Ever seen a brand update one phone lineup three times in a single year? Well, you’re already looking at it. From January 2020 until October, Realme has updated its best budget phone twice, starting with Realme 5i, then Realme 6i, and until Realme 7i. We don’t usually see major upgrades within a six to nine months gap unless it’s a very cheap phone like in this case. But if you’re wondering what’s the difference between the three, especially when they’re still being actively sold on the market, here’s what you just can expect.
What Are the similarities of Realme 5i, Realme 6i, and Realme 7i?
Aside from the fact that the three devices offer good performance for little money, the easiest similarity that we can point out is their display size. You’re dealing with a 6.5″ diagonal display with 720p+ IPS LCD and a teardrop notch on the two older ones. All covered with Gorilla Glass of varying versions. So, for the most part, the hand experience is the same. Just in case you’re wondering, Realme 5i is the thickest of the bunch at 9.3mm, but Realme 6i is the heaviest at 199g. It’s a bit of a breakthrough for Realme 7i as it’s only weighing 188g, despite packing the same 5000mAh battery from its predecessors.
For the design, it’s a pretty standard look from the back of things. The quad-camera setups are on a vertical strip placement, with the Realme 7i changing appearance to go with the trend. However, you can still expect the same fingerprint scanner on the back.
Why Choose Realme 5i?
Despite being upstaged by its successors, Realme 5i is still available for purchase. With 3GB RAM and 64GB storage to offer, the original price of Php6,990 has gone down to Php6,490. What you’re getting from that price are the following:
- 12MP + 8MP ultrawide + 2MP macro + 2MP depth;
- 8MP selfie;
- 10W micro USB charger.
Though Realme 5i released first with Android 9 Pie, the stable version of Realme UI based on Android 10 is already available out of the box. You may not be left behind in terms of software version, but Snapdragon 665 has shown its age after the update. Various users are reporting Realme 5i slowing down after the major update and smaller succeeding ones. The same story applies to our review unit. So, take note of that should your budget falls under Realme 5i.
One thing that Realme 5i offers, which the other two don’t, is 4K video recording. Some of you may not bother with this feature as most still use their phones for photos; however, it’s one of, if not, the only one with 4K video recording at its price point. Thanks to the chipset, the quality is already good considering the device’s cost.
The only two reasons I can think of why you should get Realme 5i, despite its age, are the price and 4K video recording. Otherwise, you’re better off with the other devices.
Why Choose Realme 6i?
With Realme 6i, the company gave the device a significant upgrade across the spec sheet. From Snapdragon 665, the chipset is now using Helio G80, which offers better overall and gaming performance. The memory combo now lets you choose from two models — 3GB/64GB and 4GB/128GB. However, the prices are a bit steeper at Php7,990 and Php9,990, respectively. On the flip end, the other upgrades you get are:
- 48MP + 8MP ultrawide + 2MP macro + 2MP monochrome;
- 16MP selfie;
- 18W USB-C charger.
The only biggest complaint that we had with Realme 5i was the use of micro USB and slow charger. Luckily, Realme listened when it announced the successor. But more than that, the camera specs got upgraded as well, except for one — video recording. At best, Realme 6i can only record up to 1080p@30fps. Coming from 4K, 1080p just looks blurry and smudgy as Helio G80 is made for budget gaming, not cameras.
Why Choose Realme 7i?
As of writing, the price of Realme 7i is yet to be revealed. But if we’re to speculate, we feel like Realme 7i will replace the Php9,990 price point of Realme 6i with the same 4GB/128GB model. Or, they could also sell it for Php10,990 since there’s no Realme phone selling at that price. Regardless, the upgrades you can expect are:
- 64MP + 8MP ultrawide + 2MP macro + 2MP monochrome;
- UFS 2.1 storage type;
- 90Hz screen;
- Snapdragon 662.
In a way, Snapdragon 662 is an upgrade from Helio G80. Though the performance is like Snapdragon 665, it’s more efficient than the G80. While we don’t think it can trump the G80 in terms of gaming, the overall performance on the Realme 7i is significantly faster thanks to the switch to UFS 2.1. In other words, it’s like switching from a hard disk drive to a solid-state drive on a computer. The improvement can be felt from loading times and responsiveness of the phone.
Speaking of responsiveness, Realme 7i makes the jump to a 90Hz screen. Sure, the quality is pretty much the same as the previous two phones, but the faster screen refresh rate means a better touch response and speedy animations and transitions. The only thing that we don’t like is the fact that the Snapdragon 662 doesn’t support 4K video recording. You’re practically still stuck at 1080p.
On the flip end, the Realme 7i may just be the most affordable phone with a 64MP camera. Though it’s not the same Sony sensor that we really liked from Realme 7 Series, it’s still a huge sensor nonetheless.
Which is the Best Phone between Realme 5i, Realme 6i, and Realme 7i?
While Realme 7i is obviously the phone to buy, thanks to its fast screen, cheapest 64MP cameras, and speedy storage, we think Realme 6i is still a good buy if you’re looking to game on a budget, especially when you can get it at a sale price. As for the Realme 5i, you have to set your expectations right when it comes to its performance. But as a camera phone, it’s still a solid purchase considering its newest price tag.
If it’s our money, however, it’s either Realme 6i or Realme 7i, depending on how Realme prices the latter. But what about you? Which of the three is the best “i” phone?
|Specs||Realme 5i||Realme 6i||Realme 7i|
|Display||6.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD, Corning Gorilla Glass 3+||6.5″ HD+ IPS LCD, 20:9, teardrop notch, Gorilla Glass 3||6.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD 90Hz, pinhole cutout|
|Design||all-polycarbonate textured finish||splash resistant, all-polycarbonate frame||Gorilla Glass front, all-polycarbonate body|
|Dimensions and Weight||164.4 x 75 x 9.3 mm, 195g||164.4 x 75.x 9.0mm, 195g||164.1 x 75.5 x 8.9 mm, 188g|
|CPU/Chipset||Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver)
/ Qualcomm SDM665 Snapdragon 665 (11 nm)
|Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55) / Mediatek Helio G80 (12 nm)||Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver)
/ Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 (11 nm)
|GPU||Adreno 610||Mali-G52 MC2||Adreno 610|
|RAM||3GB||3GB/4GB||up to 8GB|
|Storage||64GB eMMC 5.1 expandable||64GB/128GB eMMC 5.1 expandable||128GB UFS 2.1 expandable|
|Connectivity & Ports||4G/LTE, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, microUSB, audio jack||LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi b/g/n, GPS, audio jack, USB-C||LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi ac, GPS, USB-C, audio jack|
|Security||face unlock, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner||face unlock, rear-mounted capacitive fingerprint scanner||face unlock, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner|
|Battery||5000mAh(10W)||5000mAh 18W fast charging||5000mAhmAh(18W)|
|Audio||mono speaker||mono speaker||mono speaker|
|OS||Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 10, Realme UI||Android 10 with Realme UI||Android 10 with Realme UI|
|Colors||Blue, Green||White Milk, Green Tea||Aurora Green, Polar Blue|
|Price||Php6,990||P7,990 and P9,990||RP3.099.000(~P10,000) excluding taxes and fees|
|Release Date||March 2020 (Philippines)||March 2020 (Myanmar), May 15, 2020 (Philippines)||September 19, 2020 (Indonesia)|