Realme has kicked off 2021 with the X7 series in the Indian market. Buyers can choose from two differently priced smartphones that support 5G network. The new lineup includes the mid-range Realme X7 and the flagship Realme X7 Pro. In this review, we’re checking out if the regular X7 is up to the challenge in the mid-range segment. Priced starting at Rs 19,999, the Realme X7 enters a growing category of affordable 5G devices.
Also read: Best 5G mobile phones you can buy in India
So, how does the X7 fare in comparison to its peers? We have been using the device for a while to find out.
Design and display
- 160.99 x 74.44 x 8.1mm, 176g
- 6.43-inch Super AMOLED, FHD+, 600nits brightness, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 180Hz touch sampling rate
Realme has tried to play it safe with the design language of the X7, and that’s not entirely a bad thing. The phone’s back panel is not made of glass. Instead you have a plastic body finishing with the AG shower coating adding extra gloss.
The only drawback of the build quality is that it attracts smudges quite easily and you will be occupied getting rid of them frequently. Having a screen protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 is a definite plus though.
We got the Space Silver variant of the device, which thankfully does not have the ‘Dare to Leap’ logo emblazoned at the back of the phone. The phone’s dimensions are finely balanced to give it the right ergonomics. You can easily hold it in one hand.
It also helps the phone does not weigh heavy, like other phones you have in this price bracket. The volume rocker sits on the left of the phone, the power button is on the right and the fingerprint sensor is placed under the display.
The performance of the under-display fingerprint scanner was fast and and accurate. Coming to the display quality, Realme X7 features a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED screen with Full HD+ resolution. Using this panel has come at the cost of no high refresh rate support, which is a definite downgrade. The screen produces rich colours, text is sharp and you get high brightness with decent outdoor visibility.
- Rear: 64-megapixel primary lens, 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel macro sensor
- Front: 16-megapixel main camera
Realme has packed the X7 with a triple rear camera module that consists of a 64-megapixel sensor, accompanied by an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens and 2-megapixel macro sensor. There is a 16-megapixel camera on the front for selfies and video calling. The camera app offers modes like a dedicated 64MP, super nightscape, timelapse, portrait, ultra macro and slow motion, among others.
Talking about the performance the cameras on the Realme X7, we noticed they offer mixed results. Photos clicked in daylight are decent enough, with sharp details, focus intact and minimal shutter lag. But it was hard to ignore the pastel-like finishing of the photos whenever the ambient lighting dropped.
With the remaining sensors, you get versatility that is expected from a mid-range smartphone these days. But the resulting photos lack polish and finesse, especially when the details start to fade.
With regards to low light imaging, as long as you do not enable the Nightscape mode, the results are satisfactory. Images have decent amount of detail but they do look a bit washed out. We are hoping Realme can fix these issues through a firmware update.
In the front, the 16-megapixel can deliver good selfies and portrait images, but the processing makes the skin look artificial. The background blur works effectively with portrait photos and details are easy to capture. The camera comes equipped with Nightscape, Beauty and HDR mode that lets you experiment in low light conditions.
Performance, software and battery
- Android 10 with Realme UI
- MediaTek Dimensity 800U
- 6GB + 128GB, 8GB + 128GB
- 4,310mAh battery, 50W fast charging
Now, let us talk about the performance and hardware capability of the Realme X7. This is the first mid-range device to come powered by the latest MediaTek Dimensity 800U, 5G-enabled chipset. It is a 7nm octa-core processor that comes integrated with a Mali-G57 GPU. The unit we got has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. But you also have the choice to go for the cheaper 6GB + 128GB variant.
The performance of the Dimensity 800U processor was surprisingly good and we barely noticed any major lags during our time with the device. The phone runs easily with several tabs open in Chrome, watching videos on Netflix or streaming music. When it comes to gaming, I played Forza Street and COD Mobile on the phone. And like everything else, the phone showed no signs of slowing down during a long gaming workout.
The surprising part was, the device hardly showed signs of heating up. During our video loop test for more than an hour, the battery dropped from 70 percent to 58 percent which shows the effective power management of the chipset. Unfortunately, the phone lacks a memory card slot for storage expansion and missed out on headphone jack too.
For a brand like Realme, we expected its first phone in 2021 to ship with Android 11 out of the box. Instead, you get Android 10 built over Realme UI. Now, as have seen before, the operating system offers stock Android-like interface. But the company really has to work on reducing the amount of bloatware. It becomes annoying after a while to see your notifications bombarded with random ads and stickers.
And finally, the built-in 4,310mAh battery on the Realme X7 comes with support for 50W fast charging. The effective battery management allows you to get the best results. We managed to get more than a day’s battery life with normal usage. The 50W charger lets you juice up the battery from 0 to 50 percent in less than 20 minutes, which is pretty impressive.
Realme X7 is a fresh start to the year and gives us a glimpse into the future of the mid-range segment for 2021. The 5G-supported chipset from MediaTek makes an impressive debut, delivering the performance level we expect at this price range nowadays.
We would have liked the phone to come with Android 11 out of the box, which isn’t the case and the bloatware doesn’t help either. In addition, the lack of a high-refresh rate and mixed results from the cameras leave something to be desired. However, the phone is a reliable performer with 5G support, and the AMOLED panel and 50W fast charging support are useful extras.
Other options available to you in this price range are the Moto G 5G (review) and the Xiaomi Mi 10i (review) that come powered by the powerful Snapdragon 750G octa-core chipset from Qualcomm. However, the Realme X7 stands out for being the most affordable 5G device currently available in the country.
Pricebaba’s rating: 8/10
- Good performance
- Impressive battery life
- Compact design
- Super AMOLED screen
- Decent camera in day light
- Display lacks high refresh rate
- No headphone jack
- Low light photography needs improvement
- Software riddled with bloatware