The Realme XT, launched earlier this week for the Philippine market, is the brand’s most recent release — but it’s also the priciest smartphone under the former OPPO sub-brand’s arsenal.
That doesn’t come without reason, though, as the XT is one of the first devices to include a 64-megapixel camera in its specs sheet. Sixty-four megapixels. That’s on top of a Super AMOLED screen with an in-screen fingerprint scanner, a battery that supports fast charging over USB-C, and plenty more that you’ll want to read about.
It’s a pretty loaded phone, to be sure. So is it worth your hard-earned money? Stick around for our full review of the Realme XT. But first, let’s get to the important stuff: local pricing and availability.
Realme XT price and availability
In the Philippines, the Realme XT is priced at P16,990, or around $333, for 8GB RAM and 128GB of onboard storage.
Shipping has started for those who preordered online. On the other hand, those who book their orders offline can claim their unit starting November 9.
The Realme XT is available in Pearl White and Pearl Blue colors.
Design and build
If you’re familiar with the Realme 5 Pro, the Realme XT boasts roughly the same dimensions and weight and has a similar overall design that incorporates a plastic frame to hold the assembly together.
This time around, the front and back use Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for improved scratch resistance, whereas the rear panel ditches the diamond pattern in favor of a gradient design with colorful streaks around the edges, which we actually prefer. Additionally, the backside of the phone doesn’t have a physical fingerprint scanner, so it looks cleaner and more modern.
And like the Pro, the XT has a quad-camera setup on the back, with dedicated sensors for ultra-wide, portrait, and macro photography. The front-facing camera is housed in a dewdrop notch on the top bezel as well, below the earpiece speaker.
The contoured sides of the Realme XT lend a comfortable hold to the user, while the physical buttons, located on the left and right, are clicky and tactile, and they’re positioned where your fingers would naturally rest. The power button has an accent color band to make it easier to find.
Along the bottom edge, you’ll find a headphone jack, a USB-C port to accommodate fast charging (up to 20 watts, in this case) and file transfers, and a mono speaker. The headphone jack is a welcome inclusion and delivers clear and clean audio. The down-firing speaker, on the other hand, is quite powerful, packs some depth, and doesn’t distort much at high volume. For high-definition wireless audio, there’s aptX and aptX HD support via Bluetooth.
If you use your phone for listening to music a lot, whether over the headphone jack, the loudspeaker, or Bluetooth, you’ll appreciate what the XT brings to the table.
One of the biggest attractions here is the display. It is Super AMOLED rather than LCD and measures 6.4 inches across, with a resolution of 2,340 x 1,080 and a tall-but-not-too-tall aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The screen on the Realme XT is the best we’ve seen yet from the brand, and the quality is exemplary at this price range.
It’s crisp, bright, and punchy without being overly vibrant and saturated, and you get striking black levels which became clear after we enabled the system-wide Dark mode in the settings. The panel is also great for viewing photos and videos shot on the Realme XT’s powerful camera system (which we’ll get to in a bit).
What’s more, there’s an optical fingerprint scanner embedded into the display, and this is the first time we’ve seen a locally available Realme ship with one.
But even though the XT is one of the first phones from the company that can be unlocked by gently pressing down on the screen, the scanner is impressively fast and accurate. We suppose this should come as no surprise, as Realme is born from BBK Group, the same parent company as OPPO, OnePlus, and Vivo.
In the display settings, you can change the temperature of the panel to suit your preference. With Night Shield, meanwhile, the screen will be easier on your eyes at night. There’s also a black-and-white mode to achieve the same effect while at the same time conserve battery power.
Our only gripe in the screen department is that the Realme XT doesn’t have Widevine L1 certification, which means you won’t be able to watch HD content on Netflix and other streaming services protected by DRM. If you’re fine with that, chances are you’ll love what the XT offers. In the sub-P20,000 ($391) category, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better panel.
No doubt, the most impressive spec on paper is the camera setup, as we have shown earlier, too. The Realme XT boasts four cameras at the back and sensors for landscape, portrait, and macro photography, like the Realme 5 series. Multiple rear cameras are commonplace now, and just about every company makes a quad-camera smartphone. However, very few have the 64-megapixel Samsung Isocell Bright GW1 sensor of the XT.
This Samsung sensor is the same one found in Vivo’s NEX 3 flagship and the Redmi Note 8 Pro. It uses pixel-binning technology to combine data found in four pixels into one to get a brighter and more detailed image at a lower resolution. In this case, it’s 16 megapixels, which is still plenty sharp for everyday use.
