2021 Winners and Losers: Realme

Realme has had a solid year where we’ve seen plenty of devices across all price points and categories. There were gaming handsets, capable upper middle rangers with top-tier chipsets, and the usual legion of phones supporting the overly competitive mid-range market.

As the year draws to a close, we’ve decided to take a look at Realme’s successes and failures, and with such a large portfolio, it hasn’t been difficult to find a lot of products to put on both sides of the coin. fencing.

Winner: Realme GT Neo2

This phone arrived at the end of the year but quickly managed to steal our hearts. It is, by far, the best flagship killer on the market with incredible value for money. The Snapdragon 870 chipset is quite capable; the screen is a neat OLED with a high refresh rate.

We also loved the long battery life, proper 65W fast charging, and solid camera performance, though nothing fancy from this mid-range.

What we didn’t like about the GT Neo2 and what could have made the phone perfect is the lack of a microSD slot, official water protection and a 3.5mm audio jack. Other than that, it’s a fairly easy phone to recommend for vacationing, especially with its price tag under $ 400.

Loser: Realme 8 Pro

This phone was supposed to be a big deal, being the first for Realme with a 108MP camera. However, it has the same chipset as its two predecessors – that’s right, the Realme 8 Pro has the same chipset as the Realme 6 Pro. And even though this phone wasn’t designed for users to upgrade from the Realme 7 series, it still looks like a bummer.

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Another major issue with the Realme 8 Pro is the price. The company pitted it against the Redmi Note 10 series, especially the Pro variant, and it never stood a chance. Selling this phone for $ 300 was a major mistake that relegated the 8 Pro to the role of one also run.

Winner: Realme 8

the Realme 8 the show as a whole wasn’t that bad. Although it faced stiff competition for its € 200 price tag, this vanilla option brought a lot of intriguing features to its class – a great battery with fast charging and a beautiful display. Yes, the camera processing could have been better, but we shouldn’t expect much from the Helio G95 chipset powering the Realme 8.

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It’s a $ 200 phone after all, and it was the first of its kind with an AMOLED fingerprint scanner and sub-display. We could easily identify a large group of people who don’t need anything else.

Loser: Realme GT 5G and the flagship battle

Realme’s only real flagship in 2021 was a huge mistake. He launched the GT series which is supposed to have devices as fast and fast as a Grand Turismo car, and it slipped straight into flagship killer territory.

The phone, while trying to be a flagship and a gaming handset, didn’t deliver performance – games were capped at 60fps, cameras didn’t impress, and limitation was a major issue. .

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Here’s the thing – the Realme GT 5G is a nine month old phone. We expected Realme to bring a slight upgrade, probably some sort of GT Pro, with the Snapdragon 888+ while also fixing its issues. However, the brand decided to skip Qualcomm’s summer chip and go straight to 8 Gen 1 in Q1 2022.

Let’s be clear – the loser here isn’t the Realme GT 5G per se. The loser is Realme’s full participation in the flagship battle. The company has promised a really high-end phone in early 2022 with the GT 2 Pro, however, so hopefully next year this one will be in the winners section.

Winner: Realme 8i

Realme is a brand known for its budget smartphones, and we have to mention the Realme 8i. It sits in the affordable price segment and offers a smooth and fast experience and a big battery for its cost. Priced at $ 190 / € 170, the Realme 8i comes with many compromises. There is only one speaker, and it is not that good, but one cannot fault him for such a shortcoming, when you consider the target audience.

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the Realme 8i crushed all of its competition in our bespoke battery test, winning over those who want their phone to be constantly at their disposal. With over 131 hours in our testing, this device can go a long way.

Loser: Realme 8s 5G

While on the subject of affordable phones, we have to mention the Realme 8s 5G. It was supposed to be a better variant of the Realme 8 5G, but these two phones were somehow underperforming the LTE-only Realme 8 and Realme 8 Pro.

And even if you value 5G connectivity, the phone is being sold in India, where next-gen networks are still not available, which puts it in a really tricky place.

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Winner: Realme GT Master & GT Explorer Master

Some might say that it is unfair to put these two phones next to each other because they are so different. And while that’s true, we’re grouping them together so we can disrupt the mid-range market like no other series.

Both Master GT and the Master Explorer GT offer a Super AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, Full HD + resolution and plenty of capable cameras. The 32MP selfie shooter works great, and we shouldn’t ignore the 65W fast charging.

Reviews on Realme GT MasterRealme GT Explorer Master in Voyager Gray (case design) next to the GT Master in Luna White

What is most impressive, however, is how these two phones look. In a world where specs rarely differ, sometimes looks are everything. The pretty gray and apricot back panels, inspired by a suitcase and developed by Naoto Fukasawa, are a feast for the eyes. While you don’t want the odd design, the white option is smooth and sturdy.

Loser: Realme UI 2.0

Realme UI 2.0 is based on Android 11 which is great, but in a more real sense it’s a rebadged ColorOS 11. Realme hasn’t done anything specific to differentiate its user interface from Oppo. We understand that the two companies are under the same umbrella, and it pays to apply a new color to an existing user interface and call it a day, but it still seems incomplete.

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One thing we have to admit at Realme is the dedication to bringing software updates to their devices. The user interface was officially introduced in September 2020, and the first stable versions started arriving on phones in early 2021.

The Realme 3.0 user interface is already in closed beta, and it will be inspired by ColorOS 12 again, but hopefully this time Realme will add something more to make the interface a bit more personal.


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