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.
- ✓Value for money
- ✓Battery life (and fast charging)
- ✕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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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
|Redmi Note 7||1356||1304||2065||26482||-||12833||51462|
|Realme 5 Pro||2091||1980||2990||28541||321 / 1498||12595||67088|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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
|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|
|Battery size:||4035 mAh|
|Screen size:||6.3 in|
|Screen:||2340 x 1080 pixels (409 ppi)|
|Front camera:||16 megapixels|
|Rear camera:||48 megapixels|
|Android version:||9 - Pie|
|Internal storage:||128 GB|
|Chipset:||Qualcomm Snapdragon 712|
|Number of cores:||8|
|Max. clock speed:||2.3 GHz|
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.