After having reviewed the Realme 7, it's time to turn our attention to the more premium model in this new series, the Realme 7 Pro. It's the spiritual successor to the Realme 6 Pro (Review), and unlike the Realme 7, it boasts of some big upgrades over its predecessor. The most notable ones are the use of an AMOLED display, stereo speakers, and 65W fast charging, which sounds very impressive.
The Realme 7 Pro starts at Rs. 19,999, which is quite a bit higher than the price that the 6 Pro launched at. Its main rivals right now include the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max (Review) and the Poco X2 (Review), and to some extent, higher the variant could compete with the Redmi K20 (Review) and Oppo F17 Pro. It's time to find out if the new Realme 7 Pro is worth buying.
The Realme 7 Pro features the same mirror-split design on its back as the Realme 7, but it's a lot slimmer (8.7mm) and lighter (182g), even compared to the Realme 6 Pro. This makes it a lot more comfortable to hold and use. The frame and back panel are still made of plastic, but the quality is very good and the phone feels sturdy overall. The matte finish for the back means it doesn't pick up fingerprints easily, and the Mirror Blue unit that I have looks good. The phone is also available in white.
The buttons are ergonomically placed around the phone, and at the bottom, you get the standard headphone jack, USB Type-C port and speaker. The first big feature to note is the display. It's slightly smaller compared to the one on the 6 Pro at 6.4 inches, but it's a Super AMOLED panel with a full-HD+ resolution. Realme also mentions the use of Corning Gorilla Glass, although it doesn't specify the version. The display is bright, colours are rich, and thanks to this type of panel, the 7 Pro has an always-on display mode and an in-display fingerprint sensor. The latter worked well in my experience, and face recognition was equally quick.
Sadly, this phone ditches one big feature from the Realme 6 Pro, and that's a high screen refresh rate. The Realme 7 Pro has to make do with a 60Hz display, which is a little disappointing. I don't think it's a deal breaker, but considering that its predecessor had a 90Hz display and so does its lower priced sibling, the Realme 7, it feels a little incomplete. There's no HDR10 certification either, which is a big bummer considering lower-priced phones such as the Motorola One Fusion+ (Review) do offer this.
In the box, you can expect the usual accessories, plus the 65W SuperDart fast charger.
The Realme 7 Pro performed well in the time I spent with it and I'm not surprised, as it features the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G SoC as the 6 Pro. It's still a good chip; it's power efficient and doesn't heat up much even when stressed. The base variant of the 7 Pro has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and is priced at Rs. 19,999, while the higher priced one has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for Rs. 21,999. I have the latter with me for review. The RAM and storage are LPDDR4X and UFS 2.1 respectively. Realme also claims that the 7 Pro is the first smartphone to pass TUV Rheinland's Smartphone Reliability Verification tests.
Realme UI ran pretty smoothly on the top-end variant that I had. The phone never missed a beat, whether I was launching an app, switching between multiple apps, or playing a heavy game. The lack of a high refresh rate felt a little jarring to me, but that could be because I have just recently tested a number of phones with 90Hz screens.
The Super AMOLED display was great for watching videos on, and this experience was enhanced by the stereo speakers. The stereo effect is good, as the earpiece gets almost as loud as the bottom-firing speaker, and Dolby Atmos helps boost the volume and audio fidelity. Games ran pretty well too. Colourful titles such as Super Clone looked great and even heavier ones such as Battle Prime ran smoothly at the highest in-game quality settings.
There's a 4,500mAh battery in the Realme 7 Pro, which on average easily lasted for more than one day starting on a full charge. Our HD video loop test also showed promising results, with the phone lasting a little over 22 hours. It takes barely any time to fully charge it too, thanks to the 65W fast charging adapter. In my tests, the 7 Pro's battery charged up to 87 percent in half an hour, and took only another 10 minutes or so to reach 100 percent.
The rear cameras on the Realme 7 Pro are similar to those of the Realme 7. These are a 64-megapixel Sony IMX682 main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, a 2-megapixel depth camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. For selfies, there's a single 32-megapixel camera with a rather narrow f/2.5 aperture. Compared to the Realme 6 Pro, the 7 Pro misses out on the ultra wide-angle selfie camera and the rear telephoto camera. Realme claims that the new 64-megapixel primary camera should offer similar if not better clarity compared to a 2x optical telephoto camera.
Let's test this claim against Realme's own 6 Pro. In the first shot, we focused on this tree, a large object at a distance. If we zoom in to examine both photos, the Realme 7 Pro produced very similar details compared to the photo taken using the telephoto camera on the 6 Pro. Using 2x digital zoom on the 7 Pro, the result was pretty decent, but the 6 Pro's telephoto camera did still produce slightly better details and smoother depth of field. However, the differences were very minor. The bottom line is if you want to take good zoomed-in shots with the 7 Pro, it's best to shoot a 64-megapixel photo and then magnify and crop it later.
Regular photos taken in daylight generally looked good. HDR was handled well, details were good, and colours looked natural. The same was true for close-ups, which had a smooth, natural background blur. The ultra wide-angle camera didn't produce the best details, and in daylight, I noticed some very apparent chromatic aberration in landscape shots.
Portrait shots were handled well, with good edge detection and pleasing background blur. The macro camera was alright and it could produce some decent images if I was steady enough.
Low-light photos were decent, without much visible grain, and details were fairly good even in darker regions. You can brighten things up by using Night mode, which makes a big difference. The Realme 7 Pro features all the extra Night mode enhancements that we first saw in the Realme X3 SuperZoom, including Starry mode and Pro Night mode. The 7 Pro also gets some new filters for Night mode, such as Modern Gold, Cyberpunk and Flamingo. Each filter applies its own distinct colour scheme, which creates some interesting effects. It's similar to the filters we saw on Vivo's X50 series. The ultra wide-angle camera doesn't produce very good results in low light.
The front camera captured detailed selfies during the day, at its the native 32-megapixel resolution. Portrait mode also worked well. The selfie camera's HDR capabilities were equally impressive, and it managed to properly expose brightly lit backgrounds without losing detail on the subject's face. Selfies taken indoors under good artificial light also looked good. However, in very low-light conditions, details take a hit.
The Realme 7 Pro can record videos at up to 4K 30fps, with electronic stabilisation. The quality is decent and there's only a mild shimmer due to the stabilisation when moving about. The Ultra Steady mode helps fix this, but keep in mind that it heavily crops the frame, and the quality is a bit lower. Videos shot in low light don't look very good, with relatively poor details and visible grain. However, Realme has added an Ultra Night mode for video which bumps up the exposure. This can make a big difference when trying to capture footage in dark environments.
All things considered, I think Realme has done a fairly good job in crafting the 7 Pro. It brings some meaningful upgrades to the Realme 6 Pro in the form of an AMOLED screen, stereo speakers, and much faster charging. The primary rear camera has improved, thanks to the new sensor, but overall, I think all the cameras in general could still do better in low light. I'm not sure if ditching the ultra wide-angle selfie camera was the best move, as unlike a depth camera, it could actually be pretty useful.
Looking at the competition in this segment, I don't think the Realme 7 Pro is a clear-cut winner. It's hard to ignore the good value offered by the Motorola One Fusion+, which has a pop-up selfie camera, a slightly faster SoC, and a HDR10-certified display. Poco is also gearing up to launch the Poco X3, and Samsung will soon launch the Galaxy M51, both of which should fall in the Realme 7 Pro's price territory and make things a lot more interesting.
Is this the end of the Samsung Galaxy Note series as we know it? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.