Technophile

Realme X7 Max 5G: Powerful little performer

Mala Bhargava | Updated on June 09, 2021

Not the most dazzling of designs, but this phone is packed with top-end specs at a reasonable price

No one can be blamed for wondering which Realme phone is which, seeing that there’s a regular influx of them pouring into the Indian market. If you’re looking to pick up a device without spending a shocking amount in these uncertain times of the pandemic, the newest of Realme’s phones is worth considering. That’s because the Realme X7 Max 5G is packed with top-line specs and performs really well — all for a pretty good price.

How critical is a phone’s design to you? If it matters hugely and you’re one of those users who identify strongly with their smartphones and believe it must be an ‘extension of your personality’, better move on and explore the competition. And there’s a lot of it. But if you’re more interested in the design being functional and comfortable, absolutely read on.

Plastic-all-over phone

The Realme X7 Max is a plastic-all-over phone and doesn’t pretend to be glass. In that sense there’s a certain honesty about it. The back is matte and doesn’t take on smudges. But on the left, taking a path from the camera to the bottom edge, is a glossy strip that stops the phone from looking too staid and plain but does lightly show up smudges. It doesn’t look bad and gives the phone a two-tone look, glinting in an interesting way when it catches the light. But unfortunately it’s all marred by a really commercial looking version of Realme’s logo and its favourite Dare to Leap tagline disturbing the whole landscape.

The execution of the logo may be preferable to the huge tagline that took up half the phone on other Realme devices recently, but I found it the least acceptable aspect of the X7 Max. To be as bold as the logo itself, it looks infra-dig and does the brand no favours. In fact, changing the way the logo is displayed doesn’t help Realme at all. If you look at the most successful brands, you’ll surely see that the logo and tagline is usually displayed with religious consistency rather than trying this and that.

The build of the X7 Max may not feel solid and look premium, but it certainly leaves the phone light and easy to hold. One of the three colours apparently looks more interesting than the rest and it’s called Milky Way but it may lag behind the black and blue variants in being available at first. The screen is a 6.43-inch one, so this is a phone that’s slightly more compact than the others and that’s immediately evident. You’ll find you can hold the phone for long sessions very easily — which after all is what so many of us are resorting to doing in the pandemic. Talking of top-line specs, this phone has a Super AMOLED screen. No compromises with LCD here. The edges are slim, but the bottom one is a bit thicker than the top, if that bothers you at all. The camera dot is forgettable after it’s been noted once. The Dragontrail glass face is very slightly curved into the sides. Luckily, Realme includes the 120Hz refresh rate, adding its bit to the device’s performance. You can drop to 60Hz but I’m not sure anyone bothers to change this setting as often as it’s talked of. The display is a 1080x2400 pixels and nothing more, but it does the job well on colour, brightness and fluidity. Just a short while ago, you couldn’t get a great screen in this price — even from the top companies that make screens.

Dimensity dimension

The hardware highlight of the X7 Max happens to be its processor, the MediaTek Dimensity 1200. This is a 6mm process chip that supports 5G. Tech savvy users will look forward to this chip which is thought to be as good as some of the flagship chips from the Snapdragon 800 series even if not competing with the current Snapdragon 888. On this phone it’s coupled with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. You don’t get a memory card slot, but opt for the higher storage variant and you shouldn’t need one.

The phone performs great at everyday tasks, at multi-tasking, and also tackles heavier demands like video recording smoothly without heating up significantly. The battery it works on is a 4,500mAh battery with 50W charging. That’s full up from zero in about 45 minutes. There’s no wireless charging or IP rating.

Given that the performance is so good, it really has to be considered in relation to the price, kept neatly down because MediaTek processors don’t cost quite as much as Qualcomm’s do. The phone is on Android 11 with Realme UI 2.0 doing a pretty good job of it. The software is smooth and has some nice extras, but of course comes with some of the inevitable unwatered apps. Take some time to get rid of those you don’t want. There’s also annoying notifications from native browsers and app hubs to be tamed at setup time.

Camera features

You may have braced yourself for a letdown with the cameras, but you’ll be surprised. The setup is pretty good and the cameras are perfectly workable. TheA main 64MP Sony IMX682 sensor takes quite good detailed photos. The Night mode does a good job as well, so indoor photos are not bad either though not as good as the regular Photo mode. As is quite typical, the wide angle 8MP lens is just adequate and the 2MP macro too is the usual. The 15MP front camera is also ‘regular’ and usable.

The X7 Max has a lot of competitors snapping at its heels including the OnePlus Nord, but it offers enough value to be running neck and neck with the best in the category.

Published on June 09, 2021

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