They are perhaps the first two phones that will come to most people’s minds when they think of smartphones in the vicinity of Rs 15,000. And they come from brands that are bitter rivals. We are talking of the Poco X2 (review) and the Realme 6 Pro (review). Both offer a lot for not too many bucks, making them prime contenders for the title of best mid-segment device. But which is the one for you? Well, that is what we are going to try to find out!

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Looks: Real lightning wins

When it comes to appearance, the winner is going to boil down to a matter of personal preference. Yes, both phones come with fronts that have dual punch hole displays and are almost of the same size (Poco has 6.67 inches, Realme 6.6), fingerprint scanners on the side and both come with glass backs, but it is what’s on those backs that makes a difference. To be fair, both devices have tried to be different. The Poco X2 has a spherical area of a slightly different texture around its camera unit, while Realme has gone for an innovative gradient finish that shows a pattern akin to a bolt of lightning when light falls on it. Those wanting their devices to stand out would prefer the latter, as it is certainly very eye-catching. The Realme 6 Pro being slightly shorter and lighter than the Poco X2 also works in its favor. Some might find it a little too loud, but we are voting for the Realme 6 Pro on this one.

Winner: Realme 6 Pro

Display: So which display is more…well…”refreshing”?

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As we said earlier, both the phones come with relatively large displays – the Poco X2 has the slightly larger one at 6.67 inches as compared to 6.6 of the Realme 6 Pro. They both are LCD displays and both have full HD+ resolution and come with dual punch hole notches (the X2 has the punch holes on the right, the 6 Pro on the left), which would seem to put them on a similar level. There is a spec difference, though. Both displays come with higher refresh rates than are seen – the Poco X2 has a 120 Hz refresh rate while the Realme 6 Pro has a 90 Hz refresh rate. Is this difference evident? Not really. But the X2’s display does seem a little brighter than the 6 Pro’s, which is why this round goes to the Poco by a thin margin.

Winner: Poco X2

Processor: An older Snapdragon meets a new one

The battle between the processors of the two devices is a super close one. The Poco X2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G, while the Realme 6 Pro is the first phone in India to come with the brand new Snapdragon 720G. Now, nomenclature might indicate that the 730G is superior to the 720G, but our research has shown that both chips are actually very close to each other in terms of performance – the 730G might have a slight edge in sheer power, but the 720G is supposed to be a dab hand at managing power and also comes with support for India’s NavIC navigation system. A tie, this.

Winner: Tie

Memory and storage: Battling for the bigger byte

In terms of memory, both phones come with lots of RAM and storage. The Poco X2 comes with RAM and storage variants of 6 GB/ 64 GB, 6 GB /128 GB and 8 GB / 256 GB. On the other hand, the Realme 6 Pro comes with 6 GTB/ 64 GB, 6 GB/ 128 GB and 8 GB/ 128 GB variants. Both phones come with expandable storage, but the Poco X2 has a hybrid SIM slot for it, while the Realme 6 Pro comes with a dedicated memory card slot. That said, the X2 can support a 512 GB memory card, while the 6 Pro can support a 256 GB one. It is a close call, and we are calling this one a tie, simply because the additional storage of the Poco X2 is offset by the dedicated memory card space of the Realme 6 Pro, and both

Winner: Tie

Cameras: Two quad-camera squads, but which really fires?

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Both the Poco X2 and the Realme 6 Pro come with a four-camera array on the back. The Poco X2 has a 64-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultrawide sensor, a 2-megapixel macro, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The Realme 6 Pro, on the other hand, has a 64-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor, an 8-megapixel ultrawide sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. In simple terms, the Realme 6 Pro focuses (pun intended) on adding some zoom to your snaps, whereas the Poco X2 is more about getting width.

On paper, the Realme 6 Pro would seem to have more options – it gives us an ultrawide sensor as well as a telephoto lens, whereas the Poco X2 only has an ultrawide sensor – but in terms of performance, the Poco X2 is the one that emerges triumphant delivering much better colors and details. We think a key reason for this is the fact that the main sensor on the Poco X2 is the new Sony IMX 686 sensor, while the main sensor on the Realme 6 Pro is the old Samsung GW1. Although we felt that the Realme 6 Pro’s night mode was markedly superior to the one on the Poco X2 and well, we did get better zoom on the 6 Pro as well, when it came to simple point and shooting, the Poco X2 consistently outperformed the Realme 6 Pro.

In close up shots using the macro sensor too, the X2 delivered better results while the 6 Pro had focusing issues. Round that off with a generally superior video, and this round comfortably goes to the Poco X2. Mind you, we would like to state that the potential of the cameras of the Realme 6 Pro is far greater – perhaps a software touch up or two might solve matters.

Winner: Poco X2

Selfie cameras: Which dual notch has the greater punch?

