review

Realme 6 Pro Review: Do not go by the name, this has the X factor!

Bringing the best of the number and X series

“Ah, so this is the Realme 6 Pro. It is so different from the Realme 5 Pro…”
That’s because it is not the successor of the Realme 5 Pro.

“You gotta be kidding. It is called the Realme 6 Pro…”
Yes, yes, but that is actually just nomenclature. This is actually the successor to the Realme X.

“What! Wait, but wasn’t that the Realme XT?”
No, that was just an extended version…

“Oh and what of the Realme X2 Pro?”
A budget flagship, my dear chap.

“And the Realme X2?”
Oh come on, look, Realme insists this is the sequel to the Realme X. The Realme 6 is actually the successor of the Realme 5 Pro…

“What? What? Wha…”
Look, let’s leave it at that, shall we? What really matters is that this is a darned good phone!

“Well, it had better be. It is kinda exp!”
Oh come on. I agree that Rs 16,999 might seem a little expensive when you consider that the number series has generally started a little lower, but just see what you are getting for that price!

“It sure looks good!”

“Well, yes, it sure looks good…”
It does, doesn’t it? I mean, Gorilla Glass front and back. The front a large 6.6-inch display with a double punch hole notch which we like a whole lot more than those pop-up cameras. And then there’s the back – hold it up in the light and you will see that pattern like a bolt of lightning appear on the back. This is the lightning blue variant, so the pattern appears in blue against a black background when light falls on it…

“Gosh, yes, this looks so different!”
It does, doesn’t it? And you should see the Lightning Orange variant – that’s like an orange bolt on a jet black background.

“The power button on the right is a little odd, though…”
Well, that’s because it is also the fingerprint scanner…

“Oh just like on the Poco X2…”
Shush! We don’t take that name here. But well, now that you have, just like the Poco X2. Honestly, we like this placement better than on the back or even under the display…

“Look, under the display is so snazzy!”
Maybe, but in our book, it just is so much more convenient and fast. Also as it falls on the power/display button, which we tend to head towards naturally to unlock the display, it sort of combines the two functions. It has got face unlock too, and the dual punch hole kind of lights up when it is working, which is a nice touch.

“Kinda big phone, though?”
Well, they all are nowadays, aren’t they? But yes, at 163.8 mm, this is definitely on the taller side (the rather big iPhone 11 Pro Max is 158.1 mm!). You are not going to be able to manage it with one hand. That said, it is reasonably slim at 8.9 mm, and while it is not super light, 195 grams does not seem to be too heavy for the size.

“A bit slippery…”
It is. And it will pick up smudges. So use that case in the box (a pity really when you consider how good the phone looks. We also feel that in spite of the weight, it feels a little dainty. It also has no official IP rating, so be careful when handling it in the rain and dust.

“It does look good, though.”
Absolutely. Some might find it a little flashy but we totally like the design of the Realme 6 Pro. The quad-camera capsule on the back is a little predictable but then that bolt of lightning gradient makes the phone stand out from the crowd. This has got to be perhaps the most stand-out Realme phone we have seen for a while.

“Got the specs!”

“Also, the first phone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chip, I hear!”
Absolutely, it kind of falls right in between the 710 and 730 series, and from what we have seen, it is a very good performer, although it might give a little ground to the 730 in terms of gaming…

“But the Realme X2 came with a Snapdragon 730!”
See? That’s why this is the successor of the Realme X, which had a Snapdragon 710. Do not get tangled up in the names. Let us get back to the 6 Pro. The first phone in the country with the Qualcomm 720G processor, and it comes with lots of RAM – 6 GB and 8 GB. The 8 GB RAM variant comes with 128 GB storage, while the 6 GB RAM variants give you options of 64 GB and 128 GB of storage. There is a dedicated memory card slot, so do not worry on that count!

“But that display is not AMOLED. I mean, after the Realme X, XT and Realme 5 Pro had AMOLED displays…”
“Fair point, but it does seem reasonably bright. And at 6.6 inches, it is the largest display we have seen on a Realme phone. What’s more, it has for a 90 Hz refresh rate, just like what you get on the flagship Realme X2 Pro!”

“It does not seem so very noticeable…”
It does not always kind of jump out at you, but do a lot of scrolling or play those heavy-duty games and well, you will notice it when you get back to a more normal 60 Hz display. No, it is not a sensational difference but it does exist.

“It is heavy, so big battery, right?”
Spot on. It is a 4300 mAh battery with a 30W Flash Charger in the box.

“No Dart Charge?”
Nope, but this is pretty quick too. That battery gets charged in an hour!

“Stereo speakers…”
No, just the single one at the base. But hey, on the flip side, you have a 3.5 mm audio jack, and there is support for Dolby Atmos!

“Six cameras in all!”

“This is a Realme. So cameras have got to be…”
…good. Well, they are! And there are a lot of them too. There are six cameras on the Realme 6 Pro. Four on the back – a 64-megapixel Samsung GW1 main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra wide sensor, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 2-megapixel macro lens at the back. And a 16-megapixel main selfie camera with an 8-megapixel ultra wide camera in front in that dual punch hole notch.

