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Realme XT: A 64-megapixel camera for budget buyers

Realme is a sister brand to OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo.

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The Realme XT.

Ian Knighton/CNET

OnePlus is beloved among Android enthusiasts. It hasn't got the mass appeal of Samsung or Apple, but its phones are excellent and almost always a fantastic deal. You may know that OnePlus' parent company BBK Electronics is also behind Vivo, a brand mostly only used in China, and Oppo, a brand that's expanded out of China and into the UK and Australia. You may not know that there's a fourth sibling: Realme.

Realme is a brand for budget-conscious buyers. Recent months have seen Realme launch phones in Australia and much of Europe. One such device is the 6.4-inch Realme XT which, like Samsung's Galaxy A line, Motorola's Moto phones and Google's Pixel 3A, aims to offer a premium experience for an affordable price.

The Realme XT sells for AU$499 in Australia, which converts to $340 and £260. Borrowing from Huawei's pearlescent aesthetic, it's available in both Pearl Blue and Pearl White. It falls short of the slightly-more-expensive Google Pixel 3A ($399, AU$479, £399) in a few ways, namely camera quality and operating system, but it's certainly still an impressive phone considering its modest cost.

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The Realme XT sells for AU$499, which converts to $340 and £260.

Ian Knighton/CNET

The XT's star feature is the quad-camera setup, which features a 64-megapixel main camera. It's joined by an 8-megapixel ultrawide-angle lens, 2-megapixel depth sensor and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The 64-megapixel camera is something of a gimmick, since more megapixels don't automatically translate to better photos -- if they did, the XT's camera would be 5 times better than the iPhone 11's. But the setup does give you an admirable amount of tools and premium touches, like a night mode, 5x zoom and an ultrawide-angle option.

Below are some examples of what the Realme XT can do. Photos taken in optimal lighting are fantastic, and low-light photography is good for a phone in this price range. The ultrawide-angle lens is a touch grainy, but for $340 it's nice to just have one at all.

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'Tis the season.

Daniel Van Boom/CNET
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A smoggy Sydney day.

Daniel Van Boom/CNET

There are other appreciated touches, like an in-screen fingerprint reader and facial-scanning combo, as well as 20-watt fast charging. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 CPU and 4GB of RAM.

Leveraging its sister brand, the Realme XT runs ColorOS 6, the same take on Android that runs on Oppo phones like the Reno 5G. It's not the worst Android skin out there -- I like it more than Huawei's EMUI, for instance -- but it's far from pure Android.

Key specs

  • 6.4-inch, 1,080x2,340-pixel Super AMOLED display
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 CPU
  • 4GB RAM, 64GB storage
  • 64-megapixel + 8-megapixel ultrawide + 2-megapixel macro + 2-megapixel depth sensor quad-camera setup
  • 16-megapixel selfie camera
  • Facial recognition, in-screen fingerprint scanner
  • 4,000mAh battery with 20W fastcharge
  • Headphone jack