Nandini YadavFeb 25, 2020 19:09:40 IST
In the past two months, a bunch of sub-50k smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite (review) and the Galaxy S10 Lite (review) have been launched, which aim to offer premium looking devices at a slightly lower price. Now this concept of a mid-budget premium device is genius, but do customers in this category deserve a watered down version of a premium phone? I didn't think of this question until the Realme X50 Pro 5G was launched this week, which I think is the answer to what a mid-budget premium phone should offer.
Realme X50 Pro 5G debuted on 24 February as the first smartphone in India to feature a Snapdragon 865 chipset with 5G support. Although just a day later, iQoo 3 was launched with that exact configuration, but we are going to come back to that in a bit.
I spent a few minutes with the Realme X50 Pro 5G, and I have nothing to complain about the device, yet!
Realme X50 Pro 5G's design is refreshing
The smartphone comes in a green and a red colour variant. But these colours aren't the usual kind. Realme has used a 3D AG glass back for the X50 Pro, with a matte effect on top. The glass and matte combination gives the phone a fantastic gradient. Also, thanks to the matte effect at the back, the device doesn't get all smudgy very quickly. However, because of the glass component, the device looked like it would be quite prone to scratches. In fact, I managed to put some mild scratches on the device in 30 or so minutes I spent with it.
Besides that, the matte back is a plus for the good grip it offers, however, all the matte layering on the glass seems to have added to the weight of the device. The Realme X50 Pro 5G looks quite thick and feels very heavy.
The display on the X50 Pro is a Super AMOLED one, with great colours. However, in bright sunlight, with auto brightness on, I felt that while the text was legible, the brightness levels were a little low.
Realme X50 Pro 5G has a much neater UI
The Realme X50 Pro comes with the new Realme UI out of the box, which is based on Android 10. While the UI still has the overly-colourful app icons you've either come to love or hate, and which aren't really my taste, the overall user experience does feel a lot more intuitive. Swiping through the UI, switching between a bunch of apps, surfing a browser, using the camera, it all felt smooth. That could also be thanks to the Snapdragon 865 chipset on-board, which is the latest flagship SoC by Qualcomm and basically the fastest chip that anyone in the Android world has access to. Although the X50 Pro comes with up to 12 GB RAM, the variant I was playing with had 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, not that I'm complaining.
I also used the X50 Pro's camera briefly. Sadly we weren't allowed to export the camera samples from those devices. From my initial impressions, the colours produced in the camera samples looked a bit saturated but had good focus and detail. However, I will be able to share a more detailed review of the phone's camera only after I have tested it for a few days.
I must also mention, that while using the phone at the launch, I really wanted to test 5G on it because that was all the hype around the Realme X50 Pro, but I couldn't do that due to the obvious absence of 5G networks in India right now. This also made me realise how 5G may be an interesting addition to smartphones in the long run, but currently it isn't a very relevant feature for users in India.
It's going to be Realme X50 Pro 5G vs iQ00 3 5G in the end!
Coming back to iQoo 3 and its X50 Pro-like configuration, I think in the sub-50k segment, the two smartphones are the real competitors right now. This also means that the two smartphones are going to be competing with each other very closely. In the next few weeks, we will be sharing our review of both iQoo 3 and Realme X50 Pro 5G, and that's when we will know which phone is the real mid-budget flagship queen!
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