Realme 10 review: an attractive offering for its price

Here's my take on Realme's new budget smartphone - the Realme 10

Review Summary

Expert Rating3.5/5

Design
★★★★★
★★★★★
Display
★★★★★
★★★★★
Software
★★★★★
★★★★★
Camera
★★★★★
★★★★★
Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
Battery
★★★★★
★★★★★

Pros

  • Eye-catching design
  • Nice and bright AMOLED screen
  • Stable performance
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Dated software
  • Lowlight photography needs improvement
  • No stereo speakers
  • No ultrawide lens

The Realme 10 landed on my desk a few days ago, and I have been using it as my daily driver ever since. The handset is the first budget offering from Realme in 2023 and brings a lot to the table. To give you an overview, the Realme 10 ships with MediaTek Helio G99 SoC, a 90Hz refresh rate AMOLED screen, 50MP dual-rear cameras, and a 5,000mAh battery. I decided to take the handset for a spin. Read on to find out how well it performed in this Realme 10 review.

Verdict

The Realme 10 is a capable budget smartphone for casual gamers and entertainment lovers alike. The handset comes with a lovely screen and acceptable performance. The phone’s battery life also matches its performance, while its design is eye-catching. It is the software and cameras that will leave you wanting more.

The lowdown

  • Looking at the Realme 10 reminds you of the common textbook phrase, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The handset shares a striking resemblance to last year’s Realme 9i 5G (review) and Realme C33 (review). However, a few changes have been made that are enough to confirm that this is a new smartphone altogether, and indeed it is. The handset is available in two colour choices: Clash White and Rush Black. I was sent the Realme 10 review unit in Clash White, which looks subtle. The colour also does a good job of hiding fingerprints and smudges from the polycarbonate glass slapped on the phone’s back panel. Speaking of which, the back panel comes with a ‘Light Particle’ design, which exudes a sparkly finish and corrugated light effect when light hits the surface. This makes the device quite appealing.
  • Besides this, the Realme 10 looks similar to its siblings. The phone has no separate camera module sticking out from the back panel. The rear sensors sit flush with the device’s chassis. The handset sports flat edges, which makes the device comfortable to wield. Realme claims that the smartphone is its slimmest offering for the global market. The Realme 10 comes in at 7.95mm in thickness. The handset also weighs just 178 grams. This makes the device easy to use for long gaming sessions and binge-watching. As for I/O, the phone sports a USB Type-C port along with a speaker grille and a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom edge. The volume rocker and power button-cum fingerprint scanner are on the right spine of the phone, while the left houses the SIM ejector tray with a dedicated slot for a microSD card.
  • The Realme 10 display compliments the design. The handset sports a 6.4-inch panel of AMOLED variety that bears 90Hz refresh rate, FHD+ resolution, and up to 1,000nits brightness. I had some trouble reading the content while playing games under direct sunlight. But, otherwise, the screen is as good as it gets. The colours look punchy, sharp, and vibrant in their default settings, while the high 4 million to one contrast ratio offers deep blacks and impressive picture quality. High-res video content from streaming platforms such as Netflix and Disney Plus looks excellent on this Widevine L1-certified display. That said, the phone’s bezels are not razer thin. They are quite noticeable, and so is the chin and punch-hole setup for the selfie camera. Be that as it may, the handset offers an immersive viewing experience and decent viewing angles.
  • Under the hood, the Realme 10 is powered by the octa-core MediaTek Helio G99 SoC, which is paired with a 4G modem. For the unaware, this isn’t a brand-new chipset. It has been around for months now and can be found on several affordable and mid-range smartphones. On the Realme 10, the chipset does well to keep up with my usage and handles pretty much every basic task thrown at it. I also tested the phone with multi-tasking and some graphically-demanding games such as Free Fire Max, and the device did well to handle almost half an hour of intense usage. Post that, there was a slight performance drop, but I was still able to use the handset for basic tasks such as watching videos, sending messages, and checking work-related emails with ease. I didn’t notice any spike in the device’s thermals during my usage, but I was in Delhi-NCR where the temperature remained well under 20 degrees Celsius. Here are Realme 10’s benchmarking scores:
  • The Realme is equipped with 4GB / 8GB of RAM, which can run quite a few apps in the background. The RAM can further be expanded up to 8GB with dynamic RAM, which uses a portion of the phone’s storage. The handset has 64GB / 128GB storage onboard, which is further expandable up to 1TB using a microSD card.
