[Face Off] Realme X vs Realme XT: The X-rated wars

Taking a look at Realme’s X-Files!

by: - Last updated on: September 16th, 2019

When Realme launched the Realme XT yesterday, it posed a challenge not only to its competitors but also to one one of its own. At Rs 15,999, the Realme XT was right in the path of the device that launched the X series for Realme barely two months ago, the Realme X, which started at Rs 16,999. Both devices, in best Realme tradition, offer a lot at surprisingly affordable prices. And that, of course, has given everyone in the market for a budget smartphone a right royal headache – which of the two is the better one? Well, you can read our detailed Realme X review and our Realme XT review. But we decided to compare the two devices more directly to sort matters out.

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Appearance: Look, you want classy or glassy?

When it comes to design, both the Realme X and Realme XT are cut from a broadly similar cloth and have a slightly premium feel to them. They also are available in Blue and White, although the X calls them Space Blue and Polar White while the XT calls them Pearl Blue and Pearl White. Both phones have gradient finishes, and the light will make patterns of those backs.

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However, the main difference is that of the material used – the Realme X uses carbonate and the Realme XT uses glass. Which is better? Glass has been shown to be generally more resilient but prone to cracking, while plastic can takes falls more easily. It is really a matter of personal choice. We tend to lean a little towards glass as it is more premium, but let’s face it, most of us will slap a case on it anyway. And in our opinion, in terms of sheer appearance, the X does look just a little more premium.

Winner: Realme X (so close though)

Dimensions: If size does matter

The Realme X is a significantly bigger phone that the XT in all regards, partly because it has a larger display. It is 161.2 mm long as compared to 158.7 mm of the XT, 76 mm wide as against 75.2 mm and 9.4 mm thick as against a much more svelte 8.6 mm. Surprisingly, though the difference in weight between the two phones is not quite as significant – 191 grams of the X against 183 grams of the XT. Interestingly, the X has also a better hand feel to it, perhaps because of its more curve-y finish. But in terms of sheer compactness and ease of fitting into hands and pockets, the XT is a clear winner.

Winner: Realme XT (fewer mms and grams)

Displays: Which AMOLED is a notch above

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Both phones come with AMOLED displays of HD+ (2340 x 1080) resolution, but there is a difference in size. The X has a slightly larger display at 6.53 inches as compared to the 6.4-inch one on the XT. Both seem to have similar brightness levels but we felt that the X handled colors slightly better. Statistics indicate that thanks to its smaller size, the XT’s display has a higher pixel density (402 to 394 PPI) and rather interestingly, also slimmer bezels giving it a slighter higher screen-to-body ratio (91.9 percent to 91.2 percent). However, what makes the X’s display a notch better (literally) is the fact the XT’s display comes with a notch, while the X’s does not. Now, logic dictates that the display with a higher screen to body ratio should look more immersive, but in this case, the X edges out the XT. It is a close call, though.

Winner: Realme X (just notched it)

Two Dragons Snap at each other

Moving on to the innards, both devices run on Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. But there is a gap between them – the X is powered by the older Snapdragon 710 processor while the XT has its successor, the Snapdragon 712. The difference between the two might not be apparent at first glance, but make no mistake, the 712 has a clear edge in terms of general and gaming performance over the 710. And that gives the XT the chip plate!

Winner: Realme XT (chipped it)

Memory: Matters of RAM and storage

It gets very interesting here. The Realme X comes with fixed 128 GB storage and 4 GB and 8 GB RAM variants. The storage, however, is not expandable. We think the Realme XT has a clear edge here – not only does it have three RAM and storage variants – 4 GB/ 64 GB, 6 GB / 64 GB and 8 GB / 128 GB, but what’s more, it comes with a dedicated microSD card slot, allowing you to add another 256 GB of storage. Only one winner here.

Winner: Realme XT (expandability counts)

Cameras, part one: Shoot with two or four cameras?

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This encounter has a tendency to turn statistics on their head. It happened with the display to body ratio and pixel density. And it happens in the camera section as well. On paper, the Realme XT should slaughter the Realme X, as it has four rear cameras as compared to two on the X. Its main sensor is 64 megapixels, while the X has a 48 megapixel one. Then there are those additional cameras. The XT brings an additional 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 5-megapixel portrait lens and a 2-megapixel macro lens to the camera wars, while the X has only a 5-megapixel depth sensor (similar to the portrait lens on the XT). Seems like a cakewalk for the XT, right?

Well, it isn’t.

