Realme 12 Pro 5G review: the portrait master is worth a closer look

The Realme 12 Pro is one of the few handsets that comes with Sony’s sensor cameras. It’s around ₦307,000 in Nigeria right now.

Realme 12 Pro 5G review: the portrait master is worth a closer look
Image source : Appauls

Realme’s rise in the smartphone market has been nothing short of impressive, and 2024 is already shaping up to be a landmark year.  The Chinese phone brand has taken its “Make it real” slogan to heart, with a commitment to increase Research and Development (R&D) investment by 470%. For consumers, this means one thing: innovation that matters. 

While maintaining a familiar front aesthetic, the Realme 12 Pro 5G series, unveiled in January 2024 with high-end features, such as a telephoto portrait camera and a Snapdragon® 6 Gen 1 chipset, boasts significant internal upgrades and refreshed rear panel designs. 

The Realme 12 Pro was launched with its sibling, the Realme 12 Pro+ 5G, as a bold leap forward from the 11 Pro series. These devices are at the vanguard of this innovation wave and are setting new standards for a mid-range smartphone without the flagship price tag. 

In this review, we’ll zoom in on the Realme 12 Pro 5G, aptly nicknamed the portrait master, to find out if it's a good buy or not.

What does the phone look like?

The Realme 12 Pro 5G grabs attention with its unique look and a large, vibrant 6.7-inch OLED display boasting a 120Hz refresh rate. It comes in two stylish colours: Submarine Blue and Navigator Beige. Both have a cool vegan leather back that feels luxurious and is easy to grip. The phone’s size and weight are just right, at 161.47mm x 74.02mm x 8.75mm and 190 grams, making it comfortable to hold and use.

It has a camera setup that reminds you of a fancy watch, especially with the collaboration with French watchmaker Ollivier Savéo. It’s also got an in-display fingerprint scanner, located on the lower end of the screen, that’s quick to unlock your phone, 

The Realme 12 Pro 5G is more than good looks, though. It has a big 6.7-inch OLED screen that’s great for everything from reading articles to watching videos. The screen’s curved edges make the phone look even thinner than it is, adding to its sleek design. 

Realme 12 Pro 5G display features

What’s under the hood?

Inside the Realme 12 Pro 5G,  you’ll find it’s got some serious tech inside. It's equipped with the efficient Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chip like in the Vivo iQOO Z8x. The phone stays cool under pressure, thanks to its vapour chamber cooling system.

Its 8GB RAM ensures smooth performance, and you can even increase this up to 16GB with virtual memory for times when you’re juggling multiple apps. Keep in mind, that there’s no room for a memory card, so pick the right amount of built-in storage for you, with options of either 128GB or 256GB.

On the software side, it runs on the latest Android 14 with Realme's own UI 5.0 on top making the smartphone quick and responsive. Sure, it comes with some extra apps pre-installed but you also get some pretty handy features like the File Dock for easy file transfers, Smart Image Matting for photo editing, and Phonelink for connecting to your PC.

Multitasking is smooth, with Split View, Flexible Window options, and the Smart Sidebar which is handy for getting to your favourite apps fast. Realme promises to keep the phone fresh with 2 years of software updates and 3 years of security patches.

And when it comes to staying powered up, the Realme 12 Pro 5G doesn't disappoint. It comes with a big 5000mAh battery that’ll last you all day, and when you do need to charge, the 67W SUPERVOOC charging gets you from 10 to 100 per cent in just 43 minutes making sure you can spend less time tethered to an outlet and more time doing what you love.

Realme 12 Pro 5G key features

Gaming: The Realme 12 Pro 5G’s Adreno 710 GPU ensures you can enjoy many of the latest games on moderate settings. It’s not the top-of-the-line graphics for gaming, but it strikes a nice balance, delivering steady gameplay without any serious heat build-up, even when you’re in the middle of an intense session. The phone’s vegan leather back design not only looks good but also helps dissipate heat, so it’s never uncomfortable to hold.

What is it about Realme’s 12 Pro Camera?

The Realme 12 Pro 5G truly excels with its camera system. The 50MP Sony IMX882 main sensor delivers sharp, vibrant images, further stabilised by Optical Image Stabilization for consistently clear shots. The game-changing 32MP telephoto lens offers 2x optical zoom and extends to 4x lossless zoom for incredible close-ups.

Don't be fooled by the extra camera ring – its three lenses are all you need, including an 8MP ultrawide for expansive landscapes and group shots. Content creators will love the main camera's crisp 4K video recording capabilities.

The Realme 12 Pro+ 5G takes things further with a flagship-rivalling periscope telephoto lens, boasting 3X optical and 6X in-sensor zoom. Powered by the OV64B Omnivision sensor, zoomed-in photos retain stunning detail. The Cinematic Bokeh Algorithm elevates portraits, blurring the background for a dramatic effect while offering real-time depth-of-field adjustments for creative control.

All this comes to life on the Realme 12 Pro 5G's 6.7-inch OLED screen, delivering vivid colours and sharp detail. Its high screen-to-body ratio and smooth 120Hz refresh rate create an immersive viewing experience for photos and videos alike.

In short, the Realme 12 Pro 5G's camera doesn't just capture moments – it empowers you to create them with clarity, colour, and artistic flair.

The Realme 12 Pro 5G key Camera rear |

Reasons to buy the Realme 12 Pro 5G

  • Stylish design with eye-catching vegan leather finish.
  • Solid everyday performance for most tasks.
  • Main and telephoto cameras excel in good lighting conditions.
  • Fast 67W charging and a long-lasting battery.
  • Bright AMOLED screen for vivid visuals.
  • IP65 certification provides dust and water resistance (not fully waterproof)

Reasons not to buy

  • Cameras can be slow to process images.
  • Comes with a lot of pre-installed bloatware.
  • Chipset performance lags behind some competitors.
  • Noticeable colour differences between ultrawide and main/telephoto cameras.

Our Verdict

While the Realme 12 Pro 5G offers a solid all-around experience, its performance doesn't quite match up to some rivals in its price bracket of ₦307,000. The design is stylish and the cameras perform well in good lighting so if your priorities lean towards a phone with a flair for design and photography, the Realme 12 Pro 5G is a worthy purchase.

But if your heart is set on gaming prowess and sheer performance, you might find the Poco X6 Pro or OnePlus Nord 3 more to your liking. The choice ultimately hinges on what aspects of a smartphone experience you value the most.

Pricing and Availability in Nigeria

The Realme 12 Pro 5G is available in Nigeria with two storage options:

  • 8GB RAM + 128GB storage: Priced at ₦307,000.
  • 8GB RAM + 256GB storage: Priced at ₦370,000.

You can purchase it from Realme stores, authorised dealers, and online platforms. For those outside Nigeria, the phone is priced at Rs. 25,999 in Pakistan and Ksh 39,999 in Kenya. Remember to check for the latest prices and offers before making a purchase.

What makes the Realme 12 Pro 5G stand out for you? Are you considering other mid-range options? Let us know in the comments below, and we just might review them! 

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