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Realme X7 First Impressions | An entry-level 5G smartphone that gets the basics right

Is this the best 5G smartphone under 20,000 rupees?

February 07, 2021 / 10:13 AM IST
Realme recently launched two new 5G phones in India in the form of the Realme X7 and X7 Pro. The two devices are the first to use the MediaTek Dimensity mobile platform on India. In our first impressions of the Realme X7 Pro, I found that the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ SoC on the device packs a pretty hard punch. But can the same be said of the MediaTek Dimensity 800U on the vanilla Realme 7? Well, stick around and let’s find out.
Realme recently launched two new 5G phones in India in the form of the Realme X7 and X7 Pro. The two devices are the first to use the MediaTek Dimensity mobile platform on India. In our first impressions of the Realme X7 Pro, I found that the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ SoC on the device packs a pretty hard punch. But can the same be said of the MediaTek Dimensity 800U on the vanilla Realme 7? Well, stick around and let’s find out.
In terms of design, the Realme X7 is relatively compact, light (Weighing 176g), and slim (Measuring 8.1mm). One reason for the light and compact build is the phone’s polycarbonate frame and body, although the screen is protected by an unspecified glass. Realme also claims that the phone can resist light splashes of water. The vanilla Realme X7 is available in a Nebula and Space Silver finish, with the former featuring the “Dare To Leap” branding stretched across the back. However, the silver finish draws a perfect balance between style and subtly. Considering its weight, size, and thickness, the Realme X7 is quite comfortable to grip, although it does come at the cost of that premium appeal.
In terms of design, the Realme X7 is relatively compact, light (Weighing 176g), and slim (Measuring 8.1mm). One reason for the light and compact build is the phone’s polycarbonate frame and body, although the screen is protected by an unspecified glass. Realme also claims that the phone can resist light splashes of water. The vanilla Realme X7 is available in a Nebula and Space Silver finish, with the former featuring the “Dare To Leap” branding stretched across the back. However, the silver finish draws a perfect balance between style and subtly. Considering its weight, size, and thickness, the Realme X7 is quite comfortable to grip, although it does come at the cost of that premium appeal.
One downside here was that the rear surface attracted too many fingerprints, although there’s a transparent silicone cover in the box that may help tackle the issue. Unlike the Realme X7 Pro, the camera lenses here protrude out of the module. The buttons on the side of the device are pretty easy to access, while the USB-C to 3.5mm adapter compensates for the lack of a headphone jack. The phone has a single speaker that delivers pretty good sound quality, while the-Res Audio certification enhances the listening experience with a pair of headphones.
One downside here was that the rear surface attracted too many fingerprints, although there’s a transparent silicone cover in the box that may help tackle the issue. Unlike the Realme X7 Pro, the camera lenses here protrude out of the module. The buttons on the side of the device are pretty easy to access, while the USB-C to 3.5mm adapter compensates for the lack of a headphone jack. The phone has a single speaker that delivers pretty good sound quality, while the-Res Audio certification enhances the listening experience with a pair of headphones.
For the screen, the Realme X7 opts for a 6.4-inch FHD+ (2400x1080 pixels) Super AMOLED panel. There’s no fancy high-refresh-rate here, but the phone does have a touch sampling rate of 180Hz. The peak brightness of 600 nits falls way short of the thousand mark, but that isn’t surprising at this price. The DC Dimming which can reduce flickering to ease eye strain, while the in-display fingerprint scanner is fast and responsive. This may not be the best AMOLED panel around, but it is as good as it gets in the sub-20K segment, and it is undoubtedly better than the best LCDs used in the segment.
For the screen, the Realme X7 opts for a 6.4-inch FHD+ (2400x1080 pixels) Super AMOLED panel. There’s no fancy high-refresh-rate here, but the phone does have a touch sampling rate of 180Hz. The peak brightness of 600 nits falls way short of the thousand mark, but that isn’t surprising at this price. The DC Dimming which can reduce flickering to ease eye strain, while the in-display fingerprint scanner is fast and responsive. This may not be the best AMOLED panel around, but it is as good as it gets in the sub-20K segment, and it is undoubtedly better than the best LCDs used in the segment.
When it comes to performance, the Realme X7 uses a MediaTek Dimensity 800U SoC, an entry-level 7nm 5G chip. The chip is paired with the Mali-G57 GPU and 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. In our Geekbench 5 test, which just happens to be CPU-oriented, the MediaTek Dimensity 800U chip was seen to be a little slower than the Snapdragon 750G mobile platform. That’s not to say that this is a bad chip as it handles most tasks without much effort, although it does have some limitations while gaming, and you won’t be able to go all out in more demanding titles. However, it is worth noting that it can keep pace with, and in many cases outpace, any smartphone in the segment, while offering 5G connectivity.
When it comes to performance, the Realme X7 uses a MediaTek Dimensity 800U SoC, an entry-level 7nm 5G chip. The chip is paired with the Mali-G57 GPU and 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. In our Geekbench 5 test, which just happens to be CPU-oriented, the MediaTek Dimensity 800U chip was seen to be a little slower than the Snapdragon 750G mobile platform. That’s not to say that this is a bad chip as it handles most tasks without much effort, although it does have some limitations while gaming, and you won’t be able to go all out in more demanding titles. However, it is worth noting that it can keep pace with, and in many cases outpace, any smartphone in the segment, while offering 5G connectivity.
