Post updated May 27th, 2020 at 12:34 am
Back in April, the realme 6i was launched, being the first device in the country running a MediaTek Helio G80. I’ve noted my quick impressions on the phone, and after a month, I can say that nothing much has changed as far as my opinion for the phone goes.
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with the phone. It has its sore points, which I’ll get to in a moment.
As I’ve noted before, realme has a tendency to change the look of its phones quite drastically where the backplate is concerned. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially when it works out. On this, your mileage may vary, but I feel that the look on the back of the realme 6i makes for good variety. The green colouring is also quite uncommon, so if you like your phones to turn heads, then this phone will be able to do its part easily.
Overall, the phone feels good in your hands. The standard layout of having the power button on the right, with the volume rocker on the left, works too, at least initially. After awhile, I feel like the volume rocker is placed rather awkwardly. It would’ve been a little better if it were placed a little higher or a little lower, but as it is, it sits perfectly in the middle of two possible sweet spots, which means some reaching is needed when you want to adjust the volume with one hand.
The display on the phone is pretty good too. It’s clear and sharp, and the size of 6.5 inches will probably be too the liking of many. The same will likely not be said about the HD+ resolution, as Full HD+ becomes more and more common. For what it’s worth, the realme 6i does come with a screen protector pre-applied. This means you don’t have to worry too much about getting scratches on the screen, unless you go out of your way to get your own.
Speaking of which, the phone also comes with a soft case in the box. Not surprising, and it’s become something which I’ve come to expect with realme phones.
Here’s the part where the phone becomes a bit of a roller coaster. But let’s go through the upsides first. First is the fact that the realme 6i comes with a 3.5mm audio jack. While Bluetooth headphones and earbuds are common now, nothing beats having the wired variety to fall back on when the wireless ones run out of juice.
Then there’s the experience of using the phone itself. If you don’t game on the realme 6i, then your experience will likely be fine. Even a whole day of watching videos will not negatively impact its performance. If you do play games on the phone, though, things can change, depending on if it was a very taxing game. You’ll start seeing some stuttering while scrolling, and you’ll get split seconds of unresponsiveness while typing.
As for the game in question, I was playing Final Fantasy Brave Exvius while testing the realme 6i. Things started out fine at first, but as I played longer, things started to stutter. The game remains playable, but it just won’t be the optimal experience, especially if you’re used to the buttery smooth animations. The synthetic benchmark reflect this as well.
Although, as mentioned earlier, if all you do is watch videos on the realme 6i, then you’ll encounter very few issues, if any at all. And the phone has the battery life to allow you to do so for slightly shy of 21 hours non-stop. The 5000mAh battery will also allow you to do a combination of both watching videos and playing games, and will still comfortably last you the whole day. Without the gaming bit, you can easily get two days.
That being said, when it comes to charging, you’ll probably have to do it overnight. Charging to a full charge after the phone completely runs out takes a whopping four hours, while going from 5% to 100 takes two-and-a-half hours. It’s surprisingly long, to say the least.
The realme 6i comes with a 48MP main + 8MP wide-angle + 2MP portrait + 2MP macro quad-camera combo. Overall, they behave much like the cameras in previous realme phones. Details and colour are good, and there’s less of the warm tint compared to before.
Of course, there are some quirks that you’ll have to get used to. While the wide-angle shooting mode is now easily accessible, macro remains an option buried within the camera options. For some reason, the 48MP shooting mode is also a mode on its own.
You’ll notice that we have less sample images this time round. Taking pictures have been made challenging to say the least, what with the Conditional Movement Control Order going on.
One of the plus points of the realme 6i is the fact that it costs less than RM900, even for the configuration with more RAM and storage. It’s generally a pricepoint where the brand does pretty well.
That being said, the realme 6i is not without competition. Here are a couple of them
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9s
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 9s is a phone that we recently reviewed. It features a 6.67-inch Full HD+ display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720 chipset, up to 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage. Its battery is rated at a similar 5020mAh.
On cameras, this comes with a 48MP main + 8MP wide-angle + 5MPmacro + 2MP depth sensor quad camera combo.
HONOR 9X Pro
Then there’s the HONOR 9X Pro. This also comes with a 5.69-inch Full HD display, and runs the Kirin 810 chipset, 6GB of RAM and 256GB of expandable storage. Its battery is notably smaller, at 4000mAh. Another key difference here is that this phone doesn’t get access to Google’s Mobile services.
For its cameras, it is equipped with a 48MP main + 8MP wide-angle + 2MP depth sensor triple camera setup.
The realme 6i is not too bad a phone, as its battery life is a clear plus point. It’s very well built overall, and its unique backplate can also be a consideration for those who see it as an important aspoect of the phone. The camera does well too, for a phone in this price segment.
That being said though, it’s outperformed by the competition in other areas. Depending on which you deem to be more important, its price and performance may be a sticking point for you.
If you’re looking for a phone in this price segment, whether or not the realme 6i is for you depends on if you intend to play games on it. If the answer is no, then the realme 6i is a safe pick.