Real Nice for the Price
PRODUCT REVIEW - Carlo Modequillo (The Freeman) - January 8, 2020 - 12:00am

It’s a fact that in the consumer tech business the more familiar names have the stronger appeal. But it’s also true that there’s a portion of the market that goes for real value-for-money rather than for a familiar name. In fact, competition is quite stiff in the budget and midrange gadget arenas, where new items are coming up all the time.

An interesting new brand worth peeking into is realme, which has produced some of the best-value smartphones in the last few years. This former OPPO sub-brand has been coming up with competitive options that have aroused the interest of many. Especially the brand’s new realme 5 Pro, which comes with high-end hardware features while remaining affordably priced, offers consumers a smartphone option that is hard to ignore.

The technology buffs are sure to be satisfied in actually checking out the realme 5 Pro in detail, while the regular-type Android users may find it enough to know that the phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 inside for stable performance, four back cameras for taking great pictures, and a fast-charging yet long-lasting 4,035mAh battery. The set means that the unit is not likely to falter in the middle of things; it means images that capture the beauty of real life, and a dependable battery life. In short, top values for less.

Design. The realme 5 Pro’s plastic housing helps keep its weight light, at 184 grams, and yet feeling to the touch like it’s not a cheaply budget handset. With a screen size of 6.3 inches, the unit is comfortable to hold and use, easy to slip in the pocket, with the curvature on the back allowing for better grip in portrait position. It looks pretty nice overall, with a visually appealing, reflective diamond-pattern design and a glossy finish that effectively hide fingerprints and smudges. The design blends seamlessly with the frame, no sharp edges. Its SIM tray has a dedicated microSD card slot for expanding the storage capacity up to 256GB.

Screen. The 6.3-inch FullHD+ LCD display has 90.6 percent screen-to-body ratio and delivers peak brightness, making it legible for outdoor use (not under direct sunlight), and produces color-accurate images with good contrast and details. It uses Gorilla Glass 3 for added protection, preventing minor scratches when it is in placed in the pocket, purse, or bag. The screen is pretty good enough for gaming and viewing content on- the-go.

Camera. Its new quad-camera system is certainly a big come-on, with the same 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 camera sensor carried by some name brands. It delivers great low-light performance, with various shoot modes to choose from. This feature added to realme’s own AI technology with multi-frame engine for noise reduction, handheld stabilization, highlight suppression, and improved dynamic range, the realme 5 Pro ensures a great camera experience.

The phone’s camera is also equipped with ultra-wide-angle lens, ultra macro lens, and portrait lens to serve various purposes. It renders natural skin tone and realistic night shots (at nightscape mode). Young people are sure to delight in the selfie beauty function for aesthetically enhanced results. For video, slow-motion recording is possible without sacrificing resolution quality, making the output clips something to brag about in social network sharing.

Sound. The phone’s speaker uses Dirac’s Power Sound technology, for louder output and heavier bass despite its size. The microphone at the bottom (obviously for effective pick-up during voice calls) is complemented by a secondary microphone for noise cancellation during voice calls and getting stereo sound while shooting video or recording audio.

Privacy. Interestingly, there’s a physical fingerprint scanner at the back of the device, embedded next to the quad-camera module, that unlocks the handset quickly but securely. (Note: It won’t work with wet or dirty fingers. But there’s also the face ID unlock feature to resort to.) 

Battery. The 4,035mAh battery of the realme 5 Pro charges quickly but lasts quite a long time (up to a full day even when doing social media, gaming, and video streaming). The supplied charger and cable takes about 90 minutes to fully charge the device. On this aspect alone, perhaps realme 5 Pro outperforms all others in its price range.

The phone also has built-in battery optimization settings that prevent background applications from consuming too much power and can be applied on a system-wide basis or enabled for only specific apps.  And yet the 8GB of RAM (in the high-end model) allows for keeping more apps running concurrently.

Overall Performance. The realme 5 Pro has an improved app-launching capability and data-transfer speeds. Its Snapdragon 712 AIE processor holds up well in 3D-intensive games as well as in basic functions like web browsing. It delivers excellent graphics and faster image processing, even if set at high frame rate mode.

The device has a DSP (Digital Signal Processing) chip that converts analog signals into digital signals, and processes the digital signals according to requirements. With this chip, the CPU power consumption can be reduced while the efficiency of special processing is improved.

All things considered, it is perhaps safe to say that the realme 5 Pro is the best affordable quality handset in the market. Real nice for its price!

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