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Realme X Review: For Those Who Complained About OnePlus 7 Pro’s Price (Video)

The Realme X. Photo: Ben Sin

TL;DR Version

  • What’s good? All-screen, notch-less design with a good camera, starting at US$218! And Realme finally gave us USB-C charging
  • What’s bad? I mean, I guess I can nitpick ColorOS slightly — there’s some bloatware and you need to reach for the top of the screen to pull down notification shade — but at this price range, I really can’t say shit. If you have complaints about a sub-US$300 phone that performs at this level, I’m afraid you’re just one of those people who want your cake and eat it too.

So yesterday OnePlus introduced its new flagship, the 7 Pro and reception so far have been mostly enthusiastic. But as usual, there’s a segment of fanbase that’s annoyed with yet another OnePlus price hike — the new phone starts at US$660 — and they’re claiming the 7 Pro is too expensive.

Well, for those of you in that camp, don’t worry, BKK Electronics (parent company of OnePlus and Realme) got you covered, fam.

The Realme X, just announced today in Beijing, has the same all-screen design, same pop-up selfie camera mechanism, same 48-megapixel Sony IMX camera sensor, same fast charging tech, same in-display fingerprint scanner sourced from the same vendor, and it starts at under US$300.

Now of course, there are some major features of the 7 Pro that’s missing on the X, but hey, you can’t complain about a feature-packed phone for being too expensive, and then moan about the cheaper alternative lacking some features. So here’s where the Realme X falls short of the OnePlus 7 Pro;

  • the Realme X’s chipset is a Snapdragon 710 instead of the 855
  • the display is a 1080p flat panel and not a Quad HD curved panel …
  • … and the X’s display doesn’t have that stunning 90Hz refresh rate
  • the battery and screen sizes are slightly smaller, at 3750 mAh and 6.5-inches respectively
  • the Realme X runs Oppo’s ColorOS which isn’t as great as OnePlus’ OxygenOS
  • the Realme X doesn’t have a dedicated wide-angle or telephoto lens (its secondary camera is just a depth sensor)

Okay, that list looks a bit long at first glance, but I’m willing to bet most average consumers/casual smartphone users won’t need or care about the omissions. The difference between 1080p resolution and Quad HD resolution on a mobile screen is just about non-existent, and day-to-day basic performance with the 710 and 855 aren’t going to matter too much.

6.5-inch OLED screen.
The pop-up camera module also has drop protection.

And like I said, if you moaned about the 7 Pro’s fair-in-my-opinion pricing, then you have to suck it up and lose some features. What you get with the Realme X is still an insane value. I mean, look at the phone! It’s all screen! An OLED panel that’s beautiful and vibrant! The main camera is solid too!

48, again

So, as mentioned, the X uses the same 48-megapixel Sony IMX sensor as the OnePlus 7 Pro, and it also uses pixel binning to produce solid 12-megapixel shots. Daytime shots are fine — like every phone above US$200 should be, but I’m really impressed by the night shots or low light images captured by the Realme X, as long as I use the dedicated night mode.

The 16-megapixel front-facing camera can go overboard with the beautification, but if you turn all that shit off, selfies turn out solid, even at night.

Anyway, if you’re interested in learning more about the Realme X, I’d recommend watching my video review, in which I go in-depth about the phone and its features. But if you need the conclusion here: well I already told you earlier, this phone is a hell of a deal and I can’t really nitpick at all at this price range.