Realme 2 Pro Review
A couple of weeks ago, Realme, a sub-brand of OPPO, sent us to Jakarta, Indonesia for the Southeast Asian launch of the Realme 2 series, which includes the Realme 2 Pro. Does this phone have what it takes to stand out in an already saturated mid-range smartphone market? Find out in our review.
The unit we have for review is the 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM variant in Black Sea color.
Design and Construction
If you’ve ever seen or owned an OPPO F9, then you’re not missing out that much. The apple clearly doesn’t fall far from the tree… at least on the front part. You get the same 19.5:9 waterdrop screen, protected by 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3, in which Realme calls the ‘Dewdrop screen’. Fancy. I particularly like this type of notch design because it’s non-intrusive, and gives more viewing area.
The body is made up of plastic and is a tad thicker and heavier than the F9. The sides have this metallic finish which gives the phone a better grip, and for someone with small hands like me, this comes in handy.
There’s the power button on the right side, while the left side houses the triple card slot and the volume keys. All buttons are clicky and firm.
Above the phone, there’s the secondary microphone and down below, we have the audio grilles, the good ole micro-USB port, the 3.5mm audio port, and the main microphone.
The back is where this phone differs from the F9. Instead of having a flower-pattern design, it sports a glossy finish which gives the impression that it’s made of glass. Overall, it looks premium and elegant.
Here we’ll also find the dual 16MP + 2MP camera with LED flash, and the fingerprint scanner that is rightly positioned, making it easier to reach. Realme included a clear case in the package which is good news considering that this is prone to fingerprints and smudges.
Display and Multimedia
Just like the OPPO F9, this device has a 6.3-inch Full HD+ (2340 x 1080) Dewdrop display with an IPS panel. The screen looks good– icons look crisp and clear and color reproduction is on point. It’s bright, but not bright enough when I viewed contents under direct sunlight, even when I maxed out the brightness. I’ve also encountered this dilemma when I used the F9, so there’s that. But that aside, it’s still a nice screen and would suffice for regular viewing.
There’s also a handful of customization inside the Display settings. You can set the temperature of how cold or warm you want your screen to look like. There’s no option to fully hide the notch, but there’s the Notch Area Display Control that allows you to toggle the notch for specific apps.
As for audio, quality is okay and would suffice for casual listening. It’s loud, but the bass is kinda lacking, but that’s understandable. Unfortunately, there are no free earphones that come in with the unit.
Now for shooters, this phone has dual AI cameras consisting of 16MP f/1.7 Sony IMX398 + 2MP f/2.4 dual rear cameras with LED Flash and a 16MP f/2.0 front camera. Like with most smartphones, you get features such as Time-lapse, HDR, AI Beauty Mode, Panorama, Expert (manual mode), Sticker, and Portrait mode with five different 3D lighting effects for the rear cameras. No Google Lens for this phone, though. As for selfies, you get Depth effect for bokeh and AI Beauty Mode.
Shots taken by this phone look actually pretty good, especially in daylight. They are sharp and have good dynamic range. The colors are accurate– they’re not too saturated or under-saturated which is nice. The portrait mode also produces good bokeh shots, however, it seemed to have a hard time focusing on the subject and might require you to use tap-to-focus a number of times to get it right.
Lowlight shots, on the other hand, are a bit underwhelming. Despite its large aperture, photos still came out muddy and noisy. There were shots that look acceptable and okay, though, and perhaps future software update could help improve this. Selfies are decent and the AI beauty mode did its job well in smoothening the skin and getting rid of blemishes without actually looking too overdone.
As for videos, it can shoot up to 4K at 30fps. It also has EIS which is really awesome. Quality is quite impressive, considering its price. It’s sharp, and colors look nice. There’s no slow-mo feature in here, but there’s timelapse though. You can watch the sample video below.
OS, UI, and Apps
This phone is running on Color OS 5.2 based on Android 8.1 Oreo. Again, if you’re already familiar with the F9, or even any OPPO phones running the same OS, then this is not so different. Only the style of the icons changed, and that’s just it. It also adopted this nifty feature called Smart Sidebar that was introduced in the F9. Although I’ve only used it a few times, it’s convenient as it lets you access certain apps quickly. Otherwise, you’ll just tend to forget it’s there. But you know what they say, it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
As usual, pre-installed Google apps are there, as well as OPPO’s proprietary apps including Phone Manager for managing your phone’s storage and privacy, as well as GameSpace for game optimization. Since our unit came from Indonesia, there are apps here that were new to me including ORoaming, BABE which kinda made me raised my eyebrow but is actually a news app containing unending stream of news from hundreds of media publishers, Kwai Go, and J&T Express.
