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Realme’s shaking up the mid-range with three incredible bang-for-buck smartphones

2018 is turning out to be an awesome year for mid-range smartphones. In addition to the already solid crop of phones from ASUS, Xiaomi, and even honor, we actually got a wildcard from Xiaomi sub-brand POCOPHONE that pretty much took the world by storm.

Now, another contender joins the fray and it also comes from one of the most unlikely places: An OPPO sub-brand called Realme. Meet the Realme 2 and Realme 2 Pro.

Previously existing as a device line in the Chinese smartphone-maker’s portfolio, Realme has since spun off into its own independent brand under parent company OPPO. And, while OPPO’s got its crosshairs set on the upper-mid range, Realme’s taking a different approach, designing their phones to give people major bang-for-buck at the lower end of the mid-range price bracket without compromising on power.

Realme 2 Pro

Their hero device is the Realme 2 Pro and it’s a doozy. First off, at its heart, this phone features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor (that’s an upper-mid-range SoC) that can be paired with up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 internal storage. What’s more, you can also expand it with a microSD card for up to an additional 256GB of space.

As far as looks are concerned, the Realme 2 Pro bears a striking resemblance to the OPPO F9, with the same kind of body shape, fingerprint scanner placement and camera module. Up front, it’s also got the F9’s water-drop screen — which Realme calls the Dewdrop Full Screen — so you’re also getting a large 6.3-inch Full HD+ IPS display (2340×1080 pixels) with slim bezels and an impressive 90.8% screen-to-body ratio (0.908:1). Oh, and of course, there’s Face Unlock too.

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For photos, the Realme 2 Pro features a dual camera setup at the back. The main 16MP sensor with an f/1.7 aperture lens is supported by a secondary 2MP sensor with an f/2.4 aperture lens for bokeh and portrait mode effects. This main camera also has AI scene recognition that can identify up to 16 different scenes. There’s also Dual Pixel autofocusing and electronic image stabilisation (EIS) for video recording.

In front, Realme has equipped the Realme 2 Pro with a 16MP selfie shooter that sports an f/2.0 aperture lens. Naturally, there are also AI beautification features and, according to Realme, the camera is able to analyse the age, gender and skin complexion of each person in a selfie/wefie, then adjust “visual enhancements” to everyone.

Keeping all of these goodies running is a relatively large 3,500 mAh battery that the company says can give you up to 10 hours of continuous video playback. How that translates into real-world usage remains to be seen. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any fast-charging as the battery is rated to only support 5V2A charging via the phone’s micro USB port.

Realme 2 Pro also features triple SIM tray that supports two nano-SIMs and a dedicated microSD card. There’s also support for 5GHz 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 and it’s even got a 3.5mm headphone jack. This phone also runs on OPPO’s ColorOS 5.2 that’s built on top of Android 8.1 Oreo.

Realme 2 Pro will retail in Indonesia for IDR2,899,000 (around RM790) for the base model with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The mid-spec model with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage will retail for IDR3,299,000 (around RM899), while the top-of-the-line device with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage will be priced at IDR3,699,000 (around RM1,009). It will be available in Lazada Indonesia from the 23rd of October 2018, from 11am onward.

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Realme 2

Besides the Pro, Realme also launched an entry-level device called the Realme 2. This phone features more watered down specs in the form of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor, up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Thankfully, storage is still expandable for up to an additional 256GB of space.

In front, the screen is also slightly smaller, measuring 6.2 inches diagonally, and features a larger notch for a smaller screen-to-body ratio of 88% (0.88:1). However, the biggest downgrade is the display’s resolution, as this phone is only pushing a HD+ resolution of 1520×720 pixels instead.

You still get a dual-camera at the back, but the primary sensor is now a 13MP unit with an f/2.2 aperture lens. In front, you’re now getting an 8MP selfie shooter with an f/2.2 aperture lens instead.

That said, the Realme 2 isn’t without its own unique features. The design, for example, has been tweaked so that the Realme 2 has a special diamond-cut design, despite having the same kind of camera and fingerprint placement. Besides that, the Realme 2 also packs a larger 4,230 mAh battery inside that, when paired with the HD+ screen, should give you excellent battery life.

Realme 2 will be priced at IDR1,999,000 (around RM545) for the base model with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, while the top-spec variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage will retail for IDR2,399,000 (around RM654).

Realme C1

Finally, Realme also launched their entry-level Realme C1 in Indonesia. This smartphone features a 6.2-inch HD+ (1520×720 pixel) display up front with a notch in it. Inside, it’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor that’s mated to 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD).

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Keeping the lights on is a massive 4,230 mAh battery (same capacity as the Realme 2) but there’s no fingerprint scanner on this device. Instead, you’ll have to rely on Face Unlock for biometric unlocking.

For photos, you’re getting a 13MP + 2MP dual-camera setup at the back with an f/2.2 aperture lens, while the front sees a 5MP selfie shooter with an f/2.2 aperture lens and AI beautification features.

For network connectivity, the Realme C1 supports dual nano-SIM, but only has support for 2.4GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2.

Realme C1 is officially priced at IDR1,499,000 (around RM410), but when it goes on sale during the 11.11 sale on Lazada Indonesia, it will be discounted to IDR1,399,000 (around RM381).

As it stands now, these are really attractive price points for handsets of this calibre, but it remains to be seen how much these phones will officially be priced when they hit Malaysia. If they maintain this price, these are going to be excellent options for the mid-range.