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Oppo Realme 1 First Impressions Review: A Real Deal at Rs 8,990

Oppo has unveiled its online exclusive sub-brand 'Realme' as well as its first smartphone offering under the brand name as the Realme 1. So how is the new budget smartphone by Oppo? We find out in this first impressions review.

Sarthak Dogra | News18.com@SarthakDogra

Updated:May 15, 2018, 1:50 PM IST
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Oppo Realme 1 First Impressions Review: A Real Deal at Rs 8,990
Oppo Realme 1 First Impressions Review. (Image: Sarthak Dogra/ News18.com)
In a bid to cater to the online shoppers in the country, Oppo India has branched out a digital-exclusive sub-brand by the name of Realme. Alongside introducing the brand, Oppo also unveiled the very first smartphone offering under the Realme line-up as the Realme 1. The company has confirmed that the entire product line-up of Realme will be priced between Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 and will be focussed towards catering to the youth of the country. Building on this, the Realme 1 comes as a simple, sleek and quite a fashionable device by the company. But what other advantages does the smartphone have over its competition and what are its shortcomings? We find out in this first impressions review.

Design

As we pointed out above, the Realme 1 has a fashionable look and feel to it. Oppo has designed the smartphone in its signature style but with nifty design changes that make it stand apart from the regular Oppo line-up.

The Realme 1 sports a FullView display with little bezels on both the top and the bottom. While the top bezel houses the selfie shooter and the earpiece, the bottom bezel has been left empty, which is kind of surprising as the smartphone does not offer a fingerprint sensor. It can be deduced that Oppo skipped this feature as a cost-cutting measure. The chin of the device sports the speakers, USB port and an aux input. Power key has been placed on the right, below the dual SIM slot and the volume rockers are on the left.

As for its ‘signature Oppo’ look, the Realme 1 comes with round edges and a flat up front and back, giving it a sleek form factor. This, also makes it easy to operate with one hand and provides a good grip on the smartphone. Its the back of the smartphone that has been redesigned to have that ‘oomph’ factor. At the back, the Realme 1 sports a shiny glass finish with a diamond pattern glittering on it. Though it does have a lot of design appeal, it also gets fingerprint smudges equally easily.

The camera lens has been placed on the top left alongside the LED flash, while the centre sports a Realme logo. Oppo logo can be seen at the bottom of the back. The Realme 1 has been assembled in India, as is mentioned on the back of the smartphone.

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Performance

One big plus of the Realme 1 is that it is a very simple device to operate as almost all the apps and widgets are right there on the home screen. A simple downward swipe from the top will bring a plethora of options on the drop-down menu by default including screen recording, Google voice assistant and even a calculator. Swipe right and you will enter the Google Smart Assistant which displays all the regularly used apps, weather information, steps tracker and even your pending online orders or reminders for booked shows or flights. It makes everything easy at the least, as every task that you can perform on the smartphone is right there. In essence, the Android 8.1 Oreo with Color OS 5.0 work wonders to make your tasks easier.

As for a couple of days’ usage, the Realme 1 has performed quite well for us. No software glitches were experienced as we played games, watched videos and used work-related as well as social media apps. The videos streamed smoothly and multi-tasking was easy as well. The device did give in at times though, especially while playing a graphics heavy game like Mortal Kombat X or NFS ‘No Limits’. But it was mostly just a few seconds of delay in initiating the game. Once started, it worked smoothly.

The audio output of the Realme 1 is one certain area of improvement for the company. We tried the smartphone’s audio output with the best of earphones and headphones in the market, in addition to its native speakers at the bottom. The sound quality was muffled at all the times and is really something that is not desired by an audiophile. Sadly, it also takes the fun out of binge-watching a series or movies on the smartphone.

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Camera

The camera modules on the Realme 1 are a bitter-sweet experience. As long as you do not have very high expectations from the smartphone, the image quality produced will cater to your needs. Talking about the primary camera at the back, the device is able to capture objects at a far focal length as well but the overall image quality is not so impressive primarily because they are overexposed and capture washed out colours. It is also really difficult to capture moving objects with the camera and any movement of the subject being captured will most likely result in a blurred image.

We were more impressed by the front camera on the smartphone though as it is able to produce decent quality images and captures photos with a better accuracy and focus. The embedded AI also helps in clicking social media worthy selfies.

There is something not right about the focusing of the camera lenses on the Realme 1 though. As you shift focus from one point to another, the cameras do not defocus from the adjacent/ previously focussed object. That is odd and we hope Realme fixes it through a software upgrade soon.

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What do we think?

With a starting price of Rs 8,990 the Realme 1 is a real deal at its price point. The smartphone offers a great design, which is certainly unparalleled in this price range, along with an easy to use smartphone experience with the latest Android 8.1 Oreo. The device is also able to deliver a good performance and will easily cater to your everyday needs out of a smartphone. The camera performance on this one is however limited but there is hardly any competitor with this price tag which will offer a better camera performance than the Realme 1, so this certainly cannot be your deciding factor if you wish to buy the all-new Realme 1. For everything else, the device gets a big thumbs up from us.

However, it will be a bit difficult for the Realme 1 6GB RM variant, which will be up for grabs in the first sale, to compete at its price point of Rs 13,990 given its competitors like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Asus Zenfone Max Pro (M1) in this range. In our opinion, it is the lower memory variants which have an unmatched quality to play in the budget playground of under Rs 10,000.

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| Edited by: Sarthak Dogra
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