In the world of smartphones, there are very few rivalries as prominent as the one Realme and Xiaomi share in India. In less than three years, Realme has managed to dethrone Xiaomi on many occasions. Each month, they seem to jostle at different price bands in hopes of winning the masses’ pockets. With the 7 Pro, the company aims to grab a piece of the Rs 20,000 segment with an offering that seems unmatchable in many ways.
When compared to its predecessor, the Realme 7 Pro brings changes to nearly every spec in both good and bad ways. It seems as if it is looking to blur the line between flagships and mid-rangers in some ways, while being conservative in others. The result is a very different mix that prioritizes user experience rather than specifications.
For starters, it is one of the cheapest phones with a Super AMOLED display. While it is better than its competitors visually, that comes at a cost of going back to a standard 60Hz refresh rate. Similarly, it moves to a new 64MP camera stack but loses out on the telephoto lens which the 6 Pro boasted of. Even the choice of materials and the battery capacity seem to be behind the competition, but using it for hours daily rekindled my appreciation for lightweight phones. It more than makes up for the smaller battery with 65W fast charging, making it the fastest charging phone in the country and even beating most flagships in this regard.
As evident by these changes, the Realme 7 Pro looks to democratize many features which were previously unseen in this sub-Rs 20,000 segment. With them, it successfully manages to deliver a reliable and consistent experience, making it an easy phone to recommend. Just be vary that the competition might not be too far. For now, it gets a strong recommendation from us.
Realme 7 Pro price and availability in India
Check out the Realme 7 Pro on Flipkart (opens in new tab)
6GB + 128GB: Rs 19,999
8GB + 128GB: Rs 21,999
The Realme 7 Pro is priced at Rs 19,999 for the 6GB + 128GB variant and Rs 21,999 for the 8GB + 128GB variant. Colour options include Mirror Silver and Mirror Blue. It is available for purchase starting September 14 from Flipkart.
With each generation, Realme implements new back design ideas for its number series smartphones. The same happens with the Realme 7 Pro, but this time, it is way more refined than anything else from the company in the past.
It sports a new “mirror split” design that asymmetrically cuts the back into two, having the same finish but in opposite directions. The result is a unique two-tone finish when seen in the correct lighting. It has a matte AG texture, giving it a more premium look while fighting fingerprints. We had the Mirror Blue variant which is a shade of deep royal blue. The Mirror Silver colourway looks even better in my opinion as the chrome silver look is a rare one on smartphones.
The back panel is now made of polycarbonate plastic and not glass. However, it doesn’t seem cheap or flimsy by any means. If anything, the centre can seem a little hollow. Honestly, we’re fans of this approach as it makes the Realme 7 Pro significantly lighter than most other phones at 182 grams, without the risks of shattering that is inherent to glass.
The subtly curved back improves the ergonomics further, making it one of the few truly compact and enjoyable phones to wield in today’s age of phablets. Even the power and volume buttons are conveniently placed along the centre of the phone on either side, making them easy to locate tactically.
The cameras are placed in a rectangular housing in the top-left corner in a 2x3 grid, making the entire bump shorter and less pronounced. Though, this comes at the expense of losing character as nearly all Realme smartphones launched in the last 12 months had the same vertical camera layout.
Overall, I like the new approach to design which is more minimalist and easier to appreciate.
The Realme 6 series continues to be the most affordable smartphones with a high refresh rate display. So, when the Realme 7 Pro turned around and went back to a 60Hz panel, it raised eyebrows. The company maintained that this is what consumers were looking for.
The result is a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,400 x 1,080, with a peak brightness of 600nits and 98% NTSC colour gamut coverage. It is quite possibly the best display on a smartphone under Rs 20,000, especially if higher refresh rates are not a priority. Considering that most mid-rangers anyway fail to sustain that, it seems like a wise step to focus on improving the visual quality.
Owing to the Super AMOLED nature of the panel, we get perfectly inky blacks, high contrast and vivid colours. The saturation seems to be at a sweet spot too, where it doesn’t hamper the colour accuracy. We had no issues using it outdoors under direct sunlight either with ample maximum brightness. The minimum brightness levels were great too.
There are reasonably slim bezels on all sides of the display, resulting in a screen-to-body ratio of 90.8%. The sides are also gently curved to make swiping and holding the device feel more natural.
Along with a hole-punch selfie camera and an in-display fingerprint scanner, the Realme 7 Pro ticks all the right boxes that people expect from a high-end phone today. Even as a fan of higher refresh rates, I was really pleased with the panel here.
Another aspect where the Realme 7 Pro stands out from the crowd if the audio performance. It is one of the few phones under Rs 25,000 to offer a dual stereo speaker setup. Split between the primary loudspeaker on the bottom and the earpiece on the top, it offers a legit dual-channel output which is also louder than average. It is not balanced but is still very enjoyable.
There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack on the other side, in case that’s how you prefer to have your music. Playback over Bluetooth was great too.
Here’s where things get a little ordinary. The Realme 7 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 720G chipset. Also seen on many other budget smartphones, this is an octa-core chipset built on the 8nm process. Along with it comes the Adreno 618 GPU, up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.1 storage.
