review

Realme X50 Pro Review: Benchmark for the Budget Flagship

Realme unleashes another spec monster

Realme proved that it could mix it with the best in the budget flagship segment with the Realme X2 Pro, which became one of the highest selling devices in its price segment in the final quarter of 2019. Now the brand has released its second flagship, the Realme X50 Pro. The phone is the first device in India to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip and to support 5G, although it beat the iQOO 3 by just a day in that regard. In fact, as we wrote in our first impressions of the device, the Realme X50 Pro made headlines mainly for being the first 5G-ready smartphone in India, but there is so much more to it.

Realme X50 Pro: Scoring on specs

It does come with perhaps the most elegant and understated design that we have seen on a Realme device (the frosted glass back finish is so reminiscent of the OnePlus 7T series and the double punch hole in the front is classy), but it is really the hardware that makes the phone a star. The star of the show, of course, is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, which is THE flagship processor in the mobile world at the time of talking, and comes with plenty of RAM and storage to spare – there are 6 GB/ 128 GB, 8 GB/ 128 GB and 12 GB / 256 GB options. And of course, then there is the other star of the show – 5G connectivity. 5G networks might not be there in India yet, but well, when they do get here, the X50 Pro will be ready to zip along on them.

That display is a 6.44-inch Super AMOLED one with full HD+ resolution, a 90 Hz refresh rate, and a fingerprint scanner below it. There are four cameras at the rear – a 64-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultrawide (which also can take good macros), a 12-megapixel telephoto and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The main rear camera is a bit of a letdown as it is a Samsung GW1 sensor, which is a little on the older side now, but on the flip side (literally), Realme gets into dual selfie camera mode with a 32-megapixel and 8-megapixel combination in that dual punch hole in the front.

There is a big 4200 mAh battery and a 65W charger that Realme claims can charge it in 35 minutes, courtesy its DartCharge technology. And running the show is Android 10, with Realme UI on top (making this the second phone to get Realme UI, after the Realme C3). Yes, some will miss a 3.5 mm audio jack (there are stereo speakers, though), and there will be others who will wish they had expandable storage (even though the base model has 128 GB onboard) but all said and done, this is as powerful as any phone out there on paper.

Realme X50 Pro: All about speed, really

And the Realme X50 Pro is not a paper tiger. We got the 12 GB/ 256 GB variant and it frankly flew through routine tasks, like messaging, social networking, photography, and casual gaming sessions. There was a noticeable snappiness with which apps were loaded, and how quickly one could switch between them. But just how powerful the device is, comes to the fore when you get into tasks like photo and video editing, where things move significantly faster – waiting times were often almost non-existent. And of course, there is the little – big? – matter of gaming.

It is when it gets to playing games like Call of Duty, PUBG and the Asphalt series that the Realme X50 Pro shows its real potential. Games load fast at the highest graphics and gameplay itself is amazingly smooth. Our experience on the device was very close to what we had on that other Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 phone we had used – the iQOO 3. We would have ideally liked a slightly brighter display, but those stereo speakers more than compensate, and frankly, you would be too deeply absorbed in the action to notice! If you are passionate about gaming, the Realme X50 Pro is probably as good as you can get right now.

Even the battery charging speeds are amazing. The 4200 mAh actually charges from 0 to 100 in slightly over half an hour. And no, the device does not heat up uncomfortably at any stage.

Realme X50 Pro: A few rough spots, though

It is not all roses, though. When at its best, there’s no doubt that the Realme X50 Pro is one of the most powerful phones out there. But it also has its share of niggles. We must confess that we really expected a lot more from it in the camera department, given the brand’s exceptional track record. This is not to say that the X50 Pro takes bad pictures. No, far from it. It takes some very good pictures in good light conditions, and its low light performance has also received a boost, delivering better colors than we got from the Realme X2 Pro, which had a similar main sensor. It was just that we were expecting a significant step up from the Realme X2 Pro. That applies to the front-facing dual cameras too – although most shots turned out very good the additional wide sensor ended up distorting some of our selfies. We have a suspicion that software tweaks in the future will improve matters (similar to what iQOO pulled off with an old sensor), but as of now, this is one of the rare Realme devices whose cameras are a little underwhelming.

[Click here for full resolution images]

That applies to the software as well. We really like Realme UI, because of its being less cluttered than its predecessor. It also has some very neat touches, like being able to record screen activity with internal audio, change app icons and so on, although the option to use two headphones simultaneously with the device was inactive on our device (perhaps due to the absence of a 3.5 mm audio jack?). However, it has a few rough edges, with text sometimes overlapping menus, some apps crashing, and photographs taken not being saved to the gallery. Once again, we are relatively sure that a software update (and Realme has a decent track record here) will solve matters.

We also expected a slightly brighter display at this price point, and while the battery charges at an impressive rate, it discharges rather rapidly too. We got through a day’s usage which is handy enough, but we had expected a bit more with a battery of this size – perhaps the bigger display and refresh rate take a toll of the battery. Mind you, given the speed at which the phone recharges, this is hardly a deal-breaker!

Realme X50 Pro: Not perfect, but at that price…woah!

Any complaints that one has about the Realme X50 Pro (and there are not too many) however, fade away when you consider its price. At a starting price of Rs 37,999 for the 6 GB /128 GB variant (the 8 GB/ 128 GB one is priced at Rs 39,999 and the 12 GB/ 256 GB one comes for Rs 44,999), the X50 Pro is hands down the most affordable 5G phone in the Indian market, and one of the most affordable ones to feature the Snapdragon 865 processor.

In fact, in real terms, there is only one other phone that can lay challenge to the X50 Pro – the iQOO 3, which coins with the same processor but starts at a lower price (Rs 36,990) albeit for a 4G version (a comparison is coming up, rest assured). The Realme X50 Pro, however, will also have to reckon with the likes of the OnePlus 7T and of course, the “Lite” avatars of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and the Galaxy S10. The very fact that it can hold its own in this company should tell you how good it is. If the Realme X2 Pro showed the world that Realme could make a high-end device, the Realme X50 Pro proves that it is as much at ease with flagships as it is with mainstream devices.

Pros
  • Smooth performer
  • Super fast charging battery
  • Classy design
  • Great price
Cons
  • Cameras a little inconsistent
  • Slightly buggy software
  • No 3.5 mm audio jack
Review Overview
Build & Design
Performance
Camera
Software
Price
SUMMARY

After the success of the X2 Pro, Realme has made its second move in the budget flagship segment with the Realme X50 Pro. The phone has made headlines for being the first to offer 5G support in India. But it actually is so much more than that. And a headache for every flagship from every brand out there!

3.9