Realme 12X 5G review: a pocket-friendly smartphone for regular users

Review Summary

Expert Rating
7.5/10

Design
★  
8.0
/10
Display
★  
7.5
/10
Software
★  
7.0
/10
Camera
★  
7.5
/10
Performance
★  
7.5
/10
Battery
★  
8.0
/10

Pros

  • Tall 120Hz display
  • Stylish design
  • Solid battery backup, fast charging
  • Android 14 out-of-the-box

Cons

  • Average cameras
  • Pre-installed apps

Realme’s latest Realme 12X 5G serves as the company’s response to Xiaomi’s acclaimed Redmi 12 5G (review) from last year and Redmi 13C 5G (review) from early this year. While it shares similarities to the relatively more expensive Realme 12 5G, the Realme 12X 5G features a 50MP primary camera instead of a 108MP shooter. Otherwise, both phones under the Realme 12 5G series include the same MediaTek Dimensity chipset and display.

In that case, should you stick to the more affordable Realme 12X 5G? Or whether it makes sense to pay an extra Rs 2,000 for a relatively more advanced camera system on the Realme 12 5G? Or should you consider something else altogether? Let’s find out.

Verdict

The Realme 12X 5G is a great choice for everyday users. With the Dimensity 6100+ SoC onboard, the phone offers adequate juice to run popular social media apps and moderate games. Even BGMI is playable on HD graphics. Moreover, features such as 5G support and 45W charging make it highly attractive. However, some areas that need improvement include cameras and the software experience. Realme can also consider adding an AMOLED display in subsequent models to gain an edge over rivals.

Design and display

If you place Realme 12X 5G and Realme 12 5G side by side, the differences between the two are almost indistinguishable. The design itself has drawn inspiration from the more premium Realme 12 Pro+, a choice I don’t mind as it ensures a great degree of consistency across the lineup, irrespective of the price difference. There’s no leather finish on the Realme 12X 5G, but it gets the same watch-like round camera module and zip pattern running at the centre. Overall, it looks very good for the price (Rs 11,999 for the base variant).

realme_12x_review

The rounded module on the back accommodates two sensors and a separate cutout for the LED flash. The fourth cutout is empty but helps maintain design symmetry.

Most of the build is plastic, but the finish feels premium and sturdy. I am using the purple variant for this review, while Realme offers a Woodland Green option as well. Personally, I prefer the former as it provides a refreshing aesthetic, different from the flashy colour palettes commonly found in phones within this range. The camera module adopts a black finish, which complements the primary shade beautifully.

Otherwise, ports and buttons on the Realme 12X 5G are standard. The sides include power and volume buttons, and the bottom houses the Type-C port, 3.5mm audio jack, and speakers. The top has the SIM (hybrid) tray alongside another set of speakers. The power button also doubles as a fingerprint scanner, which is fairly responsive. The scanner struggles to work if your fingers are sweaty or dirty.

realme_12x_review

Realme deserves credit for keeping the Realme 12X 5G’s weight under 180 grams despite using a 5,000mAh battery. Overall, the design is thoughtful and justifies the price.

Moving to the front, the Realme 12X 5G also features a tall 6.72-inch display Full-HD+ (1,080 x 2,400 pixels) LCD display with 120Hz refresh, similar to the Realme 12 5G. The display includes a hole-punch cutout instead of the antiquated waterdrop notch. The cutout is unusually big, likely to trigger air gestures via the front camera. I will speak more about that in the performance section.

Overall, the viewing experience is decent if you’re indoors. Under harsh sunlight, the visibility may take a hit. Since the Realme 12X 5G utilises an LCD panel, contrast and deep blacks aren’t as prominent as what AMOLED panels offer, although colours look mostly decent if you’re indoors. Considering the price, this display quality is adequate for reading and watching short videos on YouTube or Instagram.

Cameras

While there’s a big focus on performance, battery, and design, the camera department takes a hit.

realme_12x_review

As mentioned, the Realme 12X 5G features a 50MP primary camera accompanied by a 2MP sensor. It also means the smartphone lacks an ultra-wide camera, similar to the Realme 12 5G. The latter features a 108MP primary camera.

Overall, Realme 12X 5G’s camera performance is average at best. Images with a primary camera in daylight are sharp, though colours are often inconsistent. In some cases, images feature a prominent yellow tint, while you may occasionally notice a warm tone as well. The colour issue is fixable by adjusting the temperature via the native editing tool, but getting the right sharpness will get tricky. Either way, editing all images is going to be a tedious task.

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The portrait mode relies on the primary camera and 2MP depth sensor, though results remain average at best, again. Occasionally, the camera requires a stable grip for a sharp output. Even if you manage to keep the smartphone stable, the bokeh effect isn’t negligent. In all fairness, it’s a common limitation with smartphones in this range.

