The realme 6i smartphone is the most affordable variant of the much-hyped realme 6 series. It doesn’t have a 90Hz display but makes up for it with a gaming-focused Helio G80 chipset, 48MP quad-camera system, and huge 5,000mAh battery.

I used the device for two weeks and tested its performance, camera quality, and battery life. Here is my full review of the realme 6i.

 

Design & Display: What are those lines?

Unboxing the realme 6i.

Unboxing the realme 6i.

The first thing anyone will notice with the realme 6i are the vertical lines on its back. It’s an optical effect and the lines slightly shift in position depending on the direction of the lighting.

While the effect is striking, it’s another story when holding the phone. It’s made of plastic and feels that way. The back cover also has a matte or sandblasted texture which prevents the accumulation of smudges. However, this removes any semblance of a premium glass material.

 

Ports & buttons of the realme 6i.

Ports & buttons of the realme 6i.

My review unit has some creaks on its right side. Pressing the edge of the phone can even displace the plastic frame slightly. I checked the reviews of other Filipino tech reviewers and this seems like an isolated case. Please check your unit for this issue before buying it.

The realme 6i follows the same button layout as previous realme phones. Its power button is on the right side while the volume buttons and SIM card tray are on the left side. A USB Type-C port, 3.5mm audio jack, and loudspeaker are all situated at the bottom.

 

The display and apps out of the box.

The display and apps out of the box.

On the front of the phone is a large 6.5-inch HD+ display with a waterdrop-style notch. The bezels around the display are average in size except for the substantial chin.

The screen itself has decent colors but it’s not quite bright enough for outdoor, under-the-sun situations. It also sticks to the HD+ resolution instead of FHD+ making the pixels discernible upon closer inspection.

Overall, I’m unimpressed with the design of the realme 6i. I still prefer the textured back cover design of the realme 5i and realme C3. On the other hand, I understand the choice to equip the device with an HD+ screen. It makes the battery last longer and keeps the price tag of the device competitive.

 

Gaming Performance: FPS Tests and Benchmarks!

Mobile Legends on the Realme 6i.

Mobile Legends on the Realme 6i.

The realme 6i is dubbed as a budget gaming smartphone since it’s powered by a gaming-centric MediaTek Helio G80 chipset. I was able to test the gaming performance of the 4GB RAM version and I got mixed results.

It supports High graphics quality on both Mobile Legends and PUBG Mobile out of the box. The gameplay is quite smooth during the initial part of the games but frame drops occur during clashes and when there are a lot of animations.

To give you a better idea of the realme 6i’s gaming performance, I measured the actual frame rate of several games using GameBench Pro. It got 54 fps on Mobile Legends and 29 fps on PUBG Mobile.

Let’s compare these scores with the realme C3 and realme 5i:

SmartphoneAverage Frame Rate in ML
realme 5i60 fps
Huawei Y7p60 fps
realme 6i54 fps
realme C347 fps
Samsung Galaxy A2030 fps

This data set is limited but it shows that the realme 6i is powerful enough to run a resource-intensive game like PUBG Mobile at medium to high graphics quality with an acceptable frame rate. However, the Snapdragon-powered realme 5i is still the best among the three for Mobile Legends.

Meanwhile, the phone’s general performance is largely smooth. Launching apps for the first time takes around 2 seconds and scrolling down newsfeeds is about 80% to 90% smooth.

However, there’s a noticeable pause when going from an app to the home screen using the virtual home button. This pause disappears when using the swipe gestures instead of virtual navigation buttons.

Benchmarkrealme 6i Score
AnTuTu Benchmark204,030 points
3DMark (sling shot)1,768 points
GeekBench 5 (single-core)386 points
GeekBench 5 (multi-core)1,349 points
RealPi Benchmark3.06 seconds

We can compare the performance of the realme 6i with other smartphones using its benchmark scores. You may install these apps and check the scores of your current smartphone.

Did your current smartphone perform better than the realme 6i?

 

Camera Quality (Sample Pictures)

Default camera app of the realme 6i.

Default camera app of the realme 6i.

The realme 6i has a quad rear camera setup composed of a 48 Megapixel main camera, 8 Megapixel ultra-wide camera, 2 Megapixel macro camera, and 2 Megapixel depth sensor.

Its built-in camera app is simple enough with neatly arranged features on the left side and camera modes on the right. It has a dedicated Night Mode, full 48MP mode, and up to 10x in-camera digital zoom.

The pictures from the main camera use 4-in-1 pixel binning technology. Hence, the resulting images usually measure 4000 x 3000 pixels or 12 Megapixels. There’s also an option to add a customized watermark to the bottom of the images.

Here are several sample pictures:

realme 6i sample picture (normal)

realme 6i sample picture (multi-tool, normal mode)

 

realme 6i sample picture (normal, close-up)

realme 6i sample picture (dog treats, normal mode)

 

realme 6i sample picture (playground, normal mode)

realme 6i sample picture (playground, normal mode)

 

realme 6i sample picture (playground, ultra-wide mode)

realme 6i sample picture (playground, ultra-wide mode)

 

realme 6i sample picture (gumamela, ultra macro mode)

realme 6i sample picture (gumamela, ultra macro mode)

 

realme 6i sample picture (necklace, ultra macro mode)

realme 6i sample picture (necklace, ultra macro mode)

 

realme 6i sample picture (church, low-light, normal mode)

realme 6i sample picture (church, low-light, normal mode)

 

realme 6i sample picture (church, low-light, night mode)

realme 6i sample picture (church, low-light, night mode)

 

realme 6i sample selfie

realme 6i sample selfie

 

As you can see, the realme 6i can capture good-looking pictures in well-lit situations. Pictures taken outdoors during the day have good sharpness and decent colors albeit with slight overexposure of bright areas. This is true for both the main camera and the ultra-wide camera.

