget smartphones of this range, It seems obvious that Realme’s priority in the Realme 7 was gaming, and while they excel over there, the camera is pretty much a standard affair.
Coming to the front now, we have a 16MP in-display selfie camera. Here again, we have a less than ordinary performance. The biggest problem we had was with accidental smudges that ended up over the camera area, and the output suddenly became completely blurry. One saving grace of the camera is the night mode, which surprisingly is a win. The smartphone is able to extract a lot of data from low light areas and the final output is quite good.
All in all, the Realme 7 is not the powerhouse in terms of camera, and judging by the priority that Realme has been portraying, it was to be expected. If you are in the market for a budget camera phone, the Realme 7 is not the best choice by a long shot.
Battery Life – When it comes to battery life, Realme has been a sort of a pioneer ever since they entered the competition. Every Realme smartphone to date has boasted great battery life, and you expect this in a device that boasts great gaming performance. The Realme 7 also, features a very powerful 5000mAh battery with a 30W Dash charging feature. Battery life is completely subjective as the usage of every user is unique, but if you want a benchmark, we did run a test on the Realme 7 and we have come to a conclusion that you can expect around 1.5 days of usage on the Realme 7, which is incredible for a gaming smartphone.
Conclusion – Overall, the Realme 7 keeps up the legacy of the lineup of smartphones from Realme and puts itself in a prime position to become the budget gaming smartphone of choice for another year. The design is great but we did expect a better build this time around. beyond this, everything else is a big win. So, if you are in the market for a budget smartphone that features a great design and beautiful design, the Realme 7 is for you and an upgrade from Real me 6. However, avoid this model if you’re into serious photography done on a budget you will have to check the real me 7 Pro edition.