Realme 7 5G Review: A Great 5G Phone That’s Also Affordable
right now, with devices like the Moto One 5G here in the US, and in markets like Europe and India with the OnePlus Nord. But while prices are dropping rapidly, corners are getting
cut — like we saw with the lack-luster £329 OnePlus Nord N10 5G. Enter
the £279 ($370) Realme 7 5G, a MediaTek Dimensity 800U-powered 5G
handset that punches way above its weight class, and gives its OnePlus
Nord N10 5G cousin a run for the money. Here’s our quick take on this sleeper alternative Android value phone.
Realme 7 5G Hardware And Design
to the OnePlus Nord N10 5G. Both companies fall under the BBK
Group umbrella (alongside Oppo and Vivo), and share technology and
resources. While these phones are very similar overall, the Realme
7 5G packs a Dimensity 800U (vs. Snapdragon 690), a 120Hz display
(vs. 90Hz), at 48MP main shooter (vs. 64MP), and a 5000mAh battery
Everything else is pretty much identical: there’s a 6.5-inch 1080p IPS
screen, 6GB RAM / 128GB of storage (plus microSD), and even 30W
fast charging. Where the Realme 7 5G really stands out is in terms
of design and, of course, value. Like the OnePlus Nord N10 5G, the
mid frame and back panel are made of plastic, and the display
features a punch hole in the top left corner, plus an obvious
chin. Even the camera pods are similar in shape and location.
distinctive Baltic Blue satin finish, a side-mounted capacitive
fingerprint sensor, and far less pronounced chin, the Realme 7 5G
looks and feels more modern and premium than the OnePlus Nord
N10 5G. It’s all in the details; like the Honor 8X-inspired band
bisecting the camera bump and splitting the rear surface
lengthwise into two visually contrasting areas that reflect light
We also like the landscape-oriented Realme brand. As we already
mentioned, the rear shooters — which include a 48MP main lens,
8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, and 2MP depth sensor — are mounted in a
rectangular glass pod in the top left corner alongside an LED
flash, just like many of today’s flagships. In front, there isn’t
much going on beyond the 16MP punch hole selfie camera, earpiece,
and chin (necessary for the IPS panel).
Along the sides, you’ll find the power/lock key on the right
(which doubles as a capacitive fingerprint sensor), the volume
rocker and SIM/microSD tray on the left, and the secondary mic on
top. There’s a headphone jack, primary mic, USB Type-C connector,
and mono speaker on the bottom. And speaking of cool design and
fun details, we’re particularly fond of the blue gradient along
the left and right edges — it’s a nice touch.
You can check out our unboxing video and then we’ll take a closer look at the goods…
|Processing And 5G||MediaTek
|Display||6.5″ FHD+ IPS, 2400×1080
|Storage||128GB UFS 2.1 + microSD
f/1.8 Main PDAF – 8MP f/2.3 119º Ultra-Wide – 2MP f/2.4
Macro – 2MP f/2.4 Depth
|Front-Facing Cameras||16MP f/2.1
4K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps, 1080p slow-mo
10 With Realme UI 1.0
|Dimensions||162.2 x 75.1 x 9.1mm|
|Connectivity||802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1+LE,
NFC, USB-C, LTE, 5G
|Pricing||Find the Realme 7 5G On Amazon, Starting at £279|
Realme 7 5G Display Quality
The Realme 7 5G boasts a 6.5-inch FHD+ IPS screen (2400 x 1080
pixels, 405ppi) with a 20:9 aspect ratio and a 120Hz refresh rate.
Bezels are slim all around, other than the chin at the bottom,
which (thankfully) isn’t massive. A punch hole in the top left
corner accommodates the selfie camera. It’s a beautiful display —
especially at this price point. Colors are vibrant, contrast is
great, viewing angles are fine, and it’s bright enough in direct
We do have one niggle, though, and that’s with the oleophobic
coating. This screen is a fingerprint magnet, and is difficult
to keep clean. It’s not something you’d expect on anything but
the most budget of handsets these days.
Realme 7 5G Camera Performance And Image Quality
to the OnePlus Nord N10 5G. It shares the same 8MP f/2.3
1.12-micron 119-degree ultrawide, 2MP f/2.4 macro (without AF),
2MP f/2.4 depth sensor / monochrome lens, and 16MP f/2.1
1.0-micron selfie camera. The main shooter pairs Samsung’s 48MP
0.8-micron S5KGM1ST sensor (instead of Omnivision’s 64MP
0.7-micron OV64B) with a f/1.8 lens (and no OIS).
pretty good. It supports 4-to-1 pixel binning for better low-light
performance, and outputs 12MP images by default. Photo modes
include night (main, ultrawide, selfie), portrait and panorama,
(main, selfie), manual and text (main, ultrawide), plus macro.
