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OnePlus was perhaps the first smartphone company to offer premium hardware for a lesser price. After it kick-started the “flagship-killer” trend, several other smartphone manufacturers, mostly from China, adopted a similar business strategy. The latest to join the trend is Oppo’s lesser-known sub-brand, Realme.
Ever since its inception in May 2018, Realme has been dishing out mid-range smartphones in quick succession in the Asian market, particularly China and India. With the X2 Pro, the company is for the very first time legitimately treading flagship smartphone territory. However, the pricing, in true Realme style, is not how typical flagship phones are priced. And the pricing is what has got the “tech sphere” talking about the device, which is scheduled to be released globally in November 2019. And it’s also the reason why we’ll take a detailed look at the phone and find out what’s the hype about.
General Overview and Specification Of X2 Pro
The Realme X2 Pro ticks pretty much all the right boxes for a 2019-2020 flagship smartphone. Though specs do not mean everything and it’s the real-world user experience that counts the most, it’s still worth looking at what the X2 Pro offers on paper.
- Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 855+ processor
- 6/8/12GB of RAM, and 64/128/256GB flash storage
- A 6.5-inch Full HD AMOLED screen, with 90 Hz screen refresh rate
- Quad-camera setup; 16-mp selfie camera
- 4,000 mAh battery
- Stereo speakers
- A 3.5mm headphone jack
- Wi-Fi 802.11, NFC, GPS, and Bluetooth 5.0
Despite the clear intent to not skimp on features that most Chinese brands do to save costs, wireless charging is missing. Another flagship feature missing is IP68 certification. These are apparently the only two areas where Realme’s cost-cutting measures show.
Build & Design
The X2 Pro has a solid glass and metal build. The glass used – both on the front and rear – is Gorilla Glass 5. In the hands, it feels like any flagship Android phone from a top-tier brand. The Pocophone F1 looked decent, performed well, and costed little. However, unlike the F1, the X2 Pro doesn’t feel cheap or built to cost. The Realme X2 pro comes in two colors, Neptune blue, and Lunar White.
As far as design is concerned, the X2 Pro is not winning any awards. However, it’s more than just serviceable. The subtle gradient effect on the back is a good touch. If you’re familiar with the Realme X, the X2 Pro’s aluminum sides, glass back, and centrally-positioned camera housing will remind you of the former.
The four cameras are arranged vertically in the center. The horizontal Realme branding at the bottom of the four cameras looks awkwardly placed, to say the least. Since the logo doesn’t integrate well with the back of the device, it seems more like an afterthought.
The screen measures 6.5-inches diagonally and has the tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio. It packs in a bright Full HD Super AMOLED display with DCI-P3 and HDR10+ support. Typical of OLED screens, the colors are rich and vibrant, with the blacks truly looking the part. AMOLED also means the phone supports Always-On Display. Realme calls it Clock, and true to its name, the screen shows date and time when it’s off.
Pretty much all of the device’s front is the display – 91.7%, to be exact. Despite so much real estate captured by the screen, the phone’s front somehow manages to house the stereo speakers and the selfie camera. There is no pop-up front camera like on the Realme X.
The screen is adequately sharp with a pixel density of 402 PPI, which means you’ll not be missing the not-so-noticeably sharper and power-hungrier Quad-HD screens. The fingerprint scanner is built in the display. Realme claims its fingerprint sensor to be one among the fastest in-display sensors, capable of unlocking the phone in 0.23 seconds from the time your finger touches it. You can also unlock the phone with facial recognition if your fingers are a bit dirty to register your print accurately.
The X2 Pro’s screen has a 90Hz refresh rate, up from the standard 60Hz. The increased refresh rate means the display can refresh one static image 90 times per second. In real-world usage, this means a much smoother scrolling and swiping experience. You may not really appreciate this higher refresh rate right off the bat. However, once you get used to it, you will certainly miss it when you revert to a 60Hz screen.
Besides the price, the other highlight feature of this phone is the Snapdragon 855+ chip. Not many Android flagships released in 2019 come with the 855+ chip, including the ones that were released after the official announcement of the 855+. Realme has managed to rope in the 855+, which is no less than a feat. Even the recently released Pixel 4 doesn’t have the latest 2019 Qualcomm CPU.
Besides the X2 Pro, OnePlus 7T and the gaming-focused ASUS ROG Phone 2 are the only phones to come with the 855+, and those are priced much higher than the X2 Pro. Compared to the Snapdragon 855, the 855+ boosts CPU performance by 5% and GPU by 15%, rendering the chip ideal for gamers. Coupled with up to 12GB RAM and UFS 3.0 storage, the X2 Pro is well-equipped to be not fazed down by anything the Android ecosystem throws at it.
The camera is where affordable flagship phones disappoint. The one area that OnePlus phones have continually failed to impress is with their cameras. Though the recently launched OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T phone fare much better compared to their predecessors, they still aren’t true flagship cameras or are a grade or two below the iPhones, Pixels, and Galaxies of the world.
Surprisingly, the Realme X2 Pro cameras don’t just sound impressive on paper but perform quite well in real-world scenarios too. Most importantly, the X2 Pro’s cameras are quite a versatile bunch. The quad-camera setup comprises a 64mp Samsung sensor, a 13mp telephoto sensor, an 8mp camera, and a 2mp macro lens. The selfie camera is a solid 16mp shooter, which doubles as the face unlocking tool. The 64mp sensor is the same module that’s found on the Realme XT, which heaped praises for its camera prowess.
