Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Realme X7 Pro

Realme X7 Pro is the latest phone from the brand after a while. It brings in never seen before specs and features to the mid-range segment. Aimed to capture the sub-Rs 30,000 market, it brings a lot to the table with only a couple of compromises. The Realme X7 Pro is not necessarily the successor to the Realme X3 series, it starts an entirely new series along with the vanilla Realme X7 which was also launched alongside the Pro variant.  Pro. 

The Realme X7 Pro is the second phone with the Dimensity 1000 Plus chipset. In terms of performance, the chipset is on par with the likes of OnePlus Nord, and Xiaomi Mi 10i. In fact, in the benchmarking tests, the Realme X7 Pro sits just below the Snapdragon 865 powered phones. In real life usages, the X7 Pro can handle anything you throw at it. The chipset is also 5G ready which means you are future-proofed. 

The Realme X7 Pro also comes with one of the best displays in the segment. In India, we love the AMOLED display and high refresh rate. On both these counts, Realme wins it one of the best in the segment. You get a 6.55-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. It also packs in a stereo speaker which makes the device a media consumption powerhouse. 

The Realme X7 Pro comes with a 64MP quad rear camera setup. The primary camera is the only standout among the three and night shots are also not that impressive either. It packs a 4,500mAh battery which is just above average in terms of capacity does last a full day. This is backed by a super-fast 65W fast charging speed, which beats the competition by a huge margin. 

Realme X7 Pro ticks almost every block in line to become the perfect all-round mid-range phone. You get an excellent screen, promising primary camera, the 65W insane fast charging, and performance. However, it misses out on things like a headphone jack, microSD card slot, and still runs on Android 10. 

Realme X7 Pro price in India and availability

In India, the Realme X7 Pro comes in a sole 8GB + 128GB combination and is priced at Rs 29,999. The device went on sale via Flipkart starting February 10 in Colour variants that included Mystic Black and Fantasy. 

Design

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Realme X7 Pro

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Realme X7 Pro

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Realme X7 Pro

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Realme X7 Pro

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We often say the first impression is the best and this holds true for the Realme X7. The design polarizes opinion but suffice to say that it stands out in a crowed. It is available in two colour options Mystic Black and Fantasy colour options. We are currently testing the Fantasy variant and we absolutely love it. 

We have seen a lot of gradient back designs over the years and personally, the Xiaomi Mi 10i’s Pacific Sunrise variant was our favourite gradient finish till now; and it looks like we might offer that crown to Realme’s Fantasy in the coming days. The colour is super cool and each angle you look in gives you a unique look to the device. If the light falls on the phone directly, you will see an ‘Instagram’ app-like colour on the back. Apart from that, there is also a huge ‘Dare to Leap’ motion the back printed vertically which actually looks good. For those who don’t like this, the Black variant comes with a plain finish. 

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Realme X7 Pro

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Realme X7 Pro

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The back of the Realme X7 Pro has a double gradient, double plated and one layer of anti-glare glass protection. The back of the phone curves perfectly and blends into the body of the device to give an excellent in-hand feel. However, do note that the device is a fingerprint magnet and we had to put a lot of effort to keep the phone clean before clicking a picture. Realme is also bundling a transparent case which we recommend to use. The company has also removed the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Dare to Leap text looks better in pictures than in real life.

Furthermore, the power button sits on the right side and is easily accessible. The volume rockers sit on the left side of the device and are also easy to reach. These buttons are clicky and responsive. To the top, you get a microphone and on the bottom, you will find the loudspeaker out, Type-C port, secondary mic, and a SIM slot. To the back of the sits the quad-camera stack along with LED flash. The module has a fair amount of protrusion. On the front, you get a Full HD+ AMOLED display with a punch-hole cutout for selfie camera on the side and earpiece at the centre which also doubles up as a stereo speaker. 

