Review Realme X2 Pro: Flagship with 90 Hz display & 64 MP quad camera from $404
After the Oppo subsidiary Realme had previously produced smartphones for the budget and mid-range segment, the high-end segment is now following suit. With the Realme X2 Pro, the manufacturer releases its first own flagship, and that’s something to be proud of!
Technical data of the Realme X2 Pro
|Realme X2 Pro|
|Display||6.5 inch Full HD+ (2400 × 1080p), 402 PPI 90Hz AMOLED with gorilla glass 5|
|Processor||Snapdragon 855+ Octa Core @ 2,96 GHz & 2,42 GHz & 1,80 GHz|
|Graphics chip||Adreno 640 @ 672 MHz|
|Main memory||6/8/12 GB LPDDR4X|
|Internal memory||64 GB UFS 2.1 | 128 GB / 256 GB UFS 3.0|
|Main camera||64MP Samsung GW1 sensor with f/1.8, 2x zoom 13 MP with f/2.5, 115° ultra wide angle 8 MP with f/2.2, 2 MP depth sensor with ƒ/2.4|
|Front camera||16 MP camera in Waterdrop-Notch|
|Battery||4.000 mAh with 50W SuperVOOC Charge (included)|
|Connectivity||USB-C, WLAN-AC, BT 5.0, LTE, GPS/Galileo/GLONASS/BDS, Dual SIM, NFC|
|Features||Face Unlock, Fingerprint sensor in display, Stereo Speaker|
|Operating system||ColorOS 6.1|
|Dimensions / Weight||161 x 75.7 x 8.7 mm / 199 g|
|Colors||Lunar White/ Neptune Blue|
Classic flagship design
As a rule, manufacturers do not dare to experiment with the flagship smartphones. Of course, they also want to appeal to a large number of potential buyers. The Realme X2 Pro could also be a Xiaomi or Huawei at first glance. With a screen diagonal of 6.5 inches, you won’t fall out of the grid at the end of 2019, even the waterdrop notch at the upper end we’ve seen enough of by now. But the claim of “borderlessness” is already fulfilled in our opinion, only the lower screen border is clearly thicker with a width of 4 mm. The front camera is installed in a waterdrop notch. Thus, a more experimental design with the pop-up cam as with the Realme X is avoided.
At first, the back could be confused with that of the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The quad camera unit is centrally located in the upper middle field of the back and also protrudes slightly from the glass back. New and unique is the position of the Realme lettering, which runs horizontally but is located directly to the right under the camera module.
The Realme X2 Pro is available in two colors, “Lunar White” and “Neptune Blue”. Our test device is the neptune blue version, which, as is typical for Realme, has also been finalized with yellow color accents. You can find them on the power button, for example, but also as a circle around the skin camera sensor – a nice detail. The positioning of the volume keys on the left side is unusual for most Android smartphones.
With a total weight of 199 g, it is just under the 200g limit, but with a thickness of 8.7 mm, the large battery is noticeable. On the other hand, the height of 161 and the width of 75.7 mm are absolutely average.
Handling & workmanship
When a top smartphone launches at such a low retail price, it’s easy to think of a plastic bomber á la Pocophone F1. This concern is unfounded with the Realme X2 Pro, Oppo’s many years of expertise, to which Realme belongs, can be seen in the X2 Pro at every point. The feeling in the hand is great, as Realme combines a high-quality metal housing frame with two glass sides.
The ports on the underside are neatly milled out, the SIM slot is smooth-running and the transitions between the housing frame and the two sides are definitely successful. Here, the X2 Pro also benefits from the fact that the underside is slightly curved inwards, which means that the edges aren’t so noticeable. The slightly above average weight of 199 g is good for the flagship. The ergonomics are convincing, as the back is slightly rounded to the sides.
Even though it is unfortunately very common in the meantime, the X2 Pro has to put up with the accusation that the camera module protrudes on the back. But not as far as with a Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite for example. But this can be easily compensated with the included case. By the way, this is a typical, transparent silicone case.
First 90Hz display in the price segment
As a relatively new manufacturer, Realme creates something that Xiaomi disciples are currently denied. Realme equips the flagship smartphone with a 90 Hz panel, which also works with a fingerprint sensor in the display. Due to the higher refresh rate, animations and the general operation seem a bit more fluid. This makes it the first smartphone with a 90 Hz display in its price range. If you want this luxury, you’ll have to buy a OnePlus 7T, which costs a good $70 more even from China.
