Rising prices appear to be the 2020 trend in the high-end smartphone market. It is no exception Realme X50 Pro 5G which starts at € 599,90 in the configuration with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory. The premium variant (12/256 GB) in our possession touches the 749,90 euros. Higher prices than the previous Realme X2 Pro flagship, but still lower when compared to those of the competition.
The Chinese brand is slowly taking small evolutionary steps - also in other segments - focusing everything on the excellent quality / price ratio to conquer the market. A strategy that seems to work. Founded in 2018, Realme was the company that experienced the most steady and rapid growth over the course of 2019 as the Counterpoint Research reports show.
The evolution compared to the previous model is already tangible from the data sheet: latest generation processor and memories, 5G support, dual front camera and 65W fast charging. All aspects that contribute to ensuring great user experience not without some burrs. The photographic sector is still far from that offered by Huawei and Samsung smartphones. Beyond this, Realme X50 5G Pro is a candidate as a potential best-buy in the first half of 2020.
Display and build quality
Realme has chosen glass for both the front and the back. The sensation to the touch is very pleasant, thanks to back cover satinata which at first touch reminded me of last year's OnePlus 7 Pro. The body has curved edges. The satin finish allows the panel not to hold fingerprints very much. The downside is that it turns out to be slippery. The color in our possession - Rusty Red - is really impactful (sober and elegant at the same time). It is also available in the Moss Green color variant.
The design of Realme X50 Pro 5G remains quite anonymous, if it were not precisely for the colors. I would have preferred an extra touch of originality. The photo module with four cameras is positioned vertically, as on many smartphones of the brand. On the right we find the power button, while on the left we find the volume rocker. Both are perfectly reachable. Ergonomics are not the best. The smartphone is really heavy, 205 grams. Although the weight is well distributed (it is 8,9 mm thick), it makes itself felt in the hand.
Build quality seems to be of a high standard. The feeling is that you have a solid and well-built smartphone in your hands. However, any waterproof certification is missing. On this aspect, there are always two factions: those who consider it necessary and inevitable on a smartphone that exceeds 500 euros and those who - like me - believe that it is an element that can be omitted, especially if the device in question is sold in figures. inferior to the competition.
The front is occupied by a 6,44-inch AMOLED display with Full-HD + resolution (2.400 x 1.080 pixels) and aspect ratio in 20: 9. The panel features a refresh rate to 90 Hz, which is almost becoming a standard on the market, and a sampling rate at the touch of 180 Hz. There is no lack of support for the HDR10 + standard. The quality of the display is average. The colors are well calibrated (you can choose three different temperatures), while I would have preferred a higher maximum brightness. Some headaches for viewing in direct sunlight. In short, it is a good panel considering the price range it belongs to.
As on Realme 6, the refresh rate can be set according to your preferences. From the settings we can choose the fixed refresh rate at 60Hz, 90Hz or automatic. In the latter case, the system will choose the best speed for each individual application.
The Realme X50 Pro 5G screen houses the biometric sensor for fingerprint recognition underneath it. Very fast and accurate. I must admit that I found myself using it very little during my test thanks to the excellent face recognition system. Entrusted to the front camera, it is so fast and effective that only in low light conditions I had to use other authentication methods (fingerprint or PIN).
What didn't particularly impress me is the positioning of the two front cameras, set in an oval-shaped hole. It is a solution that I find a little invasive in addition to the fact that - to ensure that the notification bar is well aligned - it takes away some space from the display.
The audio part is of a high level. Realme X50 Pro 5G has two speakers: one positioned on the lower edge and the other is the ear capsule. The volume is very high, as is the audio quality which is definitely above average.
Performance and autonomy
Little to say about performance. Under the shell is Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 which - based on the latest benchmarks - is the fastest processor currently in the Android world. In our case, it is combined with 12 Gigabytes of RAM (LPDDR5) and 256 Gigabytes of internal UFS 3.0 memory, unfortunately not expandable. In short, a configuration that ensures true top-of-the-range performance.
The smartphone is always fluid and snappy. In daily use, it is able to carry out every operation with extreme speed even during gaming sessions. The 90 Hz refresh rate then enhances the gaming experience by inevitably improving fluidity. Good heat dissipation, which you can barely perceive from the body when put under stress. However, nothing that can cause annoyance. Not surprisingly, Realme X50 Pro 5G is equipped with an advanced cooling system consisting of layers of graphite, vapor chamber and copper foil.
The smartphone is powered by a 4.200mAh battery with support for the new 65W fast charging standard (charger included in the sales package) which ensures a full charge in just 35 minutes. I can assure you that it is really fast. During the test, I managed to cover over 28 hours on a single charge compared to 4 hours and 23 minutes of display on.
