Realme 5 Pro Review
I’m pretty sure you fondly remember the Realme 3 Pro, which was one of the best bang-for-your-buck mid-range smartphones from earlier this year. The Realme 5 Pro now follows that success. Some upgrades have been made, from the design down to the cameras, to the performance, so let’s see if Realme’s follow-up can be just as potent as its predecessor.
Design and Construction
The first thing you’ll notice about the Realme 5 Pro is the revamped design. It has a plastic body, and it looks sharp with a glossy back and a cool geometric pattern. We have ours in the Sparkling Blue, but there’s also a Crystal Green variant if that better suits your fancy.
At the back, we find some Realme branding, the protruding rear camera module, and a fingerprint scanner.
On the front is a 6.3-inch screen with a waterdrop notch that houses the selfie camera and speakerphone. While on top you’ll find a noise-canceling microphone.
The bottom part contains the loudspeaker, primary microphone, headphone jack, and a USB Type-C port–which is nice to see since the Realme 3 Pro had a micro USB port.
On the left are the volume controls and dual-SIM tray for two nano-SIM cards plus a dedicated microSD card slot that’s expandable up to 256GB — which is nice.
Meanwhile, you’ll find the power button on the right side. All the buttons are tactile, clicky, and are in the right position on the frame, so it’s easy to reach.
The build is both fun-looking and solid, especially as Realme explicitly claims it to be splash resistant, although there’s no official IP rating. It doesn’t particularly look or feel premium, but the vibe I get is that it’s more fun which suits a younger crowd, which is supposedly Realme’s target market after all.
Display and Multimedia
For the display, it gets a 6.3-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 and a pixel density of 409ppi. It also has Gorilla Glass 3+ protection underneath a pre-installed plastic screen protector which is always nice to have.
You’ll notice that its got very slim side and top bezels and a slightly thicker chin that’s not a bother at all if you ask me. Meanwhile, the notch is now a little smaller compared to the Realme 3 series, but if you don’t like it, unfortunately, there’s no option to hide it in the settings.
The quality is nice with vibrant colors. The brightness isn’t a problem when dealing with direct sunlight. You can also adjust the temperature in the settings to what your eyes prefer.
As for audio, sound from the single downward-firing speaker is similar to what you’ll expect from a typical mid-ranger. It can get loud but still lacks some bass and depth. It also has a Real Sensaround feature in the settings for when you’re plugging in headphones for a slightly more Hi-Fi sound.
For the cameras, the Realme 5 Pro has four rear shooters stacked vertically consisting of a 48MP F1.79 Sony IMX 586 primary, 8MP F2.25 ultrawide, 2MP F2.4 depth sensor, and a 2MP F2.4 macro lens. The configuration makes the device a versatile shooter. Meanwhile, in the notch area resides its 16MP F2.0 Sony IMX471 front camera.
The camera app itself is easy to navigate. It’s packed with a lot of features, and as for quality, it doesn’t disappoint. Photos taken from the primary camera under good lighting looks superb with accurate colors and fine details. We noticed that it leans more towards warmer tones, but you can turn off the AI scene detection if you’re not a fan of the look and want something more natural. Ultrawide camera shots, on the other hand, are okay but susceptible to noise which is more evident in low-light.
When using the Ultra 48MP mode, of course, you get crisp details, with reduced noise and more vivid colors. Meanwhile, night shots without having Nightscape, aka Night Mode, come out muddy with washed-out colors. When we turn Nightscape mode on, you’ll see a difference in overall brightness and details. It doesn’t mess up the photo, but you do have to stay steady for 3 seconds to take the shot. We highly recommend turning on Nightscape if you really want good low-light photos.
As for portrait mode, we get a nice blur, and it separates the subject from the background pretty well. It works well with the rear cameras since we get a dedicated depth sensor, but it’s effective with portrait selfies as well.
With selfies, they’re not bad at all. There’s no wide-angle option, but the photos come out with accurate colors, especially when it comes to skin tones. You can also take advantage of the beauty mode on board.
