Realme 5 Pro review: Ideal in ₹13999 or not…?

At Rs 13,999 for the base model, the Realme 5 Pro is a complete package; its plastic body may seem unimpressive to some, but that could be overlooked for the value the phone offers at its price.

Realme has done a good job of keeping us on our toes since it first debuted in India as a subsidiary of Oppo in mid-2018. The new Realme 5 ₹ 9,999  and Realme 5 Pro succeed the Realme 3 ₹ 8,999 and Realme 3 Pro ₹ 12,999  — the number 4 considered unlucky in some Asian cultures — highlighting the young company’s remarkable turnaround rate.

In just about a year’s time, China’s Realme became one of the top five smartphone brands in India. One of the main propellers for its meteoric rise has been it’s budget and mid-range smartphones, with timely upgrades for new features and technologies. In keeping with its practice, the company recently launched the Realme 5 Pro, whose name might make it seem a successor to the Realme 3 Pro (review), launched in India only a month earlier (July 2019). But it is indeed an altogether a new device with a quad-camera set-up.

Indeed, Realme has jumped from dual- straight to quad-camera arrangements. And the Realme 5 Pro setup is rather impressive with a 48MP primary, an 8MP ultrawide, a 2MP macro, and 2MP portrait snappers. Advanced 2x digital zoom is available thanks to the high-res primary, as well as Nightscape and Chroma boost modes.

Here is the review of Realme 5 Pro to assess how it fares on key parameters:

Design:-

It might have been just over a year, but we are glad Realme has found its MO – catchy designs, breezy performance, and good camera skillset. And it’s been delivering those on unbelievably low prices ever since. The Realme 5 Pro doesn’t lose focus on what’s important either – there is the signature dazzling looks, the upper-tier Snapdragon 712 chip, and company’s first quad-camera setup.

For a low-cost phone, the Realme 5 Pro looks and feels pretty good. It isn’t too big or bulky, and the materials and finishes feel premium. You’ll immediately notice the geometric pattern on the back, which has so far been used for less expensive phones such as the Realme 3i ₹ 8,190 and Realme C2 ₹ 6,290. The concept has been elevated here, with a metallic sheen and completely smooth finish.

Unfortunately, the phone’s polycarbonate build fails to do justice to its mesmerising design. Its glossy back is a fingerprint magnet, and in the absence of protection covering the back also gets scratches easily. The chassis is sturdy, but its longevity could be suspect.

The abstract shapes on the rear have slightly different colours and catch the light differently, but there’s still a unified gradient running down the back of the device. You can choose between Crystal Green and Sparkling Blue finishes, and we quite liked the blue-green jewel-toned look of our Crystal Green review unit which is distinct without being garish.

Display:-

This is one area where the Realme 5 Pro does not bring any major upgrade over the Realme 3 Pro. The phone has an identical 6.3-inch fullHD+ IPS LCD screen stretched in a tall 19:9 aspect ratio. It has on top a dewdrop-shaped notch accommodating the phone’s selfie camera. The display’s unconventional aspect ratio propels the notification area and on-screen navigation buttons to two extreme ends, making it difficult to operate the phone with one hand. But the device supports gesture-based navigations; that provides some respite. In terms of output, the screen looks vivid and has a good contrast, with favourable outdoor visibility at all hours. This makes it one of the better screens in the segment. The phone has Widevine L1 certification to confirm its ability to play content from over-the-top platforms like Amazon Prime and Netflix in high definition.

Battery life

The Realme 5 Pro has the same 4,045mAh battery that powered the Realme 3 Pro. The phone supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging and its box contains both the 20W charger and the proprietary USB-C cable needed for VOOC to work. This pair refills 50% of the Realme 5 Pro’s depleted battery in 30 mins, while a full charge takes about 80-90 mins.

In out testing, the Realme 5 Pro clocked almost 14 hours of video playback and north of 16 hours of browsing the web over Wi-Fi. We also measured more a day of 3G voice calls. And adding the efficient standby performance we got an excellent overall Endurance rating of 100 hours.

Performance

Powering the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 system-on-chip, paired with up to 128 GB of internal storage and up to 8 GB of RAM. The phone boots the Android Pie operating system-based ColorOS 6.0 user interface, which is a customised skin layered above the default operating system.

The phone’s swift and sleek performance, however, is somewhat marred by the heavily customised user interface that comes pre-installed with a lot of bloatware. The phone delivers a consistently good performance, even after prolonged heavy usage, but the same cannot be said for user experience (UI) — the UI is sluggish, confusing and unoptimised. Thankfully, Realme has acknowledged the UI limitations and promised to release an update in future to address this flaw. The company has said that all Realme smartphones will get a new software upgrade of the ColorOS 6.0 with a new design, hotspot management function and support for Google AR Core functions. Importantly, the company has confirmed that the new UI will look close to stock Android.

Realme 5 Pro cameras

The main rear camera has a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor, which was only found in much more expensive phones till very recently. It also has an f/1.79 aperture and supports PDAF. Next, there’s an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera with an f/2.25 aperture, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The front camera has a 16-megapixel sensor and f/2 aperture

The camera app looks slick but the layout is a bit awkward. For starters, there’s no easy way to switch between cameras. A toggle button at the top of the screen lets you activate or deactivate the wide-angle camera, but to use the macro one, you have to select the Ultra Macro mode which is buried in a spillover menu next to the standard Photo, Video, and Portrait mode selection buttons. This menu is unnecessarily small and you actually have to scroll down within it to find the Ultra Macro mode, which is too many steps.

There was a little grain in shadowy areas and towards the sides of some frames, but the primary camera worked very well, even for high-contrast scenes.

Color OS 6 on top of sweet Pie

The Realme 5 Pro runs Oppo’s latest Color OS 6 over Android 9.0 – a combo we’ve already seen on the Realme X, 3 and 3 Pro. Some icons might have changed along the way, but other than that – it’s the same UI we left on the previous model.

Color OS 6 generally revolves around a light color scheme with the settings menu using a white backdrop with light color accents and gradients.

Registering a fingerprint takes a few steps, but it’s not a big deal to spend some time enrolling a print as long as it works well later on. And it does flawlessly on the 5 Pro. The sensor is always on and upon recognition unlocks the phone in a flash.

Wrap-up

It’s always easy with Realme – we begin these reviews expecting some impressive bang for the buck and we get it every single time. The Realme 5 Pro is no different – there is an impressive specs sheet with a high-end camera setup on a bargain price.

The looks of Realme keep evolving for the better and we like the new Realme shapes a lot. The added splash resistance is a game changer for series 5, but for the Pro model its premium camera is the real showstopper.

Verdict

At Rs 13,999 (for the base model with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage), the Realme 5 Pro makes a complete package that thrills with its all-round performance. The phone’s plastic body might seem unimpressive to some, but that might be the only weak point; it could be overlooked considering the value that the phone offers at its price.

Obviously the Realme 5 Pro is without any competition in the markets it’s available in. It is an amazing offer with a great screen, powerful hardware, and one very capable versatile camera. The battery life turned out excellent as well. If you are lucky enough to have Realme phones available where you reside, there is hardly a better phone for this amount of money. Until another Realme or new Redmi note 8 pro dethrones it.

Thank you guys…..That’s it for today.

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