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This upstart manufacturer will be latest brand to offer an affordable flagship

realme is known for its affordable smartphones, and it looks like we might get an affordable flagship next.

Published onSeptember 30, 2019

realme X logo

Update, September 30 2019 (5:14AM ET): realme mentioned the Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset on Weibo back in July (seen in the original article below), fueling speculation that it was planning a phone with this chipset.

Now, chief marketing officer Xu Qi Chase has confirmed on Weibo (h/t: GSMArena) that a Snapdragon 855 Plus realme phone is indeed in the works. The realme executive notes that the phone is codenamed “super warrior.” Check out the machine-translated post below:

An executive confirms a realme Snapdragon 855 Plus phone, dubbed the realme X2 Pro.

We don’t know much else about the new phone, but it’s interesting to note that Chase sent the post from the “realme X2 Pro super warrior” handset. So it looks like the phone’s final name will be realme X2 Pro.

This will be realme’s first proper flagship, as it’s relied on lower tier Snapdragon or MediaTek silicon since its phones first came to market.

realme CEO Madhav Sheth previously told GSMArena that the firm would only use the Snapdragon 855 silicon if the device really needed its capabilities (e.g. AI, imaging etc). Sheth also suggested that the Snapdragon 855 didn’t differ from the Snapdragon 710 processor when it came to day-to-day usage. Either way, a flagship chipset should deliver a higher level of future-proofing compared to a mid-range processor.

Original article, July 16 2019 (5:01AM ET): Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset yesterday, making for a slight improvement over the standard Snapdragon 855. We’ve already heard that the ASUS ROG Phone 2 will offer the processor, but it looks like traditionally budget player realme may have hinted at its future plans too.

The company took to its Weibo account to retweet (or is it reweibo?) Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Plus post. “Hello, Snapdragon 855+,” realme added to its shared post.

A realme post on Weibo, referencing the Snapdragon 855 Plus.

This could merely be a case of realme welcoming the new addition to Qualcomm’s portfolio, but why mention the chipset if you have no plans for any devices with it? Imagine if Samsung mentioned a newly announced processor on Twitter and wasn’t planning to offer a device with the chipset.

Behind the scenes at realme's manufacturing facility
realme Factory and Imaging Lab PCB manufacturing lines

In any event, we know realme is working on at least one rather cutting-edge smartphone. CEO Madhav Sheth teased a quad-camera phone with a 64MP primary camera last month, so this is one potential candidate for the new chipset. The company has also confirmed plans for a 5G device, but it’s unclear if this is a variant of the aforementioned quad camera phone or something completely different.

The fact that realme used Weibo rather than Facebook or Twitter to mention the processor suggests that we could be looking at a China-only launch at first if a Snapdragon 855 Plus device is in the works. But the realme X was a China-first phone and it’s since landed in India, so there’s still hope for fans wanting an affordable flagship (if they are indeed using high-end silicon).

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