Smartphone maker Realme recently announced its latest mid-range smartphone, the Realme XT in India. Realme XT is the first smartphone to reach India with a 64-megapixel primary camera sensor and a quad-camera setup. Realme has priced the base model of the smartphone with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage for Rs 15,999. The company has launched three different RAM and internal storage options for buyers. In addition to this, Realme also launched its Realme Power Bank, Realme Buds Wireless, and Realme XT Iconic Case.
The launch of the device comes about three weeks after the company initially announced the device in India. As per the previous reports, it provided Realme the bragging rights to be the first company to launch 64-megapixel sensor. The company even beat Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro to the market. There is no competing smartphone in the market that offers a quad-camera setup with a 64-megapixel sensor. With no other smartphone with the 64-megapixel camera sensor, Realme is all set to take advantage of the situation. In case you want to buy the Realme XT and have doubts regarding the same, we have got you covered. Is the hype behind the 64-megapixel quad-camera sensor real? Check all the answers in our Realme XT review.
Design and build quality
Realme XT follows the industry-standard glass back design with a reflective finish. The device features a 3D curved glass on the back with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection against accidental damage. Realme also added a similar finish on the front of the device with the 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display. The rear of the device is similar to the Realme 5 Pro minus the diamond pattern. This panel reflects in a different manner depending on the angle of light hitting the device. The company terms it has “Hyperbola Light Streaks”, a name that accurately describes the shape of the reflecting light.
Interested buyers can purchase the Realme XT in two different colors including the Pearl Blue and the Pearl White. We first received the Pearl White variant for the preview a few weeks prior to launch. Closer to the final we received the Pearl Blue variant of the Realme XT. Personally, I prefer the Pearl White finish with its different shades of white and the ability to hide the fingerprints. The power button is located on the right side of the smartphone, the volume buttons and the Dual-SIM and microSD card tray are located on the left side of the device. We get a microphone on the top, single-side speaker, Type-C USB, mic, and 3.5mm audio socket at the bottom.
The build quality of the device is quite sturdy with no weak or flexing parts. The side frame of the device is made of polycarbonate. Realme also includes a transparent silicone case for the smartphone in the box for additional protection. The size of the device is quite large for daily use and it is not ideal for one-handed use. This means that most users will need to use both hands for daily operation.
The second section of the Realme XT Review is the 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution. It features a tear-drop notch and a slight chin at the bottom to offer a 91.9 screen-to-body ratio. The display offers a 19.5:9 tall aspect ratio with 402 PPI pixel density and Widevine L1 certification. It allows users to watch video content in HD resolution in streaming services such as Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. As mentioned previously, the front of the display also features Gorilla Glass 5 panel for protection accidental damage and scratches.
The company also added a night mode as “Night Shield” to reduce eye strain at night. Other software features include adjustable screen color temperature, font, and display size, and reduced flicker at low brightness levels. The reduced flicker at low brightness switch is likely the DC dimming feature that Realme reduced on the Realme X. In addition, the device also comes with support for OSIE (Object and Semantic Images and Eye-tracking) Vision effect. ColorOS also includes a system-wide dark mode for the device.
Talking about other features, the display also comes with an in-display optical fingerprint scanner for authentication. Realme claims that XT features the latest generation of scanner from Goodix 3.0 with support “multiple-monitor identification system. This sensor includes a filter that can recognize colors for a claimed “more secure unlocking experience”. The sensor is as fast as the flagship OnePlus 7 Pro in my testing as part of the Realme XT Review. The display offers good brightness but it is not enough for use under direct sunlight. You will still end up looking for shade because of the highly reflective screen.
Realme XT performance
The smartphone maker has added Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 AIE SoC along with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The device comes with support for microSD card with the help of a dedicated slot for expandable storage. Snapdragon 712 AIE is based on 10nm fabrication process and sports an octa-core CPU with Adreno 616 GPU. Qualcomm claims that the SoC offers 10 percent improvement along with version 3.0 of the AI engine.
