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Realme 5 review

The Realme 5 is the most cost effective cellphone within the firm’s 2019 lineup, and firmly focused on the price range market. Has it accomplished sufficient to be thought of among the many greatest at this value level? Learn our full overview to seek out out.

Oppo, the largest smartphone producer in China, had skilled restricted world success till just some years in the past.

Nevertheless, its official UK launch in early 2019 was a defining second in what has been a speedy enlargement into European markets.

Its Realme sub-brand is clearly focusing on the inexpensive market, with 4 of the 5 telephones it at present sells in Europe retailing for below €300.

The Realme 5 is the most cost effective in that lineup, but on first impressions there’s little to inform it aside from far more costly handsets. Will prolonged utilization reveal many shortcomings, or can it actually be thought of probably the greatest low cost telephones round?

Worth and availability

You should purchase the Realme 5 for €169, which interprets to round £144 on the time of writing . That is roughly according to what you may anticipate to pay on eBay.

Given the comparatively latest enlargement into European markets, many UK producers don’t inventory the cellphone simply but.

At this value level, it’s one among a myriad of contenders for the perfect price range cellphone, going head-to-head with the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi Observe 8T and mother or father firm Oppo’s A9 2020.

Design and construct

One of many first stuff you discover concerning the Realme 5 is the distinctive patterned design on the again of the cellphone.

That is notably obvious on the Crystal Blue mannequin we reviewed, however it’s additionally fairly outlined on the equally gorgeous purple variant. This makes the cellphone extremely reflective, giving it a premium really feel even whether it is extra weak to fingerprint marks.

Speaking of fingerprints, the rear-mounted scanner is in a really pure place round 1 / 4 of the way in which down the machine, whereas the quad digicam module is organized vertically (extra on that later).

This does protrude barely from the again of the cellphone, however the results can simply be averted by making use of the clear case included within the field.

There’s a extra orthodox design on the entrance of the machine, with a small teardrop notch the one distraction from the 6.5in LCD panel. The decision is curiously low, at simply 720×1600, however it’s unlikely you’ll discover in day-to-day utilization. The truth is, the one time we realised was when YouTube movies maxed out at 720p.

We recorded a formidable most brightness of 450 nits in our checks, and out of doors visibility was glorious.

The aforementioned notch homes a single front-facing digicam, which can be utilized for face unlock in addition to selfies. It’s disappointing to nonetheless see a reasonably large chin, though the cellphone does retain a decent 82.7% screen-to-body ratio.

The quantity and energy keys on the perimeters of the cellphone are satisfyingly tactile and responsive, even when used by way of the included case.

You may be taught quite a bit from trying on the backside of the machine, and it’s a combined bag so far as we’re involved. It’s extremely disappointing to see micro-USB right here, particularly with industry-standard USB-C on practically all Android units these days.

We had been fairly impressed with the audio system on the Realme 5 (extra on that later), however nonetheless its a mono downward-firing design which isn’t optimum for audio high quality. This isn’t supplemented by the earpiece, which may solely be used for calls.

Nevertheless, we’re delighted that the three.5 headphone jack continues to be right here. We really feel it’s nonetheless actually vital to have native assist for wired headphones at this value level, and Realme’s personal wired buds will solely set you again €19.99.

{Hardware} and efficiency

Having mid-range {hardware} on a price range handset is nice to see, and it means efficiency on the Realme 5 is superb. The Snapdragon 665 continues to be a really succesful chipset, notably when mixed with an Adreno 610 GPU.

It would sound cliché, however the Realme 5 was in a position to deal with the whole lot we may throw at it with ease.

This included speedy switching between apps, multitasking and productiveness on-the-go. Apparently, 4GB of RAM appears loads right here, maybe due partly to the software program optimisations Realme has made.

This stellar efficiency even extends to cell gaming, the place the cellphone was surprisingly succesful.. Highlights included Actual Racing 3, the place the big 6.5in display screen got here into its personal. Regardless of having a comparatively low decision by fashionable requirements, the graphics had been nonetheless gorgeous.

The Realme 5 appears to come back into its personal when enjoying graphic-intensive titles, as it could actually draw on the options in Sport Area. This tradition space of the software program means that you can improve efficiency, minimise distractions and enhance stability whereas gaming. We did expertise some video games sometimes crashing, however this wasn’t one thing that impacted our enjoyment for probably the most half.

This goes to show that you simply don’t want a devoted gaming cellphone to play your favorite titles in your cellphone. Nevertheless, it might have been good to see an possibility with greater than 128GB of on-device storage, though that is expandable as much as an additional 256GB by way of a microSD card.

You’ll have to watch out to not block the mono speaker, however in case you can look previous this or use headphones you’ll actually take pleasure in gaming on the Realme 5.

This glorious efficiency may not have been clear from the beneath benchmarks, though the principle cause it doesn’t stand out is that its fundamental rivals are equally succesful with advanced duties.

Software program and options

Earlier than we dive into the software program on the Realme 5, it’s value working by way of the biometric choices, as you’ll little doubt be utilizing them on daily basis.

The rear-mounted fingerprint scanner is the quickest and only solution to unlock your cellphone. Enrolment is straightforward, and it could actually act as an authentication technique for a wide range of apps, together with web banking.

For every other situations, the face unlock can come to your help, and it is fairly efficient at recognising you. Nevertheless, regardless of being arrange in an identical solution to Apple’s Face ID it doesn’t supply the identical degree of safety. Nonetheless, it’s good to have each choices along with the common passcode, password or swipe gesture.

The Realme 5 comes working the ColorOS 6 pores and skin over Android 9 Pie out of the field. It has been confirmed for a future replace to Android 10, however we’re undecided when that may be obtainable simply but.

