realme 5 Review

The realme seems quite engaged in the smartphone industry, we saw the realme 3 Pro that launched recently and now, the company continues its smartphone generation by launching the realme 5 and realme 5 Pro in India in a span of four months.

The realme 5 which is actually a tone down variant of the realme 5 Pro features quad cameras on the rear side and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 CPU. What’s more surprising is the price that it holds, it’s currently retailed at Rs 9,999.

Here’s what you need to know about the realme 5, take a look at our quick review it.

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realme 5 Specifications

  • Display: 6.5-inch IPS dewdrop display, HD+ resolution (1600 x 720 pixels), 20:9 aspect ratio, 89% screen-to-body ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Software: ColorOS 6.0.1 based on Android 9 Pie
  • CPU: Up to 2.0 GHz octa-core processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC
  • GPU: Adreno 610 GPU
  • Memory: 3 GB OR 4 GB RAM
  • Storage: 32 GB OR 64 GB OR 128 GB internal, expands via microSD card (dedicated) up to 256 GB
  • Main Camera: 12 MP primary camera sensor with f/1.8 aperture + 8 MP ultra-wide lens with f/2.25 aperture +  2 MP portrait lens with f/2.4 aperture + 2 MP ultra maco lens with f/2.4 aperture
  • Selfie Camera: 13 MP, AI Beautification
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 5, GPS + GLONASS
  • Other: Fingerprint Scanner, HyperBoost 2.0
  • Colors: Sparkling Blue, Crystal Purple
  • Battery: 5.000 mAh
  • Price: ₹9,999 (3 GB + 32 GB), ₹10,999 (4 GB + 64 GB), ₹11,999 (4 GB + 128 GB)
  • Availability: From 27th August 2019 via Flipkart and Realme.com

Design, Display & Ergonomics

Similar to the realme 5 Pro, the realme 5 is also covered in polycarbonate diamond-cut finished body, the back has a 3D glass-like design that looks impressive, however, not gradient in color like its bigger sibling. The size may look bigger and feels a tad bulkier due to its larger screen size and a big battery.

The front side has a 6.5-inch HD+ (1600 x 720 pixels) display with an aspect ratio of 20:9 and a screen-to-body ratio of 89%. The display is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass on top. The display quality is good, bright, and decent for the price, however, the screen is limited to HD+. Competitors like Redmi Note 7S crisp display since it offers a Full HD+ resolution.

The top side has a notch which the company calls it a dewdrop notch carries a 13 MP selfie camera. The rear side, for the first time in the country, has quad cameras or you can say four cameras under Rs 9,999. If there’s something to brag about the phone is its cameras, the quad cameras are a unique feature on the phone.

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On the sides, the phone has a micro USB port at the bottom, loudspeakers, 3.5 mm jack for earphones and a microphone. I think realme should hang on to the USB Type-C ports, a Type-C port would surely add up to the ergonomics.

On the right side, there is a power key while on the left, you will get a triple-slot SIM tray which is great for sure and two separate volume keys for volume control. The phone supports a dedicated microSD card slot and dual VoLTE.

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Software, User Interface & Performance

Moving to the phone’s software, the realme 5 has the same ColorOS 6.0.1 seen on the realme 5 Pro. It’s based on the Android 9 Pie with security patch dated 5th July 2019.

As for the features the software offers, the realme 5 includes the same features you may have seen on the realme 5 Pro and the realme X, the interface is slightly modified from the previous versions, there is a change in the icons and notification panel and other things as well. The interface is smooth and lag-free in our Initial use.

As usual, the realme 5 also comes with a number of preinstalled apps or bloatware which can be removed if not required. We already covered the software part in our previous realme smartphone reviews.

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On the performance side, the realme 5 has integrated one of the best CPUs in the price. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 is a mid-range octa-core SoC clocked at 2.0 GHz and is paired with Adreno 610 GPU.

