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Realme X7 Max 5G Review: High-Performance Smartphone For Everyone
Back in 2018, Xiaomi launched the Poco F1, a high-performance smartphone in a non-flagship package. That device didn't have premium build quality or the high-end cameras of that class. Instead, it had a flagship processor with a large battery, capable of offering all-day battery life. In the last few years, we didn't see many smartphones similar to the Poco F1.
- Top tier CPU and GPU performance
- 120Hz AMOLED display with in-display fingerprint sensor
- Stereo speaker setup
- Plastic construction
- No microSD card slot
Now, Realme's latest offering -- the Realme X7 Max 5G looks like the successor to the Poco F1; however, from a different brand. Yes, the Realme X7 Max 5G is completely different from the Poco F1. However, it does feel like the right smartphone for enthusiasts, which happens to cover the basics of high-performance smartphones of 2021.
Starting at a price of Rs. 26,999, the Realme X7 Max doesn't have much competition, especially when considering the processor that powers this device. I have been testing the Realme X7 Max 5G with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage, which retails for Rs. 29,999, and here is our full review.
Realme X7 Max 5G Design: Not My Cup Of Tea
The Realme X7 Max 5G is definitely one of the lightest high-performance smartphones that I have tested in 2021. The smartphone weighs 179g, making it lighter than the Mi 11x and the iQOO 7 5G, which are the closest competitors of the Realme X7 max 5G.
Phones with the word Max in their nomenclature will be usually big and heavy, while the Realme X7 Max 5G is light and compact to handle. So, the term "Max" in the name might be suggesting the performance it packs. If you want a high-performance smartphone that is less than 200g, then, go grab the Realme X7 Max 5G.
One of the main reasons that make the Realme X7 Max 5G a lightweight smartphone is a fact that it comes with a plastic frame and plastic back panel. Some phones with plastic back panels do look like glass. However, in this case, one can easily make out that the back panel is indeed made up of polycarbonate.
The back panel has a two-tone design, where most of the back has a matte texture with a glossy strip with the Realme logo. The company should have gone with a full matte or glossy finish, as just the glossy strip attracts fingerprints and makes the phone look cheap.
The camera module is on the top left corner, which protrudes ever-so-slightly. Like typical Realme fashion, the power button is on the right side while the volume button and the SIM tray are on the left side. At the bottom, the smartphone has a USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a main speaker.
Practically, the design and the build quality of the Realme X7 Max 5G works well. However, most phones at this price range do feel more premium at a cost of lower performance, and Realme is doing the other way around. By the way, the phone does ship with a soft silicon case, which should protect the device from getting normal wear and tear.
Realme X7 Max 5G Display: High-Refresh Rate Panel
The Realme X7 Max 5G has a 6.43-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ (2400x1080) resolution. The display offers up to 120Hz refresh rate with 360Hz touch sampling rates, which should induce lower touch latency while playing games that require repeated touch input. The display is protected by 2.5D curved tempered glass but is it not protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.
The display has a tiny punch hole cutout on the top left corner with a screen-to-body ratio of 91.7 percent and it also has an in-display fingerprint sensor. Hence, the chin is slightly wider than the top and side bezels. On paper, the display on the Realme X7 Max 5G is similar to most of the flagship smartphones of 2021. However, it does lack a bit especially when it comes to brightness.
The in-display fingerprint sensor on the Realme X7 Max 5G is an optical type. In my testing, the fingerprint sensor worked well, even if there was slight sweat or moisture on the finger. The sensor did work even with the pre-installed screen protector, which is an added benefit.
The device offers sRGB (gentle) and P3 (vivid) color modes, and I tested the phone in the vivid mode for the most part. The screen on the Realme X7 Max 5G is slightly on the saturated side, especially when compared to phones like the OnePlus 8. Similarly, it also can't get as bright as the OnePlus 8, which will be noticeable while playing HDR videos and under direct sunlight.
Due to the higher refresh rate, the phone does feel much smoother under normal day-to-day operations, which is an advantage over the other phones with either 60Hz or 90Hz refresh rate. However, setting the phone at a 120Hz refresh rate will consume more power, thus, you might get slightly lower battery backup when compared to auto mode or 60Hz mode.
In this case, the most practical thing to do is to set the screen refresh rate to auto mode, which dynamically changes the refresh rate, depending on the content displayed on the phone. However, I did notice a bit of a stutter while opening some apps when the screen refresh rate was in auto mode and I was able to overcome that issue by locking the refresh rate to 120Hz.
It is evident that the AMOLED display on the Realme X7 Max 5G is not as good as the one found on the high-end smartphones from brands like Samsung or OnePlus. However, you can only notice that difference if you held those devices onto your eye level and compared them. Else, the Realme X7 Max 5G does have a great display that is good for regular usage, multimedia consumption, and gaming.
Great Media Consumption Experience
I always prefer phones with AMOLED displays, especially for watching movies and TV shows, as the deeper blacks and vibrant colors just elevate media consumption. For the same reason, the AMOLED display on the Realme X7 Max 5G just works great, for a majority of users, who don't care about color accuracy.
To further elevate the media consumption on the Realme X7 Max 5G, the device also has a stereo speaker setup, where the earpiece acts as a secondary speaker. Though it can't be called a true stereo speaker, as the volume from the secondary speaker is lower than the main speaker, it does offer a good stereo effect when compared to other mid-range smartphones.
The sound output from the Realme X7 Max 5G does get loud with a bit of a bass and the sound doesn't crack even at 100 percent volume. Do note that, the sound quality does depend a lot on the source of the music, and in my testing, I used Amazon music to test these features with music quality set to the highest. Even while playing music from YouTube, I didn't notice any issue.
The Realme X7 Max 5G is also Widevine L1 certified and can playback HD content on platforms like Netflix and Prime Video. However, you won't be able to play the HDR content on Netflix, which is a bummer. So, no matter which OTT platform you use for content consumption, the Realme X7 Max 5G handles everything like a charm.
To top it off, the smartphone has a 3.5mm headphone jack. So, with the Realme X7 Max 5G, you can either use a 3.5mm wired headphone, an USB Type-C headphone, or even a wireless Bluetooth headphone. Do note that, you need to enable OTG connection to use a USB Type-C earphone on the Realme X7 Max 5G.
I tested the Realme X7 Max 5G with all three types of earphones, and I was satisfied with the overall audio output. From a stereo speaker setup with Dolby Atmos support to a 3.5mm headphone jack, the Realme X7 Max has everything that a music enthusiast wants from a modern smartphone.
Realme X7 Max 5G Camera: Gets The Job Done
The Realme X7 Max 5G has a triple camera setup at the back with a 64MP primary sensor, 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, and a 2MP macro lens. At the front, there is a 16MP selfie camera with 1080p video recording capability and it can also be used to unlock the smartphone (which is not as secure as Face ID on iPhones).
The main 64MP camera on the Realme X7 Max 5G is a Sony sensor (IMX682) with an F/1.8 aperture and 26mm focal length. None of the sensors are optically optimized on this device, which means, you won't get stable videos, especially at 4K resolution, as the EIS and ultra steady modes are limited to 1080p.
Also note that you can use both the selfie camera and the main camera at the same time, which is a useful feature for bloggers. At 1080p, the sensor crops the image and offers really stable footage, especially with ultra steady mode turned on. If you have stable hands or even a gimbal, you can also get stable videos at 4K 30/60fps.
Realme X7 Max 64MP Camera Performance
The main 64MP camera can take some really great shots in normal lighting conditions. Look at this picture of a plant with a house on the backdrop. Even in the normal mode, the camera has actually blurred the background while keeping the leaves and the pipes in the focus.
This is another picture of the landscape in JP Nagar Bengaluru, which was also shot in the normal mode on the primary camera. In this picture, we could see the clear blue sky with a good dynamic range. We also took a similar photo on the ultra-wide angle lens, the photo shot on the ultra-wide angle lens lacked both in details and dynamic range when compared to this image.
In this photo, the flower is in the highlight, and the entire background is blurred, which highlights the subjects pretty clearly. Even in this photo, the entire flower is on focus with good edge detection. Overall, the image does look slightly saturated, which is something I personally like.
Here is another picture of a flower, this time a yellow flower, which also showcases a good amount of details, and again, the phone is on point when it comes to edge detection. Overall, the main camera performance is pretty good, especially in the daylight situation.
When it comes to an ultra-wide angle camera, it is an 8MP sensor, capable of recording 1080p video. This camera can also take some good landscape photos, especially in the daylight situation. In this picture, the camera has captured a good amount of details. However, when zoomed in, the image does lose clarity.
The selfie camera also does a great job of capturing detailed images in normal lighting conditions. In this picture, the phone does capture good details. However, in some cases, the background does get over-exposed, which can be fixed by tapping on the background.
Realme X7 Max 5G Performance: Sets A New Benchmark In Its Class
The Realme X7 Max 5G is the smartphone in India to feature MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC. This is the flagship processor from MediaTek based on 6nm fabrication, which is more power-efficient when compared to Snapdragon 865/870 which is based on 7nm fabrication. On top of that, it is also one of the few processors with a 3.0GHz CPU clock speed.
