Realme U1: Do 25MP AI Selfie Camera, Helio P70 Processor Make the Realme Phone a Better Pick Over the Competitors?


The Realme U1 is the first smartphone launched to feature the MediaTek Helio P70 chipset. The Helio P70 succeeds the Helio P60, a SoC found in phones like the OPPO F9 Pro. The attractive thing about the Realme U1 is it goes easy on the wallet thanks to its INR 11,999 starting price and combine that with the new chipset, you get more value and performance for your money.

However, performance is just one of many pillars of a great smartphone, with the others being a good camera and an impressive battery life. Is the Realme U1 a better purchase over its competitors in the same price range? Let us take a more in-depth look and find out.

Realme U1 Gives Tremendous Competition to Snapdragon 660 Chipset-Powered Devices

The Helio P70 and Snapdragon 660 are present in smartphones with affordable price tags but the real picture is very different if we position them both side by side. Firstly, the Helio P70 is a 12nm silicon, while the Snapdragon 660 is made on the 14nm technology, making it old by today’s standards. This makes the Helio P70 slightly more power efficient. The processor of the Helio P70 is an octa-core with four 2.1GHz Cortex-A73 ones dedicated for performance, while four 2.0GHz Cortex-A53 meant for low-tier tasks.

The Helio P60 features the same processor arrangement, but the performance Cortex-A73 cores are running at 2.0GHz. In short, the Helio P70 provides an incremental upgrade in the processor category as MediaTek states that an increase of 13 percent will be evident. The Snapdragon 660 does things different as it is the first mid-range SoC to feature Qualcomm’s custom Kryo 260 CPU octa-core setup. The Snapdragon 660 can fill the performance gap with the Helio P70 thanks to its custom cores.

If you take a look at the benchmarking scores, the Snapdragon 660 has the upper hand in both Geekbench and AnTuTu. However, since these scores have a small difference between them, you should expect the same performance level from devices featuring these chipsets.

Helio P70 Camera, AI, and Battery Life Benefits

The Helio P70 also provides support for up to a 24MP+16MP dual-camera, but in this case, the Realme U1 sports a 13MP+2MP dual shooter at the back. The front side houses a 25MP camera with MediaTek also having introduced a high-resolution depth engine to enhance portraits, with AI facial recognition, real-time HDR capture and fast shooting mode being a part of the package.

The camera samples below taken from the Realme 2 Pro and Realme U1 don’t show a significant difference (via Guiding Tech), so it will be up to the users to decide which result looks more appealing. As for AI performance, the Helio P70 could have an edge over the Snapdragon 660 thanks to its dedicated multi-core AI processing unit (AMU). The chip recognizes pose detection coupled with automatic scene and facial recognition.

The Snapdragon 660, on the other hand, uses a Neural Processing Engine (NPE) to assign components such as the CPU, DSP or GPU AI-related tasks. This puts a lot of load on these components, which a dedicated unit can easily take off, like the one inside Helio P70. This is also beneficial for battery life, less stress on a component will result in better battery endurance. No doubt the Realme U1’s 3500mAh battery is enough to last for a day, but the Helio P70’s 12nm FinFET fabrication and AMU will help increase battery timing.

Which Snapdragon 660 Alternatives to Go for Instead?

The Helio P70 and Snapdragon 660 are the best mid-range chipsets found in mobile phones right now. Brands other than Realme are expected to use the silicon in the future, but if you’re dead set on getting a Snapdragon 660-powered mid-ranger, which one should you buy? The Realme 2 Pro is one device that offers tremendous amounts of memory and RAM, and since it’s affordable, you might want to look into that.

If you want a device running stock Android, go for the Xiaomi Mi A2. Its user interface is buttery smooth, and you’ll get frequent software updates down the road. Other devices featuring the Snapdragon 660 are a little pricey in comparison to the Realme U1’s price and will not provide that affordable and compelling purchase. MediaTek has come a long way, with the fabless semiconductor manufacturer aiming to grab the lower tier markets with its upcoming Helio P90 and Helio M70 5G baseband modem.