The device can easily run heavy games such as PUBG Mobile, Dead Trigger 2, Shadow Gun Legends, and Real Racing 3. While playing PUBG Mobile, the game was running without any lag or jittering at “High” frame rate and “HD” resolution. Similar to most devices, the Realme XT did heat up during extending gaming sessions but it also cooled down relatively quickly. Talking a look at daily tasks such as social media, WhatsApp, email, and more, the Realme XT performed admirably. The device zipped through heavy multitasking without any problem.
It is worth noting that overall, the system animations were fluid out of the box. This did not provide any sense of speed or performance for users. One can enable “Developers Options” after tapping the “Version” seven times in the “About Phone” section in the “Settings” app. The “Developers Options” is available in “Additional Settings” where users can tweak “Window Animation Zoom”, “Translation Animation Scale”, and “Animator Duration Scale”. By default, all these options are set to “Scale 1x” and users can either turn them off or push them down to “Scale .5x”. The audio quality during calls in good and built-in speakers are quite good for a mid-range smartphone.
Realme XT comes with ColorOS version 6.0.1 with build number RMX1921EX_11_A.09. It also features July 5, 2019, Android security patch out of the box and Android 9 Pie as the base. If you have used a Realme or ColorOS-powered Opportunity device in the past then you should be right at home. For others, ColorOS is a customized Android-based skin that comes with a different interface and number of additional features. It allows users to choose between an app “Drawer Mode” and “Standard Mode” where all apps are on home screens.
The launcher comes with a number of customization options including “Icon Autofill”, “App Startup and Closing Animation Speed”, and more. Other options include “Lock Screen Magazine”, themes, wallpapers, “Home Screen Layout”, and app predictions. The operating system comes with a number of pre-installed third-party apps and bloatware. Bloatware apps include “Music”, “Videos”, “Phone Manager”, “Theme Store”, “Game Center”, “Community”, “realme Store”, “App Market”, and “Clock”. Third-party apps include “Helo”, “WPS Office”, “Wynk Music”, “Dailyhunt”, “Facebook”, “Opera News”, “UC Browser”, “Amazon Shopping”, and “Paytm”.
ColorOS also features “Hot Apps”, and “Hot Games” folders in the launcher for app and game recommendations. There are “App Market”-based shortcuts that seemed to be baked in the system. The app also served notifications but users can turn them off from the settings. In addition to the bloat and third-party apps, the OS also features a number of built-in tools. These include “Game Space” for game boost, “ORoaming”, “FM Radio”, “Clone Phone”, “Recorder”, and more. Other tools include “Weather”, “Calculator”, “Browser” and a shortcut to the lock screen. It also comes with a “Smart Assistant” accessible with a quick swipe to the right from the home screen.
The OS comes with “Convenience Aid” section, “Floating Windows”, “Payment Protection”, “Emergency SOS”, “Anti-Harassment”, “App Encryption”, “Kid Space”, “Private Safe”, and more features. Overall, despite the number of third-party apps, ColorOS 6 offers a good, fluid experience.
The magic behind that 64-megapixel sensor
The highlight of the Realme XT has to be its camera setup on the back. As mentioned above, the smartphone sports a quad-camera setup with a 64-megapixel primary camera sensor. Before we talk about the camera performs, let’s talk about the specifications and the internal hardware. First, we will focus on the 64-megapixel camera sensor and later move to the rest of the camera sensors. Starting off, Realme XT features Samsung GW1 sensor with 64-megapixel resolution and f/1.8 aperture. Samsung initially announced the sensor back in May. The 1/1.72-inch sensor is about 34 percent larger than the 48-megapixel sensor on previous devices.
It comes with a 6-piece lens setup and four-in-one pixel binning that results in 16-megapixel images. The smartphone also allows users to take full 64-megapixel images with the “Ultra 64 MP” mode. Samsung also clarified that the sensor comes with “the smallest pixel size” in the market at 0.8μm. The company claims that it features Tetracell and 3D HDR technology that captures “crystal clear photos under any circumstances”. It also features Dual Conversion Gain (DCG) technology for better utilization of collected light and sharper images.