Overall, the Realme is definitely one of the lightest phones we have used in recent times with just 184 grams and the device also gives a great in-hand feel. Amongst the OnePlus Nord, Samsung Galaxy M51, Mi 10i, and Realme X7 Pro, this device comes second when it comes to compactness as it is slightly bigger than the OnePlus Nord. 

Display

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

With the Realme X7 Pro, you are looking at a 6.55-inch Full HD+ Samsung E3 AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate. This is a 2.5D curved glass screen with a 91.6% screen-to-body ratio. It has a punch-hold cutout on the left which houses the selfie shooter. This is also the cheapest phone with a 120Hz and AMOLED screen combination. 

The max brightness on the Realme X7 Pro is 800 nits and 1200nits peak. The display is also protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. To handle the low brightness situations, the company has added a DC dimming feature which reduces the screen flickering during low brightness scenarios. Apart from that, the panel is also Widevine L1 certified to stream HD content and also HDR10 certified. 

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Realme X7 Pro

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Realme X7 Pro

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The screen on the Realme X7 Pro products vibrant colours and details along with sharpness that makes the viewing experience more enjoyable. The high refresh rate of 120Hz along with the AMOLED panel is a rarity in this segment but Realme has made it possible in 2021. The 120Hz makes animations and scrolling across the UI smoother. The screen is calibrated well,  but you can also always change the colour temperature to cool or warm depending on your taste. The default one was perfect for me. 

The device could handle content outdoors too, as I could text or watch a video with the sun above my head. The touch response is also pretty accurate. Watching content on the AMOLED screen is always fun and enjoyable and this is the case here as well. The punch-hole camera sits on the top of the device you’ll get used to after a while or just you will stop noticing. There’s also an active fingerprint scanner that works accurately without an issue. 

Performance

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Things get interesting here with the inclusion of the MediaTek Dimesity series chipset. The Realme X7 Pro is powered by the Dimensity 1000 Plus processor. It is an octa-core processor built on a 7nm fabrication process and has a clock speed of 2.6Ghz. It is a 5G capable chipset. While we still don’t have a consumer-ready 5G network in India, this is a future proof technology that Realme is banking on. There is also NFC onboard. 

Further, the device comes in only one configuration in India with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 internal storage. The device also lacks storage expansion as it misses out on the microSD card slot. So, you are left out with 111GB of internal storage. The device also comes with a vapour cooling system to keep the thermals under control.

5G bands supported

NSA n1/n3/n5/n7/n8/n20/n28/ n38/n40/n41/n77/n78

SA n1/n3/n41/n78/n79

The Dimensity 1000 Plus is a very capable chipset. Although this is not the latest chipset from the house of MediaTek, it does a pretty good job when it comes to performance. In real life testing, the performance was as good as we’ve seen on smartphones like the OnePlus Nord or even the Xiaomi Mi 10i. It flies with anything you throw at it. The high refresh rate makes it feel butter smooth. The only app I had issues with was Instagram which had stutter every time I was scrolling through the application. I doubt this is a problem with Realme as I am still finding the same issues on multiple devices with Instagram.

If you care about the benchmarks, the Realme X7 Pro beats almost every phone in the segment with its 5 lakh plus score. In real life usage, opening multiple tabs on Chrome, multiple applications in the background and multitasking - all were a breeze. Realme has also done a fabulous job with memory management here. There was no sign of lag at any given point of time - the 8GB RAM does help here. 

The same performance is also carried forward to the gaming. The device handled games like CoD Mobile, Asphalt, Beach Buggy Racing 2 without any issues. In CoD mobile, the graphics quality was set to high. The setting doesn’t allow you to enable the highest graphic quality and highest frame rate at once - you’ll have to choose one of the two. In both cases, the game ran smoothly. The chipset is very efficient thanks to the 7nm process and the thermals are also kept under check. If you play games for over an hour, the phone heats up a bit near the rear camera module, but not too hot to hold. 

Overall, both Realme and MediaTek have done a fantastic job here as we have no issues in terms of performance and the Domensity 1000 Plus is a very capable chipset and is efficient as well. 

