Technophile

Realme X review: A phone for a demanding young generation

Mala Bhargava July 15 | Updated on July 15, 2019 Published on July 15, 2019

The all new Realme X

A snazzy looking device with a bouquet of desirable features 

It seems like only yesterday that we even heard of the brand, Realme. But in the one year that the Shenzhen-based Oppo spin-off has been around outside of China, they’ve notched up over 7 per cent market share in India and are all set to head for 15 per cent. They’ve boldly marched into the budget and mid-range segments which are seeing the most frenzied action in the country, offering up worthy competition to other brands from the parent company, BKK and country cousin Xiaomi. From Realme’s latest release, one can immediately see they’ve got what it takes. Its spiralling success story is punctuated with a number of awards from tech publications which deem it the best emerging smartphone brand in India as well as being one of the most loved by the young people whom it targets as customers.  

The Realme X started out under another name in China but smartphone buffs soon began to anticipate its release in India. Earlier this month, the smartphone went up for ‘Blind Order’ which called to fans to register and pre-book with a ₹1,000 deposit fee. We got an early look at this much awaited smartphone.

This smartphone doesn’t skimp on looks is obvious straight off. There’s a Space Blue variant and a Polar White of which we received the blue. The back is plastic but looks just as good as glass with a lovely purple to blue gradient and a bit of light trickery going on. These tricks are of course about to become very very commonplace indeed as we see a new phone in roughly the same look every week. Common as it may be, the Realme X looks glossy and elegant with a vertical Realme logo centre-bottom and camera lenses to centre. The cameras don’t stick out at all, which is very nice.

 

This phone borrows a lot from the OnePlus phones’ design, unsurprising as they’re both from the same parent company. On the sides, the phone has nice quality buttons, the power button being in gold but looking quite subtle. In the hand, the phone feels a little too broad and of course it’s slippery. It’s not a compact sort of phone but definitely on the large side and not terribly light either.

Screen advantage

Flipping over to the front, you’ll see that the device has quite nice thin bezels, though not the thinnest in the business. The lower one is noticeably thicker than the rest, as is typical because of the components that need to go under it. There is a merciful absence of a notch, achieved by putting in a pop-up front camera. In fact, the company calls it a phone ‘for the pop-up generation’. The device can be unlocked with the usual pin or pattern, face recognition or by using the in-display fingerprint sensor which works pretty fast. I’m not going to compare that fraction of a fraction of a second with other phones as it doesn’t matter as long as it is functionally fast enough — which it is.

 

What is going to give the Realme X an advantage over many in its category is the AMOLED display which most people love as it shows blacks as really black and colours as nice and vivid. The 6.53-inch display has a 1080x2340 pip resolution and a pixel density of 394. More than good enough. 91.3 per cent of the front is screen, making it pretty nice for watching movies. The sound from the phone’s speaker is quite pleasant and has some fullness and depth as it is Dolby Atmos supported. On top of that, Realme has managed to retain the 3.5mm headphone jack, so that’s one less reason to complain.

Read: Realme 3 Pro review: Significant upgrade from the fast-growing brand

Game on, charge up

The Realme X runs on the octa-core 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 710 chipset with an Adreno 616 CPU which is acclaimed for its handling of moderately intensive gaming and background AI tasks. There are two variants: one with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage and another with 8GB RAM and 128 GB storage. We got the latter for our review. There’s no memory card slot and just the Dual SIM tray but while still on the subject of storage, the Realme X uses UFS 2.1 storage which is faster for transferring and saving heavy files.

The software is Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6, the same operating system used by Oppo phones. Performance is smooth and trouble-free. Customers will be particularly happy with this phone if they’re using it for everyday tasks. The battery is a 3,765mAh with the company’s own proprietary VOOC 3.0 fast charging which gives you a 55 per cent charge in just 30 minutes even if the phone is being used for intensive gaming at the time. A 20W charger is included in the box.  

 

The 48MP main camera uses the Sony IMX586 which is the same being widely used by even top-end smartphones right now. It has an F/1.7 aperture and combines four pixels into one. Don’t expect optical image stabilisation at this price point however. The camera app is simple and straightforward. There’s a depth sensor of 5MP and it does a good enough job with its F/2.4 aperture separating subjects from background well enough for everyday purposes: of the vivid type that people like now and also looking rather good on the Realme X’s screen. The type of zoom is digital so don’t expect any miracles. The main camera uses AI, as is usual these days and gives overall pleasing pictures. You can shoot in 48MP but sticking with 12MP is recommended. The 16MP selfie camera smoothness you out and makes you fairer unless you quickly adjust the settings. 

The Realme X is in direct competition with Xiaomi’s Redmi K20 launched a mere two days later than it, and the Samsung A50 launched earlier.  

Realme X Overview
  • Price: ₹16,999 for 4/128GB, ₹19,999 for 8/128Gb
  • Pros: Attractive looks with interesting colour variants, smooth performance, vivid full screen, pop-up camera, strong main camera, super fast charging, Dolby sound, UFS 2.1 standard, good pricing
  • Cons: No memory card slot, only 128GB storage on both variants 

Published on July 15, 2019
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