Post updated November 27th, 2019 at 04:36 pm
The realme 5 Pro came into the market barely half a year after its predecessor, the realme 3 Pro. This line of smartphones are generally very good value for money, and have respectable battery lives. The realme 5 Pro mostly continues this tradition, with the most meaningful improvement being in the camera department. But is this a phone you’ll want to get? Let’s find out.
First, let’s go over the basic items on the spec sheet. The realme 5 pro comes with a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 chipset, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, and a 4035mAh battery. On cameras, it sports a quad-camera setup featuring the 48MP main shooter, an 8MP wide-angle camera, a 2MP portrait camera and a 2MP macro lens. The front-faing camera, on the other hand, is a 16MP shooter.
There is generally very littlle variation when it comes to realme phones. This is especially so between its mainline phones, with the only discernible difference is the number of cameras and the way they are lined up at the back. But for the sake of those who are unfamiliar, let’s take a look at what we’re dealing with.
At the front, you have the front-facing camera sitting in a waterdop notch. Beyond that, the display basically lays claim to the entirety of the front side of the phone. Well, almost, as there is still a small chin at the bottom.
The bottom is where we see a major upgrade over the realme 3 Pro, and that’s the USB-C charging port. The 3.5mm audio jack is still there, which is a relief to see these days. And accompanying these two at the bottom side of the phone is the mono speaker grille.
Both left and right sides are pretty standard as far as phones go. The power button sits on the right side while the volume rocker is on the left. There’s nothing of not on the top either.
One thing of not, while we’re on the sides, is that you can clearly see – and feel – the transition from display to chassis. It feels weird in hand, and results in a not-so-comfortable grip, especially for extended use. Fortunately, the phone does come with a soft case in the box, which will aleviate this issue.
On the back is where the realme 5 Pro is easily identifiable. It features the diamond cut design that we first saw with the realme 2. The fingerprint sensor is here as you’d expect, and so is the multicamera setup. That last one would also makes the realme 5 Pro easily identifiable, as it makes the jump to four rear cameras from the two from the realme 3 Pro.
The realme 5 Pro comes with ColorOS 6 based on Android 9 Pie. By default, this also means that you get no app drawer, and all your apps clutter up the home screen. That said, the realme 5 Pro gives you the option to switch the UI to feature an app drawer, making it more in line with other Android experiences. Fortunately, the option to do so is not too difficult to find.
Once you’ve decided on your preferred homescreen mode, you’ll find that navigating the UI is as smooth as can be. To be fair, this isn’t exactly difficult to achieve anymore, and will only change after very long periods of use. The 8GB of RAM definitely helps to keep things that way.
The mono speaker gets the job done, just about as well as you’d expect. Maximum volume is reasonably high, but it’s not something you’d want to rely on unless you don’t mind distorted sounds.
Performance of the realme 5 Pro is something that you don’t have to worry about. Like its predecessors, it delivers performance that you’d expect from its price bracket, and maybe a little more. At least, that’s what the numbers of the synthetic benchmarks say. I’ve not encountered any hiccups while using the the realme 5 Pro or its predecessors, so on that front it’s hard to tell.
If there’s one aspect where the realme 5 Pro falters, it may be the battery life. I say so without certainty as during the first few days of use, I end the day with the phone having only around 50% of battery left. But over time, the phone’s efficiency goes back up to levels comparable to its predecessors. This allows me to carry on with my normal use levels and end the day with over 70% battery charge left, comfortably lasting me the whole of next day.
If you were to use it to do nothing but watch videos, it is also capable of lasting almost the entire day. The realme 5 Pro lasted just shy of 20 hours playing videos off of YouTube non-stop.
But as before, charging speeds of the realme 5 Pro is, while good, not necessarily impressive. Using the charger from the box, the 4035mAh battery in the phone went from 5% of battery charge to 100% in about 72 minutes.
The realme 5 Pro comes with a quad camera setup which consists of a 48MP main camera, an 8MP wide-angle lens, a 2MP portrait camera and a 2MP macro lens. Pixel count aside, it’s quite the jump, having four cameras at the back from the previous two. It’s also to the benefit of the user, as multiple cameras that serve different purposes allows for more freedom when shooting.
If you’re someone who appreciates colour accuracy on your smartphone cameras, then you’ll be glad to know that the realme 5 Pro’s cameras have improved quite a bit in that aspect. You’ll still notice that some photos will still lean towards the warm side, but it’s not as often as before.
Detail retention is better than ever with this phone as well. This generally applies to most use case scenarios, but is a little finicky when using the macro mode. The phone’s ability to shoot in the dark has also vastly improved, but don’t be expecting shots to come out perfectly in pitch black conditions.
realme phones that sit around the RM1100 price have always been among the best in the bracket. The same can be said about the realme 5 Pro. But with that in mind, if you’re still looking for alernatives, here are other phones that come with either a comparable price tag, or similar specs.
realme 3 Pro
Indeed, one of the fiercest competitors comes from realme itself, and the direct predecessor to the 5 Pro. Having launched with the same price tag, it’s not impossible to find it at a much lower pricepoint. It shouldn’t be too hard to find either, considering that it was launched in the earlier half of the year.
In terms of specs, you’re not losing out on much either. The realme 3 pro still comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chipset, 6GB of RAM, and a 16MP + 5MP dual camera setup. Other items on the spec sheet are essentially unchanged
OPPO A9 2020
For RM100 more, you can instead get the OPPO A9 2020. The phones are pretty similar, all things considered, and with good reason too, considering the relationship between both companies. They come with nearly the same quad-camera setup, and they have the same RAM and storage configuration.
That said, there are key differences between the two phones beyond the price tag. For one, the OPPO A9 2020 has a slightly larger display measuring in at 6.5 inches, but comes with a lower resolution of HD+. It also comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, and a larger battery, rated at 5000mAh.
Xiaomi Mi 9T
Ever the outlier when it comes to bang-for-buck, the Xiaomi Mi 9T launched at the same price as the OPPO A9 2020, at RM1199. That said, this phone comes with less RAM, and the one with the price stated above comes with less storage space as well. Getting the same storage space of 128GB comes at a higher price. RM 200 higher, in fact.
But as a tradeoff, you’re also getting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 chipset, a slightly larger display that measures 6.39 inches, and an in-display fingerprint sensor. The display also gets to keep the whole front of the phone to itself, as the front-facing camera is a 20MP popup unit.
The realme 5 Pro, then, is one that continues the brand’s tradition of being one of the best in its price bracket. It comes with ample RAM and storage space, and a chipset that will not dissapoint you under most use circumstances. Battery life is as impressive as ever, if a little less consistent this time round. And with the realme 5 Pro, you’re getting four rear cameras as well.
Increasing the number of cameras doesn’t necessarily result in better images, but the realme 5 Pro has definitely shown improvement over its predecessor in terms of colour accuracy. The flexibility granted by the extra lenses is also appreciated.
With all that in mind, the realme 5 Pro is a pretty good phone to pick up. Sure, there’s some pretty tough competition. But especially in this price bracket, which you choose to get untlimately depends on personal preference.