Realme, the OPPO sub-brand focuses on delivering more performance for the buck and and staying true to their strategy, they recently launched the Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro. We try out the Realme 5 to see if this is the best budget phone from Realme to date? Read on to find out…
What’s in the box?
Design and Build
Realme 5 stands out really in terms of looks and design. It’s tall that makes it uncomfortable to handle with one hand. The body of the phone is made of polycarbonate, however, it feels good and does not look cheap. The phone is on the heavier side weighing 198 grams. The rear of the phone features a new diamond pattern that makes the phone stand out from the crowd and is a welcome look rather than having a flat rear. One issue we have is that the rear of the phone is prone to finger smudges, which means you’ll clean the device frequently if not using with a case.
The front of the phone is occupied by the 6.5-inch display with a water-drop notch camera setup. This is an HD+ display and not full HD and is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The bezel on the sides of the phone are thin, however, the bottom chin is quite prominent. However, we have no qualms about that considering the price that this phone retails at. The left side of the phone sports a volume rocker button and the SIM card tray. Thankfully the SIM card tray can hold two SIMs and a Micro SD card as this is not a hybrid SIM tray. The right side of the phone features the power button. The bottom has the micro USB port, speaker grille, and the 3.5-mm headphone jack. The rear of the phone houses the quad-camera, which we will talk in detail soon. There is also a fingerprint sensor at the rear and the phone also supports face unlock feature. In terms of design and build, Realme has done an impressive job. The phone also comes with pre-applied screen protection which some might do not like, however, we did not have any issues with the same.
Realme says the phone has a splash-resistant design as it features airtight waterproof sealing that protects all interior and exterior components like the screen, back cover, and buttons. The company claims that Realme 5 can handle water splashes in normal daily life but cannot be used in extreme conditions. Realme 5 does not have any official certification for water resistance. However, it is nice to see a budget phone offering some kind of protection which is useful for consumers. For added protection, Realme also bundles a transparent TPU clear case with the phone.
Realme 5 Hardware and Software
Realme 5 features the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor. This new processor is more efficient than the Snapdragon 660. The integrated GPU used in this chipset is upgraded to Adreno 610 which gives better gaming experience than the Snapdragon 660. Realme 5 comes in three variants, one with 3GB+32GB, 4GB+64GB and 4GB+128GB. The one we are reviewing here is the top-end variant, the 4GB+128GB. Realme 5 also supports microSD card up to 256GB. The phone features FM Radio and supports USB OTG. It runs on Android 9 with Realme’s own UI Color OS 6. We found the Color OS 6 a bit heavy in usage. Besides an annoying thing with Realme 5 is that it comes pre-installed with apps like DailyHunt, Opera News, Helo, ORoaming and UCBrowser. Thankfully one can uninstall these apps.
In terms of performance, we felt Realme 5 is a good phone for regular usage. It can also handle casual gaming. We played PUBG and Asphalt 9, which performed decently. Realme 5 also comes with Game Space feature that blocks notifications while gaming, restricts Network access to background apps, smart allocation of system resource for smooth gaming experience and other tweaks. Realme 5 supports face unlock and it has a rear fingerprint sensor. Once set up, both security measures are fast. In our AnTuTu Benchmark test, the device scored a 138161. A decent score for a phone at this price.
There is also a Smart Driving feature that offers Driving Mode and Riding Mode option. The Driving Mode is useful for a car when switched on, this mode will enable the Bluetooth and connect your phone to the Bluetooth device in the vehicle. The Riding Mode is a Bike Mode, in case you are riding a bike, you can either block all incoming calls and notifications and also set an Auto-reply via SMS to the caller.
Although Realme 5 does not have a dedicated Google Assistant button, you can setup the Power Button to work as a dedicated Google Assistant. Once enabled, you have to press the Power Button for 0.5secs to invoke the Google Assistant. Other Color OS features include Clone Apps that lets you clone messaging and social media apps like Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and more, so that you can use with two accounts or mobile numbers. One of the features that we liked in the phone is the App Split-screen while watching YouTube videos whenever there is a notification from WhatsApp or supported messaging apps, you can reply to the same without leaving the video. Other supported apps can take advantage of App Split-screen.
One of the highlights of the phone is its battery. Realme 5 comes with a massive 5000mAh battery that easily lasts for two days. In our review we got almost two days of usage with regular calls, casual gaming, watching YouTube videos and using other social media apps. Realme 5 does not support Quick Charging, hence the 5000mAh battery takes around more than 3 hours to charge to 100%.
Realme 5 features a four-camera setup at the rear, that in itself is a feat considering the price at this device retails. The main camera is 12-megapixel with f/1.8 aperture, it has Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF), 10x digital zoom, AI HDR, AI Beauty Mode, AI scene recognition, Chrome boost, Nightscape, Filter mode, Panorama mode, Expert mode, and Time-lapse mode.
There is an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera that offers a 119-degree view, a 2-megapixel portrait lens and 2-megapixel macro lens. The front camera is 13-megapixel. Realme 5 supports 4K video recording at 30fps, 1080p HD video recording at 30fps and Slow-motion videos at 120fps/240fps. There is Electric Image Stabilisation (EIS) for video recording.
We clicked a few pictures from the camera and were satisfied with the results that it delivers. Photos shot in normal daylight are good, however, when zoomed in, the details in the distant scenes wasn’t great. Also, we felt that HDR is inconsistent. The ultra-wide-angle lens does a good job capturing the larger picture. The portrait shots are good from this device when there is adequate light. The front-selfie camera does its job well.
Picture Samples shot from Realme 5
Should you buy?
The Realme 5 comes in three variants, the only difference is the RAM and storage. The base version, 3GB+32GB starts at Rs. 9,999, the 4GB+64GB is priced at Rs. 10,999 and the 4GB+128GB is priced at Rs. 11,999. The phone comes in Crystal Blue and Crystal Purple colours.
At this price, the Realme 5 offers value for money in terms of hardware specifications and build quality. The camera offers decent performance coupled with the battery life of the phone that is a huge positive for many. So if you are looking to buy a budget phone, Realme 5 should, of course, be in consideration.
Looks & Build