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Realme X review: a quality-to-price ratio that's tough to beat

Realme X review: a quality-to-price ratio that's tough to beat

The Realme X, presented one month after the Realme 3 Pro was made official, arrived in China winking at the flagships on the market and trying to surprise everyone with a pop-up selfie camera, in-display fingerprint sensor, and an attractive price. Take a look at our final review because, believe me, this one is worth keeping an eye on!

Rating

Good

  • Price
  • USB Type-C
  • Quick charging
  • General performance

Bad

  • Non-expandable memory
  • No notification LED

The Realme X sells for a very competitive price

The Realme X is sold in China for a price of 1499/1599/1799 yuan (195/205/235 euros) for models equipped with 4/64, 6/64 and 8/128GB, respectively. The price tag for the European market is not known because the smartphone, for now, cannot be purchased in Europe, but the brand's plan is to bring it to Europe and other markets.

The smartphone is available in two colors: Punk blue and Steam white. In the box, you will find a transparent plastic cover, USB cable, VOOC charger, a pin to extract the SIM slot and the instruction manual.

The Realme X also comes in a Special Edition made with the Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa who was inspired by the iridescent colors of onion and garlic. This version is equipped with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory and costs 1899 yuan, about 245 euros.

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This is the Realme X Special Edition, in the onion version!  / © AndroidPIT

A design in keeping with current trends

The Realme X is an elegant smartphone in line with contemporary fashion. There's a large display without a notch and a gradient plastic shell that, in addition to showing the logo of the brand, houses the vertically positioned camera module.

It protrudes slightly from the body and does not go unnoticed because of the golden detail that surrounds the sensor. It does not make the smartphone dance when resting on a flat surface though, as happens with the Huawei P30 Pro.

androidpit realme x full back
The double camera protrudes slightly from the body. / © AndroidPIT

There are two physical keys: a power button on the right and volume control on the left. On the right side, there is also a tray that can accommodate two SIM cards (no, no microSD). There is a mini-jack for headphones along the lower edge followed by a speaker and the USB Type-C port.

Even if it is thicker than other devices, it still fits well in your hand

Along the top edge is a hidden surprise: the selfie camera pops up (sort of like on the Vivo NEX S)! It's a solution adopted by several brands including, not surprisingly, also by OPPO on the most recent OPPO Reno. The two brands are in fact close, a bit like Huawei and Honor.

androidpit realme x bottom ports
A headphone jack, a USB Type C port and a mono speaker. / © AndroidPIT

The phone is not slippery thanks to the choice of the plastic shell and it is easy to handle and solid. It weighs 191 grams. The Realme X is, in my opinion, a successful smartphone in terms of design and even if compare it to other devices, it sits well in my hand with its dimensions of 161.3x76.1x8.6mm.

androidpit realme x side
The Realme X is thicker than other smartphones but still handy. / © AndroidPIT

A notch-less display and integrated fingerprint reader

The era of the notch, for some brands, is already over. The Realme X is an example of this. Instead, it integrates a large 6.53-inch AMOLED screen with FullHD+ resolution with almost no bezels.  

The Realme X integrates the fingerprint reader under the screen as well as opting for a pop-up front camera

The smartphone thus offers a screen-to-body ratio of 91.2%, in a format of 19.5:9, with 394 ppi and integrates the fingerprint reader below the screen by opting for a front-facing pop-up camera. Alternatively, you can unlock your smartphone with standard unlocking systems and facial recognition that works smoothly and quickly.

androidpit realme x full front
The Realme X offers a screen-to-body ratio of 91.2%. / © AndroidPIT

Realme uses the latest Goodix optical sensor under the display, which promises an optimized unlocking experience thanks to the widening of the recognition field to make fingerprint detection faster. Fingerprint registration is quick, as is unlocking.

androidpit realme x fingerprint scanner
The fingerprint reader under the display is quick. / © AndroidPIT

The display can be read in sunlight and, and as a good OLED, it offers deep blacks and excellent contrast. Whites tend slightly to bluish but the colors are, on the whole, accurately represented. From the settings you can in any case adjust the color temperature to your taste.

ColorOS and Android Pie on board

On the Realme X you will find the latest version of Color OS (6.0)  with Android Pie (9.0) , as on the Realme 3 Pro. Although, strangely, in the device settings it is specified as Android Oreo. But rest assured, the design and features are indeed those of the latest Android version.

The interface is the same as on OPPO devices: colorful and modern. The unit I used has Chinese firmware but by downloading the APK from the Play Store you can use Google services without any problems.

RealmeX
There's something wrong... / © AndroidPIT

The bloatware installed is numerous and, being Chinese firmware, few will be really useful but with the international software, the situation could be different. The system runs smoothly and allows you to activate the app drawer and disable the navigation bar in favor of gestures as well as offering custom icons and animations.