The AMOLED panel extends over a diagonal of 6.5 inches with a Full HD+ resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels in a 20:9 aspect ratio. This results in a pixel density of 402 ppi, i.e. pixels per inch, which is an average value for a top model. Besides the high maximum brightness of 1000 nit (iPhone 11 Pro Max: 1200 nit), the display also offers the HDR10+ certification. Thanks to the AMOLED display, we work with a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1. Fortunately, the manufacturer also protects the screen with Gorilla Glass 5, which is not the latest generation of the popular display protection.
Enough with the specs: The display is also in practice awesome! The brightness is impressive, the medium setting is enough for me in any situation, sometimes I even reduce it to only a third. In addition, there is the 90 Hz frame rate, which can of course also be set to 60 Hz, which benefits the battery life. Nevertheless, I stick with the 90 Hz, which makes the whole navigation through the mobile phone, gaming, scrolling as well as chatting more fluid and “beautiful”. There’s no other way to describe this.
In addition, there is a solid viewing angle stability, which only deteriorates in extremely acute situations and also results in a slight color shift. But since you don’t actually look at your mobile phone like that, you can ignore that.
There are no limitations in functionality, Multi-Touch with up to 10 fingers is logically supported. There are also no pixel errors. We also didn’t notice any problems like input lags or other delays, quite the opposite. The 90 Hz really brings out the internal performance, as inputs are implemented faster than average.
Thanks to the AMOLED panel, which means that each pixel can be illuminated individually, we also get the option of an Always-On Display in the ColorOS operating system. This is hidden in the display settings under “Screen-Off Clock/Inactivity display”. Unfortunately, the OS doesn’t allow as many setting options as MIUI from Xiaomi, you can only set the active time and have to live with the somewhat loveless display. Unfortunately there are not too many options. The color temperature can be adjusted with a slider, there are two color modes, the night mode and an eye-protecting mode.
The AMOLED panel also allows Realme to install a fingerprint sensor in the display. And that’s definitely one of the faster sensors we’ve seen in a smartphone so far. Here you can see a noticeable difference to the sensors from the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite or Xiaomi Mi A3, the X2 Pro can definitely compete with a OnePlus 7T – very impressive! But that’s not surprising, since both manufacturers belong to the same parent company BBK Electronics.
The new “Master of Speed
A corresponding processor is indispensable for a top model. The Realme X2 Pro features the – big surprise – Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor. This is a slightly higher clocked version of the 855 with 15% better graphics performance, which is also used in the so-called OnePlus 7T or Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro. The Adreno 640 GPU with a clock frequency of 672 MHz is responsible for this.
With the memory, the manufacturer leaves not only freedom of choice in terms of capacity, but also in terms of speed. The 6, 8 or 12 GB memory is always LPDDR4X RAM, but the internal memory is either 64 GB UFS 2.1 or 128/256 GB UFS 3.0 memory. The new UFS standard is also used in the mentioned OnePlus flagship. Our test device is the 6/64 GB variant, so we have to get by with the UFS 2.1 memory.
But you don’t notice that. The Realme X2 Pro is in no way inferior to a OnePlus 7 Pro here, it can also compete with the somewhat faster 7T. Apps open rapidly and close again just as quickly, not least benefiting from the 90 Hz display. This makes you really happy in everyday life, especially since the multitasking already runs excellently with 6 GB RAM. In our opinion, you can also use the 8 GB RAM version, but 12 GB RAM is still unnecessary.
A few rounds of Call of Duty, which ran very smoothly at the highest settings, proved to us that you can also play very well with it. Here we only noticed a small display error at both edges of the loading screen. Image processing, for example via Lightroom, also runs without any problems. It’s nice that this speed runs through the whole system.
So we’re not surprised that the benchmarks Geekbench 5, AnTuTu, PCMark and 3D Marl Sling Shot Extreme are all very good. Leaving a Xiaomi Mi 9 with the Snapdragon 855 behind with a difference of more than 70,000 points is definitely an announcement from Realme. Even if benchmark results aren’t everything by a long shot and are only meant to provide a rough estimate, there’s no getting around the fact that the Realme X2 Pro is a very, very fast smartphone and with the OnePlus devices like the OnePlus 7T it’s probably currently the spearhead in terms of speed.
64 MP quad camera for every situation
We have a quad camera setup, which uses the Samsung GW1 sensor with 64 megapixel resolution and ƒ/1.8 aperture as the main sensor. It also found its way into the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The Oppo subsidiary combines the high-resolution primary sensor with an 8 MP ultra-wide angle camera, which offers a 115° shooting angle and can also be used for macro photography. The third sensor also offers a native focal length, it is a 13 MP telephoto camera with ƒ/2.5 aperture, which should also enable a 20x hybrid zoom. The fourth sensor only provides additional depth information in portrait mode and supports night mode. A 16 MP Selfie camera is located on the front.
