realme 6 Pro Review — a significant upgrade?
realme made a huge leap with the realme 6 family, with the realme 6 succeeding the realme 5 Pro's, and the realme 6 Pro slotting in at an even more premium price segment. With a 90 Hz display, quad-camera setup and two selfie cameras, it does seem like it is worthy of commanding a higher price point. Or does it?
1 Year Warranty
+ Good performance
+ Great battery life
+ Fast charging speed
+ 90 Hz display is great when you can use it at 90 Hz
+ Dual selfie cameras offer a different perspective for selfies
- Gaudy Lightning motif is not doing it any favors
- 90 Hz display is not active in games
- Sluggish screen results in ghosting at 90 Hz
- Random stutters mars the smoothness of the 90 Hz experience
- Cameras deliver mushy results in low light even with Nightscape on
The realme 6 Pro is realme’s latest mid-range entry, with some massive upgrades over the realme 5 Pro. Considering that realme has mentioned that the realme 6 succeeds the realme 5 Pro, the realme 6 Pro slots into an even more premium segment, which is rather apparent with its somewhat premium specifications. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the realme 6 Pro.
The packaging of the realme 6 Pro is as simple as the realme 6’s, with the exception of an additional Pro label. I really dig this packaging and I hope realme continues using this design in the future.
The contents of the packaging are pretty standard, although the inclusion of a tinted case is rather questionable as the design on the back of the realme 6 Pro is one worth flaunting. To some, at least.
Our unit of the realme 6 Pro came in the Lightning Blue color option, which looks pretty striking. I do find it a lot better looking than the Crystal Design of the realme 5 series, but I am not a particularly huge fan of this design though. The realme 6’s lines that meet at the bottom of the device looks more premium than this lightning bolt design. However realme did use glass here, so it does feel more premium than its lesser brethren, despite looking otherwise.
Most of the design elements are shared with the realme 6, and that includes a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. The volume rocker is situated over on the other side of the device, along with the SIM tray.
The bottom of the device is home to the USB-C port and also the 3.5mm jack. The finishing of the plastic left much to be desired here, with some unevenness visible around the perforations. The glossy plastic is also not exactly the best material to have on the frame of a smartphone, as it gets greasy too easily when you hold it, making it all the more slippery.
And here we have the crowning glory of the realme 6 Pro: the 6.6″ 90 Hz display. There are very minimal bezels around the display, and the punch hole housing the dual selfie camera is pushed very close to the edges of the display, which is always a good thing as that means more usable screen area.
realme 6 Pro Specifications
|CPU:||Snapdragon 720G (2 x Kryo 465 Gold @ 2.3 GHz + 6 x Kryo 465 Silver @ 1.8 GHz), 8nm|
|GPU:||Adreno 618 @ 750 MHz|
|Display:||6.6″ FHD+ (2400 x 1080) LCD display, 90 Hz refresh rate, 90.6% screen to body ratio|
|Storage:||128GB UFS 2.1 (expandable via microSD)|
64MP f/1.8 Samsung GW1 + 8MP f/2.3 ultra-wide angle camera + 12MP f/2.5 telephoto + 2MP f/2.4 macro
Super Nightscape, Ultra 64MP Mode, UIS Video Stabilization, AI Scene Recognition, Portrait, 4K30 video
16MP f/2.0 + 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide
Beauty mode , 1080p30 video
|OS:||realme UI based on Android 10|
|Connectivity:||LTE Band 1/3/5/8/38/40/41
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)
|SIM:||Dual SIM (dedicated dual SIM)|
|Battery:||Li-Po 4300 mAh (non-removable)
30W Flash Charge (USB-C)
|Dimensions:||163.8 x 75.8 x 8.9 mm|
|Ingress protection:||Splash-resistance (no IP rating)|
As it happens, the realme 6 Pro was scheduled for a launch ahead of the realme 6, but then the RMO happened and it all changed. That’s why you will see that these charts does not compare it directly against the realme 6.
In Antutu we can see that the realme 6 Pro is way faster than the realme 5 Pro and its Snapdragon 712 chipset. Those coming from the previous generation of realme’s mid-range offerings are in for a major upgrade.
Geekbench sees it offer better single-core performance than even the Snapdragon 845, but of course multi-core performance isn’t nearly as impressive. As you can see, the realme 5 Pro doesn’t hold a candle to the realme 6 Pro.
Similar performance improvements are seen in the GPU department too, with it be delivering numbers well above the realme 5 Pro’s score.
PCMark performance also sees it shoot well above the other devices in the list, scoring above even the flagship Snapdragon 845-powered POCOPHONE F1.
Efficiency appears to have taken a step backwards though, with the realme 6 Pro delivering less battery life than the realme 5 Pro despite a bigger battery. Of course, switching to the 90 Hz display worsens the battery life a little, but not significantly so.
In normal, real-world usage, the realme 6 Pro delivers a good seven hours of use. Recharging it is a rather quick affair with 58% regained in just 30 minutes. Looking at the battery life on offer, we should be looking at a day of use before you need to reconnect it to the 30W Flash Charger again.
The main reason why anyone would pick the realme 6 Pro over its more affordable peers featuring the same chipset is going to be the 90 Hz Smooth Display. It’s a step up from the regular 60 Hz displays you get on other smartphones, but it’s not as huge an upgrade as you might expect.
The response times of the display is rather slow, resulting in ghosting when you are scrolling quickly. The 90 Hz capability is also not available in all apps, with all games not allowed to take advantage of the feature. You can only get the high refresh rate in apps like Twitter, Facebook or Chrome, which might be a bummer to those hoping to own a mid-range gaming smartphone with a 90 Hz display. The overall smoothness is also not exactly there, as there are some minor stutters throughout the UI of the realme 6 Pro. Interestingly the realme 6 offered a better experience, despite offering lower scores in benchmarks.
Speaking of the UI, realme UI is featured on all realme smartphones since the realme C3, with it offered as an update to their older offerings too. It’s a pretty sleek UI that’s a lot cleaner than ColorOS 6, and I am pretty happy with it.
The camera UI is also similarly revamped, although it now takes longer to get to certain modes like the Ultra Macro mode. However all the important items like zoom, the shutter button and even the aspect ratio is readily accessible from the default page.
The main camera takes decent photos, albeit with a tendency to oversaturate colors once Chroma Boost is turned on. Without Chroma Boost, it somehow decides that muted colors are the way to go instead. There’s also some serious chromatic aberration at the edges of the frame. The ultra-wide camera takes decent shots, but for some reason doesn’t perform well even in low-light when the Nightscape mode is used. Meanwhile the zoom camera here which sets it apart from the realme 6 offers decent images in good lighting, but once the lighting dies down you are left with soft images that aren’t really usable even for social media. You can check out the full-sized samples here.
realme seems to be aspiring for a higher price segment that the realme XT occupied previously with the realme 6 Pro. While I don’t see anything wrong with that, the competition in this segment has also evolved, and the steep price of the realme 6 Pro doesn’t exactly help it stand out. For RM1399, you can easily score a variety of last-gen flagships, which makes the realme 6 Pro look all the more out of place. If what you want is a current-gen mid-range, you can get the same camera and chipset combination for quite a lot less, albeit without the 90 Hz display. Is a 90 Hz refresh rate worth the premium to you even though it only works in selected apps? Well, that’s up to you to decide.
Our thanks to realme Malaysia for sending us the realme 6 Pro for review.