Let us start this review with a very small story. A company enters a crowded Indian smartphone space that is bustling with competition, local and international brands included. A little less than two years down the line, the company has made its way to the top five brands in the Indian smartphone market.
In case you haven’t guessed the name of this company, it’s Realme.
Realme, as a relatively new smartphone brand, has had a dream run so far. The once an Oppo-sub-brand has quickly risen to the select few top brands with a bunch of smartphone launches.
The company’s current portfolio of smartphones has been flooded with frequent launches, most of them being in the budget categories. Realme’s mantra has been ‘Dare to Leap’, and the company is now aiming higher with the Realme X2 Pro.
Touted as the new ‘Flagship Killer’, the Realme X2 Pro comes loaded with top-of-the-line specifications and some first-in-category as well. To give you a teaser, Realme claims that the Realme X2 Pro can charge its 4,000 mAh battery within 35 minutes. But, in my short experience with the smartphone, I would say that the company’s being modest. I’ll get to the battery a bit later as we first need to examine the might of this beast of a device.
Realme X2 Pro Specifications
Display: 6.5-inch Super AMOLED with a 90Hz high refresh rate and a 91.7 percent screen-to-body ratio.
- 64MP primary camera with an f/1.8 aperture.
- 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lens with a 115-degree field-of-view that doubles as a macro lens.
- 13MP f/2.5 sensor with 2x optical zoom, 5x optical hybrid zoom and up to 20x digital zoom.
- 2MP Portrait lens.
Front Camera: 16MP f/2.0 sensor
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ SoC with Adreno 640 GPU for graphics
RAM and Storage: 8GB + 128GB UFS 3.0 and 12GB + 256GB UFS 3.0 variants.
Battery: 4,000 mAh with 50W SuperVOOC Flash Charge.
The spec-sheet does look impressive on paper, and it reflects in the real world as well.
Here’s our review of the Realme X2 Pro:
Design and Display
Holding the Realme X2 Pro gives a premium feel, thanks to the glass-metal sandwich design. The smartphone is a gram less than 200 but doesn’t feel that heavy.
Upfront, the smartphone has a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a tiny water-drop notch on top and a 20:9 aspect ratio. The side bezels are narrow whereas the chin is a bit thicker. High chances that you might mistake the Realme X2 Pro as the OnePlus 7T due to a very close resemblance.
The Full HD+ flat display is crisp and bright, and we did not face any issues while using the smartphone in outdoor conditions. Realme X2 Pro’s display also supports HDR10+, which means you can enjoy viewing content on Netflix, YouTube or Amazon Prime with better and higher colour accuracy.
Colours are saturated and a little punchy under the Vivid screen color mode. The colour temperature is also neutral and leans a bit towards the cooler side. You can adjust the colour temperature inside the display settings between cool, default and warm.
Realme X2 Pro is the first smartphone in its price range to offer a 90Hz refresh rate display. You find the same smooth refresh rate on the OnePlus 7T, which is priced higher.
A 90Hz refresh rate offers a silky-smooth experience while scrolling through your social media feed. Even if you are someone who is not-so-tech-savvy, you will notice that perceived speed bump over your previous smartphone with a 60Hz display. You can switch between 60Hz and 90Hz in the display settings and also select which apps can make use of the faster refresh rate.
Turn the Realme X2 Pro around, and there’s an awkwardly-placed Realme logo placed next to the vertically-aligned quad-camera setup. While looks may be subjective, we personally didn’t like the logo placement. The camera module protrudes, and it is advised to use the case offered inside the box.
The power button is placed on the right side, whereas the volume buttons are on the left. At the bottom edge, there’s the USB Type-C port, a speaker grille, and the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Smartphones that claim to be a ‘Flagship Killer’ often lag in the camera department. In Realme X2 Pro’s case, the results so far have been at par with the likes of OnePlus 7T, Reno 2 (Review) and some other flagships.
There’s a quad-camera setup with a 64MP f/1.8 primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide, a 13MP 2x optical telephoto lens, and a 2MP Portrait lens.
The camera app has three different modes: Video, Photo, and Portrait. The other modes, like Ultra 64MP, Nightscape, Ultra Macro, etc. can be found in the menu icon on the left of the Video option. Above the viewfinder, there’s a row for camera settings, HDR, ultra-wide, Chroma Boost, flash, etc. To switch between the lenses, there is a toggle which can be tapped to select ultra-wide, 1x, 2x and 5x zoom.
Realme X2 Pro uses 4-in-1 pixel binning to convert 64MP images into 16MP. Pictures that were taken using the main sensor offered impressive levels of detail and excellent dynamic range.
The colours aren’t oversaturated and look very natural. If you want that Instagram-ready image with some defined colours, there’s a Chroma Boost option on the top that bumps up the saturation a bit.
Another highlight feature of the Realme X2 Pro’s camera, apart from the 64MP main sensor, is its telephoto lens. The 13MP telephoto sensor can shoot up to 2x optical zoom, 5x optical hybrid zoom, and 20x digital zoom.
You can get a good amount of crisp and detailed images while using the telephoto lens in 2x and a bit less in 5x zoom. However, the sharpness and colour levels deteriorate a bit as you zoom in further.
