Realme P1 5G Review: Best Budget Smartphone of 2024?

Image of the Realme P1 5G along with the box

Realme has been on a roll in 2024, with new phones launching every month. Keeping up with this momentum, Realme has unveiled its latest P budget-friendly lineup in India, comprising the P1 and the P1 Pro 5G. However, amidst a million Realme offerings, you might wonder what sets the P series apart. The departure of Realme and Redmi’s number series from the Rs. 15,000-Rs. 20,000 market has created a significant gap, leaving users in this price segment with limited options. Realme’s P1 aims to address this gap by offering a competitive Dimensity 7050 chipset at just Rs. 16,000. But does it truly deserve the title of the best budget phone of 2024? Let’s delve into the review of the Realme P1 5G.

Realme P1 5G Review

Hisan Kidwai

Design & Hardware
Battery & Charging


The Realme P1 5G is a good option for users wanting great performance with a good main camera. However, the software experience isn’t the best in the segment.


Realme P1 5G Review: Design and Hardware

Back panel image of the Realme P1 5G

It’s safe to say that Realme is currently making the best-looking smartphones in the segment, and the same can be said for the P1. The plastic back design looks unique and mature without being ugly, and the color choice is spot on. While design preferences may vary, we found the back panel, circular camera module, and brushed texture to exude a premium feel.

Talking about the camera module, the company has played some tricks here. This is because one might mistake the cutouts for four different lenses, but in reality, the Realme P1 features only a dual-camera setup (more details on this below), with the additional cutouts serving symmetrical purposes. Additionally, the flat plastic sides contribute to the phone’s ergonomic feel.

Realme P1 5G Review: Display

Front image of the Realme P1 5G

The Realme P1 houses a 6.67-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display with a claimed peak brightness of 2000 nits. However, it’s important to note that the 2000 nits peak brightness applies solely to HDR content, with actual brightness reaching around 1200 nits in sunlight. Nevertheless, the display performs well in bright conditions, offering vibrant colors and excellent color reproduction. Moreover, the device supports the Widewine L1 standard out of the box, ensuring users can enjoy high-quality TV shows and movies.

Refresh Rate

While refresh rate isn’t a problem on many flagship phones, budget handsets don’t receive the same software attention, resulting in a jittery experience. Unfortunately, the Realme P1 suffers from this issue as well. The Auto Select setting switches the refresh rate back to 60Hz in many third-party apps, such as YouTube and Gmail. Moreover, these apps never utilize the full potential of 120Hz, even in the highest setting, making the phone’s experience inconsistent.

Fingerprint sensor and durability

The front also houses an in-display fingerprint sensor, which performed well in our testing, unlocking the phone reliably in various scenarios. As for durability, while Realme hasn’t mentioned the exact display protection, the screen fared well, sustaining only minor scratches on the top part. However, considering most users keep their phones in a case anyway, durability shouldn’t be a significant concern.

Realme P1 5G Review: Performance and Battery

Image of the Realme P1 while playing CODM

Similar to the Narzo 70 Pro 5G, the Realme P1 features the ever-popular MediaTek Dimensity 7050 chipset, with two Cortex-A78 cores running at 2.6 GHz and six Cortex-A55 cores running at 2.0 GHz, along with the ARM Mali-G68 GPU. Moreover, the device offers up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. In our testing, the performance was on par with other phones, exhibiting fast loading times, no lag or stutters, and overall snappiness.

Regarding synthetic benchmarks, we are pleased to report that the Realme P1 performs comparably or even better than other smartphones with the same chipset. In Geekbench, the device scored 962 in the single-core test and 2333 in the multi-core test. Additionally, the fact that the device maintained 89% of its performance in a 30-minute 30-thread throttle test suggests that Realme has also incorporated ample cooling measures. Finally, in the AnTuTu and 3D Mark benchmarks, the device scored 608683 and 2279, respectively.

Regarding gaming, we experienced no significant issues while playing demanding titles like BGMI and CODM on medium to high settings. While the device did get warm during extended gaming sessions, it remained within acceptable limits.

Image of the CODM game settings

Battery Life

With its massive 5,000mAh battery, the Realme P1 exceeded our expectations in battery life. Even with extensive usage involving camera testing, gaming, and stress testing, the device lasted the whole day without a recharge. Moreover, with the included 45W charger you can recharge the battery to 100% in just 65 minutes.

Realme P1 5G Review: Cameras

Image of the camera modules of the Realme P1 5G

As mentioned above, the Realme P1 houses a dual camera setup, of which only the main 50MP f/1.8 is useful. In daylight, the main camera performs great, capturing photos with excellent detail and vibrant colors even in bright sunlight. While the phone did overexpose certain shots, this is expected with a phone in the price segment.

When it comes to portrait photos, the main camera continues to impress with decent edge detection and highlights. It’s worth noting, however, that some noise may be present in nighttime shots.

Nighttime Photos

Despite our initial skepticism due to its price, the Realme P1 surprised us with its nighttime photography capabilities. The captured photos had a good enough dynamic range, with balanced highlights and shadows. While details may have been slightly lacking, considering the price, the overall quality of the photos was impressive.

Selfies and Videos

The 16MP front-facing camera delivered satisfying results, producing selfies with excellent dynamic range, sharpness, and accurate colors under various lighting conditions. However, the video quality leaves much to be desired despite the device’s ability to capture 4K@30FPS footage. The Realme P1 struggles with handling dynamic range in videos, resulting in noticeable color shifts.

Realme P1 5G Review: Software and Speakers

Image of the front of the Realme P1 5G for the review

The Realme P1 runs on Android 14 with Realme UI 5.0 running on top. However, the software experience is somewhat weird. This is because, unlike most phones that display animations when opening or closing apps for fluidity, Realme has chosen to omit animations entirely. While this approach is common among super-budget phones due to processing power limitations, it’s surprising to see it on the P1, considering it has a capable processor.

Additionally, the company has bundled many pre-installed apps to recoup its investments. These include FinShell Pay, Facebook, Amazon, Snapchat, Public, and more. Moreover, the phone also comes with the infamous Hot Apps and Hot Games folder. However, one good aspect of the software is its support. Realme has promised three years of software updates and four years of security patches.

Finally, the stereo speakers fared well when watching content, providing ample loudness and bass for an enjoyable experience.

Is the Realme P1 5G worth it?

Back panel image of the Realme P1 5G for the Review

Priced at Rs. 15,999, the Realme P1 offers a unique proposition with its impressive processor and satisfactory camera capabilities. While the software experience could have been better, the overall package still presents a compelling option. Therefore, if you’re considering a purchase in this price segment, the Realme P1 is worth exploring.

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