Hands-on with the Realme X50 Pro, the matte 5G powerhouse

Realme caused the smartphone world to rethink what is considered a good price-to-performance ratio with the X2 Pro last year. Now, with the launch of the Reame X50 Pro (5G), the brand is upping the stakes once again. The hardware here is, on paper at least, breathtakingly good.

Realme X50 Pro release date and price
The Realme X50 Pro was launched at an event at the MWC 2020 in Barcelona online launch event in Madrid today. Realme has been pricing its phones ultra competitively up until this point - the Realme X2 Pro launched at just €399 in Europe - but given that the X50 Pro comes with a Snapdragon 865 SoC and X55 5G modem, it's not surprising to see the price rise a little.
In Spain, the Relame X50 Pro 5G starts at €599 (8GB/128GB). An 8GB/256GB version is available for €669 and a top-end 12GB/256GB version costs €749. This is by far the cheapest 5G smartphone you can buy today. These prices should be fairly consistent across Europe.

Modern, matte design
Realme believes that low-saturation colors have become very popular with young people. Apparently, these kinds of colors are low-key and make people feel more secure. As a result, the X50 Pro comes in two low-saturation colors named Moss Green and Rust Red, and is quite understated. The Rust Red version we tested, however, does look brown in most lighting, but it's kind of cool to have a brown smartphone.

The surface of the glass is processed by AG technology, providing a matte texture. Realme went with considerable haze with this glass to reduce the emission of light to less than 1 percent of ordinary glass. Personally, I like the roughness of the surface and the matte finish provides a comfortable and warm feel. It almost feels soft at times and is essentially fingerprint-proof like the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Other than the feel, the Realme X50 Pro looks like any other current flagship smartphone. There are a couple of buttons on the sides, a raised camera module on the back, a USB-C port on the bottom and a pill-shaped, hole-punched display much like we saw on the Samsung Galaxy S10+, only this one is on the other side of the display.

The X50 Pro comes with dual super linear dual speakers. It supports Dolby Atmos surround sound and Hi-Res sound quality too.

A high quality 90Hz Super AMOLED display
The Realme X50 Pro features a 6.44-inch Samsung Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate and 180Hz sampling rate. The resolution comes in at 2400 x 1080, or FHD+. This may be a Samsung display, but don't expect something on a par with the kind of Quad HD+ Dynamic, 120Hz stuff you see on the Galaxy S20, for example.

In fact, the display is one of the few areas where you do have to compromise a little bit with the X50 Pro. It's not bad by any means, but whereas the X50 Pro can compete with almost anything out there in terms of performance, the display is one area where its difficult to do some serious flagship killing these days.

The X50 Pro is also equipped with Realme's latest G3.0 fingerprint recognition and unlocking solution, which the Chinese brand says has doubled the touch-sensitive area and increased signal intensity by 40 percent. Boasting an average unlocking speed of only 0.27 seconds, it is one of the fastest fingerprint unlocking solutions currently available on the market, and it worked well during my initial testing.

The race to become India's first 5G smartphone is over
Realme has targeted India and Spain as two markets where it thinks it can really move some X50 Pro's. The device becomes the first 5G smartphone available in India , which is apparently a big deal even though there is no 5G network there yet.

To achieve this, Realme has used the Snapdragon 865 and X55 5G modem from Qualcomm. The the X50 Pro features an advanced antenna layout design it is calling "360° surround antenna". Realme designed 13 antennas for X50 Pro to ensure a strong 5G network connection. Of these 13 antennas, three are for GPS, one is for WiFi, one is for NFC, one is for Bluetooth, and eight are for 4G and 5G.

The realme X50 Pro covers all of the world's mainstream 5G bands, including n1, n41, n78, and n79. The idea here is that the system will be able to call upon the antenna with the strongest signal to keep the network stable no matter how you hold the phone. Using 'Smart 5G', it can intelligently perceive the surrounding signal environment and user operation, then switch from 4G to 5G. Realme says this reduces power consumption by 30 percent.

We've only had a short time with the smartphone and will need to test out these claims with both 4G and 5G networks to see if all of this really makes a difference, but it sounds promising.

Realme UI and Android 10
Realme UI, which is based on Android 10, is what you are getting out of the box here. It's kind of like a re-designed and rebranded ColorOS, and tailored to young consumers.

