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Realme 6 Pro review: a pretty companion for casual photographers

Realme 6 Pro review: a pretty companion for casual photographers

The Realme 6 series has been available since the end of March, although not every model. While the Realme 6 and the Realme 6i have already been released in European markets, we are still waiting for the most expensive model. Today, we have managed to bring the Realme 6 Pro out for a spin. Stay with us until the end and see whether it is worth dropping some coin for it!

Rating

Good

  • Good camera
  • 90Hz display
  • Gamer-centric design
  • Dual-SIM with a microSD slot

Bad

  • Unsightly punch hole display
  • Unsightly camera bump

Realme 6 Pro release date and price

While both the Realme 6 and the 6i are already available, the Realme 6 Pro is currently available only in India. The Chinese manufacturer estimates the price of the 6GB RAM/128GB memory model to retail for approximately €230 ($251). Those living in India have a choice between 6GB/64GB and 8GB/128GB memory models.

It remains wishful thinking that we will be able to obtain the Realme 6 Pro at a similar price point in this country. After all, the Realme 6 already costs around €230 ($251) (RRP), hence it would not be surprising if the Realme 6 Pro's price tag will hover somewhere within the €300 ($327) region. 

As the manufacturer Realme stated on its website, we don't have to wait for a very long time in Europe as the Realme 6 Pro is scheduled to be launched this coming May 5th, as seen on its EU website. The Pro version will arrive in Flash Blue, Flash Orange, and Lightning Red colors. For this review, I spent my time with the Lightning Red model 

Realme 6 Pro design and build quality

The fact is, Oppo remains as Realme's big brother and that becomes all the more obvious when seen in the Realme 6 Pro's design. In fact, the Realme 6 Pro is not that much different from the Oppo Reno 3 Pro that I have already reviewed. From the exterior, I could only tell the two apart by their different colors and size. You can probably imagine that I'm quite happy that I didn't get the blue version on the Realme smartphone, too. What kind of chaos would that have caused?

realme 6 pro test oppo realme
Apart from their size, the Oppo Reno 3 Pro and the Realme 6 Pro hardly differ from each other. / © AndroidPIT

But when it comes to color, the Realme smartphone is ahead of the game in my books. I don't really recognize the "red" of the Lightning Red, but I personally like the color gradient that moves from dark purple to a shade of dark pink. Should you tilt the smartphone slightly to the side in your hand, you can even vaguely recognize the flash that gives it its name.

The silky smooth plastic back is really comfortable to hold. Its LCD display comes with Gorilla Glass 5 that will (hopefully) do a good job in protecting it against scratches and blows. Although it is not a full-screen display and its edges do not end up with curved edges, this does not translate to the Realme 6 Pro being an ugly device to look at. The bezels do look inconspicuous and narrow enough, making it easy to fool yourself into thinking that they do not even exist. 

If you love your smartphone without any fingerprints or smudges all over it, I would highly recommend picking up a screen protector. As with any other smartphone, the front portion of the Realme 6 Pro is not immune to smudges - the back of the smartphone, on the other hand, fared better. On a positive note, the Realme 6 Pro ships with a silicone phone cover right out of the box.

realme 6 pro weight
How much does the Realme 6 Pro weigh? Just under three slices of brown bread and a little more than a thin slice of white bread. / © AndroidPIT

In terms of the amount of value that you get with your purchase, Oppo is still the winner for me. The manufacturer has a smartphone cover in addition to a charger and a pair of headphones, things which Realme simply failed to deliver. I'm a big fan of headphone jacks because I can continue to listen to music in an instant, even if my wireless earphones fail me. It is good to note that the Realme 6 Pro provides me with this option, although it does make me wonder why Realme cannot throw in a pair of cheap headphones right out of the box. It would have been - at least for the Pro version - a nice bonus, which I would have liked to test.

AndroidPIT realme 6 pro back 6
USB-C and a headphone jack are available - unfortunately Realme does not provide headphones. / © AndroidPIT

As already known from the Oppo design, the volume rocker of the Realme 6 Pro is also located on the left edge. On its right, you will find the power button, which makes a pleasant difference compared to the Reno 3 Pro. While the button remains embedded deeper in the case, this makes it look more refined without standing out like a sore thumb. Besides that, the fingerprint sensor is also built right in. I was already enthusiastic about the mode of unlocking in the Reno review, but in hindsight, I found it a bit of a nuisance that you had to touch the display all over and thus cover it with fingerprints. Realme solved this problem with the well-placed power button.

If you decide to unlock it, I would like to give you a little hint: The touch sensor is a little bit sensitive than expected. More than once, it vibrated when I accidentally touched the button with my index finger. As nice as it unlocks quickly, the button's position does get in the way by accident more than a few times, and this detracts from the overall user experience.

