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Realme 5i Hands-on, Quick Review: The New Budget Battery King?

We take a look at Realme’s new phone!

Realme is starting 2020 with a big battery phone. The Realme 5i was made official in Vietnam two weeks ago, and now it’s our turn to get our hands on it. The new phone promises to deliver big-battery, quad-camera experience under Php 10K – at least, if prices in our SEA neighbor is to be believed.

Packaging and contents

Realme has been consistent in the packaging of their phones, with the 5i shipping in the same bright yellow box that the company’s devices ship in.

Inside the box is the phone itself, a USB cable (micro USB, sorry guys) a SIM ejector and the charger itself.

There’s no silicone case in the box, unfortunately, though the screen has a plastic protector pre-applied from the factory.

Big screen, big battery

Realme’s been doing real work in making their phone stand out from a sea of competitors, and the 5i is the result of that effort. Coming in at a gorgeous Forest Green and Aqua Blue colorway, the Realme 5i is a visual treat and is a huge improvement over the tedious blacks and gradient colors that’s become a dime a dozen nowadays.

Visual distinction for Realme’s new phone doesn’t stop there – there’s also a distinct texture at the back of the phone in addition to the gorgeous colors.

While the phone is made primarily out of plastic, there’s very little flex and play, and the phone overall feels incredibly sturdy in our hands. You’re not going to be breaking this thing soon.

The frame of the phone has beveled edges, that add to the overall ergonomics of the device, and one-handed use isn’t impeded despite the phone’s overall size (more on this in a minute).

One annoying thing though is that the phone still uses a micro USB port at a time where USB Type-C connectors are starting to become standard, which is quite annoying. All the other ports are there, including a 3.5mm jack and a microSD expansion slot.

A fingerprint scanner is located in the rear, and you can also use the front camera for faster (if less secure) phone unlocks.

The phone’s a little larger than your typical device thanks to its large, 6.52-inch display IPS display. Resolution is pegged at 720 x 1600 which is only HD+, and as a result, it’s not as sharp as we would have liked.┬áDespite that colors are good overall with good readability under sunlight.

The rear of the phone holds four cameras which are surprising for its price point. The quad-camera module is made up of a 12-megapixel main camera with an f/1.8 aperture, capable of shooting 4K videos, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 119-degree field of view, a portrait camera for depth information and dedicated macro camera, both sporting 2-megapixel sensors and an f/2.4 aperture. The front-facing camera is an 8-megapixel deal.

Inside the phone beats a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset, along with a choice of 3GB/4GB of RAM, and 32GB/64GB of storage.

Our review unit came is the 3GB/64GB variant, and we’ll have to see how that particular setup fares in real-life use.

One of the biggest appeals of the Realme 5i is its 5000mAh battery. That’s a pretty big battery, especially if the phone remains true to its projected price point.

Unfortunately, the phone doesn’t come with fast charging, which means you’ll be tied to the charger for quite a while if run out of juice for the Realme 5i.

All in all, it looks like the Realme 5i is another solid choice for budget buyers looking for a phone that has a good mix of looks, performance, and price.

Speaking of price, Realme Philippines hasn’t announced pricing for the phone yet but if we go with Vietnam and India pricing, it’ll be retailing around the 8-9K mark when it lands here next week.

Realme 5i Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 612 GPU
  • 3GB/4GB RAM
  • 6.5-inch HD+ LTPS IPS Dewdrop display, Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • 32GB/64GB of expandable storage
  • Quad rear cameras: 12-megapixel f/1.8 main camera; 8-megapixel f/2.25 ultra-wide-angle camera; 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera; 2-megapixel f/2.4 portrait camera; with LED flash, Dual Pixel Autofocus, EIS, Chroma Boost, Nightscape, and 4K video recording
  • 8-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Fingerprint scanner, AI Facial Unlock,┬áDust and splash resistant
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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4 Comments

  1. I don’t mind if its usb, I’ve got a ton of chargers and cables of those, as long as they charge fast like on my huawei y9 2019 and honor 8x.

  2. Just a question bro, why having both kirin 710 and huawei per se brands? Why didnt you opt for honor play if youre really in huawei and honor brand. TIA

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