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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Realme 5 Pro Quad Camera Review

Taking a leap from the Realme 3 series, Realme is introducing the Realme 5 Pro into the Malaysian market with the entrance of its first ever quad camera phone and the world's first ever 48MP Quad Camera in its price segment. Thanks to the peeps at Realme, I got a firsthand look at the new addition to their collection, the stunning Crystal Green Realme 5 Pro.

You can check out my unboxing video here.

Before I dive into my full review of the phone, here's the need-to-know spec info about the Realme 5 Pro that I shamelessly told off TechNave:
The Realme 5 Pro is powered by a Qualcomm SDM712 Snapdragon 712 (10 nm) CPU processor with 64GB 4GB RAM, 64GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM. The device also has a 6.3-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen (1080 x 2340 pixels, 409 ppi) display. It has a Quad: 48 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/2", 0.8µm, PDAF + 8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4", 1.12µm + 2 MP, f/2.4, 1/5", 1.75µm (dedicated macro camera) + 2MP rear camera and supports Wifi, GPS, 3G and 4G LTE. It packs in a Non-removable Li-Po 4035 mAh battery at 8.9mm device thickness and weight 184g, running on Android 9.0 (Pie); ColorOS 6

So like I mentioned in my unboxing video, I was most interested to see what the camera function of the phone had to offer. Basically if you're a social media warrior or a budget traveller, this one phone has you covered from head to toe without having to lung about body kits and lens. Four primary lens were listed as part of the new Quad camera. From top to bottom, you have the ultrawide len, then the primary one, the portrait camera, and finally the macro shooter.

Let's start with the its main highlighted lens - the primary camera is powered by the 48MP Quad Bayer sensor by Sony - IMX 586. The sensor optimises the best photos whether it's daytime shooting with a HDR option and night time shooting using the Nightscape mode. A high aperture of f/1/7 checks that low-lighting scenarios have a fair amount of visibility. Images are saved by default in 12MP. As you can see here - my photos are generally brighter and more saturated. As long as you don't zoom in to the very smallest details, the Realme 5 Pro produces quite pleasing images and does a  nice job with exposure.

At the top of the screen in shooting mode, you have the flash, HDR, wide-angle, chroma boost and preset filter modes. The timer can be picked in the setting page with a tap on the top right of the screen. The AI Scene Recognition was pretty accurate in picking out the best exposure and white balance for different subjects be it macro, indoor or food. This was of course if you didn't mind surrendering some control to the phone. The hamburger menu brings up a hassle-free experience of selecting different settings to fit different modes: Ultra 48MP, Nightscape, Pano, Expert (manual), Time-Lapse. Slo-Mo and Ultra-macro.

The Nightscape mode performed fairly well in capturing this night shot of the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon starting without much grainiest and lens flare as seen on the photo of my iPhone SE. The catch of using this mode was you need steady hands as it took a while for it to capture the details in the scene.

The portrait mode was my favourite mode to use for a lot of things as it seamlessly replaced my need to bring about my Nikon D40x and 50mm lens. More than that, it offers the versatility of the bokeh effect without having to stand a distance from my subject. Mind you the blurriness can't be adjusted on account of its fixed aperture and tends to be uneven and harsh at times. There were also times when the bokehness doesn't register and it took a few taps for it to appear.


Much like the portrait mode, the wide-angle lens was my next favourite mode to use especially when cafe-hopping. Once again, it removed the need for me to carry around the heavy Tokina 11-16mm lens for interior photography and has been able to deliver impressive shots without the obvious fish-eye effect and losing the details and colours. The only thing that erked me was how some shots tend to stretch around the edges of the lens when shooting portrait style. It made my friends' legs look super long in the above shot.


I am not one a major fan of the selfie camera on phone as I have never come across one that can match a digital camera. Over the years I have developed this useless skill of being able to capture a selfie using the rear-facing camera without needed to check beforehand. However the front lens of the Realme 5 Pro wasn't too bad as it sufficed in capturing this post-run selfie with my friends. The beauty mode can also be utilised with this camera but whether that is a good thing or not is up for debate.

And last but certainly not least  of the quad lenses was the macro lens. I will be upfront and honest - it's not my favourite mode to use. For the best of effect, the camera should be held 4cm from the subject. I found the closeup details to be lost and the colours noticably dulled when I was taking photos of closeup food and my figurines. Again the portrait mode seemed to fare better.

I also tried out the video function on the phone which recorded and captured images and audio just fine. Until I decided to zoom in and that was when I noticed it was jerky and not seamless as I would have liked.

Verdict 
Realme promises this to the first phone with a quad camera within its price range. The cameras are fairly versatile in most cases although lacking in capturing the finer details. I found the autofocus to be reliable when doing up close photography and videos. It does well with exposure and colours. However I feel like the macro lens has its limitations and the wide-angle lens should be used sparingly.

The battery life sufficed overnight without having to charge and even when I do, it usually takes less than an hour before it's ready to go with full bar. As someone who likes the smaller feel of a handphone in her hand (ergo handphone), this phone does sit quite comfortably in my palm. Watching videos on it was certain a step up from my old phone due to the bigger wider screen.


Price and Availability
Realme 5 Pro
The Realme 5 Pro is priced at RM1,099 and is available at authorised retail outlets across Malaysia beginning 10 Oct 2019 onwards in crystal green and sparkling blue. For online shoppers, the first sale of th Realme 5 Pro is taking place at Lazada at 10AM on 10 Oct 2019. 

Realme 5
The Realme 5 is available in two versions: 3GB RAM+64GB ROM (RM599) and 4GB RAM + 128GB ROM (RM799). Both are available in crystal blue and crystal purple. Mark the date for 17 October 2019 to be the first in line to own one. For the diehard fans, you can start pre-orders from today until 11 October 2019. 

Both smartphones are available exclusively online on the Lazada platform. To find out more about the online sales, please visit http://bit.ly/realme5remind. As an added incentive for online buyers, you will also get a set of Alan Walker headphones when you purchase on 10 October 2019.

For more information, check out their Facebook page or official Realme page.

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