Price (RRP): $599
Let’s get this straight. The realme 7 Pro is $599 and has a 6.4″ AMOLED screen, Qualcomm SoC, NFC, 8/128GB/micro-SD, 65W SuperDart charge (100% in 34min) and a 64MP Quad camera. No, we are not dreaming!
Now, the abundance of realme 7 Pro features for the price does not surprise me. It’s a youth-focused brand sold online only and gathering a legion of followers including oldies that know value.
realme is part of the BBK family (OPPO, vivo, OnePlus and more) that is one of the largest global smartphone makers. That clout allows it to get the best deals with its supply chain and it is one of the few that owns the factories. Strength!
realme are on a six-monthly update cycle. Our review of the realme 6 Pro here scored 4.9/5 although it had somewhat of a different focus on gamers. Realme polled realme 6 Pro buyers and found that stereo speakers, AMOLED screen, fast charge and tri-slot sim/microSD were more important. So that is what it delivers.
Australian review: realme 7 Pro model RMX2170
- Australian website here
- Price: $599
- From: 5 November at realme e-store, JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Bing Lee, Make it Mine, 5GWORLD, Essential Appliance Rentals, Amazon, eBay and Catch.com*
- Elevator pitch: $599 buys more phone than you expect!
- Warranty: 2-years ACL
- Country of manufacture: China
- realme is a youth-focused, online-only brand with the mantra ‘Dare To Leap’. So, if you are a Millennial or an old fart, don’t let youth have all the fun.
- Other realme reviews here
* Grey market – no Australian warranty
We issue the standard warning that you must buy the genuine model with Australian firmware as it works on all Australian Telco carrier LTE bands and can make a 000-emergency call (not 911) without a SIM. It also comes with an AU plug 65W SuperDart Charger.
We have named and shamed the major grey marketers here. Get a genuine ‘Made for Australia’ model.
First impression – EXCEED
The more I test and use this, the more I am impressed. I love the Mirror Silver version – it changes hue under different lights from Silver, Gunmetal, light blue and, well I like it – fingerprint magnet that it is.
The power button is on the right, volume on the left, 3.5mm, USB-C and a down-firing speaker on the bottom. You can barely see the top speaker grill – it is part of the top bezel. Interestingly it has hidden antenna bars giving it a classy finish.
I like the flat screen with 2.5D edges. And the camera bump on the back looks ‘professional’ although it rocks when placed on a desk – use the bumper cover.
Screen – EXCEED
|Size||6.4″ Super AMOLED (Samsung) 60Hz|
|Type||Left top O-Hole|
Flat-screen with slightly 2.5D curved edges
|24-bit 16.7m colours|
450/600 nits typical/max (Test 460/590)
60,000:1 minimum (AMOLED is close to ∞)
3.9 (<4 is good)
Slider from Cooler to Warmer – set halfway
Not claimed but found by DRM Info
Yes – not customisable
|DRM||Widevine L1, HDCP 2.3 and HDR10 compatible|
|Protection||Gorilla Glass 3+ and pre-fitted screen protector|
|Optical under glass – Test: 10/10|
2D Face – Test: 8/10
|Interesting||OSIE (OPPO Screen Image Engine) tracks eye movement with precision.|
Great HAPTIC feedback
This is exactly what we expect of a Samsung AMOLED – near-perfect colours and it is an unexpected pleasure on a $599 phone.
Processor – EXCEED
|SoC||Qualcomm SD720G 8nm|
2 x 2.3GHz + 6 x 1.8GHz
5th Generation Qualcomm AI Engine
|GPU||Adreno 618 Compute Open CL: 1234|
|Game use||The SD720G (gaming) is capable of most medium to high frame rates.|
Game Space app boosts performance
|Storage||128GB UFS 2.1 (107GB free)|
Test: Androbench 499/191 Mbps sequential read/write
|micro-SD||Up to 256GB dedicated slot|
|Single – 570|
Multi – 1810
It is between the Qualcomm SD845 and SD855 with performance similar to the Samsung A71
|Max: 142,168 GIPS, Average: 140,177|
0% loss over 15 minutes
CPU temp reached – 63°
The Qualcomm SD720G is a recent chipset and its terrific value for the performance. It is more average than outstanding but better than found on most $599 phones.
Not surprisingly more than 30 phones use it including vivo V20 and OPPO Reno 4 Pro. It has the Qualcomm X15LTE modem and GPS that supports India’s NavIC.
