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Highlights

Realme 5 Review




Realme Philippines has finally unveiled and launch the brand’s latest entry-level device, the Realme 5, in the country. It comes with a 6.4-inch display, Snapdragon 665, and quadruple rear cameras. Is the Realme 5 the new Realme budget king? Find out in our review.

Design and Construction

The Realme 5 has two color variants, namely Crystal Purple and Crystal Blue, with our unit here in the former color. Smartphones these days have begun to up their aesthetics game by ditching a plain colored rear and applying patterns or textures instead. The Realme 5 here isn’t an exception, with its diamond-like pattern on the back. We have to admit that having a designed back makes the smartphone look more eye-catching than a plain one.

A quadruple-camera setup can also be found on the rear of the device, with the primary shooter accented with a gold ring. Realme also supplied the handset with a fingerprint sensor on the back.

Upfront, the Realme 5 sports a display with slim bezels surrounding it, with the thicker chin being an exception. A dewdrop notch is located at the top, and it’s also where the front camera resides.

On the right, one can find the power button while on the left side is the volume rocker and the dual SIM card tray with a dedicated microSD card slot.

Located at the bottom are the 3.5mm audio jack, a noise-canceling mic, a single downward-firing speaker, and disappointingly, a micro USB port. We hope that Realme would get with the program soon and equip their future smartphones with a USB-C port already.

Display and Multimedia

A 6.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD panel with a 1600 x 720 comes equipped with the Realme 5. The panel also sports a Corning Gorilla Glass 3+ protection, for those worried they might crack the screen with a single drop. Panel brightness is excellent; we can use the smartphone under direct sunlight even at just 55-60%. Color saturation levels are also pretty good, and reproduction is also reasonably accurate.

As for the downward-firing speaker, the audio quality isn’t good, but it isn’t that terrible either. Lows and mids are pretty lacking, and the audio comes out distorted when the volume is set to the maximum. The placement of the speaker is poor as well; most users would probably end up covering the speaker when holding the device against the palm.

OS, UI, and Apps

ColorOS 6 based on Android 9 Pie runs as the Realme 5’s operating system. Newly-installed apps can be found on the home screen, and bring up the drawer will show every app installed in the handset. Navigation can be done using gestures or virtual keys; if opting to use the virtual keys, ColorOS 6 offers four types of layout for its users. Pre-installed apps include the regular Google apps, and it also has tools such as a Game Center, Game Space, ORoaming, Clone Phone, One-Tap Lockscreen, and the like.

Third-party apps such as Lazada, Facebook, and the like, also come with the Realme 5 out of the box. Our handset possesses 128GB of storage, with about 109GB of it usable. Storage may be expanded via the dedicated microSD card slot.

For biometrics and security, the Realme 5 employs fingerprint scanning and face unlock. The fingerprint scanner is easy to reach and has a fast response. As for the face unlock, it has a slower response time than that of the fingerprint scanner, but it still works.

Cameras

A quad-camera setup composed of 12MP main + 8MP ultrawide + 2MP macro + 2MP depth sensor sits on the rear, while a 13MP selfie shooter resides in the drop notch. Let’s take a look at what the Realme’s cameras are capable of.

First up is the front-facing camera. The images produced were good and usable in social media and the like. One thing though is that it tends to overexpose highlights. Portrait-wise, subject-background separation is modest.

For rear samples, the images produced show crisp details; however, some of them can look over-sharpened. Similar to the selfies, the photos also tend to overexpose highlights. Still, under the right lighting conditions, the colors are vibrant and have adequate saturation levels. When it comes to portrait shots, the subject-background separation can also be similar to the selfie photos. Blurring is just right, and the edges don’t appear harsh. In night mode, the images have a balance of shadows and highlights. It’s not as bright as we were expecting, but the important thing is that it works.

Video-wise, the Realme 5 can shoot up to 4K at 1080p and 30fps. Video quality is rather average, and we recommend using a monopod or a tripod when shooting.

Performance and Benchmarks

Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 paired with an Adreno 610 GPU powers up the Realme 5. RAM and storage variants include 3GB + 32GB, 3GB + 64GB, and 4GB + 128GB, with our unit here having the latter. We ran the device through our usual benchmarks, and here are the results:

  • AnTuTu – 139,445
  • PCMark (Work 2.0) – 7,685
  • Geekbench –
  • 3DMark – 1,080 (OpenGL ES 3.1), 1,048 (Vulkan)
  • AndroBench – 295.24 MB/s (Read), 235.08 MB/s (Write)

Doing tasks such as social media browsing, navigating around, messaging was pretty good. It wasn’t as speedy as we wanted it to be, but the Realme 5 still performed smoothly. Do take caution in having multiple apps running at the same time as it’ll make the device feel sluggish. We were also able to play games with heavy graphics; however, do expect frame lags to occur from time to time.

Connectivity and Battery Life

The standard connectivity features, such as 4G, LTE, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, are present in the Realme 5. Location pinning is also fairly accurate, as we didn’t encounter any issues upon using location-based apps.

A massive 5,000mAh battery sits inside the Realme 5. Under PC Mark’s battery rest, the Realme 5 totaled around 16 hours and 15 minutes. In our standard video loop test (1080p video, 50% volume, 50% brightness, Airplane mode, headphones plugged in), the smartphone yielded a total of 22 hours and 13 minutes. The handset takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to charge, no thanks to that combination of extensive battery capacity, a micro USB port, and no form of fast charging support.

Conclusion

Realme is offering up a great value-for-money smartphone with the Realme 5. For an entry-level device, it has a sizeable display, quad cameras, face unlock, and that sweet, enormous battery life. Realme is also keeping things affordable with the Realme 5 priced at the following:

  • 4GB + 128GB – PHP 9,990
  • 3GB + 64GB – PHP 7,990
  • 3GB + 32GB – PHP 6,990

Sure enough, the Realme 5 can take over the Realme 3’s title as the budget king. Both devices have almost similar prices at launch, but the Realme 5 leveled up several aspects that the Realme 3 had. It’s a little hard to believe that this device is an entry-level one. If you’re contemplating on getting a budget device, do consider the Realme 5 among your options.

Realme 5 specs:

6.5-inch Mini-drop HD+ (1600 x 720) Full-screen display
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 2.00GHz 11nm octa-core
Adreno 610 GPU
3GB, 4GB RAM
32GB, 64GB, 128GB storage
Expandable storage via dedicated microSD card slot
12MP F1.8 main + 8MP F2.25 Ultra-Wide lens + 2MP Portrait + 2MP Macro quad-camera setup
240fps slow-mo, 4K/1080p 30fps
13MP F2.0 front camera
4G LTE
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
GPS, A-GPS, Galileo, BDS
3.5mm audio port
Micro USB
Splash Resistant
Fingerprint scanner (rear-mounted)
Face Unlock
ColorOS 6 (Android 9 Pie)
5,000mAh battery w/ 10W charging
Crystal Blue, Crystal Purple

What we liked:

  • Affordable price
  • Sizeable display
  • Enormous battery life 
  • Quadruple camera setup
  • RAM options

What we didn’t: 

  • micro USB port
  • Overexposed highlights in photos
  • Slow face unlock response
  • Tedious charging time due to the huge battery capacity

With additional inputs from Miguel Ty.



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