This is a very superior chipset bringing great levels of stability and efficiency for most use cases. In fact, it outperformed the MediaTek Helio G95’s consistency in most day to day uses. Switching between apps, loading big files, scrolling web pages and social media were all a piece of cake for the Realme 7 Pro. You’re unlikely to face hiccups in regular usage. With the display running at only 60Hz, the SoC doesn’t have to unnecessarily push harder.
The same prowess carries forward to gaming as well, but some titles may be bottlenecked by the GPU’s capabilities. For example, PUBG Mobile runs at a max fps of around 45. Lighter games will run a lot better, especially those which are not very graphics intensive.
If your usage includes a lot of gaming, I’d recommend looking at phones powered by MediaTek’s G series. For the generalists, the Snapdragon 720G is as good as it gets.
Realme UI has become a pretty polished Android skin after new updates. Built over Color OS 7, it balances features and customizability in a way that lets users make it as personalized or minimal as they’d like.
Apart from the usual switch to a dark mode, even the icons can be designed, themes can be changed, quick toggles can be reordered, an app drawer can be added and a lot more. Spending some time in the settings reveals many many more useful tweaks. With the right choices, the interface can be made to look closer to stock Android.
Heading to Realme Labs also reveals experimental features that are currently being tested. On the Realme 7 Pro, this includes Smooth scrolling (presumably via MEMC), Super nighttime standby to reduce idle drain at night and DC dimming. When Realme UI 2.0 gets unveiled later this month, this list could expand.
As with most phones with an OLED display, the Realme 7 Pro incorporates an in-display fingerprint scanner for authentication. It’s very well executed, unlocking the phone in less than a second. Usually, a quick tap was also sufficient to scan the print accurately. There’s also face unlock if that’s what you prefer. It worked very well too, even in dimly lit areas or from odd angles.
The phone runs off a 4,500mAh battery, which combined with Realme UI optimizations and the efficient manufacturing node results in pretty good battery life. It almost always lasted me through the end of the day with 5 to 7 hours of screen-on-time with moderately heavy usage. My usage typically involves Wi-Fi or data on all day, about 2 hours of media consumption of music, tons of push notifications and social media, some calls and a bit of gaming.
It’s the charging bit where the Realme 7 Pro takes an uncatchable lead. The “fastest charging phone in India” supports 65W (10V 6.5A) Super Dart charging (charger included in the box), beating most flagships in this regard. It takes only about 35 minutes to charge entirely, which is nuts! A five-minute top-up would take the battery to almost 25%, making it rather easy to last till the end of the day.
Moreover, it also supports 18W PD/QC charging standards, so most fast chargers will be able to refuel the Realme 7 Pro at above-average rates.
Realme can be attributed with starting the high-resolution, multiple sensor trend on budget smartphones. Now, with over a year of experience under its belt with them, the Realme 7 Pro moves a second-gen camera stack with a flagship Sony image sensor at the heart.
The primary shooter is a 64MP f/1.8 Sony IMX682 image sensor that employs pixel-binning to produce 16MP photos. The results were way better than what we’re used to seeing in this segment (except the Poco X2) with great dynamic range, decent colours and ample details. It doesn’t shy away from raising the shadows to yield brighter images, but that sometimes takes a toll on the contrast.
The 8MP ultra-wide lens was fairly consistent in terms of the colour profile, bringing a surprising amount of sharpness when cropped in.
Low light photography via both of these lenses was exceptional too. While it takes a fraction of second to shoot and process, the resultant images are bright and clean, albeit with slightly lesser details due to over-smoothening.
The Realme 7 Pro also boasts of one of the most exhaustive camera packages when it comes to shooting modes — Pro Nightscape, astrophotography, ultra-steady video, pro 64MP, night filters, portrait mode, realtor filters, AI colour portrait video, over the usual options that exist. These features make smartphone photography easier and more capable. A telephoto lens would’ve been nice but it didn’t seem like we were missing a lot.
The Realme 7 Pro is currently the most well-rounded smartphone in the Indian market in the sub Rs 20,000 market. It really blurs the line between budget phones and flagships with a beautiful AMOLED display, a premium hardware package, reliable cameras and market-leading charging capabilities. Even if more competition is just around the corner, the 7 Pro should be able to hold its own for a while in many aspects.
Buy it if...
You are looking for a great budget phone
While it is not as affordable as it used to be, the Realme 7 Pro is one of the best phones you can get with no real shortcomings that will affect your decision.
You need reliable battery backup
Not only does the phone offer good battery life, but it also brings incomparable charging figures that really change usage habits. It’s addictive to just see the phone charge!
Cameras are a high priority
Most phones now offer quad-cameras in this segment, but the Realme 7 Pro’s are one of the best and most reliable ones. Just shoot and forget.
You consume a lot of content
The Super AMOLED display combined with the stereo speaker setup and the headphone jack make the Realme 7 Pro a rare combination in today’s smartphone race.
Don't buy it if...
You can hold on to your purchase
The budget smartphone segment of India is extremely competitive with great new offerings every month. With the festive season around the corner, we expect a lot of new competition (opens in new tab) and offers on older devices.
You really need a high refresh rate display
To keep the price under control, the Realme 7 Pro had to move back to a 60Hz display. If that is not a compromise you’re willing to make, look elsewhere.
Check out the Realme 7 Pro on Flipkart (opens in new tab)
6GB + 128GB: Rs 19,999
8GB + 128GB: Rs 21,999