Realme 6i/6S hands-on review

GSMArena team, 24 July 2020.

Realme UI on top of Android 10

The Realme 6i comes with Realme's own UI on top of Android 10. It features a relatively recent June 5 security patch as of writing this in July, a clean UI that's very close to vanilla Android with no-nonsense homescreens, simplistic notification/toggles area, and easy-to-use task switcher. An App drawer is available, too, and it is as clutter-free as one could hope for.

The Realme UI supports different icon packs, so if you are not happy with the default one, you can opt for material style, pebbles, or you can even fully customize them by your liking.

Realme UI under Android 10 Realme UI under Android 10 Realme UI under Android 10 Realme UI under Android 10
Realme UI under Android 10

There are a lot of powerful tools within the settings menu if you want full control over your Android OS. Or you can leave everything as is and enjoy hassle-free Android experience optimized by Realme's AI algorithms and machine learning.

Realme UI under Android 10 Realme UI under Android 10 Realme UI under Android 10 Realme UI under Android 10
Realme UI under Android 10

Finally, the Realme UI supports 90Hz and is displayed in 90fps - meaning it looks buttery smooth and blazing fast on high-refresh rate screens such as this one.

Benchmarks

The Realme 6i uses the Helio G90T, which is a good choice for this price range. The chip is based on the 12nm manufacturing process and employs an octa-core CPU (2x2.05 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6x2.0 GHz Cortex-A55) and a gaming-capable Mali-G76 MC4 GPU.

It won't be enough to drive modern AAA gaming titles on the Google Play Store at more than 60 fps but for simpler game graphics, you should probably be able to make the most use of the high refresh rate screen with a correspondingly high framerate.

The chipset itself is also paired with a dual-layer graphite and copper foil for improved heat dissipation. Here are a couple of benchmarks to see how it stacks against the competition and its predecessors.

The entry-level Realme 6i ships with 4GB of RAM, but we'd shell out for the 6GB model, if possible, as it will make a difference in multitasking.

It's no surprise that the Realme 6i offers matching performance to the Realme 6, seeing how they share a chipset. The Helio G90T slightly outperforms the Snapdragon 720G inside the Realme 6 Pro and easily outclasses the Helio G80 inside the Realme Narzo 10.

AnTuTu 8

Higher is better

  • Realme 6
    288931
  • Realme 6i (global Realme 6S)
    278982
  • Realme 6 Pro
    268785
  • Realme 6i (Narzo 10 in India)
    202275

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Realme 6
    50
  • Realme 6i (global Realme 6S)
    49
  • Realme 6 Pro
    41
  • Realme 6i (Narzo 10 in India)
    24

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Realme 6
    31
  • Realme 6i (global Realme 6S)
    31
  • Realme 6 Pro
    30
  • Realme 6i (Narzo 10 in India)
    16

3DMark SSE OpenGL ES 3.1 1440p

Higher is better

  • Realme 6
    2570
  • Realme 6i (global Realme 6S)
    2547
  • Realme 6 Pro
    2506
  • Realme 6i (Narzo 10 in India)
    1363

3DMark SSE Vulkan 1440p

Higher is better

  • Realme 6
    2619
  • Realme 6i (global Realme 6S)
    2589
  • Realme 6 Pro
    2334
  • Realme 6i (Narzo 10 in India)
    1347

Cameras

Realme 6i has a quad-camera setup on its back, which it shares with the global Realme 6S. It's very similar to the Realme 6, only you get a slightly downgraded 48MP main camera in place of that phone's 64MP. Top to bottom you'll see an 8MP ultrawide shooter, the 48MP primary camera, then comes the 2MP depth sensor, and the last one is a 2MP macro snapper.

The main camera relies on a large 1/1.2.0" sensor with 0.8µm pixels and Quad Bayer filter and sits behind an f/1.8 26mm lens. It's meant to shoot in binned 12MP mode.

The 119-degree ultrawide-angle camera has an 8MP sensor (1.12µm pixels) with an f/2.3 aperture. There is automatic distortion correction applied when necessary.

The 2MP monochrome unit is called "Portrait camera", rather than just a depth sensor. It certainly helps with the bokeh rendering, but allegedly, it's also used to enhance the contrast of the final photo. Finally, there's the 2MP macro camera (the pixels on the sensor are quite large, 1.75µm). Its lens has fixed focus at a distance of 4cm away, so you can get really close to your subjects.

The camera app is familiar with a few tweaks here and there - there are fewer menus - most of the modes are now on the main rolodex, which is good. It offers AI scene recognition - you'll see a small icon when a scene is successfully recognized, and the software will tweak all settings accordingly. Food, snow, pets, sunsets, grass, among other scenes, are detected mostly correctly.

We'll give a verdict on the camera quality once we get to spend some more quality time with the Realme 6i.

Wrap-up

To wrap things up, the Realme 6i is a fine addition to Realme's roster in India and allows you to save a few bucks without making many compromises with the features.

The 6i starts at INR 13,000 for a 4/64GB model, which is INR 2,000 cheaper than the Realme 6 with the same storage configuration.

The Realme 6 would get you a 64MP main camera, over a 48MP one. But you could instead put that money towards a Realme 6i with 6GB of RAM, which would make a more tangible difference in performance.

However, the Realme 6 still looms quite close - you could get a 6/64GB Realme 6 for just INR 16000 and get the RAM and camera benefits which would allow you to "have your cake and eat it too".

Realme has done a great job of positioning the Realme 6i as a tough to beat offer. You can't find a phone with as large a screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, this level of performance, this versatility of the camera experience, and this battery. Now add a nice build and a design that hits above its pay grade and you have a solid deal.

Reader comments

  • MJ

are you experiencing any issues with realme 6i...some dealer said phone gets hand and heated and service is also not that great by service centers..so should avoid realme phones... :0

  • Zack wonder

Slick phone

  • Rohit

I was also thinking that , but i choose realme 6i 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