Just last month, we saw the launch of the realme 7 and 7 Pro. And now, the realme 7i has joined the fray. Not entirely unexpected, since we had the realme 6i, which also showed up within this year. But what’s the sequel of the “i” series like? I had some time with the device, and here are my early impressions of it.
At a glance, the realme 7i looks quite like the other two models with the number seven in their name. The camera island is on the wider side of things, resembling the 7 Pro. And it has a reflective back, but unlike either the realme 7 or 7 Pro, the 7i has the line cutting through from one side to another, through the fingerprint sensor.
The sides on the back are also lightly curved, which makes for a comfortable grip in hand. And the large 5000mAh battery does allow for that to happen, too. But there’s something about the phone that may turn you off from doing that, which we’ll get to in a bit.
Back to comfort in hand, this is mostly the same even if you have the provided case on. And you may want to have it on more often than not, as the reflective back builds up its fingerprint collection very quickly.
And while we’re here, the phone comes with a quad-camera setup, consisting of a 64MP main shooter, an 8MP wide-angle lens, as well as a macro and a monochrome depth sensor of unspecified pixel count.
Like any other phone, the layout of the realme 7i should be familiar. You have the power button and the volume rocker on the right side. There is a slight indent around the buttons which looks pleasing, but doesn’t serve any other purpose beyond that. The USB-C charging port at the bottom, which is flanked by the speaker grille and the 3.5mm audio jack. That last one is good to see, especially when the company is pumping out so many phones within such a short period of time.
The screen in front is a 6.5-inch HD+ display, with a refresh rate going up to 90Hz. But oddly enough, it’s not something that’s being reflected in tests. Scrolling experience is also pretty inconsistent, despite setting the refresh rate to be fixed at 90Hz. The phone runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 chipset and 8GB of RAM, which makes it all the more perplexing.
On the top left corner of the screen is a 16MP front-facing camera, which actually looks pretty huge compared to other front-facing cameras. And then there’s the large earpiece as well. It looks large enough to also serve as a second speaker for that stereo sound. But unfortunately, it doesn’t do that despite looking that way.
The realme 7i is, at least on the surface, clearly a more affordable option to the other two models that came before it. That being said, it’s still very similar to the base realme 7. So if you can live without some of the features here, then the 7i may be the better pick.