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Realme 5i Unboxing and First Impressions

To start the decade strong, realme has a treat for everyone who needs a great smartphone despite the budget price tag, the realme 5i.
Realme 5i Unboxing and First Impressions
Meet realme 5i

Basically, the realme 5i is very similar to the realme 5 except that it has a slightly lower-end 8MP selfie camera instead of 13MP. It also sports a slightly different design, improved video stabilization, and a possibly lower price tag.

And ahead of its January 29 Philippine launch, let's take a look at it!


Everything inside the box
Everything inside the box

The realme 5i arrived with a bright yellow-orange box with a big "5i" print in the middle and a small "realme logo" underneath.

Inside, the box is the 5V/2A USB wall charger, USB-A to micro USB data/charging cable, and the SIM ejector tool.

What's missing is the case and I would have liked it better if it has a case. But for its expected price, that's understandable.

Build Quality/Design

The backplate with a unique design
The backplate with a unique design

Like the realme 5, the realme 5i is made out of mostly polycarbonate materials. The difference is the finish. Coming from the glossy "crystal-like" finish of the realme 5, the realme 5i has "Van Sunlight" 3D textured finish.

A stylish and functional textured back design!

The good thing about the textured finish is it isn't that prone to fingerprint smudges and scratches. It isn't as slippery to hold versus phones with a glossy exterior.
6.5-inch massive screen with a notch
6.5-inch massive screen with a notch

The frame is still plastic and the 6.5-inch front is glass. Also, note that its 2.5D curved screen has a layer of Gorilla GLass 3+ protection against light drops and hairline scratches.

These made the realme 5i look and feel quite durable even without the case.

The rest are similar coming from the realme 5. The fingerprint scanner is at the back along with the slightly protruded vertically-aligned quad-cam setup and the 6.5-inch panel has a waterdrop-like notch.

It has the same dimensions and an 89 percent screen-to-body ratio.

There's still nothing on top. The headphone jack, mic, micro USB port, and the speaker grill is found below.
Bottom view
Bottom view
Left and right view
Left and right view

The volume keys and the triple-slot (dual SIM + microSD) is at left and the power button is found at right.

The weight is the same at 198 grams.

Initial findings

1. The 6.5-inch display has an HD resolution so do not expect it to be that crisp. But, its overall quality seems nice for the price. Sunlight legibility is respectable too.

Highest specs for the expected price?

2. There is a chance that this will be the most affordable phone in the country with the 11nm Snapdragon 665 AIE octa-core processor yet. It is even paired with 3GB RAM, 64GB storage (expandable), and 5,000mAh battery with 10W micro USB charging. It would have been better if it has USB-C, but at least it has 5,000mAh.

5,000mAh is massive. A lot of mid-range and high-end phones don't even have that battery capacity. If it has the same battery performance coming from the realme 5, then it can easily last for 2 days on a single charge.

With those specs, this could be a great phone for budget gamers.

3. For the software, the same. You get Android Pie OS out of the box with the ColorOS 6. ColorOS 6 on realme phones are quite clean, pretty fast, and feature-rich. In May, it will be updated to the newer ColorOS 7 with realme UI.
Legit quad-cam on a budget
Legit quad-cam on a budget

4. The cameras are similar to the realme 5. It uses 12MP + 8MP wide + 2MP macro + 2MP depth quad-cam. There's a good chance that it will be the most affordable with such camera configuration yet.

As mentioned, it has a slightly lower 8MP selfie cam coming from 13MP.

But, it now has EIS for stabilization at the back. It still has the Nightscape and Chroma Boost modes.
Camera interface
Camera interface

Note: Stay tuned for our camera samples!

5. There's a fingerprint scanner the back and the face unlock is fast. It has WiFi, 4G LTE, GPS, A-GPS, and dual SIM slots.

Realme 5i Specs

Display: 6.5-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3+ protected IPS screen w/ HD+ 1600 x 720 resolution at 269 ppi
CPU: 2.0GHz 11nm Snapdragon 665 AIE octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 610
ROM: 64GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB
Back Camera: 12MP f/1.8 with PDAF + 8MP f/2.25 119-degree ultra-wide-angle + 2MP f/2.4 4cm macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8MP f/2.0 w/ AI Portrait
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ 10W charger
OS: Android 9.0 Pie w/ ColorOS 6.0
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, face unlock, splash resistance, Dirac HD Sound, Colors: blue, green
Dimensions: 164.4 x 75.6 x 9.3 mm
Weight: 198 g
Price: PHP 6,990

As of the moment

I'm pretty pleased with nearly everything I saw with the realme 5i out of the box.

There is a chance for it to be the most affordable phone in the country with the 11nm Snapdragon 665 chip and quad-cameras with stabilization for taking videos.

This is exciting! Let's wait and see.

For our full review: Realme 5i Review - Budget all-rounder
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