Realme 6 Pro display

Although the Realme 6 followed the Realme 5 Pro closely, comparing both Pro versions released makes a much more compelling case to me. For the Realme 6 Pro, it relies on a 6.6-inch display in 20:9 aspect ratio with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,400 (399 DPI). When compared with the Realme 5 Pro, the display size increased by a mere 0.3-inches, while the resolution count remains similar.

The refresh rate of the Realme 6 Pro stands at 90 Hz, making this a mid-range device that is capable of holding its own against the big boys such as the 120 Hz display found on the Samsung Galaxy S20. Of course, it is not going to be that smooth as flagships, but it still does allows for a pleasant and smooth scrolling experience without having to fork out a crazy €1,000 for it. 

In addition, the LCD reproduces colors naturally, which I found to be very pleasant, especially with games. I can't object to the touch feedback sensitivity of the display. It functioned perfectly well whenever required, although there were one or two instances where it failed to function as I think I typed really slowly during those moments. 

AndroidPIT realme 6 pro front camera
Unfortunately, the dual selfie cameras stand out like a sore thumb on the front display. / © AndroidPIT

What got my goat with the Oppo device's front display was also seen in the Realme 6 Pro. You get a couple of selfie punch-hole cameras with this handset as well. In order not to notice them at all when the display is brightly lit, I would have to use the phone with my eyes closed. This kind of camera setup in the upper left corner is unsightly and tends to interrupt an otherwise really nice display.

Realme 6 Pro software

The user interface of the Realme 6 Pro UI version 1.0 is based on Android 10 , which also reminds me of the Oppo handset. So there are functions like dark mode and others that will hopefully make the user experience easier on your eyes in the long run. Apart from that, the most important apps and applications have been summarised in folders for quick access. This is something that is positive and well thought up, and it also makes the display look less cluttered and more organized. 

realme 6 pro display
By using folders, the display looks nice and tidy. / © AndroidPIT

Apart from Google services and tools such as Clone Phone or an FM radio, the Realme 6 Pro also does have a little something that might interest gamers. For example, apart from the usual Play Store, you will find the "Popular Games" area where you can install additional games. In the "Tools" tile, you will also find the "Game Space" app, which allows you to suppress notifications while playing, reject calls or even adjust battery consumption based on the existing battery level. All of these provide a more intense and uninterrupted gaming experience.

As with almost every other smartphone, you have to be prepared to deal with pre-installed apps. Unfortunately, not all (if not most) of them are useful. I can understand having Opera as an alternative to Chrome, but I am not too sure I would like to have the Facebook app pre-installed.

Realme 6 Pro performance

In the Realme 6 Pro, the company has chosen to have the Snapdragon 720G chipset (eight nanometers) with eight cores to run proceedings from underneath the hood. This mid-range chipset is characterized by several functions such as Bluetooth 5.1 support, an Adreno 218 GPU that supposedly delivers a decent gaming performance - something that I confirmed by firing up games from time to time during my review. Although it was only a farming simulation, I did not notice any obvious screen lag or blurry images. Nevertheless, we should leave the cow, the church, and more importantly, bales of hay in the digital village. The Realme 6 Pro cannot reach actual gaming smartphone performance levels, although it would probably not disappoint casual gamers like me.

Realme 6 Pro in benchmark comparison

  Realme 6 Pro Realme 5 Pro
3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme ES 3.1 2528 2091
3D Mark Sling Shot Volcano 2338 1980
3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0 3551 2990
Geekbench 5 (Single / Multi) 568 / 1704 321 / 1498
PassMark Memory 20741 12595
PassMark disk 42080 67088

Realme 6 Pro camera

Compared to its predecessor, Realme 6 Pro has added a little extra bit of punch to the camera this time around. Instead of having four cameras, the manufacturer has decided to increase the number of lenses to five - resulting in the Realme 6 Pro boasting of a quad-camera setup at the back and a dual selfie camera unit out in front. I have already listed down what I thought of the placement of the front cameras earlier on.

The quad-camera setup is positioned at the upper left corner at the back as a long, downwards strip. This setup is unflattering to a degree as it does stick out due to the hump, taking some of the shine off the otherwise really beautiful smartphone design. Apart from that, it does not seem to get in the way with the included protective cover holding up the quad-camera well, allowing the smartphone to lie flat on its back without wobbling back and forth.

