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realme 5i Review — Third Time’s The Charm?
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realme 5i Review — Third Time’s The Charm?

by January 14, 2020
Overview
Highlights

The realme 5i is the third smartphone under the realme 5 series, packing a big 5000mAh battery, quad camera setup, as well as an efficient Snapdragon 665 chipset.

Warranty

1-year warranty

Price

RM599

Positives

+ Refreshing design at the back
+ Affordable pricing
+ Lasting battery life
+ Decent camera offering for the price

Negatives

- 720p display seems outdated
- No fast charging to compliment the big battery

Pokde Scoreboard
Pokde Rating
Appearance
8.5
Efficiency
8.5
Features
8.0
Materials
7.0
Performance
8.1
Portability
8.0
User Experience
7.4
Value
7.3
Bottom Line

The realme 5i slides into a increasingly congested mid-range market with the realme 5 and realme 5s. With three mid-range devices from the same brand occupying the same price segment, does the realme 5i differentiate itself with what its offering?

7.9
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Unboxing

It’s worth noting that the unit that we’ve received is a China set so the package is a bit different from the one that will come to Malaysia. Out of the box there’s:

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  • The phone itself
  • Power brick
  • Micro USB cable
  • SIM ejector

Appearance

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Similar to the other smartphones in the realme 5 series family the realme 5i also comes with a small notch on top, where it sports an 8MP selfie camera. As you can see, there’s a small chin down below.

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Down below you can find it’s 3.5mm headphone jack as well as the speakers and microphone hole. Unfortunately the phone still uses a micro USB port. There’s absolutely nothing on top of the realme 5i on the other hand.

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On the right hand side, there’s only the power button to be found.

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In the opposite side, realme decided to put the volume rockers there alongside the SIM/microSD card tray.

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Switching over to the back, you’ve got the quad camera setup, alongside the traditional fingerprint sensor. As for the looks, I really like the green along with the dark shade look.

realme 5i Specifications

CPU:Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 Octa-core (4 x 2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold + 4 x 1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver) 11nm
GPU:Adreno 610
RAM:4GB
Display:6.52″ HD+ (1600 x 720p), IPS LCD, 480-nit max brightness, 89% screen-to-body ratio
Storage:64GB (expandable via microSD)
Camera:Main Camera(s)
12MP f/1.8 + 8MP f/2.25 ultra-wide angle camera + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor
Nightscape, Expert mode, Chroma Boost, Ultra macro, 4K30 video, 720p240/1080p120 slow mo, AI beauty, AI HDR, AI scene recognition
Front Camera
8MP f/2.0
AI Beauty, AI HDR, 1080p30 video
OS:ColorOS 6 based on Android 9 Pie
Connectivity:LTE Band 1/3/5/8/38/40/41
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
SIM:Dual SIM
Battery:Li-Po 5000mAh (non-removable)
10W charging
Dimensions:164.4 x 75 x 9.3 mm
Weight:195 g
Ingress protection:N/A

Performance

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Turns out that the realme 5i manages pretty well in Antutu here, with it beating the original realme 5, despite using the same Snapdragon 665 chipset.

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Head in to 3DMark’s, it beats the previous realme 5 and the realme 5s in two out of the three tests in the benchmark.

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However in Geekbench, the realme 5i tallies a lower score than its siblings.

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It’s a similar case in PCMark as the realme 5i scores lower than the realme 5s and realme 5.

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Though it loses out in the battery benchmark to the other realme 5 series, the score for the realme 5i isn’t that bad. We’ve reviewed a handful of smartphones that’s using a Snapdragon 665 chipset and find them to be power efficient.

The battery life is also helped by the fact of its 720p display, not something that’ll get people excited but you do win in terms of a longer lasting battery.

As for real life usage, I can safely say that I can squeeze two days of usage without charging, as I found that after a whole day of binge-ing on YouTube videos, social media scrolling, and a couple of COD: Mobile matches, I still had 75% by night time.

In terms of charging, we find it quite slow as it only manage to charge 16% after a 30-minute period. If only they could add in a fast-charger to compliment the big 5000mAh battery.

User Experience

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The display is still using a 720p one, similar to the original realme 5 and as far as experience goes, visibility is poor under direct sunlight with it not having a higher maximum brightness level.

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In terms of the feel of the phone itself, well, I rather like it. The back is made out of a textured plastic and it feels like a cover that doesn’t collect fingerprints nor scratches, which is a huge plus over the realme 5 and realme 5s. Not to forget, its looks are also reather eye-catching, at least for me personally, with its shimmering green hues.

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If you are new to realme smartphones, they are using ColorOS 6 as their default UI. It’s nice and straightforward, but there really isn’t much to talk about here. We can’t wait for them to introduce their realme UI though in the future and see what improvements they’ll bring.

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You can expect the same UI as previous recent realme smartphones. It’s ‘okay’ but I would’ve preferred them to allowed us to utilize the ultra-wide lens simply by zooming out. It’d be easier and saves time, well that’s just my two cents.

Overall the realme 5i managed to deliver quite decent shots, for the price it’s at. The cameras aren’t the best around, but it’s more than enough for your social media uploads. Then again, you need to think about the fact that the phone comes with a wide-angle lens and a macro camera, which offers quite the flexibility. You can check out the full-sized images here.

realme 5i Verdict

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All in all, the realme 5i is quite similar to the standard realme 5, albeit having a single band connectivity (2.4GHz), a lower resolution front camera, as well as the different design at the back.

It’s a decent offering from realme to give consumers more choice, although it was most probably unnecessary given that the realme 5 already covered the exact same price segment, and with a better selfie camera to boot. But then again… The back is too hard to ignore…

We would like to thank realme Malaysia for providing the realme 5i used in this review.

About The Author
Raja Idris
The name's King, Kingky King. Likes to keep it simple and straightforward. A person who games regardless of what platform. Need value for money performance? Get AMD.

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