The Realme X2 Pro is an important launch for Chinese smartphone maker Realme, but that wasn't the only device that was launched this week. The Realme 5s was announced along with the Realme X2 Pro, but was somewhat overshadowed by its larger siblings. We already knew a little bit about the Realme 5s thanks to several official teasers and leaks before the start. Realme's exclusive partner, Flipkart, also reviewed some key specifications of the Realme 5s. This new model essentially corresponds to the Realme 5, but has an improved primary sensor in the quad camera setup.
The 12-megapixel primary sensor was replaced by a 48-megapixel sensor, which gives the new Realme 5s a significant advantage. Although the rest of the device is identical to that of its predecessor, does the camera upgrade alone justify the introduction of a new model? We spent some time with the Realme 5 and here are our first impressions of the device.
Realme's move to launch Realme 5s reminds us that Xiaomi did exactly the same thing a few months ago. Xiaomi restarted the Redmi Note 7 (Review) with a 48 megapixel primary camera and called it the Redmi Note 7S (Review), and Realme does exactly the same.
The Realme 5s looks identical to the smartphone it is supposed to replace, but the company has given it a new coat of paint to better distinguish the two. It has a glossy finish that's different and the diamond structure we know from Realme smartphones today. The new smartphone is available in three colors: Crystal Red, Crystal Blue and Crystal Purple. We have the color variant Crystal Red with us and we like the color. Phones with a glossy surface easily recognize fingerprints, and the Realme 5s is no different. However, the diamond pattern makes it difficult to spot stains. Realme also provides a case in the box that can fix the problem.
Take the smartphone in your hand and you will find that it is a bit heavy and the scale tips over at 198 g. This could very well be due to the 5,000 mAh battery. You will also find that it is 9.3mm thick, but we didn't feel it in our hands because the sides are curved so it is easy to hold.
The large 6.5-inch display of the Realme 5s has a tiny dewdrop notch at the top, which contains the 13-megapixel selfie camera. Realme chose Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to help the smartphone survive everyday life. The sides of the screen are not too thick, but the bottom is thicker.
We found the buttons on the device to be well positioned and easy to reach. They also provide solid click feedback so you don't have to question input. We cannot say the same about the positioning of the fingerprint scanner as it is a little too high for our taste. The Quad camera module from Realme is located right next to this fingerprint scanner and protrudes slightly. This will raise the smartphone when placed on a flat surface. The camera module is surrounded by a metal rim that prevents the lens from being scratched. There is a vertically aligned Realme logo on the back.
The Realme 5s has two nano-SIM slots and a dedicated microSD card slot for cards up to 256 GB. Below you will find a micro USB connection as well as the 3.5 mm audio jack and the speaker. A USB Type-C connection would have been a welcome change, considering that smartphones like the Redmi Note 8 (review) are offered in the same price segment.
The internal components of the Realme 5s are unchanged from those of the Realme 5 (review). This means that this phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC. This octa-core processor is based on an 11 nm manufacturing process and is clocked at 2 GHz. Realme offers the 5s in two versions: 4 GB RAM with 64 GB memory and 4 GB RAM with 128 GB memory. These are set at Rs. 9,999 and Rs. 10,999 each. This overlaps the pricing of the two corresponding Realme 5 variants. The software is no different either, so ColorOS 6 runs on Android 9 Pie.
Let's talk about the cameras. The most important distinguishing features between the Realme 5s and the Realme 5. By switching from Realme to a 48-megapixel primary sensor, the 5s is one of the few smartphones with a price below Rs. 10,000 to carry such a camera. The company chose a Samsung GM1 sensor with a f / 1.8 aperture and 1.6 micron pixels. This phone uses 4-in-1 pixel binning. We looked through the camera app and found that the smartphone delivers 12 megapixel photos by default. However, you get a 48-megapixel mode that allows you to take photos at full resolution.
The rest of the cameras remain unchanged. Like the Realme 5, the Realme 5s has an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, a 2-megapixel portrait camera (ie a depth sensor) and a 2-megapixel macro camera.
When we tested the Realme 5, it was one of the few smartphones equipped with a macro camera, but things have changed now. Competitors like the Redmi Note 8 also have one that could have caused Realme to remove the primary sensor. Aside from their low-light performance, we found that the Realme 5 cameras are acceptable for the price. Is the Realme 5s setting a new benchmark in this price segment? We will be going through this smartphone all our tests soon! Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 to get our full review of Realme 5, which will be released soon.