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Realme X2 Pro hands-on review: 64MP quad-camera Realme flagship launches in Madrid

The X2 Pro offers a 64MP camera, 90Hz AMOLED display and a Snapdragon 855 Plus for a seriously low price

A former Oppo sub-brand, Realme has been operating as a standalone brand since mid-2018. At last, it has “officially” entered the European market. The Chinese company, which is owned by tech titan BBK Electronics, has grown its sales by 848% in the space of a year, placing it among the top ten biggest smartphone manufacturers of the world. And it’s just launched three new handsets for the European market, with mid-range and flagship models on offer.

I’ve just had hands-on time with the most exciting of the three, the Realme X2 Pro, which looks set to rival the recently released OnePlus 7T Pro. With a 2.96GHz Snapdragon 855 Plus processor and a quad rear camera that includes a 64-megapixel main sensor, it has the potential to shake up the flagship smartphone market, especially considering its absurdly low price. See below for a full breakdown of the phone’s specifications, then read on for my first impressions from the launch event in Madrid.

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Realme X2 Pro review: Key specifications, price and release date

  • 6.5in 2,400 x 1,080, 90Hz AMOLED display
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus (2.96GHz)
  • Adreno 640 GPU
  • Up to 12GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • Up to 256GB UFS 3.0
  • 16MP f/2.0 front camera
  • Rear cameras: 64MP f/1.8 main camera; 8MP f/2.2 wide-angle camera; 13MP f/2.5 2X camera; 2MP f/2.4 rear portrait camera
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Dual nano-SIM slot
  • 161 × 75.7 × 8.7 mm (WHD)
  • 199g
  • Android 9/ColorOS 6.1
  • Price: From €399 (UK price TBC)
  • Release date: November 2019

Realme X2 Pro review: Design, key features and first impressions

This 6.5in flagship handset looks and feels like any other flagship handset of the moment, so it isn’t going to win any design awards. But it’s by no means ugly. The smooth metallic exterior has a curved 3D Gorilla Glass 5 coating, which also encases the notched AMOLED display.

There are two colour options available, Lunar White or Neptune Blue, as seen in my hands-on photos. It’s a sleek-looking handset but weighs a not-insubstantial 199g, and measures 161 × 75.7 × 8.7mm (WHD).

The phone’s USB Type-C charging port is located on its bottom edge, beside the speaker grille and 3.5mm audio jack. Realme claims that its 50W Super VooC Flash Charge technology can fully charge the phone’s 4,000mAh battery from zero to 100% in less than 35 minutes, which is fantastic if true. The left-hand edge of the phone houses the volume rockers while the power button is situated on the right-hand side, as is the SIM tray.

Unlike on the cheaper Realme 5 Pro, the X2 Pro’s fingerprint sensor has been integrated into the display and promises an unlock speed of just 0.23 seconds.

I still prefer side- or rear-mounted physical fingerprint sensors, but built-in screen fingerprint-sensor technology has undeniably improved in the past year. I tested the Realme X2 Pro’s sensor out for myself at the launch event, and it unlocked the phone instantaneously.

About that display, then. The X2 Pro has a 2,400 x 1,080 Samsung Super AMOLED panel with a refresh rate of 90Hz. Whereas the average phone has a 60Hz display, the 90Hz refresh rate makes for a more fluid experience when scrolling on Twitter or Reddit.

It’s also handy for fast-paced games like PUBG Mobile – although the Asus ROG Phone 2 or Razer Phone 2, with their 120Hz panels, are the superior options if gaming is your focus. Then again, both of those phones are vastly more expensive. This is a stunning display to be sure, and it supports HDR+ streaming content too.

And on the inside, there’s a big wad of hardware heft to help it run demanding gaming applications and power-hungry multitasking jobs. This is the cheapest phone yet to come with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus CPU (2.96GHz), the same 7nm processor found in the OnePlus 7T Pro, a phone that’s roughly £300 more. You can configure the X2 Pro with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of speedy UFS 3 storage.

One of the main attractions here is, of course, that quadruple camera. This consists of a 64-megapixel f/1.8 main sensor, an 8-megapixel f/2.2 wide-angle camera, a 13-megapixel f/2.5 2X zoom camera and a 2-megapixel f/2.4 rear portrait camera.

The camera does not shoot in 64-megapixel automatically, so if you want the higher image quality you have to specifically select it within the software settings. This turns off whenever you switch to a different shooting mode such as wide-angle or portrait. Its 20x hybrid function is good fun to play around with and, surprisingly, it’s both stable and relatively well detailed even at maximum zoom.

One small problem that afflicts the Realme X2 Pro is its pronounced camera module, which sticks out a few millimetres from the rear casing and prevents the phone from flying down flush on a flat surface. The selfie camera, ensconced in a ‘waterdrop’ notch at the top of the display, is a solitary 16-megapixel, f/2.0 effort.

The Realme X2 Pro runs ColorOS 6.1, the latest Android 9-based version of Oppo Electronics’ operating system. But when and where can you buy it? So far, Realme has only provided pricing and release date information for mainland Europe, where it will go on sale in “early November” from €399 for the base-spec model with 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage.

The 8GB + 128GB model will cost $449 and the fully loaded 16GB + 256GB variant will still be only €499. These prices are outrageously low considering what you’re getting. Essentially, it has all the features of a cutting-edge flagship phone, but for hundreds less than people are used to paying. Let’s just hope it comes to the UK.

Realme X2 Pro review: Early verdict

While it’s too early to predict how the Realme X2 Pro will stack up to the competition in our benchmark tests, its hardware and headline-grabbing camera specs will see its rivals breaking out into a quiet, nervous sweat.

Thanks to the Snapdragon 855 Plus coupled with up to 12GB of RAM, it’s a guaranteed performance powerhouse, while the capabilities of its rear camera setup and 90Hz refresh rate put it a step ahead of the crowd. As indeed does its remarkably low price.

The Realme X2 Pro should, I hope, be landing in the Expert Reviews HQ before too long; watch this space for the full review. In the meantime, I have been issued with a review sample of the lower-specced Realme X2 – also equipped with a 64-megapixel main camera – and you can expect that review soon.

Could Realme be the next Xiaomi, then? Its so-called “European adventure” is only just beginning but, with such formidable phones at such incredibly cheap prices, there’s no telling how far it could go.