Expert Rating
4/5
Design
★★★★★
★★★★★
Display
★★★★★
★★★★★
Software
★★★★★
★★★★★
Camera
★★★★★
★★★★★
Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
Battery
★★★★★
★★★★★
Pros
  • Attractive pricing
  • 90Hz display
  • Excellent performance
  • Rapid charging speed
Cons
  • Cameras could’ve been better
  • Software needs a little work
  • Display isn’t the brightest

“Our take on Realme’s first flagship-killer – the X2 Pro”

If there’s one brand that single-handedly challenged Xiaomi’s dominion in the affordable segment, it’s undoubtedly Realme. Having set the mid-range segments ablaze with its compelling offerings, the company is now hoping to repeat the miracle in the affordable flagship space. To do so, the brand has announced the Realme X2 Pro and boy should the competition (spelled OnePlus) be worried. Curious to know what makes me sing praises for the X2 Pro? Read on to find out.

Specs at a glance

Display
Size 6.5 Inch
Resolution 1080 x 2400 pixels
Performance
CPU Single core, 2.96 GHz + Tri core, 2.42 GHz, Snapdragon 855 Plus
RAM 6 GB
Storage
Internal memory 64 GB
Battery
Capacity 4000 mAH, Li-ion, Non removable
Camera
Primary camera 64 MP
Secondary camera 16 MP
Connectivity
Network support Dual SIM 4G
Other options Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS
Others
Battery Capacity 4000
Operating system Android 9.0 Pie

Design and Display

I really like the design of the Realme X2 Pro, even though the company’s all-glass approach isn’t unique to the phone. For one, the Lunar White finish looks extremely elegant and is a good change of pace from the herd of phones sporting darker shades. Then, there’s the phone’s heft, which makes the X2 Pro feel more robust and premium at the same time. Now, I know that looks are subjective but most people in my circle admired the X2 Pro’s aesthetics, so job well done, Realme.

Now, I know some of you in the audience like to use your phone without a case but, I’d advise you to slap one on the X2 Pro should you buy it. You see, the X2 Pro is as slippery as it gets and the phone will slide through your fingers, on to pavement if you’re not careful. To the phone’s credit, Realme has coated the back of the device with Corning’s Gorilla Glass v5 but I still think you shouldn’t push your luck with the phone in your pockets. Thankfully, the company does bundle a TPU case with the retail unit, which should suffice until you get something fancier.

I recently acquired 1More’s Quad Drivers IEMs which sound terrific, albeit have been collecting dust in my cupboard owing to the 3.5mm headphone jack apocalypse. Correspondingly, I couldn’t be happier with my SIM in the X2 Pro, which features the beloved analogue port. What’s more, the smartphone also features dual stereo speakers, which get awfully loud and enhance a user’s movie-watching experience tenfold. Suffice it to say, Realme has audio in the bag with the X2 Pro.

Coming to security, the Realme X2 Pro offers users an in-display fingerprint sensor and face unlock, both of which worked flawlessly during my testing. The fingerprint sensor backing the phone is as good as they come and the unit managed to authenticate my prints in the blink of an eye. The face unlock performed admirably for the most part too and only struggled to let me into my homescreen in pitch-dark environments. However, seeing how that’s the case with most, if not all smartphones, I’m willing to let it slide.

Say what you will about OnePlus, but the brand is responsible for bringing 90Hz displays to the mainstream. On that note, the Realme X2 Pro also features a silky-smooth panel which also refreshes 90 times every second. The AMOLED display on the phone measures in at 6.5-inches and comes with full HD+ resolution, making it plenty sharp for media consumption. Now, the display on OnePlus’ latest phones feels more vivid and contrast-y, so between the two brands, the former undoubtedly offers marginally better displays. That being said, the X2 Pro isn’t too far behind and for its price, clearly tilts the VFM balance in its favour.

My only real qualm with the X2 Pro’s display is that it doesn’t get too bright, which makes it difficult to use under harsh sunlight. Other than that, you’ll be hard-pressed to find faults with the screen on the phone – it’s plenty immersive, thanks to its teensy, tiny notch and sports wide viewing angles too.

Cameras

The Realme X2 Pro features a quad-camera setup towards the back, comprising a 64MP Samsung ISOCELL GW1 sensor, an 8MP wide-angle lens with a 115-degrees field of view, a 13MP telephoto lens with 5X hybrid zoom capabilities and a portrait lens. For selfies, the smartphone features a 16MP shooter upfront.

