A part of Qualcomm’s annual Tech Summit, we were introduced to its next flagship-tier mobile chip – the Snapdragon 888 – and manufacturers, including Realme, are clamouring to shout about their upcoming phones powered by this hot new silicon.
Xiaomi took the lead, confirming that 2021’s Xiaomi Mi 11, would indeed sport the 888, but not to be outdone, Realme has also now stepped in to confirm that its next flagship-class phone, codenamed “Race” will also tote Qualcomm’s new lucky-numbered SoC.
When does the Realme Race launch?
While it’s too early for Realme to have set a date, during Qualcomm’s Tech Summit event, company CEO Sky Li confirmed that Realme would serve as one of the first manufacturers to launch a smartphone powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 platform.
‘The new flagship of realme [sic] will be called “Race” powered by Snapdragon 888, and its codename “Race” shows the flagship will come with fast speed and high performance,’ Li said.
Right now, our best estimates come from the company’s superb 2020 flagship – the Realme X50 Pro – which launched back in February this year. Assuming the company’s 2021 release strategy follows a similar path and we’re to believe the company’s eagerness, we should expect the 888-powered Race to touch down around the same time next year.
How much is the Realme Race?
As with its release info, there’s no pricing to accompany news of the “Race” at this stage, however, Realme is known for offering up impressive value for money across its entire range, so we expect the pricing its next flagship to be no different.
For reference, in the UK the X50 Pro cost an impressively-low £569 and while there’s a chance that Realme’s top end will reach even higher in terms of both features and price, it’d be a surprise if the device broke the £700 barrier, still making it markedly more affordable than a lot of rival manufacturers’ lead 2020 devices.
What features does the Realme Race offer?
Although the intricacies of the “Race” remain a mystery, there’s already a notable amount of information that we can piece together from a mix of leaks and, in the case of the processor, official details from the chipmaker itself.
This leaked image (above) gives us our best look at the Realme Race so far, sporting what appears to be a metal frame with a physical power key, a glass back with curved edges and a circular camera arrangement featuring four sensors with what might be a thin xenon flash to one side.
While the sensors in the image all appear to be the same physical size and one looks to have been cut-and-pasted using image manipulation software, it appears that we’ll get a decent sensor size from at least one of the Race’s snappers. There’s also no apparent periscopic zoom setup – as seen on the likes of the Realme X3 SuperZoom.
As for internals, the Snapdragon 888 promises greater power efficiency than the previous generation’s 865, thanks in part to an integrated X60 5G modem and the use of a 5nm process (the 865 relied on a separate modem and was built on a 7nm process). The choice of modem also means that phones like the Race will likely support both Sub-6 and mmWave 5G standards, meaning both greater and faster 5G connectivity (depending on available networking technology).
Improved digital and image signal processors, along with an upgraded GPU and a new CPU architecture, should ensure improved performance across the board; from general use to gaming, camera performance and AI-based tasks.
There’s also the matter of power and while we don’t know the Race’s battery capacity as of yet, the company had previously promised a future device would debut its 125W ‘UltraDart’ fast charging technology.
Realme’s own estimates state that a phone with a 4000mAh battery and UltraDart charging would be able to reach 33% charge from just three minutes charge time and go from empty to full in 15 minutes flat.
Other leaked specs include up to 12GB of RAM, the debut of Realme UI version 2 (atop Android 11), 256GB of internal storage and the model number RMX2202.
Here’s the Realme Race’s rumoured spec sheet as it stands:
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC
(Up to) 12GB RAM
(Up to) 256GB storage
Quad rear camera setup w/ xenon flash
Curved glass back
Android 11 w/ Realme UI 2
5G (Sub-6 + mmWave)
125W UltraDart fast charging
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