The CPU design follows 1+3+4 architecture. The top high-performance core and the other three powerful cores are based on ARM Cortex-A78, while the four efficient cores with 2GHz clock speed are based on ARM Cortex-A78. The Dimensity 1200 comes with Arm Mali-G77 MC9 GPU, capable of supporting up to 168Hz refresh rate display.
At the time of launch, the company claimed that the Realme X7 Max 5G scored over 7,00,000 points on Antutu. However, we ran the Antutu benchmark (V9) three times and obtained an average score of 6,88,286, which is slightly less than what the company claims. The Realme X7 Max 5G has outperformed both Mi 11x and the iQOO 7 in the Antutu test.
On Geekbench 5 CPU test, the smartphone scored 972 points on single-core CPU performance, while the average multi-core CPU logged is 3269. In comparison, both the iQOO 7 and the Mi 11x have slightly lower single-core CPU scored despite having higher clock speed.
Gaming Performance: Can Handle Any Android Game
We tested popular games like Asphalt 8 and COD: Mobile and I was impressed with the overall gaming experience. On both titles, the smartphone was able to maintain 60fps even with continuous gameplay, and the phone also didn't get that hot even with over 30 hours of gameplay.
On COD: Mobile by default the graphics and framerate are set to high quality and you can also change that to very high quality. Nonetheless, in both settings, I didn't notice any sort of slowdown on the Realme X7 Max 5G. The same goes for the Asphalt 8 as well, the whole gameplay was pretty smooth without any frame drops.
Realme X7 Max 5G Software Experience: RealmeUI Makes The Difference
The Realme X7 Max 5G ships with Android 11 OS with custom RealmeUI 2.0 skin on top. Though I still like something like OxygenOS 11, which offers clutter-free UI with no bloatware or a third-party app. Realme UI 2.0 is based on ColorOS 11, which offers much better UI when compared to MIUI.
On the Realme X7 Max 5G, there are a few third-party apps that you cannot uninstall and I also receive a few third-party notifications, which should have been avoided at least on a phone of this class. Other than that, the whole UI felt smooth, thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate and it also offers a lot of optimization options.
Realme X7 Max 5G Networking And Call Quality
The Realme X7 Max 5G is a 5G capable smartphone and it is also one of the few 5G smartphones available in India with support for over 7 5G bands. Though 5G is still a future thing in India, having more bands does increase the change of this phone supporting the 5G network in the future from almost every network provider.
On top of that, the device does support WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and also offers NFC support, which makes it easy to pair certain wireless accessories like headphones. I used the Realme X7 Max 5G with Jio SIM and the phone was mostly connected to a 5GHz WiFi network, and I didn't face any issues.
Even when it comes to calling quality (both voice and video calls) the Realme X7 Max didn't trouble me and I was able to listen to the opposite party without any issue. The Realme X7 Max is a good smartphone for doing basic tasks like making voice and video calls.
Realme X7 Max 5G Battery Life: All-Day Battery Life
The Realme X7 Max 5G is equipped with a 4500 mAh battery with support for a 50W fast charger included in the retail package. The phone actually comes with a 65W fast charger, which can be used to fast charge Realme, Oppo, and OnePlus smartphones.
On a regular day, the phone did offer me around 6 hours of battery life, where I would use the phone mostly for watching videos, browsing social media, and slight gaming (less than 40 minutes). So, even with mixed usage, the phone can easily last for a day. If you are a heavy user, then there is a chance that you might have to refill the battery by the end of the day.
In case of recharging the battery, the phone does recharge quickly, where, the phone can charge from 0 to 50 percent in just 16 minutes and can fully charge in under 50 minutes. However, the phone does get a bit warm while charging, which is something that I have noticed on other phones with either 30/50/65W of fast charging support.
Verdict: Truly Value-For-Money 5G Smartphone
The Realme X7 Max 5G is a device that might not look pretty from the outside but it is one of the most powerful smartphones that one can get around Rs. 25,000 (after bank discounts). Even if you get the base model, you get 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which should be more than enough for regular usage.
If you overlook the cheap build quality, the smartphone has everything that one might expect from a high-performance smartphone, a fast processor, a vivid display with a higher refresh rate, a medium-sized battery with fast charging, and the latest Android OS.
If you are looking for a smartphone for around Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 30,000, then the Realme X7 Max 5G could be an ideal device. If you feel the build quality is not up to the mark, then, invest in a good case, which should improve the looks and aesthetics of the Realme X7 Max 5G.