What started as a budget-friendly sub-brand of Oppo, Realme broke off with its parent company to achieve its entity selling smartphones from budget to mid-range categories. Soon enough, we were introduced to high-end specs such as 64MP sensor on Realme XT, and then, the news around Realme’s first flagship smartphone begin to go viral on the internet.
Realme launched Realme X2 Pro, and it’s first-ever flagship smartphone with premium specs in an upper mid-range price category released on November 26. I am very much happy with the phone as a whole although being a device in the upper mid-range category, it still made some sacrifices and compromises that might or might not affect the quality, performance, and other aspects of the device. Well, I tried the phone for a few days before penning down a review that will help decide whether you should go through buying it or if you should wait.
The pricing could differ from country to country. The Realme X2 Pro 8GB+128GB variant is available at just Rs 29,999/- which loosely translates to $421. On the flip side, it’s most considerable trim, i.e. 12GB+256GB, is available at just Rs 33,999/- or $477 in India and will be available in Neptune Blue and Lunar White colour variants. There is a third (and lowest) trim available, i.e. 6GB+64GB although it is not available in India. I think that’s the right choice from Realme as 64GB doesn’t make sense today when users are consuming and storing away a bootload of data than ever.
Before diving into what the phone is like, let’s see what’s in the retail box although I must add that the content is pretty much the same although the specs change. First, we have the Realme X2 Pro on the top covered in a removable plastic film. Then there is a screen protector pre-installed that should give the scratch screen-resistance for a bit although the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 is enough to provide it but who doesn’t like some extra protection.
There is a TPU case that comes along with the phone in case if you want to use it or you can buy something else as well. There is a SIM ejector tool along with a Quickstart guide. Next up, there is a USB-C to USB-A cable neatly wrapped, and finally, we have the star, and that’s Oppo’s 50W SuperVOOC Charger that will offer Realme X2 Pro its boost when charging it.
Alright, here comes the best part of this entire review (according to me). The phone competes for head-on with OnePlus 7T and Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro, and in fact, it is priced somewhere in-between in India. Mrwhosetheboss on YouTube did call the device a second-awakening of Poco F1 that made 2018 exciting with its cut-throat competition with OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T among others.
As for the specs, the device has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus octa-core processor which is an overclocked version of SDM855 and produces 15% power than its younger sibling. Qualcomm manufactured it using a 7nm chipset which sets it ahead of Snapdragon 845 and all other chipsets. The SoC clocks a maximum frequency of 2.96 GHz and Adreno 640 handles its graphics processing.
The device has 6GB, 8GB, and 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM variants along with UFS 2.1 (64GB) and UFS 3.0 (128GB/256GB) which is its maximum storage capacity since it doesn’t have a MicroSD slot. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack, so I think that gives a blow to the likes of flagship iPhones and Galaxy S10/Note10 and a plethora of other devices that have ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Realme X2 Pro may be a flagship device, but it shares the same DNA as its predecessor Realme X when it comes to design. Although the company has tweaked the design a lot, the first looks appear to be the same as Realme X.
Talking about its design, Realme X2 Pro has a premium feel to it thanks to the rear curved glass back that adds to its USPs. It has nicely rounded edges unlike Realme X and gives a lot to cherish. The front glass is flat to make accidental touches minimal. Instead of a dual-camera, Realme X2 Pro now comes with quad-camera setup arranged in a vertical stack right in the centre with ‘Realme’ branding on the right just when the camera bump is about to end. There’s nothing else in the backside.
The buttons on the sides are tactile and have a gold accent at least in the ‘Lunar White’ which is reminiscent of Pixel devices, and this elevates its appearance for sure. On the front, we have a water drop-shaped notch hosting its front selfie module. Unfortunately, keeping the price tag in mind, Realme had to make a bit of sacrifice with the bezels as these are a bit thicker than most of the flagship smartphones released this year.