For videos, the Realme 12X 5G supports 1080p recording at 30fps. The quality of the video again depends on the stability of the smartphone. The colours are again not the best and details can be slightly washed out. Realme could’ve also considered adding recording at 60fps to gain an edge over rivals.

Even in low-light conditions, output remains more or less the same, though noise in images now becomes prominent. Even enabling night mode does not help with the desired result.

The 8MP selfie camera captures photos with a similar quality to that of the primary camera. However, skin tone detection can be inconsistent, occasionally resulting in a brightened complexion. While some users may appreciate a lighter skin tone, I personally prefer an accurate or nearly accurate representation.

On the other hand, differences in images against Realme 12 5G are quite evident. Its 108MP camera sensor manages to capture more light, leading to more playful colours. In that case, spending those additional Rs 2,000 on the Realme 12 5G does offer some respite in the camera performance.

Performance and software

All the Realme 12X 5G models now offer 128GB storage, which is the right way forward. The base 4GB RAM option starts at Rs 11,999, while the 8GB model is available at Rs 14,999. The variant I am reviewing offers 6GB RAM and is priced at Rs 13,499. The Realme 12 5G utilises LPDDR4X RAM type, while the more affordable Realme 12X 5G gets LPDDR4 RAM. Both Realme 12 5G and 12X draw power from MediaTek’s Dimensity 6100+ SoC.

realme_12x_review

In our benchmark, the Realme 12X 5G performed decently against rivals directly, including Redmi 13C 5G. It achieved higher scores in the AnTuTu and Geekbench tests. Surprisingly, the Realme 12X 5G achieved marginally higher scores than the Realme 12 5G in AnTuTu and Geekbench’s multi-core tests.

When it comes to real life, the performance is mostly smooth, though you may occasionally notice stutters while switching apps. The scrolling experience is also decent by enabling 120Hz refresh rates. For gaming, BGMI supports HD graphics at 60fps, while COD (Call of Duty) gets medium GFX support. In my test, the titles ran with negligible lag, but I didn’t face abrupt overheating or battery drain issues.

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Realme deserves credit for offering Android 14 right out of the box, even at this price point. The Realme 12X 5G is also expected to receive two years of major Android OS updates, which is a good considering the segment. Overall, I like the animations and some features that Realme UI offers, including limited access to photos for social media apps. However, some Realme UI features, including File Dock and Smart Image Matting, were missing, likely to not overburden the system.

What surprised me the most was the addition of the AirGesture feature in this price range. The feature requires selfie cam access (thus a larger front camera cutout) and some AI backing to let users control the smartphone with simple hand gestures. However, the feature did not work smoothly during my review.

The company must also focus on reducing the pre-installed apps for a cleaner software experience.

Battery

At least, you can count on excellent battery performance with the Realme 12X 5G. Equipped with a 5,000mAh battery, the phone provides all-day backup on a single full charge. In PC Mark’s battery test (with flight mode enabled and 50 percent brightness), the phone lasted for over 17 hours – a highly respectable performance.

realme_12x_review

Moreover, with the included 45W SuperVOOC charger, the phone reaches a full charge in approximately 50 minutes. The smartphone also offers an iPhone 15 Pro-inspired Dynamic Island animation while charging, which adds a refreshing touch to the overall UI. 

Final verdict

At this price point, the Realme 12X 5G has several great features to appeal to everyday users. While camera performance isn’t its greatest strength, the phone is a decent choice for social media browsing or watching videos. Even if you’re a reader, the tall display won’t disappoint. More importantly, its minimalistic design makes an ideal for users across various age groups.

Not to forget, there’s 5G support as well.

If a reliable camera system is your priority, spending extra for the Realme 12 5G would be wiser. If your budget is limited, the Redmi 13C 5G may offer some respite but don’t have high hopes.

Otherwise, if cameras aren’t your biggest priority, the Realme 12X 5G for everyday users is a solid choice.

Editor’s rating: 7.5 / 10

Reasons to buy:

  • The Realme 12X 5G features a lightweight and stylish design. It has stereo speakers as well.
  • The phones offer respectable battery backup. The 45W charging support is also a bonus.
  • The phone runs on Android 14-based Realme UI. It’s promised to get two years of OS updates.

Reasons not to buy:

  • Realme 12X 5G includes loads of pre-installed apps, making the UI cluttered.
  • The cameras are average. The phone struggles in low-light conditions.

Key Specs

realme 12x
RAM4 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 6100 Plus
Rear Camera50 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera8 MP
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.72 inches (17.07 cm)
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realme 12x Price
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Rs. 13,999.00
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