Realme 5 Pro is a step up from the Realme 3 Pro in terms of cameras and hardware. The two phones still share a lot of similarities when it comes to design, display and battery life. This is understandable given how quickly the Realme 5 Pro succeeds its predecessor. In fact, some would say that the biggest reason for the existence of the Realme 5 Pro is its 48MP quad camera setup, and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong.
Earlier this year, I reviewed the Realme 3 Pro and called it one of the best phones under Rs 15,000. The phone is barely six months old and I still believe it’s a terrific phone to buy even now. The Realme 5 Pro has been launched at the same price point starting Rs 13,999.
Realme 5 Pro Design
The Realme 5 Pro is the more handy and compact smartphone compared to the Realme 5. I recently reviewed the Realme 5 and found to be heavy and bulky due to its tall display and large 5,000mAh battery. The Realme 5 Pro, however, comes with a smaller display and battery, which makes the device easier to hold and lighter to carry around.
Like the Realme 5, the Realme 5 Pro also gets a new Crystal design. The 3D curved rear panel offers diamond-cut pattern. The design looks subtle until you see at certain angles under light. The Realme 5 Pro comes in two new colours – Crystal Green and Sparkling Blue. Both look attractive, but my personal favorite is the Crystal Green colour as it looks fresh and eye-catching. The uneven triangular shapes dazzle under light, offering a unique kind of gradient look.
Realme isn’t using glass on the back. It’s a glossy curved plastic panel that will attract fingerprints, smudges and the occasional scratches. Keeping that aside, the Realme 5 Pro is a good-looking phone, although it doesn’t feel as sleek and premium in the hand as its predecessor. Compared to the Realme 3 Pro, the Realme 5 Pro is thicker at 8.9mm and slightly heavier at 184 grams.
The compact size of the Realme 5 Pro also makes it easier to reach the power button and volume keys on the side of the frame. The phone comes with a triple card slot that can hold two nano SIM cards and a microSD card (up to 256GB). On the bottom, you get a 3.5m headphone jack, microUSB port and a single speaker grille.
Realme 5 Pro Display
The Realme 5 Pro gets a dewdrop display much like past Realme phones. It is a 6.3-inch FHD+ (2340×1080) LCD screen with a 90.6 per cent screen ratio, 450 nits brightness and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The display is quite similar to what the Realme 3 Pro offers in terms of size and quality.
The Realme 5 Pro display offers vibrant colours and the 1080p resolution looks sharp for reading texts or watching video content. Brightness levels are not the best, and at medium brightness indoors the display looks duller compared the Realme 3 Pro. The phone also comes with Widevine L1 certifications for HD streaming. Overall, the panel looks great and won’t give you a lot of reasons to complain.
Realme 5 Pro Performance and Software
While the Realme 3 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 710 SoC, the Realme 5 Pro gets a slightly faster Snapdragon 712 chipset. It is a 2.3GHz octa-core processor based on a 10nm process. It also comes equipped with Adreno 616 GPU for a smooth gaming experience. The Realme 5 Pro comes in 4GB, 6GB and 8GB RAM options. It also comes with 64GB and 128GB of internal storage options, which is expandable via a microSD card.
The unit I received for review was the 8GB + 128GB variant. When it comes to day-to-day usage like messaging, social media browsing, making calls and the occasional web browsing, the Realme 5 Pro is able to breeze through without any stutters or slow down. In real-world usage, the experience on the Realme 5 Pro is comparable to the Realme 3 Pro and Realme X. Apps open quickly and swiping through the UI was smooth as well.
Running on the same Adreno 616 GPU that is also found on the Snapdragon 710, the Realme 5 Pro is able to handle graphic-intensive games like PUBG with ease. A 30-minute session of PUBG on medium graphics ran smoothly without any lags. Even on high graphics, gameplay felt largely smooth only with occasional drops in framerate. The phone barely heats up while gaming.