  • Coming to the optics, the Realme 10 sports a 50MP + 2MP B&W dual-camera setup at the back. The 50MP primary sensor has a 77-degree field-of-view and f/1.8 aperture. The images from the sensor are saved in 12.5MP resolution by default. The daylight shots from the sensor are simply outstanding. The images have plenty of details with good contrast and dynamic range, while the colours look punchy and lively. The HDR does well not to oversharpen the highlights, but the AI mode greatly boosts colour saturation. That said, the phone has the option to turn the AI mode on or off, as per your liking. The camera offers 2x zoom, but the results aren’t lossless.
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  • The 2MP lens, which is used as a depth sensor when shooting portraits with the main camera, offers sharp images with good edge detection and a bokeh effect in a well-lit environment. Night mode is available on the Realme 10, but it only works with the main camera. The mode kicks in automatically when there is low light – the handset also has a toggle in the camera layout for the same, and reduces noise. However, the clarity goes for a toss as the night mode smoothens the details. Be that as it may, the night mode results are still better than clicking the photos with regular mode when the sun goes down. The Realme 10 packs a 16MP snapper in the punch-hole up front for selfies and video calling. The camera captures decent selfies when the sun is out. The skin tone looks accurate, while facial detailing is acceptable for its class.
  • The Realme 10 rocks a 5,000mAh battery, which can easily last a day between charges. Speaking of which, the handset supports 33W SuperVooc fast charging that can juice up a dead battery to 100 percent in a little more than an hour. Software-wise, the Realme 10 feels a bit dated. Unlike its Pro+ sibling, the handset runs Android 12-based Realme UI 3.0 out of the box instead of Realme 4.0 which runs atop Android 13, and at the time of writing this review, had November’s security patch. However, the things that bugged me the most were bloatware and push notifications. I accidentally opened some pre-installed video-sharing app and I was swarmed with notifications. Good thing though, some of the pre-installed apps, if not all, are removable post the phone’s setup. As for the software features, there isn’t anything different to report. The phone comes with pretty much the same features that were there on Realme smartphones throughout last year. The handset offers Flexible windows, one-handed mode, dark mode, new Always-on-display customisations, and Simple Mode, which brings all the utility apps to the front and shuts off access to unnecessary apps, among other things. The bottom line is, those who love customising their smartphones will find the Realme UI 3.0 software features right up their alley.
  • Moving on, the Realme 10 comes with 4G LTE dual SIM connectivity, which worked well for me on Faridabad’s Airtel network. The phone packs an ultrabook speaker, which is paired with high-res audio and offers up to 200 percent maximum volume. The phone is definitely loud, but the quality goes for a toss. It would be better to listen to songs at 160 or 180 percent volume. Lastly, the phone has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, which isn’t super fast but gets the job done with a fraction of a second delay.

Final verdict

The Realme 10 price in India is set at Rs 13,999 for the 4GB RAM variant, while the 8GB RAM option costs Rs 16,999. For those unaware, it is a 4G smartphone, which means the Realme 10 is not compatible with the new 5G network. If 5G is what you are after, check out the Realme 9i 5G (review) or Infinix Hot 20 5G (review) smartphone. Both of them are currently selling in India at Rs 14,999.

However, for a sub-Rs 14,000 price tag, the Realme 10 appears to be a solid option despite a few shortcomings. Had it offered the latest software and better camera hardware, the Realme 10 would have been the device to beat in the segment. However, the phone delivers in aspects like offering stable performance, a vivid display, long battery life, and a lightweight, attractive design. The Realme smartphone also packs the fan-favourite audio jack, NFC, and a dedicated slot for a microSD card. 

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros

  • Eye-catching design
  • Nice and bright AMOLED screen
  • Stable performance
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Dated software
  • Lowlight photography needs improvement
  • No stereo speakers
  • No ultrawide lens

Key Specs

realme 10
RAM4 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Helio G99
Rear Camera50 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera16 MP
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.4 inches (16.26 cm)
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realme 10 Price
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Rs. 15,499.00
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