The build quality is overall enhanced with front and rear glass and aluminium chassis in the middle. The sides are tapered so that your grip on the phone is firm and it doesn’t fall off while you are holding it. It is a great feature when compared to other premium devices with glass backs that are easy to slip off your grip if you don’t pay close attention to it. The phone weighs at 199g which although isn’t that bad since Realme has managed to distribute the components and balance the device well, it could’ve been improved but to be honest, it is nothing you should care about at this moment.
Realme X2 Pro has been rated at 8.6/10 points by Android Authority, and I think the scores are legitimate. The display is a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED HD panel with a screen resolution of 1080×2400 pixels and a pixel density of 402PPI. Although the company managed to pull off a marketing scheme noting down its brightness at 1,000 nits, I must say that the screen is pretty bright even in bright sunlight. The colour accuracy falls short with Realme X2 Pro, but the Chinese smartphone maker has undoubtedly improved the overall colour shift at all angles except extreme angles to bare with it.
The phone has a super smooth 90hz refresh rate which gives it OnePlus 7 Pro-like capabilities of high-end ultra-fluid transitions and animations. It rules the chart when compared to a phone with 60hz display, so that’s a plus point right there. I got to use the phone for a while where I realized that the phone has issues with colour temperature as well, although the users can select between two presets or customize it accordingly to fit your bill.
The front display comes protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 that should keep the phone protected against several drops although the severity of it depends on exactly how and where the phone is falling. Apart from that, the display has excellent viewing experience with HDR10+ and doesn’t let an ordinary notch eat up its screen estate. Instead, a water drop-shaped notch takes care of it while the screen remains free from other intrusions.
The device also has an under-the-display fingerprint scanner which now takes a larger area and unlocks the phone at a lightning-fast speed. On the other hand, the facial recognition feature can also detect you from a wide-angle, unlike point the front camera directly in your face to get access.
Why would you think a phone with Snapdragon 855 Plus will disappoint? Realme X2 Pro doesn’t disappoint thanks to its processor, GPU, RAM, and internal storage configurations that can sustain even the most graphics-intensive games like PUBG Mobile, Super Mario Run, Call of Duty Mobile, Fortnite Mobile and more.
The 128GB and 256GB model, which comes with the superfast UFS 3.0 storage, is blazing fast with benchmarking scores capable of outrunning any other major flagship smartphone. According to Geekbench 4, the device achieved 3,264 points in single-core and 9,236 points on multi-core (256GB). The device is exceptionally fast, and without being biased, we would love to own Realme X2 Pro as although it does make a bit of sacrifice here and there, Realme understands what needs to be kept intact and what not.
It can handle multitasking with ease and uses its 90hz fluid display to give the best viewing and gaming experience one could have on a 30K INR smartphone. The ColorOS has some enhancements over the phone such as OSIE Vision that improve contrast and brightness while Dolby Atmos offers excellent surround sound.
I am a big fan of OxygenOS on OnePlus devices as the OS is fluid, polished and works exceptionally well handling constant updates and more. On the other hand, the ColorOS has trickled down from Oppo to Realme and Realme X2 Pro gets ColorOS 6.2 as its custom UI based on Android 9.0 Pie.
Talking about ColorOS, according to me, the v6.0 was more of a cartoonish and made-up OS bloated with pre-installed apps. The UI wasn’t that polished with a toy-like appearance. However, ColorOS 6.1 that comes preloaded on Realme X2 Pro is a bit different. It has matured over time, and that’s a USP since it is an incremental update over v6.0 and not a major update such as from v6.0 to v7.0, so that’s commendable.
Even after ColorOS 6.1 does takes away the simple UI, it isn’t that polished either so you will have to stick with it until ColorOS 7.0 arrives on Realme X2 Pro in the first quarter of 2020 as per the release schedule is concerned, and it will be based on Android 10. The upcoming OS will undoubtedly give Realme X2 Pro justice to its specifications and make it looks impressive, unlike the v6.0 and v6.1 which is making it bloatware, slower than OxygenOS on OnePlus devices.
