REVIEW | Realme 7 smartphone

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The Realme 6 smartphone hasn’t even begun to mature since the brand debuted it in the Philippines last May 29, and yet the latest addition to Realme’s numbered series has now arrived with a P1,000 price tag increase.

This price, however, only means that the Realme 7 will not be boasting a towering improvement compared to its predecessor. What exactly is the Realme 7 bringing to the table?

realme 7

With its P14,990 price tag, the smartphone will be introducing a processor from Mediatek, a new design aesthetic and paint job, a larger battery capacity with the new Dart Charge feature, new night filters, and Sony’s IMX682 sensor.

While there are no great leaps in terms of upgrades when compared to the Realme 6, the new Realme 7 offers slight enhancements in all the right places.

PROS

  • Premium-looking aesthetic
  • Smooth 90Hz refresh rate
  • Accelerated charging and good battery life
  • Improved video stabilization
  • Excellent gaming performance

CONS

  • Heating issue when gaming
  • Stock camera app needs optimization
  • Lowlight photography is a hit or miss
  • Difficult for one-handed use, bulky

Design and Ergonomics

The Realme 7 is by no means a sleek and easy-to-hold device. It is 5.5 grams heavier than its predecessor due to its higher capacity battery, and .6mm wider, too. It uses a dated glass protection that has nice features for its back design.

realme 7

Out of the box, the Realme 7 includes a protective film for the unit itself, a silicon case, a 5V 6A power brick, a standard Type-C cable, a pin ejector, and a set of manuals and warranty card.

The back of the Realme 7 features a split CD design that is coated with anti-glare glass, a specially processed glass that has a non-reflective matte surface.

Because of this glass treatment, the Realme 7 is not prone to smidges and fingerprints while simultaneously brandishing its mirror-inspired aesthetics.

The device sports a single bottom-firing speaker which can easily be blocked by the user’s hand when gaming or playing content, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, volume buttons, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a triple slot tray for dual SIM and memory expansion.

Compared to hybrid slot trays, a triple-slot tray offers better convenience for users. The volume keys situated on the left side is placed appropriately across the fingerprint sensor on the right. However, this sensor is highly sensitive and can even registers a strand of cloth that touches its surface. This causes unlocking errors and failed attempts being a regular occurrence.

The unlocking speed is undeniably fast. The volume buttons are tactile and are not flimsy when pressed. Although the build of the Realme 7 makes it easy for using without its case since it has good grip and well-placed components, its glaring cosmetic issue is its protruding camera bump.

This massive camera bump just destroys all of its user’s attempt to lay it flat on the table, and we don’t recommend placing the device with its screen down due to its scratch-resistant but not durable Gorilla Glass 3 protection. That is why users are left no choice but to use a silicon case, which makes the phone thicker and wider than it already is.

Specs and Performance 

The Realme 7 will be the first smartphone to feature Mediatek’s new Helio G95 gaming processor. The 12nm processor is packed with two Cortex-A76 cores clocking up to 2.05GHz and six Cortex-A55 cores at 2Ghz. The SoC is paired with a 900Mhz Mali-G76GPU.

As an update to the Helio G90T chip of the Realme 6, the Helio G95 performance is not that far ahead from the previous SoC. In fact, the only performance increase is only evident with the Mali-G76GPU which now has a 900Mhx higher clock speed compared to the 800Mhz on the Realme 6.

That is why on Antutu Benchmark, the Realme 7 and Realme 6 are not that far apart. Refer to the chart below.

realme 7 benchmark

The Realme 7 will only be offered in a single variant for the Philippines – 6GB RAM +128GB ROM. Here are the FPS, CPU, GPU, and temperature data of the Realme 7 when running different titles.