The Adreno 618 GPU delivers up to 75% performance over the SD710/712 and supports VP9 and HEVC video codecs.
Comms – EXCEED
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi 5 AC dual-band, 1×1 MIMO|
Signal Strength 5Ghz – distance from ASUS AX1100 router
– 2m: -22dBm/433Mbps
– 5m: -47dBm/433Mbps
– 10m: -53/433Mbps
A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
Fine for 10m turn-by-turn navigation
|USB-C||2.0 OTG (480Mbps equates to 25MBps external read/write)|
Magnetic Induction – eCompass
My only comment is that it has 1×1 MIMO 433Mbps when the SD720G supports 2×2 MU-MIMO (866Mbps) Wi-Fi. Other than that it holds signal strength very well.
If you intend to use it for video, you will be better off getting a large micro-SD as external data transfer rates are typical of USB 2.0 – 30MBps half-duplex.
LTE and 5G – EXCEED
|SIM||Dual sim slots (one active at a time)|
|Modem||Qualcomm X15 LTE supports up to 800/150Mbps DL/UL|
|Support||VoLTE – all|
Wi-Fi calling – all
ViWi-Fi – Vodafone
|UL (Mbps)||Test: 175 in a three-bar area – excellent|
|DL (Mbps)||Test: 40 – excellent|
|LTE Band||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7,8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41 – all you need for Australia|
|Test||-98dBm in a 3-bar reception area (average)|
Found next tower at -101 (excellent antenna design)
The signal strength shows excellent antenna design, and it is a city and regional use phone.
Battery – EXCEED
|Battery mAh||4500 mAh|
5V/2A/10W or 10V/6.5A
Claim: 100% in 34 minutes
Test: 100% – 40 minutes
Using 5V/3A standard USB charger and cable – 3 hours
|Tests||Video Loop test: 1080p/50%/aeroplane mode – 20 hours|
Typical use 4G, Wi-Fi Test – 16 hours
MP3 music test: 50% volume from storage – 125 hours
100% load Battery drain – 9 hours
T-Rex – 60Hz – 405.8 min (6.76 hours) and 3384 frames
Drain screen off: 30 days
SuperDart is realme’s proprietary charging system but its very similar to OPPO and vivo systems. It uses dual batteries totalling 4500Ah, and a special yellow-tipped USB-A to USB-C cable to deliver 2 x 10V/3.25A simultaneous charges – effectively halving the charge time. It is very clever.
The realme 7 Pro also supports Qualcomm QC 2.0 18W, PC 3.0 18W and OPPO VOOC 3.0 20W.
The battery was the longest-lasting of the eight phones currently on the testbed. It’s a definite 2-day device but who cares when you can charge it in under 40 minutes.
Sound – EXCEED
|Speakers||Stereo earpiece and down-firing speaker|
The down-firing has more bass response, but the overall balance is fine
|AMP||Dolby Atmos decode and Hi-Res 24-bit/192kHz|
for BT/3.5mm connected devices
Uses Qualcomm Aqstic WCD937x amp noted for low THD levels
|BT codecs||Codecs are SBC (standard), LDAC (Sony), aptX/HD (Qualcomm), FLAC, ACC etc.|
Anything over 80dB is excellent
|Media – 73|
Ring – 75
Alarm – 76
Earpiece – 54
Handsfree volume is adequate, and the dual mics are effective
Music volume is a tad low at 75dB. The sound stage is wider than the phone with good L/R separation. No phone can reproduce Dolby Atmos – that is for BT devices.
The BT 5.0 drove our reference Sony WH-1000xM4 in SBC, AAC and LDAC (OPUS) modes and provided good clear sound and plenty of volume. Buds not supplied.
Sound quality – EXCEED
Being subjective it lacks strong bass but has good strong mid/treble and minimal distortion at full volume. It is eminently listenable.
