After a convincing Realme 3 Pro, the manufacturer is back with the Realme X2 Pro, a resolutely top-of-the-range model that targets the market leaders. Offered from 399 euros, it has many advantages to frighten the competition.
In May 2019, Realme surprised its small world by launching the Realme 3 Pro, its first smartphone in France. Marketed at 250 euros, this model shone through with its excellent price-quality ratio, an obsolete but nevertheless effective credo of Chinese manufacturers. At the end of 2019, the brand reissued the formula with a more upscale model. The Realme X2 Pro incorporates the latest technologies and even introduces the world’s fastest charging system. The competitors only have to be careful: Realme plays the title of “flagship killer of the year“, also largely obsolete, but symbolic.
Despite its low price, the X2 Pro offers top-of-the-range features. Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor, 6 to 12 GB RAM, 128 to 256 GB of storage (UFS 3.0), it features all the latest technologies to ensure high performance. Behind its premium design, it features a very successful 6.5-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display. Realme also integrates no less than four photo sensors (64 + 8 + 13 + 2 megapixels), including one (very trendy) ultra-wide-angle.
To supply all this equipment, the manufacturer includes two batteries (you read correctly) of 1950 mAh, bringing the total capacity to 3900 mAh. Why two? To avoid overheating during charging. Because the Realme X2 Pro embeds Super VOOC 50W, the fastest charging system in the world, promising a complete recovery in half an hour. Everything runs on Android 9.0 with Color OS, the overlay developed by Oppo.
Faced with competition
With the X2 Pro, Realme is positioned as the 2018 Pocophone F1. The manufacturer makes very few compromises and maintains an affordable price. At this little game, Xiaomi remains his most serious rival. Mi 9, Mi 9T, Mi 9T Pro, Mi Note 10 or even Mi Mix 3, it has a heavy arsenal to shade Realme.
The Honor 20 and its Pro version are also serious alternatives to the Realme X2 Pro. Finally, the OnePlus 7T, a little more expensive than the most powerful version of the X2 Pro, remains a sure bet, especially since the brand has a good popularity rating in France. The game promises to be rough.
Like an air from Galaxy S10+
With its Galaxy S10+ look, the Realme X2 Pro impresses at first sight. Its rounded corners and elegant lines meet the codes of a high-end 2019 smartphone. If the choice of materials and the level of finishing do not reach those of a model sold at twice the price (and fortunately) the whole thing is a perfect illusion.
The shiny glass back (pearly white on our test version) looks great even if, like its rivals, it marks fingerprints. Equipped with a slightly prominent quadruple vertical photo sensor, the Realme X2 Pro stands out above all for the surprising layout of its logo. Placed under the photo module, it is completely shifted to the right.
Realme positioned the physical buttons on the right (power supply) and left (volume) sides of the brushed aluminium frame (very pleasant to hold). The USB-C, a loudspeaker and the 3.5 mm jack are placed on the lower edge.
At the front, the manufacturer opted for a slab with a drop of water notch. If some people will be reluctant to wear too thick a coat on the black borders, it should be remembered that it is a smartphone at 399 euros and that, as such, the integration of the slab remains exemplary.
Once in hand, you can see the Realme X2 Pro’s template: it invites itself into the family of mastodons. Its dimensions (161 x 75.7 x 8.7 mm) and weight (199 g) require two-handed operation, unless you have a repairing friend and want to run his shop.
An AMOLED 90Hz screen
While the giant format does not make it easy to learn, it provides a certain comfort for multimedia use. The 6.5-inch AMOLED tile is not among the best on the market but make no mistake, Realme has not integrated a discount screen. The brightness is excellent and allows use in full sunlight, and the contrasts are very good.
The only small reproach: the colours saturate. If customization options are available in the display settings, they are not sufficient to really fix the problem. But a few adjustments can slightly blur the bright colours. We forgive this small defect even more since the screen has a refresh rate of 90 Hz, like the latest smartphones from OnePlus and Google. At this price, it’s a real feat.
Amazing audio quality
When Realme promises no concessions, this includes the audio part that is often neglected on smartphones for less than 500 euros. The manufacturer therefore equips his X2 Pro with two speakers (one on the lower edge, the other on the upper edge of the screen) delivering stereo sound. The large size of the chassis allows a good bass distribution and a good overall balance. There is a slight high-frequency distortion when you turn the volume up to maximum, but nothing that affects our enthusiasm.
Realme even has the luxury of equipping its X2 Pro with Dolby Atmos certification. And since good news never comes alone, the manufacturer optimizes listening based on what you do. Four modes (available in the settings) allow you to adapt Dolby Atmos sound to the content you are watching or listening to:
- Intelligent: automatically adapts to content
- Theatre: realistic 3D surround sound with a predominance of voices
- Game: more bass for better immersion
- Music: more balanced sound
The more fussy ones will regret the lack of a full equalizer, but the prowess remains remarkable for a smartphone at this price. In this segment, only Samsung with its Galaxy A can boast of pushing the experience so far. The icing on the cake is that the Realme X2 Pro features a 3.5 mm jack, which will delight the most music lovers among you. Wireless headphone enthusiasts are not to be outdone since Realme’s phone is Bluetooth 5.0 compatible. In both cases, the audio quality improves greatly, to the delight of our ears.
