If you are looking for a smartphone under Rs 20,000, you are bound to get confused with so many options from the likes of Xiaomi, Samsung, and other Chinese manufacturers. Realme, which already had Realme 3 Pro, is hell-bent on championing this price segment with the launch of Realme X.
Realme X is the company’s take of a flagship-level smartphone at an affordable price. The X-factor about the device is its beautiful display wrapped around the dual-tone gradient finish body.
It is the first smartphone under Rs 20,000 to offer an all-screen experience, without any interference by the notch or punch-hole. And that’s just not it, because there is a lot more to Realme X than just its beautiful looks.
The Realme X sports a 6.53-inch display Full HD+ with an in-display fingerprint scanner. Under the hood, it gets a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The Realme X gets a 3,750 mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 fast charging.
At the back, there is a dual-camera setup with a 48MP + 5MP setup. For selfies, the Realme X gets a 16MP pop-up front camera with face unlock.
Now that we’ve mentioned the on-paper stuff, let’s get on to the real-world performance of the Realme X.
The Realme X comes wrapped around what looks like a glass back, but it is not. It is made up of polycarbonate and comes in two shades, namely Polar White and our review unit Space Blue. The Space Blue model comes with a dual-gradient tone and a shiny finish, which makes it look premium. The glossy back attracts fingerprint so we would recommend using a transparent case. Realme bundles one case in the box.
The power button with a golden accent is situated on the right side below the SIM-tray, whereas the volume buttons are located on the left. At the bottom, there is the speaker grille, USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
At the top, there is a pop-up front camera, that adds a lot to the weight making the phone 191 grams heavy.
The X-factor in Realme’s flagship is its display. The Realme X is the first smartphone under Rs 20,000 to offer an all-screen, no-notch design. The Chinese manufacturer has gone the pop-up camera way to ditch the notch or punch-hole. This, accompanied by a near bezel-less look, has resulted in a screen-to-body ratio of 91.2 percent.
Realme X’s display would not disappoint the ones who stream content on their smartphones, that is, in fact, most of us these days. Its Super AMOLED panel shows crisp and well-saturated elements. Colours are punchy and vibrant, too.
In outdoor conditions, we did not face any difficulty in using the phone in direct sunlight, mainly due to the 400 nits peak brightness capacity.
For a mid-range price, the Realme X does offer value-for-money internals. Sure it is the company’s flagship, but the Realme X gets powered by a mid-range 2.2GHz Snapdragon 710 octa-core SoC. It is paired with Adreno 616 GPU for graphics and is loaded with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The Realme X is currently the only smartphone under Rs 20,000 to offer that amount of RAM and ROM.
The Snapdragon 710 SoC is known to offer a balance between good performance and better battery management. In the case of Realme X, the results are no different.
Gaming on the Realme X offered enough oomph that allowed a lag-free experience with no frame drop. We played PUBG on the smartphone for nearly 30 minutes. The game loaded on the highest settings with HD graphics. We did not experience any significant heating on the Realme X during our intense gaming session.
With 8GB RAM onboard, the phone is bound to offer smooth multitasking. We kept multiple apps running in the background, and they continued to run where we left them upon re-opening.
The only bit where we wish the Realme X excelled was the battery department. It comes with a marginally-over-average 3,765-mAh non-removable battery.
While the device had enough juice to last the day, we wish Realme packed a 4,000 mAh battery or even bigger on the Realme X. The phone does support VOOC 3.0 fast charging that charges the device from 0 to 100 in less than 85 minutes.
For biometrics, the Realme X features an in-display fingerprint scanner by Goodix. We had a good accuracy rate with the fingerprint scanner which unlocked the device quickly in the first attempt. Despite having a pop-up camera mechanism, the Realme X also supports face unlock. The camera pops within 0.74 seconds and is quick to detect the face and unlock the device.
The Realme X features a dual-camera setup with a primary 48MP f/1.7 Sony IMX586 sensor, which is found in most flagship devices. The primary camera is paired with a 5MP depth sensor.
The camera performs well in well-lit conditions, offering promising results. Images clicked using the primary camera were sharp, crisp and were well-saturated. However, we noticed a hint of noise at the edges of the frame.
For those who love vibrant colours, the Realme X comes with Chroma Boost. The effect essentially increased the saturation of colours, making them look more bright and vibrant. In our results, we noticed that the saturation and contrast levels in some images were a bit too much to our liking. The Yellows had a slightly reddish hue in them while clicking in Chroma Boost. Hence, most of our images were shot with Chroma Boost disabled.
A disappointment, however, is the lack of a dedicated ultra-wide angle or telephoto lens on the Realme X. Many smartphones in the segment offer either the ultra-wide or telephoto and even both in some cases. If you wish to zoom in, the Realme X offers ‘2x’ digital zoom.
The camera also supports Portrait Mode and does quite well. The blur may not be natural-looking, but the edge detection is mostly on point and does a good job.
At the front, there is a 16MP f/2.0 pop-up camera with fall detection. It features the natural mode and beauty mode, along with a set of beauty filters. We disabled the beauty mode that made the skin too soft. The colour tone, too, was a bit on the fairer side.
Selfies clicked in Natural mode offered far better results. Edge detection in Portrait mode may not be the best, and you would see the ears or some strands of hair getting blurred.
Possibly the weakest link in the Realme X is its software. The device boots Color OS 6, which is the company’s latest skin on top of Android 9.0. The biggest complaint we have is the amount of bloatware that comes pre-installed with the phone.
Although some of these apps can be uninstalled, it can get annoying for someone who likes the stock Android experience. Some apps notify users with fresh updates and recommendations, which can be disabled in settings.
Talking about the good bits, Color OS 6 comes with some handy gestures apart from other Android 9 features. The phone comes with a gaming mode called Game Space that allows users to set different types of modes based upon the type of gameplay. These mainly include the ‘Competitive mode’, Balance Mode’, ‘Low Power Mode’, etc., which adjust the performance and power consumption of the device.
Realme X is the company’s attempt to offer a near-flagship experience at an affordable price. For Rs 16,999, you get an excellent Super AMOLED, notch-less display and the reliable processor that is common across most smartphones in the budget. Even the cameras perform well in most conditions.
The standout features here for Realme X could be its beautiful design and a stunning display. If you love streaming content, the Realme X can definitely be recommended.
However, looks are not the only thing that can add to the smartphone’s success in terms of sales. Performance during gaming and multi-tasking is also an essential factor, especially for the youth.
Realme ticks the box here too with the ever-reliable Snapdragon 710 SoC. It may be slightly slower than the Snapdragon 675 SoC in various performance tests, but the GPU makes up for it, leaving no room for complaints in this department.
What we felt could have made the Realme X a dominator in the segment is the addition of at least an ultra-wide-angle lens. Even a larger battery would have been nice.
Bells and whistles aside, Realme X does have a tough fight in the already-competitive space against the likes of Redmi Note 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy M40, amongst others. The Vivo Z1Pro offers a slightly faster Snapdragon 712 processor but is limited to 6GB RAM.
Realme X is Realme’s first step towards an affordable flagship. The overall package that the device offers makes it hard not to recommend. It comes with a bunch of first-in-the-category features for a competitive price that makes it an absolute value-for-money smartphone.