Realme has all the momentum in India's budget segment, and the brand isn't sitting around on its laurels. The manufacturer launched ten phones this year alone, and with every device, it has managed to outdo other players in this segment — Xiaomi included.
As we head to the tail end of 2019, Realme is launching what is possibly one of the most exciting phones of the year. The Realme X2 Pro has so many features that I don't know where to start. Let's kick things off with the highlights: the X2 Pro has a 90Hz AMOLED display with a waterdrop cutout. It's powered by the Snapdragon 855+ chipset, you get 12GB of RAM/256GB of storage, and there's a 4000mAh battery under the hood. Up to this point, it's on par with other value flagships you'll find in the market today.
But the X2 Pro has a few standout additions: it has 50W SuperVOOC charging — first for a phone sold in India — and a 64MP primary camera joined by a zoom lens that offers 20x hybrid zoom. It is also Realme's first phone with stereo speakers. Combine all of that and the fact that the phone debuts at just ₹29,999 ($417), and you start to understand why the X2 Pro turns this segment on its head.
The X2 Pro is a pivotal phone for Realme, as this is the first time the brand is making its debut outside of Asia. The phone is available in the UK, Spain, France, Belgium, and a host of other European markets, with Realme following Xiaomi's lead. With that out of the way, let's take a look at the phone itself.
The Realme X2 Pro shares a lot of similarities with Realme's recent phones in terms of design. The phone is available in two color options — Lunar White and Neptune Blue — and the colors are identical to that of the Realme XT. The X2 Pro also has a glass back, with both the front and rear panes of glass protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
Dominating the design at the back is the quad-camera array, and while the housing itself is identical to that of the Realme XT, it is now centered. There's also a Realme logo that's now located next to the camera housing. Aside from the logo and a few regulatory markings at the bottom, the design of the X2 Pro is clean, and overall the phone manages to look premium.
The power button is on the right, the volume rocker is on the left, and you get a 3.5mm jack at the bottom. There really isn't anything missing from a hardware point of view, and that's commendable when you consider how much the X2 Pro costs.
The X2 Pro combines a gorgeous design with a 90Hz AMOLED panel and stereo sound.
The X2 Pro is the first Realme phone with stereo sound: the primary speaker is located at the bottom, and there's a wide grille above the screen that houses the secondary speaker. Stereo sound is a welcome addition, and it makes playing games and watching videos that much more enjoyable on the X2 Pro.
One of the highlights of the X2 Pro is the 90Hz AMOLED screen. It is just as smooth and fluid as the display on the OnePlus 7T, and seeing as how Realme is owned by BBK, it is probably using the same panel as well. The screen also features the E3 luminescent material that's designed to boost the brightness to up to 1000nits and reduce blue light emissions.
Realme is using Qualcomm's flagship chipset for the first time, and that makes a world of difference.
The X2 Pro is a delight to use because of the 90Hz refresh rate, and the panel quality itself is one of the best you'll find in this category. In fact, the X2 Pro is the most affordable phone with a 90Hz panel, and that alone makes it a very enticing option. The phone has an in-screen fingerprint sensor that's one of the fastest I've used to date, and there's also a face unlock solution that works very well.
While Realme fielded a lot of phones in 2019, this is the first time we're seeing the company include Qualcomm's flagship-tier Snapdragon 8xx chipset. The phone features the latest Snapdragon 855+ silicon, and combined with the 90Hz display, it is a performance beast. You won't notice any slowdown or lag whatsoever in day-to-day use, and this is the most enjoyable experience I've had using ColorOS.
|Specs||Realme X2 Pro|
|Software||Android 9.0 Pie | ColorOS 6.1|
|Display||6.5-inch (2400x1080) 90Hz AMOLED|
|Chipset||2.96GHz Snapdragon 855+|
|Storage||64GB/128GB/256GB UFS 3.0|
|Rear Camera 1||64MP ƒ/1.8 (primary)|
|Rear Camera 2||8MP ƒ/2.2 (wide-angle)|
|Rear Camera 3||13MP ƒ/2.5 (2x zoom)|
|Rear Camera 4||2MP ƒ/2.4 (portrait)|
|Front Camera||16MP ƒ/2.0|
|Battery||4000mAh | 50W|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, BT5.0, NFC|
|Colors||Lunar White, Neptune Blue|
|Dimensions||161 × 75.7mm × 8.7mm|
Earlier Realme phones weren't exactly slow, but they had their limitations — particularly in terms of gaming. That is no longer an issue on the X2 Pro, and the phone blazed through everything I threw at it. Realme is offering 8GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 3.0 storage as standard in India, and a second variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage.
I'm testing the latter variant, and if you're looking for a future-proof device, you're better off going with the 12GB option. Realme also has a 6GB/64GB base variant in global markets, but that model isn't available in India.
Another standout feature on the X2 Pro is fast charging. The phone offers OPPO's 50W SuperVOOC wired charging, and a 50W charger is bundled in the box. That means you'll be able to charge from flat to 80% in just 30 minutes — and that's while you're gaming. In idle, the phone goes from zero to 100% in just 35 minutes. Oh, and it also works with existing USB PD solutions, so you can use your older fast charging tech.
The 4000mAh battery itself is able to deliver over a day's worth of use from a full charge, and the addition of 50W charging makes the X2 Pro a powerhouse. As the phone is debuting in global markets, you get NFC for Google Pay. In addition, you get a Wi-Fi ac 4x4 MIMO antenna, liquid cooling, Bluetooth 5.0, and a dedicated gaming mode.
Now onto the cameras: the X2 Pro has four cameras at the back, with a 64MP Samsung GW1 primary sensor joined by an 13MP 2x zoom lens, 8MP wide-angle shooter, and a 2MP portrait lens. Realme is trying to emulate Google's color balance and image quality, and it is doing a pretty decent job of it overall. The X2 Pro takes stunning photos in daylight conditions, and it does a decent enough job in low-light scenarios.
A highlight on the X2 Pro is the 20x hybrid zoom. The 13MP lens only goes up to a 2x zoom factor, but Realme is leveraging digital zoom to deliver passable shots at 20x.
Realme X2 Pro at 1x zoom, 2x zoom, and 20x zoom
The only downside with the X2 Pro is the software: it's running ColorOS 6.1 based on Android 9 Pie. To its credit, Realme has made a lot of meaningful additions to ColorOS, but the fact that the phone isn't running Android 10 out of the box is a definite miss. I haven't noticed any issues with ColorOS in day-to-day usage, but it will be a long wait before Android 10 is available for the device.
Phones like the X2 Pro come along once a year. Last year, it was the POCO F1 that drove the conversation around value. This time around, Realme is in the driving seat. The X2 Pro has the latest internal hardware, and you also get a gorgeous design as well as a 90Hz screen, 64MP camera at the back, and 50W wired charging.
As we head into 2020, the Realme X2 Pro is the value flagship to beat. The phone is going on sale in India from November 26, and the base 8GB/128GB option will be available for ₹29,999 ($417).
The Realme X2 Pro is also on sale in several global markets, and you'll have to shell out €399 ($440) for the 6GB/64GB model. That's not quite the same bargain as you'll find in India, but it's still a pretty decent deal considering the hardware on offer.
I'll have a lot more to talk about the X2 Pro in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, what are your thoughts on the phone? Let me know in the comments below.
The new leader
The value flagship to beat in 2019.
The Realme X2 Pro has everything you're looking for in a value flagship: it has a 90Hz AMOLED panel, the latest Snapdragon 855+ chipset, 64MP camera at the back, and a 4000mAh battery with 50W fast charging. Right now, it is in a class of its own.