Realme is back with a new phone christened Realme 6i. This happens to be the third phone from its 6-series. And if you’re wondering, yes the 5i also arrived this same year. Even though the pandemic has becalmed 2020, the brand is definitely on a launch spree, one that you may find a little hard to keep up with.

So, if you’re curious about the phone; how it’s different from the Realme 6 and whether you should put your money on it, you’ll have the answers here. This is the Smartprix review of Realme 6i.

Let’s get the ball rolling with a spot the difference game —

Realme 6i vs Realme 6: Specs Comparison

ModelRealme 6iRealme 6
Display6.5-inch, LCD, 1080 x 2400 (full HD+), Gorilla Glass 3, 90Hz refresh rate6.5-inch, LCD, 1080 x 2400 (full HD+), Gorilla Glass 3, 90Hz refresh rate
SoftwareAndroid 10, Realme UI Android 10, Realme UI
ProcessorMediaTek Helio G90TMediaTek Helio G90T
Memory4GB/6GB LPDDR4x4GB/6GB/8GB LPDDR4x
Storage64GB UFS 2.1; Dedicated card slot (256GB)64GB/ 128GB UFS 2.1; Dedicated card slot (256GB)
Battery4300mAh, (supports 30W fast charging, but comes with 20W only) 4300mAh, 30W fast charging inside the box
Rear camera 48MP F1.8 (primary); 8MP F2.3 (wide-angle); 2MP F2.4 (mono sensor); 2MP F2.4 (macro);Up to 4K@30fps video recording64MP F1.8 (primary); 8MP F2.3 (wide-angle); 2MP F2.4 (mono sensor); 2MP F2.4 (macro)Up to 4K/30fps video recording
Selfie camera 16MP, F/2.0; 1080p@30fps video recording16MP, F/2.0; 1080p@30fps video recording
Fingerprint sensor Capacitive (Side-mounted)Capacitive (Side-mounted)
Dimensions and weight 162.1mm x 74.8mm x 8.9 mm; 191 grams162.1mm x 74.8mm x 8.9 mm; 191 grams
Price4 + 64GB – ₹12,999
6 + 64GB – ₹14,999
4 + 64GB – ₹13,999

So you have an idea of how they are objectively different. And if you see below, things are similar inbox too.

Realme 6i Unboxing

  • The phone
  • 20W FlashCharger
  • USB Type-C Cable
  • Protect Case
  • Protect Film
  • SIMCard Tool
  • Important Info Booklet with Warranty Card

Let’s have a look at the actual phone now.

Realme 6i Design and Display

The camera island doesn’t project much. So, the device sits flat on a surface.

The 6i borrows several design cues from the 6 and from a distance they might look almost indistinguishable. The rearview is comparatively subtler yet has a shine of its own. You are advised to slap on the bundled case to shield it against dirt and damage.

Granted this shot is taken from an angle, but nonetheless, the panel is not very legible outdoors

On the surface, you get an identical 6.5-inch punch-hole LCD display with FHD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate as the 6. It is smooth to use and sufficiently pleasing to look at. I just felt the outdoor brightness could have been better.

Rest, its bookended by a side fingerprint reader (cum power button) on the right, volume rockers to the left, a 3.5mm audio jack, USB-C port, and a solo speaker by the bottom. We will be covering speaker quality in a later part. As for the buttons, they do offer a satisfactory click feedback. And biometrics in lieu of face and finger is reliably responsive too.

So, let’s unlock and see what’s inside.

Realme 6i Performance and Software

On the software side, you have Android 10-based Realme UI. It is a bundle of features and much like wine, it’s getting better with age (or say versions). The only qualms I have are with the bloat and the browser. Umm…more specifically, the push notifications from its built-in browser. However, the good news is that you can directly uninstall, disable, or hack your way through much of these annoyances.

Even internally, the Realme 6 and 6i are much of a muchness really. You get the same MediaTek Helio G90T chipset, coupled with LPDDR4x RAM and UFS 2.1 ROM. The SKUs are limited to 4+64GB and 6+64GB though. If you feel that storage wouldn’t cut it, the available expansion option up to 256GB should be somewhat assuring.