Call of Duty Mobile (Highest settings enabled)

  • FPS: 30
  • CPU: 49%
  • CPU Temperature: 69.4°C
  • GPU:  25%
  • Battery Temperature: 39.2°C

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (Highest settings enabled)

  • FPS: 29
  • CPU: 45%
  • CPU Temperature: 65.5°C
  • GPU: 30%
  • Battery Temperature: 36.5°C

Genshin Impact (Highest settings enabled)

  • FPS: 30
  • CPU:  50%
  • CPU Temperature: 70.3°C
  • GPU: 28%
  • Battery Temperature: 40.7°C

Battery and Charging

This is where the Realme 7 outshines its competition. The only upside to its bulky and thick body is the larger capacity 5000mAh battery paired with the speedy 30W Dart Charging feature. In a little over 60 minutes, the phone is able to charge from 0%-100%.

However, Realme 7 owners must make sure to use Realme’s Dart Charge accessories since the charging speeds deteriorate when using standard quick chargers.

In real world usage, while locked at 90Hz refresh rate and connected on WiFi, the phone is able to last for a single day’s use. This battery life is based on five hours of browsing, three hours of gaming at max settings, and three hours of content streaming — all at 50% brightness. For a casual user, this phone can easily last for two days of usage.

Realme also added a handy feature of showing the charging status up to the decimal point, to accurately display how fast the charging speed is. Do take note that the charger gets pretty hot when charging, but not to an alarming level.

Software and User Experience

Although the ColorOS receives faster major OS upgrades, the Realme UI just feels lighter and with less clutter. Aside from the cleaner interface, the Realme UI has redesigned its app icons and offers a better-looking dark mode. The bloatware is kept to a minimum and the animations are pleasant to the eyes.

The device also has the Realme Lab feature where users can try out beta versions of future OS functions.

Currently, it allows the use of dual mode audio that enable users to operate Bluetooth earphones and wired earphones simultaneously, smooth scrolling that works like a treat with the 90Hz screen, and super nighttime standby.

The Realme 7 supports gesture navigation, assistive ball, a smart sidebar for quick app access, a built-in screen recording with internal audio capturing, an app cloner for select messaging apps, and an app where users can store all gaming titles and access game optimization options called Game Space.

Camera and Optics

The photography experience on the Realme 7 is a mixed bag. Although it boasts the new Sony IMX680 sensor and replaced the Samsung Bright GW1 sensor found on the Realme 6, when compared side-by-side, the difference is marginal.

realme 7 photos

Both phones have acceptable color reproduction and dynamic range, but the Realme 7 offers better detailed images. The Chromaboost feature improves the color of the image without oversaturation, but taking photos of moving subjects is best left alone for the Pro mode and not the standard photo mode.

The Realme 7 also does a better job of reducing noise when taking lowlight images. It displays better colors and even has three dedicated color filters for the night mode delivered through an OTA update. These filters include Cyberpunk, Flamingo, and Modern Gold.

realme 7 night filters

Video capture is enhanced by the UIS and Max UIS stabilization which works well, although videos dip in quality on lowlight situations.

Although the stabilization is an advantage, the Realme 7 is pulled back by an underperforming autofocus feature. A subject-tracking feature would have worked great with Max UIS and 1080p recording at 60fps.

Value and Competition

For a sub-P15K device, the Realme 7 is one of the better options in the upper midrange segment. With this phone, Realme is not fishing for current Realme 6 users, as evident on how marginal the upgrade is. Instead, Realme wants new customers to walk past the Realme 6 and put up with the P1000 price bump for the newer model.

For current Realme 6 users, opting for the Realme 7 Pro or a future Realme 8 makes more sense in terms of seeking an upgrade.

With that out of the way, the Realme 7 is able to go toe-to-toe with its competition. At its current price point, it provides a better performance compared to the Samsung Galaxy A31, but falls behind the cheaper Redmi Note 9 Pro in terms of being an all-rounder phone.

Conclusion

The Realme 7 is the brand’s usual “more bang for your buck” product release. Unlike the segment-defining Realme 7 Pro however, the Realme 7 comes off as uninspired and rushed, and that is why Realme 6 users are not missing out on a lot.

For its P14,990.00 price, the combination of the Dart Charge, Helio G95 processor, and Sony IMX sensor makes it a steal on its own and decimates the competition. But as the newest representative for Realme’s next generation numbered series, we wouldn’t go too far as calling it a revolutionary upgrade, but rather a greatly improved version of its predecessor.

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