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Realme left no stone unturned in letting everyone know that the Realme 5 series will be the first to bring quad-cameras to this budget segment. The Realme 5 Pro has a 48MP f/1.7 primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP “portrait” lens which is actually just a depth sensor. While it’s a great bragging right to sport four cameras, I had some doubts over how useful all of these will be.
The primary camera was generally really snappy with no discernable shutter lag while shooting on the go, which is essential to not miss the shot you may have on mind. The dynamic range was usually pretty high with occasionally blown-out highlights while shooting in low-light conditions.
The ultrawide lens not only brought a much wider field-of-view, but managed to retain the colour parity with the primary camera. Of course, the focusing and dynamic range were a notch lower than the primary, but that is expected with the f/2.25 aperture. In low light, the resultant images were significantly darker and called for a much more stables handling.
The third macro lens has a fixed focus distance of 4cm. That is a first for this segment, but a fixed focus distance meant that I would have to be at that specific range from the subject to get a sharp picture. This will take some getting used to. Moreover, the f/2.4 nature of the lens called for ample light to get usable results. It's a fun feature to have, but not one I would rely on a lot.
The 2MP portrait lens is practically just a depth sensor for better portrait mode images. It did its job for the most part, and helped get a clean background separation even in low light.
The primary camera has EIS (Electronic Image stabilisation) for lesser shaky shots and the ultrawide lens smartly reduces the edge distortion by slightly cropping in. Realme staples such as Nightscape and Chroma Boost are also present here. The macro lens has a fixed focus distance of 4cm and an aperture of f/2.4.
Early observations include a very fast and lag-free shutter, vibrant images and a pretty quick night mode.
The Realme 5 Pro houses a 4,035mAh battery which should provide a great battery life when combined with ColorOS’s optimizations. Thankfully, VOOC 3.0 Flash Charge is also present here which charges the phone at 20W, taking it from 0 to over 50% in just 30 minutes. Unlike its predecessor, the Realme 3 Pro, charging takes place over USB Type-C.
The Realme 5 Pro houses a 4,035 mAh battery which is on par with most other phones in this segment. Combined with ColorOS's optimizations, the phone would easily last me through a day of light to medium usage. I could get 6-7 hours of screen-on-time with light use. Adding an hour of gaming to the mix would bring that figure down by a bit, but nothing too bad.
Overall, I was pretty impressed with the battery backup on this device. For instances when it was not sufficient, the VOOC 3.0 Flash Charging was of great help, refueling the majority of battery in about an hour. Thankfully, the charging takes place over USB Type-C, making this the cheapest Realme device to do so.
The Realme 5 Pro is a genuine contender for the best budget smartphone, thanks to its consistent performance, above-average battery life and dependable cameras. There are barely any devices that can offer similar raw performance in this segment, which has been one of the constants in Realme's offerings.
The build could have been a little sturdier and ColorOS can take some getting used to, but if those aren’t your top preferences, the Realme 5 Pro deserves to be on your consideration list.
We also need to address the fact that Realme has really speeded up its launch cycles, bringing new devices in less than 6 months now. Basically, if you can wait for a few months, you are almost guaranteed to get a more competitive budget smartphone, thanks to how crazy the competition in India has gotten. Realme's favourite rival Redmi is soon going to bring the Redmi Note 8 series to India, some time in October, which is sure to give Realme a run for its money. But for anyone who needs a phone in this segment right now, the 5 Pro is probably your best bet.
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Aakash is the engine that keeps TechRadar India running, using his experience and ideas to help consumers get to the right products via reviews, buying guides and explainers. Apart from phones, computers and cameras, he is obsessed with electric vehicles.