The Realme 5i is best for users who want a great value for their hard-earned money. If you want a device that could easily do all the important tasks like gaming, streaming; and the one that wont give up on you in 24 hours, the Realme 5i is a very convincing option.
In less than two years, Realme has cemented its position in the entry-level and mid-tier Philippine market offering the best value to a more affordable price. Its previous offering, the Realme 5 series has widen its user base due to the rear quad-camera module and capable performance. Now, the series welcomes another member, the Realme 5i. Since you're reading this review, it’s possible that this will be your next phone, but before you spend your hard-earned cash, you might as well read this review first.
Realme 5i Review
Though, the front panel is very much similar to the standard Realme 5, the Realme 5i's backing is designed with concentric circle design giving it a matte-like finish. Realme calls it a "sunrise pattern". It is made of plastic but it does not look like one. The 5i is also easy to maintain since it's not a fingerprint magnet.
It has a pretty solid construction - some kind of an upgrade to the Realme 5 design I must say. We have had our unboxing and first impressions with the Realme 5i, you can check it on the link below.
Realme 5i Unboxing, Sample Photos, First Impressions
When it comes to ports and buttons, it still follows the traditional Realme layout. This 195-gram device still uses a microUSB 2.0 which is situated at the bottom together with the 3.5-mm audio jack and the speaker grill. You'll have the volume rocker on the left, above it is the SIM tray which comes with dedicated slot for microSD card. The right side has the power button. Buttons can be pressed easily when needed. If you look at it on the side, it comes with 8.95-mm thickness.
The curved back houses the rear quad-camera on the upper left side of the panel. There's also a dimpled rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on the upper middle portion. You'll have a choice between the Forest Green or Aqua Blue colors, personally I love the former.
Realme 5i has the same 6.52-inch display and a waterdrop notch. For some reason, the notch is now smaller compared to its older brethren's notch. The screen is still an HD+ LCD panel with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Its screen has generous viewing angles which is ideal if you share the display to friends when consuming content.
The 720 x 1600p resolution in a 6.52-inch display is good enough for outdoor use. Also, I could tell that the handset is a great multimedia device, watching YouTube videos with Realme 5i is such a pleasant experience.
Hardware and Performance
Take note that we a using a 4GB/64GB version in our review; and Realme has given us a heads up that it'll only release 3GB RAM in the Philippines upon launch day. With this, it takes the same set of specs to the Realme 5, except for the 8MP selfie camera.
The Snapdragon 665 is a very popular chipset in this segment. It offers four cores of Cortex-A73 with 2.2 GHz speed and four cores of Cortex-A53 clocked at 1.8GHz. You'll have Adreno 610 graphics which is great for casual to mid-heavy gaming. This means that playing titles like Mobile Legends registers smooth and enjoyable. PUBG Mobile defaults in medium frame rare settings and smooth graphics, which make sense since the game is graphic-heavy. Call of Duty is also playable. On top of that, the handset does not warm too much with longer periods of gaming.
It also features decent-sounding loudspeakers. The box does not come with wired earphones but as we test generic ones, the sound quality has improved. Using wireless earphones is also a breeze since the Realme 5i features Bluetooth 5.0.
Calls are also clear indoors. It's also fast in streaming videos and has great cellular reception. Realme 5i can definitely handle basic tasks with ease.
There are four cameras on the back of the handset. The 12MP primary camera has 1.25-um pixels and f/1.8 aperture. The 8MP ultra-wide angle camera packs an f/2.25 aperture. There's also a 2MP sensor dedicated for macro shots and another 2MP for portrait. The camera quality is similar to what we've seen with the Realme 5.
It has great dynamic range, detail and color saturation. The handset is also fast in capturing images with the Chroma Boost being a very welcome feature especially in gloomy environments.
The 8MP ultra-wide camera is doing a great job in capturing wide shots. It produces lower quality photos compared to the one taken with the main camera. But it's still a fun feature to have especially when taking landscapes or crowds of people.
Close up shots also have great detail if you hit the 4-cm fixed-focus distance of the Ultra Macro feature. Portraits are equally impressive with good separation of subjects and background using the portrait camera.
Realme's low-light capability is also one of its strongest suits. The Nightscape mode is the company's implementation of long exposure shots that produces vibrant images with good clarity in light-challenged scenarios.
The 8MP front camera may amuse you if you're looking for social media-friendly selfies. On default, selfies come with Beautification feature with specified settings for skin "smoothening", face thinning, etc. Just like the Ultra Macro, it's also a fun feature to have.
Software and Battery
Realme 5i runs with ColorOS 6.0.1 based on Android 9.0 Pie. Since this is a custom UI, we may expect bloatwares, but to me it's very minimal. It also comes with pre-installed Google Play Store alternatives, and the classic Theme Store. The Realme 5i has the same stock wallpapers as the Realme 5, I wished they came up with a new one for product shots distinction.
There's also some useful ones like Realme's own version of game center called the Game Space, App Clone, Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls. Realme is rolling the Realme UI to some devices as of this writing, I hope the Realme 5i could also get to the list. Fingerprint and Face unlock are zippy too.
As for the battery, the Realme 5i is powered by 5,000 mAh battery which is juicy enough to support your activities all day long. If you're a moderate user, it could last for more than a day. It does not have fast charging though; however, if you're like me who wouldn't mind charging your phones overnight, this wouldn't be a problem.
The Realme 5i is shaping up to be another hit for the company. It's priced at Php 6,990 for the 3GB RAM/64GB ROM configuration which is a sweet spot for the entry-level segment here in the Philippines.
The Realme 5i is a very dependent device due to its battery capability, it's also a great worker performance-wise. I would say that it's a well-rounded handset. So who is it for?
The smartphone is best for users who want a great value for their hard-earned money. If you want a device that could easily do all the important tasks like gaming, streaming; and the one that wont give up on you in 24 hours, the Realme 5i is a very convincing option.
Realme 5i Highlights
1. Capable Quad Rear Camera
2. Long-lasting battery life
3. Great design
4. Best Value for Money
Realme 5i Lowlights
1. No Fast Charging
2. MicroUSB is getting a bit antiquated
Realme 5i SpecsDisplay: 6.52-inch, 19:9 Aspect ratio, IPS LCD screen
Screen Resolution: 720 x 1520 px (HD+)
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
MicroSD support: Yes, up to 256GB (dedicated)
Rear Quad Camera: 12MP wide+8MPultra wide+2MP macro+2MP portrait, PDAF
Features: Nightscape, Hybrid HDR, Chroma Boost, Portrait Mode
Front Camera: 8MP with AI Beautification, AI Facial Unlock
Triple Slots / dual nano-SIM
Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n, 2.4GHz
3.5mm Audio Jack
Sensors: E-Compass, Light, Proximity, Gravity, Accelerometer, Fingerprint
OS: Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6.0
Battery: 5000mAh Li-Po, non-removable (5V 2A)
Php 6,990 (3GB RAM + 64GB ROM)