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Realme 5i review

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Realme starts 2020 on the right foot, this time bringing in its latest budget phone, the Realme 5i, to the Philippine market. The phone is a step down from the Realme 5, featuring similar specs but with an 8MP instead the 13MP for the front camera.

If you recall, the Realme 5 was a huge hit for the company, topping several online sales events last year. With the Realme 5i, they hope to recreate the same success.

Realme 5i Review

Today, I’m going to take an in-depth look at the Realme 5i to answer the age-old question often asked — is it worth our hard earned cash? Let’s find out together, shall we.

Design

The Realme 5i uses a tried and tested approach, choosing a design aesthetic very much similar to the Realme 5. It’s a good thing, mind you, as familiarity offers an advantage.

The phone has a bit of weight at 195 grams. Although it feels slightly heavy, it does give it that substantial feel of value over cost.

Also Read: Realme 5i launches in the PH; Price finally revealed

Realme 5i Review
Realme 5i Review
Realme 5i Review
Realme 5i Review

Instead of a glass back panel, the Realme 5i went with a plastic back with a wavy texture. It provides a nice aesthetic, while at the same time, giving it a good grip and immunity to fingerprints. 

Like the Realme 5, the Realme 5i has four rear cameras with an LED flash in a vertical layout on the upper left. The Realme logo on the usual upright position.

Realme 5i Review

On the left are the volume rockers and the SIM tray which has triple slots for two Nano SIM cards and a microSD card. On the right is the power button. While at the bottom is where you’ll find the 3.5mm headphone jack, a microphone, the microUSB port, and the mono speaker.

There are two color options — blue and green.

Display

At the front, the Realme 5i features a familiar 6.5-inch HD display with a small dewdrop notch housing the front camera and a 1600 x 720 resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 269 ppi. With a 20:9 aspect ratio, the screen is suitable for ultra-wide videos, so that’s something to consider.

Realme 5i Review

For a phone in this price range, the display is actually quite nice. It is bright and colorful, and despite the 720p resolution, comes with decent sharpness. I say decent because it looks perfectly fine for games and videos. The only time you’ll notice the difference is when you place it beside a phone with a full HD screen.

Performance

Inside the Realme 5i is a 2.00GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor. It has 3GB RAM and Adreno 610 for graphics. 

The Realme 5i can handle basic day-to-day tasks such as web browsing, video streaming, social media, some light gaming, and the usual calls and texts. In more graphics intensive games, you’d be better off playing with medium graphics setting. Any higher would result in laggy gameplay and some stuttering.

Realme 5i Review

Those who like to look at benchmark scores, here are the results. Keep in mind that more often than not, the scores are not indicative of user experience.

  • AnTuTu – 172,953; Breakdown — CPU 77,169, GPU 33,468, MEM 34,921, UX 33,395
  • Geekbench – 312 Single-core; 1,395 Multi-core
  • 3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme – 1,144 (OpenGL ES 3.1), 1,059 (Vulkan)

The Realme 5i has a mono speaker at the bottom. Sound quality is average. It does get loud, but it sounds thin at times. On max volume, distortion creeps it’s ugly head.

As for the call quality, the Realme 5i is excellent in this regard. Audio is clear on both ends.

Realme 5i Review

Cameras

The Realme 5i features four cameras — a 12MP main camera with an 8MP ultra-wide and a couple of 2MP cameras for depth and macro. It has various modes too such as Nightscape, panoramic, expert, time-lapse, slo-mo, and ultra macro.

In daylight, the main camera produces good photos with pleasant colors and details. Images look clean with decent dynamic range and exposure. With indoor lighting, you start to see some grain or digital noise. Photos lose a bit of sharpness, but colors hold up. 

Realme 5i Review - Cameras
Realme 5i Review - Cameras
Realme 5i Review - Cameras

Photos using the ultra-wide camera are above average with some loss in sharpness. Macro, on the other hand, is above average. You need to be at least 4cm from the subject to get a clear photo.

Realme 5i Review - Cameras
Ultra-wide
Realme 5i Review - Cameras
Macro

The phone also has up to 10x digital zoom. Photos throughout the range are pretty decent. But as expected, image quality deteriorates at maximum zoom. Details become mushy and colors are faint, but still usable in my opinion.

Nightscape mode is average as well. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either. Shooting with little light gives you a lot of digital noise and mushy details.

Realme 5i Review - Cameras

When it comes to selfies, the phone’s 8MP front camera shines offering above average details and accurate skin tones. If your selfies are just for social media, then this would do fine.

Realme 5i Unboxing, Initial hands-on review

Battery Life

The Realme 5i is powered by a huge 5,000mAh battery. That, combined with an HD display and an ultra-efficient processor, makes for a long battery life. With moderate to high usage, it lasted a whole day plus a bit more for the following morning. The handset takes more than two hours to charge from 0 to 100 with the included 10W charger.

Final Thoughts

The Realme 5i offers good value for just PHP 6,990. While not perfect, the budget phone comes with a lot of pluses worthy of our consideration – good performance, above average camera quality, and outstanding battery life.

The phone is recommended for those of us who have tight budgets but want a quality device with a lot of shooting versatility.

Realme 5i Review

The Realme 5i is priced at PHP 6,990. It will be available on Shopee through a flash sale on January 30 and February 1, 2020 every 12 midnight and 6PM.

Realme 5i specs

  • 6.5-inch HD+ IPS Display (1600 x 720, 269 ppi), 20:9 Ratio
  • 2.00GHz Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 665AIE, 11nm
  • Adreno 610 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 64GB Storage, microSD card slot
  • 12MP F1.8 Main + 8MP F2.3 Ultra-wide + 2MP F2.4 Macro + 2MP F2.4 Depth Quad Rear Cameras, LED Flash HDR
  • 8MP F2.0 Front Camera
  • 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS
  • Fingerprint Scanner (Rear-mounted)
  • Face Unlock
  • 3.5mm Audio Jack
  • Micro USB
  • ColorOS 6, Android 9 Pie
  • Colors: Blue, Green
  • 5,000mAh battery, 10W Charging

Bryan is a tech and gadget enthusiast who spends his day blogging, writing fiction, and watching NBA clips on YouTube.

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