Oppo’s sub-brand Realme is just a year-old smartphone company that has managed to launch a slew of devices in budget, entry-level, and mid-range segment. Realme has now introduced the fourth iteration of its budget smartphone lineup called Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro. Well, the smartphone maker skipped the four numerical in the moniker because it is considered unlucky in some Asian cultures.
The real surprise is the fact that Realme managed to bring in significant upgrades at the same budget pricing now and then. One thing which has kept me from recommending Realme smartphones has always been the bloatware apps and massive software skins. It would be interesting to see whether the company has addressed the software issue or not.
Coming to the significant upgrades, Realme 5 Pro brings a quad-camera module, Snapdragon 712, and refreshed design. Even with all these attractive features, does Realme 5 Pro manages to be a tough contender to Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro? Well, let’s find that out in our Realme 5 Pro review.
Price in India, Variants, Availability
Realme 5 Pro comes in three different storage variants – 4GB+64GB, 6GB+64GB and 8GB+128GB options. The smartphone comes in two color choices, namely Crystal Green and Sparkling Blue. The base variant is priced at INR 13,999, while the top-end model is going to set you back INR 16,999. The middle variant with 6GB RAM, on the other hand, is available for INR 14,999.
Realme 5 Pro is available exclusively on Flipkart and Realme’s official website. Also, there are plenty of other offers which you can avail of. Interested buyers can use No Cost EMI and various bank offers.
Realme 5 Pro packaging is not minimal at all and in fact, features tons of printed material on the front view. The front of the box has the device’s image printed on it, along with company branding. The box also features the No.1 Quality Smartphone brand tag, just like the one which we’ve seen on Xiaomi packagings. Opening the lid, you will first see a section consisting of some paperwork, transparent back case, and SIM ejector tool.
The very next thing which you’ll come across is the device itself covered in the protective film. By the way, Realme 5 Pro looks very interesting from the back. There is a VOOC 3.0 fast charger that supports 20W fast charging. Along with the charger, you will get a USB Type-C cable, which is a considerable move by the brand.
Here is a quick overview of what you’ll be getting with this device
- Realme 5 Pro
- VOOC 3.0 20W fast charger
- USB Type-C cable
- Transparent back case
- SIM ejector tool
- Manuals and Documentation
Specs at a glance
Let’s have a quick look a the specifications of the device before we talk about the device in more depth.
- Display: 6.3-inches IPS LCD panel, 1080×2340 pixels, 409ppi
- Processor: Snapdragon 712, 10nm
- GPU: Adreno 616
- RAM & ROM: 4GB+64GB, 6GB+64GB & 8GB+128GB
- Software: Android 9.0 Pie, ColorOS 6
- Rear cameras: 48MP+8MP+2MP+2MP
- Selfie camera: 16MP, f/2.0
- Battery: 4,035mAh capacity, 20W fast charging
- Weight: 184g
- Dimensions: 157 x 74.2 x 8.9 mm
With key specs cleared out of the way, let’s dive into the very first aspect of our comprehensive review.
Design and Build Quality
With Realme 5 Pro, the smartphone maker is bringing the refreshed design to the budget segment instead of the flat and gradient pattern, which we have seen on almost every other smartphone. The smartphone uses “Crystal Design” on the back, which looks like facets of diamond on the back. While shifting the angle, you will see the reflective material on the back doing its job. As expected, the smartphone uses plastic and metal build, which is the case with almost every other budget focussed device.
The metal rail on the device is polished to match the back, which feels premium in hand. The moment you hold the device, you can feel the premium-ness that the brand tries to convey with this device. The company has focussed on the premium build experience. With that said, the material used is still plastic, and it is known for getting scratches quite often and very quickly. You might want to strap on that bundled case for extra peace of mind.
The lock button is located on the right side while the volume rockers can be found on the left. The buttons are positioned correctly and feel tactile while pressing. At the bottom, there is a USB Type-C port and speaker grille along with a 3.5-mm headphone jack.
The front is dominated by a decent size display having a waterdrop notch and thin bezels. The back of the device features a fingerprint sensor with a quad-camera module and realme branding in a vertical position.
Realme 5 Pro features a 6.3-inch IPS LCD having small bezels on the sides and waterdrop notch. It results in a screen-to-body-ratio of 83.6 percent. At this price, various competitors are offering AMOLED panels, but Realme decided to stick with the IPS LCD panel. And, I guess it was the right decision. The display is very sharp, punchy, and responsive. Viewing angles are great, and the entire media consumption experience is pretty decent.
The brightness levels are sufficient enough for clear viewing experience under the direct sunlight. At this price tag, Realme 5 Pro manages to deliver a decent display experience. If we compare this to the Mi A3, the former offers a much better experience. Oh! By the way, Mi A3 features an AMOLED panel.
For protection, the display comes with a protective layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The device also comes with a pre-applied screen protector, which is very kind of the brand. There are few color customization which you can do from the Settings app itself.
Powered by Snapdragon 712 SoC, Realme 5 Pro comes with up to 8GB of RAM and up to 128GB of onboard memory. The Snapdragon 712 chipset is manufactured using a 10nm fabrication process having eight cores. It includes Kryo 360 Gold clocked at 2.3GHz, and Kryo 360 Silver clocked at 1.7GHz. For gaming, the device makes use of Adreno 616 GPU.
