The launch of the Realme X and Realme X Lite marks the entry of the upstart in China. It’s an interesting move: while the brand can trace its lineage to Oppo and China, Realme has originally launched – and seen a fair bit of success – in India. At an event in Beijing, Realme finally launched the Realme X and Realme X Lite, as the opening salvo of its assault on the massive Chinese market.
A bit of clarification: the Realme X Lite is the same device as the Realme 3 Pro we reviewed recently. The Realme X, on the other hand, is a higher-end model that offers similar performance along with added niceties. What’s different between the two phones? Let’s find out in our Realme X vs Realme X Lite (aka Realme 3 Pro).
The basic designs of the Realme X and the Realme 3 Pro/Realme X Lite are very similar, with a gradient-style back and a large display at the front. The construction of both the Realme X Lite and Realme X is polycarbonate with Gorilla Glass 5 covering the front.
Realme has done a pretty good job designing the hardware and both phones feel really nice in the hand. A subtle change is the switch in the direction of the gradient.
The front, of course, is very different between the phones. You’ll also definitely notice the additional weight of the Realme X too, due to the use of a pop-up selfie camera. Weighing 191 grams against the 172 grams of the Realme 3 Pro/X Lite, the Realme X feels well put together and never too heavy to hold.
- Realme 3 Pro: 6.3-inch Full HD+ LCD display
- Realme X: 6.5-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display
The primary difference between the two displays is clear at a glance. Where the Realme 3 Pro sports a 6.3-inch Full HD+ LCD display, the Realme X replaces it for a larger, more vibrant AMOLED panel. Both displays look great and go bright enough to be easily viewable outdoors. Measuring 6.5-inches, the Realme X has no notch at all.
The big upgrade here is that the Realme X sports a pop-up selfie camera. The company has done a pretty good job with it, with a rated pop-up time of about 0.7 seconds. In our time with the phone, we found this figure to be quite accurate. It’s fast enough to allow you to use the face-unlock option without having to wait around much.
The Realme X has been designed for an audience that wants a more expansive, unhindered display. - Madhav Sheth, CEO Realme India
The Realme 3 Pro, on the other hand, has a more conventional waterdrop notch. Madhav Sheth, CEO Realme India, talked about how the Realme X has been designed for an audience that wants a more expansive, unhindered display over quick access to a front facing camera.
Step over to the back of the phone and there are more differences to be seen. The camera layout, for one, has moved from the corner of the phone to the central frame. Meanwhile, the primary sensor on the Realme X uses a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor, paired with a 5MP depth sensing module.
The former uses pixel-binning to give you fairly noise-free 12MP images. We took the phone out for a spin and early impressions indicate that the camera is capable of shooting some truly fantastic images for its price point. We’ve got more information and camera samples in our Realme X hands-on.
The Realme 3 Pro / X Lite takes a more conventional approach with the cameras and pairs a 16MP primary sensor with a 5MP depth sensor. What’s more interesting is that Realme has chosen to eschew the high resolution 25MP front-facing camera from the X Lite for a 16MP front camera on the X.
Between the two, the Realme X definitely takes the cake and manages to capture some truly fantastic-looking shots. In fact, the phone is a contender for the best camera smartphone in the budget mid-range segment.
While storage and RAM varies depending on the variant you opt for, both phones run on the same Snapdragon 710 chipset. This is a capable performer that can handily run most games with ease. In fact, the global variant of the Realme X Lite is one of the first mid-range phones to officially support Fortnite.
The Realme X Lite and X have storage options that vary between 64GB and 128GB. Unfortunately, only the Realme X Lite has an option for expandable storage.
While the Realme X Lite ships with 4GB or 6GB of RAM, you can buy the Realme X with up to 8GB of RAM, which should work out great for people who end up doing a lot of multitasking on their phones.
Both phones run Color OS, which is Oppo’s take on an Android skin. There are a lot of options here for customizing the user experience with just a little bit of bloat on the side. Unlike Xiaomi’s MIUI, there are no overly aggressive advertisements, which is definitely a plus in our books.
- Realme X Lite: 4,045mAh
- Realme X: 3,765mAh
Battery capacities aren’t drastically different between the two phones, but that extra 250mAh can mean the difference between an extra hour of music listening, or perhaps a bit of gaming, and a dead phone.
Both phones support VOOC 3.0 fast charging, which promises to top off the phone in about 80 minutes. Unfortunately, the Realme X Lite continues to use a Micro-USB port. The Realme X, in comparison, sports a much more modern USB-C port.
|Realme X||Realme X Lite|
|Display||6.53-inch, FHD+ AMOLED|
2,340 x 1,080 resolution
19.5:9 aspect ratio
91.2% screen-to-body ratio
Gorilla Glass 5
|6.3-inch full HD+ (2,340 x 1,080) LCD|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 710|
Up to 2.2Ghz
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 710|
|GPU||Adreno 616||Adreno 616|
VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 (20 watt charging)
VOOC Flash Charge 3.0
48MP + 5MP
f/1.7 + f/2.4 aperture
Video recording: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 120fps, EIS
AI beauty mode
Main: 16MP sensor with f/1.7 aperture
Secondary: 5MP depth sensor
25MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture
|Connectivity||Dual nano-SIM slots|
Dual SIMs dual VoLTE 4G
Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4/5Ghz
Positioning system: GPS, aGPS, GLONASS, Beidou navigation system
Supports Bluetooth 5.0 connections
Supports aptX & aptX HD & LDAC
|Dual nano-SIM slots|
|Security||In-display fingerprint sensor||Rear mounted fingerprint sensor|
|Software||ColorOS 6.0, Android 9 Pie||ColorOS 6|
|Colors||Steam white, Punk blue||Carbon Gray |
|Dimensions||161.3 x 76.1 x 8.55-9.33mm||156.8 x 74.2 x 8.3mm|
Value for money
If all you want is a well-specced device that can play the latest games and keep up with your general workload, you’ll find the Realme X Lite/Realme 3 Pro to be perfectly serviceable. The phone has a pretty good camera and great battery life with support for VOOC charging.
The Realme X, on the other hand, adds a few more nice-to-have features like an in-display fingerprint sensor and a more expansive display by tossing in a pop-up selfie camera that frees up screen real-estate. The cameras too are a definite upgrade over the already great shooters on the Realme X Lite.
The Realme X Lite costs 1,199 yuan (~$174) for the 4GB/64GB model, 1,299 yuan (~$189) for the 6GB/64GB variant and 1,499 yuan (~$218) in case you want to bump that storage to 128GB.
Meanwhile, the Realme X costs 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.
Realme X Lite vs Realme X: Our verdict
On the face of it, the Realme X is positioned as a higher end version of the Realme X Lite/Realme 3 Pro. With the same processor, great cameras and more or less similar battery life, it can be hard to make a decision between the two phones.
That said, the Realme X offers some clear-cut advantages. It can take some stunning images, and the in-display fingerprint sensor and shift to USB-C are definitely nice to have. Add to that a pop-up selfie camera and larger, AMOLED display, and it’s easy to make a case for the Realme X. For our money, we would definitely recommend spending just a little more and upgrading to the Realme X.
Which phone would you choose between the Realme X and the Realme X Lite/Realme 3 Pro?