Reviewed: Realme 5i

    Over the past few years, smartphone technology has seen a rapid rise in advancements, as well as a drop in pricing. It wasn’t that too long ago when quad-camera smartphones were exclusive to flagships and upper mid-rangers. Welcome the 5i, Realme’s first budget quad-camera smartphone. How does it compare to its bigger brothers in the mid-range category?

    Design: 4.5/5

    One look at the Realme 5i, and it took me back to its older brothers the Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro. It has the same layout and design. What’s different is its back, with a new Sunrise design and carved detail.

    The Realme 5i has a 6.5-inch Mini-Drop IPS screen display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. Holding the phone you’ll immediately notice the 8-megapixel front camera. The side of the phone has the buttons and the sim card and microSD card slot. Beneath the phone is the micro USB charger and the 3.5mm audio jack. At the back is the quad-camera setup and the fingerprint scanner.

    Hardware: 4/5

    Unlike its older brothers, the Realme 5i is not the hardest hitter in the family, but it does get the job done. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor mated to an Adreno 610 GPU and could run lighter games such as Mobile Legends on recommended setting and heavier games such as PUBG and Asphalt 9 on medium to low graphics.

    The Realme 5i is the first smartphone to feature a quad-camera setup with the main shooter sporting a 12-megapixel lens. It has an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens with a 119-degree POV. It also has a dedicated 2-megapixel macro lens and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.

    The Realme 5i has 3GB of RAM with 64GB of internal storage, enough for most of your daily needs.

    User Experience: 4/5

    One of the first things I noticed upon receiving the Realme 5i was the phone’s design and how gorgeous the carved back was. The device did feel slippery so a rubber case is a must-have.

    The Realme 5i was one of the speediest phones in its class that I have handled. The Snapdragon 665 was blazing fast especially with the 3GB of RAM paired with it. As for the internal storage, you won’t fill the 64GB easily, so you don’t have to grab a microSD card.

    One of the things I really liked about this phone was its battery life. The 5000mAh battery was a beast, lasting me more than a day with constant use, and more than a week in standby. I actually left the phone inside my desk for more than a week without bothering to play with it. Upon checking, I found that it still had about 15 percent battery remaining.

    Now to the phone’s main selling point: the cameras. Phones at this price point usually have not so great cameras, but for the Realme 5i, it was fairly decent. The 12-megapixel camera performed as expected, so temper your expectations. It was also great having 4K video recording on the device, but you can’t fully utilize it using the phone’s 720×1600 resolution screen.

    The screen resolution also hit the phone’s gaming performance since games such as PUBG and Asphalt defaulted to the phone’s native resolution instead of running at the full potential of the processor.

    Another thing that I found lacking in the Realme 5i was dual-band Wi-Fi support. It doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of browsing speeds, but it would have been great to have it in.

    Value: 5/5

    Coming in at PHP 6,990 the Realme 5i does have its shortcomings but it is still a seriously great budget phone for people looking for an upgrade from an older device.


    • Display: 6.5-inch IPS LCD Mini-drop display with Corning Gorilla Glass Protection
    • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
    • GPU: Adreno 610
    • OS: ColorOS 6.1
    • RAM: 3GB
    • Internal Storage: 64GB
    • Camera: Rear: 12-megapixel, 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle, 2-megapixel macro, 2-megapixel depth; Front 8-megapixel
    • Battery: 5000mAh with 10W fast charging
    • Connections: MicroUSB, 3.5mm audio jack, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi
    • Features: 4K video recording, Super Nightscape, Fingerprint reader
    • Dimensions: 164.4 x 75 x 9.0mm
    • Weight: 195g

    What’s Hot:

    • Snapdragon 665
    • Quad-camera setup
    • Amazing battery life
    • Great price
    • 4K Video recording

    What’s Not:

    • No 1080p resolution support
    • No dual-band WiFi
    • A bit slippery


    It’s a phone that’s superbly built for its price

    Also Published in GADGETS MAGAZINE March 2020 Issue
    Reviewed by Gabriel Pe

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