Realme 2 Quick Review – A missed opportunity

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Well started is half done. Oppo’s online-exclusive sub-brand, Realme, was off to a dream start with the 1 – the kind that’s really tough to muster in the crowded affordable smartphone space in India. The handset wasn’t perfect but it offered great value for money and a viable alternative to arguably monotonous Redmi-phones that dominate the budget price segment. (हिंदी में पढ़े)

So, naturally the expectations were sky high from its successor, the Realme 2, that should have expectedly cashed in on the momentum and taken the game to the next level.

When the news broke out that the phone employs Qualcomm’s low-end Snapdragon 450 chipset and HD+ display, the abiding feeling around the internet was that this was more of a downgrade than an upgrade.

But I guess it would be unfair to write it off just because of its specs (they rarely add up to convey the true picture) or just because it was over-hyped and you expected better. Let’s objectively analyze oppo’s new offering in our Realme 2 quick review and decide if this is a viable alternative to the Realme 1.

Jump To:

  • Realme 2 Price and Specification
  • Realme 2 Design and Build
  • Realme 2 Display
  • Realme 2 Performance, Software and Battery
  • Realme 2 Camera
  • Realme 2 Quick Review

    Realme 2 Price and specifications

    Model Realme 2
    Display 6.2-inch HD+ (720×1520 pixels), IPS LCD, 19:9 aspect ratio
    Processor 1.8GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 450
    RAM 3GB/ 4GB
    Internal Storage 32GB/64GB, expandable up to 256GB
    Software Android 8.1 Oreo-based Color OS
    Primary Camera 13MP rear camera, f/2.2 aperture + 2MP, f/2.4 aperture
    Secondary Camera 8MP selfie camera, f/2.2 aperture
    Dimensions and Weight 156.2 x 75.6 x 8.2mm and 168 Grams
    Battery 4230mAh
    Others 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS/ A-GPS, Micro-USB, and a 3.5mm headphone jack
    Price Rs 8,990 / Rs 10,990 /-

    Realme 2 Design and Build

    The most highlighted aspect of the new Realme is its notch. The inclusion of this new trend is what primarily differentiates the 2 from 1 in term of design.

    On the rear, there is a familiar ‘Diamond-pattern’ back panel of polycarbonate glass, which is just a fancier phrase for transparent plastic. The plastic back, however, is a dire smudge magnet and isn’t appreciably good at fending off scratches and scuff marks. Having said that, a case should make both points moot I suppose.

    This time, Realme also adds a fingerprint sensor which seemed fast and reliable in our initial testing. The phone is light and ergonomic and looks better than most phones you’d see under Rs. 10,000.

    At the bottom, you’d find the mono speaker grill and regular USB Port. There is no secondary mic for noise cancellation on the Realme 2. It comes in three colors – Blue, Red, and Black. Apart from black, the other two are way too flashy for my age, but should certainly appeal to those young at heart.

    Also Read: Xiaomi Pocophone F1 Review

    Realme 2 Display

    While the display gains a trendy notch and some diagonal length, the screen quality is hardly impressive. The resolution has been downgraded to HD+, but the screen is still sharp enough and comparable to what most phones offer in this price range.

    The display brightness and contrast, on the other hand, leave a lot to be desired. At the launch venue, where the phone was placed under direct lights, the screen was barely visible at medium brightness. There is no proper oleophobic coating and, just like the back panel, the screen also attracts more than its fair share of smudges.

    Realme 2 Performance, Software, and Battery

    I know the choice of SD450 is drawing a lot of flak from consumers. But come to think of it, SD 450 is not a bad chip for a phone under 10K. Oppo just traded in the Helio P60 horsepower to add a few more features like fingerprint sensor, extra camera sensor, and a notch.

    Well, we don’t necessarily think the compromise was worth it, but some people might actually consider these missing necessities on Realme 1 a deal breaker and for them, the Realme 2 should now serve as an option worth considering.

    The software is still the same Color OS based on Android 8.1-oreo. We personally don’t like Oppo’s software skin (particularly the notification shade and incessant system notifications that pouring in), but it’s still a feature-rich interface and workable after installing a third party launcher.

    The Realme 2 has a massive 4230mAh battery and this is another improvement onboard that should work in its favor.

    Realme 2 Camera

    The camera hardware on the Realme 2 remains almost the same as that on the Realme 1. Almost because now there is an extra 2MP shooter on the rear that’s used for depth sensing. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, we don’t have enough experience with the camera and aren’t in a position to elaborate on the camera quality.

    Also Read: Nokia 6.1 Plus Review – Is It Better Than Mi A2?

    Realme 2 Quick Review: What we think

    The Realme 2 doesn’t have the same flare as the Realme 1, but it’s not a bad phone per se. For a slight downgrade in processing power and display resolution, Realme offers a few meaningful extras like the fingerprint sensor and a bigger battery. From a pragmatic standpoint, these enhancements could draw more consumers.

    Once the initial brouhaha dials down, we think conventional buyers would be tempted to go for the Realme 2 instead of the 1 given a choice. The shoddy display and unsavory software won’t allow us to recommend it wholeheartedly, but then again, none of these flaws is strictly a dealbreaker when we are talking about phones priced under 10,000. Other available options are far from perfect as well.

    To us, the Realme 2 still looks like a missed opportunity. Oppo should have stuck to the winning formula and have given a powerful mobile platform or named it differently (Realme M2, perhaps?). After the momentum Realme 1 had achieved, the 2 needed to make a bold statement. It’s high time OEMs selling online at cost stop underplaying the importance chipsets play in consumers buying decision these days.

Deepak SinghDeepak Singh
Deepak has more than 8 years of experience in covering technology for several eminent publications in India. He currently leads an enthusiastic team of young writers at Smartprix and tries to uphold the highest quality standards.

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