Is Realme OS reliable

Realme X50 Pro in the test: new competition for Xiaomi?

The days of cheap high-end smartphones are over. For the latest model from Oneplus, the manufacturer whose first device was available for less than 300 euros in 2014, you have to spend at least 700 euros. Among the devices available in this country, Xiaomi's Mi 10 is currently the cheapest smartphone with the Snapdragon 865 and most of the other amenities that you would expect from a flagship. Below that would only be the Pocophone F2 Pro, which is not yet officially available in our latitudes.

With Realme, however, a new brand has recently ventured into the domestic market. She lives - similar to Oneplus - under the roof of Oppo and is likely to want to fill the gap that Huawei's Honor has left due to the US embargo. As the current top model, the X50 Pro is available at the same nominal price as the Mi 10. THE STANDARD has tested it.

Basics

The test sample is presented in the color version officially called "rust red" in a well-made housing made of metal and glass, which measures 159 x 74.2 x 8.9 millimeters. At almost 210 grams, it is a rather heavier type of cell phone. The front is largely occupied by a 90 Hertz and HDR-capable AMOLED display, which, with a diagonal of 6.4 inches and an aspect ratio of 20: 9 (2,400 x 1,080 pixels), meets the new trend of increasing screen space through vertical growth does. The logical conclusion: one-handed operation only works to a limited extent.

The dual front camera is located in a small cutout in the corner of the screen. The very fast and reliable fingerprint scanner is hidden in the lower area.

The manufacturer's logo and the main camera with its four sensors are prominently on the back. The two buttons for volume control are located on the left edge, opposite the on / off switch. Although the overall construction is not quite as smooth as some other premium cell phones, you should consider using the enclosed transparent protective cover.

Flagship specs

The standard repertoire of the usual 2020 flagship, namely a Snapdragon 865 chip in combination with - depending on the model - 6, 8 or 12 GB of RAM and 128 or 256 GB of storage, is hidden beneath the quite handsome exterior. The test device delivered the maximum configuration, i.e. 256 GB of storage space and 12 GB of RAM, which costs around 750 euros.

The cell phone is 5G-capable (not subject to the test), but it also connects to LTE networks and also comes with WiFi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1 and NFC. When buying, you should look carefully, because the cell phone is available in both a single and a dual SIM version.

The battery has a nominal capacity of 4,200 mAh and supports charging with an output of up to 65 watts with the adapter supplied. This is done via the Type-C USB 2.0 port. There is no 3.5 mm jack plug for classic headphones.

Android 10 is preinstalled in the Realme UI variant, which in turn is an adapted edition of Oppos Color OS.

Where's the update?

The first impression is good. The display delivers bright, strong, but not screaming colors. Despite its roots in Color OS, which has been overloaded for many years, the system is quite close to "Vanilla" Android, but offers various aesthetic customization options and features such as a "Game Space", split screen or an "App Cloner". The latter is intended for people who want to use a messenger that does not actually have an account management system with multiple accounts. The software reacts quickly to inputs, as one might expect from the hardware.

It remains to be seen how diligent Realme will be with releasing updates. The update to Android 11 is to be expected, but the delivery of security, feature and bug fix updates via the update function failed on the test device. Although Realme released a new firmware version for the EU edition of the cell phone both in May and in mid-June, these did not appear even when the user initiated a search, and the cell phone continued to run with a version with the Android security patch from March.

At least Realme offers the latest editions of its software for download on its homepage, so that you can help yourself there manually. The download of the complete firmware is currently 3.6 GB, however, significantly more extensive than an OTA package that only contains new files that need to be updated.

camera

The high-performance impression is confirmed by the benchmarks - both in Geekbench and in the graphics test with 3DMark, the Realme X50 Pro is among the top ranks compared to other top-class phones of the same generation - and in practice. Games with higher performance requirements and demanding graphics also run smoothly. However, it is noticeable that the phone becomes uncomfortably warm after a few minutes of high performance.

