- AMOLED display
- MediaTek Dimensity 800U
- Good Camera quality
- GPU performance is average
- Night mode needs improvement
- Screen brightness is average
Realme has just revealed the X7 series, its newest smartphone lineup, and it comes as the company’s first 2021 launch. I’ve already reviewed the Realme X7 Pro, but the Realme X7 definitely deserves a close look at its sibling, too. It was earlier speculated that Realme will be very competitively pricing the new devices and I’m not disappointed now that the official prices are out. The X7, launched at Rs 19,999, competes with a lot of other smartphones, both from other brands and from its own Realme-branded siblings. The phone packs in some of the best internal ones that can be purchased for the price in traditional Realme fashion. This involves the MediaTek Dimensity 800U 5G-capable chipset, with the X7 rocking this SoC as India’s very first handset. A Super AMOLED display, one of the lightest bodies, and superfast 50W charging speeds are also available. There is a great deal of sense in buying the Realme X7 with such specs on paper, but how successful is it in real life? In this thorough analysis, let’s find out.
Display and Design
Although the Realme X7 can’t boast of a premium glass build, it provides the next best thing courtesy polished polycarbonate back with a matte-like finish that serves as a deterrent to fingerprints. Realme gloats about getting some outer space inspiration that flows into the X7’s color scheme. The Realme X7 is very smooth to the touch, to its credit, and the AG shower coating can make a good impression. The phone weighs in at 176g and has a thickness of 8.1 mm and is fairly light in the palm. The relatively narrow frame and the gently sloping edges provide a very simple grip for the unit. There is a clear silicone case included in the pack to prevent harm, as is common with Realme devices.
On the top left, vertically arranged alongside the flash module, is a triple-camera housing. When put on a flat surface, it causes a small wobble that can be removed when you use the case. On the left side of the handset, a tactile volume rocker is present and is very simple to hit, as is the power button on the right. Slowly but gradually, Realme is heading to a world without the headphone jack. That’s kind of understandable as, in the form of the TWS Buds Air, the company also offers worthy and VFM wireless alternatives. However, Realme gives you a 3.5mm Type-C adapter in the box if the wired amateur in you can not be tamed. At the bottom is the dual-SIM slot, along with the speaker grille and USB-C connector. You may not get a stereo sound system, unlike the X7 Pro, but the phone comes with Hi-res audio certification. The phone falls just marginally behind the amazingly sleek Vivo V20, whose color choice, chassis design, and camera housing are fascinating, if I had to rate the X7 among its peers. Even so, it is clear to me that Realme has invested time in the craftmanship of the X7 and its users will not be disappointed.
The screen measures 6.4-inch diagonally on the Realme X7 and is an FHD+ resolution Super AMOLED screen. The X7 only provides a 60Hz refresh rate compared to the X7 Pro, but that can be expected considering the latter’s pricing. The 5 month-old Realme 7 Pro and the Realme X7’s panel have very little visual difference. Both phones are packed in precise panels that are vivid, punchy, and very colorful. Since it’s an OLED panel, you get deep blacks around the screen and there is very little color shift at various viewing angles. The top-left punch-hole cutout covers a minuscule area and the bezels surrounding the panel are similarly trimmed.
In addition, the X7 provides the same set of options for display customization as on the X7 Pro. This includes the visual enhancement of OSIE for better colors when watching images, eye protection and dark mode toggles, the ability to set the color temperature and change the brightness. On the Realme X7, HDR certification is not present, but you do have support for WideVine L1 to display HD content on OTT platforms. With a touch sampling rate of 180Hz, the panel is very responsive. The display can reach a peak brightness of 600 nits, which is just about in the sufficient range, but on a very bright day, there were moments when I had to squint when viewing material. If you are someone who prefers a high refresh rate LCD display over a precise 60Hz AMOLED color display, then you can look at something like the POCO X33. For most users, when it comes to providing a decent viewing experience, the Realme X7’s panel does not disappoint.
A 64MP primary lens headlining the triple-camera setup on the Realme X7 is distinct from the one used on the Realme X7 Pro. You get the Sony IMX686 flagship sensor on the latter, while the former has to contend with the Samsung ISOCELL GW2. The 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro sensors support it, while you get a 16MP selfie camera housed in the punch-hole on the front. When you press regular pixel-binned shots, the primary shooter brings a lot of clarity and detail. There’s slightly general oil pastel, though, and look at the pictures and the colors come out a little brighter than I’d like. The dynamic range and exposure handling of the sensor are, however, very up to the mark. The blue tinge of the morning sky is brought out very well, even under an excessively bright light. The 64MP UHD mode allows the shots to filter for more data, but that comes at the cost of the correct dynamic range. Focusing from a mid-range system is as rapid as can be expected and there is minimal shutter lag. To separate the subject from the background, the portrait mode uses computational algorithms. Although the overall blur is pretty good, it can get a little iffy for edge detection. Finally, the 2MP macro sensor has a focal length of approximately 4 cm and can take precise shots of color, but lacks information.
The phone will churn out some great pictures in low light, and this is without using the dedicated Nightscape mode. Shadows and highlights are brought out very well, helped by certain surrounding lighting. In severe low-light, which is to be expected, there is a slight lag when concentrating. For enhanced details at night, Realme’s Nightscape mode falters somewhat in that it appears to over-expose and often oversharpen the shots, smoothing out details. This was an issue I also faced on the X7 Pro. However, with enough ambient light, you get some decent colors. Realme has previously enhanced its capabilities in night mode on previous phones, and I believe the company will also work to develop it on the X7 series. Although most of us will let the AI determine how best to take a specific low-light shot in detail, camera enthusiasts may also use the ‘Pro’ night mode. The ISO, White Balance, Shutter Speed, and more for fine-tuning can be changed manually here.
