- Large display with good sunlight legibility
- Great main camera
- Excellent battery life & fast charging speeds
- Snappy processing speeds
- Splash resistant
- Color OS isn't for everyone
- Ultra-wide camera is lackluster
Just a few months back, the Realme 3 Pro was introduced. It was a great hit, considering its price point and the performance it offered. Fast forward to today, and Realme is set to introduce its latest offering, the Realme 5 Pro. With a number of upgrades, including a quad camera, how does it fair? Keep reading to find out.
Design & Build Quality
The Realme 5 Pro has a rather unique design on its rear. It has a geometric backing which is rather reflective. In the hand, it feels solid and gives off a glass like feel. However, Realme hasn’t stated the material used for the back. Speaking of the rear, it comes with a quad camera setup, along with a fingerprint scanner placed below it. One qualm I have about the rear design is the camera setup, which has a rather large bump.
Moving to the front, there is a large 6.3-inch display. This is coupled with a teardrop notch which houses the selfie camera, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor. The earpiece is placed directly above the notch.The bezels are minimum, so even with a large display, the phone doesn’t feel too big. At the bottom of the phone, the major ports can be found. This includes the USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and the speaker. There is a triple-card slot on the left for accommodating two nano-SIMs and one microSD card slot. This is a nice touch, as you don’t have to decide between having two SIM cards, or one SIM card with a microSD. The volume buttons are on also on the left side while the power button is on the right.
What was rather surprising about this phone, is the inclusion of splash resistance. A first we’re seeing for a Realme smartphone! Realme has sealed all gaps on the phone. This includes the ports, speaker, earpiece, SIM tray, and also the keys. This is impressive considering it’s a mid-ranger, and not many other manufacturers have done such a move.
The Realme 5 Pro comes with 6.3-inch IPS LCD display, along with a teardrop notch housing the selfie camera. The screen sports a resolution of 1,080 x 2,340 pixels with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and a density of 409ppi. It is a rather large display, and consuming media on it was definitely a fun experience. Also, the colour accuracy is good, and the blacks are deep especially for an LCD screen. Under direct sunlight, the device was no slouch and I managed to clearly view content on the screen. Under dim conditions, the screen can get pretty dark, and it won’t be searing anyone’s eyeballs in the dark.
Running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 712, backed by 4 / 6 / 8 GB of RAM and UFS 2.1 storage, the Realme 5 Pro provides excellent performance. It managed to handle all tasks and apps thrown at it. Playing PUBG: Mobile was smooth like butter with no signs of slowdown. Also, the device stayed cool throughout intensive periods of gaming. It should be noted that to unlock the full potential of the CPU, Performance Mode should be turned on via the settings. We ran benchmark tests on the Realme 5 Pro, and these can be viewed below. However, do note that these may not reflect real world usage.
Battery Life & Charging
The Realme 5 Pro is powered by a 4,045 mAh non-removable battery. It supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging and it can be juiced up to 50% in 30 minutes. A full charge takes around 90 minutes. To make use of VOOC fast charging, the proprietary cable and charger must be used. Both of these items are included in the box. While screen-on-time can’t be viewed in the settings, the phone managed to last an entire day even with heavy usage. I would usually end the day with about 30% left which is excellent.
The Realme 5 Pro happens to be the first Realme device to sport a quad camera. It consists of (top to bottom) an ultrawide shooter, primary lense, depth sensor, and a macro camera. The main camera is a 48MP Sony IMX 586, while the 119-degree ultrawide-angle sensor is 8MP with an aperture of f/2.2. Meanwhile, the macro camera is 2MP and can focus from as close as 4 cm away. Lastly, we have the 2MP depth sensor to help with bokeh shots.
