Realme 7 5G review: 5G within everyone's reach

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Aina Prat Blasi
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Realme 7 5G has just been officially unveiled, together with other products we talk about in a dedicated article. We are talking about the first 5G mid-range smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer. It is with this product that the Asian company wants to promote the democratization of the new network standard. After all, Realme's philosophy has always been to offer its users products at competitive prices that integrate technologies usually aimed at higher segments of the market. Just think of fast charging, high refresh rate and now 5G.

This is the secret of Realme's success, which in a very short time has become part of the most important brands in the smartphone landscape. According to data reported by Counterpoint, the young Chinese brand sold 14,8 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2020 in the middle of the pandemic, recording a quarterly growth of 132%.

Realme 7 5G is part of this path of ascent. It comes in at 279 euros but until 30 November it will be available for purchase at 229 €, a figure that - as the company itself specifies - makes the newcomer “the most affordable 5G smartphone in the segment”. In fact, it should represent the even cheaper alternative to Mi 10T Lite 5G which on Amazon is now available for 249 euros.

Design and construction

The aesthetic is completely borrowed from the entire series that we have already had the opportunity to review. The back therefore comes with a matte finish with double reflection where the Realme logo stands out. The coloring is very eye-catching. The body holds the fingerprints but the opacity makes them less visible.

The edges of the rear panel are curved and intersect with the metal side frame. On the right side, we find the power button in which the biometric sensor has been integrated for fingerprint recognition. The shape is the usual hollow and fits perfectly with the finger we rest on. Operation is average, with some hesitation in case of dirty hands.

On the left side, however, we find the two buttons for adjusting the volume, whose positioning is perfect. No problem reaching them. Also on the same edge, there is the slot that can accommodate the microSD for memory expansion and two SIMs.

In this regard, it should be emphasized that Realme 7 5G is among the first smartphones a support Dual 5G SIM thanks to the choice of adopting the MediaTek Dimensity 800U processor. This means that we can simultaneously use two SIMs that connect to new generation networks. Of course, calls require the presence of standalone networks with VoNR technology, but when these smartphones are available they will already be able to take advantage of the new technology.

Finally, the lower edge houses il jack audio da 3,5 mm (presence always appreciated), the Type-C port for charging and the single speaker that returns an average sound. The dimensions are not properly contained. We are talking about 162.1 x 75 x 9.1 mm for a weight of 194 grams. In short, numbers that are becoming a standard in the smartphone field. In any case, Realme 7 5G is held well in the hand and the buttons - as mentioned - are perfectly reachable.

The front is occupied by a IPS LCD display from 6,5 in with Full-HD + resolution e 120Hz refresh rate. As always, the refresh rate is variable. We can set it to the minimum (60Hz), to the maximum or choose the automatic selection that adapts the frequency according to the app we are using. The frames are present and visible, especially the lower one. However, we are talking about a panel with one average quality, a convincing color rendering, a good visibility outdoors and with some difficulty in managing the automatic brightness.

Performance, autonomy and camera

The beating heart of Realme 7 5G as mentioned is the MediaTek Dimensity 800U paired with 6GB of RAM and 128 GB of expandable internal memory. My personal curiosity around the Taiwanese manufacturer's 5G processors was great. I was not particularly impressed with the daily activities that still manages to manage quietly but I expected a little more responsiveness and fluidity, also considering the high refresh rate of the display.

Asphalt 9 Legends, for example, took some time to boot. Once started, however, the gaming experience was satisfying. It is therefore clear that the smartphone did not show any particular critical issues and no block has ever occurred, in short, nothing that could compromise the experience of most users who buy in this price range. To be clear, we carried out the Geekbench 5 test totaling 595 points in single-core and 1781 points in multi-core, a score slightly higher than that achieved by Realme 7. However, it is not excluded that the situation may improve with future software updates. Note of merit for the heat management that is never felt through the body.

Excellent autonomy guaranteed by the 5.000 mAh battery with support for fast charging at 30W. In my case, I reached 27% remaining charge after a day and a half compared to almost 5 and a half hours of active display with a fixed refresh rate at 120Hz. One of the strengths of the Chinese brand's smartphones is the charging speed and Realme 7 5G is no exception. You can recharge the device from 0 to 100% in 65 minutes and with just 26 minutes of charging you get almost 50%. Then there are some power saving modes that extend battery life. In short, autonomy is not a problem.

The software part is entrusted to Android 10 customized with RealmeUI proprietary graphic interface, which is being refined version after version. The functions are what we have come to know by now, including the “smart sidebar” (which I really appreciate), a very discreet line that gives immediate access to your favorite apps and quick tools. The light animation around the hole of the front camera when activating the display is also very nice. Complete connectivity which also includes NFC.

Finally, we come to the photographic sector which on the back consists of four sensors. The 48 Megapixel (f / 1.8) main camera paired with an 8 Megapixel (f / 2.3) wide angle, a 2 Megapixel (f / 2.4) black and white sensor and a 2 Megapixel (f / 2.4) last for macro shots. We are talking about a configuration similar to that seen on the Realme 7 4G, so the results are very similar.

By day, the pictures are pleasing with a fair amount of detail and sufficient dynamic range. The smartphone does not tend to saturate the colors too much during the day. It may not please those who love very strong shades for photos to share on social media, but the colors will be more natural and close to what we really see. Of course, you can select the option to shoot at full resolution.

We can shoot with it 2X and 5X zoom, but not being optical the results are not astonishing but - in daytime - they are more than sufficient for the segment in which it fits. It is with the wide-angle camera and at night that there is a loss of quality. At night, it is possible to use the special mode which, on the one hand, manages to illuminate the scene more, on the other, tends to illuminate it too much, returning colors that are far from reality. Personally, I believe that the night mode should bring to light details that were lost with the normal shot but that it should not alter the scene too much. To be clear, the shot must be as faithful as possible to what the eye sees. However, this is a general speech that applies to all smartphones and not just Realme 7 5G.

As for the macro camera, I still find it not very useful. Difficult to find the right point for excellent focus and even when it is found the results are not satisfactory. With photos and videos you can have fun inserting different color effects in real time.

The camera 16 Megapixel front (f / 2.1), finally, it tends to smooth faces a little too much and you can notice the presence of a bit of digital noise on every occasion. I would have expected more. At night, you can take advantage of the night mode that illuminates the face much more.

Videos can be recorded up to resolution 4K is 30 fps and Realme offers two software solutions for more stabilized videos: Ultra Steady and Ultra Steady, in the latter case, however, there is a significant drop in quality. In short, a photographic sector that can be improved.

Conclusions: who should buy it?

Realme 7 5G is without a doubt the ideal purchase for those who want an affordable 5G smartphone. Until November 30, it is possible to buy it for 229 euros, a figure that is all in all adequate to what is offered but which - despite the presence of 5G - leads it to clash with fierce rivals. First of all Xiaomi's Mi 10T Lite.

Either way, it is a smartphone that could be fine for most users who might find features usually intended for higher-end devices. There is a large display with 120Hz refresh rate, autonomy is satisfactory and enjoys fast charging, there is memory expansion and 5G Dual-SIM support. It is not free from defects (the performance of the camera needs to be improved). However, Realme 7 5G is preparing to become an interesting protagonist in the segment to which it belongs.

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