If there’s one brand that has legitimately taken the fight to Xiaomi in the budget segment, it’sRealme. Now, the Oppo sub-brand has set its sights higher, delivering in the X2 Pro top-shelf hardware at extremely competitive prices. Should OnePlus be quaking in its boots, or is there more to the Realme X2 Pro than meets the eye?
The Realme X2 Pro goes on sale on Flipkart and the Realme online store on November 26 in Lunar White and Neptune Blue gradient finishes, with the 8GB + 128GB and the 12GB + 256GB variants setting you back by Rs 29,999 and Rs 33,999 respectively. Both variants sport top-of-the-line specs – a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chip, a 90Hz display, a quad camera setup with a 64-megapixel primary shooter and a 4,000mAh battery with 50W fast charging support.
Design: The Realme X2 Pro operates in familiar territory when it comes to design—an all-Gorilla-Glass 5 glass-and-metal sandwich that’s the premium sort of heft in the hand but one that’s equally prone to being smudged and shattered should you not get a firm enough grip. Fortunately, the phone adopts a 20:9 aspect ratio, which means it’s taller and easier to grip as well. In the otherwise unmemorable design, two things stood out. The first is the inclusion of the headphone jack, a pro-user design choice that sadly finds no company in other flagships. The second is a tad contentious—the asymmetrical logo placement on the rear—which can irritate even folks with the mildest attention to design detail. Keeping up with the Joneses has meant that the X2 Pro packs in an optical in-display fingerprint scanner and face unlock, both of which are snappy and don’t get in the way.
Display: High refresh rate 90Hz displays are the new normal for the category, and the Realme X2 Pro arrives with a 6.5-inch full-HD+ 90Hz panel that, courtesy its tiny waterdrop notch, delivers an immersive experience while consuming HDR10+ content or playing games. That said, theOnePlus 7T scores a smidgen higher on account of a more vivid, punchier display. The 90Hz refresh rate is all very well on paper, but there’s a distinct sense each time I pick up this phone that ColorOS is simply not as optimized for the snappier refresh rate. Whether you’re scrolling through the app drawer or navigating between settings menus, the Realme X2 Pro did not feel as smooth as the OnePlus… and almost at par with any other 60Hz device out there. Something for Realme to consider for a future software update. Great stereo speaker setup, though.
Performance and Internals: As with most recent flagship devices, the Realme X2 Pro gets Qualcomm’s latest silicon with not just oodles of memory but faster UFS 3.01 storage as well. Performance is expectedly good, and the phone doesn’t falter with our reckless cocktail of testing behavior—switching between extended gaming sessions, streaming music, maps and watching more YouTube than we ought to. The phone runs ColorOS 6.1 atop Android Pie, and Oppo/Realme’s custom skin ships with a ton of bloatware that take the shine off the smartphones otherwise stellar hardware. Makes the similarly specced OnePlus 7T feel discernibly faster—we’re hoping ColorOS 7 with Android 10 does something to address this.
Battery Life and Performance: If you glossed over the specs when we started, it’s quite likely that you overlooked the sameish 4000mAh battery figures, right? This is where the Realme X2 Pro pulls out its ace – the 50W Super VOOC charging. Going from dead to 100 in under 40 minutes is nothing short of an achievement, and the faster-than-fast charging should be a big reason for you to consider the Realme X2 Pro. Battery life is a shade under six hours of screen on time, which isn’t too bad for a phone running a 90Hz display.
Cameras: A 64MP Samsung GW1 sensor on the primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle, a 13MP telephoto and 2MP depth sensor for portraits – the Realme X2 Pro packs in quite an offering in the camera department, on paper at least. In use, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, though. The good bit is that the detail levels are excellent in good light, both on the main 64MP sensor and the wide-angle, but the color science and dynamic range differs significantly between the two sensors. Using the 2x telephoto camera, Realme’s been able to squeeze out an impressive 20x digital zoom, and results are pretty usable if you stabilize your hands during your shot. Portrait shots are good as well. Low light shots are temperamental, some shot in the Nightscape mode are usable and others are…not good.
Realme X2 Pro: Verdict
Realme arrived on the scene to rattle incumbents, and the X2 Pro will be no different. At Rs. 29,999 for the base variant (which is plenty good), Realme has delivered a whole bunch of the expected flagship features and added in the fastest charging tech as a solid differentiator. Sure, the software needs some work to improve the display and camera experience, but it’s a solid deal overall. It goes up against the Redmi K20 Pro, the OnePlus 7T and the ROG Phone II - consider the K20 Pro for a slicker design, the OnePlus 7T for a pricier option (albeit one with a better software and camera experience)…or the ROG Phone II for a well thought-through gaming flagship.