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realme 12 Pro+ 5G Unboxing, First Impressions, Portrait Samples - Surprise for the price!

One of the early surprises of the year is the realme 12 Pro+ 5G.
Stunning look!

Despite being equipped with premium features, the device retails for just PHP 25,999 and is currently being offered for just PHP 21,999.

How? The handset brings design, memory options, and cameras that you will only see in smartphones in the above PHP 30K range.

Let's take a look at it.


The yellow box
The yellow box

Nothing new here. It still arrived with the usually yellow realme box with a simple print of the phone model and branding in front and some of the key details at the back.
Everything inside the box
Everything inside the box

Inside, you will immediately see a smaller carton box for the paper documents, the SIM ejector tool, and the FREE TPU clear case.

After that, you will get the phone itself followed by the 67W SUPERVOOC brick and the fast-charging ready USB-A to USB-C cable with data transfer support.

There are no other freebies in the package like earphones with a mic, but at least it has a fast charger unlike other brands which omit the inclusion of power bricks for "environmental purposes".

Build Quality/Design

The back design
The back design

Based on my experience, the realme 12 Pro+ 5G is one of the most solid-looking phones in its class.

The curved back cover uses a special type of faux leather material that generally feels like a high-end material. realme calls it "Premium Vegan Leather" and it is said to be long-lasting and dust and wear-resistant.

The frame is metallic, but it is probably polycarbonate.

Durable materials as expected!

The 3D curved display features a 0.55mm Double Reinforced Glass to prevent it from easily breaking when dropped and avoid hairline scratches.

My comment is that realme advertised its back as "Silky smooth to the touch". However, it has a rubbery skin-like texture that is prone to oily fingerprint smudges. 

The whole phone is IP65 water splash and dust resistance. This is an upgrade over the realme 11 Pro+ 5G with no IP rating.
Slim profile
Slim profile

Aesthetically, it still has similarities coming from the realme 11 Series, but more refined.

It has a larger watch-like bezel with a thicker hump containing all of its cameras.

realme calls this the Luxury Watch Design in collaboration with watch designer Ollivier Savéo. Savéo has extensive experience designing for high-end Swiss brands like Rolex, Roger Dubuis, Piaget, Breitling, and Quinting.

The bezel features 300 precision-crafted triangular grooves in gold colorway and a 500 gradient Polished Sunburst Dial.

On the middle part of its back, it uses diamond patterns similar to the texture of high-end watch straps.

The unit that I have is the Submarine Blue version, the best-looking in my opinion. But, the unit is also available in the Navigator Beige colorway. Unfortunately, the Explorer Red variant was not released in the country.
OLED display
OLED display

In front, the device boasts a 6.7-inch 3D curved OLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, 2160Hz PWM dimming, HDR10+, and FHD+ 2412 x 1080 resolution at 395 ppi. It also has a top-center notch housing the selfie camera and an In-Display fingerprint sensor in the lower portion of its back.

realme claims that it has a 93 percent screen-to-body ratio and that appears to be true as the device has slim bezels. This is a very immersive type of display with curved edges that are not prone to accidental touches.

On top, it has the first microphone followed by the secondary speaker of the phone. Below, it has the SIM tray slot, the second speaker, the USB-C reversible port, and the primary speaker.

There's nothing on the left side. On the right side, you will see the volume rocker (up and down keys) and the power key.

Overall, the device is not that big at 161.47 x 74.02 and fairly slim at 8.75 mm. The handset has some heft at 196 grams.
The camera design
The camera design

Obviously, the main highlight of the realme 12 Pro+ 5G is its back cameras designed to take high-quality portrait shots. This device uses a 50MP f/1.8 Sony IMX890 with OIS, 8MP f/2.2 16mm ultra-wide-angle, and a 64MP f/2.8 OV64B 3x periscope zoom with OIS. The maximum zoom range of the phone is 120x.

So, we tried using it, and here are some of our favorite Portrait snaps so far.

First Portrait Camera Samples

80mm daylight Portrait mode
80mm daylight Portrait mode
80mm well-lit Portrait mode
80mm well-lit Portrait mode
24mm and 80mm Portrait snaps (featuring Vince)
24mm and 80mm Portrait snaps (featuring Vince)
80mm indoor shot
80mm indoor shot
80mm indoor Portrait mode
80mm indoor Portrait mode
80mm dim Portrait mode
80mm dim Portrait mode

On the first try, it appears that the handset is as good as advertised when it comes to taking Portrait snaps.

The 80mm mode is my favorite which delivers crisp images with near-accurate exposure and colors. The colors are also consistent with its main camera and it performs quite nicely in even challenging conditions like low light.

Legit near flagship-level portraits!

Autofocus is also very fast and the photo-saving speed is snappy enough. Even if your subject is moving (like my last black and white filter Portrait snap, there is a chance that you will still be able to get impressive photographs.

Even the edge detection and subject-to-background separation have drastically improved coming from its predecessor.

So far, these levels of camera details have never before been seen on phones in the PHP 22K (promo price) to PHP 26K range. Traditionally, you will need to spend around PHP 50K to enjoy shots like these on a phone.

On paper, this phone appears to be more than just Portrait snaps. Except for its ultra-wide camera, the rest of its camera hardware could be competitive even against other high-end photography phones.

Stay tuned for more samples.

realme 12 Pro+ 5G Specs

Display: 6.7-inch 3D curved 0.55mm Double-Reinforced Glass protected curved OLED screen w/ 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, 2160Hz PWM dimming, HDR10+, FHD+ 2412 x 1080 resolution at 395 ppi
CPU: 2.4GHz 4nm Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno
ROM: 512GB
Back Camera: 50MP f/1.8 Sony IMX890 w/ OIS + 8MP f/2.2 16mm ultra-wide-angle + 64MP f/2.8 OV64B 3x periscope zoom w/ OIS + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 32MP f/2.4 Sony
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ 67W SUPERVOOC
OS: Android 14 w/ realme UI 5.0
Connectivity: WiFi 6 (2.4GHz/5GHz), Antenna Array Matrix, 5G SA/NSA, Dual 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 5.2, OTG, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS, NavIC, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: In-Display fingerprint sensor, IP65 water splash and dust resistance, Super Linear Dual Speakers, Hi-Res Audio, Dolby Atmos, Dual-mic Noise Cancellation, Tactile Engine, 3D VC Cooling System, USB-C, Colors: Submarine Blue, Navigator Beige
Dimensions: 161.47 x 74.02 x 8.75 mm
Weight: 196 g
Price: PHP 25,999

Quick thoughts

The realme 12 Pro+ 5G is the most enjoyable camera phone that I have ever tried at this price point yet.

For a smartphone, it is highly impressive for Portrait photography regardless of price as it can go toe-to-toe even against more expensive competitors.

The design is very eye-catching as well. It is beautiful and doesn't look like a sub-PHP 26K phone.

The rest of its hardware is quite a surprise for the price too. While its Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 chip is not the fastest for the price, it is power efficient and is still faster than older phones with just SD778G. This is also a massive upgrade coming from the Dimensity 7050 of the realme 11 Pro+ last year.

So far, we are seeing very few weaknesses in this phone.

We are working on our full review which will be finished by next week, so stay tuned.

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