Cameras

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Realme X7 Pro

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Realme X7 Pro

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Cameras have always been a strong point of Realme smartphones. The Realme X7 Pro features a quad-camera setup with a primary 64MP Sony IMX 686 sensor with f/1.7 aperture. This is followed by an 8MP(f/2.25) ultra-wide camera, 2MP Black & White portrait lens and a 2MP macro shooter. Selfies are being handled by a 32MP punch-hole camera. 

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Realme X7 Pro camera sample

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Realme X7 Pro camera samples

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Realme X7 Pro camera samples

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Realme X7 Pro camera samples

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The shots taken from the primary Sony IMX686 are crisp and offer true to life colour. The dynamic range and white balance are also decent enough to grab details from the image. The exposure is also handled quite well and the focusing is also fast and accurate. The produced images are punchy, vibrant and slightly oversaturated which is not bad and looks pretty good on the AMOLED screen. Photos taken by default come out at 16MP. The 64MP mode offers more details in the image while taking a couple of additional seconds to capture. 

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Realme X7 Pro camera samples

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Realme X7 Pro camera samples

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Realme X7 Pro camera samples

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In low-light scenarios, the phone takes fairly good images with a good amount of details. The default pictures don’t offer ample details but the Night mode brings better exposure and also invites smoothness and a fair amount of noise. The night mode can definitely be updated to get better image output. 

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Realme X7 Pro camera samples

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Realme X7 Pro

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The 8MP ultra-wide lens produces 119-degree shots with wider coverage with decent colours, dynamic range and exposure. Colours are close to what the primary lens produces but fells short by a small margin. These photos don’t have enough details when compared to the primary camera images. It is recommended to use this only when absolutely required and in good lighting conditions. 

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Realme X7 Pro camera samples

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Realme X7 Pro camera samples

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The 2MP macro lens has the capability to shoot objects close to 4 centimetres while that is true, it is painful to get the focus right. The slow speed, lack of stabilization, and colour accuracy make it useless, to be honest. Portraits shots taken from the rear cameras come out to be good with good bokeh effect and edge detection. 

As for the selfies, things were handled pretty well with the 32MP sensor. The colours are accurate and vivid. The dynamic range and exposure are also really good. The portrait shots come out well too with accurate edge detection on most occasions. In low light scenarios, the screen turns to flash to extract more details. 

As for the video shooting modes - you can 4K videos at 60fps as well as 240fps slow-mo videos. There is no optical image stabilization on board which is only present on the OnePlus Nord in this segment. Overall, the videos are crisp and colourful, but not the best in terms of stabilisation. 

In a nutshell, the Realme X7 Pro has a very capable primary setup capable camera and the performance is very respectable. The night mode and macro lens are disappointing. Overall, in the segment, it looks like the Xiaomi Mi 10i has cemented its place as the top camera phone. 

Software

The Realme X7 Pro runs on Realme UI 1.0 which is still based on Android 10 and that’s a big disappointment. The company will roll out the Android 11 in the coming weeks but, there is no exact date yet. We did not face any issues with the UI during the testing time. Things were very snappy and responsive. 

The only minor issue I faced was when I was opening the payments app that had my fingerprint scanner registered to login, the fingerprint scanner wouldn’t show up at the place. This occurred to be 1/5 times and I hope Realme can fix the issue soon. 

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Realme X7 Pro

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Realme X7 Pro

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Further, the Realme UI 1.0 brings the right balance of customization and polished Android experience. You get complete control over the home screen with options to set drawer mode, standard mode(without app drawer), and simple mode. The Icon pull-down gesture comes in handy when you want to access the apps on the top of the screen. Apart from these, you get app suggestions, Google Discover feed on -1 screen, home screen grid, app animation speed, double-tap to lock, theme, wallpaper, icon customization. 

