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Realme XT Review: Excellent All-Round Performance At Dirt Cheap Price
Smartphone cameras have become remarkably good. The giant leap from 0.11MP to 64MP resolution in less than two decades is no less than an accomplishment. Today, you don't need to spend a fortune on a dedicated camera to capture professional-looking photographs. Smartphone cameras are more than enough to help you step up your photography game. One such smartphone is Realme XT which brings the worlds' first 64MP mobile camera to the Indian users.
- Excellent Value For Money Deal
- Good Camera Performance
- Long-lasting Battery Life
- Dedicated microSD card, On-Screen Fingerprint Scanner
- Fast Processing And Smooth Gaming Performance
- Impressive Audio Performance
- Low-light Camera Performance Could Use Some Improvements
- No EIS At 4K 30fps
Realme XT price in India starts at Rs. 15,999 for the base model that offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The 6GB + 64GB and 8GB + 128GB variants are priced at Rs. 16,999 and Rs. 18,999, respectively. The first sale of the Realme XT will start on September 16, 12 noon on Flipkart.com and Realme.com. This is such as aggressive pricing for a smartphone that brings so much value to the table.
Needless to say, this our first encounter with a 64MP mobile camera setup and we couldn't wait to share the results with you. We are going to discuss in detail about the Realme XT in the following review. The review will showcase 64MP camera samples, benchmark tests run on the Realme XT, battery life tests and other important features of the company's new smartphone.
The 64MP Camera Sensor
Let's start with the highlight feature of the smartphone- the 64MP sensor. It is the main sensor in the 4-lens camera setup placed at the back panel of the Realme XT. The primary camera is based on the newly developed 64MP Samsung GW1 sensor which is going to lead the market for the first two quarters of the year 2020.
It works on a 1/1.7-inch sensor to produce pixels of 1.6-micron size. Like the 48MP sensor, the 64MP camera also uses tetracell technology (A type of pixel-binning process) that combines four neighbouring pixels to form a bigger pixel for better light intake.
64MP Shots Vs Standard Camera Shots
Theoretically, it should result in brighter images. In real-life, the difference is only noticeable when you crop the image to 100% and compare it with 16MP pixel-binned shots. It is only then you can experience that the 64MP shots offer better details (even better than the 48MP pictures) and show better color depth and contrast levels. The 64MP shots have better clarity and allow you to zoom in more into a shot to carve out specific elements in the frame.
If you are someone who use mobile shots to take out prints, the 64MP will come quite handy. For regular day-to-day use, the 16MP shots get the job done. As compared to the Realme 5 Pro, the images shot on Realme XT look sharper and show better contrast.
Red Tint In Pictures Shot On 64MP Sensor
Some shots captured on the 64MP sensor show a red tint. The 16MP pixel-binned images also have that same red color layer; however, it's less significant. A possible explanation can be the longer shutter speed in the 64MP mode. The extra light intake in 64MP mode might be creating that red tint. It seems that the sensors are not calibrated properly or the camera algorithm needs some fine-tuning. The company can improve address such issues via some software updates.
Is 64MP Any Good?
Overall, the 64MP sensor will come handy to photographers who spend a lot of time in landscapes and street photography. The images are sharp and the sensor captures good dynamic range. You can crop the desired elements in the frame without much loss in details. In regular scenarios, the 64MP sensor makes very less sense. For instance, if your whole purpose of taking pictures is to post them on social media platforms, the 16MP pixel-binned shots are more than enough for most of the use cases.
Macro Shots On Realme XT
Like the recently launched Realme 5 series, the Realme XT also offers a dedicated macro lens. It is a 2MP sensor working on the f/2.4 aperture. The not so bright lens works well in ample lighting but fails to impress in low-light. Color accuracy is also not at the point. However, the fact that it allows you to capture decent macros on a mid-range smartphone is a noteworthy feature.
For wide-angle shots, Realme XT uses an 8MP 119° wide-angle sensor. The sensor works on f/2.25 aperture value and produces good wide-angle shots. For the price-point, the Realme XT serves well for landscape photography where a wide-angle lens adds a new perspective to your photography. But lens distorting can be seen and the wide-angle lens also demands a good light to capture good images.