Now, let’s talk about the rest of the quad-camera setup on the Realme XT. It features an 8-megapixel sensor with f/2.3 aperture, 13mm focal length, and an ultra-wide sensor. It also comes with a 2-megapixel macro camera with f/2.4 aperture and 1/5-inches sensor size. The last sensor on the setup is the 2-megapixel depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture and 1/5-inches sensor size. The setup also comes with a single LED flash unit on the back. Moving to the front, we get a 16-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture for selfies. In terms of video, the rear can shoot at 4K resolution at 30fps while the front can shoot 1080p at 30fps.
Now that we have covered the specifications, let’s talk about how it performs in this section of Realme XT Review. Talking about the camera performance, in short, Realme XT backs up the bragging rights with good image quality. The 64-megapixel manages to capture impressive, and detailed images with accurate colors in ample light. There were some serious issues with the preview unit, but I am glad these were fixed in the final hardware release. The images also come with a decent amount of texture during the day. The ultra-wide sensor captures decent images with interesting perspectives.
Realme has also added software technology to combat the distortion in the ultra-wide mode. Though, it is worth noting that the mode does not capture enough details or texture during the day. Things get less than ideal during the night but the inclusion of “Nightscape” mode improves the output of images. The mode is available both in the normal and ultra-wide modes.
The macro mode also captures good images but you will have to be in good lighting for such results. As part of the Realme XT Review, I discovered that anything less than ideal lighting results in noise and grain will creep in the images. Images shot in pitch darkness or at night do tend to be full of noise with muddled up texture. However, “Nightscape” manages to improve the quality than the ones shot in regular or Ultra 64 MP modes.
One thing that Realme needs to fix is the processing time of about 1.5-2 seconds This is in addition to the 2.5.-3 second capture time in the “Nightscape” mode. Moving to the portrait mode, the Realme XT manages to capture good images. The background isolation is impressive Both the macro and portrait modes capture impressive bokeh.
The front camera and camera software
The front camera also manages to capture good, detailed, color-accurate images with impressive background isolation. I was delighted to know that the beauty-mode is not really an overkill. During the Realme XT Review, it manages to keep details and texture on the face in the default setting. Users can either turn it off or dig into a comprehensive set of options.
Talking about the “Nightscape”, the mode slightly crops the frame in regular images but maintains it when in ultra-wide mode. The camera software features “Ultra 64 MP”, “Nightscape”, “Pano”, “Expert”, “Time-Lapse”, “Slow-Mo”, and “Ultra Macro” modes. It also includes “Chroma Boost” for enhanced color and built-in filters. Users can tweak aspect ratio, gestures for a photo, shutter sound, location, Watermark, Gird, and more in the camera settings.
Realme XT battery performance and other specifications
The smartphone comes with a 4,000mAh Lithium-Polymer battery with support for VOOC Flash Charge 3.0 technology. This technology provides 20W fast charging to the users so that they don’t have to wait long for charging. The device takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to charge from 0 to 100 percent.
Realme also claims that XT can charge 5 times faster than normal charging while gaming while keeping the smartphone cool. The smartphone lasted about 8.5-9 hours during my heavy usage on the weekends during the Realme XT review period. This number further increased to 12.5-13 hours during a regular workday.
The daily heavy use for me includes 1.5-2 hours of video streaming, continuous WhatsApp, and Telegram throughout. It also includes five email accounts on sync, 30-45 minutes of calling, 20-25 images, and 2-2.5 hours of music streaming.
Realme XT comes with Wi-Fi, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, FM Radio, USB Type-C port, and a 3.5 audio socket for connectivity. It also comes with accelerometer, pedometer, gyroscope, proximity, and compass sensors. It also comes with support for Dolby Atmos technology.
Verdict: Should you buy the Realme XT?
Realme has delivered an ace with the XT. It is hard to not get impressed with a smartphone that pushes the envelope of technology for consumers. Realme XT currently provides a unique offering for Indian buyers and one will have to wait for the competitors.
In the meantime, if you are looking for a smartphone with the 64-megapixel camera then Realme XT is the default choice. It is quite similar to the Realme 5 Pro in terms of that hardware and quite close to Realme X. However, if you can extend your budget, we would ask you to go for the Realme XT. If you want alternatives then you will have to wait for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro.