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Realme: who is behind and why their strategy to rival Xiaomi and Huawei can work

Harry Watson



Realme is a new mobile brand that arrives in Spain . But attentive because, despite being quite unknown at the moment, they intend to compete face to face with other brands like Xiaomi or Honor . Two manufacturers from China who have been conquering the market for a while based on terminals with excellent specifications and a very tight price.

With just over a year to live, Realme has been gaining weight in Asian markets such as India or China until now announcing its arrival in Europe, including countries such as Spain, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany. We will explain who is behind Realme, what kind of mobile phones they have and what their expansion plans are.

Realme, the sixth brand of the BBK Electronics group with OPPO

Realme belongs to the BBK Electronics group . Its official foundation dates from May 4, 2018, National Youth Day in China. But it was not until July of that year that Sky Li, OPPO’s vice president and head of the company’s international business, announced that Realme was becoming an independent brand.

Sky Li is the current CEO of Realme and the company acts independently to OPPO. Both the commercial strategy and the design decisions go through the brand, although they share a production line with the rest of the manufacturer’s brands.

Similar to Xiaomi with Redmi or Huawei with Honor , BBK Electronics also has multiple secondary brands to improve the reach of its terminals in specific audiences. In the case of OPPO and its sister brands that are already six: OPPO, Vivo, IQOO, IMOO, OnePlus and Realme itself .

The beginning of the brand goes back to 2010 with the Royal OPPO. That mobile would be the germ of a line of products that ultimately led to an independent brand. Under the umbrella of Oppo itself was launched the Realme 1 in India, a mobile that sought to compete against Xiaomi in specifications and price and that was only sold online. But the bet for that terminal was serious, since shortly after the company Realme was created.

Online sale and oriented to young consumers

With Realme we have a young brand that was originally born for India but has had enough impact to have opted to expand its international expansion . His recent arrival in Europe means an important step for the brand, but it is a path that OPPO and OnePlus have previously carried out.

Unlike these brands, Realme wants to focus on a young audience. The company’s motto is “Proud to be Young”, in clear reference to the fact that they seek to orient themselves towards young consumers , who value technology, style and look for high performance devices at a reasonable price. The philosophy of the brand reminds in part Honor , which also offers phones with a very distinctive design, a tight price and a good level of power.

In the words of Levi Lee, Director of Realme Europe: “We are committed to providing the best mobile experience to young consumers around the world in a more easily accessible price segment, and next year we will continue to challenge and break into the global market. of smartphones, from now including Europe. “

This expansion for Spain and Europe will begin at the moment only online through its website, although it is not ruled out that in the future expand the distribution channels . At least that is the way the brand has done in India, where in a year they have gone from selling only online to expanding to more than 150 cities, 20,000 different distributors and where one in three Realme mobile phones in India are sold offline .

The company produces its devices in Shenzhen, China, but its biggest market at the moment is India. There they have been cataloged as the first emerging brand in 2018 and managed to position themselves in fourth place in sales during the last quarter of 2018, according to IDC data .

The ambition of Realme goes further and the brand has not hidden its ambitions to enter into some sectors such as mobile folding or 5G. For the moment, despite being a new brand, they focus on obtaining users from their competitors. According to Madhav Sheth , CEO of Realme India, ” 30% of its users in India come from Samsung and 40% come from Xiaomi “.

What mobile has Realme presented to date

The first mobile of the brand was Realme 1, but Realme 2, 2 Pro, Realme 3 and recently the Realme 3 Pro came quickly. They all have a similar design, with the fingerprint reader on the back foot, ‘notch ‘in the form of a drop of water and a double rear camera. In just over a year the manufacturer has been characterized by maintaining an active catalog, with many phones in a very similar price range . One aspect in which again coincides with Xiaomi, one of its greatest rivals.

Reviewing some of their phones we see that the battery is almost always a fundamental aspect. The Realme C1 was a low range of less than 85 euros with a Snapdragon 450 processor and 4,230 mAh. A mobile that in April 2019 has been updated to strangely reduce its price even more and bet on a 4,000 mAh battery and a Helio P22.

While the C range focuses on the most basic range. Realme also has a U-range aimed at the front camera and the selfies. This is the case of Realme U1 with a 25 megapixel camera and a Helio P70 processor. Here as we see, Realme works with both Qualcomm and MediaTek when it wants to offer a more competitive price.

But without a doubt his most striking motives are the last ones he has presented. First of all, we have the Realme 3 Pro, an evolution of the Realme 2 Pro that was introduced in September 2018 and already included up to 8GB of RAM. The bet is significant because we talk about having processors and amounts of RAM that are normally reserved for the high range. Here, like Xiaomi on other occasions, the manufacturer manages to surprise us by lowering the price of a component that we thought was exclusive of higher price ranges . That is, Realme is a brand that contributes to the price of smartphones down. A strategy of low margins that has multiple consequences but seems to be the general trend in Chinese manufacturers.

Something similar happens with the recently announced Realme X , a mobile phone with a design similar to that of its brother OnePlus 7 Pro but with a considerably lower price. The triple back camera and that front camera in the shape of a periscope is maintained, although in this case it is only offered next to the Snapdragon 710. A significantly lower and cheaper processor to the Snapdragon 855 that we see in the OnePlus.

At the moment Realme has not opted for the high range but it would not be unreasonable to think that it followed the steps of Redmi, who is already preparing his own flagship with the K20 Pro .

Realme arrives in Europe to fight with Xiaomi and Huawei using their same weapons

With a price starting at 199 euros , the Realme 3 Pro will be the first device of the brand to try its luck in the Spanish market. It will initially be sold only through its website, but taking into account that it offers 64GB of storage, a powerful Snapdragon 710 processor and a 4,035 mAh battery, we are undoubtedly facing an interesting option in the mid-range capable of facing other Devices we highly recommend such as the Redmi Note 7 or the Huawei P30 Lite .

The Chinese mobile phone manufacturers have a really aggressive strategy in terms of price. Huawei has opted to raise the bar, but other brands such as Xiaomi or Honor continue to demolish prices with each new terminal . OPPO had chosen not to enter this game, however with Realme already has a brand prepared and oriented towards becoming the Chinese smartphone par excellence.

It is a brand for those who seek the best quality-price. A difficult concept to determine with precision and where the consumers will have the last word. Will Realme be an alternative to the level of the other major Chinese brands? Time will tell, but your first steps are going in the right direction.