Since its inception in India around six months ago as a sub-brand of Oppo, Realme has carved a distinct niche for itself in the very hyper-competitive Indian smartphone market. As an independent brand out of Oppo, Realme has been very aggressive, and come up with some competitive product offerings – Realme 2, Realme 2 Pro and Realme C1. As per data from CyberMedia Research, it was one of the fastest growing emerging smartphone brand during the festive season this year, including specifically, the months of September and October. In line with its target demographic: Indian youth, Realme recently unveiled a new brand logo and typeface. Its phenomenal run in India has set it on course, to be potentially, in the top five smartphone brands leaderboard in Q4 2018.
Realme’s latest offering, the Realme U1 is a “selfie pro smartphone” that sports a 25MP Selfie Camera, nestled in the dewdrop notch, with Sony IMX576 sensor and f/2.0 aperture. Its also the first smartphone to feature the MediaTek Helio P70. The Helio P70 sports an enhancedAI engine combined with CPU and GPU upgrades for more powerful AI processing. Helio P70 also comes with upgraded imaging and camera support, a gaming performance boost and advanced connectivity features, to meet the requirements of the most demanding customers. For the youth, the Helio P70 would translate into amazing photography, AI-infused photo and video experiences, and a better gaming experience on the Realme U1.
With a beginning price of Rs 11, 999, the Realme U1 is a tough to beat offering.
Design and Display
The Realme U1 comes with the same design language that the Realme 2 Pro sported: both have the same design, display, physical dimensions, weight. On both the phones, even the camera is the same, and its only the color variants that can distinguish a U1 from 2 Pro.The Realme U1 has three variants: Ambitious Black, Brave Blue and Fiery Gold. Realme U1 has a plastic body, with glass at the back that imparts it a more premium finish.
The dewdrop notch, on the top, hosts the the 25MP selfie camera, ambient and proximity sensors, and the earpiece. At the bottom, there is a small chin. The minimal bezel means the U1 has an exciting 90.8 per cent screen-to-body ratio.
The U1 sports a 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2340×1080 that works just fine under various conditions.
Performance and Battery Life
Realme U1 sports the MediaTek Helio P70 octa-core and is available in two variants: 3GB RAM +32GB, and 4GB RAM + 64GB with upto 256GB expandable storage support. The U1 comes with a 3500 mAh battery onboard, which means a good performance lasting through the day.
The performance is smooth, and impressive, without any lag, irrespective of whether it be normal daily use, hyperactive social media usage, or heavy duty gaming, the U1works absolutely fine.
With its 25 MP sensor on the front camera, the U1 consistently delivers on its premise of a“Selfie Pro”, with impressive selfies under various light conditions. The selfies are detailed and sharp, with the AI adding a helping hand with better noise and colour recovery.
The rear AI-powered camera includes a 13MP+2MP module, that supports AI scene detection,HDR mode, panorama, portrait lighting, pro mode and slo-mo. While the pro-mode is one of the easiest and best in this price segment, the slo-mo also works just fine. The image quality is consistently good in all modes.
Overall, the Realme U1 is a good value-for-money buy, for its intended target demographic: the selfie-obssessed youth, with its impressive Selfie Camera, backed by an efficient MediaTek processor. The U1 competes with smartphones from Xiaomi (notably the Redmi Note 6 Pro) and the Honor 8X from Honor.