First of all: The Realme X2 Pro is not a dedicated camera smartphone like the Mi Note 10. Nevertheless, we like the photos very much overall, even though they don’t quite reach flagship status. The colors that are more lifelike than, for example, Huawei or honorary devices are definitely to be emphasized positively. But you can also achieve this somewhat oversaturated look with the “Chroma Boost”.
I particularly like photos of objects and landscapes, but that doesn’t apply to photos of people. Although I have deactivated it, a beauty filter still seems to be activated, the skin is drawn very smooth, resulting in unnatural skin tones. This is especially noticeable in the comparison between main and ultra wide angle, but also in comparison to an iPhone 11 for example.
The Realme 3 Pro for less than $200 back then just scored points in terms of the sharpness of the photos. The X2 Pro also takes sharp photos, but in my opinion there is no further development in this respect. In the 64 megapixel mode, the sharpness can be improved a little bit, but this also requires a second shutter release time and a steady hand. Fortunately, the sharpness also improves at the edges of the image, not only at the focus point. Speaking of focus, autofocus works fast and reliably! In combination with the fast shutter release time, you almost always get sharp shots – very nice!
The second of the four cameras consists of a 13 megapixel sensor with 2x optical zoom, which in combination with software is also used for a 5x optical hybrid zoom. The results are usable in any case, but in contrast to the main sensor they lose a lot of sharpness and detail. Here the Reno 10X Zoom from the Oppo universe was the much better option. Nevertheless you can achieve a nice effect with it. A 2x optical zoom is now standard, the hybrid zoom should only be used in exceptional cases.
Ultra wide angle camera
An ultra wide angle camera is now part of the good sound, the Xiaomi Mi 9 has set the ball rolling. With 8 MP, the sensor meets the minimum requirements, but can still achieve convincing results. The photos are somewhat darker than with the main sensor and even the detail rich is not on the same level, but the effect comes into its own and you don’t have to sacrifice so much sharpness. Compared to the iPhone 11, the colors aren’t quite so lifelike, but the variance is so minimal that we’re dealing with a good ultra wide angle camera if there’s enough light.
With the ultra wide angle camera, macro shots can also be taken. However, the mode is somewhat hidden. Simply scroll left to the Burger menu, down and select the Ultra Macro. The high resolution of the sensor is only noticeable here and there, unfortunately the close-up limit is not as good as in Mi Note 10. Nevertheless, the effect is still a nice gimmick.
For us, Xiaomi is the ultimate in portrait mode, especially in the budget and mid-range segment. Realme can really keep up easily and doesn’t have to hide from a much more expensive iPhone. The edge detection is flawless, the colors are right, perhaps a bit too bright, but the sharpness here is so good that one likes to ignore it. Fortunately, the release time isn’t much worse here either, which usually allows you to take sharp photos.
Thanks to the Snapdragon 855+ processor, 4K recordings at 60 fps are also possible in video mode, an advantage over the Xiaomi Mi Note 10. This mode offers many functions, besides the possibility of recording with the ultra wide angle camera. Realme also incorporates Ultra Steady stabilisation, which allows very smooth shots to be taken at a high frame rate that are actually hardly blurred. A new feature is the Portrait mode, with which you can also conjure up a bokeh on videos. This works surprisingly well!
The 16 megapixel front camera, which hides in the relatively small Waterdrop notch, is very suitable for self-portraits. With a little light, the sensor delivers sharp shots that work really well even in portrait mode. The bokeh can be adjusted steplessly, but you have to deactivate the beauty mode first. It’s a shame that it’s on the factory settings, naturalness clearly wins.
100% in only 32 minutes
The Realme X2 Pro also doesn’t disappoint with the battery capacity, the 4,000 mAh capacity is divided into two 2,000 mAh batteries. But what’s special here is the charging speed! Even though Xiaomi recently introduced Mi Super Charge Turbo, Realme delivers one of the fastest charging technologies on the market. The flagship offers support for 50W SuperVOOC Flash Charge, the 10V 5A charger is included! The X2 Pro charges the fastest of all the devices we’ve tested so far: a complete charge from 0 to 100% takes 32 minutes!
Fortunately, Realme has integrated this technology, so at least the somewhat weak battery life is put into perspective. In the benchmark, the X2 Pro reaches “only” 8:30 h, which is effectively reflected in one day of use. The drain is of course relatively high, especially when gaming, but the phone also consumes a good 10 to 15% of the battery capacity overnight. Even though Xiaomi almost got you used to the 2-day battery life, the fast charging time makes up for the short battery life. You don’t need to charge the X2 Pro overnight, instead you can simply plug it into the power outlet in the morning while taking a shower and it should be enough for the day. After all, it delivers the first 50% capacity in about 10 minutes!