Sound signature (you can read more about that here) is more bright vocal (bass recessed, mids/treble boosted) which is great for clear voice, hip-hop and modern music. I would have liked an EQ to bring up the bass for my more jazz tastes, but it is quite good.
|Deep Bass: 20-40Hz||Vague hints|
|Middle Bass: 40-100Hz||Building nicely|
|High Bass: 100 to 200Hz||Still building|
|High Treble: 6-10kHz||Slight dip to avoid harshness|
|Dog whistle: 10-20kHz||Flat all the way to 20kHz|
Build – EXCEED
|Size/Weight||160.9 x 74.3 x 8.7 x 189g|
|Colours||Mirror Silver and Mirror Blue|
|Build||Glass – Gorilla Glass 3+|
Frame – Polycarbonate and painted
Back – PMMA (Acrylic Glass) and Polycarbonate
|IP||Not rated but water repellant|
|In the box||Bumper cover|
USB-A to USB-C cable
It is a premium finish that you could easily take as a full metal and glass build. realme’s vacuum, paint deposition under the Acrylic Glass is amazing.
And it is nice to see such a high-speced 65W charger in the box – most companies would charge more, let alone provide one at all (Apple!)
Android 10 – EXCEED
|Android||Google Android 10|
Security patch date 5/9/2020 and October rolling out now
|UI||Realme UI 1.0|
|All standard apps, Google Lens and Assistant. Dedicated Google Assistant key.|
|Bloatware||Mostly productivity and utilities – use the Google equivalents|
|Update Policy||Assume one OS update.|
Note: Google handles security updates in Android 11
|Security||Fingerprint – ultrasonic under-screen Test: 9/10|
FaceID – 2D Test – 7-10
Realme is beginning to understand what users want – pure Android with a light touch to add some device differentiation. The UI succeeds admirably with no learning curve. And its AI learns how you use the phone and starts to adjust accordingly.
I discovered a side-bar screen edge that is something you only see on far more expensive phones.
Missing – No deal breakers
Camera – EXCEED
The unique feature is the UIS camera. It produces super steady images.
binned to 16MP
|Ultra-Wide 8MP||Mono 2MP||Macro|
bins to 8MP
|Sensor||Sony IMX682||Hynix HK846||GalaxyCore GC02K0||Omnivision OB02B1B||OmniVision OV32A1Q|
|Pixel size um||.8 bins to 1.6||1.12||1.75||1.75||.8 bins to 1.6|
|FOV° and cropped||66.9||119||4cm||73.8|
|Stabilisation||Gyro-EIS and AI UIS|
|Zoom||2X optical to 10X digital|
|Video Max||[email protected]|
UIS Max Video Ultra Nightscape AI Color Portrait Ultra Wide-angle
AI Scene Recognition
Bokeh Effect Control
General camera comments
You can’t take a poor shot in day or office light, and the night mode really pops. In all, accurate life-like colours, excellent contrast, low noise and nice use of auto HDR. AI does not over-process or sharpen.
Having said that play with AI and you will get the super colour saturated colours.
There is also a mono mode for mood shots.
Indoors Office Light (400 lumen)
Low light (room with less than <50 lumen)
32MP binned to 8MP means that you always get a computational photography result. I don’t mind that as colour, contrast, and balance is great. But AI can induce some softness so take a few shots.
We tested [email protected] (50MBps so it chews up storage) and it was more than adequate. Not award-winning lacking some of the detail we are used to.
It has UIS stabilisation (first in the realme 6 Pro). It uses the 8MP lens (ultra-wide-angle) crops from a larger image using an artificial horizon as a reference.
We prefer [email protected] (20MBps) which is far sharper as it does not need UIS.
GadgetGuy’s take – realme 7 Pro is another class-leading, category-killer
Incredible finish (Mirror Silver), AMOLED screen, above-class camera, killer battery life and decent performance. At $599 it is as good as it gets.
It’s a phone worthy of my pocket – it is a sensible choice.
5G has failed miserably in Australia due to very limited and patchy reception, so there is no benefit in spending more for something you won’t need for years yet.
We work out what to expect from a $599 device. We set the PASS mark at 4/5. Every time it EXCEEDs, it goes up a notch and vice versa.
This phone has exceeded every parameter and then some. If the market was not so COVID price-sensitive this could easily cost a hundred or so more dollars.
- Google Pixel 4a 4.6/5, 128GB $599 is a terrific device with Pure Android and a ‘computational’ camera.
- Oppo Reno 4 Z 5G (review coming) is $599 using a MediaTek Dimensity 5G chip – tempting but unproven SoC.
- Samsung Galaxy A51 4G (not tested) A51 128GB $599
- OPPO Find X2 Lite 5G (not tested) on sale $649 (was $749) is tempting
I would narrow it down to Google Pixel 4a and the realme 7 Pro – I know which way you will go – get real!