Realme X Review: Leap to Premium

Realme X Review
Realme X Review

Realme X specifications and software
Realme X performance and battery life
Realme X cameras
Realme X Verdict

Realme brought a new premium 'X' model back in May because it was its first proper flagship in the Chinese market. 

With Realme X, the company has tried to include several sub-level features, while still the sub-Rs. 20,000 price segment, in which it is currently some very popular phones, such as Realme 3 Pro (review). 

Realme X is now in India, and it may lack a true flagship level processor, trying to balance it with a modern, notch-free design, pop-up selfie camera, and in-display fingerprint sensor - All a very affordable price.

We currently have some really good options under Rs. 20,000 such as the Samsung Galaxy M40 ₹ 19,990 (Review), Redmi Note 7 Pro ₹ 14,500 (Review), and Vivo Z1 Pro (Review), so the Realme X has some tough competition. 

On paper, it seems as though Realme has covered its bases pretty well, and now it's time to see if can deliver the kind of results we're expecting in day-to-day usage.

Realme X design

Realme X does a good job in terms of design, and besides being different, it also looks premium. This phone is available in Polar White and Space Blue Trims, which we had previously reviewed. 
Realme X Review
Realme X Review

The off-white finish fits well to the chrome-plated sides. The phone is a bit thicker at 9.33 mm, but it does not seem too heavy at 191 g.

Realme also launched Realme X in China on special onions and garlic finishes, which will also be available for purchase in India. There is also a special Spider-Man: Far From Home Edition that comes with Spider-Man themed case, special theme, and a memorial box.

On the front of Realme X, we have a large 6.53-inch, full-HD + OLED display with Gorilla Glass 5. Bezel around the display is very thin, apart from it is a little thick Chin. There is no notch or holes, which means there is no blockage in your content. 

The sides of the display are not curved, but overall, this phone resembles OnePlus 7 Pro ₹ 48,999 (review), which is not bad at all.

The colors are vivid and porous, and the brightness gets saturated so that it becomes easy to see the material under any type of light. Our review unit had a screen protector in the past, but its edges felt fat while interacting with the display, so we got rid of it.

Goodix X is Goodix's in-display optical fingerprint sensor, which is fast to certify your finger, and during our review period, we had a good success rate. You also get five different animations to choose from. There is also face recognition using a centrally-mounted pop-up selfie camera.

Realme says that pop-up mechanism on Realme X has been tested to face around 200,000 cycles, so it is expected that unless you are the owner of the phone, you should not have any problems. 

The material covering the front sensor is called sapphire glass, which is good for stability. There is also a speed-trigger protection mechanism, which automatically withdraws the camera module after detecting the fall of the phone.

The bright back of Realme X looks like glass, but it is actually a polycarbonate layer. Thankfully, this was not looking for a scuff pick, and the blur is not easily visible on white color. 

The Realme logo has been kept vertically in the center this time, and above it, we have dual cameras and LED flash. Physical volume and power buttons are placed ergonomically on both sides of the phone.

At the bottom, we have the headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and a single speaker. It's nice to finally see Realme adopting the newer USB standard. 

The SIM tray is on the side and only accepts two Nano-SIM cards. Realme X is the company's first phone without expandable storage. In India, this shouldn't be a big issue since all variants have 128GB of storage.

In the box, you get a hard plastic case for the phone, a USB Type-C cable, a VOOC 3.0 fast charger, a SIM eject tool, and manuals.

Realme X specifications and software

The Realme X is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC, which we recently saw in the less expensive Realme 3 Pro. 
Realme X Review
Realme X Review

Compared to the Snapdragon 675, which is also a popular choice in this segment, CPU performance is a little weaker but it has better-integrated graphics capabilities and is slightly more power efficient thanks to its smaller 10nm fabrication.

In India, the Realme X is available in two variants — one with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (Rs. 16,999), and the other with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (Rs. 19,999), which is the one that we have. The type of RAM used is LPDDR4X and you also get decently quick UFS 2.1 storage.

Other specifications of the Realme. X include dual 4G with VoLTE, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5, support for GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou navigation systems, and the usual suite of sensors. This phone doesn't have FM radio though.

Software is quite up-to-date, in which ColorOS 6 is running based on Realme X android 9 Pieces, as well as Jun Security Security Patch. The interface is what we have recently seen on Realme 3 Pro (review), which has not made any major changes. 

Thanks to the OLED panel, when the phone is in standby, you can always be on display. However, this is limited to showing missed alerts for the only time, date, battery percentage, and SMS and calls, but not notifications from any other app.

Along with Realme, third-party vendors have many pre-installed apps. Some like a new spot you are notorious for spam with notifications, but it can be uninstalled. 

Realme's app market is another app that does this, but you can reduce the number of notifications you receive by disabling the alert from within the app.

There is a theme store app for customizing wallpapers and icons; Accessories like driving modes and riding modes, which silence the information; And some speed and gesture shortcuts. 

ColorOS lets you run two instances of some apps, and there is a hint to quickly enable split-screen mode incompatible apps.

The game center is an app store that curates free games from the Play Store, but it's a little redundant when you already have the Google Play Store. 

The game space organizes all your games in one place and offers the option to lock the brightness and prioritize system resources for running games.

The unit which Realme had sent us was certified Widewin L3 only, although the company says that retail units will extend the L1 certification, allowing HD resolution and subsequent video to stream video streams such as Netflix and Prime Video is.

