Realme last week launched Realme 10 Pro, the latest mid-range smartphone in the number series in India. This is a minor upgrade, the main change is the display. It is the best smartphone to buy under Rs. 20,000 price range? Let’s dive into the review to find out.
Display, hardware, and design
The main advantage of the phone is the display. It is a 6.7-inch (1080 x 2400 pixels) Full HD+ LCD display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, a touch sampling rate of 240 Hz, and a pixel density of 391 PPI. The display is bright as it has a maximum brightness of up to 680 nits. It offers good color output as it has a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut and sunlight legibility is also good.
You can choose between vivid and natural screen color modes. The phone has software dimming technology. The phone also has HDR 10 support, but it doesn’t work for YouTube or Netflix. There is an option to increase the color of the video.
It’s a variable refresh rate, so the display can switch between 30Hz / 48Hz / 50Hz / 60Hz / 90Hz / 120Hz depending on the content, so it’s quite smooth to use.
The phone has 1mm ultra-narrow bezels and 1.15mm top bezel thanks to the new RAZR technology and InSeal technology. The phone has a small punch hole on the left side that houses the 16-megapixel camera. Above the display, on the upper edge, there is an earpiece, which also serves as a secondary speaker.
In terms of button and port placement, the right side houses the power button with a built-in fingerprint sensor along with the volume rockers. On the left side there is a hybrid slot for two SIM cards. On the bottom is a 3.5mm audio jack, a primary microphone, a USB Type-C port and a speaker grill. The secondary microphone is on top.
The phone has a polycarbonate frame and back, which may seem cheap, but the matte finish models look good and don’t attract fingerprints. The phone is 8.1 mm thick and weighs 190 grams.
The design is inspired by the concept of hyperspace tunnels. The refracted light of the design seems to stretch the light to the limit at ultra-high speeds, creating a dynamic three-dimensional effect. The classic shape of the twin-lens reflex camera is combined with modern digital images across time and space, bringing a new trend of street photography in pictorial terms, the company said. The phone does not have an IP rating.
- 108MP rear camera with 1/1.67″ Samsung HM6 sensor, f/1.75 aperture
- 2MP portrait camera with Geco Micro GC02M1 sensor, aperture f/2.4
- 16MP front camera with Samsung S5K3P9 sensor, f/2.45 aperture
The camera UI in realme 4.0 UI is also same as 3.0 version. It has QuickShot Acceleration Engine, One Take, which uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to generate multiple photos with different perspectives in one shot, and a new Group Portrait. These are Pro mode, Panorama, Flim, Slo-mo, Time-Lapse, Dual-View video, text scanner, star mode and tilt-shift.
Dynamic bokeh and Portrait Bokeh Flare are available for photos. The rear camera offers 12MP output after pixel merging and the front camera images are 16MP in size.
Daylight shots came out well thanks to the 108MP sensor, and dynamic range is better with auto HDR. There’s an AI mode that recognizes different photo scenes and automatically adjusts camera settings to enhance colors. 2X is good, but once you zoom in after that, the quality degrades because it’s a digital zoom. Portrait mode is decent and the 2MP macro camera is useless, so 2X zoom is recommended for a normal camera.
Low light shots are also good. Night mode is useful but takes a few seconds to process. It is also available for night mode mode for manual tuning. The front camera is decent daylight but could be better. Bokeh shots were decent.
The main limitation with the Snapdragon 695 is that it can only record videos up to 1080p at 30 fps and does not support 4K video recording even though it has a 108MP camera. It also has 720p slow motion recording. It uses EIS for videos.
Software, User Interface and Applications
It is one of the first realme phones to run Android 13 realme UI 4.0 out of the box. It has Android security patch for November 2022. It should get 2 Android updates. relame UI 4.0 adds intuitive iconography, new card-style layout for UI, 79 new facial features for Omoji, Smart AOD, large folders, dynamic home screen widgets, Auto Pixelate, Private Safe, and Quantum Animation Engine 4.0 improves overall fluidity.
