realme 12 Pro Plus 5G Review

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realme 12 Pro Plus 5G Unit (58)

Contents (maximize to view)

8.8Expert Score
A Head-Turner, Versatile

Overall, a good package, but not without its share of downsides

Design and Build Quality
10
Performance
9
Camera (Stills)
8
Camera (Video)
7.5
Software
8
Battery
10
Price
9
Positive
  • Design exudes luxury and premium
  • Good overall performance
  • Versatile and very capable for stills
  • Good battery life
  • Quick to recharge
Negatives
  • Colors can science can be inconsistent across focal lengths
  • Ui is cluttered with pre-loaded apps/shortcuts
  • No 4K video on front camera

Introduction

In an evolving smartphone landscape, realme has consistently pushed the boundaries of what’s possible in the mid-range segment. With the launch of the realme 12 Pro Plus 5G, the brand aims to deliver a flagship-level photography experience wrapped in a premium design that exudes luxury.

Design and Build Quality

The realme 12 Pro+ 5G is a true work of art, co-designed with the legendary Ollivier Savéo, an international luxury watch design master. From the moment you lay eyes on it, the device emanates a sense of exclusivity and refinement. From the Polished Sunburst Dial, Golden Fluted Bezel, and 3D Jubilee Bracelet, the device’s camera module is reminiscent of a custom premium watch, while the deep Submarine Blue hue adds an air of sophistication, while also providing more grip, should you opt not to use a case. The only issue, if it is at all, is that the camera module protrudes, a lot.

The IP65 dust and water resistance rating further adds to the device’s ruggedness, ensuring it can withstand accidental splashes and dust exposure. The glossy finish on the sides and bottom add a sense of refinement at the cost of being more prone to fingerprints. Sure, an IP68 rating would’ve been nice, but I imagine that will bring the cost up.

Connectivity is a strong suit for this device, with 5G support and a 360° NFC sensor that allows for wireless transactions from various angles, for convenience and versatility. The Antenna Matrix System 2.0 ensures a stable signal, virtually eliminating signal loss regardless of how you hold the device.

Complementing the exquisite design is a 6.7-inch FHD+ Curved OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate. It’s also protected by double reinforced glass and boasts up to 950 nits peak brightness for decent visibility in outdoor situations, and 2160Hz PWM Dimming for eye care.

This display is a true feast for the eyes, offering vibrant colors, deep blacks, and smooth motion. With a 93% screen-to-body ratio and narrow bezels, viewing content is a treat.

Camera

realme 12 Pro Plus 5G’s boasts a 64MP Periscope Portrait Camera with OIS, a 50MP Sony IMX890 camera with OIS, and an 8MP ultra-wide shooter. realme calls it the Omnifocal Photography System aimed at delivering exceptional image quality and versatility. But does it?

The camera system demonstrates its versatility as the ultra-wide unit lets you capture more in the frame, and I found the capability to zoom at say 6x or 10x without losing too much detail to be very useful.

The only minor gripe I have is the very noticeable difference in exposure when shooting with the main versus the ultra-wide camera. Both handle colors in a similar way, at least when you’re not zooming in.

Quality-wise, you get good levels of detail and sharpness in both day and night shots. The Night Mode helps if you want to brighten everything up, and it’s able to handle multiple light sources very well.

The inconsistency in colors seems to surface when shooting from various focal lengths. Say a shot in 3x yields a photo with more washed-out colors compared to a photo shot at 2x.

Zoomed in portraits seem to be a forte of this device. The exceptional level of detail along with a refined depth of field effect sweetens the deal.

One of the main features of this device is the ability to zoom in at up to 120x, which is of course digital. It’s not the best for finding specific objects at a distance, but if you want to read something from that far away, the quality is acceptable. Again, personally, it’s not a feature I use everyday, but it’s nice to have.

For video, the main camera can go up to 4K 30 fps, while the ultrawide and front camera can only go up to 1080p 30fps. Again, not exactly an issue for me, personally, but more hardcore content creators or vloggers might feel a bit limited.

Performance

Powering the realme 12 Pro Plus 5G is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7s Gen 2, which delivers a good amount of performance across both daily tasks and gaming. Are there more powerful chips they could’ve chose, of course, but again, maybe it’s to keep the price at a certain level. You also get 12GB of RAM and as well as a hefty 512GB of storage. No microSD card slot though.

Gaming-wise, it’s actually still a good chip, allowing you to play Honkai: Star Rail with Medium settings and 60fps enabled without any significant drops in performance (you may notice a few stutters though). For Diablo Immortal, it’s Medium to High Resolution and Low-Quality Preset.

Being released late 2023 though, optimization can still be an issue. At the time of writing, the device is only able to run Mobile Legends: Bang Bang at High FPS and High Graphics. It’s not that the game doesn’t run smooth, I just expected that I can crank it up to higher settings. For Farlight 84, you can crank graphics up to HDR, with frame rate set to very high or extreme.

In general, if you really want a performance-focused device for heavy gaming, this is not it. But if you’re into less resource-heavy titles, and you’re okay with dialing the setting down a bit on heavier games, this would do just fine.

Battery

The 5,000mAh battery allowed the realme 12 Pro Plus 5G to score an impressive 14 hours in PCMark’s Work 3.0 benchmark, simulating tasks such as photo and video editing, and more simple tasks like web browsing. The device supports 67W SUPERVOOC fast-charging, which allowed the battery to be topped up from zero to full in under an hour.

Audio and Connectivity

realme 12 Pro Plus 5G Unit (98)

realme 12 Pro+ 5G delivers an immersive audio experience with its dual speaker system with Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res Certification. There is a decent amount of bass, vocals come across with good clarity, and treble isn’t harsh but delivers a good level of emphasis and airiness. Volume is also decent – no audible distortion when maxed and is loud enough.

Software

realme 12 Pro Plus 5G runs realme UI 5 on top of Android 14. You still get the familiar set of nifty features like the Smart Sidebar for quick access to apps, as well as an Always-On Display, Split Screen, and more. As for performance, the UI itself runs smooth and snappy most of the time.

All that is great, but I really wish they manage the amount of pre-loaded apps and shortcuts on the UI, not to mention the number of annoying notifications that some of these apps present.

realme 12 Pro Plus 5G: Verdict

Luxury and function can go together and does not have to cost an arm and leg. The realme 12 Pro Plus 5G is a case in point, offering an eye-catching design along with a sharp and fluid display, good performance across day-to-day tasks and gaming, versatile and capable cameras, and great battery life couple with fast charging.

There are downsides, such as the amount of pre-loaded apps/shortcuts on the UI, the lack of 4K recording on the front camera, and the sometimes, inconsistent handling of colors at various focal lengths. There are hopefully things that can be fixed with a software update.

That being said, I think that the realme 12 Pro+ 5G is a great effort to take the series to the next level, and with a price of PHP 25,999, it’s one phone to put in that upper part of your list if you’re priorities lean on the camera, design, and battery life.

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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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