Realme 7 review: The better sibling
Product: Realme 7
Key specs: 6.5-inch super AMOLED display, Helio G95, 64MP primary camera, 30W dart charge
Realme is a brand that needs no introduction, especially if you are living in India. Over the past several years, the company has earned quite a reputation for launching flagship-level phones every six months. The latest smartphone series to enter this chain is the Realme 7 series.
The Realme 7 series consists of two smartphones: the Realme 7 Pro and the Realme 7, which is the star of today's review. As far as the price goes, at ₹14,999 the Realme 7 sits comfortably between the Realme 6, which costs ₹13,999 and its ‘Pro' sibling, the Realme 7.
However, in terms of the specifications and performance, it leans more towards the Realme 6 delivering meaningful updates to the same. For instance, with the Realme 7, you not only get a better display but also a bigger battery. You also get a design that is way cooler and, might I add, way classier than the Realme 6.
You also get some interesting step-ups compared to the Realme 7 Pro. You get a smarter 90Hz display, a bigger battery and a gaming processor with the Realme 7, things that remain amiss in the Pro variant. While that might seem like a shocker and even a bit confusing at times, but the fact is that it is those qualities that make the Realme 7 a better pick over its elder sibling.
Realme has gotten several things right in the case of its series 7 smartphones and design is surely one of them. The Realme 7, just like its Pro sibling, comes with a simple and subtle split-mirror design that is far more refined and classier than the Realme 6's comet design and Realme 5's diamond finish.
The Realme 7 is available in Mist Blue and Mist White colour variants. It has got a plastic back with a frosted glass appeal that looks particularly soothing in the Mist White colour variant that I used. It also has the Gorilla Glass coating on top. While the Gorilla Glass coating does make it less fragile, it doesn't make it immune to fingerprints. The good news, however, is that the back of the phone, especially the way the light reflects off the surface coupled with the transparent silicon cover that you get in the box makes the dust particles or the fingerprints hard to stick, which in turn helps to keep the phone mostly clean.
Design aside, the Realme 7 measures 162.3x75.4x9.4 mm and it weighs 196.5 grams. The Realme 6, on the other hand, is slightly smaller than its predecessor. It measures 162.1x74.8x8.9 mm and it weighs 191 grams. The ‘pro' version of the phone, that is, the Realme 7 Pro measures 160.9x74.3x8.7 mm and it weighs a mere 182 grams.
All three phones look almost the same, at least in terms of size. You will hardly see or feel any difference while using them. The only difference that you will notice is in terms of weight. The Realme 7 leans towards the heavier side of things. You can certainly feel the weight while using the phone and when it rests in the back pocket of your phone -- which for me is a standard. The silicon cover just adds to the overall weight of the phone, which in my experience isn't particularly a problem, but it's not exactly easy to ignore either.
Beyond these, the Realme 7 looks exactly like the Realme 7 Pro. It comes with a hybrid slot that can hold two SIM cards and a microSD card. This hybrid slot is placed on top of the volume rockers on the left. On the right side, there is a power button, which also houses the fingerprint sensor. At the bottom, there is a speaker, a Type-C port for charging and a 3.5mm jack. Overall, the Realme 7 has a balanced design that is comfortable to use and classic to look at.
Coming to the display, the Realme 7 comes with a bigger 6.5-inch super AMOLED display with a Full HD+ resolution of 2,400x1080 pixels and a screen refresh rate of 90Hz. This display design is quite similar to what the Realme 6 offers, except you, get an ultra-smooth display instead of a super AMOLED display. All other details are the same.
Now, a fun fact. The Pro variant of the Realme 7 series, that is, the Realme 7 Pro, comes with a marginally smaller 6.4-inch display. It offers the same display type and resolution as the Realme 7 but with a catch. The Realme 7 Pro comes with a 60Hz screen refresh rate, which is a step down from the Realme 7's 90Hz display.
You see what I meant when I said that the Realme 7 is a step up over the Realme 7 Pro...eh?
Details aside, the display of the Realme 7 is an absolute delight to look at. The super AMOLED display offers vivid colours and a fantastic contrast making everything look brighter and better and yet not over the top. Whether you are on your weekend movie marathon or you are endlessly scrolling through your social media feed, the Realme 7 never disappoints. Over the past couple of months, I have gotten used to watching TV shows on my phone while working (sorry boss!), and I must say that the streets of Paris (Emily in Paris) and sets of the old London (The Crown) were a pleasant experience to look at.
I am not a gamer exactly but I never hesitate to appreciate beauty wherever I see it. In this case, the display of the phone did make the experience of playing Temple Run (stop judging me, ok?!) a whole lot smoother. I am sure, PUBG Mobile players… oh sorry… Call of Duty Mobile players would appreciate its smarter display more than I did.
