Thursday, July 25, 2024

Realme 12+ 5G First Impressions

Realme is on a roll. After unveiling the Realme 12 Pro series earlier this year, the company is back with the Realme 12 5G series. The newly announced phones include the Realme 12 5G and the Realme 12+ 5G. We spent some time with the Plus variant, which already looks like a good-budget phone. The Realme 12+ carries a design similar to the more expensive Realme 12 Pro lineup. You get a vegan leather finish and a primary rear camera with OIS support. That’s not a common feature you’ll find in this price segment. Before we thoroughly test the phone, here are our first impressions.

From the back, the Realme 12+ 5G looks like the Realme 12 Pro. It has a vegan leather finish on the back that’s soft to the touch and doesn’t attract fingerprints. This is much better than a plastic or even a glass panel, for that matter. Realme has kept the branding to the minimum, with a simple Realme logo on the bottom left. Apart from the vegan leather finish, which costs 50 percent more than the plastic back, you also get a circular triple rear camera setup.realme 12 plus fi 3 realme-12-plus-camera

The rear triple camera design is also borrowed from the Pro series but lacks the golden ring. However, the Realme 12+ 5G still has the watch-like sunburst dial and a golden line running through the centre of the back panel. What’s completely different is the frame of the phone. Realme has given the handset flat sides with rounded corners. It’s made from plastic, but one can easily mistake it for metal. The sides are super reflective, and I prefer the boxy design over the curved edges that were seen on the Realme 12 Pro series.

Realme has managed to make a good-looking smartphone once again. As for the button placement, both volume and power buttons are on the handset’s right side, with the bottom housing the USB Type-C port, speaker grille, microphone, and SIM tray. At the top, the Realme 12+ 5G has a 3.5mm headphone port, another microphone, and a second speaker. I love that Realme has included a headphone port on the handset. The phone also gets an IP54 rating. 

Coming to the front, the Realme 12+ 5G has a big 6.67-inch AMOLED display with slim bezels on three sides and a chin that’s slightly thicker than the rest. The display is vibrant and offers HDR 10+ support, 120Hz refresh rate, and a full-HD+ resolution. Realme also claims the display has a Rainwater Smart Touch feature that allows you to use the touchscreen even during rain or with wet hands. We’ll test this out in the full review. You also get an in-display fingerprint scanner on the phone.realme 12 plus fi 2 realme-12-plus-front

Now, let’s talk about that camera setup. This is probably the only phone in this price range to offer a Sony LYT-600 50-megapixel sensor with optical image stabilisation. The Realme 12+ 5G’s main selling point is this camera, which the company claims can take really good photos. We’ll be checking the camera out in the full review, but in my few hours with the phone, I found that the software tends to oversaturate the photos. Apart from the 50-megapixel primary camera, you also get an 8-megapixel ultra-wide unit and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. There’s a 16-megapixel front camera for selfies, which takes decent selfies in adequate lighting conditions.

On the inside, the Realme 12+ 5G is equipped with a MediaTek Dimensity 7050 SoC that I found snappy initially. I’ll obviously be running some benchmarks and playing some games to see how the phone performs under stress. You get up to 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage on the handset. The phone supports both RAM (virtual) and storage (microSD card) expansion. For connectivity, you get dual SIM, 5G, dual-band Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and the usual set of GPS satellite connectivity.

Lastly, the Realme 12+ 5G has a 5,000mAh battery that supports 67W fast charging. Luckily, the charger is provided in the box. Realme claims that the phone can be fully charged in just 48 minutes, but we’ll have to test that. In the software department, the phone runs Android 14-based Realme UI 5.0 out-of-the-box, and yes, there’s a lot of bloatware to deal with. Realme has promised two years of Android OS upgrades and three years of security patches.

Realme 12+ 5G Initial thoughts

For the starting price of Rs. 20,999, the Realme 12+ 5G seems like an excellent budget phone. I’ll test the camera, performance, software, and battery life to see how it fares. The Sony LYT-600 sensor with OIS is surely rare in this segment. The phone will compete with the recently launched Nothing Phone 2a(Review), a really good budget smartphone.

Stay tuned for our full review to find out if the Realme 12+ 5G is something to consider in your quest to buy the best budget phone.

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