With the X2 Pro, Realme brings a high-end smartphone to Europe. Looking at the price of the device you wouldn't know but the spec sheet is impressive. We have tried the new Realme X2 Pro and were impressed. Discover in our review why it is worth keeping an eye on this device!
- Display with 90Hz refresh rate
- SuperVOOC 50W charging
- Overall performance
- IP68 certification is missing
- Night photos not great
An incredible price
The Realme X2 Pro was announced in Madrid. This is the first major event that the brand has held in Europe. A clear signal about the importance of this market. The Realme X2 Pro is available starting at €399 in Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom. Two colours are available: Lunar White and Neptune Blue. The 8GB/128GB costs €449 and the 12GB/256GB will set you back €499. Pre-orders open on November 4. At launch, the phone will be available in Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK.
Inside the box that encloses the Realme X2 Pro, you will find a soft transparent cover, a Super Vooc 10V5A charger, a USB-C cable, a pin to pull out the SIM tray and an instruction manual. A protective film is already attached to the screen and although the smartphone has a 3.5mm headphone jack, earphones are not included in the package we received.
The elegance of metal and Gorilla Glass 5
The Realme X2 Pro is like most smartphones currently on the market: a body made of 3D Gorilla Glass 5 and metal without any special features. It has a beautiful design and is elegant. In its body of 161x75.7x8.7mm, it is not very light (199 grams).
Slightly curved edges on the back improve smartphone ergonomics
The glossy body easily attracts fingerprints but offers a clean design: most noticeable is the photographic compartment consisting of four vertically aligned sensors and the logo of the brand that has moved from previous models. The edges are slightly curved along the sides which improves the ergonomics of the smartphone. The cameras protrude from the body making the smartphone dance slightly when resting on a flat surface.
There are three physical keys: a power button along the right-hand side, and a volume rocker on the left. Along the bottom edge is the USB-C port, the mini-jack for wired headphones and the speaker grille. In the upper-right corner there is the SIM card slot. Dual SIM is supported but not the use of a microSD card to expand the storage. On the front, the Realme X2 Pro offers a large display interrupted at the top only by the small dewdrop-shaped notch that houses the front camera. An excellent screen-to-body ratio of 91.7 percent is on offer.
On the design side, Realme did a good job with the new X2 Pro which reminded me a lot of the Huawei P30 Pro. Unlike the latter, however, it is more cumbersome and heavier in the hand. The Realme X2 Pro also lacks IP68 certification.
The reason? It was one of the compromises necessary to offer users a device at a low price and as Levi Lee stated to our microphones, between the certification and a display with a 90Hz refresh rate, the second is the feature which users can benefit from daily.
A large, bezel-less display
Realme, with the creation of the X2 Pro, has thought of users who like to use their smartphone to make the most of multimedia content , including gaming. This is evident by the large, almost borderless screen with a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels resulting in 402 ppi and refresh rate of 90Hz.
90Hz refresh rate update and integrated fingerprint reader under the display
It is not the first brand to introduce this feature that focuses on fluidity. Until recently, it was only present on devices designed for real gamers such as the Asus ROG Phone, the first and second generation of the Razer Phone, the Nubia Magic 3, and the Sharp Aquos R3. OnePlus, which makes speed and fluidity a key point of its user experience, first introduced it with 7 Pro and now implemented it on OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro. In the meantime, other brands are also working on it: get ready for 2020 in which probably all the new flagships will mount a screen with a refresh rate of 90Hz.
This is an intangible feature, difficult to evaluate in everyday use unless you switch to a device with a lower refresh rate: then you'll notice the difference. Finding this feature on Realme X2 Pro is a really nice surprise if you look at the price of the device and gamers, in particular, will appreciate it.
Another pleasant surprise is the integrated fingerprint reader under the display. Fingerprint registration is quite quick and the unlocking is precise and fast. Realme claims to be the fastest on the market with unlocking times of 0.23 seconds.
In the display settings, you can reduce the refresh rate to 60Hz to reduce battery consumption, adjust the color temperature, brightness, activate the filter to reduce eye fatigue, activate the night protection at a scheduled time, and resize the screen and character. Realme also offers a kind of Always-on display. It's called Clock, and when the screen is off and it's limited to displaying the date and time.
The 19.5:9 ratio screen offers good maximum and minimum brightness. The blacks are deep and the colors are bright. The white tends slightly towards gray but the Super AMOLED does a good job with any type of content. HDR10+ and DCI-P3 are also supported.
On my test device, it was not possible to watch Netflix. Although the smartphone supports Security Level L1 and therefore allows you to play high-resolution content from services such as Netflix, the model used during this review is not supported. But you can rest assured because Realme has confirmed to us that the units for sale equipped with the final software version will not have this problem.
Android 9 and ColorOS 6.1
The Realme X2 Pro arrives in Europe with Android 9.0 Pie and ColorOS in version 6.1 , the same offered by Oppo devices. Despite being two independent brands, the umbilical cord remains and is visible. The security patches on the device I tested are dated September 5. Too bad the smartphone doesn't come with Android 10, but Levi Lee confirmed to us during the Madrid event that the update will be distributed on Realme X2 Pro.
The user experience, during the short period in which I used it, was fluid. The transition from one screen to another is fast. It is a highly customized interface away from Android stock but offers some dedicated features such as a space for gaming, gestures and unlocking through facial recognition. From the settings you can also decide whether to allow unlocking with eyes closed or not. Perhaps Google should also integrate this option on the new Pixel 4 phones!
