A full review of Realme's latest flagship, the Realme X50 Pro 5G, doesn't really seem to be required to determine whether it's got the chops to match its price tag.
The OPPO subsidiary packed this handset with the latest Snapdragon SoC, plenty of options for memory and storage, and a relatively massive battery backed by 65W SuperDart Charge. It also packed some great camera hardware on the reverse side of the gadget's 6.44-inch display panel.
The newest RAM and storage — LPDDR5 and UFS 3.0 with Turbo Write and HPB — are built-in too.
That means this is a smartphone that should perform well beyond its relatively low $820 price tag. And Realme went a bit further too, building all of that to take advantage of a brand new Android 10 skin dubbed Realme UI.
While specs and pricing don't ever tell the whole story, the Realme X50 Pro 5G is a phone that genuinely delivers on its promises. Or at least it mostly does. Advanced cooling and high-quality materials meshed with great features and a smooth OS can only take this smartphone so far. There are still a few shortcomings, for now, that could potentially be solved with a software update and further optimizations.
All of that, of course, makes this device well worth a deeper dive.
Realme X50 Pro 5G is simple and gorgeous
Realme X50 Pro 5G comes in two colors and the company sent its Rust Red variant for review. The phone is, especially under brighter lighting, an exceptionally good-looking device. That's at least in part because the phone is an all-metal design. So, although it's on the heavier side, the sun glints neatly off of its curves causing a shiny, copper tint to show through.
Depending on which angle this smartphone is viewed from and the surrounding lighting, that color tone also shifts dramatically toward black. And a similar effect is likely visible in the Moss Green variant as well. Combined with smooth curves, minimal cutouts or ports, and a smooth finish, the Realme X50 Pro 5G is definitely among the more aesthetically-pleasing smartphones I've tested.
That carries over to the Gorilla Glass 5 display too, embedded with a dual-selfie snapper. Realme set the earpiece speaker in the corner-edge between the surface of the top edge and the display panel. Meanwhile, the bottom bezel is only slightly more pronounced than the top.
There's also no reflectiveness here. So, even though dust particles do collect on the back and on the screen, fingerprints are not really a problem.
Setting aside its looks, this phone also feels great in-hand, and the external hardware functions brilliantly. That includes the in-display fingerprint scanner — which is responsive and snappier than others I've used.
Realme's minimal approach as well as the well-cut speaker grilles and ports on the Realme X50 Pro 5G result in a phone that sits smoothly in hand. The extra weight of this 6.44-inch, 8.9mm thin, 205g phone only serves to add to the premium feel. It's obvious that it's made of high-end materials.
The bottom-edge-mounted USB-C port fits snugly, with no jostling during use. That means it should last quite a long time. And the edge-set buttons — one power and one volume rocker — follow suit. Each pushes through with a satisfactory click and there's no extra or unexpected wiggle to be felt.
Overall, the Realme X50 Pro 5G is just an exceptional looking and feeling smartphone.
Aside from dust collection at the back and front, which isn't as prominent as in other Realme devices, there's really only one caveat to the design here. Namely, that's the rear-mounted cameras. Set vertically along the top-left-hand-edge, the cameras protrude from the rest of the frame. That breaks with the smooth overall feel of the device. But it also makes it awkward to place face-up on any surface.
When this smartphone is put down face-up, it lists to one side and, over time, that could result in scratching or damage to the cameras. So a case is definitely a must here — although a clear case would probably be best so that the great colors used here can shine through.
There's also no 3.5mm headphone jack here, which will be a problem for some.
A display to match the rest of this phone's flagship design
The Realme X50 Pro 5G delivers Android 10-based Realme UI via a 6.44-inch, 90Hz Super AMOLED display panel. That's coated in Gorilla Glass 5 for durability, has a maximum brightness of 1000 nits, and a max contrast of 000000:1. It also manages to hit 100-percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, with a screen-to-body ratio of 92-percent.
But the specs here aren't the only thing that matters.
