Renoir pencils by Chinese brand Marco are the big brother of the more well known 'Raffine', which are extremely popular around colouring groups at the moment. Although Renoir are marketed as higher quality pencils they are still fairly cheap at just £25 for the maximum set of 72. This matches the number count of Raffine and the leads are much better.
Like Raffine, Renoir are oil-based, yet they feel much creamier to lay down on the page. They compare to buttery leads like Prismacolor (even though the latter is wax based), so if you're looking for something much softer that is easier to blend, Renoir would be your best bet. I wouldn't say they're as good as Prismas, but certainly the closest thing you're going to get for such a low price. The colours are vibrant without having to put a lot of force on the pencil.
Blending is good as the soft leads merge well together. If you use anything less than hard pressure you're able to see quite a lot of white space, giving them the feel of oil pastels.
Erasing, Smudging & Sharpening
Renoir erase much better than Prisma due to the oil lead, ideally using a battery powered eraser to maximize the amount of pigment you can lift from the paper. I don't think you can erase quite so much of the Renoir as the Raffine, probably because these are a thicker, denser lead with much creamier colour.
Unless you rub a heavy hand over these pencils straight after colouring they do not smudge.
These pencils sharpen very well in comparison to Raffine, seeming much stronger in general. I haven't experienced any broken leads up to now. They do not crumble when colouring with a sharp point.
If you want something about as creamy as Prismacolor for a lower price tag, try out the Renoir first- they perform very similarly and have a decent starter range of colours. Those who like Raffine but find them too hard will likely prefer Renoir, as will those who struggle to colour with too much hand pressure.
I was given these pencils in exchange for an honest review. You can find them on Amazon here: