Realme is still trying to prove themselves as one of the leading brands for bang-for-the-buck smartphones. Which is why they’re immediately offering a refresh to one of their most popular devices with the new Realme 5 Pro.
This one came out just few months after the Realme 3 Pro came in to picture. That device already offered a couple of interesting features for the price. And with its successor, we’re expecting nothing less.
But how well did Realme do this time? Were they able to outdo themselves? Is this really the best smartphone that you can get for the price? That’s what we’re about to find out in our Realme 5 Pro review.
Realme 5 Pro Specs
- Android 9 Pie, ColorOS 6
- Dual SIM
- 6.3-inch FHD+ IPS display, 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution, ~409ppi
- 90.6% screen-to-body ratio
- 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 octa-core processor
- 4GB/6GB/8GB RAM
- Adreno 616 GPU
- 64GB/128GB UFS 2.1 internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB
- 16-megapixel front camera, f/2.0
- 48-megapixel (Sony IMX 586, f/1.8, PDAF) + 8-megapixel (ultra-wide, f/2.25) + 2-megapixel (depth sensor) + 2-megapixel (macro) rear cameras, LED flash
- AI scene detection, Chroma boost, Super nightscape
- 960fps @ 720p slow-mo
- Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
- Splash resistant
- Headphone jack
- 4G LTE
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
- Bluetooth 5.0
- GPS, BDS, Galileo, A-GPS
- USB Type-C
- Dimensions: 157 x 74.2 x 8.9mm
- Weight: 184g
- Colors: Sparkling Blue, Crystal Green
- 4,035mAh non-removable battery, VOOC 3.0 20W fast charging
Design and Build Quality
Despite having an appealing set of specs, the Realme 5 Pro also has an attractive design. If you haven’t noticed, smartphone brands are really stepping up the designs of their midrange devices to lure more people in, and this device is one of them.
In fact, the design of the Realme 5 Pro is a major step up to the Realme 3 Pro. It now has a diamond-cut accent on the back that looks really neat in this glass-like plastic panel. The one you’re seeing here is the Crystal Green color, while a Sparkling Blue option is also available.
Besides looking chic, the Realme 5 Pro also has a splash-resistant design. No official IP rating was provided, but it sure can withstand minor exposure to water. I did took pictures with it while it was raining outside — some droplets landed on the device and it still worked like nothing happened.
With a weight of 184g and a thickness of 8.9mm, the 5 Pro is definitely not the most compact device around. But thanks to its curved corners and edges, it feels relatively comfortable in the hands. Although I wish the corners of the screen just melted on the sides so it’s not so sharp.
A lot of mid-range smartphones are trying to resort to pop-up cameras to achieve an all-screen design. But not devices like the Realme 5 Pro. And actually, we have no problem with it.
This one has a waterdrop notch on top of its 6.3-inch IPS screen. Some might find it distracting, but it’s actually not so bad. I’d still prefer a more straightforward and finicky-free notch than having a mechanical pop-up camera.
The top of the device only has a noise-cancelling microphone. Meanwhile, we have the primary mic on the bottom, together with the, thankfully, a USB Type-C, loudspeakers, and a headphone jack. Believe it or not, 3.5mm ports are becoming a dying breed, even in midrange devices like this.
Realme is going all out with the hardware by also including a SIM tray on the left side that can house two nano SIMs and a microSD card. We also have the volume controls in here, which are sitting apart from each other.
We have the lock/power switch on the right side. The physical buttons are not the most tactile of all, but they do the job. They are also easily reachable, even for people with smaller hands.
Lastly, we have the quad cameras on the back. They are located vertically on the top left, inside a single camera bump. Sitting close to it is the LED flash. The fingerprint scanner is then in the middle, easily reachable by your index finger.
The Realme 5 Pro has a 6.3-inch FHD+ IPS display, with 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution, and ~409ppi.