Overall, the display of the Realme 7 gets a thumbs up from my side.
The rear camera of the Realme 7 is exactly the same as that of the Realme 7 Pro. You get a 64MP primary camera with Sony IMX682 Sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a macro lens and a Black and White portrait lens. This camera module is stacked inside a vertically stacked camera module that is aligned perfectly with the phone's split-mirror design.
The Realme 6, on the other hand, comes with a 64MP ultra-wide-angle camera with the Samsung sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a B&W portrait lens and a 2MP macro lens. Simply said, the Realme 7 gets a boost in terms of the rear camera compared to its predecessor.
As far as the performance of the rear cameras of the Realme 7 is concerned, it performs as well as the rear-camera setup of the Realme 7 Pro. The primary camera snaps images that balance colour with depth. This helps the camera to capture sharp images that are balanced in every aspect. The sensors do add some brightness, but it doesn't go overboard with it at all. The ultra-wide-angle lens also maintains the same level of contrast. The macro lens manages to capture images with a decent amount of clarity, especially in bright outdoor light conditions.
As far as the low-light conditions are concerned, the Realme 7 does a good job at capturing all the details and preserving colours is concerned. There is no noise even when you zoom in on the image, which is refreshing, especially for a phone in this range. While the Night mode sharpens the colours and captures more details without compromising on the clarity, images clicked using the regular mode also contain a surprising amount of depth and colours.
As far as the front camera is concerned, you get a 16MP selfie camera with Sony IMX 471 sensor. This camera is stacked toward the left side of the punch-hole display. The Realme 6 also has a similar front camera but with a different sensor. The Realme 7 Pro, on the other hand, comes with a bigger 32MP camera.
The front camera of the Realme 7 does a decent job at capturing images using the front camera, especially if the environment is well lit. You get the depth and the details in the regular mode. In the portrait mode, it tends to over smoothen things and blur the background slightly, which is not always a bad thing. The phone manages to capture details and maintain clarity even in low-light conditions.
However, the images captured using the Night Mode lack detail and aren't smoothened as is the case with the images captured using the portrait mode. Safe to say that no matter what the lighting conditions are, portrait mode is the only way you can get decent selfies.
Overall I feel that the camera interface is a bit laggy but a decent camera makes up for it.
If the camera of the Realme 7 didn't wow you, the performance surely would. The Realme 7 is powered by the MediaTek Helio G95 gaming processor that is coupled with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space. This is a minor step up from the Realme 6, which comes with the Helio G90 processor. The only thing that has changed is the inclusion of the Mali G76 GPU clocking a 900MHz speed. The Helio G90 SoC, on the other hand, comes with Mali G76 GPU.
While on paper, this might seem like a major change, in practice it isn't. The Realme 7 does a decent job at handling your day-to-day chores. Whether your phone is buzzing off the hook all the time with work-related updates or you are enjoying a peaceful weekend off occasionally checking out your social media profiles and mostly ignoring everything else, as I do. The overall interface is a snappy and you can see the difference as soon as you switch to the 90Hz refresh rate. It makes transitions, scrolling and playing games a whole lot smoother...better. It also ends up consuming a lot of battery compared to the ‘normal' mode.
The Realme 7 comes with a 5,000mAh battery with support for a 30W dart charge. This battery is bigger than what you get in the case of the Realme 6, which comes with a 4,300mAh battery and the Realme 7 Pro, which comes with a 4,500 but a better fast charging technology. It charges 35% in just 30 mins and it takes a little over an hour to charge completely.
On a regular workday, which for me includes 3-4 hours of social media time, over 10 hours of work-related emails and messaging and 2-3 hours of video viewing time in the regular mode, it runs for a little over a day. Switch to the 90Hz display and you will see a significant drop in battery life.
Coming to the software, the Realme 7 runs on Android 10 with Realme UI on top. The overall interface of the software is clean barring the bloatware that tends to clog the app usage sometimes. You can easily customise it. I didn't notice any significant lag while using the phone but as I mentioned before, things got a lot better when I switched to the 90Hz display. Other than that, it's mostly a smooth sail.
Now, the answer to your question: should you buy the Realme 7 or not?
Well, it's a yes from my side.
The Realme 7 has a classy design along with a camera setup that is almost at par with the Realme 7 Pro. You also get a 90Hz display along with a better gaming processor. In addition to that, you get a bigger battery, which is bigger than what the Realme 6 and the Realme 7 Pro have to offer. Overall, the Realme 7 offers a better package compared to its Pro sibling. Also, you get to save a lot of money ( ₹5,000).
It also offers minor updates to Realme 6, such as a smarter display, a marginally better processor, a bigger battery and upgraded camera sensors, which make it a better pick over the phone. Plus, it's only marginally costlier -- just ₹1,000 -- than the Realme 6K, which makes it that much easier to pick.