The Realme 5 series has finally arrived in the Philippines. In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the more budget-oriented smartphone from the Realme 5 series: the Realme 5. Positioned at the sub-PhP 10k market, will the Realme 5 deliver a great price-to-performance like its predecessors?

Realme 5

Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
Screen 6.5-inch LTPS IPS Dewdrop, HD+, Gorilla Glass 3
RAM 3GB/4GB
OS Android 9.0 with ColorOS 6.0
Rear Camera 12MP f/1.8 main, 8MP f/2.25 ultrawide, 2MP f/2.4 macro, 2MP f/2.4 portrait
Front Camera 13MP f/2.0
Storage 32GB/64GB/128GB
Network Dual-SIM, 4G LTE
Connectivity WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
Battery 5,000mAh
Others Fingerprint Scanner, Face Unlock, Dust and Splash Resistant

 

Unboxing

Aside from the change in model and logo, the box of the Realme 5 doesn’t detract from the other packaging from the brand. Encased in the box is the bare minimum to make the smartphone work: a 5W 2A wall charger, a MicroUSB cable, and a silicone case.

Like most of its budget offerings, the Realme 5 doesn’t come with documentation or a pair of earphones. While we can agree that the documentation can be sacked to save space and paper, the lack of earphones is a significant omission from a smartphone’s accessories.

Design and Features

Though the Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro looks almost the same, there are some significant differences between the two. The Realme 5 has a larger 6.5-inch LTPS IPS Dewdrop display, the pixel count, however, is significantly lower at only 1600 x 720. Fortunately, the display still comes with Gorilla Glass 3 with a pre-applied screen protector.

The display still has can still produce enough brightness to be used outdoors despite the toned down resolution. Colors are decently reproduced with colors not being too saturated or bland. The blacks are also quite deep while avoiding getting washed out whenever the brightness is turned up to the max.

Obviously, the Realme 5’s screen is still notched to house its front-facing camera. Selfies are taken with a 13MP f/2.0 shooter. The selfie camera also enables the smartphone’s Face Unlock for an added layer of security.

The diamond-cut design of the Realme 5 can barely be seen on dark conditions on the Crystal Purple version of the Realme 5. Under the right lighting conditions, the diamond design of the rear can be seen in all its glory.

The smartphone’s diamond-cut rear also houses its quad-cameras. The quad-camera setup of the Realme 5 is composed of a 12MP f/1.8 main, an 8MP f/2.25 ultrawide shooter, a 2MP f/2.4 macro, and a 2MP f/2.4 portrait (or depth sensor for bokeh). Just beside the cameras is the smartphone’s LED flash and a circular fingerprint scanner.

The volume buttons on the Realme 5 are located at the left-hand side while the power button resides at the right. Its buttons are fairly standard affair. They offer enough tactility just to remove the mushiness expected from devices at this price point.

The Realme 5 comes with a triple-cut SIM tray that allows users to have two Nano-SIM cards as well as a MicroSD slot. The Realme 5 can be outfitted with 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of internal storage depending on the variant.

Though the Realme 5 has some features that can be considered premium, some design cues can still giveaway its budget nature. At the bottom is a MicroUSB port, which we wish could have been a Type-C port. Fortunately, the smartphone still comes with a 3.5mm audio jack and bottom-firing speakers.

Like some of its contemporaries, the Realme 5 comes with a design that’s more premium than it actually is. The large notched screen and diamond-cut design of the rear lends to the smartphone’s aesthetically pleasing look.

Although some of the features like the MicroUSB port at the bottom can undermine its exceptional look, it’s not enough to bring down the looks of the smartphone.

User Interface

The Realme 5 comes with Android 9.0 with ColorOS 6.0. The latest ColorOS detracts from the previous iOS look the company has been going for in lieu of a more traditional Android experience.

Notifications and the control center can be pulled down from the top. The settings menu is easily accessed via a button at the top right-hand side of the notifications center.

Standard Android options such as split-screen apps are present. ColorOS 6.0 adds to the Android formula by providing Game Space that turns off notifications when using included apps and games.

