Realme is making the right kind of noises in the Indian smartphone market and has carved its spot among the top smartphone vendors within just two years of its launch. The budget player has now launched its most expensive smartphone, the Realme X in India. With flagship-level specifications such as a pop-up selfie camera, full-view display, and fast charging at an affordable price, Realme is ambitious enough to pitch the Realme X as a competitor to newer launches like Redmi K20.
In India, the Realme X comes in Space Blue and Polar White colour options and we got the former for review with 8GB RAM. Then there are the onion and garlic editions as well as a Spider-Man edition, which will cost slightly more. Realme has done away with the microSD card slot on Realme X, which comes with two nano-SIM card slots. The internal storage is 128GB for all models.
Realme X is being touted as an affordable flagship and the specifications impress on paper. But how does it perform in real-life? We find out in our full review:
Realme X specifications: 6.53-inch AMOLED display | 48MP+5MP rear camera | 16MP pop-up front camera | Snapdragon 710 processor | 4GB/8GB RAM | 128GB storage | 3,765mAh battery | Color OS with Android 9 Pie
Realme X price in India: Rs 16,999 for 4GB RAM variant, Rs 19,999 for 8GB RAM variant
Realme X review: What’s good?
Design is definitely one of the positives for me and you realise this as soon as you hold the phone. It is surprisingly lightweight, thanks to the polycarbonate back cover and does not feel slippery, which is great. Another good thing is it does not pick up fingerprint smudges quickly. In short, I could do without the plastic case that Realme has included in the box, but keep it on if you are clumsy with phones.
I liked the minimalist design, where the rear camera sensors are aligned vertically at the center and the Realme branding is placed below it. There is also a golden ring around the primary camera sensor, which feels like a nice addition.
Not all colours I feel can pull off the gradient effect and the dark blue and purple seemed too dark and shiny. I would have preferred the Polar White colour option as it looks subtle, but I’m sure the Space Blue will appeal to a lot of users.
The 6.53-inch FHD+ AMOLED is stunning with good viewing angles. It produces good colours and the icons look sharp. The screen adjusts to the light around you well and I had no problems viewing it in bright outdoors or in dark, which is great. Thanks to trimmed down bezels and lack of notch or any other gimmick, which translated into more viewing space, I enjoyed watching videos and playing games.
Realme X has two rear cameras, where the primary sensor is 48MP Sony IMX586, and I have to say it produces some very good results in places where there is ample light and the HDR mode impresses. The photos looked sharp with ample details, which I liked. The colour reproduction is close to natural. The Portrait shots also came out really well with the subject well-defined while the rest of the background is blurred.
The Chroma Boost makes the colours in photos really pop out and look sharper, but the natural effect is lost. But again, the feature is excellent for people who would want social media ready pictures.
I was impressed with the low-light performance as well as the photos looked sharp and, though some details were missing. I would say, the camera does a very good job for the price. The NightScape mode is recommended for dimly lit places as it can click sharper pictures with colours that look bright. The Portrait mode also works well.
The 16MP pop-up camera selfie camera is again, impressive. It produces sharp photos with good detailing and colour reproduction. The artificial enhancement, which generally ends up making you look extremely fair has been kept to a minimum. The Portrait mode does an excellent job in bright outdoors, but misses in dimly lit places.
The performance is top-notch on Realme X as one would expect from a Rs 20,000 phone. The apps opened quickly and I did not experience lag or stutters during my review. From a daily usage perspective, the phone will not disappoint you. I mostly had multiple tabs open and switching between them was not an issue, watched videos regularly, played games, etc with ease.
Even while playing graphics-heavy games such as Asphalt 9 Legends, I did not experience heating issues or frame drops, which is great. The phone scored around 150,000 in our Antutu benchmark test, which is lower than competition, including Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro and its own Realme 3 Pro. But when it comes to real-life performance, Realme X fares well. It has Dolby Atmos speaker and thankfully the sound did not feel like noise even at louder volumes.
The in-display fingerprint sensor is fast and unlocks the phone almost instantly. I also tried the face unlock feature, which worked well in places where there was enough light. This is a dual SIM phone, a great feature to have, especially in markets like India. Though the phone lacks a microSD card support, 128GB storage, I feel, should be good enough for most users.
The battery lasted for a day and a half with moderate usage and was sufficient for me to go through the day without the need to charge it again. I mostly clicked photos, watched a lot of videos, clicked pictures, and browsed social media. Realme X supports 20W VOOC 3.0 fast charging, which can charge the phone fully from around 7 per cent to 100 per cent in a little more than an hour. This is quite useful for when you are on the move more and is good to see on an affordable phone.
Realme X review: What’s not good?
ColorOS is something I may never get used to as I find the UI cluttered. Plus, the phone comes with bloatware such as DailyHunt, ShareChat, App Market, and NewsPoint that kept throwing notifications and cluttering my notifications menu. Thankfully, the apps can be uninstalled. When watching videos on Netflix, a shortcut menu appears when you swipe from one of the sides, which I accidentally opened several times while hoping for navigation buttons to appear, which was annoying.
Realme X review: Verdict
Realme X is a commendable effort by the company and a phone that does a premium in the under Rs 20,000 segment. This is also among the cheapest pop-up camera phones that you can buy for those who care. The design is flawless and performance should not disappoint.
Realme X should be worth the Rs 20,000 you spend but there are other options you can consider as well like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro, Vivo Z1 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy A50. Huawei P30 Lite is another solid option that one can look at. Then there is the Redmi K20, which is priced slightly higher.