Realme XT First Impressions

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Realme really wants to beat Xiaomi at its own game, and part of that strategy is to release lots of phones and variants with overlapping price ranges, giving potential buyers plenty of choice. Realme targets young, tech-savvy buyers who might replace their phones as frequently as twice a year, so it is not shying away from releasing refreshed models every few months. The company now wants to one-up Xiaomi again by being the first in the world to announce a smartphone with a 64-megapixel camera. We have that phone, the Realme XT, with us today for a quick overview.

After the launches of the Realme X₹ 16,999 (Review), Realme 5₹ 9,999 (Review), and Realme 5 Pro (Review) in quick succession, we now have a new family member, the Realme XT. Despite having a 64-megapixel camera to boast about, this model is not being positioned above the Realme X – instead, it shares a lot of features and design elements with the more affordable Realme 5 family.

 

Realme has not yet announced pricing for the Realme XT, but we can expect that this model will slot in between the Realme 5 Pro and Realme X. It does not have the signature pop-up front camera and all-screen design of the more premium offering, but it does have several improvements compared to the lower-end one.

In terms of appearance, this phone is nearly identical to the Realme 5 Pro. It has roughly the same proportions and a front face with a waterdrop notch, plus the same protruding vertical camera module on the rear. However, the Realme XT does step things up a bit with Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and rear, as well as an in-display fingerprint sensor rather than a standard one.

Realme has gone with a shiny, iridescent effect for the rear panel rather than a geometric pattern. The Realme XT will be available in Pearl White and Pearl Blue, both of which are extremely reflective and somewhat prone to smudging. You’ll see multicoloured reflections as you tilt this phone in your hands under the light.

In terms of size and weight, the Realme XT is easy to handle. There’s a smoky translucent case in the box for added grip, if you like. The screen is a 6.4-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED panel which looked bright and crisp enough to us in our limited time with the device.

Realme has gone with iridescent glass rather than the geometric patterns we’re now used to

We do know that the Realme XT uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor as the Realme 5 Pro, and that it will also be available in the same three RAM and storage configurations: 4GB of RAM with 64GB or storage; 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage; and 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. VOOC 3.0 fast charging is the second highlight of this phone, after its camera. The battery capacity is 4000mAh.

Although we don’t know the actual prices yet, we can expect that the price gaps between variants will be similar to how the Realme 5 Pro is priced. With this strategy, buyers will be able to decide between variants of different models at many price points. You could, for instance, choose a lower-end phone with a weaker processor but get much more storage, or you could prioritise looks and convenience instead.

Coming back to the Realme XT itself, we have a USB Type-C port on the bottom along with a 3.5mm audio socket and speaker. There’s a three-slot tray on the left that can hold two Nano-SIMs and a microSD card, right above the volume buttons. The power button is on the right, and has a small highlight for design, and there’s only the secondary microphone on the top.

Our sample unit was running ColorOS 6.0.1 on top of Android 9, with the July 2019 security patch. We do hope that this is updated before the final launch. Interestingly, Realme would not commit to any timeline for updating its phones to Android 10 when asked, saying only that it takes a lot of work. Given how often this company expects users to just buy new phones, we will be keeping an eye on this point.

realme xt camera ndtv realmeThe 64-megapixel camera is joined by an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, a macro camera, and a depth sensor

 

We noticed an “Ultra 64 MP” mode in the camera mode menu, and were able to take a few shots. The amount of detail that can be resolved when zooming in to a 64-megapixel photo is truly impressive, but we’ll save our opinions about photo quality for our final review, keeping in mind that the camera software will be updated by then as well.

The main camera has an f/1.8 aperture and electronic stabilisation. The other three cameras are exactly what you get with the Realme 5 Pro – an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. There’s also a 16-megapixel single front camera.

Overall, we’re left with the very strong feeling that this phone is essentially a “Realme 5 Pro Pro” despite its name and positioning. Realme is risking confusion between all its models and variants, but the customer gets a huge amount of choice. It should be very interesting to see how the contest between this phone and Xiaomi’s now-thoroughly-leaked Redmi Note 8 Pro will turn out.

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