News Reviews Realme 2 Pro Full Review – Everything Covered, Design, Performance, Camera By Noaman Rasheed Posted on January 3, 2019 1 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr Right now when there is a lot of smartphone brands, trying their best to settle in the market, there comes another. Realme has entered in the Pakistani market and it has officially announced its entry with the initial two smartphones – Realme 2 Pro and Realme C1. Even though the company will sell Realme 2 Pro as a “flagship” for young people in the country, it remains a mid-range smartphone which is retailed at PKR 46,999. The phone will be available exclusively from Daraz and you can buy this phone in first hours for PKR 43,999 – check pricing and availability for more detail. If you have gone through the unboxing session of Realme 2 Pro, then you would know that this price is higher than the Indian market. But that’s because the company has a manufacturing plant in India, hence they don’t charge import duties on these smartphones. Here in Pakistan we know that other brands have also increased the prices of their existing and newly released devices. Some have also delayed the release of their high-end phones only for one reason which is the rupee value in addition to added taxes and import duties. We’ll see how does this phone stand by its price tag in a detailed review here. The Realme 2 Pro which is available in three colors – Blue Ocean, Black Sea, Ice Lake, reached us in a black uniform. Let’s get started a quick look at the specifications and features of the Realme 2 Pro. Quick Features and Specifications Realme 2 Pro SoC Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE CPU: 8 Kryo 260 cores, 4x 1.96GHz + 4x 1.84GHz GPU: Adreno 512 GPU Memory 4GB RAM + 64GB Storage 6GB RAM + 64GB Storage 8GB RAM + 128GB Storage (Available in Pakistan) microSD card dedicated slot (up to 256GB) OS / Software Android 8.1 Oreo / ColorOS 5.2 Display 6.3-inch IPS LCD (In-Cell) 2340×1080 Full HD+ resolution, 19.5:9, Pixel density: 409 ppi Screen-to-body ratio: ~91% Gorilla Glass 3 Rear Camera 16MP, 1/2.8″ PDAF, 1.12µm pixel size, f/1.7 lens aperture 2MP depth sensor LED flash Front Camera 16MP, f/2.0 Battery 3500 mAh – 5V/2A (No Fast Charging) Size/Weight 156.7 x 74.0 x 8.5 mm /174 grams Sensors Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Ambient light, M-Sensor, Compass Fingerprint sensor Connectivity WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Dual-band 2.5GHz/5GHz WiFi Tethering, WiFi Direct, Personal Hotspot Bluetooth: 5.0, GPS/AGPS, USB 2.0 micro USB Color Options Blue Ocean, Black Sea, Ice Lake A separate unboxing session with first impressions of Realme 2 Pro was already, you might want to check that but here’s the list of things which you get with the retail package. Realme 2 Pro Box Contents The device – Realme 2 Pro Travel charger – 5V+2A USB cable for Connectivity/Charging SIM eject tool User guide Add-on TPU back cover Add-on TPU protective film (pre-applied) Build and Design Realme 2 Pro has plastic back panel but beautifully crafted like glass with slightly curved edges. The mid-frame is also plastic and joins right between the screen frame and the back panel. Our first impressions with the Realme 2 Pro were good regarding the design and it maintains in our full review. We liked the Realme 2 Pro with its glass-like back panel, though it’s is plastic, it proved to be less prone to scratches during our use. Sure we used it like a primary phone just like many of you would do with care. Though we didn’t use it with back cover for testing purposes, we still would recommend using a safety case with it. After all it is plastic and there are always more chances to get scratches than a glass. However plastic has its own benefits, it doesn’t break like a glass or won’t dent like a metal, because plastic is always a good shock absorber. Realme said they created the back panel with 15-layer laminated technology that, being less scuffy, is more appealing to look. It shines with the moves. The 174 grams weight doesn’t really feel much in hands. The grip is quite comfortable as the back panel is not slippery as normally a glass like that would be. The back panels is clean from any kind of product labeling but only a branding “realme” is down there. That’s not bad, you may like things plain and simple. There is dual-camera module on the top-left corner alongside an LED flash. Else you get there is the fingerprint sensor. Components and Ports Realme 2 Pro follows the recent trend of hosting everything at the bottom side. Micro USB port along with the speaker grill, 3.5mm audio jack is also down there as well as the mouthpiece (primary mic). The top side of the phone only hosts a secondary mic for noise cancellation and stereo recording. The power button stays on the right side for easy reach to your thumb while the the volume buttons are moved to the left side of the phone. The SIM slot is also present on the left side which serves for two SIM cards and a separate microSD card. Front and Display We have seen a variety of sizes of the cutouts on top of the displays from various manufacturers. Only Samsung remained out of this bandwagon and personally I liked them stayed out of it. Until recently they came up with in-display punch hole, which is yet to experience. The more I saw those smaller and wider notches, the more I hated them. I liked the way how Huawei used the software to offer users if they want to hide this thing. If there is any notch that I must have to like, is this dewdrop – referred as water-drop by OPPO and Halo by Vivo. The Realme 2 Pro has as front with “dewdrop design”. This smaller notch hosts single camera unit with an earpiece between the glass and the frame edges. The bezels are one of the minimals we have seen. Even Huawei’s has given thinner bezels around its phones recently. Like any other Android smartphone, the bottom chin still makes its room in Realme 2 Pro. The full front profile features a 6.3-inch display with aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The full HD+ display resolution 2340 x 1080 pixels serves with the pixel density of around 409 ppi. Realme says it has 91% screen-to-body ratio. Realme 2 Pro packs with an IPS LCD panel with in-cell technology. It’s quite brighter than many other IPS displays. It’s sharp and crisp with its resolution and outdoor visibility is also impressive. As I told that I liked the way how Huawei offered to hide the notch with a software based black top bar. Realme also also offers similar thing but as flexible as it could have been. The similar option is only available to limited apps that you can go through settings and set your preference. Settings > Display & Brightness > App Display in Full-Screen > Notch Area Display Control Realme refers this as “switching off the notch area display”. That is, when some app’s content is blocked by the notch, you can turn off the whole Notch Area Display for that certain app. Still this feature won’t work in many apps but only a few, however you can try that with any app in the list. Realme 2 Pro – ColorOS 5.2 – Notch Area Display Control Now that we have talked about software user interface, let’s start with it thoroughly and see how much did we like it and how much not. Software and User Interface Realme 2 Pro runs Android 8.1 Oreo operating system out-of-the-box. Having its family relation with OPPO, this phone or any other Realme phone comes with OPPO’s ColorOS. Realme 2 Pro takes the layer ColorOS version 5.2. You will find it hard to tell if you are using a Realme smartphone or an OPPO instead. Talking about the user interface, then the ColorOS is pretty well rooted into the system. You won’t feel anything like stock Android user experience. In fact, Samsung’s Experience does have some elements from the stock. The starter is just same as you are familiar – the phone starts with a lock screen, unlock to go to home screens, the folders, and multitask view and so on. There is no app drawer as you would know if you had experienced the OPPO smartphones. I have no issues with having or not having an app drawer. Realme 2 Pro, ColorOS 5.2 – Lock screen, home screen, folder view, recent apps view While the splitscreen can be initiated with a long-tap on recent apps button on navigation keys, it can also be triggered from within the recent apps view by dragging down an app snapshot. Realme 2 Pro, ColorOS 5.2 – Recent apps view, split screen, notification panel, shortcuts & toggles Then again the top bar brings the more familiar notification layer with a set of shortcuts and quick toggles that you can rearrange. The brightness slider is also present and the layer keeps the two step expansion. ColorOS didn’t even use Google Now (or Google Assistant) on the far left home screen. Instead it has its own Smart Assistant. The Smart Assistant would let you stack things up like, some one-tap quick functions, current location weather, display steps, quick photos, events and favorite contacts. Realme 2 Pro, ColorOS 5.2 – Smart Assistant on Home screen (far left). The default navigation obviously comes with the standard Android keys – recent apps, home, and back keys. The system also offers you to switch to gesture based navigation, dubbed as “Swipe-up Gesture Navigation”. This includes the same navigation from iPhone X and we have seen it in Huawei’s EMUI too. Swipe-up on the left or right bars to go back, swipe-up on the middle bar to go to homescreen, or swipe-up and hold on the middle bar to view the recent apps. To even match and exactly go like the iPhone X way, you can choose to “Hide Gesture Guide Bar”. It includes three more ways of gestures – simple gesture, back on the right, and back on the left. There is also a Smart Sidebar which, if turned on, remains on the edge of the screen (either side left or right). You swipe-in from that sidebar on the edge to reveal a floating window containing a quick apps and tools to launch. As told the ColorOS comes with everything custom, it includes its own Photos and Videos apps and a File Manager too. I liked the built-in ftp based remote file manager that you can access via web browser or the file explorer on your computer. The Phone Manager is also a good thing to have to keep the system optimized from time to time. It scans the file system and memory and offers you with a set of options to optimize by cleaning it from junk, cache and and uninstall residuals. App locker is also available right into the system. For better and uninterrupted gaming experience, you have a Game Space. It allows you to choose which games you want to play at what performance level and which to play uninterrupted from notifications. Overall the software is good to play with, but it would be better if it had its own feel with “Realme” brand. You can’t just tell while looking through the user interface if you are not using an OPPO smartphone. If you are an OPPO user then it’s just like your home. Realme 2 Pro does have a fingerprint sensor on its back which is really fast and provide a good experience with accurate recognition. In addition the phone also support face unlock which is equally and impressively fast. System Performance Realme 2 Pro is one of the lot having equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 system-on-chip. The device rightly justified with the hardware and the software as the experience was fluent throughout the usage. The chip features an octa-core Kryo 260 processor with four high performance cores clocked at 1.95GHz and the other four are clocked at 1.84GHz. The phone features the Adreno 512 GPU along with the whopping 8GB of RAM. Higher the display resolution, higher GPU would struggle. Thanks to these high performance processing unit that performed nicely at 1080p display. Gaming was just up to the mark with other similar hardware, including the Kirin 710 of Huawei’s Nova 3i or Y9 2019, Helio P60 of Vivo V11 or OPPO F7, or the exact Snapdragon 660 of Vivo V11 Pro. If you are a numbers nerd, then why not take a look at the benchmark scores below. Realme 2 Pro just around the similar performing devices on AnTuTu. Coming just below Y9 and V11, the Realme 2 Pro did what it was supposed to. Same was the case with single core test on Geekbench. Realme 2 Pro is standing side by its peers from the same class. Again the Realme 2 Pro did pretty well to catch with others in multi-core performance test in Geekbench. Interestingly, Realme 2 Pro showed its real face in the graphics phase sitting tightly with the Kirin 710 in GFX Manhattan 3.1 test. Strange but good for Realme 2 Pro that the Slingshot Extreme brought the Realme 2 Pro on top of them all. Don’t bother about the order it’s a mistake at sorting, you just red the numbers. If you are wondering, then Realme 2 Pro is the top tier smartphone from the brand. The company chose the right processor for this phone. The Aredno 512 is really a tough guy among other GPUs as we can see from above numbers. Realme 2 Pro is good for all kind operations as well as gaming. ColorOs seems to be optimised well with the hardware and gives buttery performance constantly. We hardly noticed any lagging or jerking, not that we remember of. Performance wise, it’s a good performer in its class and you should be fine with it. Just add your favourite game to the Game Space and you got a boost on top of already nice performance, by giving up some power juice. Talking about power? so now is the right time for battery performance. Battery Performance Not up to the mark with battery power houses, but still the Realme 2 Pro has a impressive battery timing. The phone packs with only a 3500 mAh battery – the entry-level Realme C1 sports a 4230 mAh battery. A little bad thing is that phone doesn’t support fast charging but the bundled 10W charger pulls up the battery power from 0 to 30% in 30 minutes. Well it goes just like that with 1% charge per 1 minute up to 50% in 50 minutes. A full charge would take up to 2 hours. Camera Realme 2 Pro features a dual camera setup on its back with a 16-megapixel main unit paired with a secondary 2-megapixel depth sensor. The second camera is mainly for portrait mode that simulates blurred background, aka bokeh effect in close up shots. The 16MP main camera is the main shooter for almost every occasion. Inside, there is Sony’s IMX398 CMOS sensor that employs 1.12µm sized pixels. The sensor features phase-detect autofocus. Outside, there is a bright and large f/1.7 aperture lens and an LED flash. Camera UI The camera user interface in ColorOS is as simple as there is no settings section in it. However, for a few camera options, you have to go to phone’s settings app Settings > System Apps > Camera and change a few things including volume button function, show/hide grid, enable/disable shutter sound or add watermark. But two things could be important to you – video encoding, that you can choose from “efficient” or “best compatibility”, and the Flip selfie. The user interface offers a set of modes including photo and video modes. There is also some fancy features like time-lapse, panorama and the portrait mode for close shots with blurred background. There is also an expert mode which allows you to override camera settings to take shots as you like. Unlike many, the expert mode doesn’t provide a preset white balance options but a slider to move through kelvin values from 2000K to 8000K which is indeed a good thing. EV ranges from -2 to +2. ISO spans from 22 to 3200. Shutter speed can be set as slower as 16 seconds and there is also an option to do manual focus on a slider. Image Quality Coming over to the image quality, Realme 2 Pro impressed us with its capability to attain nice image detail. Colors were true to real life as well as contras was also good. Noise handling was little above average. The camera struggled only a little to manage dynamic rang however the HDR mode is also present in the UI to help resolve this issue in many cases. Realme 2 Pro performed nicely outdoors in good light but unfortunately the photos won’t be very appealing to your eyes due to the foggy weather. But those vivid colors are not something to evaluate the camera. There are other things like image detail, noise handling, contrast dynamic range etc. One thing is that the Realme 2 Pro handled the skin tones really well. You can look at the image detail by clicking on the photo and zoom it in. Outdoor samples As told, the images are not that cool for less vibrant colors due to the foggy weather. But the Realme 2 Pro handled them very nicely and didn’t loose the detail whether it’s a tall bricked minaret or the trees and foliage. ِIndoor / Low light samples In low light condition, the phone seems to be delivering some noise but still it handled the colors and detail very well. It’s quite impressive. HDR Mode While you can’t see the blue sky very well – as I mentioned it was a foggy weather, you can still observe how the Realme 2 Pro handled the overlit background in HDR mode. It did good to pop out the subject very well with detail. Portrait Mode Portrait mode does a pretty good job with identifying and defocusing the background from the foreground subject. No matter if it’s a a still life object or a human subject, it will lock the focus on it and will provide real time blurred background that turns out to be really pleasing in photographs. On the other hand the skin tones are really impressive on my niece’s face. Click the photo to open big and then click again to zoom into 100% view. You will see that how the Realme 2 Pro didn’t waste this shot with a crappy colors or shaky image. Front Camera The Realme 2 Pro also features a 16MP front camera for selfies with a nice f/2.0 aperture lens. Like mostly, the front camera comes with a fixed-focus lens. With front camera, you can take selfies, record videos and also do time-lapse and panorama. There is also a sticker mode that pastes facial objects on your face. The beauty mode comes with 1 to 6 level scale with an additional “AI” that chooses the best beauty level for your face. While in Photo mode, you can turn on portrait mode. Front camera has only a limited set of features There is a beauty mode, complete with an automatic “AI” setting, to play around with as well. And a pretty extensive animated sticker collection. The selfies in bright light came out with impressive detail, nice colors and skin tones while the low-light ones seems less detailed. The last two photos will tell who a beauty mode is different from a real shot. Video Recording As long as the resolution is concerned, the Realme 2 Pro can record up to 4K/2160p resolution at 30fps. However the electronic image stabilization (EIS) is available for 1080p and 720p recordings. 4K videos do not support any stabilization it’s only usable with less movement. 1080p/30fps Video Footage with EIS [Panning] 4K/30fps NO Stabilization [Panning] 1080p/30fps EIS [Walking Stairs] 1080p/30fps EIS [Drive] 1080p/30fps EIS Conclusion and The Verdict Our overall impression with the Realme 2 Pro was quite positive. Take it for the design, fullview display with thin bezels, the performance, and the camera output. It’s good that Realme didn’t start with its initial portfolio of devices in Pakistan. Starting with Realme 2 Pro is the right step in the market. You can find the devices with similar performance in the market for around similar price tag. There are cheaper ones too but Realme 2 Pro has something to attract – the 8 Gigs of RAM and a stunning 128GB of internal storage. We liked the phone even in its plastic build but believe that with this price tag, companies have offered metal and glass finish. We have seen Huawei Nova 3i and Honor 8X in similar price and even similar hardware performance but they have dual-glass and metal build. Also the camera performance was comparable. One thing they don’t have is 8GB of RAM; and indeed the Realme 2 Pro’s battery is more impressive. In my opinion, Realme could have used 4G of RAM with 128GB storage and sell the phone under around 40k to actually give a hard time to the brands like Huawei and Honor. In fact, Realme could have brought the 4GB or 6GB variant with 64GB storage in Pakistan, like in India, with even less price tag. But again you will find others too with plastic build in this price. Look at the Samsung’s Galaxy J8, which has a plastic body and way lower performing hardware specs. So the most important factor is your preference, that you would go for a phone with 8GB of RAM – and of course a better battery performance, or you will buy a metal/glass build. Overall it’s a healthy pack of performance – the phone runs with a sturdy mid-range performer, the Snapdragon 660. On top of that the 8 GB RAM is going to support you in the long run. Camera is also good in most aspects – well almost all situations. From here, we’ll leave it to you, good luck. Just have a quick look through a stock of Realme 2 Pro photos down below. Like always, you can ask anything about the phone in comments below. We’ll bring the right answer for you. Do follow us on our social channels (Facebook, Twitter) to keep up to date, or signup to our newsletter to have instant email notifications.