Realme 6i First Impressions: A more affordable Realme 6

The Realme 6 was a great mid-range smartphone and was very aggressively priced. However, since the price hike caused by the GST rate hike in India, it costs a bit more than it used to.  This resulted in not a lot of phones being available in the Rs 10,000 to Rs 14,000 segments. This is exactly the price point Realme wanted to hit and instead of making a completely new phone, we have what is pretty much a more affordable version of the Realme 6. Enter the Realme 6i, the same mid-range phone, which selectively cuts down the costs and comes as a cheaper alternative with the same power.

The Realme 6i is priced at Rs 12,999 for the 4GB/64GB variant and Rs 14,999 for the 6/64GB variant. The pricing places the phone aggressively amongst competition like the recently launched Redmi Note 9. The company will be selling the phone on the Realme website and Flipkart starting July 31.

Watch: Redmi Note 9 Overview: Price, specs features and availability

Realme 6i: What’s in the box?

The Realme 6i comes with a transparent silicone case, a SIM ejector tool, a few documents, a 20W fast charger, and a USB Type-A to Type-C data cable. We have the Eclipse Black variant of the Realme 6i with us for review.

Display, Design

The Realme 6i retains the punch-hole front-facing camera, which still is on the top left corner. The familiar narrow bezel design with a slight chin is still here. Amidst this and the curvy corners is the 6.5-inch LCD display panel. The screen here supports 90Hz refresh rate, just like Realme 6, and also has an auto switch functionality that will let the phone automatically toggle between the default 60Hz and higher 90Hz refresh rate as and when required. From the very first screen, transitions and animations appear super-smooth. There is also Corning Gorilla Glass protection to protect the screen from small scratches.

You get a rather simple back on this phone, which on the black variant at least, is glossy and hence will attract fingerprints and smudges every chance it gets. The rest of the Realme 6i’s design closely resembles the Realme 6 including the side-mounted fingerprint sensor on the power button. In fact, it is nearly impossible to tell the two phones apart by just looking at them. The plastic back doesn’t look very promising but we shall test it more soon. There is a vertical ‘Realme branding’ on the bottom left of the device, while the quad-camera layout goes on the top left. Realme’s signature yellow accent on the camera module makes it here as well.

Meanwhile, the button placement is still following the standard template. The power button/fingerprint scanner is on the right and the volume rocker is on the left, below the SIM tray. There is a 3.5mm port, primary microphone, and a USB Type-C port on the bottom of the phone while the top goes clean.

Under the hood

Powering the Realme 6i is a MediaTek Helio G90T chipset. This is a gaming-oriented processor, which we also saw on phones like the Realme 6 and the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The G90T will be one of the standout points of this phone since Realme did not change the processor while toning down the Realme 6. The 6i will be available in two variants. The first comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage while the higher end variant features 6GB RAM and 64GB storage. There is also a dedicated memory card slot which can take an additional 256GB storage.

Realme 6i Battery

The phone also has a 4,300mAh battery with support for 30W charging. While 30W fast charging is supported, Realme chose to include only a 20W charger with the box. This likely helped the brand cut down costs without compromising much on the phone’s specifications. The brand claims the phone can get a full charge in 55 minutes. We will be testing out the battery capabilities as well as the charging time in our tests to know more.

Realme 6i: First Impressions

Right from the moment we held the Realme 6i in our hands, the feeling of a ‘new’ device was missing. However, it is also clear that this has been Realme’s intentional approach with the 6i. The whole point of the phone is to be as close to the elder Realme 6 while costing less. Hence, while storage options are limited, elements like the processor have been kept unchanged. We also see cost-cutting measures being taken on elements like the charger and the simple back design. that will likely not hamper the core performance. This balance between what to replace and what to keep from the Realme 6 (which starts at Rs 14,999) will be the judge of whether the Realme 6i is worth your money for Rs 12,999. Stay tuned for our full review of the phone before you decide if the Realme 6i should be your next phone.


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