The performance was on par with what we had got on the 6. It endows easy multitasking without a hint of lag. Even during frantic PUBG sessions and dashing on the streets of Asphalt 9, we were able to get steady animations. Although the device does get ever so slightly warm.

ALSO READ: ASUS ROG Phone 3 Review

And here are the usually sought synthetic benchmarks:

  • Geekbench 5 Single-core: 541
  • Geekbench 5 Multi-core: 1701
  • PCMark Work 2.0 Performance Score: 10878
  • 3DMark Slingshot Extreme OpenGL: 2528
  • 3DMark Slingshot Extreme Vulkan: 1580
  • Androbench Sequential R/W: 521.18/248.04 MB/s
  • Androbench Random R/W: 159.15/203.95 MB/s

Let’s now shift our focus into its cameras.

Realme 6i Photography Experience

Realme 6i has a 48MP quartet by the back. Well, you’d probably end up using just two of them. The macro module isn’t the ideal point-and-shoot sensor. And the 2MP mono lens just plays a sidekick to the main shooter.

Anyhoo, here are few snaps of the world from my roof —

It was an overcast day and as such, the exposure and colors were rather flat. Still and all, the photos did carry enough details and came out pleasant in the given condition. If you toggle on the Chroma Boost mode, you can spice up the saturation.

The 48MP sensor bins and outs 12MP shots. If you want to retain more detail, you get to capture at full 48-megapixels. All those pixels are good to have, but if only the sensor was capable of pulling more light. Yea sadly, dynamic range isn’t up to the mark here.

I am a sucker for ultrawide shots and here too, I like what I see. But, do note that you’ll lose some details, which fizzles out especially in the edges.

The 2MP macro mode is only as relevant as that sensor resolution. You might end up using it very rarely and even then, the output depends on your patience and perspective.

Under the moon, you will struggle for a good shot. The night mode (which btw, works with ultrawide too) isn’t very helpful either. Look at the noisy sky in the stillness of the night. Now, things might seem more appealing, if I were to get to the Dil of Delhi city, but can’t do won’t do for obvious reasons.

In the case of human subjects, the photos come out alright. Everything from the beauty mode in selfies that’ll smoothen your skin to the decent edge detection makes it sharable. Btw, you can turn off the beauty mode for a more detailed face.

ALSO READ: Realme X3 SuperZoom Review

The Realme 6i camera perks also comprise of videography up to 4K@30FPS from the rear and 1080p@30FPS from the front, Ultra Image Stabilization, Ultra Wide-angle Video, and 240FPS slo-mo video recording. So, that’s more things to play with.

Now, onto the…

Realme 6i Audio, Battery and Connectivity

the bundled 20W VOOC charger and USB-C cable

Realme has used the same 4300mAh battery, which means this is easily an all-dayer with moderate usage. Although it supports a 30W charger, the box doesn’t carry this luxury. Instead, the bundled adapter delivers 20W only. So when the status bar indicator blinks red, you can top it up in slightly above an hour using the supplied charger. Else if you happen to have a 30W brick lying around, use that to charge even quicker.

Reminiscent to our Realme 6 review, the audio output here too was pretty average especially in case of the earpiece and the speaker.

Lastly, the I/O options do fit the expectation.

And on that note, it’s time to tie it all together.

Realme 6i Review Verdict

Realme 6i is a dialed down version of the 6 and is more like a replacement in response to the steep increase in GST and exchange rates that have made phones expensive across the board.

But, for its own good, the phone shares more than just a few good things with its spiritual predecessor. You still get the sizeable and snappy 90Hz screen, robust software, a fine amount of storage, battery life, and an all-in-all good performance. Even the downgraded components aren’t as underwhelming as in the case of Realme 5i (review). It will, however, face some competition from Redmi Note 9 that’s a tad cheaper.

So, if you like what you have seen so far, you would enjoy the phone as well. Just keep in mind the following points —

Pros 

  • Fluid 90Hz display
  • Dependable performance
  • Long battery life
  • Responsive biometrics
  • Good software

Cons

  • Bloatware and intrusive notifications stick out
  • Lackluster low light camera performance
  • Feeble audio from the speaker

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