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realme X50 review

9
OVERALL

Introduction

It wasn’t too long ago I reviewed the realme X3 SuperZoom which was my first device by the company.

Now I have managed to get hands on their most recent device, the X50 which is a mid range 5G powerhouse with some impressive specs for the money.

I had use of the device for two weeks and used as my so called daily driver phone with my main sim card in, and although I did not have 5G where I live, I did keep the option switched on to see what the battery would be like using the phone with this mode on like most people would.

A disclaimer I always put at the start of my reviews, this was a loan device sent to me via realme for review purposes only, no offer of a free phone to keep or money to review the device was made, also no one from realme has had any input or viewing of this before it was published.

Design

When it comes to hardware on the X50, there has to be some areas but back to get the phone down in price, materials is usually one of them, and with the X50 you get a plastic body with glass front and back, but  thankfully there is also a free clear case included to help protect it.

Looking straight at the phone up top you have in the left hand corner the dual selfie camera which consists of a 16MP main and 2MP portrait lens, and can be used to capture selfie portrait shots if you like to do that sort of thing.

It would have been nice to switch up the portrait camera to a wide angle though as we see on a lot of phones as this would have been better use of the space and more beneficial in daily use.

The display comes in at 6.57 inches and is IPS so you do lack the clear blacks an OLED offers, you do however get the benefit of 120fps which allows for super smooth gaming on the 1080p screen.

Some phones struggle with brightness when outdoors in direct sunlight, thankfully the X50 with brightness all the way up does a good job at being usable in all conditions.

As with a lot of phones now, there is no home screen physical button on the front, instead it is all display.

Looking over to the right side you have the volume up and down buttons which can be used to control audio of course and also as a camera shutter button if you prefer to use one of these still.

Switch over to the right side and you have a single button slightly recessed into the phone and this acts not only as a power button, but also as a side mounted fingerprint reader of you want to set this up to unlock the phone, although there is also a face recognition unlock feature available if you prefer to use that.

The quality of the button feels much more sturdy against the one on the X3 SuperZoom I covered recently which was nice to see.

Up on top you have one of the dual microphones used to capture audio when in video recording, it also acts as one of the noise cancellation microphones when in voice calls to help boost call quality.

Looking at the bottom you have the other microphone as well as the speakerphone which is very loud and also clear, you also have the USB C port for charging, and if you use the supplied charger and cable you get that super quick 30w Dart Charging.

There is also a pin hole to pop out the dual sim card tray so you can use two different SIM cards at the same time if you prefer, this is handy for anyone who travels and wants a personal and travel SIM, or anyone who has a personal SIM and a work SIM it just wants one phone.

Unfortunately no expandable memory is available, instead you need to use online storage if the 128GB built in is not enough.

Looking over at the back you have a Quad camera layout with an LED flash if you need to use in poor lighting, or like me, use as a flashlight when you drop something at night and can’t find it.

The different camera lenses will be covered more in the camera part of this review, there is quite a lot to cover as you might expect with four cameras to go through.

Apart from that there is a realme logo but that is all, the quite minimal design means you can appreciate the beautiful colour of the back depending on which one you go for, the one I was sent to review was the Ice Silver, there is also a Jungle Green to pick from.

Software

Software on the X50 comes in the form of realme UI, however this is pretty much a version of Color OS used by Oppo, and if you ever go into recovery mode you will see the name Color OS mentioned.

The drop down menu has some nice touches including showing the amount of data you have used in the day, handy if you are not on an unlimited data plan and want to keep a look at what you are using each day so you wont run out.

There is a Dark Mode built in which was what I was using personally, and although the LCD means you don’t get those deep blacks, it helped using the phone on a day to day basis and with the splash of colour here and there, helps make colours stand out.

The software out of the box is based on Android 10, and after getting the phone I have had three updates come through to improve performance as well as a big improvement on the camera performance from when I first received it.

Whilst it is great to see these updates rolling out quickly, we will have to see how quickly the company are able to roll out the Android 11 update when this becomes available later in the year for Pixel devices.

You also get a swipe in sidebar which has some handy apps and shortcuts like if you wanted to quick launch an app or take a screenshot.

Also included is a Game Space area which lets you put gaming as a priority and block notifications, as well as boost gaming performance depending on the settings you set in the options, this is very handy if you are into your gaming and hate getting interrupted by constant notifications.

Digital wellbeing is also a big area of Android 10, and you get a set of tools in the settings to monitor your use on each app per day so you can make sure you are taking a break from your phone, there is a ‘Wind Down’ mode which puts the phone into gray scale mode at certain times to help your eyes as you go to bed, and Focus mode stops you using those apps that distract you by setting timers or a schedule.

Parents are also covered here with a separate area using Google Family Link which allows you to monitor timers, set certain apps that are allowed and restrict certain content until you authorise it as a parent.

I have used Color OS before and personally quite liked it, although this was on an older Oppo device and it did seem to take a while for them to release the updates for security and big version updates, so as mentioned before, fingers crossed realme are on the ball with this and release the updates quickly.

Performance

When it comes to performance this is normally an area some of the mid range phones can struggle in due to processor choice or the amount of RAM they decide to use to cut down the costs

Whilst the X50 doesn’t come with the Snapdragon 865 processor, it does have the recent Snapdragon 765G 5G under the hood which is a very capable one and perfect to keep the price down but have little impact on day to day performance.

