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Realme XT is still stellar photography phone for the price, here's why!

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Two months back, realme introduced the realme XT in the country, a handset with "killer cameras" for the price.
Realme XT is still stellar photography phone for the price, here's why!
Realme XT

Why? At PHP just PHP 16,990, it is one of the first and most affordable with a 64MP quad-camera system.
16MP selfie cam

To be particular, Samsung's 64MP f/1.8 ISOCELL Bright GW1 sensor to allow its users to take high-resolution images with crisp details and good colors. It is paired with an 8MP f/2.25 119-degree ultra-wide camera, 2MP f/2.4 4cm macro sensor, and another 2MP f/2.4 depth camera.

How about selfies? Inside its notch, there's a 16MP f/2.0 Sony IMX471 sensor.

Fast-forward to late December 2020, is it still one of the camera phones to beat? Here's what we think:

Realme XT it still stellar photography phone for the price, here's why!

Full 64MP resolution (Normal vs 100 percent crop)
Full 64MP resolution (Normal vs 100 percent crop)

1. 64MP for less - As mentioned, at PHP 16,990, the realme XT is one of the most affordable phones with a  64MP primary shooter. The result? Using the ULTRA 64MP mode, it takes super-high-resolution images at 9216 x 6912 pixels. It is ideal to use on well-lit scenarios.
Pixel binned shot 1 (Normal vs 100 percent crop)
Pixel binned shot 1 (Normal vs 100 percent crop)

2. The pixel binned shots are stellar - The full 64MP mode is cool and all, but it is meant to be binned to 16MP for shots with punchier colors, wider dynamic range, better exposure, and arguably crisper details.
Normal 1
100 percent crop
100 percent crop

It can let you take shots with better zoom quality as well. That is the effect of merging 4 pixels into 1.
Normal
Normal
100 percent crop
100 percent crop

To keep it short, the 16MP binned shot from the 64MP cam is mostly better than the full 64MP shot for me.

To add more color punch to your shots, you can use the Chroma Boost mode.
Ultra-wide
Ultra-wide

3. Pretty good ultra-wide cam - If you want a shot with a wider field of view, use its 8MP f/2.25 119-degree ultra-wide camera and be happy. It is one of the nicest ultra-wide cameras at this price point. Shots from it are not too shabby despite having less resolution. In fact, it can keep up with the colors and dynamic range of the primary cam at times.
Close-up, 100 percent cropped
Close-up, 100 percent cropped

4. Close-up shots - For close-ups, the primary cam is aided by the 3rd 2MP f/2.4 macro cam. It is useful for taking close-up shots with a good amount of details and a dreamy depth effect.
Close-up 2
Close-up 2
Macro mode
Macro mode

My slight concern is you cannot preset the macro mode, unlike other shooters. You will need to wait for its AI to detect that it needs to use the macro mode first. But when it works, it works.
Portrait mode
Portrait mode

5. Clean portrait modeRealme's AI, software, and the harmony between the primary shooter and the 4th 2MP f/2.4 depth camera did a really fine job. It is one of the nicest-looking artificial bokeh that I've seen on phones regardless of price range.
100 percent crop
100 percent crop

It has good depth estimation and a nice background to subject separation. The bokeh effect is nearly as good as other higher-end camera systems from pricier phones with a 3D ToF depth camera.
Detailed low light shot
Detailed low light shot

6. Low light, no problem - Yes, low light no problem. By default, it takes pretty good quality low light images, thanks to the pixel binning solution of its 64MP primary camera.
Nightscape 1
Nightscape 1
Nightscape 2
Nightscape 2
Nightscape ultra-wide 1
Nightscape ultra-wide 1

But if you use the Nightscape mode, it can take even better night shots with less noise and wider dynamic range. Of course, it is more detailed than regular low light shots. 

Also, the Nightscape mode also works for the ultra-wide cam.

To nitpick, its crop is narrower than the shots that didn't use the Nightscape mode.
Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie

7. Feature-rich selfie cam - Realme XT's selfie cam doesn't have the widest field of view around, but it is quite detailed. Also, it takes selfies with natural-looking colors if you won't use the Face beauty mode.
Selfie with depth effect
Selfie with depth effect
The default setting of the Face beauty will make your skin look smoother and softer, but not to the point of making you look too pale and fake. It also has a decent portrait mode for selfies. It is not as good as the depth effect of the main cam, but it is pretty decent.
Normal low light selfie vs selfie Nightscape mode
Normal low light selfie vs selfie Nightscape mode

Low light selfies are quite okay as well. But, if you will use the Nightscape mode, it can take more HDR-like images in the dark with better clarity, sharpness, and colors. That's impressive! Yes, recently, realme added the Nightscape for selfies.

Our thoughts

Realme XT is a solid contender. For me, it is one of the best photography-focused phones around regardless of price. The 64MP is legit and it has a lot of features to let you take high-quality photographs in nearly all scenarios.

I personally believe that this camera phone, despite the mid-range price tag, can compete with pricier devices.

Stay tuned for our camera comparison against a higher-end phone soon!
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