The Redmi Note 8 Pro. The Realme X2.

One is perhaps the bestselling phone in the country. And the other is its latest challenger. Both are fighting on the classic mid-segment equation – impressive specs at a surprisingly affordable design. And they both come from brands that are absolute masters of that equation. Both offer good processors, 64-megapixel camera setups, big batteries with brisk charging, and large full HD+ notched displays. And neither costs a bomb. Actually, if you have got a budget of about Rs 15,000, you should be looking at one of these two.

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But which one should you be going for? Well, let’s see, shall we?

Realme X2 vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Two shades of glassy green to choose between

Both phones stick to the recent design trend of having glass on the front and the back. And the review units we received were by some coincidence, green in both cases. But there the similarities end. The Realme X2’s green is a lighter shade, while the Redmi Note 8 Pro’s is slightly deeper. The X2’s back is more flashy, while the Note’s is in our opinion a little more subtly classy. They are both Gorilla Glass 5. The Note is also slightly larger and heavier than the Realme X2 – it is 161.7 mm tall as against 158.7, and weighs 200 grams as compared to 182 grams. But then it does have a larger display in front.

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That said, the back of the Realme X2 is smoother, as its fingerprint scanner is below the display, while the Note has it on the back on its slightly protruding camera unit. Realme has also kept a golden power/display button, which adds a touch of bling to the device. On the other hand, the Note has p2i dust and water resistance. Which of the two you prefer is really going to be a matter of individual choice. We are inclined slightly towards the Note – that dust and water resistance does tend to add some substance to its very subtle style. That said, the flash crowd will prefer the Realme X2.

Winner: Redmi Note 8 Pro.

Realme X2 vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Display matters to see, AMOLED or LCD

Perhaps the most visible hardware difference between the two devices is in terms of display. B9th displays come with tiny drop notches and are full HD+. The Note has a larger 6.53-inch display as compared to the 6.4-inch on the X2, but the X2 has a Super AMOLED display while the Note has an LCD one. This means that the X2 has the capacity to deliver more punchy colors and what people love to call “rich blacks.” This wins it for the X2.

Winner: Realme X2

Redmi Note 8 Pro vs Realme X2: A Qualcomm and a MediaTek Chip, so who gives the other the pip?

If the display is the most visible difference between the two devices, their processors are the most prominent “invisible” ones. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is powered by a MediaTek Helio 90 GT processor, while the Realme X2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G. Both are octa-core processors, and both claim to pack a lot of punch. A few months ago, the Qualcomm 730G was the undisputed leader in the upper mid-segment processor section, but the Helio 90GT has been picking up rave reviews and indeed even been besting the 730G in some graphics benchmarks, although the 730G is supposed to be better at power management. We are calling this one a tie – those who prefer gaming should perhaps go for the Note, those who want better power management should opt for the X2.

Winner: Tie

Realme X2 vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Storage matters and RAM done right, but which has got more byte?

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When it comes to storage and RAM both phones are rather well-endowed. The Note has 6 GB/ 64 GB, 6 GB / 128 GB and 8 GB / 128 GB RAM and storage variants, while the X2 has 4 GB/ 64 GB, 6 GB/ 128 HN and 8 GB/ 128 GB variants. The Note has a clear advantage here, having a minimum of 6 GB RAM in its variants, and it also comes with a separate slot for a microSD card, which expands the memory by 512 GB, whereas the X2 has a memory card slot in the SIM card tray and supports up to 256 GB storage. A win for the Note here.

Winner: Redmi Note 8 Pro

Realme X2 vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Cameras with megapixels galore, but which one does really score?

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Both the Note and the X2 come with quad-camera arrangements at the back and are broadly similar: a 64 megapixel main Samsung GW1 sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. However, they deliver rather different performances. Both are superb performers in good light conditions, but we think the Note delivers more realistic colors while the X2 tends to increase saturation levels a little. However, we can see some people preferring snaps by the X2 as they look more vibrant and pleasant, although purists might like the Redmi’s pictures more.

In low light conditions, we found the X2 doing slightly better, although once again it seemed to brighten up colors in a slightly unnatural manner. However, the Note scored in close-ups and macros, especially the latter, with much better detail. Ultrawide snaps on both broadly match each other as do the videos (we think the Note handles sound slightly better, but the X2 seems a bit more stable). However, what wins this round for the Note in our book is its far easier to use the camera app – the X2’s makes you go to a menu and scroll through shooting options. Mind you, we think people might differ with us on this – especially those who love their bright browns, blues, pinks, and greens.

Winner: Redmi Note 8 Pro

Realme X2 vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: With which to surf the selfie tidal, shoot yourself and not be suicidal!

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Both the Note and the X2 come with very good selfie cameras. The Note has a 20-megapixel selfie snapper, while the X2 has a 32 megapixel one. And well, in this case, the megapixels do seem to make a difference – the X2 takes better snaps in terms of detail and color. It is a close-run thing, though, as the Note also took very good pictures, and actually seemed to handle portrait mode a little better. But all said and done, we are voting for the X2 here.

Winner: Realme X2

Redmi Note 8 Pro vs Realme X2: Moving on to the gaming score, which phone does actually more?

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When it comes to gaming, both phones belong to the upper mid-segment level. And no matter what the benchmarks say, we found the difference in performance to be not especially remarkable. Both phones can play heavy-duty games like PUBG, Call of Duty and the Asphalt series without too much trouble, although there is the occasional lag from time to time. Neither phone seemed to heat up too much either. The Note’s slightly larger display and marginally better sound quality might appeal to some, but on the flip side, things look so much more vibrant on the AMOLED display of the X2. Overall, we are calling this a tie. It is, however, sensible to mention that while there is no difference at the top end, the fact that the Note has more RAM (6 GB as compared to 4 GB) in its lowest specced variant as compared to the X2 is likely to have an impact on performance.

Winner: Tie

Realme X2 vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Software’s a slice of Pie, but which is the better UI?

Both the X2 and the Note 8 Pro run on Android 9 or Pie. However, there the similarity between them ends, as each comes with a different interface (or “skin”). While the X2 has Color OS 6.1, the Note comes with MIUI 10. Which of the two is better is a matter of preference, although we align more strongly towards MIUI (notwithstanding its accompanying ads, which can incidentally be turned off), which tends to work more smoothly and has more useful features as well as a better overall update record. Speaking of which, both phones are set to get updates to their UI – the X2 to Color OS 7.1, the Note 8 Pro to MIUI 11 – and the Note is likely to get it earlier (in fact, some users have already got it). This round is for the Note then.

Winner: Redmi Note 8 Pro

Realme X2 vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Forget the spec flattery, which has the better battery?

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In terms of battery, you would have thought that the Note would have a clear edge, with a 4500 mAh battery as against the 4000 mAh one on the X2. However, in terms of battery life, both phones end up at almost the same point – you will get through a day easily, and more if you are careful. Perhaps the bigger display of the Note nullifies that extra capacity, or maybe this is Qualcomm’s famed battery management wizardry at work. In terms of charging, both phones come with support for fast charging over their USB Type C ports, but the X2 has a clear edge with its 30 W VOOC charge which is significantly faster than that the 18 W charger that comes with the Note (although the latter has to charge a bigger battery). This one goes to the Realme, easily.

Winner: Realme X2

Realme X2 vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: In general day to day ops, which one comes out tops?

They are both reasonably snappy in gaming and game at snapping. And when it comes to general tasks like social networking, messaging, multitasking and the like, both phones are very smooth operators. We could honestly not spot a discernible difference in the user experience. The in-display fingerprint scanner of the X2 seems more stylish but truth be told, the Note’s old-fashioned scanner is much faster. And while colors look a little peppier on the AMOLED display of the X2, but then some might prefer the slightly larger display of the Note for viewing content, especially images and graphics. Call quality and sound seemed marginally better on the loudspeaker of the Note, but on headphones (both phones have 3.5 mm audio jacks), we felt the X2 had a slight edge. Yes, the base variant of the Note should technically get a bit of a boost from the extra RAM it carries, but across other variants, we think both phones are equally matched.

Winner: Tie

Redmi Note 8 Pro vs Realme X2: Time to roll the final dice, which one has the better price?

In terms of sheer pricing, the Redmi Note 8 Pro has a clear edge over the Realme X2. The Note starts at Rs 14,999 for its 6 GB/ 64 GB base variant, while the X2 starts at Rs 16,999 for its own base variant, which is a 4 GB/ 64 GB one. The 6 GB / 128 GB version of the Note is priced at Rs 15,999, while that of the X2 is at Rs 18,999. Finally, the 8 GB/ 128 GB version of the Note comes for Rs 17,999, while the same variant of the X2 will set you back by Rs 19,999. In short, the highest variant of the Redmi Note 8 Pro is priced a mere Rs 1,000 more than the base variant of the X2. If money is in short supply, there is only one winner here, for those who really do not want to be left in the red (all puns intended, sorry!).

Winner: Redmi Note 8 Pro

Realme X2 vs Redmi Note 8 Pro: Get Real, or go Red? To Note, or go eXTra? Me? Mi?

Which brings us to the final decision: which of the two devices to go for. A simple look at numbers shows that the Note 8 Pro wins on five parameters, the X2 on three and three are tied. But those are just numbers. That really depends on what you consider to be important.

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Well, if budget is a constraint then the answer is an out and out no brainer (as the pricing round revealed) – the base model of the Redmi Note 8 Pro is on paper a stronger player than the base model of the Realme X2 and comes with a lower price tag as well. However, bring the willingness to extend the budget into the equation and things get very interesting. The Realme X2 scores on two parameters that most consumers consider very important. – display and battery – and loses out very narrowly on cameras (mainly because of a slightly clunky interface rather than actual performance). It also matches the Note on the processor, gaming and routine performance.

Indeed, if the hardware is the main parameter, then we can see people being swayed by the Realme’s AMOLED display, in-display fingerprint scanner and Qualcomm processor (MediaTek chips are still viewed with some suspicion in many quarters). And yes, the camera and design battle between the two phones is so close that it will not surprise us to see people opting for the X2’s pictures and design.

Which shows you just how close the battle between these two is. If we had to pick one and only one of these two, the Redmi Note 8 Pro’s price edge would clinch it for us. We can get its top-end variant for a price (Rs 17,999) that is lower than even the mid-variant of the X2 (Rs 18,999), which given the closeness of the performance and hardware and the Note’s clear software edge, win the battle for it.

But it is close. Real-ly close. Pun intended.

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