The overall experience is positive, you just have to get used to a customized interface
All the unlocking methods implemented respond quickly: between using the fingerprint reader and facial recognition, I prefer the latter, but that's just habit. On the smartphone you will find all the integrated Google services and some bloatware by default, which has decreased compared to previous versions of ColorOS. The overall experience is positive, you'll just have to get used to customizing your phone.
A top-of-the-range spec sheet
The Realme 2X Pro has a very impressive technical datasheet. The smartphone is powered by the latest Qualcomm processor, the Snapdragon 855 Plus made with a 7nm process. The Adreno 640 GPU takes care of the graphics performance. Realme provides three different memory configurations:
- 6GB LPDDR4X RAM and 64GB UFS 2.1 internal storage
- 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB UFS 3.0 internal storage
- 12GB LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB UFS 3.0 internal storage
As you can see then, to be able to take advantage of a UFS 3.0 memory you will have to rely on the variants with 128 or 256GB of storage and it's worth it also considering the future of the device. The integrated components promise well and if you put all the pieces together, from the 90Hz display to the MIMO 4*4 antennas to improve reception and the liquid cooling system, you can see how Realme has thought of demanding users like gamers.
Realme X2 Pro is a fluid and fast smartphone, and even the usual benchmark tests confirm it
During my test I didn't experience any lag or problems during gaming or viewing other content. Even the audio experience does not disappoint thanks to the stereo speakers with ultra-linear duality and surround Dolby Atmos support. The bass and mids are quite well balanced. The volume is sufficient and the sound is only slightly distorted if taken to the maximum. During calls, even on the underground, the sound was clear for both parties.
Realme X2 Pro is a fluid and fast smartphone, and even the usual benchmark tests confirm it. It has nothing to envy of the most expensive flagships on the market:
Realme X2 Pro benchmark results comparison
|Samsung Galaxy S10||OnePlus 7 Pro||iPhone 11 Pro Max||Realme X2 Pro|
|3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme ES 3.1||4905||5374||5396||5232|
|3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0||4872||6958||5419||6340|
|3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0||53189||65.808||96 915||-|
|Geekbench 5 (Single / Multi)||704 / 2283||733 / 2748||1338 / 3512||626 / 2638|
In terms of connectivity, the X2 Pro is so equipped: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, NFC, and Bluetooth 5.0.
Quad camera on the back
Realme X2 Pro offers four cameras:
- Samsung ISOCELL GW1 64-megapixel f/1.8 sensor that focuses on optimizing photos in low light conditions
- 8-megapixel f/2.2 wide-angle sensor with 115-degree viewing angle and super macro support (2.5 cm)
- 13-megapixel f/2.5 telephoto lens with 20x hybrid zoom
- 2-megapixel f/2.4 sensor dedicated to portrait mode
On the front, there is a 16MP f/2.0 sensor with AI support that works on the beauty effect. The front camera does a good job with selfies, even if, with subjects a bit more difficult like my long-haired colleague Pierre (find the photos in the linked gallery), you can see how the camera can't properly define the boundaries of his hair. Something for Realme to improve.
The camera offers support for Nightscape 2.0 mode, slow-motion, time-lapse, panorama, real-time filters, and a Pro mode. On the side of functionality, it is therefore well equipped and offers plenty of flexibility.
It is not the best camera on smartphones but for the price it does a good job
Colors are reflected quite faithfully the natural ones and the details are well represented in the daytime shots. Even in terms of dynamic range and contrasts it does well. On Realme X2 Pro you will find a feature called Color Boost that emphasizes colors; it can be activated with a tap once the camera app is launched but personally I preferred to disable it because it made some colors (in particular orange tones) too vivid and unnatural.
At night the noise and the loss of details are noticeable: here Realme still has to work to do. The same applies to the zoom: it can be useful in some contexts and with a steady hand or better still a tripod and favorable lighting conditions, it gets performs well. At night get ready to welcome the photographic noise. At the video level, the Realme X2 Pro allows you to shoot videos in 4K at 60pfs and they are not bad at all. The slow-motion mode records at 960fps.
Overall the Realme X2 Pro camera does a good job and will make lots of users happy. It's not the best camera on a smartphone, that's clear, but the direction taken by the brand is undoubtedly the right one!
4000 mAh and SuperVOOC 50W
The Realme X2 Pro integrates a 4,000mAh battery that manages to keep alive the large display and the entire device for an almost full day with the display set at 90Hz for the refresh rate. This means that if you set it at 60Hz you will get a little more battery life.
It obviously also depends on how you use the device. With intensive use including gaming, video playback, camera usage, calls, emails and social media platforms, you will need to charge it in the evening. In the benchmark test dedicated to the battery, it achieved a result of 9 hours and 42 minutes with the display set at 90Hz.
A strong point of Realme X2 Pro is undoubtedly the SuperVOOC 50W fast charge support that can deliver a full charge in 35 minutes. It's impressive to watch the charge go up by one percentage point after another!
Realme X2 Pro technical specifications
Realme wants to be taken seriously in Europe and makes it clear by landing in Madrid with the Realme X2 Pro. This smartphone aims high and comes really well equipped in terms of technical specifications and integrated features. Also in terms of performance, it does a good job: the overall experience is fluid, like on other flagships on the market, but it costs less (definitely one to keep an eye on for Black Friday and Christmas).
The camera performs well but in this field Realme, if it really wants to compete with the toughest rivals, will have to get busy especially with night shots. The Realme X2 Pro is undoubtedly the true flagship killer of 2019. Just like OnePlus was a few years ago, now it is Realme's turn to offer a device that is carefully designed and performs at a very competitive price point. Xiaomi and OnePlus will have to watch their backs because Realme has arrived in Europe with something really interesting here!