Apart from the usual suite of realme and Google apps, it comes with Amazon Shopping, Snapchat, ShareChat, Dailyhunt, Josh, PhonePe, Moj, Public, Spotify, LinkedIN, Moj Lite+ and Paytm. These apps can be uninstalled but come back after resetting the phone. There are also Hot Apps and Hot Games. The company said it is taking steps to remove inappropriate app recommendations.
From the 8GB of LPDD4X RAM, you get 7.4GB of usable RAM, and roughly 4GB of RAM is free when default apps are running in the background. It also has a DRE or dynamic RAM expansion feature that uses the built-in storage as RAM. It has up to 8GB of additional RAM expansion. Out of 128GB, you get about 105GB of free storage. The phone uses UFS 2.2 storage and we achieved sequential read speeds of around 517.4MB/s, which is almost half of what we got on the 10 Pro+.
Fingerprint sensor and face unlock
The phone has a fingerprint sensor on the drive side, built into the power button. It instantly unlocks your phone just by holding your finger on the power button so you don’t have to press it. You can add up to 5 fingerprints. The phone also has face unlock, but it’s not as secure as a fingerprint.
Music and multimedia
YouTube Music is the default music player. It doesn’t have Dolby Atmos, but it does have Realme audio technology with customizable Smart, Movie, Game and Music modes. It does not support FM radio. The sound through the stereo speakers is good without any distortion even at full volume. The company said it was able to increase volume by 200% through the software. Headphone sound is also good.
It has Widevine L1 so you can play HD content on Netflix and other streaming apps. Does not support HDR content on YouTube or Netflix.
Dual SIM and connectivity
Realme 10 Pro supports n1/n5/n8/n28A/n41/n78 SA and n41/n77/n78 NSA network bands in India. You can also choose between NSA mode, NSA + SA mode or have it selected automatically. It has 4G Wi-Fi and VoLTE with support for Carrier Aggregation on 4G. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6 802.11 ax (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz), VoWiFi / Wi-Fi calling support, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS / GLONASS / Beidou. It has OTG support, it doesn’t have NFC support. Call quality is good, we didn’t experience any call drops and the handset volume was loud.
Realme 10 Pro’s body SAR is 0.465 W/Kg and head SAR is 1.165/Kg, which is well below India’s limit of 1.6 W/kg (over 1g).
Performance and benchmarks
The phone is powered by the Snapragon 695 6nm SoC, just like the realme 9 Pro. It has 2.2 x A78 CPU clocked up to 2.2 GHz, 6 x A55 CPU clocked up to 1.8 GHz. It has an Adreno 618 GPU that promises up to 30% increase in GPU performance compared to its predecessor.
The phone has up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM. We didn’t experience any issues or frame drops in graphically demanding games. The company did not mention if it has any cooling. Indoors with Wi-Fi, it reached up to 41 °C, during about half an hour of intensive gaming.
In terms of battery life, the phone packs a 5000mAh (typical) built-in battery with 33W SuperVOOC fast charging, just like its predecessor. It lasts all day with Wi-Fi, but with 4G or 5G and two SIMs. Over a day of use on Wi-Fi and at 120 Hz, I got over 6 and a half hours of screen time. Since the phone supports 33W SuperVOOC Charge, it can charge up to 50% in 30 minutes and up to 100% in over an hour with the included charger.
At a starting price of Rs. 18,999, the realme 10 Pro is a decent upgrade to the 9 Pro as there aren’t many changes except for the display. It runs Android 13 out of the box, but the ultra-wide camera has been removed. The company could have reduced the bloatware that installs automatically.
Price and availability
The Realme 10 Pro is priced at Rs. 18,999 for the 6GB + 128GB model and the 8GB + 128GB model costs Rs. 19,999. It is available on realme.com, Flipkart and offline stores starting today, December 16.