Chinese electronics maker BKK Electronics’ smartphone brand Realme is losing no opportunity to take arch rival Xiaomi in the price-sensitive Indian smartphone market. In a short span of a year, the brand has launched affordable smartphones with premium design, midrange specifications and flagship features. Taking the legacy forward, the company recently launched the Realme X.
Pitched as a rival to the Xiaomi K20 smartphone, the Realme X is a premium midrange offering and the most expensive in Realme’s bouquet of smartphones. However, it is the most affordable smartphone with a motorised pop-up selfie camera. Moreover, the phone has a super AMOLED screen with an in-display fingerprint sensor, reflective glass-like gradient design and a dual camera module on the back featuring a 48-megapixel primary sensor.
The Realme X has an elegant design with a curved glass-like gradient cover on the back and an obstruction-free profile on the front. Despite its plastic body, the phone has a premium appearance. Some might question the choice of material, but the phone’s build is sturdy and has good resistance to daily rigour. Thankfully, the phone’s front is protected by a sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which is strong enough to protect the screen from unwanted scratches and cuts.
The Realme X has a 6.53-inch super fullHD+ AMOLED display stretched in a tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The screen is set to render natural colours, and there is a provision to change the screen tone to either warm or cool. There are built-in night mode and eye-care modes — the former reduces blue light emission and the latter cuts flicker in low brightness. Both modes reduce visual fatigue caused due to long hours of screen viewing. Like most AMOLED panels, the display has good contrast and vivid colours. It, however, lacks brightness which causes low sunlight legibility. The phone has a Widevine L1 certification for streaming multimedia content from over-the-top platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos in HD and FullHD resolutions.
Imaging is one area where Realme has been improving with each successive device. The Realme X has a dual-camera module on the back, featuring a 48MP primary camera of an f/1.7 aperture and a 5MP depth sensor. Though the depth sensor is there practically only to provide depth information to the primary sensor, the 48MP sensor is a capable one and captures scintillating shots irrespective of light conditions.
Camera sample: 12MP with chroma boost on
Camera sample: 48MP
Camera sample: 12MP (HDR)
Camera sample: 48MPBesides regular features like HDR, artificial intelligence-based auto scene recognition, etc, the phone has a chroma boost mode that enhances colours while retaining highlight and shadow information. There is also a built-in nightscape mode that comes handy while capturing shots during lowlight conditions. The nightscape mode is an improvement over the Realme 3 Pro. Though not perfect, the mode has come a long way and become a better version of itself.
The front camera, part of the motorised pop-up mechanism, is a capable unit too. It supports AI-based beauty mode, portrait mode and several colour filters. Unlike the rear camera, the front camera struggles in lowlight conditions.
Powering the phone is the tried and tested Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 system-on-chip, which also powers the Realme 3 Pro. The phone comes with 128 GB of internal storage and up to 8 GB of RAM. It boots the Android Pie operating system-based ColorOS 6.0 user interface, which is a customised skin layered above the default operating system.
While the phone’s performance is swift and sleek, it is marred by the heavily customised user interface that comes pre-installed with lots of bloatware. The phone delivers consistently good performance, even after prolonged heavy usage, but the same cannot be said for user experience (UI) — the UI is sluggish, confusing and unoptimised. Except for the UI and user experience, there is nothing where the phone would seem wanting. It handles everyday tasks with ease and renders graphic-intensive gaming titles without lags or glitches.
Camera sample: Auto scene recognition
Camera sample: BokehBattery
The phone has a 3,765 mAh battery, which seems inadequate for a midrange phone but delivers exceptional on-battery time of more than a day. Moreover, the phone supports Oppo’s proprietary VOOC 3.0 20W fast-charge, which fully replenishes the battery power in around one hour. The quick recharge time and optimum on-battery time make the Realme X a compatible daily driver for someone usually on the go.
Priced at Rs 19,999 for the 8GB RAM variant (which has been reviewed here), the Realme X is a beautiful smartphone that delights with its performance, imaging quality and vibrant display. Except for the UI and plastic build, there is absolutely nothing to complain about.