I set the Realme X50 Pro 5G with a refresh rate of 90 Hz and brightness almost always at maximum. In this lockdown period, I use my smartphone much less as you can see from the published screenshots. In a "normal" period I am almost certain that he would have accompanied me until the evening anyway, with no guarantee of coverage for the next day. Autonomy is therefore average, but there is the advantage of fast charging.
Photographic and software sector
Realme X50 Pro 5G Goddess on four rear cameras. The main sensor with 64 Megapixel (Samsung GW1) and f / 1.8 aperture is paired with an 8 Megapixel (f / 2.3) wide angle lens also used for macro shots, with a 12 Megapixel (f / 2.5) telephoto lens with 2X optical zoom , hybrid 5X and digital 20X and finally a third 2 Megapixel (f / 2.4) for the depth of field. In short, an extremely versatile configuration.
In general, the photos show average quality (both with the main sensor and with the wide angle) with a good level of detail and sharp colors even if in some situations there is a tendency to recreate artifacts.
The telephoto lens is capable of maintaining an acceptable dose of details up to 5X. We are certainly not at the levels of industry references, such as P40 Pro or S20 Ultra 5G. The shots taken in "portrait" mode with a blurred background are appreciable. The outlines are not perfectly delineated, but we are in line with the price range of belonging.
The result falls at night where digital noise becomes visible. However, I appreciated the ability to well manage the artificial lighting as well as the night mode, which definitely improves the scene by making it clearer and increasing the level of detail at the same time. The same mode can also be used with the wide angle and telephoto lens, but without doing great miracles.
Either way, the situation should improve with a next software update which will reach all units in the next few days. The changelog, in fact, mentions an optimized photo quality as well as the addition of the ability to record videos in 4K at 60 fps. Currently, the Realme X50 Pro is stuck at 30 fps.
In this regard, the Ultra Steady mode which improves stabilization, ensuring good quality footage even on the move. In this case, however, the resolution stops at Full-HD at 60 fps. This mode really manages to create more stable videos while avoiding that shaky effect. There is also the possibility of filming with bokeh effect both with the rear module and with the front one.
On the front, however, we find two sensors: main 32 Megapixel (f / 2.5) and wide angle 8 Megapixel (f / 2.2). Portrait mode works well by picking up a good deal of detail. Very satisfying the wide-angle shots that with a higher level of contrast and more vivid colors are more pleasant. There is some loss at night, but it is possible to take advantage of the special mode which makes the shots really great.
Realme X50 Pro 5G comes with on board Custom Android 10 with Realme UI, new graphical interface greatly improved. The smartphone is already in the list of devices that will update to Android 11. As for the speed of updates, the Chinese brand has proved quite punctual with the latest version of the green robot system. We therefore hope that it continues on this path. The fact that it has already officially declared a first group of smartphones that will receive the next major update bodes well.
As for software solutions, c’è l’Always-On-Display which can come in handy in the absence of a notification LED. For this purpose, it is also possible to select - starting from the display settings - lighting effects that go around the edges of the screen when you get a notification. The edges light up only when the notification is received. The light will not continue to flash like a classic LED.
Complete connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 6x dual-band, USB-C port, NFC, 5G support, GPS A-GLONASS BDS GALILEO NavIC. Unfortunately, the audio jack is missing. A choice probably made for reasons of space but which could be read as a move to push towards Realme true wireless earphones, a market in which the Chinese brand has recently debuted. Finally, contrary to what the Asian company has accustomed us to, it is not possible to expand the internal memory nor use a second SIM.
Conclusions: who should buy it?
Realme X50 Pro 5G is the cheapest smartphone with Snapdragon 865 currently on the market. It starts at € 559,90 and offers a high-level user experience: excellent performance, display with 90 Hz refresh rate, versatile photographic compartment, 5G support and high audio quality. In short, it is the ideal smartphone for those who want a fluid and snappy device without having to spend mind-boggling amounts. If, on the other hand, you are looking for the best product to take pictures, the advice is to turn your attention elsewhere.
The obstacle it could encounter, however, is in the perception of the brand probably not very well known in our part of Italy. Users are usually more reluctant to spend big bucks on a brand they don't know. On the other hand, the figure required for Realme X50 Pro 5G perfectly embodies the philosophy of the excellent quality / price ratio.
The real rival - in my opinion - could be OnePlus 8 despite a higher starting price (719 euros for the 8/128 GB configuration). In fact, OnePlus 8 can count on the support of a community of fans loyal to the brand, while offering something less on paper (LPPDR4X RAM, 30W fast charge, telephoto lens and second front camera are missing). As mentioned at the beginning, the newcomer to Realme is a candidate as the best-buy potential of the first part of 2020.
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