Video recording maxes out at 4k 30fps / 1080p 60fps (main shooter
only), and 1080p 30pfs (other cameras) — all stabilized.
Macro video isn’t available, but audio is always captured in
stereo. Video modes include manual (main shooter only, 1080p
30fps, 21:9), slow motion (main, 1080p 120fps / 720p 240fps), time
lapse (main, ultrawide, 1080p 30fps), and two super stable modes
(main, ultrawide, 1080p 30fps). The Realme 7 5G camera app is
similar to Oppo’s. It’s very intuitive, and we like that it
remembers the last mode selected.
The resulting pictures are quite lovely. Colors and exposure are
accurate, low light performance is decent, and night mode helps with
dynamic range. Selfies are often a bit soft, but that’s easy to fix
in post. Macro shots are lackluster — you’re better off zooming 2x
with the main camera. Videos are perfectly serviceable, though.
Overall, we’re satisfied with these shooters. The Realme 7 5G
certainly bests the OnePlus Nord N10 5G here.
Realme 7 5G Audio, Data And Call Reception
connectivity — despite bands n5 (850MHz) and n41 (2.5GHz) being listed in the
specs. In our tests, 4G LTE worked fine on T-Mobile and AT&T
here in San Francisco, but not on Verizon. The mono speaker is
loud and clear, and the headphone jack sounds clean. Both also
support Dolby Atmos, which is a welcome addition. In all, audio
performance is competent, but doesn’t stand out.
Realme 7 5G Performance And Battery Life
device with MediaTek’s Dimensity 800U 5G SoC and honestly, we’re
impressed. Based on a simple round of benchmarks, this chip slots
somewhere near Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765 and 765G. And indeed, the
Realme 7 5G feels pleasantly quick. Obviously, the 120Hz refresh
rate helps, but so does the optimized build of Android. Basically,
it handled everything we threw at it without skipping a beat.
Alongside the Dimensity 800U, the Realme 7 5G features 6GB of
LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage, plus microSD support.
The rest of the specs are rather standard — no surprises here.
You’ll find CAT18 LTE, WiFi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth 5.1 (LE), NFC,
A-GPS/ GLONASS / Beidou / Galileo positioning, and the usual
collection of sensors (proximity, ambient light, accelerometer,
gyroscope, and compass).
(Single-core) – 1765 (Multi-core)
|PCMark Work 2.0
|3DMark Slingshot Extreme
5000mAh cell just keeps on going, with upward of 9 hours of
screen-on time per charge, even on a busy day. Obviously, the
Dimensity 800U is efficient (7nm process built), and we only used 4G LTE
(not 5G). Still, you’d think that pegging the refresh rate to
120Hz would impact battery life a lot more. Ultimately, most folks
won’t have any trouble using this handset for a more than a full day’s use on a single charge.
Filling up is a breeze thanks to 30W Dart Charge (0-100% in 65
minutes) — with a compatible charger in the box. The capacitive
fingerprint sensor is fast and reliable, and haptics are better
than expected at this price point.
Realme 7 5G Software And User Experience
basically a lightweight version of Oppo’s ColorOS 7.1 that’s close
to OnePlus’ new OxygenOS 11. We’re generally not fans of skinned
Android, but Realme UI is pleasantly clean and responsive. The
launcher is close to stock, and includes the Google Discover feed.
Other than the rearranged settings menu, everything’s pretty much
where it’s supposed to be.
Moto’s Edge Touch. It lets you access your favorite apps and
tools via a menu that pops up when you swipe inward from the
“pill” located on the right edge of the screen. There’s also a
game mode/launcher called Game Space that does exactly what
you’d expect. In all, Realme UI provides a speedy and friendly
user experience without sacrificing customization.
Realme 7 5G Review Summary
We’re not going to mince words. The Realme 7 5G is surprisingly
well rounded, and for £279 ($370), it’s a really great 5G phone.
Beyond the impressive value, it delivers excellent design, a
lovely 120Hz display, respectable cameras, solid performance, and
great battery life. Its polished software is just the icing on
the cake. Sure, we’d have liked better (stereo) speakers and
better US band support, but these are minor quibbles.
OnePlus here. The Realme 7 5G is exactly what the OnePlus Nord N10 5G should have been. It’s the better handset, and it’s more
affordable. Maybe that’s the point? As OnePlus matures and becomes
more like Oppo, Realme is swooping in and filling the void. If you
live in Europe and are looking for an affordable 5G phone, the
Realme 7 5G won’t let you down.
Alternatively, consider Xiaomi’s Mi 10T Lite (£229/64GB,
£299/128GB). It’s bigger and comes with a 64MP main shooter. Here
in the US, Google’s Pixel 4a ($349) is smaller and lacks 5G, but
offers superb imaging performance and an OLED screen.