Which means it's time to devote yourself to the camera. Here you will find a 64 MP main camera, an ultra-wide sensor with 8 MP, a telephotocam with 12 MP and a 2 MP depth sensor. In addition to the usual modes, it also realizes an optical 2x zoom, a hybrid 5x zoom and two macro modes (macro and ultra macro).

Under good conditions, in other words: daylight, you can take photos that look very good at first glance. As long as you look at it on a smaller screen, the Realme X50 Pro is also within striking distance of Samsung, Oneplus and Huawei. On closer inspection, however, you have to devalue the newcomer by at least one class. There are two reasons for this, both of which can be found in automated image enhancement.

First: Postprocessing has a tendency to swallow finer structures and also has some difficulties with the edges of smaller objects in the background. Second: The sharpening of the images is simply too intense. This may to a certain extent be a matter of taste, but edges that are suddenly strangely lightened as a result of this phenomenon do not necessarily contribute to the natural impression of a picture. Anyone who values ​​a realistic depiction of the motifs should, by the way, leave the automatic AI color optimization switched off, because it clearly tends to exaggerate the amplification of colors.

The zoom function fulfills your expectations under these circumstances. However, if you use the macro functions (the difference between which could not be identified until recently), there is a tendency towards overexposure.

These phenomena also show up when the light conditions decrease. However, since the camera still releases quickly even when the lighting is fading, at least the lack of optical image stabilization does not lead to difficulties here. This omission takes revenge if you use the night mode ("Nightscape"). This offers its own tripod mode, but you should always lean your phone against something or fix it in some other way when taking night shots. Otherwise you have to reckon with photos that are in good part not particularly sharp. If the mobile phone remains motionless during the recording, the pictures are quite attractive, even if they are also not quite on a par with other top smartphones.

What sounds relatively negative should not be misunderstood. In terms of photography, the Realme X50 Pro may not quite come close to the usually more expensive competition, but all in all it delivers "good" pictures.

The front camera - it combines a 32 and an 8 MP sensor - is much nicer with finer details. By default, it does not iron faces smooth either, but it does on request.

Acoustics

The acoustic fare of this phone is surprisingly good for a smartphone thanks to the stereo output system (loudspeaker on the underside plus earphones). The volume is sufficient for background sound in a medium-sized room (around 15 to 25 square meters). Midtones and highs sound very decent for a cell phone. To no one's surprise, it is a bass miracle. However, there is also no noticeably annoying clatter in the case of very high or low notes.

The voice quality for calls cannot quite match this high level. But it can be classified as "passable". You and the person you are talking to can be heard loudly, but intelligibility is somewhat clouded by a slight noise, which should not be a major problem even in situations with more intense background noise.

battery pack

The battery of the X50 Pro, as far as it can be assessed over the relatively short test period, will easily last into the evening even for users who use their mobile phone frequently, usually with reserves until the next noon. Unless one often dedicates oneself to apps that use the maximum screen playback frequency of 90 Hz and therefore noticeably increase power consumption. The battery life is also likely to be depressed when using 5G, which in Central Europe is a mainly theoretical scenario for the vast majority of cell phone users, since the network is only in the infancy of its expansion.

The quick charge with 65 watts helps out well in emergencies. In the test, the cell phone was able to be brought back to a charge level of 95 percent within 30 minutes after it was completely discharged.

Conclusion

Realme obviously started in Central Europe to succeed Honor. At least not quite succeed with the X50 Pro, since the price is higher than Huawei's "youth brand" and instead enters the very direct duel with Xiaomi and its Mi 10 (not the Pro edition). This is superior to the fact that you can charge the battery faster and the system interface - relevant for purists - is closer to standard Android. However, the battery is also smaller in size.

But especially with the camera, which is so important for many users and in the advertising message, something is left out. Problematic configured post-processing and, above all, the lack of optical image stabilization ensure moderate to significant (night mode) differences in quality. This mobile phone, which is quite convincing in most other areas, is ultimately still a good choice, but by no means a new "flagship killer". (Georg Pichler, July 5, 2020)

Test photos

To view the original photo, please click on the description.