In decent lighting, standard shots out of the 64-megapixel camera range from good to excellent, and the phone does a consistent job of providing spot-on exposure and maintaining highlights and shadow detail in high-contrast scenes. The color rendering is generally on the cooler side yet still fairly accurate in both outdoor and indoor conditions. The auto-focus system works well in most scenarios, too, and locks on quickly and accurately at standard focal length.
The wide-angle camera gets an 8-megapixel sensor, while the portrait and macro sensors are 2 megapixels. The portrait and macro cameras work well enough in ideal lighting, but anything short of that adversely affects the quality of the image.
Nightscape mode vs Auto mode: Set 1
Unlike most other handsets, the Realme XT’s ultra-wide-angle camera can do fantastic night shots, thanks to Realme’s Nightscape mode
Unlike most other handsets, the XT’s ultra-wide angle can do night shots, thanks to Realme’s fantastic Nightscape mode, which combines data from multiple frames with various exposure values to produce a composite image with wider dynamic range and reduced noise. It also applies distortion correction automatically, so don’t be surprised to see cropped images often. There’s no auto-focus here, nor can you tap on the screen to focus on your subject.
With enough lighting, you can take nice portrait selfies with the Realme XT
In front, the XT has a 16-megapixel camera for selfies, and it provides a good amount of detail and sharpness. And with enough lighting, you can snap some nice portrait selfies.
A 10nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 chipset, which has been passed on from the Realme 5 Pro, powers the Realme XT. It boasts higher clock speeds compared to the Snapdragon 710 but features the same Kyro 360 cores and Adreno 616 graphics. The CPU and GPU speeds are improved compared to the previous generation, and Realme claims gains of up to 10% when doing CPU-intensive tasks, whereas graphics performance can improve by as much as 35%.
The XT also gets 128GB of built-in UFS 2.1 storage to improve the overall app-launching experience and data-transfer speeds, along with a dedicated microSD card slot for expansion. Meanwhile, the 8GB RAM will allow you to keep more apps cached in the background.
Gameplay: Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, PUBG Mobile (5:00 mark), and Call of Duty: Mobile (10:03 mark)
As expected, the phone feels perfectly smooth in day-to-day use, thanks to the Snapdragon 712 chip, adequate amount of RAM, and fast UFS 2.1 storage. While gaming, you can run graphics-intensive games like Call of Duty: Mobile and NBA 2K20 at high detail. And, yes, High Frame Rate or HFR mode is supported on Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
For those curious about benchmark performance, our review sample registered an overall score of 222,228 in version 8 of Antutu Benchmark. It scored 411 and 1,560 points in GeekBench 5’s single-core and multi-core tests, respectively. No metal in the frame means that the phone doesn’t get too warm, even while gaming or using the camera for a long time.
Battery and charging
The Realme XT draws power from a 4,000mAh battery backup, which is good enough to keep it going for the requisite full day with normal use including social networking, email, and taking pictures.
As we mentioned previously, it comes with 20-watt fast charging using the included power brick. It will take about 90 minutes to get a fully drained battery to 100%.
Realme has established itself as a major player in the consumer electronics industry, with a focus on value-oriented products that will resonate with the masses. For us personally, it has yet to disappoint so far.
And with the announcement of the Realme XT, the company has shown that it is slowly progressing towards capturing higher price segments. The biggest highlight of the XT is the camera hardware on the back, and its main shooter is the best we’ve ever tested at this price range. It can even rival the camera of some flagship phones released this year. The auxiliary cameras are decent as well.
The Realme XT is an exceptional buy, a notable upgrade even if you’re coming from a 2019 release like the Realme 3, and a highly recommended smartphone
While it’s the most expensive smartphone Realme ever released in the Philippines, we feel that the cost is more than reasonable, especially with a fingerprint-sensing Super AMOLED screen thrown into the mix, alongside a capable processor with a hefty serving of RAM and a battery that can last all day on a charge. It’s an exceptional buy, a notable upgrade even if you’re coming from a 2019 release like the Realme 3, and a highly recommended smartphone.
Realme XT specs
- 6.4-inch AMOLED screen
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor
- 4GB/6GB/8GB RAM
- 64GB/128GB storage
- Quad cameras: 64MP main, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro, 2MP depth
- 16MP front camera
- Fingerprint sensor (under-display)
- 4,000mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 fast-charging technology
- ColorOS 6 based on Android 9 Pie
- Colors: Pearl White and Pearl Blue
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