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realme 6 Review - Affordable 90Hz display and more!

OPPO
realme may have just made 90Hz display affordable with the new realme 6. How does it perform though? Let's find out.
realme 6 Review - affordable 90Hz display
realme 6 in Comet Blue

With the base 4GB/128GB model priced at PHP 11,990, realme 6 is bringing 90Hz high-refresh-rate displays to the masses. Aside from the display, the realme 6 is equipped with the 12nm MediaTek Helio G90T SoC, Mali-G76 GPU, up to 8GB LPDDR4X RAM, 128GB UFS 2.1 storage, and 4300mAh battery with 30W Flash Charge.


Is it too good to be true? How's the battery life and the thermals under heavy load? Let's dive into the review.


For our review part 1: realme 6 unboxing and first impressions

Multimedia Experience

Large 6.5-inch display
Large 6.5-inch display

In front of the realme 6 is the 6.5-inch FHD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate that produces sharp images and text with vibrant color. Its maximum brightness is not as bright as we would like but it is bright enough to be readable under sunlight


This could be because of the high refresh rate display. Animations and games are next-level smooth.

90Hz screen on a budget!

The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and is surrounded by the slim top and side bezels that give it a 90.5 percent screen-to-body ratio. The bottom bezel is noticeably thicker.

Similar to most phones, the display supports 10 points of multi-touch for accurate and responsive taps and gestures. It also has Dark Mode, Eye Care Mode, and the capability to adjust color temperature in the Display and Brightness settings.

Lastly, there is a pre-installed screen protector with sharp edges. This can be alleviated by covering the phone with the included case.

At the bottom of the phone is the single downward-firing speaker. It produces sound with decent volume. It can get loud enough to fill a small room. It may struggle in a noisy environment. The sound signature is somewhat muddy and the sound is somewhat distorted at maximum volume.

When using wired earphones, the sound quality improves to a warm and bassy sound. The sound stage, clarity and power will depend on the earphones. It is worth noting that the realme 6 does not come with stock earphones.


Built-into the device is the Real HD Sound tech that was co-developed by realme and Dirac audio. realme claims that it increases the soundstage to provide users with a more 3-dimensional effect. It did give a slightly better sound stage but it felt artificial. 


The realme 6 is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 that can connect to truly wireless earphones like the realme realme Buds Air. Once paired, the phone connects quickly and maintains stability as long as both devices are in range.


Call quality is decent. The earpiece speaker is loud and clear. The microphone for recordings cancellation could be improved.


Camera

Rear quad-camera
Rear quad-camera

realme 6 is equipped with a massive 64MP f/1.8MP Samsung GW1 with EIS main camera, 8MP f/2.3 119-degree ultra-wide-angle camera, 2MP f/2.4 4cm Macro, and 2MP f/2.4 monochrome camera with LED flash.
Rear camera app
Rear camera app

The camera app includes the following modes: Photo, Video, Night, Portrait, 64MP, Pano, Ultra Macro, Expert, Timelapse, and Slo-Mo.

The Expert mode allows for control of ISO (100-3200), shutter speed (1/8000 of a sec to 32 seconds), White Balance, Autofocus, EV (+-3 and zoom (1x, 2x, 5x) while the Portrait mode allows for control of only the Bokeh (0-100 percent) but in Photo (Auto) mode, there is AI Face Beauty (1-100).

Out of the box, the realme 6 cameras are versatile but performance varies. We just find it unusual for the Portrait mode of the rear camera doesn't have AI face beauty but have Bokeh control.

Rear Camera Samples 

rear camera daylight 1x
Rear camera daylight 1x
Rear camera daylight 2x
Rear camera daylight 2x
Rear camera daylight 5x
Rear camera daylight 5x
Rear camera daylight ultra-wide
Rear camera daylight ultra-wide
Rear camera daylight close-up
Rear camera daylight close-up

In daylight, the realme 6 rear cameras perform inconsistently. The sharpness and detail are good but the colors are a hit or miss. In the close-up picture, the color of the flower is vibrant and accurate while the daylight picture of the building and the trees could use a hint of saturation.
rear camera Indoor 1x
Rear camera indoor 1x
Rear camera indoor 2x
Rear camera indoor 2x
Rear camera indoor 5x
Rear camera indoor 5x
Rear camera indoor ultra-wide
Rear camera indoor ultra-wide

