Oppo’s sub Realme chooses Xiaomi as its rival?

Fresh news! Oppo has recently engendered a new online-only sub-brand RealMe! Yet another feather in BBK Electronic’s hat. It debuted in the Indian market with the RealMe 1 on May 15th, in New Delhi. The new brand is clearly directed at the youth, with its sub 10,000 pricing and online-only mode of sales.

Long story short, we, GeekySplash, were invited to the launch event that happened at the Amazon Blink Studio, Gurugram. As far as phone launch events go, this was pretty run-of-the-mill. One important point to note, however, was the placards taking a dig at Xiaomi’s Redmi series. There were tons of placards at the venue with quotes like – Why couldn’t the “Best-selling” online phone bring the best of you?, Why does the “Beast” or “Killer” still get heated and easily? Quite entertaining, we should say. Oppo clearly wants to take on Xiaomi in the sub-10,000 price segment. More on that later, though.

Anyway, if Realme’s page on Amazon is anything to go by, RealMe 1 is a real disruptor in the tech industry. Let’s now see if the claim holds up,

Let’s start with a review of its basic specs as always,

  • Model Name: Oppo RealMe 1
  • Design: Black cover with glossy effect with 12-layer nanotech and 12 tangent planes
  • Weight: 155g
  • Display: 6.0-inch IPS LCD Display (~78.9% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Camera: Rear Camera – 13 MP, phase detection autofocus, LED flash. 8MP with 2.2f
  • Performance: MediaTek MT6771 Helio P60
  • GPU: Mali-G72 MP3
  • Memory: 128 GB, 6 GB RAM | 64 GB, 4 GB RAM |  32 GB, 3 GB RAM
  • Battery: 3410mAh Li-ion battery (non-removable)
  • OS: ColorOS 5.0 UI based on Android 8.1
  • Miscellaneous: Face Recognition
  • Variants(colour): Moonlight Silver (only for the 4GB variant), Diamond Black and Solar Red (for the 3 and 6GB variants)

Here is our take on the phone, based on the short time we got our hands on it.

Spec-wise, RealMe 1 is clearly impressive. More so with its pricing of 9, 11 and 14k for the three variants. We feel it has a couple of key USPs which set it apart from the competition. Right off the bat, the design of the phone is, to say the least, eye-catching. A near bezel-less 6-inch display makes the phone easy on the eyes. The Diamond Black coloured variant, first introduced in Oppo F7, only furthers the cause. A glossy back with rounded edges makes it a comfortable phone to hold. The resolution of the phone seems pretty good too.

The facial unlock feature seemed to be work fine; and the camera, good. A lot of software post-processing, though. It has decent camera hardware, so it can only get better with updates. We will need to get our hands on the phone for a longer time, though, to comprehensively decide how good or bad the camera is.

The P60 Mediatek processor is almost on par with Snapdragon 660 but is better suited for AI tasks (read Facial recognition). The ColorOS is much more polished than before but is still an iOS rip-off in the end. Overall, the phone seemed pretty smooth.

The 3410 mAh battery for a phone this size is decent. But the processor supposedly does a good job managing the battery.  Lack of fingerprint sensor is a big drawback at this price segment. Though it offers facial recognition for unlocking the phone, I don’t think that’s much used and accurate as the fingerprint sensor. Also, MediaTek processors are considered as underperformers by tech novices, when compared with Snapdragon.


Beyond the obvious dig at Redmi, Realme 1 seems to do well in most departments. Talking about digs – here is what Xiaomi had to say in reply. Xiaomi points out the lack of fingerprint sensor in its Realme 1 series which is an obvious option in all budget phones.

Some sort of a PR competition seems to be in the brewing. Oppo does seem to have started off in the right direction, though, if they are to take on the reigning phone company.

The competitive pricing of RealMe, however, makes it seem like a very attractive offer. We will, however, need to spend a longer time with the phone to determine how it pits against similarly priced phones like Redmi Note 5 and Asus Zenfone Max Pro. For now, Realme 1 spells good times ahead either way as it offers much-needed competition to Redmi which almost exerts a monopoly in this price segment – which is always a good thing, at least for the consumer. All we can say for now is that this is a promising start for Oppo, but it still has a long way to go. The last time a company tried to compete with Xiaomi, it was Micromax’s subsidiary, YU. Though YU started strong with a couple of successful mobile phones like Yureka and Yuphoria, they were soon thrashed out of the market by Xiaomi’s devices. Their own quality didn’t really help their cause. Only time, however, will tell how this plays out for RealMe and Indian market in general. One thing is for sure, though – we will be following RealMe with a keen eye, and so should you.

Written by Suryanarayana Murthy

Computer Grad. Web Nerd. Tech Enthusiast. I run this blog ?


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