Review of the Realme 12X 5G: a budget-friendly smartphone for regular users

Realme’s latest Realme 12X 5G serves as the company’s answer to last year’s Xiaomi’s acclaimed Redmi 12 5G (review) and Redmi 13C 5G (review) from earlier this year although it shares similarities with the priced Realme 12 5G hardest, 108MP shooting on the Realme 12X 5G The place has a 50MP primary camera and otherwise both phones under the Realme 12 5G series have the same MediaTek Dimensity chipset and display.

In that case, should you pursue the more expensive Realme 12X 5G? Or does it make sense to pay an extra Rs 2,000 for the slightly more advanced cameras on the Realme 12 5G? Or is there something else to consider altogether? Let’s take a look.

Rating: 8/10

Verdict

The Realme 12X 5G is a good choice for everyday users. With the Dimensity 6100+ SoC on board, it provides enough juice to run popular social media apps and simple games. BGMI can also be played in HD images. Also features like 5G support and 45W charging make it pretty cool. However, some areas of optimization include camera and software experience. Realme may also consider adding an AMOLED display to the next models to give it an edge over competitors.

Design and display

If you put the Realme 12X 5G and the Realme 12 5G side by side, the two are almost indistinguishable. The design itself took inspiration from the more premium Realme 12 Pro+, the way I don’t mind that despite the price difference, it ensures more consistency across the line The Realme 12X 5G doesn’t have a leather finish, however, it gets the same watch -like circular camera module and zip pattern. Overall, it looks pretty good for the price (Rs 11,999 for the base variant).

The round module on the back has two sensors and a separate cutout for the LED flash. The fourth cutout is blank but helps maintain design symmetry.

Most of the construction is made of plastic, but the finish looks high quality and durable. I’m using the purple variant for this review, while Realme also offered a Woodland Green option. I prefer the former as it offers a refreshing aesthetic, which differs from the rich colors usually found on phones in this range while the camera module takes on a black finish, which is a nice help, especially the shade.

Otherwise, the ports and buttons on the Realme 12X 5G are standard. Power and volume buttons are on the sides, along with a Type-C port, 3.5mm audio jack, and speaker on the bottom. Above, a SIM (hybrid) tray next to another speaker. The power button also doubles as a fingerprint scanner, which works well. If your fingers are sweaty or dirty, the scanner tries to work.

Despite using a 5,000mAh battery, Realme deserves credit for keeping the Realme 12X 5G’s weight below 180 grams. Overall, the design is thoughtful and justifies the price.

Moving on, the Realme 12X 5G also features a tall 6.72-inch Full-HD+ (1,080 x 2,400 pixels) LCD with 120Hz refresh similar to the Realme 12 5G. The cutouts are exceptionally thick, allowing the front camera to trigger wind signals. I’ll talk more about that in the business section.

Overall, when indoors, the viewing experience is worth it. If they can see, it can take a beating in bright sunlight. Because the Realme uses a 12X 5G LCD screen, contrast and deep blacks aren’t as outstanding as those offered by AMOLED screens, though if you’re an insider, most colors look decent when you consider the price and this kind of display is enough to read and watch short videos on YouTube or Instagram do.

Cameras

As mentioned, the Realme 12X 5G features a 50MP primary camera with a 2MP sensor. This also means that the smartphone does not have an ultra-width camera, similar to the Realme 12 5G. The latter has a 108MP primary camera.

Overall, the camera performance of the Realme 12X 5G is average at best. In daylight, images processed by the main camera are sharp, although the colors are often inconsistent. In some cases, the images display a distinct red tinge, while you also sometimes see warm tones as well. The color problem can be fixed by adjusting the temperature using native editing tools, but getting the right sharpness will be difficult. Either way, editing all the images will be a tedious task.

Portrait mode relies on the basic camera and 2MP depth sensor, though the results are still average at best, again. Sometimes the camera needs to be held steady for a strong exit. Even if you manage to stabilize the smartphone, the bokeh effect is not indifferent. In all fairness, this is a common limitation of smartphones in this segment.

