Quad cameras have been dominating smartphones of late. Improvements in mobile photography, most especially shooting subjects in low-light environments, pushed brands to offer new innovations on their camera sensors. However, these usually come at a price. Realme saw this as an opportunity to offer. And the best part is, it’s affordable and stylish.
Updating its aesthetic from its predecessor, the realme 5 showcases a glossy, back crystal pattern when subjected to light at various angles. It still comes with a polycarbonate shell with a matte midframe that doesn’t feel flimsy, and weighs 200 G. Thanks to its internal battery, it feels solid. We got our review unit in a stunning crystal violet.
On its top-left rear corner lies not two, but four camera sensors arranged vertically, with an LED flash. Across the cameras is the fingerprint sensor that unlocks and wakes the smartphone, while Realme’s branding is printed vertically at the bottom in silver. Volume rockers and the Dual SIM tray are located on the left. Meanwhile, the power button can be found on the right side of the device. The micro-USB port, 3.5mm audio jack, microphone, and single speaker all sit at the bottom. At the top is a waterdrop notch where the 13 MP front camera and a small earpiece are located.
Coming in with a larger profile compared to its predecessor, the Realme 5 boasts a 6.5-inch HD+ display and comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection from scratches and dents. Even the waterdrop notch at the top part of the screen is made 30 percent smaller to maximize the screen size. Its fingerprint scanner is ergonomically placed at the back beside its rear quad camera setup. Speaking of cameras, the smartphone sports a 12 MP wide + 8 MP ultrawide + 2 MP macro + 2 MP depth sensors with up to 5x digital zoom that complement each other to produce vibrant and detailed photos from dusk until dawn. It also has a 13 MP front camera that shoots natural-looking portraits and is capable of shooting 4K videos.
Powered by a Snapdragon 665 SoC, it has 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. It’s also equipped with a massive 5,000 mAh battery and can handle light splashes of water.
User Experience: 4/5
The Realme 5 has a lot in store in the camera department. Combining wide, ultrawide, macro, and depth cameras, the smartphone produces richer and sharper photos in full color, even in low light conditions through its Nightscape mode. Should you want to make the colors lively, you can activate Chroma Boost. Although noise and overblown light can sometimes be visible, it doesn’t affect the appearance of the photos too negatively. It’s also a better daylight shooter that delivers natural-looking selfies thanks to AI beauty mode on. It is also capable of shooting 4K videos at 30 fps and 240 fps slow-motion clips.
An overlay atop Android Pie, the Realme 5 runs on the brand’s latest ColorOS 6.0.1 which offers close to the stock Android experience right off the bat. A plethora of pre-installed apps like the ORoaming and the calculator now have a flatter, cleaner look. Instead of rounded square toggles, the smartphone now has button-like, round toggles. It retains the responsive facial unlock and fingerprint scanner from previous versions of the device. Among new features include hotspot management for controlling, connected devices and usage limits, as well as private space for storing important media files that can be secured via fingerprint or password.
The Realme 5 performs well in gaming, although I experienced minor frame drops when playing PUBG Mobile with balanced graphics settings. It doesn’t overheat even with extended play. The device also doesn’t disappoint when it comes to multitasking. It may weigh more and feel bulky, but the Realme 5 is a winner when it comes to battery life. It can last nearly two days with light to medium use. Standard charging does take a little more time than quick-charging devices, but is an acceptable trade-off for better value.
A significant upgrade from its predecessor, the Realme 5 offers a better processor, longer battery life, and new quad cameras all of which are compelling reasons to upgrade. Its bulky form, as well as lack of FHD+ display and fast charging technology, may disappoint consumers, but at its price point, it is still worth spending on.
- Display: 6.5-inch waterdrop HD+ display (with 82% screen-to-body ratio, with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection)
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 octa-core
- RAM: 4 GB
- Memory: 128 GB (expandable up to 256 GB via microSD slot)
- Cameras: 12 MP wide + 8 MP ultrawide + 2 MP macro + 2 MP depth rear quad cameras, 13 MP front camera
- OS: ColorOS 6.0.1 based on Android 9
- Battery: 5,000 mAh
- Features: AI Face Unlock, Splashproof, Rear Fingerprint Scanner, Dual SIM card slot
- Versatile quad cameras
- Good battery life
- Delivers decent performance
- Slightly hefty
- Doesn’t support VOOC charging
It’s the new budget phone king…with quad cameras.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE October 2019 Issue
Reviewed by Jewel Sta. Ana