If you know that you can’t get to the power socket so quickly, it’s of course worth deactivating the 90 Hz display and working at 60 Hz. The ColorOS 6 operating system also offers an ultra-energy-saving mode.
Finally! The Realme X2 Pro is the first Realme smartphone with NFC. Since it is a global release, the X2 Pro also offers LTE. For LTE reception two Nano-SIM card slots are available, a memory expansion is not on board. For the home network ac-WiFi is available, for peripheral devices Bluetooth 5 is also available on the board. But also Dual GPS, Beidou, Galileo, various sensors are integrated.
In contrast to the Realme 3 Pro, our SIM ran on the O2 network right away. Since then we have had absolutely perfect LTE reception. The voice quality was convincing, our counterpart could understand us very well. So there should be no problems. A dual nano SIM slot is available for this, which unfortunately “only” offers space for two SIM cards and no slot for a microSD card. Unfortunately, VoLTE and VoWiFi have to be omitted for this, so far we haven’t found a way to adjust it.
On the bottom there is a 3.5 mm jack connector for your headphones and a USB type C port for charging the device. What’s also special is that Realme integrates a stereo speaker. This is located both on the underside and in the top of the ear. This is combined with Dolby Atmos technology, and you can hear it! Finally again a great stereo speaker, which produces a spatial and rich sound – for a mobile phone of course. Of course you shouldn’t expect any booming bass here, but the additional speaker from the auricle is finally louder than the competition.
Operating system: ColorOS 6
ColorOS, which is based on Android 9, is pre-installed again on the Realme X2 Pro. ColorOS can be found on every Oppo and Realme smartphone. We like the adapted interface quite well in the review, because it provides a chic design, a satisfying range of functions and runs very stable until now. For newcomers, the look should make a clear difference, ColorOS lives up to its name. If you buy the Global version of the Realme X2 Pro, which we would recommend, then the operating system is in several languages and all Google services are pre-installed.
Our test device is the China version, which is unfortunately only available in English and Chinese. The Google services are not pre-installed, but since it is at least equipped with Google Play Protect, you can simply download and install the Google Play Store installation file (apk). The Google Play Store is also certified with this. There is much more bloatware on the China version than on the Global version, but also the Global version is far away from Stock Android. Realme implements many own apps, but not as many own services as for example Xiaomi.
But Color OS6 shines with some smart features, such as the much quoted smart sidebar. The sidebar can be freely positioned at the edge of the screen and creates a shortcut for all desired apps, which is especially gratifying in the course of one-handed operation. Realme’s update policy is also surprisingly good. The Realme 3 Pro has been updated regularly for several months now. Since Realme is new on the market, we lack the long-term experience, because of the global start we are in good spirits.
The China version unfortunately doesn’t support Widevine Level 1, which means that you can’t stream video streaming content from e.g. Netflix in HD. But this problem should not apply to the Global Version, the Global Version of the cheaper Realme 5 Pro offers the Widevine Level 1. If this is important to you, you should rather use the Global Version.
Fast Face Unlock
As an alternative to the fingerprint sensor in the display, you can also use Face Unlock. This works very quickly, just like the rest of your mobile phone, and can fortunately also be combined with the fingerprint sensor. So you don’t have to make a decision here. But thanks to the really small notch there is no room for an infrared sensor or an infrared camera, so only a 2D photo is possible. Unfortunately, Face Unlock is not particularly safe with the Realme X2 Pro. Here, the iPhone, Google Pixel 4 and the Mate 30 Pro are unfortunately currently almost the only devices that attach a little more importance to security.
Conclusion: An ace up the sleeve
Finally Realme dares the leap into the flagship area and they really have an ace up their sleeve with the Realme X2 Pro. Especially the 90 Hz display is a unique selling point that even puts them in front of Xiaomi – strong. This, as well as the very good hardware, makes the X2 Pro one of the fastest smartphones on the market. The quad camera on the back isn’t quite at the top level, but is very versatile and delivers good photos in most situations. In addition there are crucial details like the UFS 3.0 memory, NFC, stereo speaker and a headphone jack.
For about $400, which makes it even cheaper than the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro, you don’t have to make any compromises. After the test phase, actually only the battery life remained negative in the memory. Despite a capacity of 4,000 mAh, in the end you only get one day of battery life, which is acceptable. The good thing about it: the fast charging time thanks to the 50W charger! While one prepares in the morning, the mobile phone can be plugged in and one has again enough juice for the day.
If you don’t want to spend so much money, you can get similarly good smartphones from the manufacturer. Within the upper middle class, the Realme X2 (Snapdragon 730G) and the newer Realme XT (Snapdragon 712) come along, but here you have to do without the 50W charging and the 90 Hz display. Would you give the Realme flagship a chance?To the gadget