Realme X performance and battery life

Realme X is a big phone. It's not very wide, so getting a good grip isn't an issue, but it is tall, which makes reaching the top of the display with one hand virtually impossible. 
Realme X Review
Realme X Review

You can enable one-handed mode, which shrinks the entire interface. We didn't find the body to be slippery, but in case you do, the bundled case should provide additional grip.

The Realme X feels comfortable in the hand and is quite the attention grabber. A fun fact is that a lot of people mistook it for the OnePlus 7 Pro since they both have a very similar design language.

The Realme X also runs cool with regular use as well as when performing CPU-intensive tasks such as gaming. Realme says it has used a new type of gel cooling technique, which uses a copper foil, graphite flakes, and an aluminum alloy for better heat dissipation. 

The Snapdragon 710 SoC delivers good gaming performance, and heavy titles such as PUBG Mobile default to the ‘High' graphics preset. 

Gameplay was smooth, without any stutter even in intense battles. Other titles such as Asphalt 9: Legends also ran smoothly, with no visible frame drops.

Realme X is also very good for media playback. This is Realme's first phone with Dolby Atmos support. It's enabled by default for the bottom speaker and cannot be turned off. 

However, if you're using headphones, you can switch it off. You can choose between different sound modes or leave it at ‘Smart' which will automatically pick the best effect for the type of content being consumed. 

Even though there's only a single audio channel, it doesn't sound one-sided. The volume also gets loud and the quality is quite good.

While the fingerprint sensor on the Realme X is quick at authentication, face recognition is also fast. You can engage this in two ways —either press the power button to wake the screen and pop the camera module up or swipe up on the lock screen. 

In the darkness, the screen flashes brightly for a brief moment, which is enough for the camera to authenticate you.

Even with heavy use of the camera, the Realme X is still able to deliver solid day-long battery life. The 3,765mAh battery lasted for 14 hours and 28 minutes in our battery loop test, which is a good sign. 

When using this phone regularly with a mix of video streaming, camera usage, gaming, and social apps, we easily managed to go a day and a half, on one charge.

The phone also supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging, and we managed to get from zero to about 93 percent in an hour.

Realme X cameras

Realme X features a Sony IMX 586 48-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel depth sensor. In the main sensor, there is an aperture of f / 1.7 and uses 4-in-1 pixels, which considers four pixels to hold more than one light, and saves 12-megapixel photos. 
Realme X Review
Realme X Review

This is the same sensor used in Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review) and OnePlus 7 Pro (Review) when we reviewed them, both showed good results.

With the Landscape shoot under the good light, the main camera on Realme X does a great job with colors and descriptions. 

There is a good definition of distant objects and good speed in the overall image. Areas of extreme edges of the frame have little noise but this is not very noticeable, as long as you do not zoom in any way.

Realme X does a great job with HDR, and the dynamic range is good. The Crown Boost toggle in the viewfinder helps in color and brightness, which helps when shooting objects against the light. You also get 2x 'button but this is only for digital zoom.

Close-up shots are also handled very well. The color tone is slightly warm, but the colors and details are reproduced well. Even indoor shots under the artificial light pack in good volume without any noise.

The second sensor helps to map the objects and edges around people, which results in good-looking picture shots. Background blur is not adjustable, but it looks natural.

Low-light performance is good. Photos reduce their sharpness and have some visible noise in deep areas, but it is not very serious. In some instances, we were able to get beautiful clean landscape shots with very less visible noise. 

You can squeeze more detail and better sharpness by using the 'Knightscape' mode of the phone. Here, the phone takes a few seconds to capture an image, but the end result is bright with a better description.

Realme X has a 16-megapixel front camera, which also does pixel binning when shooting with portrait mode. This gives you a portrait shot of 8-megapixels, but while shooting regular selfies, even at night, the phone saves the image of a 16-megapixel.

Selfie shot with Realme X usually look good with good color and enough detail. AI is not very aggressive in making your skin beautiful. Even in low light, there is good brightness and color in a selfie. You can add a boxer effect to selfie, which looks a little artificial, but it is good to know the edge.

The Realme X can shoot up to the 4K video, but there's no image stabilization. If you aren't moving about too much, then the footage will be used as image quality is good. Even in low light, there's not a lot of visible noise and colors and details are preserved well.

At 1080p, the phone automatically stabilizes video footage. This works well and there isn't a lot of distortion when shooting in low light either. There are some slow-motion modes to play with too, including a 960fps mode. The latter saves short clips but the slowed-down footage is choppy.


The Realme X is the company's attempt at building an ‘affordable flagship', and for a first try, we'd say it has done a very good job. 
Realme X Review
Realme X Review

Other than the lack of expandable storage — which isn't really a big issue considering you get 128GB of internal storage — it's hard to find any major fault with this phone. 

Realme X is built well and looks good. It has a big and vivid display, good software, and a capable set of cameras.

Realme has also gone with a Type-C port, which is something we've been wanting for a long time. If we were to knock points off then we'd say the tall design of this phone might not suit everyone, especially if you have smaller hands. Also, we would have liked video stabilization at 4K too.

Realme X is an excellent addition to the sub-Rs. 20,000 segment and is high up on our list of recommendations, along with the Samsung Galaxy M40 (Review), Vivo Z1 Pro (Review), and Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review). 

Previously, the Vivo V15 Pro ₹ 25,999 (Review) was the most affordable phone if you wanted an in-display fingerprint sensor as well as a pop-up selfie camera, but now, the Realme X offers you all that and more, at a lower price.

If you don't mind the large size of this phone, then the Realme X offers a healthy set of features and good performance, at an extremely competitive price.

Buy Realme X (Rs 16,999) from Flipkart

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