In India it is difficult not to hear anything from the smartphone manufacturer Realme yet. Although it is a relatively young company, it has established itself within Oppo and achieved tremendous growth thanks to aggressive marketing and pricing in the past year. Since the budget for smartphones is constantly increasing, the company wants to disrupt the market again with its new Realme 5 series. Realme is making the leap from dual to quad cameras on the back of its phones, even with inexpensive models under Rs. 10,000.
The Realme 5 is a comprehensive upgrade from the Realme 3 (review), including processor performance, cameras and battery capacity. The company hopes to set new standards for what buyers can expect from a phone in this segment. Equipped with an impressive selection of functions, it is time to check whether the Realme 5 offers an equally impressive Android experience.
Realme 5 design
Realme has updated its design language a bit with the Realme 5. The phone still uses a polycarbonate case with a laminated plastic back, but is larger than the Realme 3 and has a larger display. The design of the diamond pattern on the back has been redesigned to a more crystalline pattern that looks neat and better highlights the phone. The crystal blue finish we have is very eye-catching, but if you're looking for delicacy, the crystal purple option is a better choice. In addition, minor signs of wear are less visible in the purple version than in the blue realme 5.
The size of this phone makes it pretty cumbersome to use with one hand, and even with large hands we had trouble typing anywhere near the top of the display. Fortunately, ColorOS offers a one-handed mode to solve this problem. The Realme 5 is also a bit heavy at almost 200 g. The placement of the buttons and the tactile feedback of the volume and power buttons are good. Below is a single speaker, a headphone jack and a micro USB charging port.
The front has a 6.5-inch HD + display (720 x 1600 pixels) with a small dewdrop notch and relatively narrow bezels all around. The notch on the Realme 5 is a bit smaller, but at first glance it is not so obvious. Scratch protection is also available in the form of Corning & # 39; s Gorilla Glass 3. The display also comes with a pre-installed screen protector, which got annoying for us pretty quickly, but your mileage will likely vary. We found the brightness more than adequate and the colors were well saturated. The sharpness of text and symbols is not the best. However, this is only noticeable if you use this phone next to a phone with a Full HD screen (or higher).
The Realme 5 is one of the first Realme phones with four cameras on the back, we will go into the details later. There's a fingerprint sensor in the center of the rear that works well, and there's also face recognition. As with previous realme offers, face recognition is very quick. In poor lighting conditions, the screen compensates for the lack of light, so you can unlock your phone even in the dark.
Finally, Realme says that this phone provides multi-layer moisture protection for the SIM slots, gaps, battery cover, etc., and should be able to survive light water splashes. The delivery of the Realme 5 includes a silicone case, a 10 W adapter, a micro USB cable, additional screen protection, a SIM eject tool and the usual quick start and guarantee booklets.
Realme 5 specifications and software
The Realme 5 is the first phone to be announced in India with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC. As the name suggests, this processor is located between the Snapdragon 660 and the Snapdragon 675. This SoC is based on an 11 nm manufacturing process, so it is more energy efficient than the Snapdragon 660 and even uses the same Kryo 260 cores. The integrated GPU was upgraded to the Adreno 610, which should enable better gaming performance.
The Realme 5 is available in three versions: 3 GB RAM with 32 GB memory (9,999 rupees). 4 GB RAM with 64 GB memory (case 10,999); and the one we have that has 4 GB of RAM with 128 GB of storage (Rs. 11,999). Other Realme 5 specifications include dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5, slots for two nano SIM cards and a microSD card with a capacity of up to 256 GB, support for four satellite navigation systems, USB OTG, FM radio and the usual suite of sensors.
The Realme 5 ships with ColorOS 6.0.1, the latest version. Realme has added some cosmetic improvements to the user interface compared to what we saw recently in Realme X (Review). Our device also had the Android security patch of July 2019 at the time of our review. Realme claims that it has improved the appearance of some of its app icons and user interface elements based on user feedback. The company's own apps such as ORoaming, Calculator etc. appear flatter and tidier.
ColorOS has eliminated the oversized bubbles around the notification switches for a flatter and cleaner look. The battery area in the Settings app is also much easier to read compared to the previous version, although we're still waiting for the battery charge chart.
We had no problems with spam notifications from apps on this phone. You still get the same amount of preloaded apps, including DailyHunt, Helo, etc., but they can all be uninstalled.
Realme 5 performance and battery life
We generally had good experiences with the Realme 5 daily. After a few days, we got used to the thickness and weight of this phone, although we found it to be top-heavy and one-handed operation remains a challenge. The included phone case doesn't add much volume and has a protective layer on the back. The display offers very good readability in sunlight and, due to its size, is ideal for media consumption. However, there is no support for Widevine L1, which means that video streaming apps cannot play content at HD or higher resolutions.
The AnTuTu benchmark declined to run in full, but we got pretty good numbers in all of our other standard tests. We achieved a score of 7,719 points in PCMark, while the T-Rex graphics test in GFXbench reached 50 fps. Compared to the Helio P70 in Realme 3 and even the latest Oppo A9 (review), the Snapdragon 665 generally has slightly better results in the gaming benchmark comparison, but the CPU is pretty high.
