You may have heard rumors about it, and now we can tell you: the Realme X Coca-Cola smartphone is a real thing, and we’ve had it in our hands.
Following on from the brand’s recent Naruto special edition, the Coca-Cola phone is a love letter to the world-famous soft drink, with the design leaning heavily into that iconic color scheme and instantly recognizable logo. It’s truly special, and we’re going to look at all the little details that make it so desirable.
Underneath the bright colors, the phone is a Realme 10 Pro (we recently reviewed the Realme 10 Pro Plus), which was announced at the end of 2022, and this special edition shares the same specs as the non-Coke version. That means a 6.67-inch AMOLED screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor, a 5,000mAh battery, and a 108-megapixel main camera. That’s all fine, but the real magic comes from the design and the attention to detail.
A 70/30 split on the rear panel fills the main section with a bright, metallic red emblazoned with a partial Coca-Cola logo in silver, while the smaller section has a matte black finish and houses the twin camera modules.
It’s actually a plastic panel, but the reflective finish does a great job of looking like metal. The smooth, cool texture helps maintain the illusion when you pick the phone up too. Take a close look at the side, and there’s a small Coca-Cola logo inscribed on it.
I love the way it glints and catches the sunlight. At the risk of romanticizing Coke’s highly effective marketing, there is something very summery about the black and red combination with that familiar logo attached, and the Realme phone captures it very effectively. It’s eye-catching without being gaudy, and undeniably cool too. The only slight problem is it could be mistaken for a Coca-Cola-branded phone case by those who don’t know any different.
Realme has given the Coca-Cola phone’s software a themed makeover, changing many of the icons to match the color scheme or fit in with Coke’s branding. The default wallpaper looks like a freshly poured glass of Coke, complete with fizzy bubbles. It’s a shame it’s not animated, but we can’t have everything.
Plug the Coke phone in, and the fast-charging animation is filled with bubbles. It’s not all quite so successful, though. The camera shutter sound is supposed to replicate the pop and fizz of opening a bottle of Coke, but it’s a bit of a stretch, and I’d turn it off. Plus, the press material talks about a special 80s-style Coke filter, but I couldn’t find it.
Plug the Coke phone in, and the fast-charging animation is filled with bubbles.
The ringtone and notification sounds have been Coke-ified, with both using a jazzed-up version of Coke’s signature five-note “audio branding” sound. It’s fine and reminded me of this clever ad campaign where the same tune was used when a Coke product was scanned at the supermarket checkout, but I’d have liked it to be more tuneful and upbeat.
These things aside, it’s a credit to Realme that it has managed to squeeze all this into the phone, and a reminder of how strong Coca-Cola’s branding is, and how the brand is always keen to come up with creative, and increasingly tech-focused, collaborations/advertorial-style campaigns.
The phone comes in a large box which, when you open it, contains a Realme X Coca-Cola branded box for the phone, alongside a statue of Realme’s feline mascot named Realmeow. The statue is a hefty thing, and again has Coca-Cola branding on it and appears full of bubbles, so it looks like it has been filled with Coca-Cola. There’s something for both the Coca-Cola and Realme devotee here.
Open the phone box, and you’ll find two sheets of foil stickers, a special certificate of authenticity shaped like a Coke can and showing the individual number of your phone, plus a very cool SIM removal tool shaped like a glass bottle top. It’s obvious a lot of thought went into creating the Coca-Cola phone, despite it being a somewhat unusual choice for collaboration.
While I can understand there being fans of Naruto who may want a phone that celebrates their favorite anime character, does Coca-Cola also have such dedicated fans? The branding is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable in the world, and the execution here is faultless, but whether it will attract the same kind of rabidly enthusiastic fanbase as Naruto remains to be seen. However, one thing is for sure: if such fans do exist, they’re going to love the Realme X Coca-Cola phone.
Beyond the instant appeal to fans, with this phone, Realme has become the brand collaboration master of the smartphone world. It started out early on with the cool Master Edition phones designed in collaboration with Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa, and the Naruto and Coca-Cola phones are the natural progression to them. What makes them exciting is Realme doesn’t hold back. They aren’t half-baked cash-ins, but carefully curated special editions fans will clamor to own. It’s the way it should be with these devices, regardless of, in reality, appealing to a niche audience.
There are only going to be 6,000 Realme X Coca-Cola phones available worldwide, and Realme currently only has plans to release it in India, and some unspecified countries in Asia at a later date. It’s reasonably priced, too, at the local equivalent of $255. If you want one, it’ll have to be imported, but it’ll definitely be a fun phone to own.
I can’t wait to see Realme’s next collaboration and hope the rest of the industry is taking note.
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