This year, we have seen an interesting strategy of device makers creating and then relying on sub-brands to cater to specific niches in the smartphone industry. This was popularized by Huawei, which established the Honor sub-brand in 2013. In 2018, companies such as OPPO and Xiaomi followed Huawei’s lead by forming the Realme and POCO (also known as Pocophone) sub-brands. Realme was formed as a online-only sub-brand of OPPO, while the POCO brand was formed to cater to the enthusiast affordable flagship segment. In July, OPPO’s VP resigned from the company to form Realme as a separate brand. The brand has launched four smartphones in India, namely the Realme 1, Realme 2, Realme 2 Pro, and the Realme C1.
At the Realme 2 launch, Realme stated that it would soon expand internationally. It is now focusing on expansion in other countries, starting off in Indonesia last month. The company has now entered Malaysia by launching three phones: Realme 2, Realme 2 Pro, and the Realme C1. Notably, the prices for these smartphones in Malaysia are higher than their prices in India.
The Realme C1 is the company’s entry-level smartphone. It slots in below the Xiaomi Redmi 6A and the Xiaomi Redmi 6 in terms of specifications. Its list of specifications includes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC, 6.2-inch notched HD+ (1520×720) IPS LCD, 2GB of RAM with 16GB storage, 13MP + 2MP (depth sensor) rear cameras, 5MP front-facing camera, and a 4,20mAh battery. It ships with ColorOS on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. In Malaysia, the phone’s price has been set at RM449 ($108).
The Realme 2 is the “successor” of the Realme 1, although it would be more accurate to describe it as a side-grade considering that a few major specifications have been downgraded in the phone. Its list of specifications includes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC, 6.2-inch notched HD+ (1520×720) IPS LCD, 3GB/4GB of RAM with 32GB/64GB storage, 13MP + 2MP (depth sensor) rear cameras, 8MP front-facing camera, and a 4,230mAh battery. The phone’s 3GB RAM variant costs RM599 ($144), while the 4GB RAM variant costs RM699 ($168).
The Realme 2 Pro is the brand’s highest-end phone so far. Its list of specifications includes the capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, 4GB/6GB/8GB of RAM with 64GB/128GB storage, 6.3-inch Full HD+ (2340×1080) IPS LCD with “dewdrop notch
The entry-level phone — Realme C1 is priced at RM449, which roughly converts to $108. The Realme 2 is priced at RM599 (approximately $144) for the 3GB RAM model while the 4GB RAM model costs RM699, roughly $168.
The Realme 2 Pro starts at RM899 (approximately $217) for the base model with 4GB RAM while the 6GB RAM model costs RM949, roughly $229. The top-end model with 8GB RAM is priced at RM1099, which roughly converts to $265.
In Malaysia, the Realme smartphones will be available for purchase through the company’s official online store as well as through Lazada Malaysia and Shopee Malaysia. While Realme 2 Pro will be available during 11.11 Sale, the Realme 2 will go on sale from November 24. The Realme C1 will be available from at a discounted rate of RM399 (approx. $96) from November 22 to December 22.