Hands-On, Smartphone

Realme X2 Pro Master Edition Hands-On: Familiar Finish, Same Hardware

The Realme X2 Pro was launched in Malaysia not too long ago, and now, the Chinese company is bringing in the Master Edition to our shores. Compared to the standard model, this particular version of the flagship smartphone features a unique finish on the glass back.

I managed to spend a brief time with the Realme X2 Pro Master Edition, and it’s really quite an unconventional – albeit familiar – smartphone. If you want a flagship that’s a little bit more quirky, consider this special edition X2 Pro.

There are two distinct variants of the Realme X2 Pro Master Edition: Red Brick and Concrete. Evidently, the model we have right here is the former option. Realme says that Naoto Fukasawa – a Japanese industrial designer – and the company itself “refined the material and texture of brick” for the back finish of the Red Brick model. The result is…well, rather interesting.

When I first touched the back of the special edition Realme X2 Pro, I was reminded of another phone maker’s signature finish. That’s right, I’m talking about OnePlus’ Sandstone finish. Really, the texture on the back of the Red Brick model is very reminiscent of that.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course, though I imagine it can be underwhelming for those who were expecting something truly different or “brick-like.”

Familiarity aside, I do dig the textured back of the Realme X2 Pro Master Edition. It adds a lot more grip, it’s a unique touch, and it looks pretty eye-catching. However, do note that you’ll have to take care of the finish quite a bit. According to Realme, “oil, alcohol, coloured drinks, and other abrasive materials” should not come into contact with the back cover.

Besides the textured back finish, other specifications of the Realme X2 Pro Master Edition are identical to the standard model. But it’s worth noting that this special edition only comes with 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM; there’s no other memory configuration.

Hardware wise, one of the best features of the Realme X2 Pro is its fast 90Hz 6.5-inch 2400 x 1080 Super AMOLED notched display. Thanks to the high refresh rate, everything looks extra smooth on the screen. Whether you’re just navigating the interface or scrolling through an article, the extra frames do make a difference.

Quality of the display itself, on the other hand, is in line with other Super AMOLED panels. It has vibrant colours, excellent viewing angles, and deep, true blacks. Sure, the 1080p resolution isn’t particularly impressive, but it will help with battery life; not that the phone has a small battery capacity.

Granted, there are other smartphones with bigger batteries than the X2 Pro’s 4,000mAh cell, but it should be able to return a day’s worth of use. On top of that, the fast charging capability of this phone is worth a mention too: it features 50W “SuperVOOC Flash Charge technology,” which can supposedly fully charge the phone in only 35 minutes.

Performance is also another strong point for the X2 Pro. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chipset, this is a fast flagship smartphone. It feels zippy, apps open up very quickly, and chances are, gaming on the X2 Pro will be a real treat. After all, the 855+ promises up to 15% better performance than its predecessor.

What impress me quite a bit is the Realme X2 Pro’s in-screen fingerprint sensor. Not only is it accurate, the sensor can also recognise my fingerprint relatively quickly. It’s still not quite as fast as the OnePlus 7 Pro‘s speedy scanner, but as far as in-screen sensors go, this is one of the better implementations.

Finally, we have the X2 Pro’s camera performance. On the back, this phone comes with a quad camera system, which is made up of a 64MP f/1.8 main shooter, a 13MP f/2.5 telephoto sensor, an 8MP f/2.2 wide angle shooter, and a 2MP f/2.4 portrait lens. As for the selfie camera, it’s a 16MP f/2.0 unit.

So how is it like shooting with this flagship smartphone? Well, it’s…decent? The quad camera system seems capable of taking good-looking shots under ideal lighting, but in low light conditions, it’s a day and night difference (literally). The camera feels a lot more sluggish – especially the telephoto lens – detail preservation takes a dive, and noise is apparent too.

That being said, I do need to spend more time photographing with the X2 Pro to give it a fair assessment. But so far, I’m not exactly blown away with the image quality.

The Realme X2 Pro Master Edition is a unique-looking smartphone, thanks to its textured back. But beyond this one aesthetic change, it still shares the X2 Pro’s shortcomings, such as the mediocre camera performance. Although Realme has yet to reveal the local pricing of the Master Edition, expect it to cost more than the standard X2 Pro as well, which retails at RM2,399.

Exactly how compelling the X2 Pro Master Edition would be will depend on how much the device will cost in Malaysia; we’ll find out next week on 16 December. As unique as the phone’s textured back finish may be, price will impact the desirability of the X2 Pro more than looks, especially in a price-sensitive market like Malaysia.