Realme has also introduced its new Buds Air Neo. Although you expect new features with the “Neo”, this is basically a watered-down version of the original Realme Buds Air.
In terms of appearance, it still looks like an Apple AirPods clone and the Neo now comes in Green and Red. The noticeable upgrade on the spec-sheet is a larger 13mm sound driver with dynamic bass boost. It still uses the same R1 chip that supports Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
The Realme Air Buds Neo also supports touch and tap gesture controls for music playback and to answer voice calls. Mobile gamers will be happy to know that it still retains a gaming mode which cuts down latency to 119.2ms. This can be toggled by pressing and holding both left and right stems simultaneously.
In terms of battery life, it remains unchanged with 3 hours of music playback on a single charge or 1.5 hours for voice calls. With the provided charging case, you can get up to 17 hours of total music playback. As an added improvement, the new version now comes with IPX4-rated water resistance which is good against accidental splashes.
With the lower price tag, the Neo has a couple of drawbacks compared to the first-gen Buds Air. Firstly, it doesn’t come with an optical sensor which allows it to detect if you’re wearing them and this could mean that it won’t be able to pause your music when you take them off. The Buds Air Neo also lacks a secondary mic for environmental noise cancelling for voice calls.
Another major difference is that the Neo version loses wireless charging support. What’s even more surprising is that it charges via an older micro-USB port instead of USB-C.
In India, the Realme Buds Air Neo is priced at INR2,999 (about RM173). Meanwhile, in Europe, it is going for EUR39.99 (about RM192). As a comparison, the first-gen Buds Air is priced at INR3,999 in India and it was launched in Malaysia for RM299.