Realme P1 5G review: a budget-friendly powerhouse

Review Summary

Expert Rating
7.5/10

Design
★  
7.5
/10
Display
★  
8.0
/10
Software
★  
7.0
/10
Camera
★  
7.0
/10
Performance
★  
8.0
/10
Battery
★  
7.5
/10

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Good daylight cameras
  • Vibrant AMOLED display with good stereo speakers
  • Respectable battery life

Cons

  • Low-light photography could be better
  • Ads and pre-loaded apps

April has been an eventful month for Realme, with multiple new launches gracing the market. The brand has now revealed a new P-series smartphone lineup, which is geared towards performance. The Realme P1 5G is the entry-level smartphone in the new series, starting at Rs 15,999 in India. The phone comes equipped with hardware that helps it punch above its segment, including the MediaTek Dimensity 7050 SoC paired with UFS 3.1 storage and LPDDR4X RAM. For visuals, it features a full HD+ Super AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and a high peak brightness level of 2,000 nits. While these specifications definitely make the smartphone sound quite appealing, how does it hold up when it comes to real-world performance? Does the smartphone deliver on what it promises? Find out in my Realme P1 5G review below:

Verdict

The Realme P1 5G shines in the performance department, making it a top pick for gamers and power users on a budget. In addition to its performance, the device also impresses on multiple fronts, such as its 120Hz AMOLED display, a good stereo speaker setup, respectable battery life and good daylight cameras. The software experience and low-light photography, however, might not meet everyone’s expectations.

Design

The Realme P1 5G doesn’t stray too far off in terms of design compared to its Realme 12 series siblings; the camera module still resembles a watch face, but this time around there’s no zip pattern running across the middle of the rear panel. I received the Phoenix Red variant, which features a rear panel sporting what Realme calls “feather texture,” with feather-like strokes spanning across the entirety of the posterior. The device is also available in Peacock Green, which rocks a similar design but in a green hue. The feather-like patterns are lustrous and glisten when exposed to direct light, which adds to the overall appeal.

Realme P1 5G review

The smartphone is sleek and quite comfortable to hold, weighing just 188g. The right edge houses the volume and power buttons and you can find the 3.5mm jack and a speaker placed on the top. The bottom has the Type-C port, along with the speaker grille and SIM card tray.

Display

The display is one of the standout features of the Realme P1 5G. The smartphone features a 6.67-inch AMOLED panel with a refresh rate of 120Hz, 100 percent P3 colour gamut, and peak brightness levels of 2000nits. For its price, the inclusion of an AMOLED panel elevates the visual experience on the P1 to new heights. The display is also very bright and offers great visibility both indoors and outdoors.

Realme P1 5G review

In extremely bright light, at noon, for example, the display remains legible, and it’s not challenging to see what’s happening on the screen. The in-display fingerprint scanner is very responsive and swiftly unlocks the phone. The stereo speakers are sufficiently loud and further enhance the multimedia experience. You can access most of the TWS settings from the Bluetooth panel itself if you are using a Realme TWS device.

Cameras

For optics, the Realme P1 5G uses a 50MP Samsung JN1 sensor with an aperture size of f/1.8 paired with a 2MP B&W lens with an aperture size of f/2.4. At the front, the smartphone features a 16MP camera for selfies and video conferencing. Here’s a comparison with Moto G64, which closely competes with the Realme P1 5G. The Moto G64 offers better dynamic range in the image below, with more details in shadowy sections compared to the Realme P1, but the results can be inconsistent, with the Realme P1 taking the edge in other images. The G64 also takes a slight lead when it comes to details, but personally, I prefer the colours in Realme P1’s images.

The primary camera on the Realme P1 captures some great-looking images in daylight, with ample details and sharpness. The colours are slightly boosted, and the dynamic range could be a bit better. HDR mode helps with the latter and improves the level of overall details visible in a shot. The portrait mode, however, was a hit or miss. The shots took a few attempts to deliver some good results, but often, the images ended up with a slight bloom around the subject.

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The camera does not come with OIS (optical image stabilisation), which results in low-light images that are softer, with a loss of detail and visible lens flare around light sources. While the camera automatically enables night mode, there’s also a dedicated night mode option for night photography. In night mode, while the details are improved, the camera sometimes overexposes the sky. Videos work similarly, with better results in daylight compared to low light. The Realme P1 can capture up to 4K videos at 30FPS from the rear camera and offers good stabilisation and audio output, and the results are satisfactory, given the price.

Realme P1 5G review

The selfie camera captures pleasing images in daylight with good details and skin texture reproduction. In low light, the images turn out softer, and the level of detail takes a hit. Overall, the cameras are not Realme P1’s strongest suite, but the device does a satisfactory job given its price. The low-light photography could be better, but that’s a typical gripe for phones at this price point.