The Realme X7 supports 4K recording, but only at 30fps, as far as video taking abilities go, while 1080p recording can be done at 60fps. The total frame rate at which you can fire is 240fps at 720p for super slow-mo. With its tiny f/2.5 aperture, the front selfie shooter succeeds in taking precise and feature-rich selfies with accurate skin tones. I have come to expect Realme phones to have some amount of facial smoothening and the X7 meets those standards. However, I was very pleased with how the shots turned out, especially in portrait mode. The tiny opening on the lens means that selfies are slightly underexposed at night, but the flash on the screen does enough to bring out a lot of details. I was very impressed as a whole with the capabilities of the Realme X7 as a daylight shooter. A change in the night mode is likely to make it one of its segment’s best camera experiences.
Credit : Greekyanjit
The Dimensity 800U on the Realme X7 is the 7nm-based SoC from MediaTek that was first launched and supports 5G in the Indian market. The chipset is competing with the Snapdragon 750G, the new mid-range offering from Qualcomm. You may wonder how MediaTek fares and the response is pretty good. Pricing starts at Rs 20,999 for the SD750G-powered Moto G 5G and Mi 10i, which is comparable to the starting price of Rs 19,999 for the Realme X7. The X7 and Mi 10i are pretty much neck-to-neck when I compare the benchmark performances. The X7 scored 597 on Geekbench on single-core and 1,789 on multi-core scores, while you have 659 and 1,999 on the Mi 10i side. Looking at Antutu, with a cumulative score of 335,217, the Realme X7 moves slightly higher, while the Mi 10i is only behind at 328,730. I have the 8 GB RAM + 128 GB version of the handset, but with the same storage, the starting price will get you 6 GB RAM.
There were very few things to worry about while using the Realme X7 as my regular driver. With the regular multi-tasking and app opening results, which is something that any phone can do well in its price range. Instead, I was very pleased with the Realme X7’s power performance. All the while browsing on Instagram and flipping to YouTube occasionally for about 30 minutes, I was uploading multiple video files over Chrome. While all tasks were completed smoothly and without lag, I was very shocked that only 6 percent of the battery was drained. The temperature of the phone only rose by 6 degrees during this time, which is very impressive again.
GPU output on the tablet, however, is missing, or at least it is on PubG. The quality of graphics was set to smooth, while the choice of frame rate is capped at ultra. In contrast, in addition to the extreme frame rate, the Realme 7 Pro‘s Snapdragon 720G will run the game at high graphics quality. When I had surpassed my playtime of over an hour on the X7, there were occasional frame drops and jittering. I think there should be an upgrade in time to allow for higher graphics settings, but high-end gaming is a problem for now. Any low-level gaming task should not be a concern, such as Angry Birds or Subway Surfers.
Other features on the phone include a snappy fingerprint sensor on the display and a system for face authentication. On the X7, there is no official IP ranking, but the company said the system is splash-proof, with silicone sealing in all ports. Even so, I’d warn against pulling this phone out of the water for a dunk. The device is also Hi-Res audio accredited, as described above, which can amplify your listening experience with compatible earphones. As for the 5G support of the X7, as of now, it can’t really be the determining factor. Although the next-gen networks are not so much in the far future, this year’s launch on the Indian market is at best doubtful. As of now, none of the telcos, except for Jio, seem to have a concrete 5G rollout schedule. I would suggest waiting a few more months before making purchasing decisions based on the 5G capabilities of a device, especially if it’s an inexpensive or a mid-range smartphone. Unless there is good coverage in the field, you get the normal fast LTE/4G speeds. On Jio circle, I checked the phone and faced no problems like call drops. The output of the microphone and earpiece were also up to the level expected. Finally, the depth and clarity of the single bottom-firing speaker amazed me, although I would have preferred a stereo system on the similarly priced Realme 7 Pro.
I was surprised to see that while most of its contemporaries have already migrated to Android 11, the Realme X7 only ships with Android 10 out of the box. You get the skin of RealmeUI that is more Android-like in stock than before, but there is still bloatware. While reviewing the X7 Pro, I explored the characteristics of Realme’s custom Android skin in detail. In short, if the transition to Android 11 happens soon, I will be very pleased, but otherwise, RealmeUI has very little to hate.
Packing in a 4,300mAh battery, the Realme X7 for more than a day of use does not inspire trust. You do get superfast charging speeds, though, like the Pro model. The battery utilizes the 50W SuperDart charging solution in the case of the Realme X7. Even so, if you have any compatible Realme phones lying around, Realme has gone ahead and included a 65W charger inside the pack. As anticipated, in an amazingly quick time, the X7 is juiced up: 15 percent in 6 minutes, 50 percent in 19 minutes, and in almost 50 minutes, a complete charge. Realme has used its normal battery optimization methods that maintain the charge when the screen of the phone is off or the device is in sleep mode. The power efficiency of the Dimensity 800U also assists in this respect. I finished most days with about 20 percent of the battery remaining and almost 6 hours of screen time. The Battery 2.0 test by PCMark yielded a score of 14 hours and 29 minutes, which is more than appropriate considering the battery power of the Realme X7.