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Realme 5 Pro review: the best €200 smartphone you can buy

Realme 5 Pro review: the best €200 smartphone you can buy

Only a few months after the excellent Realme 3 Pro, the Chinese manufacturer is back with its successor named the Realme 5 Pro (in Chinese the number four is homophonous to the word "death", and is thus deemed unlucky). After several weeks with the phone, it's time for my full review. Once again, the young brand strikes hard by erasing the main flaws of its predecessor.

Rating

Good

  • Value for money
  • Battery life (and fast charging)
  • Performance
  • Camera

Bad

  • ColorOS (as always)

Coming to Europe soon

The Realme 5 Pro was originally only available in India, but the company has been branching out since them. As always, Realme offers particularly attractive prices. The Pro 5 has the same price tag as its predecessor, namely 13,999 rupees (about $200) for the entry-level model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.

In Europe, the Realme 5 Pro costs €199  for the version with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage costs €249. Both memory formats are available now.

Small evolutions

With the launch of the Realme 5 Pro coming just five months after the Realme 3 Pro, it is not surprising to note that the aesthetic differences between the two models are quite small. First of all, the Realme 5 Pro has the same format as its predecessor with a 6.3-inch> screen and a 19.5/9 ratio. There is also a dewdrop-shaped notch at the front and a plastic design. The same problem with the groove between the chassis and the screen being a little too deep is still present.

AndroidPIT Realme 5 Pro Box Content
The design of the Realme 5 Pro is not much different from that of the Realme 3 Pro. Despite the plastic, its weight is significant (184 grams) and can be a little annoying / © AndroidPIT

In the end, it is at the back that we notice the differences between the two models. The Realme 5 Pro now features a quadruple photosensor (vertically aligned) and a different plastic design. Goodbye to the colorful gradient and welcome to the prominent, scale-shaped lines. It is aesthetically pleasing and the smartphone can play with the reflections of light depending on the time of day.

AndroidPIT Realme 5 Pro Back
The camera protrudes from the body but does not make the smartphone unstable when placed on a flat surface / © AndroidPIT

Another change is that the Realme 5 Pro now offers USB-C. Realme thus eliminates one of the main defects of its previous smartphones. Overall, the smartphone always feels good to grip. Despite its plastic body, the smartphone is nevertheless quite heavy, due to a rather large battery. This has its advantages in terms of battery life, of course.

AndroidPIT Realme 5 Pro Charging Port
The Realme 5 Pro has a headphone jack and a fingerprint reader. Facial recognition is also on the menu / ©  AndroidPIT

A screen without surprises

For the screen, Realme has also not made any changes. The 5 Pro still has a 6.3-inch IPS LCD panel with Full-HD+ resolution and a dewdrop-shaped notch. As with the 3 Pro, the display is satisfactory with good readability, good contrast and sufficient viewing angles for a display with IPS technology. There is always a tendency to pull towards blue, though.

AndroidPIT Realme 5 Pro Notch
The Realme 5 Pro screen is generally satisfactory / © AndroidPIT

If you want to nitpick (which I like to do), you can blame the Realme 5 Pro's screen for a lack of brightness, especially when the brightness outside is high, making it a little more difficult to use the smartphone. However, it is only a small defect and at this price, the smartphone does not do worse than the competition and it is difficult to expect an AMOLED display for 200 bucks.

ColorOS always on the part

It is once again ColorOS that we find on this Realme 5 Pro. While the brand has promised the arrival of a fully customized interface for its devices under the name of RealmeOS, this Realme 5 Pro does not yet benefit from it. The smartphone, therefore, includes version 6 of ColorOS .

AndroidPIT Realme 5 Pro Handheld 2
It is always ColorOS that is found on Realme smartphones / © AndroidPIT

Aesthetically, some may not like it. The similarity with iOS is sometimes striking, such as for multitasking or the settings menu. The interface also sometimes lacks precision. This is reflected in the quality of the translations in particular. However, it must be admitted that the fluidity of ColorOS is pleasant. It is even possible (since version 6) to benefit from an application drawer.

androidpit realme 5 pro color os
ColorOS version 6.0 / © AndroidPIT

Many customization options are also available: animations between screens, the number of icons on each page, gesture controls for navigation, etc. A Game Space is also available to boost performance, adjust brightness and block notifications (among other things) when you play.

androidpit game space realme 5 pro
Even low-cost smartphones offer features for gamers now / © AndroidPIT

Of course, there is a lot of bloatware on the smartphone with some partnerships like Opera and App Lock. The Realme 5 Pro offers a manager to clean memory, manage authorizations, and scan viruses. A special mention goes out to the presence of FM radio. As much as I know that the Internet is everywhere, using the classic FM band reassures me like any good radio fan.

In the end, the Realme 5 Pro's software interface presents no surprises. Without being bad, I would just criticize it for a lack of originality.

More power than its price suggests

Here too, Realme 5 Pro is evolving slightly but surely. Exit the Snapdragon 710 processor, welcome to the Snapdragon 712 (the successor). The manufacturer promises 10% more improvement. It is supported by 4 to 8 GB of RAM depending on the version. For our test, this is the most powerful version we have tested with 8 GB of RAM.

As with the 3 Pro, the 5 Pro is very fast for its price. Once again, it shows that a €200 smartphone is now powerful enough for all uses. The Realme 5 Pro offers more power than its price suggests. Navigation is smooth and supports multitasking well. I didn't have any unpleasant bugs either. Ditto for the games.

