Phone manufacturer Realme has come a long way since its 2018 launch. While some smartphone producers take a while to find their stride and positioning within the super-competitive market, Realme has found its place very quickly in the past couple of years, and 2020 has especially been a big year for the challenger brand.
Realme’s strength as a phone manufacturer does tend to come from the cheaper phones — packing in plenty of features and specs into devices under $300, such as the new C11 and C12 phones. However, the mid-range devices and even premium end handsets still present fantastic quality for the price points. The Realme 7 Pro is priced at a RRP of $599 AUD, placing it in that more mid-range price point.
While it has that mid-range price tag, the 7 Pro has some more premium features included that make this an impressive device for the price. In this hands-on review, we’ll take a look at some of these features, and see how the device stacks up in terms of quality and value for money.
Realme 7 Pro features and specs — quick summary
Here is a quick snapshot of the features and specs of the Realme 7 Pro:
- $599 AUD RRP
- 6.4 inch Super AMOLED FHD+ Display with 90.8% screen-to-body ratio
- 128GB internal storage
- 8GB RAM
- 4,500mAh battery with 65W SuperDart Charge (charges 100% in roughly 34 minutes)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G Octa-core processor
- In-screen fingerprint scanner
- Quad rear-camera setup (Sony 64MP main camera + 8MP ultra-wide + 2MP macro + 2MP portrait)
- 32MP in-display front-facing camera
- Runs Realme UI based on Android 10
- Dual-SIM and Micro SD expandable storage up to 256GB
- Mirror Blue and Mirror Silver colours
Realme 7 Pro pros:
- Lightweight and comfortable to hold
- Great built-in dual-stereo speakers
- Quality cameras for the price point
- Fast in-screen fingerprint scanner
Realme 7 Pro cons:
- Cameras slow to adjust
- Screen auto brightness not as efficient, especially in direct sunlight
- Closeup photos hard to take without blur, especially macro
- Hard to tell at times if your phone is unlocked as it doesn’t automatically take you to home screen
Design and functionality
First up, the Realme 7 Pro is a very beautifully designed phone. Generally Realme does a fantastic job at producing beautiful looking phones, especially with the colours. The Mirror Blue finish is stunning — the line down the back creates this really nice holographic effect when moving it in light, and the material is slightly matte but also shiny. While it does show fingerprint smudges, it’s not as obvious as some other devices.
While the size of the device is 6.4 inches, the 7 Pro is surprisingly lightweight compared to some other phones, so it sits quite comfortably and feels a lot easier to hold if you happen to have smaller hands. As for the screen, the display is really nice and vibrant, while the screen ratio does give you more space for reading and watching video.
While there is auto brightness switched on by default, I found that it didn’t quite adjust the brightness as much as I would want in darker spaces and especially in the bright outdoors. I found it hard to see what was on the screen when taking photos in direct sunlight. However these are relatively small issues, and considering that some of the best smartphone screens cost a few hundred dollars more than the 7 Pro, it is still a great screen.
The in-screen fingerprint scanner is a bit of a surprise. Realme states that the 7 Pro comes with the ‘latest in fingerprint scanning technology’ and that the ‘new generation light sensor in-display fingerprint technology, fingerprint identification is quicker and more accurate than ever before’.
Of course that’s on paper and fingerprint scanners can often be temperamental, however I definitely noticed a difference and this was a very fast and accurate fingerprint scanning experience. There was no need for repositioning or waiting for scanning. I did find that if it unlocked with facial recognition before you got a chance to use the scanner, it was hard to tell if your phone was unlocked or not, as it doesn’t take you to the home screen.
All in all, the design and functionality is spot on with its sleek back and clear display, and if you’ve had some frustrating experiences with fingerprint scanners in the past, you will notice a difference with the 7 Pro.
The Realme 7 Pro is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G Octa-core processor, and for a mid-range device it’s certainly quick and powerful, whether you’re watching video or scrolling through social media. It’s seamless to use and comes with a range of Google Apps pre-installed for easy setup.
One thing you definitely notice is the built-in speaker quality. The 7 Pro includes dual stereo speakers, with the earpiece speaker a larger-sized speaker that creates stereo sound with the bottom speaker. It is definitely something you notice when watching videos and makes the viewing experience really enjoyable. If you tend to watch videos without headphones, this is something worth keeping in mind as there are some phones out there that can be let down by disappointing built-in speakers.