Performance

Realme makes some bold claims when it comes to the performance of the Realme P1 5G. The brand touts it as the fastest chipset under Rs 15,000 with the MediaTek Dimensity 7050, which powers all its performance needs. The chipset is supported by up to 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of USF 3.1 storage, a rare find at this price point, with even pricier smartphones utilising only UFS 2.2 storage. To put that claim to the test, we evaluated the smartphone’s performance across a variety of benchmarks and real-world tests. The Realme P1 5G stands up to its promises and offers one of the best performance outputs in its price range. I’ll put some benchmark numbers below, comparing it with some of its key competitors.

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The smartphone offers great everyday performance, with no lag or stutters, and can handle all regular tasks with ease. It even offers solid gaming performance and can run graphically demanding games such as COD: Mobile and BGMI at medium graphic settings at a stable 35 to 40FPS. The gameplay experience is drastically better at lower graphical settings. Thanks to an AMOLED display, the gameplay feels more vibrant compared to an IPS panel, which other similarly priced competitors opt for. The smartphone is one of the best options available for gamers at its price.

Software

While the performance is good, the software experience on the Realme P1 5G is a mixed bag. The device comes with Android 14-based Realme UI 5.0 out of the box. The UI is smooth and intuitive, with some good quality-of-life features. During device setup, Realme throws at you tons of app recommendations with pre-selected apps that you have to uncheck to proceed. Thankfully, you can uninstall most pre-loaded apps if you don’t see a use for them. The ‘Hot Apps’ selection takes a little more work and needs to be removed from the Realme App Store. The smartphone also does not feature any app animations, with the exception of Mini Capsule 2.0 animations during music playback and charging, which is something that I feel could have added a nice little touch to the overall aesthetic.

Realme P1 5G review

Moving onto what appeals to me about the UI, I love the File Dock and floating windows functionality, which elevate the software experience. It makes transferring files so much easier and is probably the feature that I used most often in my time with the device. The one-handed mode also makes the browsing experience more comfortable. The smartphone comes with a Link to Windows function to allow you to seamlessly connect your PC to your smartphone. The handset also includes a rainwater touch feature, which, based on my testing, functions reliably.

There are smart sensing features, wherein you can double-tap the rear camera module to quickly scan any QR codes in front of the rear camera. Another feature tunes down the volume of an incoming call if you glance at the front camera. Now, the instruction says to ‘glance’ but it’s more of a ‘stare’ in my experience. The functionality, however, did not extend to calls received over apps like WhatsApp and only worked for regular calls. The Realme P1 5G promises 2 years of OS updates and 3 years of software updates, which is standard at this price point, with the exception of Samsung phones like the Galaxy F15 5G.

Battery and charging

A 5,000mAh battery fuels the Realme P1 5G, and comes with 45W fast charging support. On the PC Mark battery test, the smartphone registered a run-time of 16 hours and 20 minutes, which is respectable for its price. The device easily delivers an entire day of battery life with moderate usage levels, but with heavy usage, you may need to top up the device at the end of the day. With the 45W fast charger included in the retail box, it takes roughly 50 minutes to go from 20 to 100 percent.

The smartphone registered a 3 percent battery drop in our 30-minute YouTube streaming test and a 19 percent drop in our gaming sessions, which lasted roughly 90 minutes. A battery drain of 22 percent during heavy usage over approximately 2 hours and a bit more is a very respectable result. During active charging, the punch-hole cutout expands into a dynamic island-style bar. You can expand it to showcase the current charge percentage, adding a neat little touch to the UI.

Final verdict

At a starting price of Rs 15,999, the Realme P1 5G delivers a compelling package with a key focus on performance and the accompanying visual experience, thanks to its 120Hz AMOLED panel. The device offers solid performance that matches the output of some higher-priced phones and outperforms similarly priced ones. While the performance and display are notable highlights, the smartphone also delivers impressive battery life, fast charging speeds, good daylight cameras, and comes in a sleek design. Given its competitive pricing, the Realme P1 5G is a straightforward recommendation for gamers and performance-oriented users alike.

Some of the key competitors of the Realme P1 5G include the recently launched Moto G64, POCO X6 Neo and Vivo T3x 5G. The Moto G64 and Vivo T3x 5G can sway buyers seeking longer battery life, thanks to their larger 6,000mAh batteries and comparable charging speeds. On the other hand, the POCO X6 Neo offers a similar 120Hz AMOLED panel, which significantly improves the visual experience. The Moto G64 also comes with a stock Android-like UI and offers better camera performance compared to the Realme P1, positioning it as the Realme P1’s closest rival. Coming back to the Realme P1, it manages to stand out for its superior performance.

Editor’s Rating: 7.5 / 10

Reasons to buy:

  • The Realme P1 5G offers excellent performance for its price.
  • The smartphone features good daylight cameras that deliver pleasing results.
  • The device offers a bright, vibrant AMOLED display and a good set of stereo speakers.
  • The Realme P1 5G offers a respectable battery life.

Reasons not to buy:

  • The low-light camera performance could have been better.
  • The UI comes with a fair amount of ads and pre-loaded apps.

Key Specs

realme P1
RAM6 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 7050
Rear Camera50 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera16 MP
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.67 inches (16.94 cm)
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realme P1 Price
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Rs. 16,699.00
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