Samsung's Galaxy A50s also brings a wide-angle lens that can capture 123-degree field-of-view. We will soon compare results on both the smartphones to find out which handset offers better wide-angle shots.
Realme XT uses the similar 2MP depth-sensor that we have recently tested on the Realme 5 Pro and produces similar results. Like the macro lens, the 2MP depth-sensor also works on f/2.4 aperture and demands good light intake to create a pleasing bokeh effect. In daylight, portraits shot on the Realme XT look brilliant. The bokeh effect looks good and the colors look natural. Some inconsistencies in the blur effect can be seen but overall, the daylight portraits still manage to impress.
Portraits shot in low-light and indoors suffer from noise. The lens' inefficiency to take in more light hampers the overall image output. The blur effect looks inconsistent and details also get soft. Realme X still offers much better in portrait photography than the Realme XT and Realme 5 Pro.
Realme XT can capture crisp 4K videos. The video output is good but the lack of hardware-driven stabilization and EIS in 4K 30fps mode makes the footage quite shaky. On the other hand, 1080p videos are EIS-stabilized and show much better results. The EIS-stabilized 1080p video output shot in daylight show lively colors, good dynamic range and crisp details. The time-lapse and slow-motion videos look good.
Realme XT features a dedicated Night-mode that captures 12MP shots. The night mode essentially captures multiple frames at different exposure levels and then superimposes them for one final image. Resultant, the ISO levels spike to offer a brighter image. The results are decent but not strikingly good.
The high ISO levels tend to bring more noise in the images. If there's some illumination in the frame, shots turn out good. The results are even comparable to some flagship smartphones.
Last but not least, the HDR shots and images captured with Chroma Boost mode enabled looked quite vibrant but slightly unnatural. You can disable the Chroma boost mode to capture natural-looking shots on the Realme XT.
Realme XT Selfie Camera Performance
Realme XT sports a 16MP selfie camera. The front-facing camera works on Sony IMX471 sensor. The camera captures crisp selfies and show natural skin color tones. The front camera can also record 1080p videos and capture software-driven bokeh shots. The camera app also offers all customary and trending features to enhance the image output.
Design- New Gradient Finishes With Gorilla Glass On Both Front And Back
Realme XT is the first handset in the company's portfolio to feature a glass-back design. The company has used the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection to protect the rear panel. The design looks and feels quite premium; however, the Realme X still comes out as the best-looking handset in the company's product line-up even though it offers a polycarbonate design.
Realme XT feels ergonomic in hands; however, it is not a perfect one-hand fit due to its big 6.4" screen. The curved edges and rounded corners help to some extent to operate the device with one hand. Unlike the company's previous devices that offered diamond patterns, Realme XT comes in two new glossy gradient finishes- Pearl White and Pearl Blue.
And while there's a significant camera bump, the glass back panel looks quite minimal. It is a fingerprint magnet though and we would recommend using the device with the bundled silicon case.
The button placement is quite functional. The right side has the power button and the volume rockers are placed on the left edge. The triple-slot SIM card tray is also positioned on the left side. The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed at the bottom along with a microphone, Type-C port and a single speaker unit. The top of the handset only houses one microphone.
6.4” Full HD+ Super AMOLED Display With Dewdrop Notch
Realme XT sports a 6.4" Full HD+ Super AMOLED screen. A dewdrop notch sits at the top in the centre of the screen. The Super AMOLED screen offers a resolution of 1080x2340 pixels and looks crisp and vivid; however, the sunlight visibility is not very good. The screen feels quite reflective while using the phone outdoors.
Contrary to the Realme XT's AMOLED display, the Moto One Action's IPS LCD panel offers better sunlight visibility and the Galaxy A50s AMOLED panel offers deeper blacks. The display on the Realme XT is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The in-screen fingerprint scanner on the Realme XT is snappy and consistent, unlike the Xiaomi Mi A3's in-screen fingerprint scanner which is sluggish and often failed to recognize the stored fingerprint.