As for the 4,500mAh battery, it certainly lasts a while with limited use, and doesn’t drain much while using for general web and social media browsing. It takes about 10 minutes of high-definition video streaming to use around 1% of battery. It has a 65W SuperDart Charge that also keeps the phone cool while charging and is meant to charge 100% in around 34 minutes.
Cameras are certainly one of the measures of a phone these days. For the price point, the Realme 7 Pro has a pretty impressive rear camera setup with the 64MP main camera, 5MP ultra-wide camera, 2MP macro camera and 2MP portrait camera, plus a 32MP front-facing camera.
These cameras do take some nice shots, however I found that it was slower to adjust than other devices; for example, when you move the camera in closer or out, it takes a while to focus and you can be left waiting for the blur to disappear. This was disappointing when trying to take macro shots and close up photos — I did find it tricky to get a decent macro shot. Perhaps my expectations are a little too high, especially compared to the more premium Realme X3 SuperZoom, which takes spectacular photos, especially when using the macro camera. It might be a matter of having a really steady hand to take great macro photos.
Low light photos are also quite blurry, however this is easily corrected when you switch to Night mode. The catch is, like with any photo taken in low light, you will need a steady hand to get the best results without too much blur. Photos taken outdoors are bright, vibrant and very true to real life and it does adjust the lighting nicely, and indoor photography in non low-light situations is also fairly true to real life.
The 64MP lens is fun and you do notice a difference in the details it picks up. It comes with AI switched on, but once you switch over to ‘Pro’, you can adjust the settings similar to how you would with a DSLR camera. If you love the experience of being in control of adjusting your lens, you’ll have a lot of fun with this feature.
As for the front-facing camera, it takes great selfies, and like you would expect with a Realme phone, there are all sorts of airbrushing effects included and your skin is automatically smoothed slightly without using these effects. Portrait mode is also really nice and creates a great background blur, which can be used for selfies and photos with your front-facing camera.
Zoom functions are perhaps a little let down with quite blurry results the more you zoom in, but that is generally to be expected with digital zoom and especially in cheaper phones. The pinch function for zooming is a little slow, which was a similar experience with the X3 SuperZoom. However these are only small issues and when you consider the price point of the 7 Pro, you are getting some quality cameras for the price you pay, and some really nice and vibrant photos.
SIM-only plans for the Realme 7 Pro
The Realme 7 Pro is available to buy outright from a range of retailers including the Realme online store, JB Hi Fi, Bing Lee, Officeworks, Amazon, Kogan and Catch.com. You’ll need to pick up a SIM-only phone plan to bundle with your device. There are plenty of phone plan providers to choose from across both prepaid and postpaid, with prices ranging from cheap plans under $10 with small data inclusions to plans with 100GB+ data.
Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $30 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.
Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $30 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.
Is the Realme 7 Pro the best phone for me?
Looking at the specs of a phone on paper is one thing, but whether that translates into the user experience is another. The two biggest positive performance experiences I had — the fast and efficient fingerprint scanner and the great built-in speaker performance — happened to be a couple of the features that Realme has put emphasis on. On paper Realme talks about the latest fingerprint scanning technology and the way the speakers are set up for an immersive stereo experience, and in reality the 7 Pro delivers. Both of these functions might seem small in the scheme of things, but there is a noticeably improved performance from both the fingerprint scanner and speakers.
The cameras were a slight let down but that may have been from my own high expectations after the great camera experience that you get with the Realme X3 SuperZoom. If cameras are really important to you, it might be worth considering paying the extra $100 for the X3 SuperZoom. However, this is really just a teeny issue — for a smartphone under $600, the 7 Pro still has a fantastic camera setup and certainly keeps it really competitive at this price point.
If you are looking for a mid-range smartphone, the Realme 7 Pro is definitely worth your consideration. Realme is proving time and time again that for a company that is only a couple of years old (with its origin tied to OPPO), it’s certainly capable of delivering fantastic quality smartphones at cheaper prices.
It may even make you wonder if it’s worth spending over $1,000 for a premium smartphone from big names like Apple and Samsung. If you’re not dedicated to having the big brand-name device, and you want a great smartphone experience at a cheaper price, the Realme 7 Pro could be the choice for you. However, still keep in mind that it’s a mid-range device and for a more ‘casual’ phone user who just needs the basics like great performance, ability to take a range of photos and a long-lasting battery, it could be the right smartphone for you.
- Realme launches two budget-friendly smartphones — the C11 and C12
- TCL 10 Pro review
- Nokia’s latest cheap phones are here – the 225 4G and 3.4