Realme X50 5G review: There’s no need to go Nord


Realme X50 5G

If you haven’t heard of Realme, you are likely familiar with one of its stablemates such as OPPO, Vivo, or most likely OnePlus, all of which come under the BKK collection of smartphone brands. Realme has been making a real push to gain a foothold in Europe over the past 18-months or so, and the X50 5G is its contribution to the plethora of affordable 5G smartphones that are powered by the Snapdragon 765G processor.

The Realme X50 5G costs just £299, but you would never think so from the glass finish, high-quality build, and performance of the handset. It’s something of a marvel, in my eyes, that this phone is so affordable. With the Snapdragon 765G, under the hood along with a good helping of RAM and storage, a nice big battery with speedy charging, and more than adequate cameras, Realme’s X50 5G is just about the equal of the OnePlus Nord in almost every way, apart from having an LCD display instead of AMOLED which can be forgiven thanks to being more affordable.

At £299 or around 380 freedom dollars, the Realme X50 5G offers staggering value with great user experience and absolutely zero battery-anxiety. We’ve spent a chunk of time with the handset, so join us after the break for our review of the Realme X50 5G.

Design

At £300, you would forgive it if the X50 5G had a plastic rear-panel, instead, it sports a glass back that looks stunning, catching the sunlight and displaying a fantastic finish. In the hand, the phone feels rock-solid and a little hefty which is reassuring. The build quality is better than good, and certainly better than you would normally expect of a £300 smartphone.

The side-mounted fingerprint sensor is integrated with the power button and is in a really comfortable position, it’s a natural place for the thumb to rest, likewise with the volume controls on the left-hand edge.

There’s a single speaker chamber to the right of the USB-C port which has the SIM tray on its left. One final word on the rear panel, it does attract fingerprints in a split second so you may want to use the surprisingly good-quality clear case that is included in the box.

Hardware

  Realme X50 5G
Released July, 2020
Software Android 10, Realme UI 1.0
Display 6.57-Inch LCD, FHD+ Resolution (2400 x 1080), 120Hz Refresh Rate, Gorilla Glass 5
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 Octa-core, Adreno 620
Memory 6/8GB
Storage 128GB
MicroSD Support No
Rear Cameras 48MP Main Camera, 8MP Ultra-Wide Lens, 2MP Macro Lens,
Rear Camera Features Ultra 48MP Mode, Super NightScape, panoramic view, Expert Mode, Timelapse, Portrait Mode, HDR,
Ultra-wide Mode, Ultra Macro Mode , AI Beauty, Filter,
Chroma Boost
Front Camera 16MP Main Camera (Sony IMX471), 2MP Portrait Lens
Front Camera Features Portrait Mode, Timelapse,
Panoramic View, AI Beauty,
HDR, Face-Recognition, Filter, Portrait NightScape, Bokeh Effect Control
5G Yes, Dual Nano-SIM
Connectivity WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz & 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, GPS, Glonass, AGPS
Sensors Magnetic induction sensor, Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Gyro-meter, Acceleration sensor
Audio Super Linear Speaker, Dolby Atmos, Double Mic Noise Suppression
Battery 4,200mAh, USB-C
Charging 30W Dart Charge
Dimensions 163.8 x 75.8 x 8.9mm
Weight 202g
Colors Ice Silver, Jungle Green
Price £299

Performance

Packing a big 6.57-inch LCD display with FHD+ resolution isn’t a hindrance to the Realme X50 5G, I’m pleased to report that the panel is pretty darned good. The 120Hz refresh rate made for a slick scrolling experience while the presence of a flat-edged display is always appreciated. That being said, most apps don’t actually support the increased refresh rate so you can save some battery life by choosing the ‘Automatic’ option which will only toggle the higher rate when an app is compatible.

Qualcomm really outdid itself with the Snapdragon 765G processor which is pretty much all the processor you need in a smartphone, it’s that good. Of course, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 3.0 storage aid it admirably, ensuring a great user experience.

When it comes to fingerprint readers, brands have been tempted to put sub-par in-display sensors in their affordable handsets with the predictable result of sub-par performance. Luckily, Realme avoided this by integrating the fingerprint sensor with the power button, which combined with the facial recognition will unlock the phone in a split second.

We ran the X50 5G through the usual benchmarking tests, and you can see the results embedded below:

Battery

Carrying a 5,000mAh battery you would think that Realme’s X50 5G would last for ages, and it actually does. It easily handles a heavy day’s usage, with the 30W Dart Charge capable of topping the battery up from 0-70% in just 30 minutes, which is impressive.

Software

Realme is part of BKK’s stable of smartphone brands that include Vivo, OnePlus, and of course, OPPO. Running Realme UI 1.0, the X50 5G offers a software experience that is quite similar to ColorOS 7.2, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s user-friendly with a load of handy features, and if you are used to Samsung’s One UI, you won’t have any issues.

There are options to change the style of app icons, and there is an option to lock the phone by double-tapping an empty patch on the display, unfortunately, it isn’t possible to unlock the phone by tapping twice. Still, it’s a polished experience that won’t frustrate you, unless you are a purist that adores stock Android. Something I did miss was the Always-On-Display which isn’t present because the display is LCD instead of AMOLED.

Camera

Boasting a quartet of rear cameras consisting of the 48MP main lens, the 8MP ultra-wide, and then a pair of 2MP sensors for Mmacro and monochrome, the X50 5G is well-equipped on paper. In reality, the main 48MP camera and its ultra-wide companion are capable of taking some great pics, and while the dedicated macro lens is useful in very specific circumstances, the monochrome sensor doesn’t offer anything that a B&W filter doesn’t.

It would have been much better if Realme (and other brands who insist on using 2MP sensors) refrained from adding the two 2MP sensors and included a telephoto lens instead or perhaps a better main camera. The Realme X50 5G snaps images that are more than good enough for social media.

The camera app is easy to use although considering that the phone has a dedicated macro lens it’s a bit weird that the function is hidden in the More section. Other than that oddity, everything is pretty much where you would expect.

The dual selfie cameras complement each other, and despite the presence of the controversial beautification feature, the results are pretty good, even in what was rather dull lighting conditions.

Conclusion

It all comes down to the £299 price tag and the corners that Realme cut in order to achieve it. While you can point to the presence of the LCD display and the 2MP Macro and Monochrome rear cameras as obvious examples, in real-life usage, the screen is pretty good and the cameras do the job and then some.

In terms of similarly priced alternatives, the OnePlus Nord has an AMOLED display but it also costs an extra £80. The more likely competitor is the Pixel 4a which has the bonus of great software updates and Google’s camera magic but misses out on 5G connectivity, a stylish design, and a display with a high-refresh-rate.

The Realme X50 5G is a phone that does almost everything well when you consider that it costs £299. Frankly, the Realme X50 5G must be in line for the title of budget 5G smartphone of 2020. it’s just a shame that it isn’t available in the US.

Buy it Now: Amazon, Realme

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He’s been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries an OPPO Find X2 Pro in his pockets, a Galaxy Tab S5e in his backpack, and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around the world. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he’s an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).




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