This screen is a joy to use, despite some cut-off when YouTube videos are zoomed to fill the screen. Not only is there no bleed-over from the screen-embedded dual-camera selfie snapper. That was noted in at least one other, more budget-friendly Realme handset recently. But it's also responsive to even light touches and almost bezel-free.
Colors pop, with a natural vibrance and plenty of brightness for the most well-lit environments. The color temperature and level of vibrance can be adjusted in settings for those who like things a bit more colorful.
The one drawback here is that the screen chosen is only a Full HD+ panel. It's set to a resolution of 2,400 x 1,080.
Now, that doesn't mean it's a bad panel. Most users won't notice any pixels at all or at least not to an annoying degree. But those who are more sensitive will notice that the screen doesn't quite stack up to the 4K panels used in some competing devices.
65W fast charging more than makes up for standby drain
With the Realme X50 Pro 5G, a 4,200mAh capacity battery is included alongside some powerful hardware we'll discuss momentarily. So I expected the battery life to be great. It wasn't the best I've noted but there were really no problems in my battery test with one minor exception. Under review, the Realme X50 Pro 5G does drain a bit fast when placed on standby.
In a six-hour test, the battery dropped by 5 percent. That doesn't sound massive but most phones I've tested or owned drop by only a percent or two. It adds up, so users will want to be aware of that.
Now, it's only fair to point out that I didn't have any extra battery saving features turned on. I didn't turn those on when the phone started to die either. Instead, I kept the default "Smart Performance Mode" active, left the screen at maximum brightness, and just used the phone for various tasks for this test. So battery life in real-world use, for those who choose to use those features or who turn on automatic brightness, will undoubtedly be better.
In total, for this review, the Realme X50 Pro 5G was left on standby for no less than 18-hours and 50-minutes. The amount of screen-on time achieved, conversely, was much more impressive — likely owing to the battery size as much as anything.
Screen-on time equated to nine-hours and 11-minutes. That was split an hour each for the camera, web browsing, and playing games. Just ten minutes more than an hour-and-a-half were spent in messaging apps, making phone calls, downloading apps, and other light uses. Audio streaming via YouTube Music went on for 15-minutes longer than two hours and video streaming services were used a minute longer than that.
That's impressive, as it stands, but Realme's 65W SuperDart Charge here, by comparison, mind-boggling. In fact, on my first charging test, I lost track of time and had to start over because the battery simply filled too quickly. After adjusting the intervals at which I checked battery life, a full charge took just a few seconds over 35-minutes.
Conversely, filling to 46-percent took just ten minutes while twenty minutes took the battery to over 78-percent. Thirty minutes charged this phone all the way up to 97-percent. That makes this among the fastest, if not the fastest, charging smartphones on the market — on top of having exceptional screen-on time.
Realme X50 Pro 5G performance is unwavering
This smartphone is, once its stunning exterior and smooth-touch Gorilla Glass display are stripped away, loaded with some truly next-level components. For starters, there's a Snapdragon 865 5G chipset with a dedicated "vapor cooling system" built-in. Realme also backed that up with the above-mentioned LPDDR5 quad-channel RAM and UFS 3.0 storage. Specifically, that's 6GB, 8GB, or 12GB RAM and either 128GB or 256GB storage.
What that equates to, as shown in this review of the Realme X50 Pro 5G, is a phone that doesn't just avoid cracking under pressure. It doesn't even flinch.
Throughout my review of this smartphone, it didn't heat up at all or even get warm. That remained true whether I was pushing its performance limits via "High-Performance Mode" in the most intensive applications and games or charging up at a full 65W. Simultaneously, apps in multi-window split-screen and multitasking didn't run any differently than when they were run on their own.
Of course, Game Space made it over from the brand's parent — OPPO — and that allows even more optimizations toward performance or battery life. But that's only going to be needed by the most prolific of mobile gamers.
With or without that, apps and games boot up quickly and run smoothly without hiccups. And that's a good thing because this phone is not just pushing that hardware and the above-listed display panel. Realme X50 Pro 5G delivers dual speakers tuned by Dolby Atmos and a Hi-Res audio chipset.