However, low-light shots tend to be grainy with muted colors. The Night Mode feature slightly helps but not by much. Lens flares are also a nuisance when taking pictures of bright light sources during the night.

Selfies look decent but it works best if you enable the smoothening feature and keep it at the lowest value. Low-light selfies are too grainy though.

Lastly, the realme 6i shoots videos at up to 1080p resolution and 60 fps frame rate. The video quality is slightly above average for budget smartphones with smooth focus transitions.

 

Connectivity & Networks

SIM card and micro-SD card tray.

SIM card and micro-SD card tray.

Realme 6i is a dual-SIM smartphone with 4G LTE connectivity. It can provide a mobile internet connection with decent speeds if it’s in an area with good 4G LTE signal.

However, its Wi-Fi connectivity isn’t very reliable. While playing Mobile Legends, the measured ping usually breach 100ms whereas a Huawei Nova 5T shows 60-70 ms. It also lacks compatibility with 5GHz Wi-Fi networks.

On the other hand, the device supports USB OTG function through its USB Type-C port. This is a step-up in the right direction since previous budget realme phones used the outdated micro-USB port.

It also retains a 3.5mm audio jack when most flagship smartphones and some midrange smartphones opt to remove it.

 

Audio Quality and Multimedia Experience

Since the realme 6i only has a 720p display, that’s also the maximum resolution supported by YouTube on the device. It takes away some quality from 1080p videos but this isn’t a big issue when you’re wary of using too much mobile data.

Meanwhile, the audio quality from the phone’s loudspeaker is surprisingly good. Higher pitches can sound too piercing at times but there’s no noticeable distortion even at high volume levels. However, it lacks bass just like most smartphones.

Its earpiece does the job for voice calls with average sound quality and decent volume.

 

Sensors and Security

Setting-up the fingerprint scanner.

Setting up the fingerprint scanner.

There are two biometric unlocking methods on the realme 6i: a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and facial recognition that uses the front camera.

The fingerprint sensor is reliable. It unlocked the phone 10 times out of 10 tries. However, it’s not the fastest fingerprint scanner around as it takes a moment to unlock the device.

Its face unlock feature is quicker. You can choose to have it directly open the home screen or require a swipe up after recognizing the user’s face.

 

Battery Life and Charging Time

Battery life score of the realme 6i.

Battery life score of the realme 6i.

The realme 6i has a huge 5,000mAh battery and it provides a long battery life. In my two weeks of using the device, I never experienced emptying a fully-charged battery in one day with my normal usage.

It scored 13 hours and 55 minutes on the PCMark Battery Life Test that simulates continuous heavy usage. During the test, I turned on Airplane mode and set the phone’s brightness to around 50% just like what I do with other smartphones that I’ve reviewed.

For comparison, the realme 6i scored higher than the Huawei Y7p (13 h & 6 min) and Huawei nova 5T (12 h & 8 min). However, it scored lower than the OPPO A9 2020 (14 h & 52 min) which also has a 5000mAh battery.

SmartphonePCMark Battery Life Test
OPPO A9 202014 h & 52 min
realme 6i13 h & 55 min
Huawei Y7p13 h & 6 min
Huawei nova 5T12 h & 8 min

It consumes 12% of battery life per hour while playing Mobile Legends. That equates to around 8 hours and 20 minutes of continuous gaming (I don’t recommend that).

Meanwhile, re-charging the realme 6i from 0% to 100% battery capacity takes 2 hours and 33 minutes using its bundled 18W charger. This is quite a while but remember that it has a huge battery to fill up.

 

Conclusion

The realme 6i box.

The realme 6i box.

Realme 6i is a value-for-money smartphone in terms of its gaming performance, camera quality, and battery life. However, it has an unimpressive build quality, screen resolution, and charging time.

I recommend choosing the more affordable 3GB RAM variant which has an original price of ₱7,990. You can also hunt for a deal such as the ₱500 discount the brand offered during the launch or special freebies from different stores.

If you prefer the 4GB RAM variant (₱9,990), I suggest looking at the realme 6 base version (₱11,990) or check out the competition at that price range using the PINOY TECHNO GUIDE smartphone database.


Realme 6i specs:

  • 6.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD Display (720 x 1600 Pixels), 270 ppi
  • Android 10 Operating System
  • MediaTek Helio G80 Chipset
  • 3GB or 4GB of RAMGB of RAM
  • 48 Megapixel Rear Camera with LED Flash
  • 16 Megapixel Front Camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 64GB or 128GB Internal Storage
  • Expandable Up to 256 via microSD
  • 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+, 2G EDGE & GPRS Networks
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • USB Type-C
  • 3.5mm Audio Jack
  • Fingerprint Sensor
  • 5000mAh Battery
  • 18W Fast Charging
  • 7,990.00 Official Price in the Philippines


Realme 6i Review Summary

realme 6i review
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4.2 out of 5 stars

The realme 6i is good for gaming and battery life but has a meager 720p display and sub-par build quality.