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realme X announced: realme's most impressive device yet, but you can't get it

From a pop-up selfie camera to an in-display fingerprint sensor, the realme X packs plenty of company firsts.

Published onMay 15, 2019

Realme is barely a year old but it’s already firmly established itself as a major player in India and several other markets. The company is known for its budget offerings, but it’s aiming higher with the newly announced realme X.

The realme X is the first realme phone to offer a pop-up selfie camera (16MP f/2.0). The brand says the camera pops up in 0.7 seconds, adding that the mechanism is designed to last for 200,000 cycles or 50 selfies everyday for ten years. Presumably this means 50 instances of the camera popping up and down, rather than 50 daily snaps in a row.

realme X hands-on: Ten out of ten?

The company adds that the pop-up camera is also able to automatically slide into the phone’s body when a fall or accident is detected. This process will need to be lightning fast if the camera is to retract into the body before hitting the surface. But even retracting after the initial fall might help avoid damage as the phone tumbles.

Plenty of realme firsts

realme X pop up selfie camera

Realme’s pop-up camera enables a full-screen design, delivering a 6.53-inch full HD+ AMOLED screen (91.2 percent screen/body ratio). The OLED screen in turn enables another first, as it’s the brand’s first device with an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Further reading: Full realme X specs walkthrough

Look at the rear and you’ll find another realme first – a 48MP main camera (Sony IMX586, f/1.7 aperture, OIS), along with a 5MP secondary shooter for depth effects. The primary camera makes use of pixel-binning to enable better low light snaps, albeit at 12MP.

What is pixel binning? Everything to know about this photographic technique
Google Pixel 7 camera housing close

Much like the realme 3 series, the realme X offers a Nightscape mode for low-light shots and a Chroma Boost mode for more vibrant snaps. The brand claims that it’s delivered several Nightscape improvements too, saying it’s cut post-process times in half, improved exposure and highlights, and does a better job of capturing people in scenes.

The realme X on a desk

In terms of sheer horsepower, the realme X is almost a match for the realme 3 Pro. The device delivers a Snapdragon 710 chipset, 4GB/6GB/8GB of RAM, and 64GB or 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. The phone’s battery is a slight downgrade from the Pro model though, coming in at 3,765mAh compared to the realme 3 Pro’s 4,045mAh pack.

Other noteworthy details include dual nano-SIM slots, Bluetooth 5.0, ColorOS 6.0 atop Android Pie, 20 watt fast charging (55 percent capacity in 30 minutes), and Hyperboost 2.0 for smoother gaming performance.

Intrigued by the realme X? It’s only coming to China for now, and will be available to purchase from May 20. The device will set you back 1,499 yuan (~$218) for the 4GB/64GB option, 1,599 yuan (~$233) for the 6GB/64GB model, and 1,799 yuan (~$262) for the 8GB/128GB variant. The firm is also offering two special edition models for 1,899 yuan (~$276), offering 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. We’ve taken to calling one of these models the onion edition, for obvious reasons.

The company also announced the realme X Lite, which seems to be the realme 3 Pro with a new name for China. That means you’ve got a Snapdragon 710 SoC, 4,045mAh battery, 16MP+5MP rear camera pairing, and a 25MP selfie snapper in a waterdrop notch. Expect to splash out 1,199 yuan (~$174) for the 4GB/64GB model, 1,299 yuan (~$189) for the 6GB/64GB variant, and 1,499 yuan (~$218) for the 6GB/128GB option.

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