The phone comes in three variants, 3 GB RAM + 32 GB storage, 4 GB RAM with two 64 GB and 128 GB storage options. The storage expands via a microSD card on a dedicated slot u to 256 GB.

Take note, we recorded benchmarks and they are satisfying. The results are very good for a phone priced under Rs 10,000. Take a look at the screenshots below.

As far as the numbers are concerned, you won’t be having problems playing games at medium to high settings. PUBG MOBILE works smoothly on the phone without any major heating issues, the performance on the phone is reliable.

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Cameras

As for the cameras, the realme 5 is the first smartphone in this segment to offer quad cameras on the rear side. Quad cameras, being the major highlight of the phone, are something revolutionary for the midrange market, this also sets the competition level a step ahead in terms of camera tech.

Digging into the cameras, the realme 5 has a 12 MP f/1.8 main camera, 8 MP f/2.25 ultra-wide-angle camera, 2 MP f/2.4 depth sensor, and another 2 MP f/2.4 macro lens making a total of four cameras. On the front side, the phone offers 13 MP camera for selfie needs.

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The bigger sibling, the realme 5 Pro packs a 48 MP Sony sensor instead of the 12 MP found on the realme 5 which has a better edge in terms of camera quality and low light shots. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 7S also offers a 48 MP camera, although it’s based on the Samsung GM1 sensor, it turns out to be better overall.

Moving to the camera interface, you get the regular ColorOS camera modes, Chroma Boost, Nightscape, Expert, as well as the added Ultra macro mode that takes shots at a distance of 4 cm from the object. It’s the same Macro lens found on the realme 5 Pro. The quality of the macro shots isn’t remarkable, you still have the main camera with 2X zoom which can take quite good shots.

The daylight shots does a good job, however, the low light shots are slightly average quality. The Nightscape feature works decent, but do not expect it to be something as good as the 48 MP shots (realme 5 Pro and Redmi Note 7S).

The wide-angle camera is handy and takes ~120-degree wide-angle shots. The selfies shot from the 13 MP camera turn out to be good quality given the price. Even though the camera quality is decent, don’t expect it too much out of it, unless you want to brag about the quad cameras on the phone.

Take a look at the camera samples we took from the realme 5 camera.

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realme 5 Camera Samples

Battery Life

The realme 5 offers a big 5,000 mAh battery that shows the phone has enough battery power to last long. On a daily driver basis, the phone can give you up to 2 days of battery life on a single charge.

It’s also far better in terms of competition, the Redmi 7S, being the main competitor, offers 4,000 mAh battery followed by the Full HD+ screen which draws more power as compared to an HD+ screen. The realme 5 has the best combination of 5,000 mAh battery with an HD+ display to give longer battery life.

The charger provided in the box is a 5V and 2A rated which is 10 Watts to be precise. No, it doesn’t support the VOOC Charge 3.0 fast charging we saw on the realme 5 Pro, the 10 Watts charging might be slow for a 5,000 mAh battery. So, you should expect the phone to be charged in 2.5 hours to 3 hours.

Verdict

The realme 5 seems a notable upgrade over the realme 3 – the bigger battery, the more powerful CPU and the quad cameras are improved in this generation. The quad-camera setup is impressive and it’s a great addition to the segment while others in the camera tech are left out in the cold with dual (or triple camera setup). This is the first smartphone in India to offer four cameras at the back in this segment.

What’s more impressive is its big 5,000 mAh battery coupled with the HD+ screen ensures that the phone can last as much as a couple of days. That said, you don’t need to look for a smartphone if you want a great performance and a good battery life as far as the pricing is concerned. The Snapdragon 665 is convincing for the price so as the battery life.

Rivals

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7S (32 GB) – Rs 10,999
  • Xiaomi Mi A3 (64 GB) – Rs 13,999

Strength

  • Diamond-Cut Design
  • Decent Cameras
  • Good Performance – Snapdragon 665 SoC
  • Great Battery Life
  • Dedicated MicroSD Card Slot
  • Value For Money

Weakness

  • Average Macro Lens Quality