Realme UI has finally arrived and we have been testing it on our Realme XT and Realme X2 Pro. The new software manifests the Android 10 goodness and, as promised, brings the ColorOS a lot closer to stock Android. Speaking of which, it is still more similar to Color OS 7 rather than to stock Android.
For those wondering, the Realme UI is being rolled out in a staged manner. Currently, the update is out for Realme 3 Pro (review), and Realme XT (review) for now. The brand is inviting Realme X2 (review) users in India to apply for Realme UI beta testing. Many other Realme devices are also on the waitlist.
As you know, stock-esque software has always been Realme’s pitch. A major pain point with Realme phones used to be UI and UX offered by ColorOS. Realme has openly admitted to this shortcoming and has been promising a revamped interface for almost a year.
Ever since our ears picked the news of Realme UI, we were psyched to try it out. So, come aboard! Here are our thoughts on the new Realme UI.
Realme UI First Impressions
If the ColorOS palette was excessive to your taste, the new iteration will be more amiable. Realme has toned down the gushy colors and everything from iconography to fonts is way minimal. The garish menus have got stock-ish treatment. The touchpoints are relatively more apparent (psst the search bar on settings menu). The key UI elements are at thumb’s reach, for instance, the pattern dots on the lock screen and the settings drawer. Thus one-handed usage gets an uptick.
If you have used the precursor, you’ll feel at home. Cuz navigating through the default launcher hasn’t changed much. Speaking of navigation, the Android gestures (even in landscape mode) are here and sweet baby Jesus these are mwah! Albeit a few reorder of items, the settings menu is also the same as before. This means a new user might very well get lost in its rabbit hole to find some setting. I wish Realme had revamped the list order or matched it to stock.
Anyhow, there are some new features in Realme UI’s bag of tricks. Take the new Dark Mode for example which is really pitch black this time. Arigato Realme! The repertoire also includes more customization options like screen light effects, fingerprint animations, app icon styles, spaced out app drawer icons, etcetera, which are very much appreciated.
The system apps such as the Dialer app, Gallery, Messaging, and Camera has got visual rework. Everything looks streamlined and intuitive. No complaints.
Look closer and deeper, you would find things like better-laid status bar icons, sensibly rearranged privacy and security sections, smarter screen capture and recording (*cough* partial screenshot *cough*), realme share (enabling file sharing with Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi phones), Dual Mode music (connect both Bluetooth and wired earphones simultaneously), and more developer goodies. Tip: reduce the animations, enable force resizeable windows and bubbles. The last one facilitates the floating window and smooth multitasking experience.
Phew, there is even the toggle to opt global search or notification drawer upon swiping down on the home screen.
But all is not well here.
As soon as I booted the new OS, I noticed the nagging bloatware. Sheesh, really Realme? A bonafide mood killer. Two google search bars on the home screen was amusing to see. Yeah, they can be removed. Still! Aaand, Realme, if you’re reading this, kindly add an option to uninstall and jump to the app info right away from the recent menu card.
I didn’t face any lag or performance issues. For what it’s worth, one could look forward to Android 10 refinements. Rest, it’s too early to comment on both the performance and battery, considering the beta state of things.
So, you see Realme UI is not without flaws. The UI has obvious flairs of inspiration from other skins and is still a stretch from stock. If you call it “close-to-stock”, it should at least be like OnePlus’s OxygenOS, if not better. Ergo, vanilla Android enthusiasts might find some things irking. But, I don’t reckon the overall experience will suck the fun whatsoever. Moreover, since this is the first cut, I’m ready to cut some slack. Mmm, not for the bloat tho!