Budget excellence continues, but lacks genuine upgrades over predecessor – 4/5
Since its inception over two years ago, Realme has released a very consistent range of high spec, low-cost devices, and last year’s Realme 6 series was no different.
The manufacturer has stuck to its tried and tested formula of offering affordable to mid-range prices for devices that have competitive specs that are highly appealing.
The Realme 6 offered incredible value for money and with the Realme 7, the Chinese vendor aims to outdo its last budget outing by offering a few notable improvements in key areas.
However, with the Realme 7 coming so soon after its predecessor, it is impossible to make substantial strides in every department. And while the specs remain impressive for a budget device, the spec sheet doesn’t look remarkably different from last years’ entry.
- OS: Android 10, Realme UI
- Processor: Mediatek Helio G95
- Screen: 6.5 inches
- Resolution: 1080 x 2400
- RAM: 6GB, 8GB
- Internal storage: 64GB, 128B
- Rear camera: 48MP, 8MP, 2MP, 2MP
- Front Camera: 16MP
- Video: 1080p @ 30/120fps
- Battery: 5000mAh
- Connectivity: WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth, 4G
- Dimensions: 162.3 x 75.4 x 9.4mm
- Weight: 196.5g
Design and unboxing
The Realme 7 box features the device, a jelly case, a USB-C charger, and the very impressive 30W fast-charging adapter which we will come to in a moment.
For a budget smartphone, the Realme 7 looks great. The front of the device doesn’t offer anything new or compelling but has a good screen to size ratio.
The back of the device is where things get a bit more interesting. The Realme 7 keeps the distinct shifting two-tone look of the Realme 6, giving it a flagship feel, particularly compared to other devices in its price range.
The smartphone also features a glossy finish on the back of the device meaning it doesn’t pick up fingerprints easily, but there is always the jelly case inside the box to prevent this from happening.
The headphone jack remains next to the speaker at the bottom of the device and hopefully doesn’t go away any time soon. In terms of design, there isn’t much to differentiate the Realme 7 from the Realme 6, but with most budget smartphones looking almost identical to one another, it isn’t a surprise to see Realme sticking to its tried and tested formula.
The smartphone weighs 196.5 grams and is slightly heavier than its predecessor which can be put down to the larger 5000mAh battery inside of it.
Realme has made some great strides in this department since its inception. The Realme X3 Zoom from earlier this year featured a very powerful 64MP main camera and offered some excellent snaps with a powerful zoom feature.
The Realme 7 in contrast comes equipped with a 48MP primary lens, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, a macro lens, and a model lens.
The main camera actually takes some mightily detailed close-up shows which admittedly came as a bit of a surprise. Below are a few close-up images I had taken with the primary snapper.
Regular photos were good but unremarkable. It remains to be seen whether vendors can offer budget devices that have a heavy focus on camera excellence but it seems top-end cameras are reserved for the higher-end flagships like the recent Huawei Mate 40 Pro.
You might want to leave out the zoomed-in photos on this particular device as the quality of snaps when using the x5 zoom was slightly inconsistent.
However, one area the Realme 7 does shine is with its Night Mode feature. The Realme 6’s Night Mode feature was a flat out disappointment so it’s great to see another genuine improvement on this device. Night Mode images featured improvements in just about every department it could in comparison to the Realme 6 and also the regular snaps I had taken during the day. Below are images I captured with the Night Mode feature.
The Realme 7 packs a 5000mAh battery which is slightly larger than the ‘Pro’ version of the device which clocks in at 4500mAh. While the charge time isn’t as quick on the Realme 7 as it is with the Realme 7 Pro, the headlining feature of this device is still the 30W fast-charging which competes with flagship devices let alone budget smartphones.
The Realme 7 offers fast-charging which charges 50 per cent in just 26 minutes which is outstanding considering its price and a genuine improvement on the Realme 6 which restored about 60 per cent of battery life in an hour.
The device has a 6.5-inch, 1080 x 2400 Full-HD screen which offers great visuals, making it perfect for streaming and binge-watching your favourite shows.
The device also offers both fingerprint and facial unlock and both ways worked very quickly and efficiently during my time using the device.
The Realme 7 runs on the MediaTek Helio G95 processor and performs very capably and is a stronger and faster processor than the G90T which was used on the Realme 6. The device was extremely fast and without any lag or glitches and I was genuinely impressed with its overall speed and performance for a budget smartphone. I was using a variant of the device which packs in 8GB RAM, but there is also a 6GB RAM variant available which will be slightly cheaper.
At a glance
- Speed – 4/5
- Camera – 4/5
- Battery – 4.5/5
- Design – 3.5/5
- Value – 4.5/5
- Price – £179, £199, £239
While the Realme 7 most certainly provides incredible value for money, the sheer volume of Realme releases means in such a short space of time means there is a lack of serious upgrades from the Realme 6.
While there are certainly ways in which the Realme 7 improves on its predecessor such as an improved battery life/fast-charging and a very impressive night mode, it may not be enough to justify an upgrade. If I was unfamiliar with the brand and reviewing a Realme phone for the first time, I’m sure I would have been blown away by this device, however, it’s clear the challenger brand has lost some of its novelty in the budget department.
With that said, I have come to expect no less than excellence from Realme devices, and this device certainly provides it for the price it retails for and users will not be disappointed.
The Realme 7 is available in three variants from Amazon. The 4GB RAM/64GB device retails for £179.99, the 6GB RAM/64GB device retails for £199 and the 8GB RAM/128GB device retails for £239.