The smartphone integrates buttons to the screen. If you want a more seamless experience, gesture controls can be enabled via the Navigation Keys tab. There are two options for gesture controls: Swipe up from the bottom or gestures from either sides of the screen.

Camera

The camera app of the Realme 5 comes with most of the standard options you would expect from a smartphone. Features include Photo, Video, Expert, Nightscape, Time Lapse, Slow Motion, Panorama, and Ultra Macro.

The smartphone also boasts HDR, Chroma Boost, as well as a few choices in the way of filters. The only gripe we have with the camera app is that Realme should have integrated the Ultrawide camera switch on the quick zoom button instead of having a dedicated Ultrawide button at the left-hand side.

The device also supports 2x and 5x zoom levels though these are only digital zoom since it doesn’t have a dedicated zoom lens.

The main 12MP f/1.8 shooter produces sharp, detailed photos while closely capturing the colors of the subjects. Turning on Chroma Boost will enhance the contrast and saturation of the photos.

As with most smartphones with an ultrawide camera, the Realme 5’s 8MP f/2.25 ultrawide shooter can fit in more within a frame. But since it has a lower megapixel count than the main camera, close scrutiny of photos can reveal a lack of detail but not too much to detract from the photo.

Despite the low megapixel count of the 2MP f/2.4 macro lens of the Realme 5, it does take surprisingly good photos. It might not be as detailed as the main shooter but it does allow you to get up close to a subject. It also helps that the camera’s AI will automatically switch to the macro lens when you get too close.

Speaking of the AI, the AI on the Realme 5’s cameras will instinctively optimize settings when it recognizes a scene. Optimization include higher saturation levels without being too aggressive without giving off an edited feel.

Meanwhile, the 13MP f/2.0 front-facing camera of the Realme 5 is as impressive as its main rear camera. Selfies are taken with a natural-looking tone. The camera can also simulate background blur or Bokeh but the effect isn’t as good as native Bokeh.

Of course, the Realme 5’s selfie camera offers varying degrees of beautification such as smooth skin, thinner face, smaller face, and tighter, chin, and bigger eyes. Everything can be fine-tuned to get the selfie you are looking for.

Performance and Benchmarks

Inside the Realme 5 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chip. Based on an 11nm lithography process, the Snapdragon 665 was made to replace the 14nm Snapdragon 660. This new chip comes with an upgraded Adreno 610 GPU that should pull 20% less power from its predecessor. It also comes with a new AI Engine for the smartphone.

The Realme 5 offers a lag-free experience even when there are multiple apps open at one time. Based on the benchmarks, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 inside the smartphone is at par on the scores given by other Qualcomm Snapdragon 660-based smartphones.

Battery

Here’s where the Realme 5 really shines. The 5,000mAh battery that powers the smartphone can provide power to more than a day of medium use. Due to the large battery, however, the Realme 5 is a bit thick measuring at 9.3mm.

PCMark Work 2.0 Battery Tests pulled a score of almost 18 hours in medium brightness and volume. The only real letdown in the battery department is the charging time. The Realme 5 doesn’t support Fast Charging only opting to use the industry-wide standard 5V 2A charging.

It will take a considerable wait to top off the 5,000mAh battery. Based on our experience, 0% to 100% will take around 2 hours of charging time. Better charge the smartphone while you’re sleeping or doing something else since you’re in for quite a bit of wait.

Conclusion

The Realme 5 will come in three variants: 3GB/32GB, 3GB/64GB, and 4GB/128GB priced at PhP 6,990, PhP 7,990, and PhP 9,990, respectively. Though the device only comes with a 1600 x 720 display, it makes up for it with a long battery life, serviceable cameras, and a pretty design.

Like its predecessors, the Realme 5 has broken the meaning of a budget-smartphone. Not only does it cost less than PhP 10,000, the performance it offers goes far beyond its price point.

It’s with these reasons that we’re giving the Realme 5 our 100% Satisfying Budget Smartphone. If you’re looking for a smartphone that you’re going to get a lot of features for, then look no further than the Realme 5.

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