Realme has improved a lot on its phones over the past six months, but one thing has always remained a constant - the design. It's your typical slab of plastic, but the maker did spice those with unique paintjobs. And the Realme U1 does not break the pattern.Realme U1 vs Realme 2 Pro
The Realme U1 is absolutely identical to the Realme 2 Pro and the fact that the 2 Pro cases fit pretty well confirms it. It has the same 6.3" 1080p display with a dewdrop-like notch at the top and the whole thing is covered by a mostly flat piece of Gorilla Glass 3 with a subtle 2.5D finish around the edge.Realme U1 vs Realme 2 Pro
The curvy and trendy notch has the most notable upgrade - the high-res 25MP selfie camera. A couple of sensors are well hidden around, too. The earpiece is etched between the frame and the front glass.
Realme U1, just like the 2 Pro, has impressively thin bezels and chin. It relies solely on virtual navigation - there are no hardware keys of any kind at the front.
The frame is all plastic and is curved towards the sides. It has a pleasant matt finish, which contrary to our expectations didn't improve the grip at all. The frame felt slippery all the time, but once we started using the U1 with the supplied case - those issues disappeared.
The back of the Realme U1 is where the fun is. Realme offers three stunning color options for the U1 - Fiery Gold, Ambitious Black, and Brave Blue. All these paintjobs are done of uniform colors, but the plexiglass (a fancy way to say plastic) has some extra layer to refract light in certain way so it can form the so-called light pillars. Long story short - the U1 back looks pretty dazzling and we appreciate that the company tries to come up with new hues for each phone.
The dual-camera on the back is humping just a little bit, so the U1 wobble is rather insignificant. The setup is not the same on the Realme 2 Pro, though, but as on the Realme 2. Which means 13MP main cam with f/2.2 lens in contrast with the 16MP f/1.7 on the Pro. We are yet to see how it performs though, but thanks to the 2MP depth sensor it can do portrait shots.
The fingerprint scanner is also at the back, always-on as usual. You can save up to 5 fingerprints and the recognition will be still as blazing-fast and accurate as usual.
The Realme U1 has all necessities on its sides. The dated microUSB, the loudspeaker and the audio port are all at the bottom. The tri-slot is on the left and it can take two nano-SIM and one microSD cards.
The Realme U1 is as large as the Realme 2 Pro 157 x 74 x 8 mm and weighs around the same at 168g. Well, if are to be precise, the U1 is a hair thinner and 6g lighter, but who'd notice, right?
So, the Realme U1 in Fiery Gold is a beauty, no two words about it. And it's as slippery as it looks - although it's made of plastic, there is nothing really to boost the grip and we strongly recommend using the silicone case Realme is bundling with the phone. Or if available, buy the special one we got with our review unit.
And now, about that elephant on the room - does the U1 feel cheap? Well, if you compare it to a Galaxy, Mate, or an iPhone - probably. It's lighter, plasticy, and you can tell that with your eyes blindfolded. But if you have your expectations in check, the build quality is quite okay.
Yes, the U1 isn't a brilliant execution, but it's not a bad one either. The U1 is more shatterproof than the phones we've mentioned, and it doesn't feel cheap when you consider it only costs around USD $170 (INR 12,000). On the contrary, it looks and feels twice as better as one would expect. And that's a win by our books.