Realme in 2021: Five smartphones that we absolutely liked – India Today

As the year 2021 comes to a close, we look at the journey of a smartphone brand that overthrew Samsung to capture the second spot in India’s market in the month of October. We are talking about Realme, which started out only a little more than three years ago but, during its course, has achieved several milestones.

Realme’s latest smartphone shipment data paints a favourable picture of the brand, but, at the same time, rings alarm bells for Xiaomi, which has been the leader for a long time.

Compared to last year, 2021 has not been much tougher for smartphone brands. We are talking about production and logistics related issues, because of which nearly every smartphone brand had to pause launches and phone releases last year. Even though the second wave of the pandemic did become a hurdle in deliveries towards the middle of this year, Realme and other companies braved that storm with an accelerated pace of launches.

If we, for a moment, overlook the component shortage – which has been the biggest crisis of the smartphone industry for some years now, Realme has done well. And the credit for that goes to the company’s smartphones.

This year, Realme doubled down on its 5G portfolio, and that pitch turned out favourable for the brand – despite strong competition from rivals such as Redmi, Poco, Motorola, Samsung, and Infinix. As a matter of fact, Realme managed to earn its name in the mid-end market, as well, thanks to the company’s push for “flagship killer” phones.

So, it makes sense if we rewind and pick five Realme smartphones that made headlines and received good feedback from customers:

Realme 8s 5G

Realme’s number series finally brought in a 5G phone with Realme 8 5G earlier this year, but, while it was the one to kick off the launch, the Realme 8s outshone every other phone in the sub-Rs 20,000 category. The Realme 8s became the most-selling 5G phone in its category, according to the company, citing data from Counterpoint Research.

In our test, we found the Realme 8s a complete value-for-money phone. For the starting price of Rs 17,999, the Realme 8s 5G offers specifications such as 6.5-inch Full-HD+ 90Hz display, MediaTek Dimensity 810 processor, up to 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 64-megapixel triple-camera system on the back, a 16-megapixel selfie camera, and a 5,000mAh battery with 33W Dart Charge fast charging.

Realme Narzo 50A

Realme’s Narzo series has been about phones that prioritise gaming-centric specifications over others. But that is what the company tells you. In reality, the Narzo phones are like other phones by the brand, but that is a good thing because they are mostly bang for the buck. The Realme Narzo 50A starts at Rs 11,499, which is an attractive price, and the phone delivers.

I absolutely loved the Narzo 50A during my testing. I found the Realme Narzo 50A a good phone for its price. And it ticks most of the right boxes. Big display? Check. Fast processor? Check. Long-lasting battery? Check. All of that is reasonable enough to make the Narzo 50A a compelling option on the market.

Realme X7 Max 5G

If we move higher in the price ladder, Realme has some interesting options that kind of take on the OnePlus phones using the same strategy that the latter kick started its journey in India with. The Realme X7 Max 5G arrived as an interesting mid-range phone with an attractive design and specifications best suited for high-end gaming.

I have often found myself recommending the Realme X7 Max 5G to several people seeking my advice on a good phone for around Rs 25,000. If you want an amazing gaming phone, do not look anywhere else and just buy the X7 Max 5G.

Realme GT Master Edition

If there is one phone that comes close to the Realme X7 Max 5G, it is the GT Master Edition. It is a bit cheaper than the former, and its specifications are accordingly different. But what catches the eye is the suitcase-inspired design that Realme said will remind customers of the time when they used to travel. Of course, the nostalgia that Realme wanted to induce back then because of Covid-related travel restrictions worked.

For a starting price of Rs 25,999, the Realme GT Master Edition is a good option. And I gave it merit points in my review. “Realme GT Master Edition comes across as a complete package,” I said in my review.

Realme GT 5G

This list could not be complete without the company’s flagship phone of 2021, the GT 5G. Realme rebranded its X-series to GT and this will now be the lineup of phones with flagship specifications. The GT 5G arrived as the first one with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. That makes the phone insanely fast, and with a design that is appealing in a way, customers get the bang for their buck.

I compared the Realme GT with a supercar in my review. That is true and somewhat reminds you of the Ford GT-like design. I wrote: “For a phone that costs Rs 37,999 for the base variant and Rs 41,999 for the Racing Yellow variant, its specifications and features seem justified. The display is good, the performance is top-notch, the camera and battery experience are also great on the GT 5G.”

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