When playing even graphic heavy games such as Fortnite and PUBG, the X50 handled everything really well and graphics were smooth and clear, without having much effect on battery performance it would seem.

The X50 comes with 6GB of RAM which was more than enough to enjoy smooth operation of the phone including multitasking on the go with lots of apps running in the background, really unless you are video editing anything over this is overkill and more of a number to impress on a spec sheet than change performance.

With storage you get 128GB internal with no option for expandable, however 128GB is normally enough for most people, and there are always loads of online options such as Google Drive which comes with any Google account anyway.

Battery life was impressive giving me a solid day of use from the 4200mAh battery, whilst also having both SIM cards in use at the same time which is normally a big battery burner.

As with most phones though you will want to charge overnight, however should you want to boost the battery and only have a short time to spare, the 30w Dart Charge will help boost life within minutes.

With networking on the X50 as the processor chosen would show, the device is 5G compatible as long as your network and plan supports it, and of course you are in an area the signal is switched on.

I wasn’t lucky enough to be in a 5G area to test the 5G speeds,  when it comes to 4G I was able to get super fast speeds of around 100Mbps, but as I have said in older reviews, this will vary location to location and network to network. 

One thing to note that although the X50 is dual SIM, if you are using a second SIM alongside the primary one you lose the capability of 5G, instead switching both to 4G only, to get 5G you have to be using single SIM which is a shame, something also seen in the OnePlus 8 range but is being resolved in the Android 11 rollout, so hoping the X50 isn’t far behind.

Of course you still get your standard Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, NFC for connecting to other devices or contact less payments.

The realme X50 does lack wireless charging and also an IP rating for water resistance, but with a £299 price tag this would be expected, and most people won’t mind missing these to get the phone at this price 

Camera

When picking a phone to buy, having the best camera for your money can often be a big deciding factor and as mentioned before the X50 has four cameras over on the back.

First of all though the selfie cameras on the front, on the realme X50 you get two which include a 16MP main camera with a 2MP portrait camera to get bokeh photos of yourself to share. Here are a few sample shots from the front cameras to see for yourself. 

If you are into recording selfie videos or into vlogging having a good quality camera is very important, the X50 allows the choice of 1080p or 720p resolution both at 30 frames a second, here is a quick sample from the front video mode.

Turning the attention to the main cameras over on the back you have a 48MP main sensor for capturing all the detail, you also have a 8MP super fast wide angle camera for when you want landscape shots or a group of people and don’t want to miss anyone out.

The other two cameras on the back are a a 2MP macro lens like you see on the OnePlus 8 for getting some close up shots, although these are at a much lower resolution which is a shame.

The last camera is B&W and helps capture detail when working with the other cameras on the back, all you do is point and shoot and the phone will do the rest.

Where the X50 does struggle with though is in two key areas.

First of all the lack of telephoto lens means any zooming is all digital based, and as such any zooming will start lowering the quality of the photo you take, so if at all possible, get closer to the subject instead of zooming.

Second is when it comes to low light performance, whilst the X50 does have a night mode, it falls way short of what you see on other key devices such as the Pixel range or the OnePlus series, Nord included.

On video mode you can record 4K video from the main camera and quality is decent as long as you are in a good well lit area.

Dropping to 1080p adds the option to switch to 60 frames per second although you do lose being able to use the lower resolution super wide angle camera.

Carried over from the X3 SuperZoom is the Steady and Steady Max options for stabilization when video may jump all over the place.

I have tried to find the differences between the two modes and when asking realme got the following reply

Here are a few sample videos taken direct from the X50 camera

Software for the camera is pretty much the same you find on any main Android phone these days with a swipe gesture switching between all the different modes.

There are quite a few modes to switch between including the Super Macro mode hidden away in the More option and unfortunately can’t be edited to be on the main list of options.

The 48MP mode is there for taking advantage of every pixel available for editing afterwords, this does result in very large file sizes though so be careful considering the non expandable memory.

There doesn’t seem to be any AI mode available to play around with which means the captured photo quality is down to the person taking the photo and. It some fancy computer doing a lot of the work, some may prefer this, however AI does have advantages when it comes to photography.

Final Thoughts

I have to say I am really impressed with the quality of phones realme are pushing out recently.

The X50 is one of the most impressive devices available at its price point, the competition would be the OnePlus Nord and the Motorola G 5G, however at just £299, the X50 offers dual SIM connectivity as the lowest price of the lot, with a camera that is really impressive and battery performance that impresses too.

For anyone who is wanting to get a decent mid range phone with a good set of specs, and does not want to break the bank then the X50 is a great entry to 5G.

Even if you are not fussed about getting 5G right now, the networks are rolling out the new technology at a fast pace and it would be better to have this ready instead of needing another new device in a year or so.

Whilst most people are concentrating on the top end devices such as the OnePlus 8 Pro or Oppo range, realme have set the mid range bar high with the £299 X50, and if you did want the higher performance Snapdragon 865 processor with better camera, realme offer the X50 Pro at a higher price of around £500.
Big thank you to realme for offering the X50 available to review, the device is available to purchase from Amazon or realme

realme X50 review
Conclusion
A decent mid range smartphone with a great price to get into the 5G market.
Design
8.9
Camera
8.8
Battery
9
Software
9.1
Performance
9
PRO'S
CON'S
9
OVERALL

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