Budget range smartphones have become omnipresent in the market with high expectations and even higher competition. Devices in this category do not differ much from one another when it comes to the hardware used. This makes these comparisons even more difficult. Today we compare three of the current reigning champs in the budget mobile phones category – Poco X2, Redmi Note 8 Pro and Realme X2. All these offerings are under the INR 20,000 price bracket.
Battle of the Best Budget Smartphone Under 20,000 INR
All three variants come with 64 MP as their primary lens, with the additional 8 MP ultrawide setup, and 2+2 MP for macro and depth perception. Considering the hardware is almost the same throughout the devices, it all depends on the post-processing that these devices support, and especially in low-light conditions.
The secondary selfie cameras are of different quality with the Realme coming with 32MP, Poco X2 offering a dual 20+2 MP lens, and the Note 8 Pro having a 20 MP. However, with the samples we have seen, Poco X2 seems to do the job best by far, on both the primary and secondary.
The edge detection offered by the cameras is quite reliable, as is the color reproduction. The ultra-wide lens on Note 8 Pro is not the best, but the night mode is adequate given any no-light scenes, This setup works off similar to Poco’s.
Realme offers a similar experience to that of the other two, with both the primary and secondary cameras working off really well with each other.
Winner – Poco X2
The three devices come with different display sizes, though only marginal. Realme has a 6.4” AMOLED screen with FHD display, Poco is a 6.67” IPS LCD screen working off a 120 Hz display and Redmi comes with a 6.53” IPS LCD screen as well. They both offer FHD resolution as well. Owing to the slightly smaller display, Realme offers the best in terms of pixels with 403 PPI, and the others behind at 395 PPI.
The colour saturation is a subjective element and all the devices here have the option to tune the temperature and intensity.
The one thing that might take away from your experience using the display is how the selfie camera is situated. While Realme and Redmi offer a waterdrop notch for the camera, Poco used a punch-hole in-display setup that puts them on the far right of the display.
While all three displays are comparable to one another, Realme’s AMOLED display has better viewing angles and better display when compared to others. Combined with the little improvement in pixel density, Realme takes the crown here.
Winner – Realme X2
Both Realme and Poco come with the Snapdragon 730G chipset with the Adreno 618 GPU, whereas Redmi uses a MediaTek Helio G90T with a Mali G76 GPU. However, while the overall performances of the devices in this category are comparable, the chipset crown does not lie with Snapdragon on this account.
MediaTek G90T was introduced with the aim to go against Snapdragon 730 and from what the benchmarks show, it is working. The 730G was a one-up to the 730 and unsurprisingly, this delivers as well. This Qualcomm’s SoC though tends to heat the device up in case of extreme stress though never to an unbearable amount.
This puts the spotlight on how the phones handle this extra heat. Poco has been advertised from the get-go to be a ‘game’ changer, literally. With its 120 Hz display, Snapdragon chipset, it was also touted to offer a liquid cooling system.
As such will not be an issue running industry-best games on this device. The Note 8 Pro, while has not been advertised as a gaming device, comes with LiquidCool vapour chamber that is exactly what is offered on Poco as well. Realme does not incorporate any of these technologies making it prone to heat up more often than the other two.
Winner – Poco X2
Because of its liquid cooling system and the much advertised 120 Hz display offers that extra factor that makes gaming enjoyable.
With the increasing market in the budget category of smartphones, phone manufacturers are definitely paying more importance to the design language that they mesh with the device to ensure the products are turning heads. It is no different from the three devices being compared.
Realme, while heavily inspired by its bigger predecessors, incorporates a high-gloss, metallic finish with a subtle gradient pattern that plays with the light at every angle. It is just mesmerizing to hold the device.
This, however, does make it a fingerprint magnet. Unfortunately, the vertical quad-camera module juts out on the corner of the device making it difficult for the phone to stay still on a flat surface. This also makes it more likely that your index finger comes to rest on the module itself. The remaining aspects: button setup, the I/O are the usual affair.
Poco also utilizes a high-gloss panel without any gradient. It does come with a subtle pattern and a design flourish at the top of the device, also reminiscent of previous giants in the mobile phone industry.
The vertical quad-camera module, situated in the middle, on this device also protrudes making it slightly risky and noisy to deal with. The power button doubles up as the fingerprint sensor as well and is located to the right of the device, making it easily accessible for both right-handed and left-handed people. The I/O of this are located in a similar way to that of the others.
Redmi Note 8 Pro is similar to the Redmi Note 8 offers. The design language is a mix of Poco and Realme, coming with a colour gradient to choose from which is very attractive to look at. The quad-camera is set up vertically in the middle of the device, but the protrusion is not as enhanced as Realme or Poco. The IR blaster is located up top. It has a fingerprint sensor to its rear and the standard I/O placement.
Looks are pretty subjective so we cannot vote on what you would find most appealing, obviously. However, for us, there is something stunning in how Realme was designed and crafted.
Winner – Realme X2
Battery Life Comparison
Realme offers a 4,000 mAH battery which is very well optimised. While the battery capacity ensures you have enough juice left, the charger ensures you are not stuck to the wall for hours on the end.
The device comes with a 30W charger out of the box that lets to complete chagrining in about 72 minutes approximately, making this one of the fastest chargers in this segment.
Poco X2 comes with a bigger 4,500 mAH battery in it. The battery life is very good considering the mid-range chipset that comes with the device. It also comes bundled with a 27W charger for that quick charge you might need when in a time crunch. However, the battery optimisation is not the greatest on Poco making the battery unable to give the best it can. Further, the 120 Hz screen also plays a part in the battery drain. But tone it down to 60Hz and you will see an improvement straight away.
Redmi also comes with the 4,500 mAH battery like Poco with an 18W charger included. Battery optimisation is pretty solid, and this ensures the device can carry you upwards of a day when working. However, the 18W charger is not the best in this segment that does make you wait around a bit as your device charges.
Winner – Realme X2
Because of its 30W fast charger coupled with its AMOLED display is the clear winner.
Poco X2 wins this battle of budget smartphones. It has a great bezel-less design, it’s the only one to offer a 120 Hz display in any budget smartphone. Further, the camera is comparable to the others in terms of features and performance.
The battery backup is the best bang for your buck in this category, combined with the 27 W fast charger it charges from 10-50% in just 24 minutes and 10-100% in 54 minutes. All these factors make Poco X2 a reliable and sturdy device for daily usage. Unfortunately, where it does fail is when it comes to the display, I would have any time preferred a 60 Hz AMOLED display instead of a 120 Hz LCD display.
Winner – Poco X2
Runner Up – Realme X2
Best Smartphone for Gaming
This is tied between Poco and Redmi. While both these devices offer liquid cooling technology, it is the fact that Poco comes with a 120 Hz display aimed solely at making the gaming experience smooth which makes it come out on top.
Granted, there are not a lot of games currently that make use of a 120Hz. But that does not take away from the fact that playing the ones that make use of this screen would be an absolute dream.
Best Smartphone for Photography
They all offer similar hardware, expect the Poco X2 comes with the latest Sony IMX 686 sensor. The images are quite similar, making the software aspect of it the only difference between them. When you look at the output from these devices, it does not feel like you will be missing out on something that the other does not offer because it is all very similar.
Unfortunately, the post-production of an image is quite subjective, and we cannot judge the manufacturer’s method of tuning images, as they keep on improving with software updates. The best way is for you to check the samples and see what works for you.
If I had to choose one then I would go with the Poco X2 because of its latest sony sensor.