Variety is disrupting the upper budget smartphone segment and realme is leading the shakeup. This is really good for consumers who are being spoilt for choice.
realme came to Kenya and has been churning out devices for different types of consumers according to their pockets.
Closing the year off for realme was the double online launch of realme C12 and realme 7i.
Anyway, we got to spend some good amount of time with the realme 7i for our full review.
realme opted to go with a two tone finish for the realme 7i and comes in two colours – Aurora Green and Polar Blue.
The two tone and colour gradient design features a split that separates the back in terms of its materials. we have a glossy finish at the top and a matte finish at the bottom.
It’s worth noting that its slippery and you’ll need to use a case included in the box to also avoid the smudges and scratches.
At the top left corner is quad-camera setup housed in a rectangular bump and hosts a 64MP main camera with a quad-Bayer sensor, an 8MP ultrawide, two 2MP lens – one for macro shots and the other, a depth sensor.
Included is a quad-LED flash light.
Next to it is the fingerprint sensor which is just as fast and reliable as the face unlock.
We have very tactile buttons on the right side of the phone and a slot for dual Nano sim cards and external microSD card.
realme 7i supports VoLTE for all networks including Faiba 4G – I thought I should mention this for Faiba 4G’s subscribers who are in the search for a smartphone compatible with their network.
At the bottom, we have a headphone jack, microphone, Type-C USB charging port and speaker grille.
realme 7i ships with a 6.5′ IPS LCD display at a resolution of 1600 by 720 pixels in a 20:9 aspect ratio.
We also get a 90Hz refresh rate screen. The bezels are thin and you’ll enjoy consuming multimedia content.
It’s sad that they went with a lower resolution but I got used to it – it does it job perfectly thanks to the high refresh rate.
A letdown with the 720p display instead of a high resolution 1080p display
I recommend settling on the always 90Hz refresh rate – battery life be damned(more below). Infact that’s the first thing I did as soon as the realme 7i landed on my review desk.
You’ll love binging movies or YouTube videos. It gets bright enough indoors and outdoors for when you want to game or check your social media feed while on the go.
I liked the realme 7i’s design and it was comfortable to use.
Performance – Software and Gaming
realme 7i comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor and Adreno 610 GPU coupled with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage.
realme also included UFS 2.1 storage.
This configuration delivered a blistering performance for daily use – be it light tasks or heavy tasks.
realme 7i wasn’t a slouch during my time with it.
realme 7i handled everything like a champ from replying to emails, scrolling through my social media feeds, browsing multiple tabs on chrome, streaming on Spotify, binge-reading long-form content, binge-watching Emily in Paris and playing multiple high and low intense games.
I had no issues. You’ll love playing high refresh rate games on the realme 7i – which is a good thing as you distract yourself from doomscroling on the web and social media.
Another thing I noted while gaming especially during long sessions is that it didn’t heat up as much I expected. You’ll enjoy playing games like Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, Arena of Valor, Shadow Fight 3, Alto’s Odyssey, Mortal Kombat XReal Racing 3, GrimValor, Critical Ops and Asphalt 9.
realme 7i comes running on Android 10 and realme UI v1.0.
Android 11 would be a good addition but we’ll work with Android 1o’s features such as new gesture navigation systems, boosted privacy, security and notifications (Grouped silent notifications)controls, better location permissions, Google Assistant “handles”, native screen recording, native desktop mode, QR codes to connect to Wi-Fi, system-wide dark mode plus more features.
realme UI has its nice tweaks and features. I’ve been playing around with the tons of customization features from its theme store.
Game Space is a handy addition that optimizes your gaming experience with feature like Game Engine, Game Space Sidebar, Graphics Acceleration, and Game Assistant.
You can also manage calls and notifications coming through when you’re playing games such as blocking or showing incoming calls and banner notifications.