There’s Dark mode, which looks gorgeous on the AMOLED display. The more you dig in, the more customization options you get in the settings menu. In the Realme Labs options, you get a few features that are still under testing. With Realme X7 Pro you get a smooth scrolling function, super nighttime standby which is meant to consume less power at night by reducing background activities and DC dimming, which reduces screen flickering in low brightness. 

There are a few apps that come pre-installed such as Browser, Community, Game Space, Amazon, HeyFun, HeyTap, Theme Store, and WPS office. While most of them can be pre-installed, some apps push notifications which can be annoying at times. You can long-press and disable the notifications for certain apps which can’t be uninstalled. Further, the device also comes with Always-on Display feature but it is not customizable. Android 11 update should bring that option.

Battery

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This is one area where Realme has gained an unassailable lead compared to the rivals. The Realme X7 Pro packs in a 4,500mAh battery unit which can be said as above average in 2021. However, when it comes to the charging speeds, Realme has bundled in 65W fast Super Dart charging speed which lets you change the device in 40 minutes. 

The battery life on the Realme X7 Pro is not very impressive but it’s not bad either. With a full charge in the morning, you will be able to get it past the late evening without needing to charge. In my usage, I got around 5 to 5:30 hours of screen time with heavy usage including playing games, watching videos, IMs, calls, etc. And, I got around 6 hours of screen time without playing games and these results were consistent throughout my testing. 

(Image credit: Future)

All these results were when I had set brightness to 80% all the time and screen refresh rate set to 120Hz. You can tweak these settings and get more juice out of the battery in case you need it. But, we wouldn’t recommend bringing down the refresh rate to 60Hz. The 65W fast charging is insanely fast and once you start using it, everything else(20W to 33W) feels slow. By the time you plug it in for a charge and get back from the shower, the device would have charged up to 65% from 5%. 

Realme has done a fabulous job in terms of charging and in fact, it is having two phones under Rs 20,000 which offers 65W fast charging. Going forward, we hope more brands offer the same

Competition

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With the sub Rs 30,000 pricing, the Realme X7 Pro rivals OnePlus Nord and also the recently launched Xiaomi Mi 10i, which is priced considerably lower than the two. All three phones have their own pros and cons. All three phones offer 5G support which means you are having a future-proof device. The Xiaomi Mi 10i brings a high refresh rate, excellent cameras but misses out on an AMOLED panel and software experience. The OnePlus Nord offers a high refresh rate AMOLED screen, clean software experience but, misses out on the camera when compared with the other two. 

Audio

Another impressive addition comes with the inclusion of the dual stereo speaker setup, which makes it one of the few phones to have it in the sub Rs 30,000 segment. One of the dual speakers is put up on the earpiece while the other one sits on the bottom loudspeaker. It offers a true dual speaker experience with loud and enjoyable output although it is not tuned to perfection. 

Unfortunately, the Realme X7 Pro misses out on the 3.5mm headphone jack which means you will have to get a true wireless headphone or any other headphone. If you still want to use your old earphones, the company is also bundling a 3.5mm to Type-C converter in the box. 

Verdict

Buy it if…

You consume a lot of content

With its crisp 120Hz AMOLED screen and dual stereo speakers, the Realme X7 Pro will be a great companion for watching movies and shows. 

You want insane fast charging

With its 65W fast charging, the Realme X7 Pro will charge from 0 to 100% in just 40 minutes. This is a feature that anyone would like to have. 

You want something thin and light

Measuring at just 8.5mm and weighing only 184 grams, the X7 Pro is certainly one of the best thin and light phones in the segment. 

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Don’t buy it if…

You care about Android updates

The Realme X7 Pro still runs on Android 10 while the company has promised Android 11 in the near future. With the arrival of Android 12, things will get even more detailed in the future. 

You want the best camera in the segment

The Realme X7 Pro’s primary camera performance is good but it is let down by other trio. If you are looking for the best camera phone in the mid-range segment, the Xiaomi Mi 10i is still the best.

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