IPS panels are common on devices at this caliber. It may not be the best, but it does a good job in terms of color quality and detail. Besides, using an AMOLED screen would have only increased its price.
To make it short, the display on the Realme 5 Pro is good enough for watching movies and playing games. The size is also right enough for productivity, without being too overwhelmingly large.
The device also has an OSIE (Object and Semantic Images and Eye-tracking) vision feature that shall improve image quality thanks to AI. You can turn the feature on in the settings menu, although we left it off as it only supports a select number of apps. Plus, it will have minor effects on battery performance.
You really can’t have it all, especially for a device at this price. Still, the Realme 5 Pro might not have the best audio quality, but we’ve definitely seen worse.
The bottom-firing loudspeaker offers decent volume and quality, but not mind-blowing.
Realme’s move to keep the headphone jack was also highly-appreciated, although the audio coming out from it, even with a pair of professional-grade earphones, is not very clean.
Hardware and Performance
One of the most incredible feats that Realme was able to pull off on the Realme 5 Pro is its powerful processor.
This thing is powered by a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 octa-core processor, Adreno 616 GPU, and 128GB of fast UFS 2.1 expandable storage (up to 256GB). It’s available in two RAM models: there’s the 4GB variant and the one that we have here, the 8GB model.
Having this kind of processor and much RAM is very rare for a device at this price. With that, it goes without saying that we’re very impressed with its performance.
Realme 5 Pro Benchmark scores
The spacious 8GB of RAM makes for seamless multitasking experience. Just browsing through the interface is smooth. Opening apps is speedy and switching between them is just fast.
As per gaming, the Realme 5 Pro also exceeds expectations. Partnered with its robust processor, graphics card, and the Game Space and HyperBoost 2.0 optimization software, almost all of the demanding games available ran at high settings with good frame rates.
Realme 5 Pro handled games like PUBG Mobile, NBA 2K19, Asphalt 9, and of course, Mobile Legends, without breaking a sweat.
Software and User Interface
For those who are unfamilliar, Realme is actually a sub-brand of OPPO. Which is why the Realme 5 Pro is also running on ColorOS 6, an Android 9 Pie-based UI, that most OPPO smartphones also have.
However, Realme did some minor tweaking on the design to set it apart from OPPO’s. The lock screen is slightly different, the font of the home screen time and date is slightly different, and the buttons on the control center are rounded instead of large boxes.
Realme also enabled the app drawer out of the box. Swiping from bottom-up the home screen gives you access to all your apps, with a search button on the top so you can find your apps faster.
Other than that, everything is pretty much similar. Swiping to the farthest left of the home screen reveals the smart assistant for local and internet search, weather, date, events, and more.
Notification Dots are also here, which gives you an easy look if an app has an incoming notification without the need of opening them.
The Realme 5 Pro utilizes Google’s own keyboard, which is easy to get used to. The camera app is also clean, although it could be better.
It also has other bloatware like their own App Market, which basically shows the apps that are already available in Google Play. There’s also a dedicated app store for games dubbed as the Game Center. There are other preloaded apps that cannot be uninstalled, although the space that they’re taking up in your storage is almost negligible.
Unlike some smartphones who’ve moved on to in-display fingerprint scanners, the Realme 5 Pro settled to the more traditional rear-mounted one.
I see this more of as an advantage as it’s easier to unlock since your index finger usually rests in the back anyway. Plus, it works so much faster than the newer in-screen technology.
Also, the face unlock worked really fast and accurate that it can immediately unlock the device before you can even reach for the fingerprint scanner on the back.
Besides its capable processor and other highlights, one of the biggest features of the Realme 5 Pro is its cameras. This thing comes with a quad-camera setup on the back, an upgrade from the dual cameras that the Realme 3 Pro has.
It starts with the 48-megapixel primary camera with a Sony IMX586 sensor, a bright f/1.8 aperture, and phase-detection autofocus.
