Realme, for some of you, might sound like a new name. I'm sure it sounds even weirder to think that soon you'll most likely find yourself with one of these smartphones in your pocket. It may sound absurd to you, but it's not. Do you remember where Xiaomi was just two years ago?
Realme to conquer Europe with a clear objective
You've heard this speech before but Realme, like Xiaomi, is the next big Chinese brand to conquer Europe. It focuses on a young audience by offering devices in line with current trends, from the design side, features and technical specifications, at an affordable price. It is a brand that focuses on its community of fans and wants to be a hit in Europe. The reason? Competition in China is really tough and the European market is an opportunity that cannot be overlooked.
Realme recorded 17 million users worldwide in October 2019 and growth of 848% in one year
Realme is tied to Oppo a bit like Honor is close to Huawei. The brand has been independent since 2018 but relies on Oppo in terms of technology and functionality, and it's not by chance Realme smartphones offer the ColorOS interface. Realme is a young company in the hands of former Oppo executives and a team that wants to focus on the real needs of its users. And it seems to be working.
On May 15, 2018, the brand announced its first smartphone in India and in a short time has reached more than 20 markets concentrating mainly in Asia. Realme is now landing in Europe with its headquarters in Spain. A remarkable success achieved in a short time with 17 million users worldwide registered in October 2019 and a growth of 848% in one year. The real test for Realme will come now that the Realme 5 Pro, X2 and X2 Pro are actually available on the market. Will they be able to win over European users?
Well-equipped smartphones at incredible prices
The premises are excellent, especially when you look at X2 Pro: a Snapdragon 855 Plus, four rear cameras, SuperVooc fast charging, a headphone jack, an integrated fingerprint reader under the AMOLED screen that offers a refresh rate of 90Hz present only on smartphones dedicated to gaming and the recent OnePlus 7 series.
Enabling users to use the latest technologies available on the market is the philosophy of the brand
Realme offers its top-of-the-range phones at a frighteningly competitive price (€399 6GB/64GB / €449 8GB/128GB / €499 12GB/256GB) and from the spec sheet you can see that the compromises made are very few. You won't find the IP68 certification but as Levi Lee, head of the European department, pointed out to our microphones, it's not what users are asking out loud: "We preferred to offer a 90Hz display because it's something that users find themselves using daily," he said. The consumption of multimedia content is a priority nowadays.
What about the updates? Android 10 will arrive soon on Realme X2Pro and it was Levi Lee who confirmed it to us specifying that the brand is focused on the user experience and that the new Chinese flagship will update to the latest Android version and will receive updates over the next two years, including security patches.
Realme and the competition
Considering the brand's strategy and the target on which it focuses, it is easy to see that Xiaomi is probably Realme's number one rival in Europe. Both of them focus on a young audience, on the concept of community, and want to make well made and well-equipped devices accessible to all (think of Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro which costs £399).
Honor also approaches the same target of Realme and Xiaomi but at the moment, following the ban form the United States, the situation for the brand is not very clear, much less for customers. The unpleasant situation for Honor could give a boost to both Xiaomi and Realme, especially if the latter opens physical stores in Europe that will allow it to give more visibility and to create a stronger bond with users.
Xiaomi is probably Realme's number one rival
If you look at the Realme X2 Pro there are many similarities in terms of technical data sheet with the new OnePlus 7T and its variant Pro. But there is also a significant difference, the price. The Realme flagship is cheaper and is perhaps the real flagship killer of this year.
The future with Realme: 5G, IoT and physical stores
Levi Lee also spoke about the future of the brand in Europe: we can expect a 5G smartphone soon. We don't know exactly when, but the Chinese manufacturer is considering an imminent release. Realme is also investing in several sectors including the IoT. During our interview, we did not receive further details on when new connected devices from Realme will be released in Europe, but they are coming.
Realme currently sells its devices online, both on Amazon and on its official website, but in India has already opened a real physical store. When asked if we can expect the opening of physical stores in Europe, Levi Lee did not want to make any statement but his smile suggests that they will come. In short, all we have to do is wait and see how Realme will meet European users in the face of fierce competition. In the meantime, I suggest you take a closer look at the devices, because they are really promising!