The Realme X7 opts for a triple-camera setup, with a 64 MP, f/1.8 sensor at the helm. However, Realme isn’t touting a 64 MP Sony IMX686 sensor here and are content with the Samsung ISOCELL GW2 sensor. The main sensor is paired with an 8 MP ultrawide shooter and a 2 MP macro camera. On the front, the hole-punch camera cutout houses a 16 MP selfie shooter with an f/2.5 aperture.
The Realme X7 opts for a triple-camera setup, with a 64 MP, f/1.8 sensor at the helm. However, Realme isn’t touting a 64 MP Sony IMX686 sensor here and are content with the Samsung ISOCELL GW2 sensor. The main sensor is paired with an 8 MP ultrawide shooter and a 2 MP macro camera. On the front, the hole-punch camera cutout houses a 16 MP selfie shooter with an f/2.5 aperture.
The primary camera handles dynamic range and exposure, while photos look clear with a ton of detail. However, all of this is contingent on the lighting in the scene.
The primary camera handles dynamic range and exposure, while photos look clear with a ton of detail. However, all of this is contingent on the lighting in the scene.
As with the Realme X7 Pro, the ultrawide camera here is pretty unimpressive. Results are passable in good outdoor light but tend to suffer indoors or in low light.
As with the Realme X7 Pro, the ultrawide camera here is pretty unimpressive. Results are passable in good outdoor light but tend to suffer indoors or in low light.
Nightscape mode can be a hit or a miss depending on the lighting. With sufficient ambient light, you can capture pretty decent results.
Nightscape mode can be a hit or a miss depending on the lighting. With sufficient ambient light, you can capture pretty decent results.
We will take an in-depth at camera performance in our full review of the Realme X7. For now, I’d conclude by saying that the camera on this phone is not great but tends to get the job done and is well above average for the price.
We will take an in-depth at camera performance in our full review of the Realme X7. For now, I’d conclude by saying that the camera on this phone is not great but tends to get the job done and is well above average for the price.
Battery capacity is slightly lower on the Realme X7 as compared to its ‘Pro’ sibling. However, 4,310 mAh was more than enough to get through a full day, especially when you consider the display maxes out at 60Hz. Moreover, if you aren’t impressed with the battery capacity, then look no further than the 50W charging brick included in the box. It took me less than 30 minutes to get a 50 percent charge while going from 0 to 100 percent takes about an hour. Full-day battery life with super-fast charging to back it up is pretty cool at this price.
Battery capacity is slightly lower on the Realme X7 as compared to its ‘Pro’ sibling. However, 4,310 mAh was more than enough to get through a full day, especially when you consider the display maxes out at 60Hz. Moreover, if you aren’t impressed with the battery capacity, then look no further than the 50W charging brick included in the box. It took me less than 30 minutes to get a 50 percent charge while going from 0 to 100 percent takes about an hour. Full-day battery life with super-fast charging to back it up is pretty cool at this price.
The Realme X7 runs Android 10 with the Realme UI skin on top. While Realme’s custom skin is reminiscent of stock, there’s plenty of bloatware to remind you that you aren’t running stock Android. Even so, a lot it can be uninstalled, but annoying push notifications will have to be disabled in the settings. Apart from that, there are some nifty customisations like optional navigation gestures, a Smart Sidebar for shortcuts to apps and tools, and more. Overall, Realme UI does have a minimalist feel and does a decent job of mimicking stock Android.
The Realme X7 runs Android 10 with the Realme UI skin on top. While Realme’s custom skin is reminiscent of stock, there’s plenty of bloatware to remind you that you aren’t running stock Android. Even so, a lot it can be uninstalled, but annoying push notifications will have to be disabled in the settings. Apart from that, there are some nifty customisations like optional navigation gestures, a Smart Sidebar for shortcuts to apps and tools, and more. Overall, Realme UI does have a minimalist feel and does a decent job of mimicking stock Android.
Before breaking down my initial impressions, let’s talk about the elephant in the room, ‘price’. The Realme X7 and X7 Pro are separated by a massive 10K price difference, so expecting the vanilla X7 to have all the bells and whistles of a premium mid-range phone is asking way too much of it. I’d say that the Realme X7 is an above-average sub-20K phone that can go toe-to-toe with any other device in this category. It features a capable 64 MP triple-camera setup, a vibrant AMOLED panel, super-fast charging speed, and a fast mid-range chip. However, the Realme X7’s ace in the hole is its 5G support, which takes it from ‘above average’ to ‘one of the best’ in the category. Stay tuned for our full Realme X7 review to get a better idea of where this sub-20K star stands on an ever-increasing list of budget 5G phones.
Before breaking down my initial impressions, let’s talk about the elephant in the room, ‘price’. The Realme X7 and X7 Pro are separated by a massive 10K price difference, so expecting the vanilla X7 to have all the bells and whistles of a premium mid-range phone is asking way too much of it. I’d say that the Realme X7 is an above-average sub-20K phone that can go toe-to-toe with any other device in this category. It features a capable 64 MP triple-camera setup, a vibrant AMOLED panel, super-fast charging speed, and a fast mid-range chip. However, the Realme X7’s ace in the hole is its 5G support, which takes it from ‘above average’ to ‘one of the best’ in the category. Stay tuned for our full Realme X7 review to get a better idea of where this sub-20K star stands on an ever-increasing list of affordable 5G phones.
Carlsen Martin
first published: Feb 7, 2021 10:13 am

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