If you’re going to get this, go for the base variant.
- Good looking design
- Great display
- Good overall performance
- Good main camera performance
- Excellent battery life
- Still uses the same processor from last gen
- Ultra-wide unit not at par in performance
- High spec variant is a bit too pricey
- Front camera needs improvement
The newest iterations of realme’s mid-range frontliners – realme 10 Pro and realme 10 Pro+ 5G offer nifty upgrades and a radical change in design for a more distinct look between the devices. In this review, we’ll talk about the latter, and as to whether it is a smartphone that you should look out for this early in 2023.
Design and Build Quality
Upfront, the realme 10 Pro+ 5G does not look a lot different from its predecessor, but there are a number of subtle changes here and there which could change the overall user experience. The front camera is now located in the center, for a more balanced view. The top and side bezels are also thinner, which adds a bit of real estate for content.
realme calls the phone’s display flagship-level, and on paper, I’d say they can back it up well. The 6.7-inch Curved AMOLED screen uses double reinforced glass, has 120Hz refresh rate, 360Hz Touch Sampling Rate, 950 nits of peak brightness, and several other features designed to deliver an improved typing experience, prevent accidental touches, and improved fingerprint scanning.
All of these things add up, and the result is a great viewing experience not just for media consumption, but even for everyday use. Colors are punchy, text is sharp, and animations and transitions are snappy and fluid. Visibility in direct sunlight is decent, provided you turn up the brightness to max.
This HyperSpace Gold variant shows a beam pattern when reflecting light, which looks nice. It’s still a glossy surface though, so hello, smudges. The camera module has been changed to two circular sections. It’s not a new idea, as seen in several other devices, but it looks good.
Like its predecessor, realme 10 Pro+ 5G also misses out on a microSD Card slot and the headphone jack. In return, you do get Hi-Res Certified Dual Stereo Speakers with the UltraBoom feature for improved volume.
One of the areas where the realme 10 Pro+ 5G does not get an upgrade, is in the processing package. That means you still get a Dimensity 920 5G, which, in fairness, delivers good performance in both daily use and gaming. There’s also 8GB/12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB/256GB of UFS 2.2 storage.
As for thermals, the chip was able to sustain close to max performance with minimal throttling even after 10 minutes of continuous heavy load.
For gaming, the processing package will run Mobile Legends and Call of Duty Mobile at High Frame Rate + High Graphics, Diablo Immortal at Medium, and Genshin Impact at Low to Medium preset, depending on how smooth you want the game to run.
realme 10 Pro+ uses a 108MP main camera alongside an 8MP ultra-wide unit and a 2MP macro unit. When it’s daytime, sample photos show good levels of detail and sharpness. realme’s AI tends to boost saturation quite heavily, so you may want to turn it off for more accurate colors.
Night shots also look great, with good levels of detail and sharpness even with an additional light source in the background.
Shots from the ultra-wide camera show slightly cooler tones and are less detailed but still decent overall. At night, the degradation in detail and sharpness is very noticeable in some instances. There’s a lot of noise as well. Zooming in 3x can be a hit or miss in terms of detail.
If you like to take selfies, daytime shots won’t be a problem, as the realme 10 Pro+ is able to capture good amounts of detail along with an accurate and convincing depth-of-field effect. It’s a different story at night as some sample showed a bit of chromatic aberration.
For videos, the 4K video sample also shows plenty of detail, though you may want to put this phone in a gimbal if you’re doing a lot of movement, as stabilization is not available at this resolution.
Speaking of which, Ultra Steady does an okay job at keeping up with movement, but even with my best effort at keeping my hand steady, there’s still a significant amount of jitter, and of course, that jelly-like wobbling effect.
I tried enabling stabilization on the ultra-wide at night, and what I got was a smudged, water-color-like video that’s unusable.
realme UI 4.0 introduces some visual updates such as a new set of icons, a card-style layout, and now, you’ll be able to access your Spotify playlists directly from the Always-On Display.
There are also privacy-focused features like Auto Pixelate, which, by its name, allows you to blur out parts of screenshots that contain sensitive information with one tap, and an upgraded private safe for keeping your most important files, well.. safe.
Performance-wise, the UI runs buttery smooth, and the amount of pre-loaded apps apart from the default Google apps are kept to a minimum.
The realme 10 Pro+ 5G’s 5,000mAh battery was more than enough to get me through a day of my typical use case with a lot to spare, mostly on mobile data. That means a lot of Spotify, Facebook, Messenger, and photography. There’s a bit of email as well, and from time to time, I do play a few rounds of Mobile Legends and Asphalt 9.
In terms of charging, the 67W charging brick that came with the unit was able to charge it from zero to full just slightly short of an hour, which is great.
While it did not get an upgrade in terms of the chipset, the realme 10 Pro+ 5G still offers some compelling improvements over its predecessor, such as a better display, better cameras, better battery, faster-charging, a while subjective, I’d say a better design too.
That being said, it’s not without its share of downsides. The ultra-wide camera, while a nice addition, leaves a lot of room for improvement, especially in video, and the front camera could also use some work.
Then there’s the price. If you want 256GB of storage, you’ll have to shell out PHP 24,999. That is very close to the price of another mid-ranger which I think offers a better overall package. The base variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for PHP 19,999 is the one that I would recommend for overall value.
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.