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Just as on the back, the Poco X2 and the Realme 6 Pro have the same number of cameras in front – both have two. However, they are located at different parts – the Realme 6 Pro has a 16-megapixel main sensor and an 8-megapixel ultrawide sensor while the Poco X2 has a 20-megapixel main sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Once again, the story is similar to the rear cameras. The Realme 6 Pro’s ultrawide sensor gives you far more shooting variety than the depth sensor on the Poco, but in terms of sheer results, the Poco X2 once again comes out a winner, with better colors and detail (do those megapixels make a difference). Once again, the X2 runs out a winner but we suspect that the Realme could recover lost ground with some software work.

Winner: Poco X2

Gaming: A tale of two Snapdragons separated by 10

When it comes to gaming, the two phones are very closely matched indeed. On paper, you would think the Poco X2’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G might give it a slight edge over the Realme 6 Pro’s Snapdragon 720G, but in terms of real usage, we did not see too much of a difference. There were moments, especially in Asphalt and PUBG, however, when the X2 just seemed slightly more snappy (was it because of the faster refresh rate of the display or the chip?). The Realme 6 Pro’s loudspeaker sounded a bit louder than the Poco’s in the sound department, but really there is not much to choose between the two devices. We would give it to the Poco X2 by the tiniest whisker, but the difference is not immediately noticeable.

Winner: Poco X2

General usage: Mid-range workhorses

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When it comes to routine everyday tasks, from Web browsing to social networking to mails and messaging, both the Realme 6 Pro and the Poco X2 pretty much match each other. Some might prefer the marginally larger display of the Poco X2, but on the flip side, the Realme 6 Pro is more compact. We have already stated that the speaker on the Realme 6 Pro seems a bit louder than the Poco, but then both phones match each other in sound when it comes to using the 3.5 mm audio jack (both have the feature, hallelujah). Multi-tasking also saw them go neck and neck with each other with hardly any differences in performance. Call quality seemed a little better on the Poco X2 but the difference is not a telling one at all. And we love the fingerprint scanners on the side which are a welcome change from the under-display ones as well as the ones on the back – both worked swiftly and consistently. We are calling this one a tie.

Winner: Tie

Software: it’s an ad ad world…not quite

Both phones come with their own UI running on top of Android 10. And both claim to be minimalistic. Both are a significant step ahead of the UIs they are based on – Poco on MIUI and Realme on Color OS. However, at the time of writing, we felt that the Poco UI had a clear edge over the Realme UI, which had a few rough spots (the odd app crash and so on). It also helps that the Poco UI comes with no ads at all while the Realme UI has them, although they can be turned off quite easily. We are giving this one to the Poco.

Winner: Poco X2

Battery: Oh mAh God!

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These are two big phones with big batteries and fast charging. The Poco X2 comes with a 4500 mAh with a 27W charger, while the Realme 6 Pro has a 4300 mAh charger with a 30W charger. Ironically, however, it is the Realme that steals a march here in terms of both battery life and charging speed. The Poco X2 sees off a day of normal use but the Realme 6 Pro gets through a day and a half. What’s more, the Realme 6 Pro gets charged in under an hour while the Poco X2 takes slightly more than an hour. Is it the higher refresh rate or the slightly larger display that costs Poco this round, or is it the allegedly superior power management skills of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G? We cannot say for sure, but this round goes to the Realme 6 Pro.

Winner: Realme 6 Pro

Price: Getting Real about Rupees and the X(2) factor

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This finally brings us to the matter of price. And once again, the battle is a close one. The Poco X2 has a lower starting price at Rs 15,999 for the 6 GB/ 64 GB variant, as compared to the Realme 6 Pro which comes for Rs 16,999 for the same variant. Both phones also have a 6 GB /128 GB variant, for which the Poco X2 is priced at Rs 16,999 and the Realme 6 Pro at Rs 17,999. It is at the top variant that things get interesting. Both phones come with 8 GB RAM variants, with the Poco X2 pairing it with 256 GB storage and the Realme 6 Pro with 128 GB. The lower storage lets the Realme 6 Pro get the pricing edge here at Rs 18,999 against the Rs 19,999 of the Poco X2. Interestingly, the Poco X2 does not have an 8 GB/128 GB variant. We are going to be handing this round to the Poco X2 purely on the lower starting price, but yes, if someone is looking at a device with 8 GB RAM, they would be tempted by the Realme 6 Pro!

Winner: Poco X2

So, dare to leap or just go with everything you need

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All of which brings us to the final question: which of the two phones to go for? On the surface, in terms of pure scores, you would think the Poco X2 is the better option as it has won on more parameters. The fact, however, is that the two phones are very closely matched. They are level on the processor, gaming, memory, and general usage. The biggest edge that the Poco X2 enjoys over the Realme 6 Pro is in the camera department (thanks to that Sony IMX 686 sensor), so if photography is important for you, then the Poco X2 is the one for you. That said, the Realme scores in battery life and some might find its design more attractive, with the bolt of lightning on the back. The price differential between the base models of both devices is not very vast. And neither is the performance. These are two very good phones for the price they charge, and while each has significant strengths, neither really has any major drawbacks.

Both actually pretty much serve up everything you need.

Now, whether you dare to leap or not depends on what you consider to be the X(2) factor while buying a phone!

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