In indoors, the images are the same where the sharpness and detail are good but in the case of Shakey's pizza pictures, the color is accurate and vibrant. The contrast of the image is also strong.
Rear camera low light 1x
Rear camera low light 1x
Rear camera low light 2x
Rear camera low light 2x
Rear camera low light 5x
Rear camera low light 5x
Rear camera low light ultra-wide
Rear camera low light ultra-wide

In low light, the realme 6's images are noticeably noisier which results in less sharpness and detail. The colors of the main camera and the telephoto camera are somewhat still vibrant and accurate but the ultra-wide camera's colors are washed out.
Rear camera low light Night mode 1x
Rear camera low light Night mode 1x
Rear camera low light Night mode 2x
Rear camera low light Night mode 2x
Rear camera low light Night mode 5x
Rear camera low light Night mode 5x
Rear camera low light Night mode ultra-wide
Rear camera low light Night mode ultra-wide

Night mode mostly addresses the issues with the lowlight shots of the realme 6. The images are significantly cleaner with more detail compared to the low light shots. There is still some noise but it is more usable than the standard low light shots. We recommend shooting Night mode when you can in low light.
Realme 6 front-facing camera
realme 6 front-facing camera

The front has a punch hole on the top left where the 16M f/2.0 selfie camera is located. 

The camera app for the selfie camera offers Photo, Video, Night, Portrait, Timelapse, Selfie Pano, and Selfie Slo-Mo.

Selfie Portrait mode allows for control for Bokeh (1-100), Smoothen, Thinner Face, Bigger Eyes, Smaller Nose, Chin, Small Face, Touch Up, and 3D.


Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie with bokeh effect
Daylight selfie with bokeh effect
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Selfie low light
Selfie low light
Selfie low light Night mode
Selfie low light Night mode

realme 6's selfie daylight and indoor images are sharp with plenty of detail and with minimal noise. The colors are vibrant and accurate while the contrast is strong. 

In low light, the selfie images are noticeably filled with noise where the color sharpness and detail fall apart. The subject is still recognizable but we recommend taking selfies in Night mode where the image is a lot cleaner and a lot sharper than the standard low light one.

For video with the main camera, the rear camera can record up to 4K at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps with the option to encode in either H.264 or H.265. There is a dedicated stabilized mode but limits recording to 1080p 30fps.

The selfie camera record up to 1080 at 30fps with the option to encode in either H.264 and H.265. There is no form of stabilization.

Video footage from both the front and rear cameras are noticeably shaky especially when taking video while walking. In daylight, the footage is sharp while the colors are somewhat vibrant. There is a noticeable crop from photo to video.

Performance

AnTuTu and GeekBench 5 scores
AnTuTu and GeekBench 5 scores

realme 6 comes with the 12nm MediaTek Helio G90T octa-core processor with the Mali-G76 3EEMC4 GPU, 4GB/8GB LPDDR4X RAM, and 128GB UFS 2.1 storage. This combination produced a massive 286,419 in AnTuTu and produced 541 in a single-core and 1701 multi-core score in GeekBench 5.

PCMark and 3DMark benchmarks
PCMark and 3DMark benchmarks

In the PCMark Work 2.0 benchmark, the realme 6 scored 11166 while in 3D Mark, it scored 2500 in OpenGL and 2554 in Vulcan. This means that this device will perform slightly better with Vulcan based apps or games.


One of the fastest for the price!

Paired with the LPDDR4X and the 128GB UFS 2.1 storage, launching and switching between apps, and loading media are noticeably snappier. We did wish there was a 6GB RAM variant to go in between.
from 32 to 44 degrees Celsius after 30 minutes of COD:Mobile
From 32 to 44 degrees Celsius after 30 minutes of COD: Mobile

Overall, navigating through the UI, launching apps, watching and streaming videos, listening to music or playing games are smooth. We were even able to play 30 minutes of Call of Duty: Mobile while recording the gameplay and monitoring temperature. Gameplay was on high settings with decent framerates. While playing, the internal temperature went from 32 degrees to 44 degrees celsius. The phone did feel warmer than we would like after playing for an extended period.

