First Impressions: Realme 5


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Realme is back at it again with another pair of mid-rangers that offer a good selection of hardware, a tried and tested take on Android, and a simple, yet premium design. Today, we’re taking a look at the less powerful, yet still very capable sibling of the realme 5 Pro.


realme5 unit 15Let’s talk about design. Putting the realme 5 side by side with the Pro, one wouldn’t immediately be able to tell which is which, that’s because it has the same crystal design that uses a new variation of the diamond-cut pattern, along with a notched display. The device is also splash resistant, which is kind of rare for a device at this segment.

realme5 unit 72The power button is located on the right, while the left side houses the volume rocker and a triple slot SIM Tray. While it would’ve been nice to see a USB-C port here, as the Pro has it, there’ll probably be some compromises to keep costs down, seeing as this will be the more affordable option.

realme5 unit 66Oddly, the realme 5 has the larger display of the two at 6.5-inches, though only at HD+ resolution. If you’re used to AMOLED displays, the screen of this phone will probably not impress. You can turn the color temperature cooler or warmer, but I still find colors to be a bit short in terms of punchiness. If you like a more neutral display though, you’ll probably like this one.


realme5 unit 53While the Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 712, the regular variant sticks to a Snapdragon 665, along with 4GB of RAM, which is still kind of okay for a mid-range phone in 2019. As expected, performance is smooth and stable across a multitude of daily tasks.

At the time of writing, the device doesn’t support High Frame Rate settings in Mobile Legends. The game is very much playable, but if you’re used to buttery smooth animations, this will not satisfy.


realme5 unit 35Let’s talk about cameras. Like the Pro, the realme 5 also has four snappers at the back with pretty much the same setup, main, wide-angle, macro, and portrait. The notable difference is that unlike the Pro which uses a 48MP main sensor, this one sticks to a 12MP sensor.

R5 wide angler5 cam 1r5 cam 2r5 cam 3r5 cam 4r5 cam 5r5 cam 6r5 cam 7Despite that, the realme 5 isn’t a slouch at taking photos, as you still get good detail, sharpness and texture. The depth of field effect also looks clean and polished, with decent edge-detection. A wide angle shot also shows minimal distortion.

You also get features such as Chroma Boost, Nightscape, and surprisingly, 4K video recording. Something you don’t see very often in a mid-range device.


realme5 unit 60Realme 5 runs on ColorOS 6.0.1 on top of Android Pie, and offers pretty much the same features we’ve seen from previous devices – Game Center, Game Assistant, App Clone, Split Screen, and more. Performance-wise, animations are smooth and fluid, apps open quickly, and switching between running apps did not pose any problems.


realme5 unit 67Lastly, realme 5 packs a 5,000mAh battery, which should last you at least a full day of usage. There’s no support for VOOC Flash Charge, so we’ll have to check how long you’ll have to wait for a full charge.

The Verdict So Far

In summary, while the realme 5 may seem inferior to the Pro on paper, the actual experience of using it shows otherwise. The phone performs well across daily tasks with ease, and its cameras are actually pretty good for a mid-range phone, considering it doesn’t have that huge sensor that the Pro has. Its bigger screen also offers a slightly better viewing experience, especially for media consumption.

Realme is set to unveil more details about the realme 5, including pricing and configurations, when it launches in PH on October 3, 2019, along with the realme 5 Pro.

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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