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Realme 6 review
Cheap and cheerful.
The Realme 6 has one of the better displays, performance and battery life we’ve seen on a budget smartphone, but the quad-camera isn’t quite as good in reality as it sounds on paper. Still, at under $500, it’s one of the best value devices out there.
The low and middle ranges of the smartphone market are pretty crowded these days, and it takes something special to stand out. After spending a couple of weeks with the Realme 6, I think it’s safe to say it’s something special. While it’ll never quite measure up to the Apples and Samsungs of the world, it packs a whole lot into a very affordable phone.
Realme 6 price
When you look at the Realme 6’s specs, they’re pretty damn impressive. 90Hz display, 64MP quad-camera, powerful MediaTek Helio G90T processor with 8GB RAM and 30W flash charging... On paper, it looks like a reasonably mid-range-to-high-end device. That is until you see its budget-friendly $469 price tag.
While certain features don’t quite live up to their fancy specs, overall, the Realme 6 boasts incredible performance for a sub-$500 smartphone, even more so when you can nab it for as low as $428.
Realme 6 design and display
There’s no denying it - the Realme 6’s display is simply stunning. Aside from the hole-punch selfie camera and slightly thicker bottom bezel, the front of this budget beauty is all screen. At 6.5 inches, however, it’s not exactly well suited to those with small hands. That said, if you think bigger is better, it won’t disappoint.
Perhaps the Realme 6’s biggest selling point is its 90Hz refresh rate, a feature usually reserved for far exxier devices like the Samsung S20, Google Pixel 4 and OPPO Find X2. In layman’s terms, a higher refresh rate translates to smoother scrolling and transitions and less eye fatigue. The downside is that it uses a little more juice than screens with lower refresh rates, but this wasn’t much of an issue with the Realme 6 (more on battery life later!).
As for the back of the Realme 6, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. We tested the Comet White model, which has a pearlescent plastic casing (designed to look like glass) and a vertical notch housing the four cameras. The device is nice to look at, but once you get your hands on it, it becomes clear just how much of a fingerprint-magnet it is. Plus, owing to the plastic backing and sides, it does feel a little cheap.
Realme 6 camera
While the Realme 6’s four rear cameras (consisting of a 64MP UHD wide-angle lens, 8MP wide-angle lens, black and white portrait lens and 2MP macro lens) and 16MP selfie camera sound good in theory, in practice, it’s not quite all it’s cracked up to be.
First, the average. In bright outdoor settings, the Realme 6 does just fine. Nothing to write home about, but nothing terrible either. It’s low-light settings that really let it down.
Now, onto the problematic. Realme have included an AI beauty feature for selfies, which basically turns you from a normal human into a poreless alien. And hey, if that’s your thing, more power to you. But when so many photos on social media are already filtered to death, this kind of thing really doesn’t help. You can see some of my sample selfies below if you’re in need of some nightmare fuel.
Realme 6 features and performance
Do you prefer a fingerprint sensor or a face unlock feature? Por que no los dos? With the Realme 6, you can choose one or both for a bona fide unlocking fiesta. I did find that Face Unlock tended to be speedier and easier to use than the fingerprint scanner (which doubles as the power button), but it was good to have the option during a time when we’re all rocking masks.
For a device that comes in at less than half the price of more popular Android smartphones, the Realme 6 holds up incredibly well when it comes to performance. It houses an octa-core MediaTek Helio G90T processor (a chipset marketed towards mobile gamers) and handles GPU-intensive games like Asphalt 9 and Genshin Impact without any issues.
Realme 6 battery life
For the entire time I tested the Realme 6, I had the screen refresh rate set to the maximum 90Hz. With this switched on, you’d expect the battery life to take a decent hit, but that wasn’t the case with this budget beast. I regularly got close to two full days of usage on one charge, and the times I didn’t, the 30W flash charging made it a quick issue to fix. In fact, I could bring it back up to 100% in just over an hour.
Is it worth it?
At well below $500, the Realme 6 is one of the best budget devices on the market. It’s sleek, stylish, powerful and zippy, plus it boasts better battery life than some smartphones twice the size. The camera is really the only thing that lets it down, but it still does the job, and we can forgive the plastic casing for such an appealing price.