Realme Philippines has a new smartphone for the local market that you may want to wait for if you’re interested in an affordable unit powered by a gaming-focused chipset.
(Update, May 13: Just launched! Read Realme 6i PH price starts at P7,990 [$159] and Realme 6i review: A budget phone you should not miss.)
The Realme 6i will be officially announced in the country May 13, and we already have a unit in for review. If you recall, it made its debut in India in late-March, sporting the latest MediaTek Helio G80 processor and a 5,000mAh battery inside, as well as a 48-megapixel quad-camera system around the back.
We’ll share with you our verdict soon. For now, we’re posting our initial observations, but it does seem like the Realme 6i is as promising as advertised.
First impressions: hardware
One of the first things you’ll notice when you take the phone out of Realme’s familiar yellow packaging is the rear panel. The Realme 6i flaunts a glossy surface in either white or green, and it’s made to look like the back has vertical lines running from top to bottom. What’s more, there’s a physical fingerprint scanner on the rear for fast and convenient unlocking.
We found the overall design and aesthetic to be quite attractive and unique, and it definitely allows the phone to stand out among its peers in the low-cost segment. And no one would fault you for thinking the Realme 6i is priced more than it actually does, while the build quality is also solid despite the use of plastic all around.
The weight and dimensions of the handset are manageable, although you might find it a little difficult to wrap your fingers around the frame because of the screen size and hefty battery under the hood. Realme has eased the edges of the frame, so comfortably holding the device one-handed while tapping away at the touchscreen is possible in most scenarios for people with smaller hands.
The right side of the phone is where the power button is located, while the separate volume keys are on the left. At the bottom, you’ll find a USB-C port flanked by a headphone jack — always a welcome inclusion in the price bracket — and a loudspeaker. The charging port supports fast charging up to 18 watts using the included power brick and cable.
What you’ll see inside the box
MediaTek Helio G80: Gaming for the masses
MediaTek has impressed with its latest crop of chipsets designed for budget and midrange devices. The Helio G80 is one of the newest G series chips on the market, and uses a 12nm process like others in the lineup.
It comes with two Cortex-A75 cores for demanding tasks like gaming and six Cortex-A55 cores that take care of less-intensive processes. It also features Mali-G52 MC2 graphics, which is the same GPU that the Helio G85 and Helio P65 carry. The Vivo Y19 and Samsung Galaxy A41 and Galaxy A31 are all powered by a Helio P65, while the recently announced Redmi Note 9 sees a Helio G85 inside.
Based on our experience with the Vivo Y19, the faster and newer Helio G80 should be able to handle most games at medium to high settings without slowing down and throttling after some time. Even heavy games like Black Desert Online should be playable at higher frame rates.
We ran some standard benchmarks on our Realme 6i, which indicated that it is similar in performance to devices powered by a MediaTek Helio G85 and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710.
On the software side, this smartphone runs the latest version of Realme UI based on Android 10 out of the box, making it the second Realme handset to ship with the company’s first custom Android software after the Realme C3.
Realme UI brings a bunch of new features, including major improvements to system performance; a system-wide dark mode with third-party app support; a new file-sharing system that is compatible with Android 10-based OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi devices; and the ability to personalize icons.
Affordable 48MP quad shooter from Realme
Moving on to the camera system, the Realme 6i packs four sensors and dedicated lenses for ultra-wide, portrait, and macro shots. The primary camera pairs a 48-megapixel sensor with f/1.8 optics and uses pixel binning to take multiple pictures of a single scene and stitch them together using the device’s software.
The result is a more vivid, less noisy image. If you normally find yourself shooting at night or in low-light environments — say, a bar or restaurant — you’ll find this tech handy. There’s also a dedicated night mode for when the lighting is really bad.
For taking selfies, the Realme 6i features a 16-megapixel, f/2.0 camera. It’s one of the sharpest in the category, so we hope it performs as well as it looks on paper.
We’ll have more to say about the Realme 6i’s cameras in our full review. You can take a look at the gallery below for a few of our first camera samples.
Some pictures taken with the Realme 6i: 1x, 2x, 5x, 1x, macro, selfie
How much is the Realme 6i?
We still don’t know how much the Realme 6i is going to cost in the Philippines. What the company said is that it’s less than P10,000 (sub-$198).
In Myanmar, the base model with 3GB RAM and 64GB storage is priced at K249,990 (P9,056 or $179), while the 4GB/128GB variant sells for K299,990 (P10,867 or $215).
The 6i’s predecessor, the Realme 5i, currently retails for P6,490 ($128) in local stores. Stay tuned for our full review next week after the product embargo expires five days from now. We invite you to watch Realme Philippines’ livestream of the Realme 6i launch on its Facebook page at 7 p.m. on May 13.
Realme 6i specs
- 6.5-inch waterdrop LCD display, 1,600 x 720 resolution (20:9), Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- Octa-core MediaTek Helio G80 processor
- 3GB/4GB RAM
- 64GB/128GB expandable storage
- Quad 48-megapixel, f/1.8 (main), 8-megapixel, f/2.2 (ultra wide), 2-megapixel, f/2.4 (macro), and 2-megapixel, f/2.4 (depth) rear cameras
- 16-megapixel, f/2.0 front camera
- Fingerprint reader (rear-mounted)
- 5,000mAh battery with 18-watt USB-C fast charging
- Realme UI based on Android 10
- Colors: White and green
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