Realme is back with a new midrange smartphone shortly after it launched the Realme 12+ in India. The first entry in its new P series of smartphones — the Realme P1 5G — offers a compelling set of specifications in the competitive sub-Rs. 20,000 price segment. Discerning smartphone enthusiasts will also notice that the handset shares some specifications with the Realme 12+, while a few key differences allow the company to sell it at a slightly lower price point. We’ve spent some time with the Realme P1 5G to see if it’s worth your money.

Realme P1 5G price in India

Realme P1 5G price in India starts at Rs. 14,999 for the 6GB+128GB model. The company also sells an 8GB+256GB model — I received a unit with this configuration for review — that is priced at Rs. 16,999.

Along with the Realme P1 5 G, you get a transparent TPU case, a SIM ejector tool, a USB Type-A to Type-C cable, and a 45W charging brick. The phone is available in two colour options: Peacock Green and Phoenix Red.

Realme P1 5G Review: Design

The Realme P1 5G has a mature design, and the Phoenix Red colourway that I’ve reviewed has brush-like strokes all over the rear panel that don’t look too flashy. The iQoo Z9 (Review) also has a similar brushstroke design, but it isn’t as fine or subtle as the one on this smartphone. The rear camera module is nearly identical in shape and design to the Realme 12+, except for a ridge-like finish that flows from the centre of the camera island.

realme p1 5g design review ndtv Realme P1 5G

Realme P1 5G has a round camera island

The power button and volume rocker are located on the right side of the Realme P1 5G, which has flat edges and slightly rounded corners. At the top, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack and one speaker, while the bottom edge houses the second speaker, a USB Type-C port, and the SIM tray.

Thanks to the flat design of the Realme P1 5G, the phone is quite comfortable to hold. The screen is a little tall for one-handed use, but you can enable a Realme UI setting that lowers the interface to the bottom half of the screen, making it easier to reach with your thumb. It’s also good to see an IP54 rating at this price point, and the included TPU case comes with flaps that cover the 3.5mm port and the USB Type-C port.

Realme P1 5G Review: Specifications and software

Like the Realme 12+ that was recently launched by the company, the Realme P1 5G is also powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 7050 chipset. This octa-core processor has two Arm Cortex-A78 cores clocked at 2.6GHz and six Cortex-A55 cores with a peak clock speed of 2.0GHz. The handset is equipped with up to 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM, and you’re probably better off with choosing a variant with 8GB of memory.

The handset runs on Android 14 out-of-the-box, with Realme UI 5.0 on top. Most of Realme’s phones that are priced under Rs. 20,000 are promised two years of Android OS upgrades and three years of security updates. Most smartphone makers in this price segment offer similar software support, except for Samsung, which has promised four OS upgrades and 5 years of security updates for the Galaxy M15. I found the in-display fingerprint scanner was mostly accurate and was able to recognise my fingerprint even with slightly damp fingers.

Connectivity options on the Realme P1 5G include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, 5G, 4G LTE, GPS, and a USB Type-C port. However, you won’t be able to add your bank cards to make contactless payments because this handset doesn’t support NFC connectivity. The phone is equipped with a 5,000mAh battery and supports 45W charging via the adapter that ships with the phone.

Realme P1 5G: Performance

The MediaTek Dimensity 7050 chip on the Realme P1 5G is a capable midrange chip that handles most tasks with ease. This includes browsing the web, using various social media apps, capturing images and videos, and playing several popular games (except heavy titles like Genshin Impact).

I tested four games on the Realme P1 5G: Asphalt 9, Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), Call of Duty: Mobile, and Sky: Children of the Light. I had to manually switch to the high-quality graphics preset on some of these games, but I didn’t notice any lag or stuttering. There’s also no thermal throttling after about 30 minutes of gameplay, which is good.

Realme P1 5G benchmarks

The Realme P1 5G scored 570,926 points on AuTuTu v10, 956 points and 2,369 points on Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core tests, respectively. I also ran the PCMark 3.0 benchmark, and the phone scored 13,319 on the Work 3.0 test.

I also ran GFXBench tests on the Realme P1 5G — Car Chase (21fps), Manhattan 3.1 (39fps), and T-Rex (60fps). Meanwhile, on 3DMark’s Wild Life and Wild Life Unlimited benchmarks, the handset scored 2,292 and 2,253 points, respectively. It scored 5,132 points on the Sling Shot test, while the Sling Shot Extreme score was 4,075 points.

The iQoo Z9 scored 6,654 points in the Sling Shot and 5,766 points in the Sling Shot Extreme tests on 3DMark. It also managed to get 4,126 points and 4,205 points in the Wild Life and Wild Life Unlimited benchmark tests, respectively. Meanwhile, iQoo’s mid-range phone scored 6,058 points (108fps) on the GFXBench T-Rex test, while the Manhattan 3.1 benchmark resulted in a score of 3702 points (60fps), and the Car Chase test returned a lower score of 1,954 points (33fps).