We didn't notice any overheating even with stressful games. In Asphalt 9: Legends we noticed a very slight stutter shortly before the start of the race, but nothing after that. PUBG Mobile oddly had the default setting "Low", but it worked perfectly even when the graphics setting was set to "Balanced". The Realme 5 got slightly warm, but never got really hot even after a 30-minute match in PUBG.
The sound from the lower speaker sounds a little quieter, but at least the placement is such that it won't be easily blocked when you hold the phone horizontally. Realme continues its partnership with Dirac, which operates its "Real Sound Technology". In contrast to Dolby Atmos Mobile, this only works if you have connected headphones.
Even with intensive daily activities, the battery of the Realme 5 easily lasts longer than a day on which it is used regularly. The phone has a 5,000 mAh battery that lasted 22 hours and 31 minutes in our excellent HD video loop battery test. During our review, we were able to manage almost two days of use per charge with light to medium usage.
It takes a while to charge the battery. This can be a problem if you are in a hurry. From zero it takes a little over 3 hours for the phone to be fully charged using the included adapter. There is no support for quick charging, which is a little disappointing. You can charge up to 24 percent in half an hour and up to 43 percent in an hour, which is a little disappointing. If you are used to connecting your phone at night regardless of the battery level, this should not be a problem.
Realme 5 cameras
It gets really interesting here. The Realme 5 is the first phone with four cameras that is priced below US $. 10,000 in India, and the company is really driving this point home. In addition to the primary 12-megapixel sensor and the 2-megapixel depth sensor, Realme has provided the phone with an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera with a field of view of 119 degrees and a 2-megapixel macro camera for close-ups. The main camera has an aperture of 1: 1.8 and a PDAF, so focusing is quick. The ultra wide angle camera lacks autofocus, but you can use Nightscape with it. The macro lens has a very narrow aperture of 1: 2.8, so it is not useful in low light conditions. However, during the day you can get some really detailed close-ups.
In daylight, the main camera takes landscape pictures that look appealing when viewed on the phone's display. However, when we zoomed in, we found that details in distant objects were not very good and the shadow areas were somewhat noisy. The HDR is not always effective because the colors look a little pale. This can be fixed with the Chroma Boost mode, which makes the scenes more vivid. Wide-angle shots visibly have less detail, but you get a potentially more interesting perspective. Correcting the run distortion also works quite well so that objects on the sides of the frame do not appear to be distorted.
Close-ups are an area in which the Realme 5 stands out from the competition. People have good-looking skin tones, and edge detection works well when shooting in portrait mode. You still can't adjust the background blur before or after a shot, but the blur looks pretty natural. If you want to create super macros, you will get good results if you switch to ultra macro mode. There is no autofocus, but when positioned correctly over a subject we were able to achieve some breathtaking details that would not be possible with a normal lens.
The Realme 5 has to struggle a bit in poor lighting conditions. The autofocus speed is still decent, but landscapes generally had poor detail and grain was visible in very dark scenes. Nightscape mode brightens scenes and improves details, but also adds a slight crop to compensate for handshakes.
There's a 13-megapixel selfie camera that takes pretty good-looking selfies in daylight. There is also HDR for this camera, and it works even when shooting against bright light. Portrait shots still looked a little wrong, and edge detection wasn't very good. You can shoot selfie videos up to 1080p, and the footage is stabilized, which is very convenient and not too common in this segment. It worked well in daylight, but in low light conditions there was visible distortion due to the electronic stabilization every time we took a step.
Speaking of video, the Realme 5 can record up to 4K, but without stabilization. This is not a big deal as none of the other phones can stabilize video at 4K at this price. The colors looked slightly enhanced, but otherwise the details were good when taking pictures during the day. However, shots in low light conditions looked rather grainy.
1080p video is stabilized, although we noticed a slight focus hunt when moving. The video quality suffered from poor lighting conditions with soft details and a slight shimmer due to the electronic stabilization.
The Realme 5 is a significant upgrade over the Realme 3 (review), and the fact that its prices start just below Rs. 10,000 is commendable. Compared to the Realme 3, you get a slightly better processor, an almost two-day battery life, and improved cameras. The wide-angle and macro cameras definitely give you more creative freedom to take different types of shots.
Some things to consider are the weight and size of this phone. The larger battery has made it difficult, and the large display may not be suitable for everyone, especially if your routine requires a lot of one-handed operation. The cameras also fight for still images and videos in poor lighting conditions.
Given that you get a dedicated slot for memory expansion, the base version of the Realme 5 offers better value for money than the 128 GB version, given the fact that phones are included in the Sub-Rs are, something feels expensive. 15,000 segment, which offers displays with higher resolution, quick loading and the same or better processors as the Redmi Note 7S (review) and the Realme 3 Pro (review). If you don't mind the HD display, it is worth buying the Realme 5 due to the large battery and the versatile wide-screen and macro cameras.