It's simple, but not boring, and you can see how the designers have been inspired by the everyday lifestyle of the younger user. The system colors, icons, wallpapers, and animations scream "TikTok generation" to me, but I do like the system animation, which uses a quantum animation engine to improve screen fluency.

There's also a Dual Mode Music Share feature, a Focus Mode, Personal Information Protection, and a dark mode built into the OS. We'll be checking these out when we do our full review of the phone.

A top-level performance machine
The 7nm Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 with A77 performance cores in the Realme X50 Pro, can reach clock speeds of up to 2.84GHz. This marks a 25 percent overall performance and efficiency improvement over the previous generation. Graphics rendering speeds have increased by 25 percent too, and energy efficiency by 30 percent. Realme says that AI performance has doubled.

In terms of RAM, realme X50 Pro is equipped with LPDDR5 storage. Theoretically, LPDDR5 is 2x faster than the first version of LPDDR4, and nearly 50 percent faster than the high-frequency version of LPDDR4. You'll get 12 juicy GBs of it if you buy this smartphone. As for internal storage, Realme gives you 256GB of dual-channel UFS 3.0.

The also a new upgraded five-dimensional Vapor Cooling System, which includes a Vapor Chamber and Multilayer Solid Graphite, enabling higher heat dissipation performance. The cooling system ensures high performance all the time, even while heavy gaming, and during my initial testing I didn't notice any problems with the phone getting warm. We'll be running the benchmarks and testing this performance thoroughly for the full review, of course.

A 64MP quad camera with 20x hybrid zoom
The Realme X50 Pro has a quad-camera set-up , comprised of a 64-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, an 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle macro lens, and a B&W portrait lens.

The main camera shooter is a 1/1.72-inch Samsung GW1 64MP sensor, and we know all about its Quad Bayer pixel binning mechanism by now! The 119° ultrawide-angle lens (f/2.3), has PDAF support so you don’t need to lean back to capture the shot. The same lens also supports super macro shots of as close as 3cm.

There's up to 20x hybrid zoom on here (sound's like nothing after all of the 100x shots we've seen on social media from the Galaxy S20 Ultra) with 2x hybrid optical zoom, 5x optical hybrid zoom, and 20x hybrid zoom. In the process of zooming, Realme’s Smooth Zoom Technology simulates the zoom feeling of the camera lens.

The B&W Portrait lens has a new color filter system to create retro-style images, and add texture to portraits. Based on Nightscape 2.0, Nightscape 3.0 has also improved with tripods mode and Ultra Nightscape Mode. Realme says that even in a 1 Lux low light environment, it can take "clear, bright, and high-quality night pictures". We'll have to test this once we get the tripod out.

For selfies, the Realme X50 Pro comes with a dual-camera comprised of 32-megapixel Sony IMX616 wide-angle main camera and an 8-megapixel 105° super wide-angle camera. The software can recognize faces and automatically optimize the face contours when you capture on the edge of the photo.

In terms of video, the dual cameras support ultra-wide-angle video shooting and UIS Video Stabilization. You can also shoot video in portrait mode and get a real-time portrait bokeh effect.

There is a lot to take in here, and we'll be testing the camera thoroughly over the next couple of weeks to see how this really stacks up against the competition.
4,200mAh and lots of fast-charging options
With 65W SuperDart fast-charging, the Realme's 4,200mAh dual-cell battery can be fully charged within 35 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can take on nearly 60 percent of its capacity. The X50 Pro also supports 18W QC/PD charging and 30W VOOC 4.0 Flash Charge from OPPO, too.

We've only been able to use the phone for a short time and will be testing the battery performance in both everyday use and with battery benchmarks for you shortly.

Realme X50 Pro technical specifications

DIMENSIONS:158.96 x 74.24 x 9.36 mm
WEIGHT:207 g
SCREEN:2400 x 1080 pixels (409 ppi)
FRONT CAMERA:64 megapixels
REAR CAMERA:32 megapixels
USER INTERFACE:Not available
CHIPSET:Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Early Verdict
I really like what Realme is doing in the smartphone market right now. By focusing on the key areas for its targeted demographic it is able to build something that can compete with the very best in terms of camera, battery life, fast-charging, and performance. For the money, it easy to see why young consumers are flocking to this brand.

I'm excited to put the X50 Pro through our full review process to see where the shortcomings are. They have to be there, somewhere, don't they?
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