“Isn’t a Samsung GW1 kind of old, considering that there’s a Sony 686 on the Poco…”
SHUSH! Well, again, you do have a point there. But then Realme has done some super software optimisations on this one. For one thing, the low light performance seems to have improved significantly. We have got some stunning low light shots with this one, and colours in particular just seem to jump out at you…

[Click here for full resolution image samples]

“They seem a little unrealistic…”
For the photography purist, perhaps. But for most mainstream users, the Realme 6 Pro serves up very good snaps. In fact, in daylight, even the saturation levels do not seem too high. At times, we even felt that the snaps were a little on the grey side. There is plenty of detail, though. The 20X zoom on the telephoto is best not tried beyond 8X, though, as noise does tend to creep in. And the macro remains a bit of a challenge for Realme – the shots get a little unsteady and focus is difficult (perhaps the lens needs more stability). We would say the cameras are close to what we saw in the flagship X50 Pro.

“The video?”
Decent, though not exceptional. But that is a problem at this price point. Sound quality can be a bit of a casualty, and stabilisation is an issue – EIS is no substitute for OIS – but if you are looking for social network level videos, you will not be disappointed. The videos actually are rather good, but not crazy exceptional. You can get some fantastic still images from the cameras, though.

“Even the dual selfie ones?”
Ah, we like the extra width that the second selfie sensor gives us for the big group snaps. But that apart, we do not see a huge step forward in the selfie camera department. That double punch hole notch looks good, though! But all said and done, the cameras are among the best in the segment…

“As good as the ones on Po…”
Wait for it. Wait for it. We are working on that comparison.

“Rock steady performance!”

“Let’s get back to that processor…does it hold up well?”
Very well indeed. We have had absolutely no problem in our routine day to day tasks like mail, messaging and social networks and the like…

“Oh come on, that’s series 400 stuff. I meant, gaming and so on!”
It handles games very well too. If you are not crazy about playing about super maxed out settings, you should be able to play most games smoothly. However, get into the higher setting zone and the odd lags come in from time to time. We noticed this in Call of Duty and Asphalt. It is not deal-breaking by any means, but if you are crazy about PUBG and Call of Duty, perhaps something more powerful would be needed. That said, the display is very good and we had no issues in multi-tasking. This device is a superb daily driver. Call quality is good, although we would have liked stereo speakers to be honest, and that fingerprint scanner is blazing fast.

“Realme UI…”
…unfortunately has ads. But they can be turned off. And while it is a work in progress, it is great to see the company going for a more minimalistic approach. It runs on top of Android 10, and if Realme can keep improving it, we could end up with something that is a slightly more feature rich version of Oxygen UI. That would be awesome. As of now, this is not really finished – you see random crashes sometimes – but it is a step in the right direction!

“Doesn’t that 90 Hz refresh rate kill the battery?”
Well, we think the Snapdragon 720G is great at power management. For, we were able to get a day and a half of use without too much strain from the Realme 6 Pro, which is very good when you consider that refresh rate. Honestly, that fast charger works so well that even a lot of battery drain does not affect you that much. All said and done, the Realme 6 Pro is a rock steady performer. It will not set records. It will just work.

“Heck, who wants records?”
Well, some do. But if you want something that just works, this is one of THE best options out there?

“Go for it, then?”

“Right, so it is a no-brainer then? Best option for its price?”
Wait, wait. NO device is a no-brainer in and around the Rs 15,000 market in the Indian market. The Realme 6 Pro offers great value for money at Rs 16,999 for 6 GB/ 64 GB, Rs 17,999 for 6 GB/ 128 GB and Rs 18,999 for 8 GB/ 128 GB, but it has got some competition…

“Can I NOW say the Poco X2?
Sigh! Yes, you can. At a starting price of Rs 15,999, it does get into the range of this one. There are also the likes of the Samsung Galaxy M31, the existing Remi Note 8 Pro, Realme’s very own Realme X2 and well, evidently there is another Redmi Note coming…

“So what do you advise?”
Well, we will be making some detailed comparisons between the Realme 6 Pro and other devices (most notably the Poco X2) in the coming time. But as of now, it is relatively safe to say that this is an excellent device at its price point. It comes with a very eye-catching design (a rarity in the segment), a display with a great refresh rate, a brand new and very efficient processor, good cameras, very promising software and very good battery performance. That is quite a lot! In fact, more than enough for most users!

“So you would call this as good as any mid-segment device?”
“No, we would call it better than most right now!”

“I STILL think it should be seen as the successor of the Realme 5 Pro…”
Some other day, all right? Forget what came before. Live in the present. Get this equation: Realme 6 Pro = Damn Good Phone!

Buy Realme 6 Pro on Flipkart

Pros
  • Very distinct design
  • Smooth performer
  • Very good battery life
  • Decent cameras
Cons
  • Slightly buggy UI
  • Some frame drops in high-end gaming
Review Overview
Build & Design
Performance
Camera
Software
Price
SUMMARY

Is it the successor of the Realme 5 Pro, as its name indicates? Or of the Realme X, as Realme itself says? Well, forget the name, the Realme 6 Pro is a formidable addition to the already competitive mid-segment of the Indian smartphone market. Check our conversational review!

4.0