Just after the launch of the Realme XT, Chinese smartphone maker Realme announced that it was working on a more powerful version called the Realme XT 730G. When the device was finally launched in India this week, it had been renamed to Realme X2. This new smartphone not only packs a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G SoC, but also has a quad-camera setup at the back.
Realme is positioning this phone against its closest competitor Xiaomi's Redmi Note 8 Pro. This phone also packs in powerful hardware and four rear cameras, and has proven to be extremely popular. So which one should you put your money on? We put the Realme X2 and the Redmi Note 8 Pro in a head-to-head comparison to find out.
Having just reviewed the Realme X2, we already know that there is no major change in design between the Realme XT (Review) and its more powerful sibling. For this reason, our findings from our comparison between the Realme XT and the Redmi Note 8 Pro still apply here. Both smartphones, the Realme X2 and the Redmi Note 8 Pro (Review), offer premium build quality with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and the back. They both sport big displays with the one on the Realme X2 measuring 6.4 inches while the Redmi Note 8 Pro has a bigger panel at 6.53 inches.
In terms of size, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is bigger and bulkier than the Realme X2. It also packs in a bigger 4,500mAh battery compared to the 4,000mAh battery in the Realme X2. Both smartphones have dedicated microSD card slots for storage expansion, and come with fast chargers in their respective boxes. The Realme X2 gets a 30W VOOC charger while the Redmi Note 8 Pro comes with an 18W charger.
We preferred the button placement on the Realme X2 compared to the Redmi Note 8 Pro. Both phones have quad-camera modules, with one on the Redmi Note 8 Pro positioned in the centre while the Realme X2's module has an offset placement. The Redmi Note 8 Pro has a capacitive fingerprint scanner mounted at the back, whereas the Realme X2 sports an in-display fingerprint scanner.
Both these smartphones have USB Type-C ports at the bottom, along with their primary microphones, 3.5mm headphone jacks, and loudspeakers. The Redmi Note 8 Pro has an IR emitter on the top, which the Realme X2 lacks. Overall, it's the Realme X2 that wins in terms of design thanks to better button positioning, an in-display fingerprint scanner, and overall look and feel.
While the Realme XT did not have the kind of hardware needed to beat the Redmi Note 8 Pro, the Realme X2 does. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G should be able to put up a serious fight. Xiaomi offers 6GB of RAM with the base variant of the Redmi Note 8 Pro while the entry-level Realme X2 has 4GB RAM, and that too at a higher starting price.
The Realme X2 is available in three variants: 4GB RAM with 64GB storage priced at Rs. 16,999, 6GB RAM with 128GB storage for Rs. 18,999, and 8GB RAM with 128GB of storage for Rs. 19,999. The Redmi Note 8 Pro, on the other hand, offers 6GB RAM with 64GB of storage for Rs. 14,999, while the 6GB RAM, 128GB storage and 8GB RAM, 128GB storage variants are priced at Rs. 15,999 and Rs. 17,999 respectively.
You get UFS 2.1 storage with both smartphones, along with the option for storage expansion. The Realme X2 packs a much better AMOLED display compared to the HDR LCD display on Xiaomi's device.
Both smartphones run Android 9 Pie with their custom UIs on top. The Redmi Note 8 Pro now runs MIUI 11, while the Realme X2 gets Color OS 6.1, which we also saw on the Realme X2 Pro. You can read about these UIs in detail in our full reviews of these respective smartphones. We preferred ColorOS because it was less intrusive in terms of notification spam.
We were curious to see which smartphone would get the upper hand in terms of raw performance. The Snapdragon 730G SoC and the MediaTek Helio G90T are both powerful processors. We had the top-of-the-line 8GB RAM variants of both devices for this comparison, making things a little more fair.
When using the two smartphones side-by-side we preferred the display of the Realme X2, which exhibited better blacks and punchier colours. We found that both devices are capable of delivering smooth user experiences without any lag or stutter. With 8GB of RAM on board, neither of these devices had any issues with multitasking.
We ran our usual benchmarks to gauge the performance of these smartphones. In AnTuTu, the Redmi Note 8 Pro managed to score 2,87,943 which is higher than the 2,67,419 scored by the Realme X2. In Geekbench 5, the Redmi Note 8 Pro scored 487 and 1,636 in the single-core and multi-core tests respectively, whereas the Realme X2 exceeded those scores with 545 and 1,712 in the same tests.
As for graphics, the Redmi Note 8 Pro managed to score 58fps and 26fps in GFXBench's T-Rex and Manhattan 3.1 scenes, while the Realme X2 scored 59fps and 25fps respectively. In 3DMark's Slingshot Extreme OpenGL test, the Realme X2 managed 2,397 points while the Redmi Note 8 Pro scored 2,131 points. This shows that the two devices are fairly evenly matched.
Playing PUBG Mobile on both phones was a breeze, as both defaulted to the game's high preset. We did not notice any stutter or lag on either device. After playing the game for about 30 minutes, we found that the Redmi Note 8 Pro was warmer than the Realme X2, but the difference wasn't huge.
Battery life varies a lot between these two smartphones. The Realme X2 has a smaller battery at 4,000mAh while the Redmi Note 8 Pro has a bigger 4,500mAh battery. In our HD video loop test, the Redmi Note 8 Pro lasted for 14 hours, while the Realme X2 could still manage 13 hours and 11 minutes.
However, here's where things change. The smaller battery along with the more powerful bundled fast charger helps the Realme X2 charge a lot quicker than the Redmi Note 8 Pro. It got to 60 percent in 30 minutes, while the Redmi Note 8 Pro could only get to 32 percent in the same amount of time. With our usage, both smartphones lasted about a day and a half, but the Realme X2 has the edge here thanks to quicker charging – as long as you have a VOOC compatible charger available.
These two smartphones have identical quad-camera setups consisting of a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, the Realme X2 has a 32-megapixel front camera while the Redmi Note 8 Pro packs in a 20-megapixel one.
The camera apps of both these smartphones are easy to use. The Redmi Note 8 Pro has a quick toggle to switch to the Macro camera, while the Realme X2 lists it under a different sub-menu for camera modes.
In daylight, the Realme X2 manages to meter light better and sets the exposure right quickly, whereas we observed the Redmi Note 8 Pro overexposing backgrounds slightly. On zooming in to shots we'd taken with both phones, we did notice that the Redmi Note 8 Pro bumps up the sharpness and contrast which the Realme X2 doesn't do. The wide-angle cameras on both smartphones let you capture a wider field of view but there is noticeable distortion at the edges in the output. The Redmi Note 8 Pro sharpens photos here as well, which we don't like.
While taking a close-up shot using the two smartphones, the Redmi Note 8 Pro did not immediately focus where we wanted it to. The Realme X2 was quicker to focus and managed a better shot than the Redmi Note 8 Pro.
For portraits, both phones managed good edge detection but we liked the output of the Redmi Note 8 Pro, as the Realme X2 had a slightly inaccurate colour tone.
For macro shots, we preferred the Redmi Note 8 Pro, as it managed better details than the Realme X2 which delivered slightly grainy output.
In low light, we noticed that shots taken with the Redmi Note 8 Pro had visible grain whereas the Realme X2 managed to keep that more under control. Portraits shot in low light on both smartphones were similar, with good edge detection, but the Realme X2 had a colour tone that was a little too warm.
Photos shot with night mode on each phone were brighter and had better detail, but here too the Realme X2 had a slightly warmer colour tone.
Selfies taken with the Realme X2 were better than those from the Redmi Note 8 Pro, which sharpened them excessively, crushing blacks.
Video recording tops out at 4K for both these smartphones. Footage shot at 1080p was stabilised and we liked the output of the Realme X2, although we must note that the Redmi Note 8 Pro did a better job of capturing audio. You can also shoot video using the wide-angle cameras on these two phones. Footage from the Redmi Note 8 Pro was stabilised, while the Realme X2 did not stabilise wide-angle shots. 4K video wasn't stabilised on either device, and both managed to produce similar output. In low light, the Realme X2 had the better quality, as it could keep noise under control and stabilised video better than the Redmi Note 8 Pro.
With Xiaomi and Realme fighting it out in every segment, it is consumers who are reaping the benefits. Both the Realme X2 and the Redmi Note 8 Pro pack powerful hardware that lets them tackle anything you throw at them. We managed to get good battery life out of both these devices, but the Realme X2 did have a slight edge here thanks to its faster charger.
While both smartphones have identical camera configurations, their outputs isn't exactly the same. Xiaomi goes overboard with the sharpening in daylight while Realme delivered a warmer colour tone. It isn't easy to declare a winner in terms of camera performance, like we did in our Realme XT and Redmi Note 8 Pro comparison.
You can't go wrong with either of these two phones, but if you are on a tight budget, the Redmi Note 8 Pro offers better bang for the buck thanks to its lower starting price and higher amount of RAM. There is a Rs. 2,000 difference between the top-end variants, and if you are willing to pay the premium, the Realme X2 is worth the additional money.
Is Realme X2 better than Redmi Note 8 Pro, Redmi K20? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.