The interface is rather simple, with Video, Photo, and Portrait modes situated just above the shutter button. Meanwhile, a hamburger menu on the left will contain the rest of the modes, such as 48MP Ultra Picture, Nightscape, Ultra macro, Expert, Pano, Time-lapse, and Slow-mo. Also, there’s a zoom toggle in the viewfinder, and allows users to switch between 1X, 2X, and 5X. However, this is digital zoom, and not optical. At the top of the viewfinder, Realme has kept the toggles for flash, HDR, ultra-wide, Chroma Boost, filters, and also the settings.
Rear Camera Image Quality
Pictures are taken in 12MP by default, and these turned out very good especially in broad daylight. Details are aplenty, with noise levels kept at a minimum, and also colour accuracy is on point. However, if you zoom in, fine detail is lost. The dynamic range is pretty good as well, and I didn’t notice any differences from the default mode when HDR is turned on.
I also didn’t notice any benefits of shooting in 48 MP. Instead, I feel that shooting in 48 MP adds noise to the pictures. Meanwhile, Chroma Boost makes the scene livelier, but I didn’t find it of much help considering the colour accuracy and contrast was already pretty good.
The ultra-wide angle lens is a neat addition, and gets the job done. However, the quality is inferior to the main shooter. Lots of details are lost even under bright conditions. Pictures also tend to get overexposed. The Macro camera is quite fun to use, especially when you want to capture fine details of flowers or creatures. Quality isn’t the best, but it’s much better than zooming in with the primary shooter. Portraits taken with the help of the depth sensor are very good, with excellent edge detection especially when it comes to messy hair.
Now, when the lights dim, the Realme 5 Pro managed to hold its own. The 12MP pictures from the main camera turned out good. Details are maintained well enough, making pictures usable for social media. Nightscape is really helpful when it comes to dim situations, as it increases the exposure time. This makes capturing an image a few seconds longer, but you do get a brighter image in the end. Using the other cameras at night will unfortunately deliver disappointing images. The pictures turn out extremely dark, though this can be boosted by Nightscape as well.
On the front, the Realme 5 Pro packs a 16 MP f/2.0 fixed focus shooter. Like most manufacturers, it comes with beautification mode turned on by default. There are a lot of beauty features such as skin smoothing, face thinning, and more. When it comes to image quality, the camera does a good job especially under good lighting. Images are sharp with lots of detail. Under dim conditions, sharpness takes a hit along with details. However, images are still usable even then.
Speaker & Security
There’s a single downward firing speaker on the Realme 5 Pro. While it may be a singular speaker, it is rather impressive. The sound output can get pretty loud, and is clean. Even at loud volumes, there is minimal distortion, and the sound is rich. The Realme 5 Pro comes with a multitude of unlock methods. This includes face unlock, PIN, password, and also a fingerprint scanner. The most convenient unlock method is definitely the fingerprint scanner, which was accurate and fast. Just like the Realme 3 Pro, it is still on the rear. The face scanner was very fast as well, however, I avoided using it as the security isn’t as tight.
OS & UI
The Realme 5 Pro runs Oppo’s latest Color OS 6 on top of Android 9.0. This is the same software we’ve seen on the Realme 3 Pro. The software is quite simple to use, and if you come from a stock Android, One UI device, then you’d be glad to know that an app drawer is included.
The icons are a bit cartoonish, with a light background. Like most Android devices, it comes with a drop-down shade with notifications and quick settings. The device comes preloaded apps, such as Phone Manager, and Game Space. As the names suggest, Phone Manager allows users to manage the phone such as virus scanning, memory scanning and such. Meanwhile, Game Space allows you to select notifications which will come in during the gaming period, and will also boost performance.
Overall, the UI is much cleaner from previous iterations, and doesn’t feel bloated.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Realme 5 Pro, especially with it’s excellent battery life and near flagship grade performance. With a better camera, and perhaps a more refined UI, the Realme 5 Pro would be the smartphone to beat. Perhaps next year’s follow-up will excel in those two categories? Well, we can only wait and see. However, even without considering those two aspects, the Realme 5 Pro is an extremely capable device. This is the mid-range smartphone to beat.