Realme UI 5.0 also appears to be optimised for this smartphone, and animations are smooth. There’s nothing to complain about in terms of RAM management, but it’s worth keeping in mind that I tested the top-of-the-line variant with 8GB of RAM. You can easily switch between 4-5 apps without the phone reloading them into memory.

It’s worth noting that the phone comes with a few preinstalled apps that can be removed, while Realme’s built-in app store will notify you about applications and attempt to “scan” apps installed from the Play Store. I was also unable to fully disable the Hot Apps and Hot Games folder from the app drawer.

Realme P1 5G ships with a few bloatware apps

This smartphone is equipped with a 6.7-inch AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate. The screen is very responsive, and there’s no lag while gaming, which comes in handy when playing BGMI, Call of Duty: Mobile and other games. Realme says it can reach 1200 nits in high brightness mode, and visibility is decent — except when you’re outdoors in the middle of the day, and it’s extremely bright.

The phone also has an algorithm that allows you to use the screen when it’s wet or when your hands are wet — I tested both of these scenarios, and typing and scrolling work exactly as the company claims. Meanwhile, the Mini Capsule 2.0 has been upgraded to offer music playback controls. It also shows calendar alerts if you are using the phone and occasionally expands briefly to show you how many steps you’ve walked during the day.

The apps I used the most on the Realme P1 5G were WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, Chrome, and the games that I tested. The phone’s 5,000mAh battery delivered about 6 hours and 17 minutes of screen on time, before it hit 5 percent and I connected it to the charger. On our HD battery video loop test, the P1 5G ran for 18 hours and 36 minutes. When connected to the 45W charging brick, the battery went from up to 52 percent in 30 minutes, while it was at 95 percent after one hour.

Realme P1 5G Review: Cameras

There are two rear cameras on the Realme P1 5G — a 50-megapixel camera with a 1/2.76-inch Samsung ISOCELL JN1 sensor, an f/1.8 aperture and a 77-degree field of view, along with a 2-megapixel secondary monochrome camera with an f/2.4 aperture and an 88-degree field-of-view. For capturing selfies and making video calls, there’s a 16-megapixel camera with an f//2.45 aperture located in a centre-aligned hole punch cutout.

Realme P1 5G primary camera samples (tap to expand)

Practically speaking, there’s only one reliable camera on the Realme P1 5G, and that’s the 50-megapixel primary shooter. It takes decent images when there’s enough natural light, and your subject is nearby, such as a flower or your pet. The camera app also offers a 2x mode that allows you to capture detailed images without losing a lot of detail. Switching between these modes does not affect the colour tone when capturing images of the same subject.

The camera app has a Street mode that allows you to click images at 27mm and 54mm focal lengths. Once again, the Realme P1 5G captured decent images, if there’s ample sunlight. In less-than-ideal conditions, you’ll notice some noise and grain when capturing images with this mode. You can also use a dedicated pro mode that allows you to save RAW images and adjust ISO, shutter speed, focus, white balance, and exposure values before capturing an image.

Realme P1 5G night mode camera sample (tap to expand)

In low light scenarios, the default photo mode on the Realme P1 5G waits for a second before capturing an image in order to improve quality. You can tap this to disable the functionality. There’s also a dedicated night mode, but nearly all images captured with this smartphone had a lot of noise reduction and smoothening and lacked detail as a result.

The 16-megapixel selfie camera has a beauty mode (filter) enabled by default, that immediately got rid of my dark circles, but it can be easily disabled for slightly sharper (and realistic) images. You can record video in 4K//30fps using the primary rear camera, but the ‘Ultra Steady’ mode is only available at 1080p/60fps and below. Even with the stabilisation enabled at 1080p, there’s a bit of jitter in some parts of the video.

Realme P1 5G Review: Verdict

The Realme P1 5G aims to be an affordable midrange phone that focuses on performance and reliable battery life. It has a decent AMOLED screen. On these three fronts, the phone offers good value for money, possibly undercutting the company’s own Realme 12+ 5G, which features the same chipset and battery capacity, albeit with faster charging.

The company has marketed this phone as a fast performer around the Rs. 16,000 mark, and if you’re looking for a handset that delivers great day-to-day performance, then the Realme P1 5G is easy to recommend. It’s also good for playing games like BGMI and Call of Duty: Mobile, and it can also handle most applications with ease.

However, the cameras on the Realme P1 5G leave much to be desired and are not the phone’s strongest suit. If your budget allows you to stretch towards the Rs. 20,000 mark, you can consider either the Realme 12+ or the iQoo Z9, which both offer better camera quality. You can also consider the Samsung Galaxy M15 5G — it isn’t as powerful as the Realme P1 5G, but it is more affordable and promises two more years of software support.

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