The four camera sensors mean you have different perspectives to play with. If you like wide-angle clicks, you can have them with the X2 Pro. And if you are more into bokeh shots, the X2 Pro lets you snap those too. Also, you can capture images with up to 5x optical zoom. For low-light or nighttime photography, there’s a dedicated night mode’ that lets you capture high-resolution pictures that you could zoom in without losing detail.
There is 4K video recording support, while the wide-angle lens lets you capture 360-degree panoramic shots and slow-motion HD footage at 960 fps. Some additional AI enhancements let you extract even better results from the camera.
Higher megapixels do not always translate to great photos, but the X2 Pro’s cameras deliver. There are very few scenarios with the X2 Pro, where you would not be able to grab a picture the way you wanted to. And those situations would usually arise during the night since night mode’ may introduce some noise. The wide-angle shots could be devoid of some details too. However, these mishaps are at the image processing level, which could be easily rectified with software updates.
The Realme X2 Pro comes with Android 9 out of the box, which is a bummer since most late-2019 flagship devices either come with Android 10 pre-installed or let you upgrade to Android 10 manually. Color OS is running atop Google’s software, which may not be to the liking of everybody. It may also be the reason why major software updates may get delayed or not come in as swiftly as they do on the Pixel phones or even the Oxygen OS-running OnePlus devices.
Besides not looking the most elegant, the heavily customized OS could also present reliability and navigability issues. For instance, the notifications aren’t the most reliable. Gesture controls are finicky – the swiping up’ gesture for accessing ‘recent apps view’ has stability issues, and generally simply flicks to open an app, which usually isn’t the one you intended to launch.
If you are not very particular about having the stock Android look and feel, your marriage with Color OS should be fine. Thankfully, the custom OS overlay isn’t too heavy to hurt the phone’s performance. You’ll not face any lag or delays when scrolling web pages, switching between apps, opening applications, etc. Maybe it’s the 855+ and 90Hz screen doing their thing.
Battery and Fast Charging
The X2 Pro’s 4,000 mAh battery should last you a full working day even with extremely heavy usage. Though the battery pack isn’t the biggest in terms of sheer capacity, the power-efficient 855+ and the OLED screen make it seem like more than adequate. Kindly note it’s not a two-day battery, even if you are an extremely light user. And if you manage to drain the battery quicker than normal, Realme’s astonishing fast charging capabilities would come to the rescue and not let you feel let down by the battery in the slightest.
Fast charging may not sound like a real feature since most modern smartphones are capable of quick charging in their own ways. However, the Realme X2 Pro’s fast charging mechanism needs a mention since it trumps almost every other non-OPPO quick charging solution out there.
The X2 Pro supports 50W SuperVOOC Flash Charging, although the box contains the 10V5A charging adapter. For comparison, some of the phones known for charging quickly than normal fast charging are the Huawei P30 Pro (40W SuperCharge), Xiaomi Mi 9 (27W charging), and Huawei Mate 20 Pro (40W SuperCharge).
Just 30 minutes of SuperVOOC charging should charge the X2 Pro’s 4,000 mAh battery by up to 80 percent. Give the charger five more minutes, and you’ll have a fully charged phone at your disposal. If you’re running short of battery, which should be rare with the X2 Pro, you can replenish the battery for a few hours of work and play in just a few minutes. There is also the option in the display settings to switch to 60Hz from 90Hz, which should help conserve battery.
RealMe X2 Pro Price
The major reason the X2 Pro is creating so much buzz both in China and outside its home market is its price. In China, the X2 Pro starts at 2,699 yuan ($380). The top-end variant costs 3,299 yuan ($465), and the 8GB/128GB model would set you back by 2,899 yuan ($410). For that price, you are getting a lot of smartphones.
If you look at the phone purely from the hardware and features standpoint, it doesn’t truly bring anything completely new or innovative to the table. The 64mp camera, 90Hz refresh rate, in-display fingerprint scanner, 50W fast charging, etc. are features you would find on some 2019 flagship phone or the other. However, the price for which you are getting all these features is what makes the X2 Pro stand out. It’s astonishing to see a smartphone this visually enticing and technically impressive retailing or set to sell in global markets for so little.
Though the phone could be priced slightly higher in the U.S. and other markets outside China due to taxes and erratic currency conversions, it would still manage to undercut its sibling, the OnePlus 7T. It will pose a serious threat to other value champs such as the Redmi K20 Pro and Xiaomi’s Mi 9T Pro.
- Plenty of power under the hood
- Solid pricing
- A beautiful and colorful OLED screen
- Cameras produce great photos and videos
- Quick and effective SuperVOOC Flash Charging
- Robust speakers
- Multiple unlocking techniques
- Major software updates may not be prompt
- Color OS won’t be to everyone’s taste
- Some bloatware still remains
- In-built gestures need work
- Only the 128GB and 256GB models come with UFS 3.0
Priced lower than the Pixel 3A XL, Asus Zenfone 6, and the already competitively priced OnePlus 7T, the Realme X2 Pro is a winner both on paper and in the real world. However, since no smartphone is perfect, Realme X2 Pro too has a couple of drawbacks, particularly on the software front. If you are willing to overlook that and also the lesser-known brand name, you should be more than happy with your purchase.
Here is the official website for more info.