At least in part, that's down to optimizations of the underlying OS skin, which we'll get to momentarily. But there's a lot of hardware being managed here and the Realme X50 Pro 5G does that without any issues. That comes, perhaps more notably, back down to solid design in terms of internals.
Now, my Realme X50 Pro 5G is the 12GB RAM variant. But that shouldn't make a huge difference in terms of performance, given the type of RAM and storage used. Realme's flagship is a high-performance beast that should fit well with any mobile gamer or productivity-focused user's needs, in a more minimal design than other such devices.
Imperfect cameras mar what is otherwise a great experience
The quad-camera array found in the Realme X50 Pro 5G is really the only "big" complaint area that can be leveled against this phone in this review. Under optimal lighting and even under decent night-time lighting, it performs well. With the best lighting, it's easily on par with other flagships. We'll cover features momentarily but Realme even beats out other flagships on that front.
The problem with the cameras is what happens in sub-optimal lighting for night shots and when heavy backlighting is used. In the latter case, as shown in one or two shots in our sample gallery on Flickr, artifacts and lens blooms are far too common. In fact, they pretty much appear in every shot under those conditions.
Annoyingly, the light source in those instances doesn't need to be directly in view either. The camera picks up the light source and creates the effect anyway.
Under the darkest conditions, where modern smartphones can generally create reasonably good photos, the pixelation with the Realme X50 Pro 5G just doesn't meet expectations. That is unless users turn on tripod mode and leave their phone alone for up to a minute. But those shots definitely can't be taken in-hand and some high-detail standard night shots can't be either. Otherwise, they turn out blurry.
Looking past those glaring caveats, the picture quality here — especially in 64-megapixel mode — is stunning. Zoom works well enough too, up to 20x zoom with the best shots taken at 2- or 5-times zoom. An ultra-macro mode is part of the build too, offering up stunning detail not often seen in close-ups. The chief caveat with that mode is that shots need to be at around 3cm distance to work out properly.
Color accuracy, detailing, bokeh edges, motion-shots, speed, clarity, and effectively every other aspect of this camera, are great otherwise.
In terms of features, those are too numerous to really detail here. Both front and back cameras include just about every feature imaginable from slow-motion recording at 120fps — or 960fps at the back — to text scanning, time-lapses, filters, portraits, stabilization, AI-scene detection, 3D parallax selfies, distortion corrections, gesture-based capturing, and a dedicated pro mode.
All of the features work great, as intended, only leaving small optimizations for Realme to perform in future updates. Aside from some serious fixes for the above-mentioned caveats.
Realme X50 Pro 5G, in the US on Google Fi and via other connections, is a solid smartphone
As a rule, 5G networking access in the US is still fairly limited. Moreover, my review of the Realme X50 5G Pro took place using Google Fi. So T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular bands were available but not with 5G. I simply could not test that aspect of this device. I was, however, able to test 4G LTE and the other available connectivity options.
On the 4G front, this phone not only worked in the US. Network reliability seemed better and connections faster than my daily driver. That other device is a Samsung Galaxy S9.
Of course, this phone also ships with dual-frequency navigation and all of the associated technologies from GPS to NAVIC. So that works as well as can be expected in any given region I tested. An NFC chip is part of the build too for tap-to-pay services. And Bluetooth 5.1 offered a relatively stellar experience, as we'll discuss in the audio segment later on — delivering maximum range (several hundred feet with line-of-sight) and near-lossless audio.
But other connectivity options are actually more impressive. Not only did Realme pack in Bluetooth 5.1 support, this Realme smartphone actually featured another networking tech I couldn't test. That's because I don't own and didn't have access to a Wi-Fi 6 router. The chip here is dual-band and supports Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 4 too. So I did test those.
Connections here are, simply put, solid and reliable.
Finally, Realme X50 Pro 5G does include a two-sided dual-SIM slot — although no sd card support can be found there.