For videos, you can shoot up to 4k at 60fps. EIS doesn’t work well at this resolution so footage comes out shaky.
OS, UI, Apps
The Realme 5 Pro runs on ColorOS 6 based on Android 9 Pie, so it’s familiar if you’re a previous OPPO or Realme user. It’s far from the Stock Android experience although you do get a bunch of features like Clone Apps, Game Space, Digital Wellbeing, Kid Space, Hotspot Management, and App Encryption to secure specific apps.
For security, you can unlock the phone via face-unlock or with the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner that’s pretty easy to reach. Generally, both work snappy, but the fingerprint scanner will be more reliable as the face-unlock struggles under poor lighting conditions.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering this device the Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 chipset with an Adreno 616 GPU, and 4GB, 6GB, 8GB of RAM– ours has 8GB, and 64GB or 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage with a dedicated microSD card slot. It’s only a slight boost from the Realme 3 Pro’s Snapdragon 710, but the rest of the specs got some significant upgrade so it can still handle almost everything from light to heavy tasks.
We didn’t experience much lags or frame drops when playing titles like PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends, and Asphalt 9 at their highest graphics settings. However, expect the back panel to heat up a little bit when playing, but it doesn’t get so hot that it’s super uncomfortable.
Take a look at the synthetic benchmark scores below:
• AnTuTu – 179,025
• Geekbench – 316 (Single-Core), 1,477 (Multi-Core), 947 (OpenCL)
• 3D Mark SSE – 2,089 (OpenGL ES 3.1), 1,982 (Vulkan)
• PC Mark – 8,653 (Work 2.0)
• AndroBench – 489.41 MB/s (Seq. Read), 189.41 MB/s (Seq. Write)
Connectivity and Battery
Connectivity-wise, it has Dual-SIM, 4G LTE, WiFi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, a number of SatNavs, and finally, USB Type-C. So far, calls are loud and clear and can quickly connect to mobile internet. SatNav also works well as we don’t encounter problems when using location-based apps.
Keeping this phone running is a 4,035mAh battery with support for 20W VOOC 3.0 flash charge. In our Video Loop Test, we got a total of 20 hours and 30 minutes of playback. So surely, the Realme 5 Pro can get through a whole day with slightly heavy use with moderate usage. Charging, on the other hand, takes around an hour and a half to fully charge from zero to a hundred. Not bad, but it isn’t SuperVOOC speed.
Note: PCMark crashes during testing.
The Realme 5 Pro starts at PHP 11,990 for the 4GB RAM + 128GB internal storage variant, and PHP 13,990 for the 8GB RAM + 128GB internal storage variant, making it one of the most affordable Snapdragon 712-powered smartphone in the market. Those upgrading from the Realme 3 Pro will like the improved cameras, revamped design, larger RAM, faster storage, and USB Type-C. The performance may not have improved that much, but the Realme 5 Pro is still a strong successor and a strong candidate for those looking for a capable yet budget-friendly mid-range smartphone.
Realme 5 Pro specs:
6.3-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) Dewdrop full-screen display
Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 2.3GHz 10nm octa-core CPU
Adreno 616 GPU
4GB, 6GB, 8GB RAM
64GB, 128GB UFS 2.1 storage
dedicated microSD card slot
48MP F1.79 Sony IMX 586 main + 8MP F2.25 ultrawide (119-degrees) + 2MP F2.4 portrait + 2MP F2.4 macro quad rear cameras
16MP F2.0 Sony IMX471 front camera
GPS, A-GPS, Galileo, BDS
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Fingerprint scanner (rear-mounted)
ColorOS 6 (Android 9 Pie)
Loudspeaker w/ Dirac HD Sound
4,035mAh battery w/ VOOC 3.0 flash charge support (20W)
157 x 74.2 x 8.9 mm
Sparkling Blue, Crystal Green
What we liked:
• Attractive design
• Nice display
• Good performance
• Good main camera
• Dedicated microSD card slot
• Long battery life with fast charging
• Low price
What we didn’t:
• Shaky 4K video
• Ultrawide camera has poor low-light performance