Realme X2 Pro has one of the most impressive specs on paper including its camera specifications so will it stand firm after we test it?
The camera front has a 16MP shooter with an aperture of f/2.0 and housed inside a water drop-shaped notch. What’s interesting is its rear quad-camera setup inspired from Realme X although it has four cameras instead of two arranged in a vertically stacked camera bump that looks polished and premium.
First up, we have Samsung ISOCELL GW1 64MP primary sensor with f/1.8 aperture; secondary is an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera with a field of view (FoV) of 115° and an aperture of f/2.2. Then, there is a third 13MP telephoto lens with 2x optical and 5x hybrid zoom with an aperture of larger f/2.5. Finally, there is a fourth 2MP depth-sensing camera with an aperture of f/2.4 that provides Realme X2 Pro with 3D depth data when needed, such as when in portrait mode or using any AR applications. These are the specs on paper.
When I tested the phone, I must say that the photos came out to be amazing, although not as crisp as any flagship smartphone. The images are colourful in the day thanks to the massive 64MP sensor that uses Quad-Bayer arrangement to produce excellent 16MP photos, but that doesn’t mean it will perform impeccably at every instant.
Although the phone has a depth camera to assist its primary sensor, the Portrait mode isn’t that impressive while the low-light photos are still not detailed. I tried OnePlus 6 as well, and I can see a close resemblance to the nighttime photography as both aren’t that detailed and not mainly when used with more than 2x zoom since it used hybrid zoom which causes the quality to suffer in some cases.
The phone lacks Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) which is easily detectable if you are shooting a video. 4K videos are at their optimum quality, and I can say 4K videos on Realme X2 Pro are truly amazing although lack of OIS might ruin the game. Even though the device has too many lenses which is a marketing gimmick basically, the phone leaves a lot to post-processing which isn’t Realme X2 Pro’s strong suit.
It is also summoned as a phone with great hardware (for the camera) but not a good software to handle it. It doesn’t blow your chances of buying the phone, and it is just the phone has certain limitations when it comes to its camera prowess.
As a direct rival to OnePlus 7T, Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro, and Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro, one of the things that keep Realme X2 Pro on a stronghold is its battery life. The device is equipped with a 4,000 mAh Li-Po battery that should last a whole day while still retaining some juice on minimal or mixed usage.
But Realme X2 Pro being a flagship device, it is highly likely to be used for massive operations such as graphic-intensive games that must consume the battery faster than ever. The device will still last for hours at a stretch even when heavily used. A particular battery life test by a popular tech site revealed that the phone was able to pull off 90 minutes of HD video and still dropped to just 87% from its original 100% at the start of the test.
One of the USPs that you mustn’t ever ignore is its charging speed. Realme X2 Pro has adopted Oppo’s 50W SuperVOOC charge which allows s the battery to juice up from 0% to 100% in just 35 minutes. It will take barely 35 minutes to charge the battery while a quick 10 minutes charge must give you plenty of battery life to get around. The 50W SuperVOOC Charger that comes preloaded with Realme X2 Pro is still faster than OnePlus 30T Warp Charge used in OnePlus 7T series so we can see a clear winner here.
First of all, building a phone in a price tag as low as 30,000/- INR is pretty impressive since we are talking about SDM855 Plus where it’s early adopter Asus ROG Phone II has a price tag over 36,000/- INR in India.
Although there is a bit of compromise such as with post-processing in the camera app as well as the ColorOS 6.1 which is still toy-like but bug-free, Realme is working on it to update the phone to ColorOS 7 by the first quarter of 2020 that should change the user experience.
Ultimately, the device has a larger battery, more prominent display with higher refresh rate, more extensive RAM and storage configuration, dual-SIM along with a bunch of other features that are enough to decide whether you want it or not. My verdict will be yes, although it is basically up to you to take the final call.