It is the first major phone fight of the year. And it is quite a feisty one. It involves the Poco X2 which represents Poco’s comeback into the Indian market as an independent brand, and the Realme X2, which comes from the brand that consolidated its presence in India over the past year or so. Realme’s confrontations with Poco’s parent, Xiaomi, are very well known. Both phones share a lot in common, from large displays to similar processors to quad-camera arrangements. And both offer staggeringly good value for money for anyone looking for a phone that is on the upper tiers of the mid-segment. But which of these X2 devices is the one for you? Let us find out.

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Poco X2 vs Realme X2 Design – Poco’s got the looks

In terms of sheer design, we have to hand it to the Poco X2. Yes, both phones have a glass front and back with gradient finishes, but there the similarity ends. We had stated that one of the weak points of the Realme X2 was its slightly predictable design and that is what makes it finish second to the Poco. Yes, the Poco X2 is a bigger and heavier phone, but its punch hole notch in front looks smarter than the drop notch on the Realme, and when it comes to the back, the circle with the different texture around the squad camera set up will turn more heads than the more predictable quad-camera unit on the Realme device. Yes, the Realme X2’s in-display fingerprint scanner is fancy, but we also liked the textured fingerprint scanner-cum-home/display button on the Poco, which is so different from the routine. Finally, the Poco X2 also comes with P2i splash resistance, something that the Realme phone lacks totally.

Winner: Poco X2

Poco X2 vs Realme X2 Display – Refresh rates or AMOLED

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In display matters, the battle between the two devices is a very close one. For, while the Realme X2 comes with a 6.4 inch Super AMOLED FHD+ display, the Poco brings a 6.67-inch full HD+ LCD display to the battle. However, that LCD display comes with a 120 Hz refresh rate, making it unique in its price segment. So, which one should you be going for? Well, in terms of sheer tech appeal, the Poco X2’s refresh rate makes it very special (even the OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T series had a lower refresh rate – 90 Hz), but we think that Realme’s display simply looks better, thanks to the more peppy colors that accompany AMOLED (although they are not as spectacular as those seen on Samsung devices). We are picking the Realme X2 for this one, although it is an incredibly close call and things could have been so different if the higher refresh rate made a very significant difference.

Winner: Realme X2

Poco X2 vs Realme X2 Specs – Similar Dragons, but with memory-able differences

When it comes to processor power, both phones come with the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G, which everyone considers to be among the best mid-level chips out there, and just a notch below the Snapdragon 845 (which powered most of the 2018 flagships!). But whereas the Realme starts with 4 GB / 64 GB, 6 GB/ 128 GB and 8 GB / 128 GB RAM and storage options, the Poco starts with a 6 GB/ 64 GB option, and also has 6 GB/ 128 GB and 8 GB/ 256 GB options. Both phones have expandable memories, but the Poco X2 can accommodate up to 512 GB, while the Realme stops at 256 GB. Yes, the Realme has a dedicated memory card slot while the Poco makes you give up one of the dual SIM slots for extra storage, but all said and done, the higher storage and RAM options give the Poco X2 the edge here. It is a close call again, though.

Winner: Poco X2

Poco X2 vs Realme X2 Cameras – the quad camera battle

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Which brings us to the cameras. Both devices come with quad-camera arrangements on the back. And in statistical terms, they seem similar – a 64-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultrawide sensor, a 2-megapixel depth sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. But the similarity ends there, for while the Realme X2 comes with a Samsung GW1 main sensor, the Poco is the first phone in the Indian market to come with a Sony IMX686 64-megapixel sensor. And the difference is noticeable. We found much better detail and colors on the Poco X2’s camera, which we think is among the best in its segment. It also was a less noisy performer in low light conditions. This is not to say that the Realme camera was bad – it was very good, in fact, but it just is a clear level below the Poco snapper. The Poco also won the macro snapper round (with much better detail), although both phones tied in terms of ultra-wide shots and portrait (bokeh) shots. Video also seemed better on the Poco X2. That Sony sensor is clearly making a difference.

Winner: Poco X2

Poco X2 vs Realme X2 – single against dual selfie snappers

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When it comes to selfies, the Realme X2 seems to have the megapixels going in its favor with a 32-megapixel snapper, as compared to the 20-megapixel main sensor on the Poco X2. However, the Poco X2 also has a second depth-sensing camera in front. Does it make a difference? Well, truth be told, we did seem to get better colors once again on the Poco X2, although some find the Realme’s output to be a bit more realistic (pun unintended). We also felt that the Poco handled glare a little better and had lesser noise. It is a close finish, but it is another win for the Poco here.

