Realme X hands-on: Ten out of ten? - Android Authority
Realme X hands-on: Ten out of ten? Android AuthorityThe Realme X sees the affordable Chinese brand stepping outside the entry-level sector and into the mid-range. Here's our Realme X hands-on review!
Realme has made a name for itself thanks to its rapid product release schedule and its equally up the market share tables in emerging markets. The launch of the all-new Realme X is incredibly the tenth phone to launch since its inception as an just 12 months ago.
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The Realme X isn’t just another phone from the Chinese brand though, as it sees Realme taking tentative steps out of the entry-level sector and into the mid-range with more than a few flagship-like features thrown in for good measure.
Ahead of a full Realme X review coming very soon, we wanted to share our initial impressions on the new top-tier offering in Realme’s increasingly bloated product portfolio. Here’s our Realme X hands-on.
Realme X: X-factor
The smartphone industry’s current tug-of-war between $1,000+ handsets with luxury trimmings versus ultra-budget devices packed with premium features has basically warped the meaning of value for money beyond recognition.
The Realme X takes this to the extreme with a trio of hardware perks that you’d think would have no place on a phone at this price point.
Let’s start off with the most obvious one: the pop-up selfie camera. The Realme X is the latest phone from the wider family — OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo, Realme — to sport a motorized camera, and it’s also by far one of the cheapest.
The pop-up camera is located in the middle of the phone’s top edge, which Realme says was conscious decision to deliver “more natural selfies.” Realme claims the elevation takes 0.7 seconds. That feels like a fair reading based on my time with the phone, though it does take a little longer than I’d hope for it to retract after switching camera modes.
If you’re worried the design might be cheaper than other phones with pop-up cameras, Realme says the mechanism is tested for over 200,000 cycles and is protected by sapphire glass. It also retracts automatically if you happen to drop your phone thanks to the phone’s built-in sensors. In this regard, the Realme X works just like the brand new .
The Realme X offers flagship features at a mid-tier price point.
This all leads into another huge advantage the Realme X has over its rivals. With no selfie camera to deal with, the Realme X maximizes its screen real estate with a 6.53-inch display and an impressive 91.2 percent screen-to-body ratio.
This is also Realme’s first ever phone with an AMOLED display, though it matches the 2,340 x 1,080 resolution and 19.5:9 aspect ratio found on the recent . The display is also protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
While it may not have the smallest bottom bezel I’ve ever seen on a pop-up phone, it’s still negligible enough to call this a true fullscreen phone and it generally gets plenty bright with satisfyingly deep blacks.
The final surprise inclusion is an in-display fingerprint sensor and based on my short time with the phone it’s a surprisingly good one. Realme has outfitted the Realme X with the latest Goodix sensor that’s capable of analysing over a thousand feature points and boasts expanded range for increased accuracy. It certainly seems to have paid off as it rarely failed to recognize my thumb and is lightning fast.
Realme X: High-class hardware
These flagship-aping features would be meaningless without a solid base, and thankfully the Realme X has sturdy foundations.
The Realme X is outfitted with which we already know is a great fit for Realme’s architecture after it . This is backed by either 4GB, 6GB, or 8GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage, though this will almost certainly vary by region.
Even at the lowest SKU, the Realme X surpasses the recently launched and more expensive series. This is especially true for gamers thanks to the Adreno 616 GPU. Gamers will also be happy to hear the Realme X uses cooling gel technology to keep things running cool and smooth, while software modes called Hyperboost 2.0 and Game Boost 2.0 look to optimize performance for games like . There’s even a Game Space feature for storing all your games in one place and Game Assistant which lets you manage notifications during an extended play sessions and record the action on screen.
The Realme X also supports for mobile with different modes for gaming movies and music. Unfortunately, despite the really long grill around the earpiece, you only get a single, bottom-firing speaker which is far too loud above 50 percent volume for some reason.
There’s also a headphone jack on the bottom for those still rocking wired headphones. This sits next to a port — again a first for Realme after refusing to ditch Micro-USB for so long.
If there’s an area of the overall hardware experience I have concerns with its the battery life. Realme phones have always been champions of endurance, combining low power displays, efficient processors, and large batteries.
Under normal circumstances, the 3,765mAh cell would be impressive, but the Realme X is hoping to make bank in China, India, and emergent markets where 4,000mAh+ batteries are the norm. Combine that with the AMOLED display and things may start to get dicey if you’re hoping to stretch the battery into a second day.
At least you know it’ll get back to full charge quickly with support for Oppo’s VOOC 3.0, 20W , which takes the phone from to just over half full in around 30 minutes.
Realme X: A flagship camera?
The recent launch of the Pixel 3a has for mid-range smartphone cameras, but the Realme X should give it some decent competition.
Let’s start with that pop-up front camera. The 16MP camera is a Sony IMX471 sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and for better low light performance. Realme inherited a love for beauty modes from Oppo and there’s plenty of beautification options here, all bolstered by AI that lets you smooth out all your wrinkles and blemishes by examining 296 different recognition points. There’s even a group selfie beauty mode in case you want to make all your friends and family look like creepy manikins too.