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Realme launches THREE phones in Europe including a Snapdragon 855 Plus flagship with a 64MP camera

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Realme has officially entered the European market. Is it the next Xiaomi?

Realme has today officially embarked upon its “European adventure” by launching three new handsets in Madrid. The Realme 5 Pro, Realme X2 and Realme X2 Pro will all go on sale in mainland Europe within the next month, although it’s unclear when they’ll make it to UK shores.

The standout handset here is clearly the Realme X2 Pro, a dazzling 6.5in flagship. Its quad-camera setup includes a 64MP sensor. It’s positioned as a direct rival to the freshly launched One Plus 7T Pro, powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus CPU and with the same unusually high 90Hz refresh rate and speedy UFS 3 storage technology.

But where the 7T Pro costs £699, the Realme X2 Pro will be available from as little as €399. That’s a staggeringly low price for the spec; even the most expensive configuration, with 12GB of RAM and 256GB storage, is only €499. You can find out much more about the Realme X2 Pro by reading my hands-on review from the Madrid launch event. The X2 Pro ships from early November in Europe.

Stepping down one notch, the Realme X2 is another incredibly affordable smartphone with powerful specifications for its price. It too has a 64-megapixel main camera sensor, although it’s powered by a less hefty Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It costs just €299 and is available for purchase in Europe from 29 October.

Finally, there’s the Realme 5 Pro, a budget offering with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor and up to 8GB of RAM plus 128GB storage for a mere €249, while the base spec costs just €199. The Realme 5 Pro goes on “flash sale” on 18 October.

If it’s your first time hearing of Realme, then I can’t blame you. Pronounced “reel-me”, and stylised as “realme”, it is a former Oppo sub-brand that has been operating as its own standalone company since mid-2018. It has grown exponentially since that time and boasts a year-on-year product sale increase of 848%. It is, however, still owned by Chinese behemoth BBK Electronics, which is also the parent company of OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo.

With its fledgeling European division now headquartered out of Madrid, Realme is looking to expand further still by dominating the affordable consumer electronics market in the same way that Xiaomi has in recent years. At present, though, its range of products is limited to smartphones, whereas Xiaomi manufactures everything from phones to e-scooters and smart bulbs.