The Real Mid-Range Phone To Beat!
Here is our review of the Realme X7 Max. I used it as my primary phone for a couple of weeks, soon after its launch. I have also made a camera comparison with the Mi 11X and the iQOO 7. After that, I started testing relatively more affordable phones like the Mi 11 Lite and the iQOO Z3 while I’m currently testing the OnePlus Nord CE, whose review should be out by the end of this week.
Anyway, after using these cheaper phones, the one thing that I have realized is that by adding just a little bit of cash, you can get the Realme X7 Max which offers a much-much better experience overall. At a starting price of INR 26,999, the X7 Max is an incredible mid-range phone to buy.
Realme X7 Max Specifications:
- Body: 73.3 x 158.5 x 8.4mm, 179 gm, Splash-resistant
- Display: 6.43-inches Super AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate, 360Hz touch sampling rate, 1000 nits (peak) brightness, 100% DCI-P3
- Resolution: FHD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels), 20:9 aspect ratio, 409 PPI
- Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 1200 5G (6nm Mobile Platform)
- CPU: Octa-core (1×3.0 GHz Cortex-A78 & 3×2.6 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)
- GPU: Arm Mali-G77 MC9
- Memory: 8/12GB LPDDR4X RAM, 128/256GB UFS 3.1 storage (fixed)
- Software & UI: Android 11 with Realme UI 2.0 on top
- Rear Camera: Triple (with LED flash);
– 64MP f/1.8 Sony IMX682 primary sensor
– 8MP f/2.3 ultra-wide lens, 119º FOV
– 2MP f/2.4 macro sensor, 3P lens
- Front Camera: 16MP f/2.5 sensor (punch-hole cutout)
- Audio: Dual speakers with Hi-Res Audio, Dolby Atmos, 3.5mm jack
- Security: Optical in-display fingerprint sensor, Face unlock
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Light, Magnetic Induction, Linear Motor Tactile Engine
- Connectivity: Dual-SIM (Nano), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (Dual-band), Bluetooth 5.1, GPS / AGPS / Glonass / Galileo / Beidou / QZSS, USB Type-C, 4G LTE, 5G (sub-6GHz)
- Battery: 4500mAh with 50W SuperDart Charge (65W adapter provided)
- Color options: Mercury Silver, Milky Way, Asteroid Black
- Price in Nepal: N/A (Not launched yet)
Realme X7 Max Review:
Here, Realme X7 Max looks like any other mid-range phone. But I think the company has nailed it with the right set of hardware specs underneath while also going aggressive with the pricing, which makes for an ideal combo.
Design & Build
- 73.3 x 158.5 x 8.4mm, 179 grams
- Polycarbonate back/frame, glass front
- No IP certification, Splash-resistant
Regardless, let me talk about its design first ’cause I feel like this is one area where Realme has most certainly cut corners to keep the price down. The X7 Max comes with a plastic build and therefore feels like you are holding a much cheaper device. However, its weight distribution and the smaller form factor are something I’ve liked.
Because of this, the entire smartphone experience when typing or holding it to view messages & such have been a comfy delight to my small hands. Thankfully, the big “Dare to Leap” branding that we saw on previous Realme phones is finally gone for good—although there is a tiny version of it right here.
And for some reason, Realme thought it would be cool and sort of a fashion statement to implement a dual texture finish where you get to see a matte sandstone texture on most parts while a vertical glossy strip runs across the camera module. Personally, I feel like they could have gone old school and implemented the Realme X or the X2 Pro’s design instead.
Nevertheless, if you are buying this phone, a good case or a skin should be your top priority. As for durability, it’s a pretty rigid phone. The frames, despite being made of plastic, are firm and don’t creek or bend when applying pressure. Yet, it only comes with splash resistance, so you’re gonna have to be a little careful about using the phone around water since it doesn’t get any kind of official IP rating.
- 6.43-inches FHD+ Super AMOLED display
- 120/360Hz refresh/touch sampling rate
- 1000 nits peak brightness
So yeah, the Realme X7 Max basically gets an average rating on the design front but where it makes up for this mediocrity is on the inside—or outside, starting with its top quality screen. Comparing it with cheaper devices like the Nord CE or the Mi 11 Lite, it’s a much better screen to look at. In fact, it is as good as the one on Mi 11X and iQOO 7, both of which cost more than the X7 Max.
Here, you get a 6.4-inch AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling rate. I used this phone in the 120Hz mode and found it to be incredibly responsive. Plus, I for one didn’t notice any weird stutters and micro lags here either.
And because of its 360Hz touch sampling rate, things like typing up messages have been a fluid and enjoyable experience so far. Sadly, Realme has included an average vibration motor, so the haptics isn’t as good as say the Mi 11X.
Dual speakers with Dolby Atmos audio
Anyway, you’re getting a stereo speaker setup here although it’s not true stereo since the secondary speaker on top also doubles as an earpiece. Nonetheless, it can get plenty loud with okay-ish dynamic range and details. But once again, it still doesn’t compare against the expensive phones.
Coming back to the display, the colors are fairly accurate for the most part, although it is slightly on the cooler side. But, you can always play with the color temperature settings and make it more pleasing to your eyes. Likewise, this screen can get fairly bright as well, while it obviously lags behind the best in the business.
So, yeah, it is not a flagship-grade screen but for what it’s worth, this is an excellent panel. On a different note, Realme has included an optical in-display fingerprint sensor here, which is fast and accurate. Likewise, I have got to applaud Realme for including a 3.5mm headphone jack on the X7 Max, which comes as a big advantage for mobile gamers.
- Octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 1200 5G SoC (6nm)
- 8/12GB LPDDR4X RAM, 128/256GB UFS 3.1 storage (fixed)
- Android 11 with Realme UI 2.0 on top (expandable)
Software-wise, for me, Realme UI 2.0 is ahead of Xiaomi’s MIUI as it is lighter, near-stock, and simply easier to use. Plus, things like dark mode are better optimized and work well here. However, the one area where Realme needs to improve on is faster updates. My unit is still on May’s security patch while we’re way into July by now.
Also, the company has not explicitly mentioned if Realme X7 Max will get monthly or quarterly security updates—nor has it committed to a specific number of system upgrades this phone is slated to receive. I wish Realme was a bit more transparent on this matter, just like how Samsung is, for instance.
Moving on to the performance side of things, this is another win for the phone. It is powered by MediaTek’s flagship Dimensity 1200 chipset, which will also power the upcoming OnePlus Nord 2.
So, how good is the Dimensity 1200? Short answer—it is pretty darn good. In my usage, I didn’t face any lags, and all the day-to-day tasks performed smoothly too. To compare, it is significantly faster than say, the iQOO Z3 or the OnePlus Nord CE. And, it’s comparable with Snapdragon 870-powered phones, at least under normal usage.
How’s the gaming experience?
As for gaming, sad to say that the Realme X7 Max doesn’t hold up against the likes of Mi 11X. In the latter, you can play PUBG Mobile with a stable 60fps in HDR graphics and Extreme frame rates. On the contrary, the X7 Max can only hit 60fps when dialing down graphics to Smooth while keeping frame rates to Extreme. Likewise, it drops to 40fps after bumping graphics to HDR.
Similarly, Genshin Impact can hit 60fps under high settings on the Mi 11X, whereas the X7 Max limits the fps count to 50fps in the same setting. Plus, it looks like the Dimensity 1200 isn’t optimized yet to run 120fps-enabled games like Critical Ops and Shadowgun War Games as both of them are capped at 60fps.
Regardless of lower fps, it still is a good-performing phone. During the first two weeks of my usage, I did notice a bit of a heating issue where the phone would get warm even when I’d be using light apps. However, this issue has been solved. Still, Realme X7 Max does get warm when you are gaming although I wouldn’t call it overheating—or something that throttles the performance.
- Triple-camera setup at the back
- (64MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro)
- 16MP selfie camera inside the punch-hole cutout
Ok, moving on to the cameras, the Realme X7 Max scored good numbers when we compared its performance against the iQOO 7 and Mi 11X as well.
To summarize, its 64MP camera produces detailed daytime images with slightly boosted colors. It retains a good dynamic range most of the time and usually churns out an accurate white balance too.
Overall, I am quite happy with the photography prowess of the phone during ample light. Here are some more samples for you to check out.
As the sun goes down, the nighttime shots aren’t that great.
But that’s expected from a mid-range phone. It still maintains good exposure and details, although I think Realme has some work cut out for itself in terms of night mode photos.
That’s because turning it on doesn’t improve upon the low-light shots as you would want.
On the other hand, the portrait shots are quite decent too. It brings good exposure and a balanced skin tone with a good level of background blur.
Usually, Xiaomi and iQOO phones struggle in terms of skin tone, but with Realme, I found it performing pretty well.
That being said, the other two lenses completing the triple camera setup are pretty meh.
Here, the 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera yields washed-out colors, and photos look a little dark in comparison. It is also lacking when it comes to details and overall, the images are a hit or miss.
Similarly, close-up photos from the 2MP macro camera are pretty much useless too.
Moving on, selfies taken from the X7 Max are also pretty average as the subject looks mostly soft and lacking in detail.
It also introduces this reddish tint—thereby making the photos look a tad bit unnatural.
On the videography side, Realme X7 Max can record up to 4K 60fps footages. Yet, the overall video capability is below par. It is void of stabilization under 60fps mode altogether. And while the 4K 30fps videos come out fairly stable, colors are extremely oversaturated and unnatural here. To conclude, this is definitely not a good video camera phone.
- 4500mAh with 50W SuperDart Charge
Now, let’s our way to the other aspects of the phone. Its 4500mAh battery usually gave me around 5 hours of screen time, which isn’t stellar. But you know, I put my phones to test quite rigorously by shooting a lot of photos and playing games whenever I am free.
So, what my 5 hours of SOT translates to is that this is enough endurance for an average user to last them through a day’s end. Realme also ships the phone with a fast 65 Watt proprietary charger, although the phone is restricted to 50W of power at max.
Anyway, this takes the X7 Max from 0 to 100% in just 55 minutes. As for the network connectivity, the good news here is that you’re getting seven 5G bands with the X7 Max. On the contrary, most of its competition and even significantly expensive phones are offering only 1 or 2 5G bands.
Realme X7 Max Review: Conclusion
Allow me to wrap up this review of the Realme X7 Max. Overall, despite some obvious flaws with this phone like the plastic design, average ultra-wide-angle lens, and the not-so-great videography ability, at INR 26,999, it’s difficult to beat what this phone is offering.
So, as I said earlier in this review, instead of getting phones like OnePlus Nord CE, Mi 11 Lite, or Galaxy A52, I would certainly recommend you go a little out of your budget and get the Realme X7 Max instead as it offers much better performance, excellent display, and a reliable primary camera, which I think is worth paying extra.
Realme X7 Max Review: Pros & Cons
- Excellent value for money
- Decent gaming performance
- Reliable primary camera
- Vibrant, responsive display
- Impressive battery endurance
- 50W SuperDart charging
- Relatively inferior design
- No dust/water resistance
- Unoptimized cameras