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Realme 5: The Pros, Cons, And The X Factor
Realme has today announced the launch of the company's new budget and mid-range smartphones- Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro. The feature-packed Realme 5 series is the successor to the Realme 3 series devices which was introduced in March 2019.
Much like the Realme 3 series, the new Realme 5 lineup is going to give Xiaomi, Honor and Samsung a tough fight in the budget price segment. Priced at Rs. 9,999 for the entry-level variant (3GB RAM + 32GB ROM), Realme 5 will be made available in the Indian market via Flipkart.com by August 27, 2019, 12 noon onwards. The 4+64GB variant is priced at Rs. 10,999 and the higher variant with 4GB RAM +128GB ROM costs Rs. 11,999.
Within just 3-4 months, Realme has managed to introduce some noteworthy upgrades to the company's popular product lineup. The Realme 5 is backed by a snappy processor, offers a massive 5,000 mAh battery unit and brings a quad-lens camera setup with an all-new dedicated macro lens.
We got to use the Realme 5 and here's what we have to say about the new budget smartphone from Realme in our first impressions.
Big 6.5" Display
The front of the Realme 5 is occupied by a big 6.5" display that offers 89% screen-to-body ratio. The LCD panel used on Realme 5 is not the sharpest in its price-bracket; however, it offers good real-estate to allow you to comfortably watch movies, read books and play games. The display is fairly touch-responsive and offers good brightness levels for comfortable viewing in challenging light conditions. The LCD screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3.
Premium Aesthetics And Splash-Resistant Body
Realme 5 looks much more premium than its predecessor Realme 3. The company has once again tweaked the overall design language; however, the diamond cut pattern is still intact within the all-new nanometer holographic cutting texture at the back panel. The phone's edges are curved and corners are rounded to maintain ergonomics. Realme 5 will be available in two colours- Crystal Blue and Crystal Purple.
The company also claims that the Realme 5 comes with a multi-layer splash-resistant design. There are three splash-resistant layers from the inside to the outside that can resist minor accidents. Even the headphone jack and USB port have also been given the splash-resistant treatment for better protection.
Long-Lasting 5,000 mAh Battery Unit
Realme 5 delivers an impressive battery backup, which makes it a great budget multimedia device for users who are always hooked to their handsets. The smartphone easily lasted for more than a day in our testing. The big 5,000 mAh battery unit packs enough juice to handle long gaming sessions, continues video playback and music streaming on a stretch.
Dedicated MicroSD Card Slot
Realme 5 comes equipped with a triple-slot SIM card tray that offers a dedicated microSD card slot. With a triple-array slot, you can use two active SIM cards and a memory card at the same time, hence no more compromise on connectivity for storage. The internal memory of the handset can be expanded to up to 256GB.
Snappy Chipset And Latest Android Pie
We did not face any performance issues during our initial testing period on the Realme 5's 4GB RAM + 128GB ROM variant. The smartphone is backed by the octa-core Snapdragon 665 chipset. The 64-bit CPU is built on the 11nm fabrication process and uses Adreno 610 GPU for gaming.
You can buy Realme 5 in three configurations- 3+32GB, 4+64GB and 4+128GB. The smartphone runs on ColorOS 6.0 based on Android Pie. The OPPO's customized skin is quite feature-rich and fluid but comes pre-installed with several bloatware. Thankfully you can uninstall most of these pre-installed applications for clutter-free user experience.
Not An Ideal Fit For One-Hand Use
The big 6.5" screen and massive 5,000 mAh battery cell adds considerable bulk to the Realme 5. Weighing 198g and with a thickness of 9.3mm, Realme 5 demands two hands for comfortable use. If you prefer lightweight and handy devices, Realme 5 is not the ideal handset for you. Redmi Note 7 offers much better ergonomics and also boasts a full HD+ display.
Display lacks Sharpness
While the big 6.5" LCD offers a very good real-estate for multimedia jobs, the low 720p resolution is a bit setback. It affects the panel's sharpness and hampers the video-playback and gaming experience. If you cannot compromise on the display resolution, check out Realme 5 Pro and the Redmi Note 7 series handsets.
With no support for fast-charging, it takes quite a long time to fully recharge the big 5,000 mAh battery cell. The battery unit on Realme 5 took almost 2.5 hours to reach 100 % mark which can be very annoying in everyday routine when you are in a hurry and wants to give a quick boost to your device.
Dated microUSB 2.0 Port And Subpar Audio
Realme 5 is still stuck with the dated microUSB 2.0 charging port. While it won't make much of a difference if you are buying it as your primary device, it can be very inconvenient if you have another phone with Type-C port. In that case, you have to carry two data cables for different charging ports.
Last but not least, the single down-firing speaker produces average quality audio even though the speaker is tuned by Dirac Research AB. The sound produced lacks bass and sounds shrill. You must have a pair of headphones to enjoy audio/video on Realme 5. Sadly, the company does not ship headphones in the package and you have to spend another Rs. 500 for a good pair of standard 3.5mm jack headphones.
The X Factor
Quad-Lens Camera Setup
The quad-lens camera setup is undoubtedly the X factor of Realme 5. The 4-lens camera module comprises of 12MP primary lens that supports PDAF and works on f/1.8 aperture. It is paired with an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens that covers 119-degree FOV and works on f/2.25 aperture. Next in line is a dedicated macro lens with f/2.4 aperture capable of capturing objects as close as 4cm. The fourth lens in the setup is a 2MP portrait lens (f/2.4) to create a bokeh effect.
4K Video Recording, Slow-Motion, Time-lapse
You also get the same Realme's feature-rich camera app that offers Chroma boost mode, Nightscape mode, time-lapse and slow-motion (240fps/720p, 120fps/1080p). This budget handset can also record 4K videos at 30fps, which is simply unbelievable. For selfies, Realme 5 features 13MP sensor which gets all sorts of AI beauty algorithm to enhance the image output.
As far as the camera output is concerned, the Realme 5 captures bright and vivid shots in favourable light conditions. The contrast levels look good but the shots lack detailing. The 4K video footage is also pretty average. And while the wide-angle lens adds a good perspective to images, the macro lens is more or less a gimmick and fails to impress. Overall, the camera performance on Realme 5 is pretty average but considering the affordable price-point, it gets the job done.
Should You Buy It?
Realme 5 seems like a very good bargain. It manages to outshine almost all other handsets in its respective price-point in terms of specifications. The big display, massive 5,000 mAh battery unit, dedicated microSD card slot and the quad-lens camera setup at just Rs. 9,999 makes it a feature-packed budget smartphone for masses.
The camera is feature-rich but results are not always consistent. Battery life seems quite promising and the SD665 ensures smooth and lag-free everyday performance. We will spend some more time with the Realme 5 to better evaluate its gaming, processing and camera performance. Stay tuned for our comprehensive review of the Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro.