REVIEW | Realme XT mid-range smartphone

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Realme kept busy in 2019, releasing a slew of phones. To those unfamiliar with the Realme brand, it traces its origins to Oppo and was the largest growing mobile phone brand in 2019. They offer smartphone products at low prices — a combination that’s great for the consumer.

Today, we’re looking at the very impressive Realme XT, released late in 2019, packing a massive 64-megapixel primary camera, 8 gigabytes of memory, 128 gigabytes of storage, and a huge 6.4 inch Super AMOLED screen, coupled with Oppo’s industry-leading VOOC 3 fast charging. 

Design and Ergonomics

The Realme XT is a classy looking phone. With Gorilla Glass 5 on both sides, sandwiching a plastic frame, the device feels substantial in the hand, and what you’d expect of a flagship device. The Pearl White looks quite attractive, but easily gathers fingerprints. Also, it tends to be a little slippery when placed on non-flat surfaces.

Button placement keeps with the usual Realme standard; power on the right, volume Up and Down buttons on the left. The SIM tray can house dual SIM’s and a Micro SD card. At the bottom, there is a USB Type-C slot, a single speaker, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Worth special mention is the in-screen fingerprint scanner, a great inclusion at this price point.

The 6.4-inch screen has a resolution of 1080 x 2340, exhibiting good detail and colors that pop. The speaker can get really loud, but the quality is just okay.

Specs and Performance

On the SoC front, the Realme XT includes a Qualcomm SDM712 octa-core chip; while not a flagship part, it helps keep the price down while offering smooth all-day performance. This may also be in part thanks to the generous 8 gigs of memory. While the test unit had 128GB of storage, there is also a 4GB/64GB variant.

Gaming performance was great, playing “Call of Duty” at the highest settings. The Game mode software auto rejects calls and allows for an interruption-free, high-performance gaming experience.

While 4GB of memory should be sufficient for your daily requirements, if you need the added storage capacity, you’d probably be better off with the 8GB/128GB option.

Battery and Charging

The Realme XT includes both a large 4000 mAh battery, as well as Oppo’s industry-leading VOOC 3 Fast Charging.

Battery life was pretty stellar, easily lasting a day with moderate use. Hooking it up to the charger in the morning with a little over 30% of battery left, it took barely 45 minutes to charge to full. Perfect for while getting ready for work before heading out.

Below is the charge matrix, starting from fully drained, or 0%.

Charge Matrix:

  • 10 mins – 14%
  • 30 mins – 46%
  • 60 mins – 86%
  • 85 mins – 98%
  • 88 mins – 100%

Watching 6 hours of video on YouTube, over a Wifi network only resulted in a 30% drain.

Software and User Experience

The Realme XT runs Android 9 Pie with Color OS 6, with a planned upgrade to Android 10 being on the cards. If you’ve used an Oppo device in the past you’ll be familiar with Color OS; it’s light and simple to use.

Attention has been paid to the User Interface, with small touches such as the gradient on the dial-pad and calculator being nice. There are also useful features such as the Long Screenshot. Oppo/Realme regulars like the side tray are present.

Camera and Optics

One of the highlights of the Realme XT is the rear quad camera setup and the massive 64-megapixel lens. The hardware includes the aforementioned 64-megapixel primary lens, an 8 megapixel ultra-wide, a dedicated 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. At the front, it has a 16-megapixel selfie camera. 

So with such serious hardware under the hood, how does it fare? In short, very well!

Thanks to the well-endowed primary lens, pictures have impressive detail, and colors pop. Food photography results are excellent, possibly amongst the best I’ve ever seen.

Night pictures also come out great, thanks to the Night Mode. Ensure to use the Night Mode after the sun goes down, as color and details are considerably improved as compared to using the normal mode. Results are almost as impressive as the Huawei P20 Pro, which set the bar for night photography back in 2018.

Normal Mode
Night Mode

Portrait mode on the rear camera features good subject isolation and detail. On the front camera as well portrait mode yields good results; while there is some beauty implementation at play, the smoothing and effects aren’t excessive.

Rear Camera Normal Mode
Rear Camera Portrait Mode

The included filters are useful in enhancing pictures and making them Instagram ready. Post-shooting editing opens are good, for increasing color vibrancy.

Last but not least, we also tested the ultra-macro mode and were decently impressed.

Value and Competition

At an asking price of P16,990, the Realme XT is one hell of a midrange offering. The specs and camera place it well into flagship territory, making it a serious force to reckon with. Some retailers are offering it for a little over P16,000.

While the Realme XT was the first to market, the Oppo A9 and Samsung Galaxy A51 are comparably priced devices that became available in the months after. Though specs are similar, the Realme XT comes out on top, with the most to offer.

Conclusion

If you’ve always wanted a flagship device but not wanted to cough up top dollar, it’s a great time to be a consumer. The Realme XT sets the bar for solid internals and an incredible quad-camera setup for an unbeatable price of under P17,000. If you’re in the market for a new phone and have a budget that matches, you can’t go wrong with the Realme XT.

Model: RMX1921

Price: P16,990

Verdict: Behold a flagship device at upper midrange pricing

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