AndroidPIT realme 6 pro camera
The small camera hump can be flattened with the matching protective cover. / © AndroidPIT

For taking pictures and videos you have the following cameras with this model at your disposal:

Dual selfie camera:

  • 16 Megapixel wide-angle camera, f/2.1
  • 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera

Quad camera unit:

  • 64-megapixel wide-angle camera, f/1.8
  • 12-megapixel telephoto camera, f/2.5
  • 8 Megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, f/2.3
  • 2 Megapixel macro camera, f/2.4

For an in-depth look at the camera's performance, I would leave that to the experts. As for a layperson like me, this smartphone does a great job for all intents and purposes. It is in no way inferior to the Oppo Reno 3 Pro. Android smartphones tend to provide users with plenty of settings anyway, and Realme is no exception. Be it shooting a portrait, a night shot, or a carefully composed panoramic photo, the Realme 6 Pro is able to do them all with pizzazz. Feel free to go through some of the functions here.

realme 6 pro camera funktions two
There are plenty of options for selfie lovers. / © AndroidPIT

Even as a casual shutterbug like me, I was able to snap some really good photos with this smartphone. The Realme 6 Pro delivers rich colors in night mode while reproducing contours and shades well under different light conditions.

realme 6 pro camera funktions
The camera can easily take night shots, panoramic or backlit photos. / © AndroidPIT

Not every camera zoom does what it promises. For example, the 30x zoom of the Galaxy S20 delivers pixelized images rather than clear photos. But the 5x zoom of the Realme 6 Pro didn't let me down during this review. Margins and details were mostly well-rendered, that the zoom reminded me of an overzealous student. The results were consistent regardless of whether the photo was taken with single, 2x, or 5x zoom - what a geek!

realme 6 pro zoom
How close would you like it to be? Single, double, or five times? / © AndroidPIT

Realme 6 Pro battery

In comparison to its predecessor, the Realme 5 Pro, something has changed in terms of battery life. Instead of 4,045 mAh, the Chinese company now uses a commendable 4,300 mAh battery in its new Realme 6 Pro, which can be charged via USB-C. The corresponding 30-Watt charging plug is included in the box, but for my case, I had to get an adapter as it was not suitable for use in European sockets. A shortcoming that I gladly overlook in the review. After all, the Realme 6 Pro model is not yet available in Europe and I have a hunch that the manufacturer will supply a matching plug in due time.

IMG20200429225848
The charger probably won't work in Europe. / © AndroidPIT

Battery life is impressive. The smartphone lasted for over a day without having to charge it up, and that despite handling video calls, playing with my farm sim, indulging in chess games and non-stop use. What I liked about the smartphone was it notifying you when the battery level has reached the 20 percent level via a pop-up window on the display, followed by advice to enter power-saving mode. The only impractical thing was that this happened to me in the middle of a call.

Allegedly, the charging time with the included VOOC 30W charging cable supposedly takes less than an hour. Lucky for me that I also have the Realme 6 with me, and hence could scrounge for the charger plug. For the charging test, I let the smartphone go down to 17 percent and then connected it to the charging cable. The Realme 6 Pro managed to hit 100% after a little more than an hour, which is a charging time that I find perfectly OK.

Realme 6 Pro technical specifications

Dimensions: 163.8 x 75.8 x 8.9 mm
Weight: 202 g
Battery size: 4300 mAh
Screen size: 6.6 in
Display technology: LCD
Front camera: 16 megapixels
Rear camera: 64 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
RAM: 8 GB
Internal storage: 128 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Number of cores: 8
Connectivity: Dual-SIM

Final verdict

All in all, the Realme 6 Pro offers a lot of features for relatively little money. The camera's performance, decent graphical capability and smooth handling of games really stood out for me. Of course, you have to bear in mind that the Realme 6 Pro is not a gaming smartphone in the first place, although it is perfectly acceptable for casual gamers.

Even the casual photographer and more serious shutterbugs will not be let down by the Realme 6 Pro. The pictures I took looked quite sharp to my untrained eye, along with perfectly decent color reproduction. If you are looking for a companion smartphone with dual SIM capability and a microSD card slot to boot, you won't be disappointed with this.

Whether it should be an Oppo Reno 3 Pro or a Realme 6 Pro remains a matter of taste. Oppo also delivers good pictures with its device, and the two devices are similar in design from certain aspects. There are differences between the two of course - such as unlocking the device via TouchID as well as accompanying accessories in the box. If you are more comfortable with the fingerprint sensor built into the display, then the Oppo is the more suitable choice, not to mention a pair of headphones to accompany you. We can't comment about the prices though, as they are not yet available for the Realme 6 Pro for the European market. However, you would probably be looking at €300 ($327) thereabouts. The Oppo Reno 3 Pro has a higher entry price point of approximately €372 ($406).

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