While the Realme X2 Pro’s camera specs seem promising on paper, the smartphone isn’t the best camera phone in its segment. In fact, during my testing, the OnePlus 7T managed to get away with a better photo in almost every scenario. However, for the price, the X2 Pro doesn’t click terrible photos either, which is evident when you’re snapping a photo with the phone during the day. Shots taken when the sun’s out look vibrant and feature a ton of details too. What’s more, you can spruce up the colours in the shots by turning on the device’s Chroma Boost feature.

Lest I forget, the smartphone betters the details of the subjects in the frame if you click in the full 64MP resolution. Take, for instance, the comparison shot I’ve attached where you can clearly tell that the leaves in the background look sharper and more defined when clicked in the Ultra 64MP mode.

The smartphone managed to impress me with its zoom capabilities too and provided you have a steady hand, you can capture a distant subject with ample sharpness. That said, I didn’t come across many scenarios where I could capitalise on this feature. On the flip side, the wide-angle lens allowed me to channel my creative outlet and paint on a much bigger canvas. Fun fact, the fisheye effect through the smartphone’s wide-angle shooter is fairly tamed too, so you’ll want to share the shots with your friends. The same goes for the portrait shots from the rear-cameras, which looked great owing to a convincing blur effect around the subject.

The lowlight performance of the smartphone is pretty solid as well, though the smartphone does struggle to keep lens flaring to a minimum from pint-sized light sources such as a lamp. Toggling the built-in nightscape mode does help a bit, but I’ll admit I preferred the output from the OnePlus’ 7T (review).

In a similar fashion, while the Realme X2 Pro’s 16MP front camera clicks good quality selfies, the images felt paler (quite literally) when compared to the ones I captured with the 7T. Thankfully, the selfie-portrait feature worked well and managed to differentiate my face from the background quite eloquently.

Performance, Software and Battery life

In order to go toe to toe with other flagship killers, Realme has outfitted the X2 Pro with the latest specs too, including Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855+ processor which works alongside either 8GB or 12GB of RAM. Depending upon which variant you opt for, you will get either get 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage.

Coupled with the phone’s snappy display, apps and games glided on the X2 Pro and simply put, the smartphone’s computing prowess is second to none. Now, if you’re wondering whether the X2 Pro outperforms the OnePlus 7T, then the answer is no. Both the devices perform identically, but the X2 Pro’s lower asking price makes it a much better deal in my opinion.

As for software, the Realme X2 Pro ships with ColorOS v6.1 which is layered on top of Android v9 Pie. That said, the newer version of the skin is just around the corner, so I’m confident that the X2 Pro will be running Android 10 in no time. Coming to the features, the custom skin ships with a ton of bloatware which eats into the smartphone’s precious, non-expandable memory. However, you can uninstall most of the junk from the phone, which is neat.

Furthermore, while the custom skin is a far cry from stock Android, it does offer some compelling features, such as a system-wide dark mode which can be manually invoked (or revoked) on your installed applications. You’ll also get a handy game space tool with the device which gives insight on your in-game fps along with the smartphone’s temperature. There’s a plethora more features buried within the settings menu of the phone which we’ve already covered in our review of the Realme XT, so head over there for more information on the same.

The Realme X2 Pro is fueled by a 4,000mAh battery which lasted me a full day on heavy usage comfortably. More importantly, the smartphone comes with a 50W charging brick which is the fastest on any phone launched in India right now. Now, having used OnePlus phones as my daily for over two years, I’m used to stupid-fast charging speeds. But, you’ll have to take my word for it, the X2 Pro is on another level altogether.

In fact, over the course of my review period, I never plugged in the phone at night, even when the battery was below 10 percent. I’d wake up, plug the phone in and by the time I got done with shower (around 30 minutes), the phone would be at 80 percent. If anything, Realme needs to market the smartphone’s rapid charging speed more as it is, in a word, otherworldly.

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Verdict

Realme set on a mission to rattle the Indian smartphone market and with the X2 Pro, I’m all but certain that the company has achieved its goal. The smartphone retails for Rs 29,999 (Rs 33,99 for the 12GB/256GB variant) in India and, I’d just like to let that sink for a minute. A smartphone which is backed by THE fastest charging tech in the world, is powered by Qualcomm’s fastest processor and has a buttery-smooth 90Hz display, is up for grabs for just shy of Rs 30K.

Sure, the cameras aren’t the best in class and the software could use some work too, but frankly, the X2 Pro was a no-brainer in my books the second the company took the wraps of its price sticker. If I were you, I’d add the smartphone to my cart ASAP because I’m sure the stocks won’t last very long.

Editor’s rating: 4 / 5

Pros:

  • Attractive pricing
  • 90Hz display
  • Excellent performance
  • Rapid charging speed

Cons:

  • Cameras could’ve been better
  • Software needs a little work
  • Display isn’t the brightest
Photos by Raj Rout
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