As flagship smartphones from the likes of Apple, Samsung and Google are comfortably cracking the AU$1,000 mark in Australia, we’re seeing a rise in the number of budget and mid-range handsets that promise premium features at less than half the cost.
The latest brand to arrive on the scene, Realme, has launched locally with four new handsets due to become available throughout October, all under AU$500 and packing features that belie their price. Three of them, for instance, sport quad cameras while one even boasts an OLED display.
Realme has been around for a little over a year now, being founded by former Oppo vice president Sky Li, and already boasts 17 million global users. As the prices may suggest, the brand is targeting younger users that are still looking for “premium functionality, technology, and style”.
All four of the new handsets run on Oppo’s latest ColorOS 6.0, which is based on Android 9, and the brand shares production and supply facilities with Oppo. Research, development, and design teams, though, are independent.
The most premium of the range, the Realme XT (as reviewed by our Indian team), weighs in at only AU$499 and manages to pack in a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display (1,080 x 2,340) with a small “dewdrop notch”. It’s also able to capture images with resolutions up to 9,216 x 6,912 thanks to its “Ultra 64MP” mode and its quad-camera array.
These four cameras include an ultra wide-angle shooter capable of 119-degree photos, the primary 64MP snapper, as well as portrait and macro cameras for depth-effects and detailed close-range shots respectively.
Other standout specs include Gorilla Glass 5, a Snapdragon 712 CPU, Adreno 616 GPU, 8GB of RAM, a 4,000mAh battery and 128GB of storage (expandable by 256GB via microSD).
You can pick this handset up in either Pearl White or Pearl Blue finish options for AU$499 from October 22.
Realme 5 & 5 Pro
The middle two handsets in the range come in the form of the Realme 5 and the Realme 5 Pro (again, reviewed by TechRadar India), although the differences between them are more prominent than their titles may suggest.
Both phones share a similar quad-camera array to the Realme XT, with ultra wide-angle, portrait, and macro lenses, although the primary camera is a 12MP for the regular 5 and 48MP for the 5 Pro, rather than the 64MP one found in the XT.
The Realme 5 is actually the larger of the two handsets, with a 6.5-inch HD+ (720 x 1,600) display and massive 5,000mAh battery that promises almost 30 days of standby battery life.
By comparison, the 5 Pro has a 4,035mAh battery (which is still rather large), a 6.3-inch FHD+ (1,080 x 2,340) display, twice the RAM at 8GB, and bumps up the processor from a Snapdragon 665 to a 712.
The Realme 5 is available in Crystal Blue or Crystal Purple for AU$299 from October 25, while the Realme 5 Pro will land in Crystal Green and Sparkling Blue for AU$399 later on from October 30.
The most affordable of the bunch, the Realme C2, has a 6.1-inch HD+ display (720 x 1,560), a dual 13MP + 2MP camera array, 4,000mAh battery, 3GB of RAm and 64GB of storage (expandable by 256GB via microSD).
The C2 is available in either Diamond Black or Diamond Blue for only AU$199 from October 30.