toIndia is one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world, but is also one of the trickiest to succeed. Big brands such as Apple, Nokia, Motorola and many more have struggled to find their footing in recent years, and has diminished their market share to minuscule quantities.
In risky times like these, few brands have been able to generate a fan following in the budget segment owing to the intense competition. 5 year s ago, Xiaomi entered the market and changed the face of it and more recently, it’s been Realme that has been doing a great job at creating waves in the budget segment.
Started just over a year ago, Realme has always focussed on bringing great value for money devices in the budget segment, and has been succeeding for the most part. Naturally, their next step was to try and replicate that in other segments. The Realme X is their first offering in the slightly more expensive, mid-range segment, and aims at retaining the excellent value proposition we all expect from Realme. Here’s what life with the recently launched Realme X was like.
Budget smartphones are extremely aspirational commodities, as they aim to provide an experience that punches a few weight classes above their price segment. This is primarily the reason why we’ve seen an onslaught of phones with notches, multiple cameras, gradient backs and many other elements that are present on higher-end expensive devices. The Realme X is the poster boy for smartphones that will appear a lot more premium than it actually is.
Realme X Review: Design
This is apparent as soon as you lay your eyes on the device. My review unit was in this Polar White finish, and it looks very classy. White-coloured phones have really gone the way of the dinosaur, especially in the budget segment, but the Realme X looks really cool and fresh. It has a slight off-white tinge and shimmers with a light pink and blue shade when seen from specific angles and looks really pretty. It’s a very minimal back design, with just the camera setup and a Realme logo on the bottom and I really, dig this design.
Even with this all-glass back design, it wasn’t all that slippery or heavy, and was pretty comfortable to wield. The weight distribution was excellent and the subtle along the edges go a long way in helping with the ergonomics. Considering the sheer footprint of the phone, any bit of ergonomic help is appreciated.
Realme X Review: Display
There’s a good reason why this phone has such a big size. On the front, we get an expansive 6.53-inch Super AMOLED display with an FHD+ resolution with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. This is one of the cheapest phones with no notch at all, providing for an immersive, big screen viewing experience. The display panel itself is a really high-quality one, with great vibrant colours, perfect blacks, and ample maximum brightness.
This panel has two important additions that add to the aforementioned premium perception. Firstly, the selfie camera does not eat into the display but resides in a special housing that pops up from the top edge when needed. I still have my concerns over moving parts on a phone, but this is the general direction that the industry is going towards right now and the Realme X will be instrumental in bringing it to the masses. Secondly, we also get an in-display fingerprint scanner on the X and is one of the best scanners of its kind, even in comparison with certain other considerably more expensive smartphones. Being an optical sensor, it will still light up your finger on contact but it gave me very few issues.
Realme X Review: Performance
The pre-launch campaigns for the Realme X were met with a lot of concerns over the choice of opting for the Snapdragon 710 SoC. This is a mid-range, octa-core processor with 8 cores clocked at up to 2.2GHz built over a 10nm manufacturing process. Yes, it is over a year old, but the performance was admirable. It’s a very consistent runner with hardly any heating.
During regular usage, most apps were really quick to open and even stayed in memory for a while. There’s also an option to lock apps in memory. For heavier use cases too, such as extended periods of PUBG Mobile, the Realme X performed smoothly with nary a frame drop. One of the best gaming experiences I’ve had on a mid-range smartphone. That big display also assists in making this device a media consumption powerhouse.
Realme X Review: Software
In terms of software, the Realme X runs on ColorOS 6.0 based on Android 9 Pie. It’s not a very light skin, with loads of colourful elements and icons around the interface. The quick settings toggles also look dated with big squircles on a translucent background. There’s an assistant page on the extreme left which shows data around notifications, date and weather, step counter etc. The settings menu is also fairly easy to navigate through. What I didn’t like was the ability to dismiss notifications. That would work only from a leftward swipe and not from the right edge, which sucks for right-handed users. I also wish it had fewer pre-installed apps that clutter the app drawer.
There are some additional features for gaming like adjusting the processing profiles, shortcuts for screenshots and screen recording, floating messenger and a few more which try to not get in the way of your gaming experience.
Realme X Review: Battery and Charging
The Realme X is powered by a 3,765mAh battery, which is a little smaller than the competition. The battery life was still pretty good with moderate users being able to make it last for over a day. In my usage, I was able to get over 5 hours of screen-on-time on most days, with lighter days crossing the hour mark too. It’s not an exceptional marathoner, but the battery is definitely not bad. Adding to that, we also get 20W VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 which takes the Realme X from nil to about 65% in about half and hour which is impressive and one of the few phones to offer a charging option this fast. This is also Realme’s first device to sport a USB type-C connector for charging and data.
Realme X Review: Camera
The Realme X has a simple dual camera setup consisting of a primary 48-megapixel f/1.7 lens paired with a secondary 5-megapixel assistant.
Realme X Review: Audio
The audio experience on the Realme X was also pretty serviceable, with a single bottom firing speaker that gets really loud, a headphone jack on the other side, and an elongated earpiece along the top edge which can take some getting used to but the output was decent once you know where to place your ear.
Realme X Review: Verdict
So where does that leave us with the Realme X? It’s a pretty solid device, and is a testament to how far Realme has come in just a year. I see few reasons to not recommend this phone to someone looking for a decent all-rounder in the sub 20K segment, especially if they don’t mind ColorOS. Yes, the cameras could have been a little more versatile, and the phone could have been a little lighter, but those aren’t really deal breakers. It’s a safe recommendation which covers the basics like performance, battery life and cameras, while looking really elegant.
It goes against the Vivo Z1Pro and the upcoming Redmi K20 (non-Pro) which are both comeplling performers. It remains to be seen how Xiaomi prices the K20 and where it is better than the Realme X.
Original Source: https://in.mashable.com/tech/4866/realme-x-review-heating-up-the-race