The Realme 1 is an Oppo powered smartphone that, at its price point (the 6GB RAM variant goes at ₹13,990) is clearly taking shots at the current budget-flagship smartphone, the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Well, naturally, I wanted to check whether the phone actually holds up against one of the most popular phones in the country right now. Since the Realme 1 is taking shots at the Redmi Note 5 Pro, we decided to literally take shots with the Realme 1, the Redmi Note 5 Pro, and I threw in the ZenFone Max Pro M1 into the mix just for the heck of it. Here are the results, check them out.
Note: The Realme 1 starts at ₹8,990 for the 3GB/32GB variant. We have the 6GB/128GB variant of the phone that costs ₹13,990. All of the phones feature the same specs, except for the RAM and storage, obviously.
Realme 1 Rear Camera Specs
The Realme 1 comes packing a decent-sounding 13MP rear camera with what Realme is calling ‘AI Shot’ technology, which I’m certain is all about post-processing the image to reduce noise, and basically make it look better – something that I won’t really mind as long as the results are good. In comparison, the Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with a dual 12MP + 5MP rear camera, and the ZenFone Max Pro M1 comes with a dual 13MP + 5MP camera on the back.
Daytime, Well-lit Shots:
The Realme 1 is a very awkward shooter. Some pictures turn out quite good, while others turn out weird. I’ll just let the pictures do the talking though, so check these pics out.
As you can see in this picture below, the Realme 1 actually performs just as well as the Redmi Note 5 Pro, in fact in some ways the color balance on the Realme 1 is even better than the other two smartphones.
However, in this second photo, it’s evident that the Realme 1 is poor at exposing back-lit subjects. The camera clearly tried exposing according to the BB-8 and ended up completely blowing the lights in the background. The Redmi Note 5 Pro performed really well here, with an amazing exposure, and even the ZenFone Max Pro M1 performed better than the Realme 1.
This third picture is an example of how the Realme 1 sometimes screws up the white balance in pictures as well. The pic from the Redmi Note 5 Pro is actually the closest when it comes to getting the white balance correct, and the ZenFone Max Pro M1 is a close second with just a slightly warmer tone. The Realme 1, however, has completely gone to a cooler shade giving the walls, posters, and everything else a greenish hue which I despise.
Low Light Shots:
I always had doubts about the Realme 1’s camera performance in low light conditions, and the Realme 1 does, in fact, have a below-par performance when it comes to shooting in low light conditions.
In this first shot, it’s quite evident that the Realme 1 has captured almost no detail. The picture is noisy, the subject isn’t in focus, and over all the picture is just bad. The Redmi Note 5 Pro has fared better here, capturing less light than the Realme 1 but turning out a better looking image in the end. The subject is in focus, and there’s a lot more detail than what we saw in the Realme 1. At first glance, the ZenFone Max Pro looks like it took a better picture than the Realme 1, but there’s a ton of noise in that shot. However, it did manage to focus on the subject a bit better than the Realme 1, so there’s that.
This second picture tells a different story. The Redmi Note 5 Pro has definitely captured more light than the Realme 1, and honestly, the picture looks better in the Redmi Note 5 Pro. However, if you look closely, the picture taken with the Realme 1 has a lot less noise than the one from the Redmi Note 5 Pro, and that’s surprising considering how bad it fared in the last pic we saw.
All three of these phones have portrait mode, which really surprised me, considering the Realme 1 has a single camera, and in its price range I didn’t really expect it to have a portrait mode, but it does, and it’s actually not that bad. However, it’s usually slightly worse than the Redmi Note 5 Pro.
Take this shot for example. The output from the Realme 1 is very close to that from the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Edge detection from both the phones is pretty much the same, and the only place I feel the Realme 1 lacks is the details on the face. The Realme 1 has clearly smoothed out the details. Surprisingly though, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 actually took the best shot of all here. There’s a lot of detail on the face, the edge detection is at par (if not better), and even the background isn’t over-blown.
This second picture tells a similar story. The Realme 1 has clearly tried to smoothen out the details a lot and it even messed up edge detection on the hair standing up. Again, edge detection is similar to the Redmi Note 5 Pro, and the ZenFone Max Pro M1 is yet again, the clear winner here as well, which is surprising considering it’s not even in the same price range as these two.
Realme 1 Front Camera Review
The Realme 1 comes with a single 8MP shooter on the front that fades away, at least on paper, when compared to the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s 20MP front camera with an LED flash. The ZenFone Max Pro, also comes with an 8MP shooter on the front.
Daytime, Well-lit Selfies
In daytime, the performance is as expected, the Realme 1 doesn’t disappoint with its front camera, and while on paper it’s a lot lower than the Redmi Note 5 Pro, the output images are usually on par with that of its biggest rival. The ZenFone Max Pro, which has found itself stuck with phones well over its price range, holds its own pretty well too.
In this picture, it’s easy to see that the Realme 1 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro have both taken pretty great selfies. While the Realme 1 does saturate colors a bit more than the Redmi Note 5 Pro, it’s clearly not over-saturated, and honestly, looks a tad better than the output from the Redmi Note 5 Pro here. The ZenFone Max Pro wasn’t able to gather as much light as either of these other two phones, but I applaud it for the way it has handled the background exposure in the shot.
The second image is pretty much the same as far as quality and exposure is concerned. Both the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Realme 1 are quite at-par when it comes to day time selfies with similar details, and a little post-processing saturation being added by the Realme 1.
Low Light Selfies
When it comes to low-light, the Redmi Note 5 Pro has a huge advantage over the Realme 1 and that’s the front LED flash. That said, I usually don’t use the front flash on the phone, and it’s still quite a lot better than the Realme 1’s front camera in low-light.
I took a selfie with the Realme 1, and honestly it turned out so bad I’m in no mood to click any more of these things. For the sake of this article though, I braved through some more of these terrible looking shots, all so you guys can check them out for yourself. Feast your eyes (or don’t, actually, it’s really bad).
The Realme 1 also comes with a portrait mode, and well, as good as the Realme 1’s rear camera was with portraits, the front portrait mode is just as bad. I mean, for some reason, it looks like the Realme 1 completely washes out the face itself. The Redmi Note 5 Pro fares a lot better, in comparison, and the ZenFone Max Pro M1 also completely screws up the photos.
Realme 1 Camera Review: A Pretty Decent Shot
All in all, the Realme 1 is a decent phone when it comes to taking pictures. The rear camera takes some pretty good pictures in good lighting conditions, but photos from the Realme 1 are usually a hit and miss idea. It’s not one of those phones that you can just click a picture with and know that it’ll turn out good. The Redmi Note 5 Pro, on the other hand, does perform a lot better than the Realme 1 and churns out better pictures for the most part. In low light, too, the Redmi Note 5 Pro beats the Realme 1, although neither of the phones are really good shooters in low-light.
While the Redmi Note 5 Pro beats the Realme 1 in most scenarios, Realme 1 does manages to beat the ZenFone Max Pro in various situations and even matches the Note 5 Pro at times. So, the 6GB variant of the Realme 1 at ₹13,990 might not compare well with the Redmi Note 5 Pro when it comes to the camera, the 3GB variant at ₹8,990 and the 4GB variant at ₹10,990, do pretty well, when compared to the competition at these price ranges.