Realme 10 Review: A Good Ol’ Budget Phone
The biggest gripe that I had with last year’s Realme 9 was its performance. I was really fond of the phone for its aesthetics, display, camera, and even battery life. Thus, when Realme started teasing this whole terminator thing I was really excited that they finally listened. But I had my skepticism too. It was already hard to find a perfect budget smartphone and in 2023 brands are looking for more ways to bring the cost down to fight the growing inflation. Fortunately for you, I have been using the Realme 10 for over a month now and I will guide you through all the ins and outs of the phone in this detailed review.
But before we begin the review, let’s quickly look at the official specifications of Realme 10.
Realme 10 Specifications:
- Body: 73.3 x 159.9 x 7.95mm, 178gm, Plastic back/frames
- Display: 6.4-inch Super AMOLED, 90Hz refresh rate, 360Hz touch sampling rate, 1000 nits peak brightness
- Resolution: FHD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels), 20:9 aspect ratio
- Chipset: MediaTek Helio G99 4G (6nm Mobile Platform)
- Memory: 4/6GB RAM
- Storage: 64/128GB UFS 2.2 storage
- Software & UI: Realme UI 3.0 on top of Android 12
- Rear Camera: Triple (50MP primary, 2MP depth, 2MP macro)
- Front Camera: 16MP (punch-hole)
- Audio: Single speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Security: side-mounted fingerprint sensor
- Battery: 5000mAh with 33W SuperVOOC charging
- Price in Nepal: N/A (Starts at INR 13,999 in India)
- Check out the full specifications here.
Realme 10 Review:
- Octa-core MediaTek Helio G99 4G SoC (6nm)
- 6/8GB RAM, 128/256GB UFS 2.2 storage (expandable)
Let me begin with the performance—after all, it is the one aspect Realme has improved massively coming from the last gen. While we could not emulate the claimed 290,000 Antutu score and the resulting 40% performance improvement, we did get pretty close though.
|Realme 9 (Snapdragon 680)||Realme 10 (Claimed)||Realme 10 (Tested)|
When it comes to gaming, this generation-to-generation improvement is quite noticeable. In PUBG: Mobile, for example, even with Smooth graphics, Relame 9 was limited to 30fps. However, the Realme 10 now supports 40fps at Balanced graphics.
It also supports 60fps gameplay on Call of Duty Mobile—in multiplayer mode, that is. Sadly, I could not test the 60fps on Wild Rifit claim by Realme since the game is still in early access. But I did play the Mech Arena which was giving me around 80 fps on average with graphics set to high.
Moving on to higher-end games like Genshin Impact, the phone struggles even at the lowest graphics setting, resulting in frequent jitters and lags. But this is to be expected of a budget phone after all.
- Realme UI 3.0 based on Android 12
- TÜV SÜD 36-Month Fluency Rating
The raw power of the MediaTek Helio G99 is well complemented by Realme’s software. The only two complaints I have here are the older Android 12 and the pre-installed bloatware— which are again common traits that we find in budget phones like this. That aside, from social media to gaming, Realme 10 handles everything you throw at it.
You can even low-key multi-task on this phone — just don’t expect to glide smoothly through 18 different apps as implied by the company. I actually tried it but a few of the apps out of the 10 that I tested required refreshing. And this was with 8GB of extended RAM enabled.
Realme also promises TUV SUD-certified 36-month fluency experience. Although I have not noticed any lags and stutters in my month’s usage, you should take it with a grain of salt like the multitasking claim.
Navigating through the system UI and apps is fluid thanks to the 90Hz refresh rate. The phone even dials back to 60Hz while displaying video content which makes the auto-select mode kind of redundant.
Design and Display
- 73.3 x 159.9 x 7.95mm, 178gm
- Plastic back/frames
- 6.4-inch FHD sAMOLED
- 90Hz/360Hz refresh/touch sampling rate
Moving on the display hardware is pretty much the same as the one I praised last year. You get a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel with vibrant colors, deep contrast, and wide viewing angles. There is even Wideview L1 certification so binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix won’t be a problem.
Realme 10 has a down-firing speaker that can get very loud with the new 200% Ultra volume mode. But loudness can not compensate for the stereo effect of the dual speaker. So, I recommend getting a good pair of earbuds for the best audio experience.
There is even a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom next to the speaker and charging port if you like going old school. The top has the secondary mic and nothing else and the volume rockers and power button are on the right. The latter also doubles as a fingerprint scanner and it’s both fast and accurate.
As expected of a budget phone, Realme 10 sports an all-plastic build. The frames are flat and offer a secure grip. Overall the design is quite handy and you will not have a problem carrying it around in your pocket. This Clash White variant is eye candy too. I really like this glittery finish and as you can see the shiny effect shifts with the direct sunlight.
- Triple camera setup at the back
- (50MP main, 2MP depth, 2MP macro)
- 16MP selfie camera (hole-punch cutout)
There is no dedicated camera island this year and the two sensors stick directly out of the rear panel. Realme has gotten rid of the ultrawide camera as a cost-cutting measure and we are left with a gimmicky 2MP depth sensor accompanying the primary camera.
Even the 50MP primary camera is a massive change from last year’s 108MP shooter. Since the sensor size is reduced, Realme 10 resorts to artificial sharpening to make photos look detailed.
There are times the phone goes overboard with it and you get over-processed photos like this.
But you can get decent images under proper lighting conditions.
I personally like the close-up shots that I took with this phone.
Realme 10 suffers significantly under low light. Normal nighttime images are blurry and full of noise. Switching to the dedicated night mode fixes these issues to an extent but the details are still lacking.
The portraits are pleasant to the eyes though you can notice imperfect edge detection on some.
I would say similar things about selfies from the 16MP front camera. The facial tone looks a bit washed but the overall output looks okay-ish.
As for videos, you can record up to 1080p 60fps videos with the Realme 10. But since it lacks any kind of stabilization the output is unremarkable.
Battery and Charging
- 5,000mAh battery, 33W SuperVOOC charging
- 0-100% in 75 minutes
Finally, let’s talk about battery life. Realme 10 packs a 5,000mAh battery that can easily get through a day. If you aren’t an avid user you can even extend it to 2 days. Likewise, it supports 33W fast charging and the included SuperVOOC charger can take the phone from 0 to 100% in just 75 minutes.
Realme 10 Review: Conclusion
To summarize this review, Realme 10 offers an excellent all-around experience for a starting price of INR 13,999. If you compare it with the last-gen Realme 9, it feels like a boring successor. But if you think about it this “Don’t fix it if it’s not broken” approach is actually what makes this stand out in the market.
Competitions like the new Redmi Note and Galaxy A series have gone big on 5G hype which has shot the price up. Up until last year, we used to compare Realme’s number series with Redmi’s Note but the price difference is too high this year it does not make sense anymore.
So, if you are looking for a good reliable budget phone and don’t really care about 5G, Realme 10 is the way to go. It does have its shortcoming, say the camera, but there are not many brands in the sub 15K segment for competition.
Realme 10 Review: Pros and Cons
- Eye-catching design
- Vibrant sAMOLED screen
- Reliable performance
- Decent battery life
- No stereo speakers
- Downgraded cameras
- Stuck on Android 12