Realme 5 Review - Great Camera and Better Battery
When the Realme 3 launched earlier this year, we called it the Pocophone of the entry-level segment. Realme has climbed an offensive against Xiaomi and is consistently delivering hardware that doesn’t just keep up with rivals, but often outpaces them. The Realme 5 series is no different. Realme Nepal recently launched the Realme 5 in Nepal. We had expected them to launch both Realme 5 and 5 Pro but they just launched the Realme 5 in the country. With the pricing of Realme5 and specs, the phone is directly competing the recently launched Redmi Note 8 in Nepal. Let's find out the pros and cons and in-depth information about one of the best phones under Rs. 30000 in Nepal.
Design & Display
Realme has been strong on the design aspect form the past. The Realme 5 furthers that tradition with a beautiful diamond-cut finish on the back. Although the finish isn’t quite as aggressive as on some previous devices it still looks beautiful. The unit we reviewed has a glittering blue finish which looks like a piece of expensive jewelry. At the back, there is the quad-camera module as well as the fingerprint reader.
Build quality is usually solid and the buttons have a good quality to them. While it comes to the weight of the handset, it feels a bit heavier on the hand but that can be credited to the large battery. The trade-off of the heavier side of the device is quite acceptable. The front of the Realme 5 is praisable. The waterdrop notch is shorter than that of Realme 3 devices and has a big enough chin at the bottom. The phone looks substantially alike to other Realme phones and the phones in this category.
On the side, you do get a dedicated triple SIM-SD Card slot on the side though, allowing you to slot in dual nano-SIM cards as well as a memory card. The headphone jack lies along the bottom edge of the phone next to the micro USB charging port.
The Realme 5 trades screen size for resolution. Clocking in at 6.5-inches, the display is one of the largest in the sub-$150 segments, though the HD+ resolution doesn’t do it any favors. Text rendering, in particular, quickly reveals blurry edges and a distinct lack of sharpness.
No, the phone doesn’t have support for the Widevine L1 DRM, so you won’t be able to stream HD content on the phone.
Realme 5 is powered by Snapdragon 665 which is the performing beast. Built on an 11nm process we can expect to see some improvements in battery life. The improved GPU on this chipset, give a boost in gaming applications. Snapdragon 665 on the phone is quite a performance leap forward as compared to older Realme 3 series phones. Realme has been doing excellent work at optimizing its software for the hardware. Realme 5 is not an exception as it runs most of the apps smoothly.
Day-to-day usage manifests no problems at all and most users should be pleasantly satisfied with the phone’s smoothness. The hardware isn’t fundamentally intended for performance-seekers or gamers, but it’ll still manage to runs most of the games at ease. We had no problems playing PUBG at the average setting, but at the higher setting, we can't expect a great performance.
In the 3DMark benchmark, the handest achieved a score of 1081. Meantime, in the CPU-focused AnTuTu benchmark, the phone obtained 139495 points, which is just a bit lower as compared to Snapdragon 660.
Battery and Software
An important element for entry-level handsets in Nepal is the enormous battery life. It is no wonder that we are witnessing a lot of smartphones packing tremendous 5,000mAh batteries. Xiaomi recently launched entry-level Redmi 8 and 8A with 5000mAh battery and Oppo has also included 5000mAh battery on Oppo A9(2020) and Oppo A5(2020).
Realme 5 is one such phone with pretty great battery life. Meanwhile, the phone does not support fast-charging and refilling that huge battery takes an equivalently huge amount of time. The phone takes almost 2 and a half hours to fully charge from 0-10%. Realme 5 easily runs for a day and a half, or even two days with a single charge. During our examination, we rarely had to charge the phone after a particular day of use.
The phone runs on Color OS on top of Android 9.0(Pie). You want or not, Color OS is what you get on Realme’s hardware. One of the biggest complaints with budget devices is it comes with a lot of pre-installed apps. Realme 5 is no exception, and while most can be removed and some cannot. Beyond that, the device is a reasonably standard budget smartphone. It comes with the standard range of customization choices, including gestures, a floating key, and the magazine-style lock screen that regularly renews the wallpaper.
Realme has been producing a good camera smartphone from the past. As far as camera quality is concerned, Realme 5 keeps speed for the most part. The Quad camera setup which is almost identical to the Realme 5 Pro makes it more loveable. Images taken by the device look pretty great but have a bit of sharpening. This isn’t especially striking on the phone’s display but extended on a monitor and you can quickly detect the processing.
The image above shows wide and ultra-wide angle shots on the Realme 5. Those images look good enough but don't meet the expectation. The phone seems to have over-sharpened the images, and there is a bit of over-saturation as well. We have to accept this quality of the phone on this price range as we can see a lot of higher-priced phones struggle for better images than this. On the phone’s display, the images look very sharp and vibrant.
|Realme 5 Camera Sample in Regular Mode||Realme 5 Camera Sample in Macro Mode|
The camera system struggled very hard in the macro-mode. Getting a sharp and in-focus shot was very hard. Every new phone comes with this mode these and they are still trying to make it good enough. Pro Tip - Don't make your expectations high with macro mode.
As far as selfies are concerned, the camera has a beauty filter every time you switch it on the camera which might be somehow disturbing. Turned off, pictures were fairly nice. Video quality fluctuates within good enough and very average depending on the amount of lighting around your surroundings.
Realme 5 Specifications
- Body: Gorilla Glass 3+ front, polycarbonate back
- Screen: 6.5-inch, 19:9, 720p+, LCD
- Rear camera: Primary 12MP, f/1.8 lens; 119° ultra-wide-angle 8MP camera; 2MP macro camera; 2MP portrait camera; LED flash; 2160p@30fps video recording
- Front camera: 13MP sensor
- Chipset: Snapdragon 665: octa-core CPU (4x2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver), Adreno 610 GPU
- Memory: 3/32GB, 4/64GB or 4/128GB; dedicated microSD slot for up to 256GB expansion
- OS: Android 9.0; Color OS 6.0 on top
- Battery: 5,000mAh, 10W charging
- Connectivity: Dual SIM (4G), Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, USB-C
- Colors: Crystal Blue, Crystal Purple
- Misc: Rear-mounted fingerprint reader
Realme 5 Price and Availability
- Realme 5: 3GB RAM, 64GB ROM — NPR 20,990 (~$180)
- Realme 5: 4GB RAM, 12GB ROM — NPR 23,990 (~$210)
The biggest contender for the Realme 5 is the Redmi Note 8 and even the older Redmi Note 7. Xiaomi’s mid-range phones carry a Full HD display and a slightly better camera at a similar price point. The glass build comes across as a bit more premium, as well. However, the overall package offered by the Realme 5 is really appreciable. The phone looks excellent, has a long-lasting battery, and the camera provides good enough images and offers a lot of versatility.
To conclude, the Realme 5 is a good overall package that packs almost everything what you can get in an entry-level smartphone. Between the top-tier build quality, the versatile camera, and a solid hardware package, it’s hard not to get excited about this smartphone.
If you want a reasonably priced phone that delivers the essentials and more, the Realme 5 is one of the better options available today.