You can navigate with the classic bar or use gestures. The Swipe Gesture from Both Sides option is also available. The FM radio, available on Realme 3 Pro, is missing.

Navigation with gestures on ColorOS is practical and fluid

Integrated into the software you will find the intelligent assistant Breeno, which learns from your habits to create a personalized environment. There are also a number of options dedicated to security and privacy such as Kid Space (to limit the use of the device and some apps in particular) and Private Space.

The Snapdragon 710 and 8GB of RAM do their job well

Running the Realme X is a Snapdragon 710 - a 10nm chip that runs at up to 2.2GHz - alongside the Adreno 616 GPU and 4/6/8GB of RAM. There is also 64/128GB of UFS2.1 internal storage on board.

The package manages to offer good performance, both during gaming and when dealing with multitasking . To immerse yourself in a game without interruptions, you can rely on Game Space, which can be activated from the settings menu.

Smooth performance but when playing it is easy to cover the speaker with your hand

It's a shame about the positioning of the loudspeaker in the lower right corner: when playing games, it gets covered by the hand, thus limiting the experience. Speaking of audio, the maximum volume offered by the speaker is good. During my test, I did not encounter any problems or unexpected overheating. Unfortunately, it was not possible to perform the usual benchmark tests on our unit.

The Realme X supports WIFI 802.11a/b/g/n/ac at 2.4/5Ghz, and Bluetooth 5.0.

 

48MP sensor on the back, and pop-up camera on the front

On the back is a dual main camera with a 48MP (f/1.7) Sony IMX586 sensor and  5MP (f/2.4) sensor that focuses on depth . To provide the best results in low light conditions, Realme X uses pixel binning technology that combines four pixels into one, increasing the pixel size to 1.6um and improves sensitivity.

androidpit realme x back top camera
48MP Sony IMX586 sensor on the back, 16MP IMX471 on the front / © AndroidPIT

The camera app is quick and intuitive. To access the manual mode (it's called Expert mode), click on the three lines at the bottom, where you can also see a night mode, a panorama mode, a time-lapse mode and a slow-motion mode. Beauty modes, AI, filters, flash, portrait, and Chroma boost modes, are also in there.

A good camera with all the features offered by the flagships, OIS excluded

The AI recognizes the framed scenarios (unless you disable this function from the menu) and adjusts the settings accordingly (color, contrast, white balance, etc.). Overall, the camera is quick and the colors of the photos come close to reality. In low-light environments, photographic noise is noticeable, as is the loss of detail.

In the portraits the skin colors are particularly vivid, too much, but overall the Realme X gets along well in this field.

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Selfies are taken care of by the pop-up camera! / © AndroidPIT

The front camera uses an IMX471 sensor of 16MP and f/2.0. To be able to use it, you must activate it or it will remain hidden inside the device. The camera takes 0.7 seconds to appear and Realme promises 200,000 cycles before it starts to show signs of wear and tear. Even those suffering from a selfie addiction should not have problems for at least 10 years.

The mechanism emits a light sound and gives the impression of being solid. The Realme X, like the OPPO Reno, also detects falls thanks to its integrated sensors and pull in the camera module to avoid the worst.

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In the event of a fall, the Realme X camera retracts. / © AndroidPIT

But I'm afraid that the number one enemy will be dust. The camera supports group selfies and recognizes the gender of the framed subject. It also applies different retouching effects.

With the Realme X you can shoot videos in 4K and slow-motion at 960fps/720p and 120fps/1080p. You can customize videos directly from the camera app quickly and easily.

VOOC 3.0 charging on board

Inside the Realme X, we find a 3,765 mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 fast charging support, which in half an hour brings the battery to 50% charge, and from 80% to 100%. The smartphone manages to offer a day and a half of battery life under intensive use (email, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, taking photos, shooting video, and a bit of gaming).

As in the case of the performance benchmarking, even for the battery it was not possible to perform the usual benchmark tests.

Realme X technical specifications

Dimensions: 161.3 x 76.1 x 8.6 mm
Weight: 191 g
Battery size: 3765 mAh
Screen size: 6.53 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 2340 x 1080 pixels (395 ppi)
Front camera: 16 megapixels
Rear camera: 48 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 9 - Pie
User interface: ColorOS
RAM: 8 GB
Internal storage: 128 GB
Removable storage: Not available
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 710
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.2 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 5.0

Final verdict

Realme X looks good, with an elegant exterior, even if it's not made with the finest materials. Born from the idea of being a resistant device and not wanting to give up what high-end devices have to offer, it has a large notch-free OLED display, fingerprint reader integrated under the screen, fast charging and a good photographic compartment.

The tenth smartphone of the brand, hence the decision to call it Realme X, offers good performance in daily use and good battery life. Considering the price, it is definitely a device worth considering but we will have to wait for its arrival in Europe.

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