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  • Cheryl Tan

Realme XT Review: Just Another 64MP Phone?

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

Better known in India, the realme brand isn’t one that we’ve come across often because it was never readily available here in Singapore. But now it’s finally here, and ready to compete with other similarly-priced phone brands.

The realme XT is the brand’s flagship offering, running on a Snapdragon 712 processor with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory, with support for up to 256GB of external memory.

The 6.4″ Super AMOLED FHD+ display has a 91.9% screen-to-body ratio because it still retains the dew-drop cutout on top for the front camera. Colours are generally pleasant to look at, and there’s no issue with watching videos or shows on the phone.

The phone’s screen supposedly tops out at 430 nits of brightness, and to my untrained eyes, I personally feel that at the brightest level of the slider, it’s very easy to see text and images even under direct, glaring sunlight.

But of course, the main selling point of this phone is the 64MP camera. Unfortunately, I really wasn’t impressed by the images that came out of it. I noticed that detail was lacking, and I was quite confused initially as it doesn’t match up to my prior experience with 64MP shooters.

After checking the metadata, I noticed that the images were a mere 8MB on average, indicating a LOT of compression by the phone’s software. To put it into perspective, photos taken by other phones with 64MP cameras ranged around 16 to 20MB on average. This is definitely an issue because if I’m using a 64MP camera, it’ll be to capture extra detail in the photos.

The high level of compression might be good at keeping images small for more efficient storage, but it defeats the purchase of using the 64MP camera. Some photos taken in good lighting came out with less compression (14MB, 11MB) and those actually looked sharper and crisper. It’s befuddling why realme would compress photos taken in dim lighting much more than in good lighting, but that’s what we get.

Pixel-binned images from this lens were good however with great colours, even if the detail was also a bit lacking here.

The wide-angle lens is definitely useful, but I’ve found that it blows out the highlights. I’d recommend sticking to the main lens for night shots unless absolutely necessary.

Night mode works well as seen from the comparison above. You get colour and detail back in the leaves while ensuring that the highlights don’t get too blown out. It might not be as stunning as other phones’ Night modes, but this definitely is useable.

Battery capacity tops out at 4,000mAh which is pretty standard in phones at this price point. The battery life is actually quite decent, lasting about 1.5 days with moderate usage. Standby time is excellent, I left the phone aside for close to a week (WiFi and Bluetooth turned off) and it only dropped 40% in that time.

The phone also retains the 3.5mm headphone port and supports Dolby Atmos. It comes in Pearl White and Pearl Blue, and the white colour is absolutely stunning. Definitely taking a leaf out of Huawei’s book here with that pearlescent colour, but no complaints from me.

The Realme XT (S$469) is available at authorised realme retailers and the official online stores on Lazada, Qoo10 and Shopee.

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