Realme X Full Review : I'm Impressed!

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Oppo's Child company Realme has been making headlines lately with their new releases. I had heard a lot of great things about their U series of phones, but then they came out with a new one: the Realme X.

It seemed to be a promising phone with a pop-up camera, an AMOLED screen with an In-display fingerprint sensor, and more for the price of around 16 Thousand Indian Rupees. I thought it would be a great gift for my cousin, so I bought one.

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After using it for a while before passing it on to its new owner, these are my thoughts on the 128+4 GB version of the phone.


Design and Build:


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One of the most impressive things about modern day smartphones is their build quality. Even the most budget friendly options have fantastic hardware, at least on the outside. The realme X is made out of the usual premium recipe of a metal frame sandwiched between two glass sheets, the front glass being Gorilla Glass 5 and the rear one being some strengthened tempered glass. 

The buttons are placed at the center of the phone’s body length, which makes them very ergonomic to reach with your thumb. In fact, they’re a bit too low for my hands, which had me fiddling around to find the volume buttons, especially in landscape mode. 

For video nerds like me, the centered buttons would mean that you cannot clamp them down in the usual way on a tripod mount. But for hand held use, they’re pretty spot on.

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The top of the phone only has the rising camera at the center and the bottom houses the speakers the USB-C port and the much loved headphone jack.

On a side note, the speaker cut-out and the other ports are pretty well aligned, which tickles my OCD spots.

But that excitement quickly went away when I start typing on the keyboard here, as the rather mediocre haptics made me turn off the vibrations entirely. That keyboard made me realize something about the screen corners on the top and bottom corners, more on that later.

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There is no SD card slot here, but I suppose the 128 GB of storage will make sure you never find the need for one. Still, having an option would’ve been nice though. There is also no ingress protection to speak of, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Display:

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The 6.5 inch AMOLED panel on this phone is gorgeous. It is a 1080p display coming in at 395 pixels per inch. It is very sharp and wonderfully tuned for a budget phone. Outdoor legibility is also a non-issue, thanks in part to the mild anti-glare screen protector that comes pre-installed.

The organic LED panel ensures inky dark blacks and slightly greenish whites with pretty much zero visible light bleed. It’s great!
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What’s not so great are the “rounded” corners. The display doesn’t seem to be cut in that shape, but is probably hidden under a curved black bezel. This is seen while viewing some content on screen where the corners seem unnaturally cut off.

In some instances, like while playing PUBG, a pretty significant part of information was cut off from the corners. I tried changing orientation of the device, but the results were the same.

The Fingerprint Sensor:

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On the brighter side of things, the AMOLED panel makes it easier for them to implement the in-display optical fingerprint sensor, which works marvelously.

The included animations appear awesome on standby. The fingerprint indicator comes up whenever the phone detects movement, and once authenticated, unlocks with some pretty satisfying high framerate animation sequence around your finger.

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Cloud animation
I’m actually pretty surprised that realme managed to incorporate such a high accuracy sensor in this mid-budget smartphone. Massively appreciated, mates!

Usability:

The phone is running on Oppo’s signature ColorOS on top of Android 9.0 Pie. It is actually one of the better skinned versions of android I’ve used in recent times. It manages to stand out while not being too over-the-top so as to ruin the user experience in certain ways. I’ll take that over plain old boring stock android any day.

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While 4 Gigs of ram may not seem like enough memory to satisfy power users, it actually managed to hold its own in all the tasks I threw at it. 

Now, granted, I did not edit 4K videos or do any other heavy lifting tests (Other than Gaming) on it, but I’m sure it would’ve performed just fine. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chip under the hood is no slouch.

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It's chicken for dinner tonight
It even played PUBG mobile just fine. I have not played the game a lot before, yet I earned my first digital non-vegetarian meal while gaming on this device. That’s something for me to remember this one by!
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There’s a dedicated Game optimizer thingy on board called as the Game Space. It kind of reminds me of the “Shark Space” from the Xiaomi Black Shark phone from the way it looks.

It essentially detects a game launch, clears the background tasks to free up some extra RAM and enables DND mode.

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Even after extended online gaming, the device did not get very hot at all. In fact, it was barely warm to the touch. I’m very impressed.

UI navigation wise, there are one handed gestures in the settings that replace the on-screen buttons. They are a lot similar to the ones on Samsung’s new OneUI. So, being a long time Samsung Galaxy User, I felt right at home with them on, quickly swiping my way around the UI like it’s my second nature.
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They’re pretty easy to get used to nevertheless. They are meant for general consumers after all!

 

The Cameras:

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This is the area that won me over. Both the 48-megapixel rear camera and the 16-megapixel pop-up front sensor have pretty amazing image capturing capabilities for their segment. 

There is an option to zoom in 2X, but that’s just digital zoom. I guess the company figured that when you have such a huge resolution on your main sensor, 2 times digital zoom won’t kill anybody. And they were right!

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Full-Auto (Rear camera)

The pictures look pretty great, with ample amounts of details and fantastic low light performance, once again besting my Note 8 in Auto Mode.

There is, of course, am “Expert mode” which allows you to manually dial in the settings as you please.
The rear camera can record 4K 30 FPS video, and save for the noticeable over-saturation of the green color, the video looks as sharp and detailed as ever.
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Full-Auto Low Light

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"Expert mode" (Long exposure)

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Backlit shot

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Boost Color mode enabled

By the way, the camera software does not warn you if you’re blocking the second sensor. It still lets you take the shot, but the effect simply won’t be applied.

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Rear camera Portrait mode

The 2x digital crop of this 48-megapixel sensor pretty much always outperforms the 12-megapixel telephoto optical zoom on my Galaxy Note 8. The second camera on the top with the golden rings around it is simply a 5-megapixel depth sensor to help out in the portrait mode.
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Now, let’s get to that motorized front camera. That sensor is, once again, the best one I currently have in my pocket when it comes to selfies in low-light.

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Low-light (portrait mode)

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Front light (portrait mode)
Images come out looking crisp, with plenty of contrast if not a bit over-sharpened. But most phones are guilty of digitally sharpening their images to some extent.

The front camera also has portrait mode, which makes use of face recognition as reference to blur out the background, similar to what we find on Google Pixel devices. Even under extreme backlit conditions, the selfies come out to be very serviceable.

I am a fan of this camera, and I can’t believe this phone costs 3 times less than my daily driver!

Battery Life:

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The built in 3765 mAh unit along with Oppo’s VOOC FlashCharge through the USB-C port delivers excellent battery backup.

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Top up only took 65 minutes from 10% to 100% in my case and lasted for over 6 hours of mixed usage. As long as you have that incredible charger handy, you don’t have anything to worry about.

Whatever magic OnePlus is doing on their devices to keep them from heating up during charging is present here as well. The phone didn’t even get noticeably warm despite charging up so rapidly! I still can’t believe it costs 3 times lesser than my everyday phone!

Final Verdict:

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Boy, has this been fun for me or what! This smartphone is phenomenal at its asking price. You get a beautiful AMOLED display, exceptional set of cameras and great battery life to back it all up. You really can’t go wrong with this one!
You can check out the latest pricing and availability online by clicking here.

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