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Realme 6i review: Bang-for-buck gaming phone

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Realme has been busy these past few months, releasing notable smartphones with friendly prices. Its latest release, the Realme 6i, was recently made official in the Philippines.

Armed with a MediaTek Helio G80, the handset hopes to take over the mobile gaming space in the sub-10k price range. But does it have enough to compete? Let’s find out in our full review of the Realme 6i.

Realme 6i Review: Bang-for-buck gaming phone

The HD display is better than expected

From the front, the Realme 6i looks like any other recent Realme phone. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to tell it apart from its brothers if you’re looking from the front. The beauty is actually at the back.

The Realme 6i’s design is by acclaimed Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukusawa, who is known for his work with Muji (among others). The handsets has a classic design, created through a spray coating process and then polished “hundreds of times.”

Realme 6i Review: Bang-for-buck gaming phone

The result is an oddly mesmerizing, yet beautiful matte finish with a 3D ridge effect that reveals itself when viewed in different angles.

It is the finish resistant to fingerprints, and at the same time, feels really good in the hand. It’s not slippery, and it doesn’t feel cheap.

Also Read: Realme is 7th global smartphone brand

The Realme 6i is designed around a 6.5-inch screen, which gives the phone an overall larger dimension that measures in at 164.4 x 75.4 x 9 mm and a hefty 199 g. It is unapologetic about its size, and celebrates its bulk, which I admire.

Realme 6i specs Philippines
Realme 6i specs Philippines

The large IPS display comes has an HD resolution. Thankfully, it’s one of the better ones out there in the budget space. Given the size of the display, the resolution is actually quite decent. Sharpness is about what you’d expect but brighter with more punchy colors . It doesn’t compare to a full HD panel, but its good enough at this price range for things like games and the occasional Kdrama on Netflix.

It’s in the chip(set)

The Realme 6i is the first handset to come with MediaTek’s gaming focused Helio G80 chipset. It has eight cores with clock speeds of up to 2GHz. It is also paired with 4GB LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB storage, and runs on Realme UI (Android 10).

Also Read: Realme PH extends warranty during quarantine period

Performance wise, it’s pretty good. It runs through basic operations with ease. Animations are smooth and the UI is responsive. The HD display helps, of course. The processor doesn’t need to push as much pixels.

Realme 6i Review: Bang-for-buck gaming phone

Here’s what it scored on different benchmark apps:

  • AnTuTu Benchmark – 203,409 (CPU 74246, GPU 41880, MEM 45901, UX 41382)
  • Geekbench – Single-core 1827, Multi-core 5892
  • 3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme – OpenGL 1338, Vulkan 1327

The Realme 6i has Game Space. Here, you can turn on Game Assistant (an interface you can call on top of the game) where you can block all notifications from disturbing you. Better yet, you can switch on Competition Mode where it assigns more resources to improve game play and maximize the Helio G80.

In gaming (with Game Space set to Competition Mode), performance is at par with Realme C3. It can run many games with minor lags and stutters. I did not find any deal breaking issues to worry about.

Also Read: Realme C3 review: Best budget gaming phone

On Call of Duty Mobile (CODM), the graphics quality only goes to low, while the frame rate goes up to medium. For the most part, CODM runs smoothly but it stutters just a tiny bit when things get busy. With the Helio G80, I expected more. But given the price, its hard to complain. Hopefully, an update can fix the small issue.

Good cameras for the price

The Realme 6i has a 48MP main camera that bins 12MP photos. It also has an 8MP ultra-wide, a 2MP macro, and a 2MP monochrome sensor.

Realme 6i Review: Bang-for-buck gaming phone

Images look good in daylight. You get low noise photos with decent detail and contrast to satisfy most people. Colors are accurate as well. In my eyes at least, images have a warm cast to it. It’s definitely not a deal breaker, but that’s something to consider.

Night mode images are average. Photos look a bit soft, but colors and exposure look good. For the price, you really can’t complain.

Check out the sample photos below. These were resized with the quality set to 60.

Realme 6i First Impressions
Realme 6i First Impressions

The Realme 6i also has an ultra-wide and telephoto. At max zoom, image quality takes a dive, but it does the job so no complaints here.

Selfies are taken with a 16MP snapper. In good light, images look really good. Details are on the soft side, but colors are decent.

Realme 6i Review: Bang-for-buck gaming phone

Battery for a day or two

The Realme 6i comes with a huge 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging. With moderate usage which includes gaming, social media, and browsing, the handset will last you a day and a half. Realme has done a great job on this front.

Charging the phone is another matter. A full charge takes more than two hours to complete with the included charger. I wasn’t expecting it to be that long, but its not that bad.

Final thoughts

The Realme 6i comes highly recommended for those looking for a gaming phone without breaking the bank. The MediaTek Helio G80 performs as expected, ably running games albeit with modest graphics settings. The cameras also deserve a good look, as the 48MP sensor does an admirable job given how much it costs.

And then, you have the 5000mAh battery. The Realme 6i is a work horse that won’t quit on you at the end of the day. Charging could have been better, but its not a deal breaker.

Also Read: Realme XT gets incremental update; How to update yours in PH

The Realme 6i will have its first flash sale in Lazada on May 15, followed by a second one on May 20, 2020. Check out this link for details. It is priced at PHP 7,990 for the 3GB + 64GB model, and PHP 9,990 for the 4GB + 128GB model.

Realme 6i Review: Bang-for-buck gaming phone

Realme 6i specs

  • Display: 6.5-inch HD IPS Display (1600 x 720, 269 ppi), Gorilla Glass 3
  • Processor: 2GHz Octa-core MediaTek Helio G80 Processor
  • GPU: Mali-G52 2EEMC2 GPU
  • RAM: 3GB/4GB RAM
  • Storage: 64GB/128GB Storage, MicroSD up to 256GB
  • Rear Camera: 48MP f/1.8 Main + 8MP f/2.2 Ulta-wide + 2MP f/2.4 Macro + 2MP f/2.4 Mono Rear Cameras
  • Front Camera: 16MP f/2.0 Selfie Camera
  • Network: 4G LTE, Dual SIM
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS
  • Others: USB Type-C, Fingerprint Scanner (Rear), Face Unlock
  • OS: Realme UI, Android 10
  • Battery: 5,000mAh Battery, 18W Fast Charging

Bryan is a tech and gadget enthusiast who spends his day blogging, writing fiction, and watching NBA clips on YouTube.

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