The story is the same with NBA 2K20 and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. It can play both games in demanding settings but will get warm after an extended play session.
realme OS Game Space
realme OS Game Space

Like the rest of the realme 6 series, the realme 6 has the Game Space Mode where it optimizes the phone to cater to the needs of the user. Users can select between competition, balanced, and low power mode. Game Space can also block unwanted notifications, calls, and banners.
PCMark Battery test
PCMark battery test

Inside the realme 6 is a 4,300mAh battery is an incremental increase from the realme 5 Pro's 4,045mAh. In our usual PCMark battery test, it lasted for more than 10 hours. This is a respectable endurance for 2020 but because of the 90Hz display, we fear that it won't be enough especially when running intensive apps and games.

In our real-world use where we unplug the realme 6 from the charger at 8AM and get home at 8PM, we got around 15 to 20 percent power left in the battery. It will be able to last a day but barely. If you do more than web surfing, video/music streaming, casual gaming, texts, calls, e-mails, and the like, the battery may fall short for you.

The 30W charger allows us to get from 0 to 100 percent in under an hour which helps a lot especially if you are a heavy user. 


realme 6 connects via WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 700MHz 4G LTE and Bluetooth 5.0. It supports OTG, FM Radio, GPS, GLONASS, and dual nano SIM with a microSD card.


Wireless connections, calls, and texts connect consistently and are stable once the connection has been established. Because of the quarantine, we were not able to try Waze, but the GPS with Google Maps in Delivery services were able to acquire and lock on our location instantaneously.

realme OS UI
realme OS UI

Running the show is Android 10 based on a heavily modified version of ColorOS 7 called realme UI 1.0. The user interface is modern with round icons. Users are given a high-level of customization with a near stock-like experience with added features. There is some bloatware but they can be uninstalled. Aside from Google Play Store, other app stores are included like Hot Apps and Hot Game apps that can confuse new users.

Added features include easy gesture navigation, choice of with app drawer or with no app drawer, Themes, Private Space, Digital Wellbeing, Dual Mode Music Share, Icon Customization, Phone Manager optimization, and more.

The most impactful new feature is the system-wide Dark Mode that can be found when you swipe down from the main interface. It works well 95 percent of the time. We only found one situation where the background and the foreground were both blacks which made the text unreadable.


Pros - Eye-catching design, color-accurate 90Hz display, powerful performance for the price, strong cameras for photography, realme UI is neat and fast, 30W fast charging with USB-C

Cons - Battery life could be better, thermal cooling could be better

realme 6 Specs

Display: 6.5-inch 3D curved Gorilla Glass 3 protected LCD screen w/ 90Hz refresh rate, FHD+ 2400 x 1080 resolution at 405 ppi
CPU: 2.05GHz 12nm MediaTek Helio G90T octa-core processor
GPU: Mali-G76 3EEMC4
RAM: 4GB/8GB LPDDR4X
ROM: 128GB UFS 2.1 expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 64MP f/1.8 Samsung GW1 w/ EIS + 8MP f/2.3 119-degree ultra-wide-angle + 2MP f/2.4 w/ 4cm macro + 2MP f/2.4 mono + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP f/2.0
Battery: 4,300mAh w/ 30W Flash Charge
OS: Android 10.0 w/ realme UI 1.0
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, face unlock, splash resistance, Dolby Atmos, USB-C, Colors: Comet Blue, Comet White
Dimensions: 162.1 x 74.8 x 9.6 mm
Weight: 191 g
Price: PHP 11,990 (4GB/128GB), 13,990 (8GB RAM/128GB)

Verdict

realme 6 box
realme 6 box

With the realme 6, the company continues to offer value for money with the number of powerful specs in an affordable price tag.

Finding a smartphone with a color-accurate 90Hz display with an Helio G90T processor, an LPDDR4X RAM, a 128GB UFS 2.1 storage, a 64MP rear camera with USB Type-C 30W charging at a starting price of only PHP 11,990 is hard.

If you can live with the minor setbacks like shorter battery life, underwhelming low light camera, and thermal concerns under heavy load, then the realme 6 could be for you.


What do you guys think?

Build/Design - 4.25
Multimedia Experience - 4
Cameras - 4
Performance 4.5
Average - 4.18/5
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