To provide the best possible experience, Realme is equipping its X2 Pro with the Snapdragon 855+, Qualcomm’s most powerful chip today. Three configurations exist: 6 GB + 128 GB UFS 2.1 (399 euros), 8 GB + 128 GB UFS 3.0 (449 euros) and 12 GB + 256 GB UFS 3.0 (499 euros). We have a test model with the most powerful configuration. These technical choices make the Realme X2 Pro one of the most powerful smartphones on the market, alongside the OnePlus 7T Pro and Asus ROG Phone 2. Benchmarks attest to the veracity of our statements.
On a daily basis, the Realme X2 Pro is therefore fluid and fast for all types of use. It switches easily from one application to another and manages multitasking perfectly. The combination of its components and the 90 Hz display make the gaming experience particularly enjoyable. The most demanding licenses run without any slowdowns: if you don’t make a top 1 at Call of Duty Mobile, the smartphone excuse will not be accepted before the council of wise men.
Interface: iOS with a Chinese twist
Realme X2 Pro inherits Color OS, Oppo’s overlay, in its version 6.1 (based on Android 9), with all the advantages and disadvantages that go with it. The overcoat made in Oppo testifies to the brand’s youth in Europe. Translation errors persist, bloatwares and duplicates remain too numerous and some bugs make the experience sometimes frustrating.
Despite this difficult adaptation to the European market, Color OS is on the right track. It adopts the 2019 standards (dark mode, navigation gestures) and the application drawer allows you to forget (a little) the graphic inspirations of iOS. Unfortunately, not enough to compete with Oxygen OS from OnePlus or even, in a more similar style, with MIUI 11 from Xiaomi. Just a little more effort.
Four photo sensors
Realme definitely leaves nothing to chance, especially not the photo part. To satisfy the budding Raymond Depardon, the manufacturer equips its Realme X2 Pro with a quadruple module composed of :
- Wide angle: 26 mm f/1.8 ; Samsung ISOCELL GW1 sensor 64 MP 1/1.7” (photosites 0.8 µm) ; optical stabilization
- 2X telephoto lens: 52mm f/2.5mm; 13MP 1/3.4″ sensor (1µm photosites); 5x hybrid zoom
- Ultra wide angle: 16 mm f/2.2 ; 8 MP 1/3.2” sensor (photosites 1.4 µm)
- A lens dedicated to the depth of field: f/2.4; 2 MP 1/5” sensor (photosites 1.75 µm)
By default, the main sensor is based on the binning pixel and combines 4 pixels to form one. This results in 16 MP images, not 64 MP, but with better quality. Well, in theory. Because our tests taught us that the difference between the two shooting modes was not obvious. The weight of the photos captured in 64 MP (more than 10 MB) has convinced us to choose the default mode.
And the quality in all this? Overall, the Realme X2 Pro is doing quite well. The wide angle allows detailed shots to be taken, but as the light decreases, the noise becomes more and more present. Like other Chinese manufacturers (Oppo, Xiaomi), Realme falls into the trap of smoothing. By this you mean that digital processing smoothes faces and tarnishes colours to compensate for the lack of light. At night, these defects are obvious even if the photos remain largely usable.
Realme praises the merits of its x2 telephoto lens, and rightly so. Optical stabilization allows you to capture distant objects without losing in a dive. On the other hand, the x5 hybrid shows the limits of software processing.
The very fashionable ultra-wide-angle trend gets away with it with honours. The distortion is controlled and allows to take pretty artistic shots. However, there are obvious changes in colorimetry when switching from one shooting mode to another.
The portrait mode, although quite precise in the routing, sins by its bokeh much too light. However, the manufacturer has included a lens dedicated exclusively to depth of field management.
Finally, Realme sacrifices the video part: the shooting is limited to 1080p at 30 fps with electronic stabilization.
The Usain Bolt of recharge
As science has not made it possible to find a new battery technology, manufacturers are relying on fast charging to solve battery life problems. The Realme X2 Pro inherits the Super VOOC 50W from Oppo and breaks the recharging time record. While OnePlus boasts its Warp Charge 30T (a day of autonomy gained during a shower), Realme goes (much) further. 30 minutes is the time it takes for the X2 Pro to fully charge itself.
Definitely far from the standards, Realme equips its smartphone with not one, but two 1950 mAh batteries, thus avoiding any risk of overheating. Smart. With a total capacity of 3900 mAh and good optimization, the X2 Pro holds two days for versatile use, which puts it in the middle (very) high range of the most durable smartphones. In short, the Realme X2 Pro runs as fast as Usain Bolt with the endurance of a marathon runner.
Realme X2 Pro
The Realme X2 Pro may well win the title of "flagship killer of the year". From its design to its performance and its excellent autonomy, everything about it appeals to us. Best of all, it offers the world's fastest charging system and a quality multimedia experience thanks to a successful AMOLED display and surprising audio quality. Two things could prevent him from taking over the throne: his camera, although versatile, still needs improvement, and his software needs a little polish. However, from 399 euros, it is difficult to find a better solution at the end of 2019. Well, we don't see it.
- AMOLED screen
- High flight performance
- Excellent range
- Extremely fast charging
- Battery life