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Realme is bringing the X-factor to Europe, we went hands-on
Realme X Hardware Review 8 min read No comments

Realme is bringing the X-factor to Europe, we went hands-on

Just one month after the launch of Realme 3 Pro, the manufacturer has announced another new device. This time I went to Beijing, China, together with the Realme X. It's a smartphone that winks at the flagships on the market trying to surprise with a front pop-up camera, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and an attractive price.

The Realme X sells for a very competitive price

The Realme X will be sold in China for about $300. The exact price tag for the European markets is not yet known but the brand's plan is to bring the Realme X to the west very soon.

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

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 photo compartment. 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. 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! 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.

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 smartphone thus offers a screen-to-body ratio of 91.2%, in a format of 19.5:9, with 394 ppi.

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

The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and is easily readable even in direct sunlight. The colors are bright, the whites lean slightly towards gray but the blacks are deep. From the settings menu you can manage the color temperature to your liking and, for some apps (only a few), an OSIE Vision Effect that intensifies the colors and contrasts, a bit like the AI in photos, is available.

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

The Realme X integrates the fingerprint reader under the screen by opting for a pop-up front camera. The manufacturer uses the latest Goodix optical sensor which promises an optimized unlocking experience by extending the screen's recognition range to make fingerprinting faster. The AI also plays its part in improving the accuracy of the detection. I must admit that both the registration of fingerprints and the unlocking process are quick.

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

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 is specified as Android Oreo.

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.

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 delivers smooth performance

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 .

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 is covered by the hand, thus limiting the experience. During my test, I did not encounter any problems or unexpected overheating. The calls are also clear on both sides.

The Realme X supports WIFI 802.11a/b/g/n/ac at 2.4/5Ghz, Bluetooth 5.0. Inside there is a 3,765mAh battery with support for rapid charging VOOC 3.0 that brings the battery to 50% charge in just in half an hour. The smartphone can offer a day and a half of battery life under intensive use.

More information and related benchmark test results will be provided in the final review.

 

 

A fairly complete camera

On the back is a dual main camera with a 48MP (f/1.7) + 5MP (f/2.4) Sony IMX586 sensor . 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
Integrated 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor. / © 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 and portrait modes, are also in there.

A good camera that struggles in low-light environments

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 portraits, skin colors are particularly vivid, too much so.

realme x frontcamera gif big 2
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. 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.

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

Early Verdict

The Realme X looks good, with elegant clothes even if they are not made with the finest materials. The idea being that this is a competitively priced device that does not want to give up what high-end devices offer: a large display without a notch, a fingerprint reader integrated under the screen, fast charging and a good camera..

In daily use it offers good performance but some compromises must be made such as the absence of stereo speakers and IP68 certification. Given the price, however, this is forgivable.

It will be interesting to see how the arrival of Realme will change the cards in the European market: Xiaomi and Honor will have to keep their eyes open.

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