The software program is pretty constant throughout all Oppo-owned units – it’s comparatively much like Google’s inventory OS, albeit with just a few notable tweaks.

These embrace the ‘Sensible Assistant’ web page once you swipe left on the display screen. That is Realme’s reply to the Google Now playing cards, with customisable widgets displaying the likes of climate, time and upcoming calendar occasions. In actuality, it didn’t supply the identical degree of performance as Google’s providing, so it’s not one thing we may see ourselves commonly utilizing.

The Realme 5 additionally has a fairly vital downside with bloatware. In the event you resolve in opposition to putting in a variety of apps from the ‘App Market’ on setup, they may nonetheless be proven in your app drawer in a ‘Scorching Apps’ folder.

This may be refreshed to show new ideas however by no means deleted, performing as a shopfront for Oppo’s model of the Google Play Retailer.

It’s an identical story with the adjoining ‘Scorching Video games’ folder, though this takes you on to the video games part of the App Market. There’s actually no cause to make use of this over the Play Retailer within the UK, notably if a variety of your favourites are tied to a Google account.

However that’s not all. The Realme 5 has its personal variations of Contacts, Calculator, Climate and lots of extra, all of which may’t be uninstalled. Fortuitously, this hasn’t prolonged to a digital assistant, as Google Assistant can nonetheless be triggered by an extended press of the house button or saying ‘Okay, Google’.

Our different fundamental software program gripe is with the method for closing apps. That is similar to many Android units, with a scrolling pane of open home windows which you could swipe to shut. Nevertheless, you would be mistaken for pondering that the massive ‘X’ would shut all open apps. The truth is, it merely closes the apps which can be essential to optimise the machine, which primarily means it’s pot luck as to which apps keep open.

It will make far more sense if this was an possibility in settings, as an alternative of it being such a serious ingredient of the UI.

There’s just a few different delicate design adjustments, however none of those require a studying curve in case you’re aware of latest variations of Android.

Cameras and battery life

Cell cameras have lengthy been a precedence for Oppo, with an added emphasis since its enlargement into the UK market. The Realme 5 continues this pattern, with a quadruple rear setup. The primary 12Mp sensor is supported by an 8Mp ultrawide lens and 2Mp devoted macro digicam, whereas the fourth 2Mp lens is for depth sensing.

Nevertheless, as we now have come to be taught lately, the megapixel rely means little if the software program processing is missing.

We had been pleasantly shocked by images taken with the Realme 5, which have a wonderful degree of element and dynamic vary. Nevertheless, the standard of pictures shortly declines everytime you zoom in on pictures.

Realme has borrowed OnePlus’ moniker of ‘Nightscape’ for its devoted low-light mode, and these pictures are equally efficient to its Chinese language competitor. Nightfall pictures which might often seem grainy and with a lot of noise seem far clearer and extra vivid. To see this type of mode on a price range handset is massively spectacular.

The digicam UI is fairly simplistic, however all of the common modes you’d anticipate are right here. We notably loved utilizing slo-mo, however there’s additionally time-lapse, pano and an ultra-macro mode.

We didn’t have a lot success utilizing the latter, maybe as a result of it requires a variety of pure gentle to work successfully.

Probably the most shocking factor right here is the fast switching between 1x, 2x and 5x zoom. And not using a telephoto lens, that is achieved digitally, however there’s little noticeable drop-off in picture high quality as you turn between them.

The 13Mp front-facing digicam is fairly typical of what you may anticipate in lots of fashionable smartphones. Selfies have a good degree of element, however may not be Instagram worthy.

Portrait mode pictures are potential due to the depth-sensor, however they lack the eye to element you’ll find on telephones which use a devoted telephoto lens.

Try a choice of images within the album beneath, which you could have to click on on to view in full.

Realme 5 camera test

On the video aspect, the Realme 5 helps as much as 4K footage at 30fps. Nevertheless, at this decision the footage was extremely juddery and nearly unwatchable, due partly to the dearth of optical picture stabilisation. Until you intend on retaining the cellphone in the identical place all through, we’d suggest taking it all the way down to 1080p, which affords far more pleasing outcomes.

The battery life on the Realme 5 is the only most spectacular factor about this cellphone, which is saying one thing contemplating how a lot else we preferred.

It’s probably the largest beneficiary of the aggressive software program tweaks, which when mixed with the mammoth 5000mAh cell gives actually stellar battery life. In Geekbench 4’s battery take a look at, we recorded a wonderful 11 hours and 36 minutes, rating it among the many prime handsets available on the market.

We had been commonly getting two days of average utilization earlier than reaching for the charger, even when it did appear dangerous to depart the home with below 50%. We hope that larger batteries will grow to be the brand new commonplace, notably as Realme has proven it’s potential with out including a lot bulk.

The massive battery turns into all of the extra vital contemplating the dearth of quick charging. The 10W adapter within the field prices a lot slower than fashionable requirements, and we had been solely in a position to get 22% in 30 minutes after it was utterly empty.


There’s quite a bit to love concerning the Realme 5. You get a wonderful design and nice cameras, whereas the cellphone emphatically solves a ache level of so many fashionable handsets by together with an enormous battery.

Nevertheless, to be thought of probably the greatest price range telephones these days, it’s a must to excel in practically each space, and in that regard the Realme 5 falls brief.

The software program expertise leaves just a little to be desired, and we actually can’t perceive why Realme has gone with micro USB over USB-C.


Realme 5: Specs

  • 6.5in 720×1600 LCD show
  • Snapdragon 665
  • Adreno 610
  • Quadruple rear cameras
  • 13Mp front-facing digicam
  • Video as much as [email protected]
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Face unlock
  • 5000mAh battery
  • ColorOS 6
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Bluetooth 5.0

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