At 20x zoom, things may get blurry if you do not keep your hands still and steady while holding the smartphone. Also, using telephoto after 5x zoom may not be your best bet to get accurate colours and details.
There is distortion in ultra-wide shots but not a lot. You’ll notice some noise and lack of sharpness on the edges of ultra-wide images shot on Realme X2 Pro.
The 13MP sensor is very close to matching the colour temperature and accuracy of the main camera. The same ultra-wide sensor doubles up as a macro lens for shooting tiny objects with a considerable amount of detail.
There’s also a night mode called ‘Nightscape’ on the Realme X2 Pro. It basically clicks multiple shots on the same frame within those couple of seconds to get maximum detail.
The camera performs well as images offer enough detail with some decent noise reduction. You’ll see a bump in exposure and highlights. I did notice some noise and loss of detail in the darker areas of the image when there wasn’t an ample amount of light. The sharpness, too, is increased in a bid to extract most details.
Portrait mode has a good amount of detail and bokeh. Keep in mind that by default, the bokeh is set to 60 percent and you can set it as per your preference. Edge detection, too, was on point, except a couple of instances where the edges of the hair and ears got blurred.
The front camera has a 16MP f/2.0 sensor. If you love clicking selfies, the X2 Pro won’t disappoint you. The phone clicks close to real selfies. I didn’t notice any kind of skin softening or smoothening with the ‘beauty’ mode off. However, the exposure was a bit on the higher side, resulting in a slightly fairer skin tone.
We have already listed out the spec-sheet above, and it is pretty clear that the Realme X2 Pro is a powerhouse. With up to 12GB RAM paired with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+, it is evident that the Realme X2 Pro will offer smooth performance. For even better performance, Realme X2 Pro comes with Game Space that offers various enhancements and adjustments that can be done for better gameplay.
We tried Team Death Matches in Call of Duty and PUBG where the graphics loaded in HD and frame rate was set to ‘High’ by default. Realme X2 Pro supports HDR graphics and ‘Extreme’ frame rate in PUBG. Needless to say, there was no lag or stutter while playing the Battle Royale games. We changed the settings to HDR graphics with 'Extreme' frame rate to push the performance to its extreme. The device did feel warm after 10-15 minutes of gameplay, after which I switched to HD settings and 'High' frame rate.
Realme X2 Pro features up to 256GB internal memory with UFS 3.0 storage standards, ensuring faster read-write speeds. Battery life is impressive, even with a 90Hz refresh rate. We managed to get a bit over a day’s juice after playing some games, music, scrolling through Instagram and Twitter and clicking stories on Snapchat.
Even if you run out of juice, there is this mind-blowing 50W SuperVOOC Flash charger inside the box. It would be hard to believe when you read this, but the Realme X2 Pro charged at a blazing fast speed from 5 percent to 100 in exactly 29 minutes.
That’s a little lesser than what the company claims to refuel the battery from zero to 100 percent in 35 minutes. Undoubtedly, the Realme X2 Pro is a champion in its segment. The battery charges way faster than the OnePlus 7T’s 30T Warp charge and Redmi K20 Pro’s 27W Sonic charge.
Coming to the biometrics, there’s an in-display fingerprint scanner that is quick, and among the fastest, we feel. As an alternative, Realme X2 Pro also supports face unlock which is fast to authenticate but not secure enough.
The speakers, too, are loud and clear. There’s a primary speaker at the bottom edge, and the large earpiece doubles up as a secondary speaker.
Realme X2 Pro boots on Android 9 based Color OS 6.1. The infamous skin is known for its bloatware and preloaded third-party apps. Realme should’ve considered launching the X2 Pro without any bloatware for offering a true flagship software experience.
Other than GameSpace, Color OS 6.1 comes with features like ‘Smart Driving’ and ‘Smart Riding’ mode. The custom skin also offers various types of gestures and navigation keys. Color OS also features Digital Wellbeing, which is focused on informing users about the time they spend on various apps and how to reduce smartphone usage.
Realme X2 Pro should get the upcoming Color OS 7 software update soon.
If there’s one word for describing the Realme X2 Pro, it’s ‘Butter-Smooth’. A superior performance unit, faster storage, 90Hz refresh rate display, great battery life with super-fast charging ensures you a value-for-money experience. Add to it the quad-cameras that offer a versatile set of focal lengths with great pictures.
The Realme X2 Pro is the company’s first approach towards the flagship experience in the right direction. A flagship experience with top-of-the-line specs and the latest features under Rs 30,000 make it quite obvious for one to recommend the Realme X2 Pro.
While the operating system may be its weakest link at the moment, the upcoming ColorOS 7 update which is claimed to offer close to stock Android experience should better the user experience.
Realme X2 Pro competes against the OnePlus 7T (Review), Asus 6Z, and the Redmi K20 Pro. Among the three competitors, the OnePlus 7T gets closest to the X2 Pro but is priced higher.
Redmi K20 Pro (Review) and Asus 6Z are great devices, but a late-launch has allowed Realme to pack the best and latest features in its first flagship device.
To sum it up, if the competitors are flagship killers, the Realme X2 Pro is the king of these flagship killers.