Realme XT- Hardware Performance
Realme XT is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor, which also supplies power to the Realme 5 Pro and the Vivo Z1 Pro. Like the SD710, the latest Snapdragon 712 chipset also uses the older Kryo 360 cores but is aided by a snappier Adreno 616 GPU, which offers better graphical performance. As a result, the Realme XT performs well with graphically intensive games like PUBG, Real Racing 3, Asphalt 9, etc.
The smartphone also feels blazingly fast while performing everyday tasks. The multitasking is lag-free and we also did not encounter any performance lags while using the handset in our review duration. The single down-firing speaker on the Realme XT produces loud and clear audio. It is by far the best sounding speaker in this price-point.
Realme XT is available in three configurations- 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage; 6GB of RAM paired with 64GB of storage; and the flagship variant with 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage.
Realme XT- Benchmark Tests
We also ran some benchmarks to test the SD712's performance. The chipset scored 1,21,804 in Antutu. It touched 2,067 in 3D Mark slingshot extreme- Open GL and scored 1,981 in slingshot extreme-Vulkan test. The PC mark test failed to run on the Realme XT and the smartphone scored 1,009 in the Geekbench's single-core test. The SD712 touched 4,517 in the Geekbench's multi-core test.
Realme XT- Software Performance
Realme XT runs on ColorOS 6.0.1 based on Android Pie. I have used the handset for over 10 days as my primary phone and did not for once face any issues. There were no app crashes and the user interface is smooth and free of stutters. The ColorOS 6.0.1 might not come across as intuitive as stock Android; however, it is visually appealing and performs even better than MIUI in terms of speed and performance.
The ColorOS 6.0.1 is free of any unwanted advertisements and brings some useful features. These include a thoughtful Driving mode (Riding mode for motorbikes), Smart Slider, smooth gestures, Intelligent power saver battery mode, App Clone feature, game assistant, etc. The OPPO's custom skin also offers a powerful Theme engine to help you change the look and feel of the handset.
Battery Life, Audio And Connectivity
Realme XT is powered by a 4,000mAh battery cell and also gets the VOOC 3.0 fast charging. The handset managed to last for more than 36 hours even with heavy usage. The fast-charging is also very effective and quickly refuels the battery life of the device.
Realme XT can easily last for one day if you play games on a stretch and stream videos on loop. If you are a moderate user, the smartphone will last you a day and a half. Realme XT ships with a 20W fast-charger in the box. The fast-charger is quite effective and recharges the battery from zero to 100% in almost one hour.
For connectivity, Realme XT offers a dedicated microSD card slot, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, Hotspot, GPS, Dual 4G VoLTE connectivity and GLONASS. During the review duration, I didn't face any call-related issues on the smartphone. I used the Realme XT with Airtel 4G network in Delhi NCR.
Realme XT is an excellent mid-range smartphone. The starting price of Rs. 15,999 is just unbeatable. The smartphone brings an all-round performance and latest innovations to a budget-friendly price-point. The world's first 64MP mobile camera sensor is more than just a gimmick if you love to take big prints of your mobile shots. The massive sensor offers better details than the 48MP cameras; however, if you are only going to post such pictures on social media platforms, the 64MP sensor won't come very handy.
The daylight camera performance on this handset is super impressive. Portraits look brilliant and wide-angle lens also adds a new perspective to your photography. However, all three extra lenses (Portrait, wide-angle and macro) could use some improvements in the low-light conditions. The night mode works well though and can capture some well-lit shots.
Realme XT feels blazing fast. The handset can address all regular and power-intensive tasks without any performance slowdowns. The vivid AMOLED display works well for gameplay and video playback. The in-screen fingerprint scanner is also snappy and the handset also offers best-in-class audio delivery. The battery lasts long and you also get good audio and no-compromise connectivity features.
Overall, Realme XT is a great all-rounder mid-range smartphone at a very reasonable price. It is going to give Xiaomi, Samsung, Lenovo, Nokia, Motorola, etc. a tough time to sell their smartphones in the sub Rs. 20K price-bracket.