From a new entrant in 2018 to one of the top five smartphone brands in India (July-September 2019), Chinese smartphone brand Realme has come a long way. Having made its mark in the country’s price-conscious smartphone market, the company has now taken an ambitious leap into the midrange-premium segment with the launch of Realme X2 Pro.
Though it is Realme’s first premium smartphone in the midrange segment, so far dominated by sister firm OnePlus, the Realme X2 Pro looks like a good blend of design, imaging, specifications and features. At a price of Rs 29,999 for the 8GB/128GB variant, the phone seems to give more bang for your buck than peers in the segment. But can it compete with the likes of the OnePlus 7T (review) and the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro (review). Let’s find out:
Unlike other Realme smartphones, the Realme X2 Pro has ditched polycarbonate for a premium glass-metal construction. The phone is covered by curved Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back for protection against everyday abuses. But its glass construction makes it a fingerprint magnet. Thankfully, the phone comes bundled with a translucent TPU cover that protects its back from scratches, smudges and fingerprint marks. Additionally, it also neutralises the otherwise protruding rear camera module that makes the phone uneven on flat surfaces like table top.
The Realme X2 Pro has a 6.5-inch fullHD+ AMOLED display stretched in a tall 20:9 aspect ratio. The display boasts several technologies that you might not get even in some premium flagships. Its screen, with a 90Hz refresh rate, enhances user experience by rendering transitions in user interface smoothly. Also, it supports HDR10+ and has 100 per cent DCI-P3 colour gamut; these make it a suitable choice for multimedia enthusiasts.
Other than features, the display is bright, vibrant and responsive. Though set to render vivid colours by default, you can tune it from settings to use natural colours. But unlike OnePlus 7T’s extensive screen customisation option, it has just two options — natural and vivid. The phone’s dark mode uses a greyish-black colour palette, instead of dense black, for system background colour. That may not please some. On the positive side, the dark mode is under testing and the final version may not have this issue.
The phone has a Widevine L1 certification, so its screen can use its native resolution to render content from over-the-top platforms like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix in high definition. The phone has an anti-flickering mode (DC dimming), which makes the display easy on the eye in low light by reducing unnoticeable display flickering. The display sports an in-display fingerprint sensor, which works just like any capacitive one to unlock the screen almost instantly.
The Realme X2 Pro has a quad camera module on the back, featuring a 64-megapixel primary sensor, a 13MP telephoto sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, the phone has a 16MP shooter for selfies.
The phone’s primary rear camera is an impressive performer in all light conditions. It captures detailed shots with good dynamic range and natural colours. The telephoto lens adds 2x optical zoom to the mix, but it works optimally only in day-light conditions due to a narrow aperture. In low light, the camera tends to switch to the primary sensor to capture 2x zoomed images (cropped images, basically).
Therefore, the low-light zoomed images lack details and suffer colour disorientation. However, the telephoto also adds 5x hybrid and 20x digital zoom capabilities to the phone’s imaging and these work well in day-light conditions.
Realme X2 Pro camera sample: Telephoto
Realme X2 Pro camera sample: Primary
Realme X2 Pro camera sample: Ultra-wide
Realme X2 Pro camera sample: MacroThe phone’s ultra-wide sensor is a mixed bag of hits and misses. Though it supports auto-focus, which few other phones with the ultra-wide sensors have, it has a narrow field of view (FoV) of 115 degrees dampening its utility to capture wide frames. In terms of output, it captures satisfactory shots with decent details. The captured frames, however, tend to show some disorientation as the colours look faded. The ultra-wide sensor also doubles up as a macro lens to take close-up shots. Thanks to an auto-focus lens, the sensor takes decent macro shots with some minor barrel effects that might not be visible unless you are looking closely.
The camera supports nightscape, which is just another name for night mode. Though it brightens dim-lit frames to take properly exposed shots in low-light conditions, it tends to oversaturate the colours and sharpen the frame. That may not impress keen shutter bugs. Nonetheless, it is one of the better iterations of the night mode in this price segment.
Realme X2 Pro camera sample: Low-light
Realme X2 Pro camera sample: Low-light (Nightscape)
Realme X2 Pro camera sample: Low-light 5x zoom
Realme X2 Pro camera sample: Low-lightTalking of the front camera, this selfie shooter is a brilliant performer that takes natural-looking shots. For those who like to add some zing to their selfies, the front camera supports the beauty mode with several options to play with. It also supports the portrait mode, which is not precise in edge detection but does the job nonetheless. Thankfully, the company has enabled the nightscape mode for selfies and it does not work too badly.
Realme X2 Pro camera sample: Telephoto
Realme X2 Pro camera sample: PortraitPerformance
The Realme X2 Pro boasts flagship specifications, including Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ system-on-chip, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of internal storage based on UFS 3.0, Dolby Atmos-tuned stereo speakers and 4,000 mAh battery with 50W fast charge support. It boots the Android Pie operating covered under Realme’s customised ColorOS 6.1 user interface.
Technical details aside, the Realme X2 Pro is quite a performer. The phone’s performance is sleek and it works without any glitch for most operations. It also handles processor- and graphic-intensive tasks without any stutters. Though the phone performs well on most counts, its custom UI is not give a great user experience. It has bloatware, some of which sends unsolicited advertisements and notifications.
Realme ColorOS 6.1: Bloatware
Realme ColorOS 6.1: Ads in UIOther than UI limitations, there is little else that you won’t like about the Realme X2 Pro’s performance. Its 4,000 mAh battery is good for one full day of regular use. Charging through the supplied superVOOC charger is insanely fast — just 35 minutes to replenish your completely drained out battery to 100 per cent.
From premium design to top-notch specifications, the Realme X2 Pro has everything that one expects from a midrange flagship. On parameters like display, multimedia, imaging, on-battery time and charging time, the phone exceeds some of the premium flagships. It would have been a complete package if it had a better user interface, with perhaps the OxygenOS that powers OnePlus smartphones. If you compare it with the gaming-centric Asus ROG Phone II (review), the Realme X2 Pro would appear better only in its imaging prowess. But, it certainly gives you more value for money than direct competitors in its price segment, such as the Redmi K20 Pro and the OnePlus 7T.