It also has Smart Driving which helps block out notifications and handle calls to reduce distraction while driving, and the option to hide the navigation keys in exchange to swipe-up gesture navigation. All in all, I’m getting 103GB of usable space out of the whopping 128GB, and guess what? You can even expand this via microSD card.
Performance and Benchmarks
This is also one of the aspects where the Realme 2 Pro differs. Instead of using MediaTek’s Helio P60, this phone is powered with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 and 8GB RAM. Performing basic tasks like navigation and surfing the web is a breeze. Both the fingerprint scanner and face unlock are snappy and responsive. There’s a screen brightness compensation for when using the face unlock in dim environment and it works just as fine.
Games like PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends, Asphalt 9, and Tekken Mobile are playable in high graphics setting, though minimal frame drops and stutters are apparent in some intense scenes. So it’s best to only set the graphics settings to medium. Realme also has this GameSpace feature that optimizes gaming experience and blocks notifications when playing, and it works quite well. The phone also gets pretty warm at the back during long usage, but not hot enough to be alarming.
Check out the benchmarks score below.
- AnTuTu – 132,293
- GeekBench 4 – 1,450 (Single-core), 5,479 (Multi-core)
- 3DMark – 1,229 (SSE – OpenGL ES 3.1), 964 (SSE – Vulkan)
- PCMark – 7,839 (Work 2.0)
- AndroBench – 431.4 MB/s (Read), 193.8 MB/s (Write)
Call Quality, Connectivity, and Battery Life
This phone has all the usual connectivity features such as WiFi, 4G LTE, Bluetooth, and GPS. It also supports USB OTG. Call quality is clear, and we’ve encountered no dilemmas when pinning location in navigation apps like Google Maps, Waze, and Grab.
Battery-wise, it carries 3,500mAh which is a typical capacity in most mid-range smartphones nowadays. I was able to use this phone for the whole day without needing to use the power bank, and that includes doing tasks like surfing the web, taking pictures, and playing games now and then. In PCMark battery test, however, the phone yielded 8 hours and 21 minutes. In our video loop test, it lasted for 11 hours and 15 minutes, which is not bad. Charging the phone took around 2 hours from 0% to 100%.
It’s apparent that most midrange smartphones nowadays are getting more and more powerful with the price tag getting more affordable for the consumers, and the Realme 2 Pro is no exception, as it delivers very well. This phone hasn’t reached our shores YET, but I’m pretty certain that if the time comes, which eventually will be happening soon, it will definitely shake up the scene. For just IDR 3,699,000 (~PHP 13,187), you’re getting most of the OPPO F9’s specs for less than the price. Plus you’re also getting the 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM variant at this price point. Now, that’s really enticing.
What you won’t be getting, though, is some features like the Google Lens but it could be included in software updates. For now, availability in the Philippines is still unknown, but Realme has made it official that they will be bringing the brand here in the country, so we’ll just have to wait.
Realme 2 Pro specs:
- 6.3-inch FHD+ LCD Dewdrop design display @ 2340 x 1080 px
- 2.5D Glass, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
- Adreno 512 GPU
- 4GB / 6GB / 8GB RAM
- 64GB / 128GB internal storage
- expandable via microSD card up to 256GB
- 16MP f/1.7 + 2MP f/2.4 dual rear cameras with LED Flash
- 16MP f/2.0 front camera
- 4G LTE
- Dual SIM (nano), dual standby
- Dual Band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz)
- Bluetooth 5.0
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
- Fingerprint scanner
- USB OTG
- OPPO ColorOS 5.2 (Android 8.1 Oreo)
- 3500mAh battery
- 74.0 x 156.7 x 8.5 mm
- Colors: Black Sea, Blue Ocean, Ice Lake
What we liked:
- Good build
- Nice display
- Decent performance
- Good cameras
- 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM
- THE PRICE
What we didn’t:
- Low-light camera performance