We found that the Sony IMX586 sensor on the Realme X pretty much held its own against the Samsung GW1 sensor on the Realme XT. The extra megapixels did sometimes make a difference, but not always. The XT does offer more variety in shooting thanks to those wide-angle and macro lenses, although their lower megapixel count meant a slight compromise on details, but in terms of sheer image quality, we actually felt that the X was as good an option as the XT. Those wanting extra cameras will prefer the XT, but if you are just looking to point and shoot, the X might actually be a slightly better option. We are calling this one a tie, and frankly, even we are surprised at this!

Winner: Tie

Cameras, part two: Notch it or pop up?

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Do you like your selfie camera in a notch on the display or a pop-up unit behind it? Believe us, that is going to determine which selfie camera you prefer. For both are similar otherwise – a 16 megapixel Sony IMX 471 sensor. They also deliver rather similar results and insist on touching up your appearance even if you have turned off beauty modes. As we said, it is a matter of preference, but we think the in-notch camera works just a little faster and is less obtrusive – you don’t get distracted by something shooting up every time you switch to selfie mode or use face unlock. The notch itself does get in the way of the viewing experience otherwise but when it comes to sheer photography, it certainly seems a better option.

Winner: Realme XT (hah, that notch has its benefits too)

Gaming: Framed by rates, or not?

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When it comes to most casual games, the difference between the two phones is not particularly noticeable. But get into that PUBG and Asphalt zone, and you will see the Realme XT pull ahead ever so slightly, we suspect thanks to its Snapdragon 712 chip. No, neither of the chips are likely to play these games at maxed-out settings without lags, but the XT just seems to have fewer lags and seems to get things underway just that bit faster. If you are into heavy-duty gaming, there is just one winner here really.

Winner: Realme XT

General performance: Business…and life…as usual

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Get them into the general zone and both phones are pretty much neck and neck. We did not see a discernible difference in performance when it came to multi-tasking, or opening several browser tabs, handling social networks, messaging and so on. Both phones come with AMOLED displays, so watching films and videos on them is a treat. However, the slightly bigger display of the Realme X does give it the viewing edge. Its speaker also sounded just a little louder. However, the Realme XT is not too far behind in that department. And we actually felt that the XT sounded slightly better on earphones. Both phones have in-display fingerprint scanners, but we felt the XT was marginally faster, just as its face unlock was. It is really going to depend on how much you value that extra display real estate. We are calling this one a tie.

Winner: Tie (tied normally)

Battery life: Making mAh count

The Realme XT might be lighter than its X sibling, but it packs in a larger battery – 4000 mAh against 3765 mAh. And that difference does come to the fore. One of our few complaints about the Realme X was that its battery life was not exactly the greatest (its larger display does not help its cause) and needed a little care to see out a day. The Realme XT, however, pretty much goes past a day very easily. Both batteries come with VOOC flash charge 3.0 support and 20W chargers in the box. So they do get charged faster – the X slightly faster thanks to its lower capacity. We are giving this to the XT – those extra hours of performance outweigh the minutes saved in charging.

Winner: Realme XT (mAh matters, dude)

Software: Color-ed Pie

This is a tie from the very outset. Both phones run Color OS 6, customized for Realme, on top of Android Pie. Not much to choose from here. The camera app of the XT has a few more options, which is not surprising, given it has more cameras to control. In software terms, however, this is all square.

Winner: Tie (Same Color, really)

Price: For a thousand rupees more…or less

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It gets crazy tight here. On the surface, the Realme X might seem a little more expensive with a starting price of Rs 16,999 for its 4 GB/ 128 GB edition, as against the starting price of Rs 15,999 for the XT. But then, the XT’s base version is a 4 GB/ 64 GB one, which is half the storage. However, the XT really gets one over the X in the 8 GB/ 128 edition, where at Rs 18,999, it is Rs 1,000 cheaper than the X’s variant. The XT also has a 6 GB/ 64 GB variant at Rs 16,999 (the starting price of the Realme X, although you get more storage at that point). The XT wins this one, especially at the higher variant end.

Winner: Realme XT (fewer bucks for that bang)

Final verdict: Which Really is for me?

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So which of the two is the one for you? As always, it depends on what you consider important. Realme itself says that it considers the X to be a slightly more “premium” offering and we do think it scores in the looks department (although not by much), and has a pop-up camera as well. However, if you are looking in pure performance terms, there is no doubting that the XT edges out its sibling, thanks to a better processor, expandable memory and better battery life. Its lower price tag is the perfect icing on the cake. Interestingly, the much-hyped 64-megapixel camera does not make the sort of difference we expected it to make. Those with a Realme X have no real reason to feel left out unless they are gaming frame rate counters. Indeed, our own team is split between the two devices, with some simply liking the feel of the X. Bring it down to performance, however, and the XT pulls ahead.

(Akriti Rana contributed to this article)

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