realme 6i Review: A budget gaming phone with quick charging USB-C

realme 6i Review: A budget gaming phone with quick charging USB-C

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During our time with the realme C3, it’s been established that the company is serious in offering a sub-PhP 6K phone that can deliver uninterrupted gaming performances. With its gaming-focused processor and a massive battery, it pretty much got the bases covered except for one small issue — its long charging time due to its micro-USB implementation.

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CHECK OUT: realme 6i Unboxing and Hands-on

Now that the realme 6i has been officially launched in the Philippines, it still boasts of its gaming capabilities, multiple-camera setup, and ample battery capacity but now promises a faster charging time. This is our realme 6i review.

Design

Back panels that sport a reflective shine have become quite popular for smartphones and it’s the same case for this phone’s plastic back. While the more affordable C3 comes with a pattern that mimics the sun’s rays, the 6i opts for straight vertical lines that sort of move around depending on how the light hits it.

Additionally, it has a matte finish which is easily a plus for me since it doesn’t attract fingerprints easily.

Housing a 6.5-inch HD+ IPS display, it has a resolution of 1600 x 720 with a waterdrop notch which we’ve seen on previous realme phones. On the right, we have a solo button for both lock and power while the volume buttons sit on the left side of the phone.

Turn it around and we see four cameras slightly protruding off the surface and, just to the right of it, the fingerprint scanner. Its SIM tray can house two SIM cards plus it has an additional microSD slot to add to its storage.

Down below, we pleasantly find a USB Type-C for charging, 3.5mm audio jack towards the left, and speakers on the right. The realme 6i comes in two colors: White Milk and Green Tea — obviously, this one here is the Green Tea variant.

Software

Running on Android 10 with realme’s UI, the interface is simple and similar to Android’s native look so the experience is very straightforward.

Just like with the C3, swiping down on the home screen will take you to your notifications and settings.  Icons are fully customizable with the ability to change from round to square and even adjust their transparency. The original icons can also be customized with your own photos or icons.

Animations and transitions are smooth and navigating through the phone is effortless. Additionally, there’s support for Dark Mode, dynamic wallpapers, native screen recording with internal and external audio, and tap to lock.

Camera

The realme 6i’s quad-camera system consists of a 48-megapixel main sensor, 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel macro, and another 2-megapixel sensor for portrait photography. This is one more camera added to the C3 to be able to capture better scenery using a wide-angle lens.

After a couple of days of shooting what was around our condominium’s compound, I’d say the cameras work together to be able to capture a wide variety of subjects.

For casual snaps, I used its main camera. When I needed to bring out more details on a small subject, its macro shooter comes in handy. For landscapes, nothing beats a wide-angle lens. And finally, if I want a bit of bokeh effect on my shots, the depth-sensing camera is always available.

Images produced by its main camera have good details in them. HDR works well when there are light and dark areas in your shot and its Chroma Boost pulls out extra vibrance for your photos.

For close-ups, its macro sensor is able to produce sharp photos with noticeable details. As for its depth-sensing camera, it was a hit-and-miss especially when it comes to tracing out the hair of the subject you’re shooting. Sometimes the photo comes out decent, but other times you see a bad trace when separating hair from the background.

Meanwhile, its wide-angle mode is probably my favorite among its different shooting modes. Capturing landscapes is simply more interesting when you have a wide-angle lens.

Situated in the display’s notch is a 16-megapixel front camera. Again, it comes with software features to tweak unwanted elements. The app can make your skin smoother, have your face shape slimmer — the whole AI beautification thing, basically. Some might be keen on using it but like other beautification effects, it doesn’t look too natural when you go overboard with the filters.

Performance

Internally, the realme 6i houses a MediaTek Helio G80 octa-core CPU paired with up to 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage. With this combination, daily usage for the 6i has been a smooth sailing affair. Browsing through social media pages and reading articles also benefit from its tall display since more lines can fit the screen.

After taking photos using its quad-camera setup, importing and editing them in apps like Adobe Lightroom or Google Snapseed were easily handled by the phone.

Gaming

We also ran popular titles on the 6i to test its gaming capabilities. Kicking things off with Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, our gameplay was uninterrupted and graphics were rendered from the get-go until after a couple of online matches. The fast-paced racing game Asphalt 9: Legends ran smoothly with minimal to no hiccups. There were some slight lags once in a while but not noticeable enough to affect the outcome of the match. PUBG Mobile, on the other hand, was also handled like a boss.

We also ran other games like Pokémon Go and TapTap Music to test its accuracy for location via GPS and touch response, respectively. After a few hours of playing, we’re confident to say the phone is able to accurately pinpoint our location and touch response was on point.

When we were using the realme C3 for its review, we found that it can handle resource-heavy games with no interruptions as long as you have no other heavy apps running in the background. Whenever this happened, the phone would be lagging and touch inputs are delayed. This is not the case for the realme 6i at all. Even with multiple games running, jumping from one game to another provided a smooth experience thanks to its G80 CPU.

One thing we noticed, though, was that the phone gets warm with prolonged gaming. This is nothing new for a smartphone and temperature doesn’t really go too high. Although you’ll definitely feel it get warm.

Battery

As for the battery department, it’s got a large 5000mAh capacity that also supports reverse charging. We played games on it non-stop and it was able to stay on from around 7AM until past 5PM where it hit more than 10 hours of continuous gaming between Asphalt 9, Mobile Legends, and Pokémon Go.

As mentioned earlier, it now rocks a USB-C port with support for 18-watt charging to lessen the time it takes to fully charge the device. From 0-100%, it took one hour and 52 minutes as compared to the realme C3’s 3-hour charging time via micro-USB.

Creature Feature

In our reviews, The Modern Creatures aims to find that one special feature of a device that makes it worth having — something that gives the product a slight edge from among its peers. For the realme 6i, it would be the implementation of USB-C.

It’s not new that smartphone brands today are offering powerful performances for an affordable price. Of course, they have to cut corners to be able to lower the price and most of the time, charging time suffers since many in this price range only offer micro-USB connectivity to power and charge their device.

With the realme 6i’s USB-C, charging time has been sped up significantly. While there may always be the convenience of power banks, a faster charging time simply translates to the ability to focus more on other tasks at hand.

Conclusion

Overall, the realme 6i is a very strong contender in the sub-PhP 10K smartphone category. It’s got a straightforward UI, a capable array of cameras, powerful gaming performance, and a battery life that lasts long and charges faster than its peers. Probably the least element that we like about it is its design which is a bit simple for us. But then again, the designer of this phone has that simplistic trademark that he maintains.

The two variants for the 6i starts at PhP 7,990 with 3GB RAM plus 64GB of internal storage. The other model, which has 4GB RAM and 128GB of storage, is priced at PhP 9,990. Plus, to celebrate its launch, realme is having an introductory flash sale on May 15 and May 20 for both variants as well as the realme fitness Band. The 3GB/64GB variant will have a special discounted price of PhP 7,940 while the 4GB/128GB variant will be at PhP 9,490. Both phones will be available through realme’s official shop on Lazada.

At the end of the day, the realme 6i s a well-balanced phone with very little trade-offs. And with its really competitive price points, I’d say that realme has come up with a gaming phone that’s hard to resist.

You may also check out our video version of this review: