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Realme 5 Pro first impressions: a stylish, loaded mid-ranger

Realme has launched its latest 5 series smartphones in India today in the form of the Realme 5 and Realme 5 Pro. While the Realme 5 marks a few firsts in the industry, the Pro variant is one of the most powerful and loaded smartphones in its segment. With these phones, Realme has once again shown that it has the potential to challenge the current market leader, Xiaomi. From a quad-camera setup featuring a 48MP primary sensor, loaded spec sheet to premium design, the Realme 5 Pro is a smartphone to reckon with. I received the device ahead of launch, and here are my first impressions.

The Realme 5 brings the signature diamond-pattern of the brand in a glossy polycarbonate garb with gold trimming around the fingerprint scanner and long vertical camera module. The design and finish do look stunning and the phone itself has a confidence-inducing heft to it. This time around the brand has opted for a frosted finish on the sides. You will find the quad-camera setup in the top left corner with an LED flash and circular fingerprint scanner towards the center.

The power button and volume keys are placed on the right and left edge respectively. You will also find the dual-SIM card tray with a dedicated microSD card on the left, above the volume keys. The top edge is home to a single noise-cancelling mic, whereas the bottom edge houses the 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C port and loudspeaker grill. It’s good to see the company using the 3.5mm interface as well as Type-C port on this device.

Moving on to the front, the Realme 5 Pro rocks a 6.3-inch display with a waterdrop notch and minimal bezels all around, except for a slightly thicker chin at the bottom. The full HD+ screen was sufficiently bright indoors and offered sharp text as well as vibrant colours, so no qualms on that front. Realme has equipped the 5 Pro with standard display features like screen colour temperature adjustment and night shield, which is basically a Bluelight filter. There is also a gesture-based navigation system that hides the virtual buttons to make full use of the 19:9 display.

At the core of the Realme 5 Pro is the latest mid-range chipset from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 712 SoC. The phonemaker is offering the smartphone in three variants – 4GB + 64GB, 6GB + 64GB, and 8GB + 128GB. I have the latter in my hand and it offers around 110GB right out of the box. In the software department, the phone runs ColorOS 6.0 based on Android 9 Pie out of the box. The software has its fair share of bloatware but nothing too drastic. During my short stint with the smartphone, it performed well with snappy multitasking and fast app loading time. I will reserve the judgement for our detailed review, which is in the works as we speak. Powering the whole package is a 4,035mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 charging. The good news is that Realme ships the 20W VOOC 3.0 charger in the box, so you don’t need to buy it separately.

Now, that all other details are out of the way, let’s talk about the highlight of the Realme 5 Pro. The quad-camera module on the back is home to a primary 48MP Sony IM586 sensor, 8MP wide-angle lens with a 119-degree field of view, 2MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor. For selfies, the waterdrop notch on the front houses a 16MP sensor. The camera app is loaded with features like Ultra 48MP, nightscape, expert, portrait, Chroma Boost, HDR, live filters and more. The initial pictures I captured using both front and rear cameras were impressive. The Chroma Boost feature pleasantly boosts saturation, while portrait mode was able to detect edges accurately. We will explore the camera prowess more in our detailed review, so stay tuned.

The Realme 5 Pro has been launched in India with a starting price tag of Rs 13,999. At this price point, the phone takes on the likes of the Redmi Note 7 Pro and OPPO K3 (first impressions). From the looks of it, the latest from the brand has what it takes to come out on top of the competition.

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