Most Chinese manufacturers start off in their home market, and target other regions as they grow. Realme is doing things the other way around — the brand made its debut in India just under a year ago, and it has managed to gain a decent amount of market share in a short time.
The main draw with Realme is the affordability: the brand regularly undercuts Xiaomi, allowing devices like the Realme 3 Pro to pull ahead of the Redmi Note 7 Pro. With the brand gaining a lot of momentum in India, it is now making its debut in China.
Realme says the average age of its users is under 30 years, so it's focusing on a younger audience with its latest series, the Realme X. The phone features a 48MP camera at the back and a retractable front camera that allows the brand to achieve a notch-less design.
Chinese brands have taken to mechanised cameras in the last 12 months to offer a clean look at the front that isn't marred by a cutout, and the retractable camera is the new notch — every mid-range phone releasing this year will have it.
The Realme X has a 6.53-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel protected by Gorilla Glass 5. It also has an in-display fingerprint sensor, with Realme stating that the module itself is faster and more reliable than first-gen sensors from last year.
Elsewhere, you'll find a Snapdragon 710, 48MP rear camera with Sony IMX 586 sensor, and a 16MP camera up front. It has a 3750mAH battery with VOOC 3.0 flash charge, and 8GB of RAM along with 128GB of internal storage.
There's also a Realme X Lite that shares a lot of the same hardware, but with a waterdrop cutout up front. The Realme X Lite is rocking a 6.3-inch FHD+ display, Snapdragon 710, along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and a 4045mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 flash charging. Realme says the phone will charge up to 60% in just under an hour even with the screen on.
The main camera is a 16MP Sony IMX 519 sensor, and up front you get a 25MP shooter. The Realme X Lite is set to go on sale in China for 1,199 RMB ($175) for the version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, 1,299 RMB ($190) for the 6GB/64GB model, and 1,499 RMB ($220).
The Realme X, meanwhile, will go on sale for 1,499 RMB ($220) for the 4GB/64GB option, 1,599 RMB ($235) for the 6GB?64GB edition, and 1,799 RMB ($260) for the 8GB/128GB model. Sales kick off on May 20 in China, and the device will make its way to other Asian markets — including India — shortly.
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.
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