Realme UI helps set the Realme X50 Pro 5G apart
One other key area where the Realme X50 Pro 5G set itself apart from other flagships, under review, is on the software side of the equation. That's because this is Android 10-based Realme UI instead of the more traditionally used OPPO-build skin found on Realme devices.
Now, that's not to say that there aren't any hold-overs from ColorOS. As noted above, Game Center is present and accounted for. So are app and phone "cloning" tools, Smart Assistant in place of Google Discover, and a couple of other features. But this phone is much closer to stock Android than more budget-friendly Realme handsets running this Android skin too.
That's likely because those other devices are wallet-friendly and the extra apps add some value. Especially since some of those are from third-party partnerships. Here, there's almost no bloatware — even if there are a ton of underlying extra features in the Settings app.
Instead, all of the third-party hardware that is installed can be removed and that's kept to a minimum anyway. For instance, Realme includes but allows uninstallation of Facebook, Opera, Netflix, and an office suite. Otherwise, Realme basically just included everything else as expected. Namely, that's AOSP-based file management, compass app, calculator, clock, and other similar utilities.
As a result, aside from pre-installed Google apps, this phone's software is extremely lightweight.
When it does come to the underlying Android 10 — in both features and settings — everything is very intuitive. A couple of extras built into the OS include screen recording, OSIE Vision Effect, and realme Share.
There's also a lot of options when it comes to customizing gestures, navigation buttons, Digital Wellbeing, Privacy, and experimental features. But none of it is difficult to find or interact with, which is simply not the case with other feature-rich flagships. That is, in a word, impressive.
Better-than-expected audio but with no 3.5mm jack
Now, on the audio front, there's really only one big caveat. That's because Realme chose not to include a 3.5mm audio jack on its flagship. Under review, that proved to not be a huge issue with the Realme X50 Pro 5G but it might be for some users.
Audiophiles aren't likely to be too impressed by the speakers here either since there isn't much by way of bass boost. The results aren't tinny, as is often the case with smartphone speakers. So that's not going to be a big deal for most users. But it is just lacking enough that some will find it bothersome.
Conversely, Bluetooth 5.1 is a part of the internal build here and that's going to make up for a lot of that. With the current 'best' version of Bluetooth, this phone offers a near-lossless audio experience when connected over Bluetooth. And the phone accomplishes that with a theoretical listening distance of around 800-feet — if line-of-sight is maintained.
Support for Dolby Atmos makes that even better since it means 3D audio is part of the build on the software side. Alongside that, Realme has included Headphones Monitor mode, standard with Realme UI's firmware. So there are plenty of aspects of the audio on this phone when it comes to getting a great audio experience.
Looking past that, the audio experience without headphones is still going to be more than good enough for most. There's no distortion or abnormalities to speak of, even at full volume. Call audio comes through crisply and cleanly. And both notifications and ringtones follow in that same line at a high enough volume to be heard several rooms away in a decently-sized home.
Summarily, the audio here is above average if not great — relatively speaking.
This device deserves serious consideration as an alternative to more expensive smartphones
Almost none of the caveats listed above should be a dealbreaker. At least for most users. Some may find serious issues with the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack, for example. But most smartphone OEMs are breaking from that particular port already anyway.
Similarly, the camera components make the Realme X50 Pro 5G an awkward device to place face-up. The standby battery drain is higher than expected too, while the cameras themselves are great but not quite as good as other flagships. There's no wireless charging and no expandable storage either. But a case should solve the first problem while a software update may fix the second and third. The final two problems are really the only sticking points.
Everything else about this smartphone stands apart from its 5G connectivity and top-performance to its massive fast charging rate and its buttery-smooth OS. That's setting aside its other bleeding edge-mobile components.
At under $850, compared to its top competitors and with working connections in the US as well as launch regions, Realme X50 Pro 5G is a brilliant handset. It should, without question, be at or near the top of the list when it comes to considerations for a new flagship handset purchase.