Of course, the smartphone is not as fast as a Galaxy Note 10 for example, but it testifies to the upheaval that the smartphone market has experienced in recent years with its formidable mid-range devices.

The Realme 5 Pro offers more power than its price suggests

You can see the different results of our benchmarks tests below:

Realme 5 Pro: benchmarks results

  3DMark Sling Shot Extreme 3DMark Sling Shot Vulkan 3DMark Sling Shot 3DMark IceStorm Extreme Geekbench 5 (Single/Multi) PassMark
Memory
PassMark
Disk
Redmi Note 7 1356 1304 2065 26482 - 12833 51462
Realme 5 Pro 2091 1980 2990 28541 321 / 1498 12595 67088
Nokia 8.1 1830 1745 2673 28942 - 12454 51940
Realme 3 Pro 1813 1747 2647 26945 - 12456 54076

Realme 5 Pro camera

In terms of the camera, the Realme 5 Pro differs from its predecessor. This time, the phone offers a quadruple sensor and includes the famous Sony 48-megapixel sensor (IMX 586). At the time, the brand's CEO, Madhav Sheth, explained to us that the interest in such a sensor was limited because the majority of users use their smartphones to publish their images on social networks, which compress the format. He has apparently changed his mind since then.

In the end, the following configuration is available on the phone at the rear:

  • A 48-megapixel main sensor (IMX586) with Quad Bayer filter, aperture f/1.79
  • An 8-megapixel ultrawide-angle lens, f/2.25 and 1.12µm aperture
  • A ToF sensor (called Portrait by Realme) of 2 megapixels, aperture f/2.4 and 1.75µm
  • A 2-megapixel optical sensor for macro focus at 4cm

At the front, the Realme 5 Pro offers a 16-megapixel ( f/2.0 1.0 µm) front camera.

AndroidPIT Realme 5 Pro Camera
Four photosensors on a smartphone at this price, it's rare / © AndroidPIT

The hardware is solid, and so is software optimization. We find the same classic interface for the camera (a pro mode is included), the main lens gives satisfactory results. This is no surprise because it is a Sony sensor that is well known and has proven its worth. The shots are good in broad daylight with good color reproduction. Unfortunately, the result deteriorates a little when the light conditions are less good. Electronic stabilization helps to achieve good results.

realme 5 pro 1
Classic mode / © AndroidPIT

The ultra-wide-angle lens also provides satisfaction and maintains comparable color quality, while providing a wider field of view. The sensor obviously takes in less light than the main lens and this is felt when light is missing with much worse shots. In terms of portraits, results are also good because the depth sensor does its job well, even if sometimes it encounters problems with my long hair. The demarcation between the background and the face is done without any worries.

realme 5 pro 2
Wide-angle mode / © AndroidPIT

A word about the macro lens and its fixed focusing distance of 4cm. Apart from the real usefulness of this type of sensor (few users take these kinds of photos), it is still rare to see a sensor like this on a smartphone at this price. To obtain a good picture, it is therefore necessary to be precisely 4cm from the object being photographed. You have to get used to it, and it's not easy.

Other modes are present such as a night mode that does quite well, without being able to compete with the market flagships of course. The 16-megapixel (f/2.0) front camera is also good with nice contrasts. Finally, on the video side, it is possible to shoot in 2160p at 30 fps, 1080p at 30/60/120 fps, and 720p at 960 fps.

Good battery life

Here, it is the status quo between the two generations with similar battery life, that is excellent. Realme has kept its 4,045 mAh battery. However, the smartphone now has the USB-C plug, an improvement over the previous model. The Realme 5 Pro is also compatible with the VOOC 3.0 20 Watt ultra-fast charger. Allow half an hour, the device is up to 50 percent and in just under an hour and twenty minutes you can have a full charge.

AndroidPIT Realme 5 Pro Front 2
The smartphone makes it possible to keep up with the pace of any day / © AndroidPIT

On a daily basis, you can easily enjoy another day of battery life with this, more if you don't abuse multimedia. In our battery test, the Realme 5 Pro obtained the score of 11 hours and 10 minutes, thus positioning itself at the same level as its predecessor and still slightly above one of its main competitors, the Redmi Note 7.

Realme 5 Pro - Battery test

  Duration Capacity
Realme 5 Pro 11:10 hours 4045 mAh
Realme 3 Pro 11:15 hours 4045 mAh
Redmi Note 7 09:54 hours 4000 mAh
Huawei P30 Pro 14:09 hours 4200 mAh

Realme 5 Pro technical specifications

Dimensions: 157 x 74.2 x 8.9 mm
Weight: 184 g
Battery size: 4035 mAh
Screen size: 6.3 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 2340 x 1080 pixels (409 ppi)
Front camera: 16 megapixels
Rear camera: 48 megapixels
Android version: 9 - Pie
User interface: ColorOS
RAM: 8 GB
Internal storage: 128 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 712
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.3 GHz
Connectivity: LTE, Dual-SIM

Final verdict

For probably less than €200 when the smartphone arrives in Europe, the Realme 5 Pro is one, if not THE, best value for money smartphone in this price category. The Realme 5 Pro generally corrects the main faults of its predecessor (the camera, USB-C...) while retaining all the qualities of the previous generation. The smartphone offers versatility that will suit many users and only Xiaomi can compete with Realme's latest addition in 2019.

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