‘Flagship killer’ is a term much abused these days. One phone with top-end specs and below the belt pricing ends up getting that tag. It’s also a title that keeps being passed around. OnePlus had it for a while with the first few devices. Xiaomi snagged it with the Poco F1 and now Realme is giving us convincing reasons to call it’s Realme X2 Pro one. Just more than a year old. It’s the company’s first attempt at making a flagship. And on paper, it looks like the sweetest deal of the year. The phone emulates everything that’s good in the OnePlus 7T and then adds a few features on top. So much so it makes smartphones like the Galaxy Note 10+ and even the iPhone 11 Pro look unnecessarily expensive. While the company did admit these premium offerings to be the inspiration behind the X2 Pro, will a maxed-out spec sheet be enough for Realme to establish its name as a premium brand? Interestingly, most budget phone makers have stumbled in the first few steps of entering the premium segment where there’s a still a semblance of loyalty to brands like Samsung, Apple and OnePlus.
Let’s start with the most obvious. The Realme X2 Pro is fast. Faster than most other smartphones. Almost at par with the fastest. If you’re looking for a superfast performer at a budget. Stop reading right now, get the invite and place the order. It won’t leave you disappointed. In essence, it emulates the performance of the OnePlus 7T to a great extent, of course, at a much lesser price. You have the Snapdragon 855+ in both. 8GB RAM and 256GB UFS 3.0 storage in both. In fact, the X2 Pro offers a 12GB RAM variant at less than the price of the 8GB OnePlus 7T. So performance is undoubtedly good. Aiding the speed is the 90Hz refresh rate of the display. It enhances the experience of using the UI to an extent where it’s difficult to go back to using the usual 60Hz panel.
This is where the Realme X2 Pro differs from the OnePlus experience. While the latter uses an interface known for its minimalism and utility, ColorOS on the Realme X2 Pro feels like a UI meant for cheap phones powering a flagship smartphone. There’s no dearth of features, but the overall aesthetic mars the experience of using the flagship device. The UI is bloated with unnecessary apps out of the box and Realme (in extension Oppo’s) suite of in-house apps bombard you with notifications from the get go. That’s certainly something I wouldn’t want in a smartphone that’s meant to rival premium offerings from Samsung, Apple and OnePlus. Nevertheless, ColorOS 6 offers more or less the same features as other mid-rangers from Realme.
A 4,000mAh battery should become a standard in high-end and flagship smartphones, and the Realme X2 Pro enforces the rule. Only, the phone comes bundled with a 50W charger that tops up the battery in less than 30 minutes. That’s presently the fastest it can get, by a long mile. As for the battery life, the X2 Pro fares slightly lesser than the OnePlus 7T. We clocked 643 minutes on PCMark Work 2.0 battery life test, while the OnePlus 7T scored an even better 753 minutes. Both will last you a day under moderate use, but the OnePlus 7T can stretch it for a little longer. It’s unclear why the discrepancy considering most of the hardware under the hood is the same. It’s likely for the software optimisations in place which happens to be a little better on the OnePlus 7T.