The Realme 5 Pro ships with ColorOS 6 based on Android 9 Pie. As we’ve said in previous Realme and Oppo phone reviews, the biggest issue with ColorOS is bloatware. There’s a mess of preloaded apps that you may never use, but can be deleted. The good thing about Realme phones is that there is RealmeOS to look forward to, which might be a cleaner version of ColorOS. For now, you will need to work with ColorOS 6, which takes a while but you do get some neat features like lock screen magazine, gradient colour-themed UI, app drawer and Game Space, among other things.
The single speaker on the bottom sounds loud enough for indoor listening and clarity isn’t an issue. The speaker is mostly flat though, so don’t expect any bass thump to it. Call quality was good as well with decent volume levels and good connectivity. The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is fast and reliable as is the face unlock.
Realme 5 Pro Camera
Realme 5 Pro’s main attraction is its vertical quad camera setup. The Realme 5 Pro is the first in this segment to offer a 48MP quad camera system. The primary camera uses a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor, which is accompanied by an 8-megapixel 119-degree ultra wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro lens and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.
This is a versatile camera setup that will allow you to easily switch between a high-resolution main camera to an ultra wide-angle lens to an up-close macro lens depending on the perspective you’re looking for. The 48MP main camera can capture some really good-looking photos in daylight. It shoots in 12MP by default and uses pixel binning to stitch together four shots to offer one bright and detailed photo. There’s a 48MP Ultra mode as well for capturing raw photos, but this is only worth using in broad daylight and if you want to capture details of far-away subjects.
With AI Scene Recognition enabled, the main camera tends to overprocess or oversaturate photos. I was able to capture more true-to-life colours with the AI disabled. Colours captured with Chroma Boost also look exaggerated, but still very much controlled and pleasing as opposed to my experience with the Realme 5.
Nightscape mode works on both the main and wide-angle cameras. The 3-second long-exposure mode does well to offer bright and clear photos in low light with good noise reduction via the main camera. Using the Nightscape in wide-angle, however, won’t yield great results as photos will still look dark and grainy.
Notably, EIS has been added to both the rear and front cameras, so there is some stability to be found.This combined with a fairly fast shutter speed means you won’t capture a lot of blurry shots. My experience of the macro mode on the Realme 5 Pro is similar to the Realme 5. The 2MP sensor can only offer so much detail, so expect photos to look grainy, so it is best used in broad daylight. The 16MP front-facing camera offers some crisp selfies in daylight. Indoors and in low-light selfies look softer and noisy.
Realme 5 Pro Battery
Battery hasn’t changed much since the Realme 3 Pro, but that’s not a bad thing. The 4,035mAh capacity is good enough to last a full day of intensive usage. On light usage days, the phone can easily survive around a day and a half. During the testing period, I wound up with around 30 per cent of battery life after a few hours of video streaming on Netflix, music streaming on Spotify, a few sessions of PUBG and the occasional social media browsing.
With VOOC 3.0 fast charging support, the Realme 5 Pro can charge from zero to 100 per cent in about 80 minutes using the 20W charger that comes with the box.
Should you buy the Realme 5 Pro?
The Realme 5 Pro essentially builds on everything that we liked about the Realme 3 Pro. It gets an attractive design, a fast and smooth Snapdragon 712 processor along with a dependable all-day battery life. All of this at a starting price of Rs 13,999 makes the Realme 5 Pro an easy recommend.
Should you upgrade from the Realme 3 Pro? It depends on how much you like to photograph on your smartphone. The Realme 3 Pro is a great camera phone, but the 5 Pro offers offers versatility. Having four different cameras no doubt offers a certain flexibility and freedom in the way you capture photos.
Realme 5 Pro is an all-round smartphone that looks really impressive in front of competition like the Mi A3, Vivo Z1 Pro and Galaxy M30. That being said, if you’re looking for a stock or clean Android software, you may want to consider the Mi A3 and Galaxy M30, and if battery life is your top priority then the Z1 Pro is your best bet.