The whole interface is nice to use. However, we get bloatware which you can easily uninstall.
realme UI v1.0 on the realme 7i is fluid
realme is also set to update the realme 7i to Android 11 via realme UI v2.0 update coming early next year – probably January 2021. The update will come with new features such as floating Window function, Subtitle Stitching, Dual Mode Music and Realme Share, Global Theme Colour function, Optimized night charging, New filters added for “Drawer mode”, Three new dark modes styles: Enhanced, Medium & Gentle, Icon Customisations and a rich store of Seamless Fonts, Deep-Sea Privacy Plan and Customizable Always-On Display.
Overall, the software experience is another win for realme and most users will love the superlative performance the phone offers for all day-to-day tasks and gaming – you won’t see any slowdowns here.
realme 7i comes with five cameras – a quad setup at the back and one front facing.
We get a 64MP quad camera setup that also includes three other lenses – an 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro and 2MP depth.
At the front we have a 16MP punch-hole selfie camera.
We have various modes to play around with including portrait, ultra-macro, Google lens integration, Slo-Mo, Timelapse, Panorama, Movie, Video, Night mode and the dedicated 64MP mode.
You’ll love the details captured by the 64MP mode.
In particular, the brand-new beauty algorithm developed for different genders, different skin types, and different facial shapes and features allows you to easily take selfies that shows natural and delicate skin. It also supports HDR and EIS Stabilization.
The native camera app switches between lenses quickly with a slight pause for refocusing.
The ultra-wide mode enables users to capture more stunning images of landscapes, architecture, and large groups.
The ultra macro lens enables users get closer and discover the beauty of the micro world with the 4cm shooting distance.
The new color filter system enables the portrait lens to detect a wider array of light, assisting the main lens to capture light better, enhance image contrast, create retro-style images, and add texture to portraits.
The realme 7i camera has built-in three most popular night filters, Cyberpunk, Flamingo and Modern Gold. With just one tap, you can easily click those city night scenes, in a whole new stylish way.
Here are some samples:
You’ll notice that in most lighting conditions, realme 7i will take decent enough shots with daylight shots having good dynamic range and detail. the wide-angle shots try to retain the same colour profile with the main camera.
Portraits and bokeh shots have decent background separation especially for for shooting inanimate objects.
In low-light scenarios, realme 7i holds up pretty well. Night mode shots have minimal noise and plenty of detail.
In terms of video, you can record at 1080p resolution at 30fps or720fps at either 60fps or 30fps.
expect fabulous shots with great dynamic range, plenty of detail and accurate colours in most lighting conditions
It’s worth noting that the processor can handle 1080p at 60fps – we don’t know why realme decided to not include it.
ElS included in the Ultra Steady modes(UIS & UIS Max Video Stabilization) will help to stabilize the video to avoid shakes when recording using your hands.
Overall, the realme 7i versatile camera performance is welcome for budget devices and most of the shots are decent enough for sharing on social platforms.
Powering the device is a 5000mAh battery. Realme included 18W fast Type-C charging for when you need to quickly top up.
Realme also has software optimization features such as App Quick Freeze, Super Power Saving mode and Screen Battery Optimization to extend your battery life.
However, it will only be applied in extreme cases as the realme 7i is a battery powerhouse. On light use, you can push close to two days.
Heavy usage can last a day so you’ll never have battery anxiety when using the phone. I was getting an average of 8 hours of screen on time with heavy use beginning at 7am and having between 25% and 30% battery charge around 11pm when I tucked in bed.
This is without quickly topping off in the middle of the day.
In general, battery life on the realme 7i has been great.
absolutely no battery anxiety with the realme 7i: this phone lasts all day and then some more
Realme 7i has a lot to offer – you’re getting unimpeachable performace thanks to the powerful processors, RAM and storage configuration for gaming and heavy multitasking, a brilliant and big 90hz screen for all your multimedia consumption, excellent battery life, eye-catching design, capable camera performance and this symphony makes for a device worth considering if you’re in the market for one.
Pricing and Availability
realme 7i is retailing at Kshs 24,999.
For every purchase of the realme 7i smartphone customers will receive Buds Q worth 3,999Ksh. Offer valid from 11th-30th November.
Customers can purchase either of the phones online by placing an order through Kilimall.