Are the four cameras a good enough reason to buy the Realme 5? We have used the device for one week and here is our review.
- Good looking design
- Huge Battery
- Good performance
- No fast charging
- A bit heavy
- Camera struggle in low light
Realme recently launched its budget centric Realme 5 smartphone along with Realme 5 Pro. Realme 5 comes in three variants - 3GB RAM + 32GB internal storage, 4GB RAM + 64GB internal storage and 4GB RAM + 128 internal storage priced at Rs 9,999, Rs 10,999 and Rs 11,999 respectively. The smartphone is only available for purchase via flash sales on Flipkart and Realme.com.
Realme has made a good reputation in the Indian market with its recent launches like Realme 3 and Realme X. The company seems in no mood to be satisfied with its existing product line and now it has launched budget centric - Realme 5. With its latest launch, Realme is eyeing the budget segment by offering quad-camera setup along with some standard hardware. Realme 5 falls just under Rs 10,000, making it the first quad-camera phone in this segment. But are the four cameras a good enough reason to buy the Realme 5? We have used the device for more than a week and here is our review.
Display and Design
Realme 5 comes in Crystal Purple and Crystal Blue colour options. We have received the former variant for review. If we talk about the design part first, the phone features a Dewdrop notch display which the company is calling a Minidrop design. The top side has a dewdrop notch that carries a 13 MP selfie camera. It has a quad-camera setup at the back panel along with a fingerprint sensor in the center.
Realme 5 features a glossy polycarbonate back panel which attracts a lot of smudges and fingerprints. For our regular usage, we had to wipe the screen with some cloth after regular intervals. For that, the company has provided a protective case with the device. It is better if you use the phone with its case to avoid the smudges.
The phone also comes with Diamond-cut finish. If you see the back at certain angles under light, the diamond pattern will show off two shades of Purple. The right side features a power/off button, while the left features, volume controls and dual SIM + microSD card slot. At the bottom, we have a micro USB port, speaker grill, and 3.5 mm headphone jack.
Realme 5 features 6.5-inch HD+ display with a screen resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels with 89 percent screen ratio and Corning Gorilla Glass 3+ protection. It has a small dewdrop notch with slim bezels all around. The phone is quite big in size and one would face difficulty in using the phone single-handedly. We struggled to reach the top corners of the display again and again. To tackle this issue, ColorOS thankfully offers a one-handed mode. With the big screen, one can enjoy watching videos or playing games. The phone feels pretty solid but a bit heavy at 198 grams thanks to the big battery inside.
The screen looks sharp and well-lit during our testing period. The display has good brightness and the colours are punchy with good saturation. However, the display is not easy to view under direct sunlight and readability in bright sunlight is an issue with this phone.
Hardware and Software
In terms of performance, the Realme 5 is powered by a 2.0GHz Octa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor coupled with up to 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. The memory can be further expanded up to 256GB via microSD card slot. The Snapdragon 665 chipset is built on an 11nm manufacturing process and it is more power-efficient than the Snapdragon 660. Realme 5 comes with an integrated Adreno 610 GPU to enable better gaming performance.
As far as performance is concerned, we didn't find any flaws in our day to day experience. The processor delivers a decent performance and you won’t face any trouble during the daily tasks as the phone handles multitasking without any problem.
We were able to play casual games like Candy Crush and Subway Surfer with ease without any heating issue. There were no lagging issues either. But you can’t expect a Rs 10,000 smartphone to run heavy gaming titles like PUBG Mobile on maximum graphics. The game, however, ran fine on Low settings.
For unlocking the device, there is a fingerprint sensor as well as face unlock technology apart from regular PIN and pattern options. The fingerprint sensor is placed in the middle of the rear and it was fast and accurate. We were also impressed with the face unlock as it unlocks the smartphone very fast. We were able to unlock the phone even in the dark using face unlock.
On the software front, the Realme 5 runs Color OS 6.0 based on Android 9 Pie. In our review period, we found that the apps were opened quickly. Swiping through the UI was smooth as well with no lags or stutters. There are a plethora of preinstalled apps or bloatware which can be removed if not required in the device. These apps include DailyHunt, Opera News, UC Browser, Amazon Shopping, Helo, Paytm, etc.
The app drawer is also now enabled by default in this new Realme smartphone where all the apps are sorted in alphanumeric order. Besides, there are also company-owned applications like music, video, phone manager, game space, game center and more which can not be deleted.
Now coming to the main attraction of Realme 5, it's quad-camera setup. The phone has a 12-megapixel primary sensor with PDAF, f/1.8 aperture, 8-megapixel wide-angle camera with a 119 degree field of view and f/2.25 aperture, a 2-megapixel macro lens with f/2.4 aperture and a 2-megapixel depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture. For selfies and video calling, the waterdrop notch on the front houses a 13-megapixel sensor with AI beautification mode. The camera user interface has different options like Portrait, Photo, Video, nightscape, panorama, Expert, Time-Lapse, Slo-mo and ultra macro.
With the rear camera, we found that the phone clicks satisfactory photos in good lighting conditions with punchy colours and plenty of detail. The phone also offers you 120-degree wide-angle lens which results in images with good colour reproduction. The portrait shots also came out to be good as the camera was able to blur out the background by accurately detecting edges.
However, the Ultra-Macro lens was not able to focus the object easily and the images came out to be grainy. This lens takes shots at a distance of 4 cm from the object. The phone also offers slow-motion mode which can record video in slow motion. There is ChromaBoost feature as well which instantly makes the photos brighter and sharper.
Moving on to low light photography, we found images to be quite grainy and noisy. The phone struggles in low light and does not give you good results. The phone has a built-in nightscape mode which works decent by helping brighten scenes, but do not expect much out of it at this price range.
The pictures I took from the front 13-megapixel camera also appeared to be decent as well. Even with the beautification turned off, the selfies showed images with lighter skin tones however one can get a perfect shot using a third-party app. The front camera captures impressive images in well-lit conditions but it struggles in the dark. There are options like AI Beautification, Portrait, screen flash and HDR.
On the whole, both the front and rear camera of the phone allows you to take decent photos in good lighting conditions. We are impressed with the results given under Rs 10,000 phone.
Battery and Connectivity
Talking of another key highlight of the phone which is its massive 5,000mAh battery which gives you up to 2 days of battery life on a single charge. Our usage included checking e-mails, browsing social media and making calls, music streaming, and casual gaming. However, there is no support for fast charging, so the phone takes its own time to charge which is around three hours to fully charge the phone from zero to 100 percent with the company provided charger.
The phone features regular connectivity options like 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, GLONASS, micro USB and dual-SIM support. The phone measures 157 x 74.2 x 8.9mm and weighs 184 grams. As for the sensors are concerned, it comes with proximity, gravity, gyro, accelerometer and light sensors.
At a starting price of Rs 9,999, Realme 5 can be your best option in this price range, thanks to quad-camera setup, an improved processor and huge battery. If you are willing to spend more, you can also consider the Realme 5 Pro which comes with full HD display, fast charging, and 48MP primary camera. The phone competes with Xiaomi’s Redmi 7S which comes with a 48MP rear camera sensor and an FHD+ display for the same price.