The image quality from this camera looks really clean, with good colors and contrast. You can even enable the Color Splash feature to add more vibrancy to the image.
But if you examine closely the picture, you’d notice some minor software oversharpening. Also, the capture speed is sometimes slow, so taking pictures of moving objects, like running cars, will look blurry.
Next stop, we have the 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, with a 119-degree field of view, and a matching f/2.25 aperture. The wide view is great for architectural photography, group shots, or if you just want to cram in your entire lunch table in a single frame.
But since it only has an 8-megapixel sensor, the actual image quality is not the best. It’s sharp enough, but not the sharpest. The colors and contrast are good, but not great.
The third sensor is used for macro shots, which is enabled via the obscured tab in the camera app. It only has a 2-megapixel sensor, but it’s enough to capture close up (up to 4cm) subjects.
There’s also the dedicated 2-megapixel depth-sensor, which assists the primary camera to take really believable DSLR-like bokeh images. The edge detection is really good on this thing.
The Realme 5 Pro also inherits the Nightscape feature that its older brothers have. This takes a 3-second long-exposure shot, do some software cleaning, and outputs brighter low-light images.
Despite the lack of optical image stabilization, the long-exposure shots on this look relatively clean besides taken handheld. But, unlike the ones we saw on flagship devices like the Huawei P30 Pro, you can notice a lot of noises and grains when you zoom in.
We also have the 16-megapixel selfie camera on the front. The image quality you can get from this camera is clean, well-lit, with decent colors. It also has tons of software features, like the AI Face Beauty, that lets you take even better selfies.
Everything is going great for the Realme 5 Pro so far. So it shouldn’t be surprising that they also got its connectivity features locked down.
The 4G LTE bands didn’t have a problem connecting to mobile network and provide a fast and reliable connection. Plus, its dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 worked seamlessly with our home network and other wireless devices, especially Bluetooth speakers
Call quality is also great. The earpiece blasts decent audio quality and the dual microphone setup can capture your voice with a little to non-background noise.
The Realme 5 Pro has a 4,035mAh battery. Partnered with software optimization, it can provide great longevity.
Just like most smartphones, you’d still be reaching for the charger every night. But it is still nice to know that the device can indeed keep up with you until you get home from work, and not die in you in the middle of the day.
Speaking of chargers, the Realme 5 Pro comes with a 20W VOOC 3.0 fast charging. It’s so fast you can easily notice the difference between the included charger and a standard one. A 30-minute charge can put a 0% charge to 50%. While an entire 100% charge will only take about an hour and a half.
There’s no denying that the Realme 5 Pro is one of the most appealing smartphones that you can get for the price. Clearly, Realme has proved once again that they can cram in all a lot of impressive specs without asking for too much money.
This thing offers a very capable processor and cameras that are way beyond its asking price. As a bonus, you’re also getting a device with a great design, and long battery life with impressively speedy fast charging support.
But if we really have to nitpick, we just wish that the ultra-wide camera shots are better. Also, the audio coming out of its loudspeakers and the headphone jack was better.
Still, the Realme 5 Pro is a major steal for the price. If you’re looking for a smartphone that is worth your every penny, this is the one to get.
Realme 5 Pro pricing and availability in the Philippines
The Realme 5 Pro has a retail price of Php11,990 for the 4GB/128GB model, while the 8GB/128GB variant will only cost Php2,000 more at Php13,990.
In-store pre-orders will happen on October 4 to 11, 2019. It will then hit the store shelves starting October 12.
But if you want to be the firsts to have it, you can get it at Lazada where pre-orders will start on October 3 until the 8th. It will then ship to you the next day, October 9. Those who will pre-order the device will get a free 10,000mAh Realme power bank that’s valued at Php1,599.
- Flashy, splash-resistant design
- Large display
- Killer performance
- Great battery life, Impressive fast charging
- Capable primary camera
- Not the best audio quality
- Ultra-wide camera quality could be better