Realme X2 review: excellent value for money

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Pau Monfort
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Realme is serious. This is demonstrated by recent performance data in the smartphone market. In 2019, the Chinese brand recorded the highest growth rate compared to other brands (+ 453% year-on-year). Before the arrival of the Asian company under the OPPO hat it was difficult to imagine what the worthy rivals of Xiaomi smartphones would be, but now the answer is very clear. The Chinese company entered Europe with a straight leg, offering devices characterized by a high quality / price ratio. Realme X2 - the subject of our review - is no exception.

It is a smartphone that can insure a high-level experience at a competitive price. It comes in at 329,99 euros in the configuration with 8 Gigabytes of RAM and 128 Gigabytes of expandable internal memory, but it is already possible to recover it at lower figures (299 euros on Amazon). After having tested it thoroughly, today I can say that it represents the real alternative to Xiaomi Mi 9T, a smartphone that has been very successful in our part.

Realme X2 does not ask for compromises: excellent performance, beautiful design, satisfying photographic sector and complete connectivity. Furthermore, this device shares a part of the technical data sheet with OPPO Reno2 which - based on the same hardware platform - arrived on the market at 499 euros, a price that I already defined in the review phase as a real critical issue. Therefore, Realme is not only a candidate as the brand that can take away market share from Lei Jun's company but also as a potential obstacle for the parent company, committed to conquering the Old Continent.

Design and display: a perfect match

Realme X2 has an appreciable aesthetic. It is refined, elegant and modern. The judgment on the design is always subjective, but the Pearl White color in our possession is really impactful. It is also available in the Pearl Blue color variant which equally reproduces pleasant plays of light. The Chinese company has not embraced the full-screen design like Mi 9T and OPPO Reno2, but has opted for a more traditional solution: the drop notch.

The body is made of glass, but it holds the fingerprints a little too much even if on this light color they are not very visible. The dimensions are not contained and it has a weight of 182 grams. Despite this, it is not heavy in the hand thanks to an excellent weight distribution. You have the impression of having in your hands a solid and well built device. The power button on the right and the volume rocker on the left are perfectly reachable. The rear photographic sector unfortunately is not flush as on the devices of the parent company. It shows some protrusion but without creating any stability problems.

Despite the low price, the panel chosen is a very good 6,4-inch Super AMOLED with Full-HD + resolution and 19,5: 9 aspect ratio. Excellent viewing angles, high maximum brightness which therefore involves perfect outdoor visibility net of a not very precise management of automatic brightness. This is something I found on all OPPO and Realme smartphones. With better holophobic treatment, it would have been perfect.

The biometric sensor for fingerprint recognition is implemented directly under the screen. It works discreetly. Sometimes it happens that you have to reposition your finger well. There is face recognition (average) which, however, remains less certain since we are not dealing with an advanced three-dimensional system.

Excellent performance, good photographic sector

The beating heart is the Snapdragon 730G, the same seen on board OPPO Reno2, which should guarantee 15% better performance than that present on Mi 9T (Snapdragon 730). The configuration in our possession (the only one available in) provides 8 Gigabytes of RAM and 128 Gigabytes of expandable internal memory. The three slot is inevitable which allows you to use both the micro-SD and the dual SIM at the same time. A point in favor compared to the Xiaomi smartphone that does not offer the possibility to expand the storage space.

We have a hardware platform that can offer top-notch performance. In everyday use, the smartphone is always fluid and snappy. He never has a moment of hesitation. I particularly appreciated the heat dissipation which - despite the use of glass - I never perceived through the rear body. The audio is not stereo, it is guaranteed only by the speaker placed on the lower edge which reproduces an average sound. Complete connectivity that does not forget the 3,5 mm audio jack, NFC support and FM radio.

The software platform is entrusted to Android 9 Pie with customization of OPPO's ColorOS 6.1 graphic interface. The update to Android 10 should arrive during the month of February. Furthermore, in recent days, the company has revealed that Realme X2 will also receive the future version of the green robot system. This is an element to be taken into consideration when purchasing.

Autonomy remains average. The 4.000mAh battery allowed me to stay calm all day. It is not possible to cover a second working day, but it leads to the evening with average use. In my case, for example, the percentage marked 26% after one day from the last recharge compared to over 5 hours of active screen. A result that could drop if you activate the Always-On-Display function that shows basic information, such as time and missed calls, on the screen off.

In short, we are not talking about an autonomy that makes one cry out for a miracle. I would have expected more. Fortunately, you can count on VOOC 4.0 fast charging at 30W which in just 30 minutes can reach 67%. A godsend on particularly busy days.

There are four cameras on the back. The main sensor with 64 Megapixel f / 1.8 produced by Samsung is the same that we saw on board on the Redmi Note 8 Pro. To keep him company there is a second 8 Megapixel wide-angle (f / 2.3), one for 2 Megapixel macros (f / 2.4) and a sensor depth always from 2 Megapixel (f / 2.2). In short, a configuration that offers a lot of versatility of use. Probably, it would have been more useful to insert a telephoto lens, which Mi 9T can rely on instead.

The daytime photos show a high level of detail with vivid colors and great contrast. The wide-angle sensor also performs very well. In photos taken in portrait mode, the outlines are well defined (in line with the segment to which they belong). At night digital noise takes over, but the night mode contributes to the improvement of the scene.

On the one hand, I appreciated it the ability not to illuminate the scene too much while showing greater detail and sharper images; on the other hand, I noticed a certain difficulty in managing artificial lighting with the consequent presence of light beams visible in the photos. In short, the night mode obtains different results depending on the amount of artificial light present in the scene.

On average the 32 Megapixel front camera (f / 2.0).  Portrait mode works well by picking up a good deal of detail. The result drops a bit at night, while still being appreciable. In addition, the night mode can also be used for selfies. This helps to improve the result in certain situations. As for videos, Realme as well as OPPO offers the possibility of record movies in bokeh mode even with the front camera. In general, however, videos with the rear compartment can be recorded up to 4K resolution at 30 fps.

Conclusions: who should buy it?

Realme X2 is a smartphone that can meet different needs. It is suitable for those looking for an attractive design, for those who want a satisfactory photographic sector and for those who would like to have in their hands a performing product but with a low price. The list price of 329,99 euros leads it to clash with devices such as Mi 9T, which until now has dominated the segment in question. Unlike its rival Xiaomi, it also offers memory expansion and 30W fast charging.

It is a complete device: excellent performance, good display, full connectivity and average autonomy. As I have had the opportunity to repeat several times in the reviews of Realme smartphones, the Chinese company is doing a really good job managing to offer products with a high quality / price ratio that can battle the devices of Lei Jun's company.

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