Hands on: Realme 5 Pro Review

As the sequel to the outstanding Realme 3 Pro, can the Realme 5 Pro improve on low-budget brilliance?

First Impressions

The Realme 5 Pro is no great leap forward compared to its predecessor. Nonetheless, it's a very impressive budget device, with an attractive design, strong battery capacity and a speedy processor. It will likely be very difficult to find such value for money elsewhere.

Key Specifications

  • 6.3-inch FHD+ display
  • Snapdragon 712 chipset
  • Quadruple rear camera
  • 4035mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 fast-charging

The Realme 5 Pro is the direct sequel to the Realme 3 Pro, despite the idiosyncratic number sequence (“4” being an unlucky number in China). Its predecessor had a nifty design, great camera, great performance, great battery and fast-charging. So just how lucky is its successor? We tried out the Realme 5 Pro for a short while to see what we made of it. 

Realme 5 Pro – Design

The Realme 5 Pro features laser carved patterns on the rear panel, covered with a polished surface. The device catches the light nicely, with an obvious large crystalline pattern visible that sets it apart from the many uninspired handsets out there. It claims to be resistant to humidity, rain, and splashes – but conspicuously lacks an IP rating. It’s disappointing to see that it retains the Micro USB port rather than progressing to USB-C.

The handset is available in two colours: Crystal Green and Crystal Blue, both of which are described as “mysterious and deep” (as you can guess, teenagers are Realme’s target audience).

Realme 5 Pro – Screen

The screen measures 6.3-inches, and has a Full HD resolution (2340 x 1080). Bezels have been shrunk significantly, giving it a 90.8% screen-to-body ratio, with the display only interrupted by a teardrop notch at the very top of the screen. It’s a good screen at this price point, clear and sharp to read – noticeably more impressive than the 720p screen on the Xiaomi Mi A3.

There’s no display-embedded fingerprint scanner here – it has a rear-mounted scanner for fast unlocking.

Realme 5 Pro – Camera

There’s a grand total of four sensors on the back of the Realme 5 Pro – quite the collection for a budget phone. The main sensor is the familiar Sony IMX586, which can also be found on high-end phones such as the OnePlus 7T Pro. It offers a 48-megapixel resolution and a large f/1.8 aperture.

Along with this sensor is a 119-degree ultra wide angle lens offering an 8-megapixel resolution and an aperture of f/2.25. An ultra macro lens follows, intended to capture high-detailed close-ups at a 4cm focus range, a task which it performs well. The final sensor enhances the contrast of photos taken with Portrait Mode.

In our brief time with the phone’s camera, pictures seemed to be sharp, and the macro mode is impressive at reproducing subjects at close-quarters. But you’ll have to wait for the full review for our full verdict, once we’ve tried it out in more varied situations.

The photography has also received significant AI tinkering, including modes such as Nightscapes for low-light shooting, and Chromaboost for enhancing colours.

Meanwhile, the selfie camera has a 16-megapixel resolution and is packed with “Beauty Mode” AI refinements that change the appearance of your face with customisable tweaks such as face lifting, face slimming, nose thinning, and contouring.

Realme 5 Pro – Performance

The Realme 5 Pro runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor, which packs a real punch for a device at this price. (By comparison, the Google Pixel 3a has a Snapdragon 670 chip.) Overall performance is supposed to have increased by 10% over the Snapdragon 710, with graphics performance and energy efficiency up by 35%.

This device has got a sharp focus on gaming, and to that end, Hyperboost 2.0 can boost performance and stability while you play. Frame Boost and Touch Boost are two of the software tricks included which should improve responsiveness when you’re in the game.

The base model has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, while the highest spec offers 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (both are expandable via MicroSD up to 256GB). The user interface is ColorOS 6.0, based on Android 9.

Realme 5 Pro – Battery

The battery impressed us last time around, and based on the specs it’s set to do so once again. The 4035mAh capacity (with the new processor’s efficiency factored in) should deliver a strong performance. Not only that, but when it’s all out of juice, you can charge it up again at blistering pace thanks to the VOOC 3.0 fast-charging system, which is among the best in the business.

Realme 5 Pro – Price

The official UK price has not yet been revealed, but the European prices show that Realme is sticking to its guns when it comes to getting bang for your buck.

The price for the 4GB RAM model is €199 (~£175), while if you opt for 8GB of RAM you’ll have to stump up €249 (~£215). Both variants have 128GB of onboard storage. Compared to its price point peers, the Realme 5 Pro really stands out thanks to its impressive specs.

Realme 5 Pro – Early Verdict

We’re expecting big things from this device based on the specs and the price. It has very similar specifications to the preceding Realme 3 Pro, which we rated very highly, but unfortunately one of those similarities is the retention of a Micro USB rather than a switch to USB-C. Nonetheless its edge on performance, battery, fast-charging and camera will make it a very tempting proposition in this price bracket.

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