For video, the Realme 12X 5G supports 1080p recording at 30fps. Again the quality of the video depends on the stability of the smartphone. The colors are no longer good and the details can be a bit washed out. Realme may also consider adding recording at 60fps to give it an edge over competitors.

The results are the same even in low light, although the images are now dominated by noise. Even enabling night mode doesn’t help with the desired results.

The 8MP selfie camera takes pictures with the same quality as the main camera. However, skin tone options can be inconsistent, sometimes causing skin irritation. While some users may prefer a lighter skin tone, I prefer a picture-perfect or near-perfect finish.

On the other hand, the difference in the images against the Realme 12 5G is quite noticeable. Its 108MP camera sensor can capture more light, resulting in more vibrant colors. In that case, spending that extra Rs 2,000 on the Realme 12 5G does give a little break in camera performance.

Performance and software

All Realme 12X 5G models now offer 128GB of storage, which is the perfect way forward. The base 4GB RAM option starts from Rs 11,999, while the 8GB model is available from Rs 14,999. The variant I am reviewing has 6GB RAM and is priced at Rs 13,499. The Realme 12 5G uses LPDDR4X RAM type, while the more expensive Realme 12X 5G has LPDDR4 RAM. Both the Realme 12 5G and 12X are powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 6100+ SoC.

In our benchmarks, the Realme 12X 5G performed well against direct competitors including the Redmi 13C 5G. Entutu scored high in the Geekbench tests. Surprisingly, the Realme 12X 5G scored slightly higher than the Realme 12 5G in multi-core tests from AnTuTu and Geekbench.

When it comes to real life, the display is mostly smooth, although you may find yourself occasionally stuttering when switching between apps. The scrolling experience is also decent with the 120Hz refresh rate enabled. For gaming, BGMI supports HD graphics at 60fps, while COD (Call of Duty) offers moderate GFX support. In my testing, the subjects ran fairly late, but I didn’t experience sudden overheating or draining battery issues.

Realme deserves credit for offering Android 14 right out of the box, even at this price point. The Realme 12X 5G could also get two years of major Android OS updates, which is good considering the segment. Overall, I like the animation and some of the features that the Realme UI offers, including the limited use of images for social media apps. However, some Realme UI features like the File Dock and Smart Image Matting were missing, which would likely keep the system from being too cumbersome.

What surprised me the most was the inclusion of the AirGesture feature in this price range. The project calls for a selfie cam (hence a zoomed-in front camera) and an AI background that will allow users to control the smartphone with simple hands. However, this feature did not work properly during my review.

The company should also focus on reducing the number of pre-installed apps for a cleaner software experience.

Battery

At least you can count on better battery performance with the Realme 12X 5G. The phone is packed with a 5,000mAh battery, providing a full day of backup on one full charge. On PC Mark’s battery test (flight mode enabled, and 50 percent brightness), the phone lasted more than 17 hours – a very respectable performance.

Also, thanks to the included 45W SuperVOOC charger, the phone gets a full charge in about 50 minutes. The smartphone also offers an iPhone 15 Pro-inspired Dynamic Island animation when connected, which updates the entire UI.

Final verdict

The Realme 12X 5G at this price point has a lot of great features to keep everyday users happy. While camera performance isn’t its biggest strength, the phone is a decent choice for social media browsing or video watching. Even if you have a reader, the long game won’t disappoint. More importantly, its compact design makes it ideal for users of various ages. Not to forget, there is also 5G support.

If a reliable camera setup is what you care about, it would be wise to shell out extra for the Realme 12 5G. If you are on a limited budget, the Redmi 13C 5G can give you some respite but not much hope. Otherwise, if the camera isn’t your forte, the Realme 12X 5G is a solid choice for everyday users.

To learn more about Realme 12X 5G

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