Winner: Poco X2

Poco X2 vs Realme X2 Gaming – Bring on the fun and games

When it comes to gaming and watching films, the two phones are neck and neck with each other, although the base Poco model should slightly outgun the base Realme one (thanks to the extra RAM we mentioned earlier). The larger display and faster refresh rates of the Poco X2 do seem to make a slight difference at the higher end in games like PUBG, Call of Duty and the Asphalt series, although the difference is not majorly discernible. Similarly, we think those who like binge-watching might appreciate the slightly larger display of the Poco and also its better sound on the loudspeaker. Honestly, we really think it boils down to display size and slightly better specs on refresh rates and RAM. And there, the Poco has an edge.

Winner: Poco X2

Poco X2 vs Realme X2 Software – Can U (and) I talk of software?

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Which brings us to the rather big matter of software and interface. And here there’s a very clear winner – and it is again the Poco. The Poco X2 comes with Android 10 with the Poco experience running on top of Xiaomi’s MIUI 11, while the Realme X2 comes with Realme’s take of ColorOS 6.1 on top of Android 9. We have stated time and again how Xiaomi’s Android interface is one of the better ones on Android, and while the Realme UI also has its share of features, we must confess that we found the Poco more intuitive to use, and minus even those ads that make MIUI a bit of a pain for some on Redmi and Xiaomi phones. This is a no-brainer, really. The Poco wins.

Winner: Poco X2

Poco X2 vs Realme X2 – Fingerprint scan on the side or under the display

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One of the biggest points of distinction between the two devices is the placement of the fingerprint scanner. While the Realme X2 places it below the display, its Poco namesake has it on the side, making it the first phone in quite a while to place it at that location (most tend to place it either below the display or on the back). Which works better? Well, you get used to both but blame it perhaps on our chunky fingers or lack of familiarity, but we just seemed to get better results from the Realme. The under-display fingerprint scanner on the Realme was a little slower than the one on the side of the Poco, but it just seemed more reliable, as we sometimes could not unlock the Poco with a single touch. This could change with time, but at the time of writing, we prefer the Realme X2.

Winner: Realme X2

Poco X2 vs Realme X2 battery – Them battery battles

Remember what happened in the selfie contest, when the Realme had the megapixels but the Poco trumped it in terms of performance? Well, the same happens to an extent in the battery department. The Poco has the numbers with a larger 4500 mAh battery as compared to the 4000 mAh one on the Realme, and both come with fast charging options – the Poco has a 27W charger in the box, the Realme a 30W one. Both phones get charged totally in slightly more than an hour. But when it comes to battery consumption, the Poco’s larger display and screen refresh rates take a heavy toll on its battery. The net result is that if you are going to keep the refresh rate at 120 Hz (you can keep it at 60 Hz too, but that sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?), the Poco X2 will just about see out a day of normal use, while the X2 will comfortably go beyond that point (we even got close to two days when we were careful with it). The Realme wins this one.

Winner: Realme X2

Poco X2 vs Realme X2 – General operations

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Take aside the specialized tasks and how do the two phones perform? Well, they are both smooth performers as long as you do not go crazy overboard in heavy-duty gaming. We felt that the Poco handled calls slightly better, but the difference was marginal at best. In general operations, we also felt that the Poco’s UI gave it a slight edge over the Realme – Android 10 and MIUI 11 can make a difference. But again, this was not a killer difference. In terms of sound quality, we thought that both phones kind of matched each other, although the Poco seemed to have a slightly higher volume (the Realme X2 sounded slightly better on the earphones, that said). We are calling this one a tie. Interestingly, it is the only tied round of the face-off.

Winner: Tie

Poco X2 vs Realme X2 – The matter of money!

Finally, there comes the price. And here the edge clearly lies with Poco X2, which starts at Rs 15,999, which is lower than Rs 16,999 pricing of Realme X2. However, the base model of the Poco X2 is a 6 GB/ 64 GB one, while that of the Realme X2 is a 4 GB/ 64 GB one. That’s a clear win as well.

Winner: Poco X2

One to one, X2 to X2, and the winner is who?

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Some of the rounds are closely contested indeed, but there is no doubting that all said and done, the Poco X2 scores over the Realme X2. The newer camera sensor, the design, the higher RAM in the base model and most crucially, the newer version of Android with an ad-free interface make a telling difference (no, the 120 Hz refresh rate of the display does not make as much of a killer difference as these factors do). The Realme X2 never really gets overwhelmed by the Poco X2 to be sure, but it keeps getting pipped narrowly. We have a feeling that the equation might change a little once the Realme X2 gets its ColorOS 7 and Android 10 update, but even then, the camera edge of the Poco X2 cannot be dented, unless some massive software tweak comes along.

So as of now, if you are looking at a mid-segment phone that is just a stone’s throw away from super expensive flagships, we would say go for the Poco X2.

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