Performance is something in which Realme 5 Pro manages to shine its excellence. The SD 712 chipset is a competent one and can handle day-to-day tasks without breaking a sweat. Even if you try to do aggressive multitasking, the smartphone can handle that with ease. In our daily usage, we didn’t find any lags or stutter. The animations are quite snappy, making the overall experience quite smooth.
Coming to gaming, we were able to play graphics-intensive games such as Pubg Mobile and Fortnite at high settings. There were no scenarios of occasional lags or frame drops during our hour-long gameplay session. Speaking of delay, we did notice a little stutter in the camera app.
Realme 5 Pro comes with up to 8GB of RAM, while the optimal option is going to be the 6GB RAM variant. Thanks to the high capacity RAM options, multitasking is a breeze; apps stay in memory for a longer time, and switching between them is smooth.
Realme 5 Pro runs on the Android 9.0 Pie software based on the ColorOS 6 skin. As you have already guessed by now, Realme 5 Pro is a solid smartphone, but everything changes when it comes to software. ColorOS 6 is one of that software that feels full of extra, bloated, and heavy at the same time.
The custom skin is filled with plenty of bloatware, and most of them are pretty useless. You can uninstall a few of them, but again the experience is not that impressive. The UI feels like a rip-off version of the iOS operating system. Even the recent overhaul attempt fails to improve the user experience on ColorOS 6. On the other hand, a few features might turn out quite helpful in reality.
With that said, Realme needs to make some serious changes in the ColorOS skin since the entire experience is not that decent.
Even though Realme 5 Pro is a budget smartphone, that doesn’t stop the company from integrating the quad-camera module. Realme 5 Pro has a 48MP primary camera (f/1.7), an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP “Portrait Lens,” which is the fancy name of the depth sensor. Well, let’s see how well the quad-camera system performs in real life.
When it comes to the daylight photos, the primary sensor does an average job, and in fact, the camera adds a bit of saturation to the pictures. The level of detail was pretty decent, with the right level of exposure. Switching between primary and wide-angle lens is just a single tap process. The wide-angle lens brings not so much wide angle-of-view, but the color accuracy remains there, so that’s a good thing. You might notice some loss of details that happens with every device while switching to the ultra-wide-angle lens.
In low-light scenarios, the camera takes okayish shots and nothing major to talk about here. As expected, the details are average, and the details on shadows are not that impressive. You can use the night mode to brighten up the images which manage to improve the shots a little bit.
For selfies, there is a 16MP front snapper having an aperture f/2.0. The front selfie camera clicks photos with the right level of details and exposure in the daylight conditions. The same is not valid for low-light scenarios since we noticed plenty of noises and tiniest details. The video on the primary sensor is capped at 4K@30fps. The device has EIS for a little bit of stabilization while recording video.
The Realme 5 Pro is fueled by a 4,035mAh battery packed inside with the support of 20W fast charging. The device offers long-lasting battery life and easily lasts for more than a day on the average users. If you’re a power user, the device can last for an entire day on a single charge. Our daily usage looks something like this – WiFi and Bluetooth always-on, constant text messaging, few sessions of gaming, media streaming, and music playback.
The device comes with a VOOC 3.0 20W fast charger than can go from zero to 50 percent in just 30 minutes. The brand has finally decided to switch to the USB Type-C port for charging. I am impressed by the VOOC standard charging and found it to be an awe-inspiring addition at this price tag.
Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
For audio, Realme 5 Pro has a single stereo loudspeaker located at the bottom. The audio output from the speaker is pretty decent, with no signs of distortion at high volumes. There is a 3.5-mm headphone jack, which also delivers adequate output. The earpiece, call connectivity, and the microphone works like a charm.
Realme 5 Pro has all the standard connectivity features such as dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, FM Radio, USB Type-C port for charging. Coming to biometrics, there is a physical fingerprint sensor at the back, which is quite reliable, accurate, and quick. You can also use the Face Unlock, which uses 2D mapping for face representation. This process makes it an unreliable and inaccurate unlocking option.
Pros & Cons
- Looks somewhat premium
- Raw performance
- Daylight shots are impressive
- VOOC 3.0 fast charging
- Average battery life
- UI needs improvement
During our testing period, we enjoyed using Realme 5 Pro, but there were still various issues that we came across. Starting with the right things, the device looks refreshing, no doubt, and feels somewhat premium even though the back is made up of plastic. The smartphone also manages to offer impressive performance and is a good option for those who’re looking for raw power. Furthermore, the camera system is quite good and takes decent shots in daylight conditions. The battery life is also on the positive side, and the VOOC 3.0 is one of the best features of this device.
The thing that annoyed me the most during my daily usage is the custom ColorOS 6 skin. As mentioned earlier, Realme needs to work on its software desperately since the entire experience is not that impressive. In this scenario, I preferred Mi A3 even though it has not so a better display. Apart from the software, there is no major issue with the smartphone. Realme 5 Pro manages to give fierce competition to the likes of Xiaomi, Honor, and Nokia. The smartphone is competent, and the only thing that bug you is the software.