Realme 5i Summary

Realme 5i is the most affordable model in the Realme 5 series. The handset was announced in India on January 2020 with a starting price of Rs. 8,999. Highlights of the phone include quad rear cameras, 5,000mAh battery, and a 6.52-inch display. 

The main competitors of the Realme 5i in India should be the Redmi Note 7, Redmi 8, and Galaxy M11. Let's go into details to see if this Realme smartphone is a good choice in the sub-Rs. 10,000 and whether it can compete with its Xiaomi and Samsung counterparts.

Realme 5i: Design

Realme 5i inherits the design language of the Realme 5 series. It's a pretty thin body with a thick camera cluster. On the front, the device is equipped with a fairly large screen with a dewdrop notch. This notch is designed not much different from the one on the Realme 5, and is quite small so it doesn’t take too much space on the display.

Realme 5i: Display

The Realme 5i display is not really that good, just like other smartphones in the segment. It is equipped with a 6.52-inch "dewdrop" screen, but the resolution is only HD+ (1,600 x 720 pixels), so the image doesn’t look as sharp as Full-HD+ resolution. 

In return, the device has a quite high screen brightness, meaning you can use the phone outside pretty comfortably. The color reproduction of the Realme 5i is also nothing special. In general, this screen is pretty mediocre and isn’t any better than its rivals.

Realme 5i: Performance

The Realme 5i is still equipped with a Snapdragon 665 AIE chip just like its siblings, and has two memory versions, 3 GB RAM and 4GB RAM. The version I have experienced and evaluated for this review has 4GB of RAM.

With the same chipset and 4GB RAM, my experience is no different than what I had with the Realme 5. As a mid-range chipset, Snapdragon 665 helps the 5i run apps smoothly and open popular apps like Facebook, Messenger, or YouTube in two seconds.

The game loading speed and gaming performance are not at Realme 5i’s strength, but it is enough to give you a decent experience. With games like Asphalt 9, you can enjoy it at high graphics settings at 60 fps with hardly any lag or shutter. According to my assessment, this performance is great in the segment. 

With PUBG Mobile game, the Realme 5i can’t be played at HD graphics, but the graphics are still quite nice compared to the screen resolution of the device. It takes around 15 seconds to get to the main screen of the game. I am not good at playing PUBG Mobile but I can feel that the control of the character is quite smooth and there was no excessive lag during the game.

For biometrics security, the Realme 5i has a one-touch fingerprint sensor and face recognition. The one-touch fingerprint sensor is quite fast, but sometimes the device takes a while to unlock. Unlocking with face recognition is also fast, but registration takes a long time, although I even put my face in the registration frame, the device still needs 1-2 times before registering successfully.

Being the same series and having lower price than Realme 5, Realme 5i is only slightly downgraded in the internal memory capacity. The handset comes in two storage versions, 32 GB and 64 GB (instead of 64 GB and 128 GB), but this is nothing to worry about as the 5i still supports a memory card slot of up to 256 GB.

Realme 5i: Camera

Due to the cheaper price tag, the camera specs of Realme 5i are slightly trimmed down compared to the Realme 5 Pro / 5s but identical to the Realme 5. Specifically:

  • Main camera: 12 MP resolution, f / 1.8 aperture, 1 / 2.9 sensor, 1.25µm pixel, with phase detection focus (PDAF).
  • Ultra-wide-angle camera: 8 MP resolution, f / 2.2 aperture, 13mm focal length, 1/4 "sensor, 1.12µm pixel.
  • Depth-sensing camera: 2 MP resolution, f / 2.4 aperture, 1/5 sensor, 1.75 1.m pixel.
  • Macro camera: 2 MP resolution, f / 2.4 aperture, 1/5 "sensor, 1.75µm pixel, 4cm focal range.

The second similar thing between the Realme 5i and 5 I want to talk about is camera quality. With the same specs as its Realme 5 sibling, Realme will not be foolish to refine the camera quality. 

Pictures taken in bright enough conditions have bright colors and fine details. The shutter speed of the Realme 5i is quite fast, so it is easy to shoot quickly.

Realme 5i: Battery

Realme 5i is equipped with a 5,000 mAh battery just like the Realme 5. This battery capacity gives me a total of 34 hours of use in standby mode and on-screen.

With 40 minutes of playing PUBG Mobile at maximum brightness, Realme 5i only lost 16% of the battery. Similarly, with 20 minutes of playing Asphalt 9, 5i lost 6% of the battery. Watching YouTube for 2 hours with maximum brightness and volume took away 15% of the battery. Standby from 23:00 the night before to 12 noon the next day with Wifi always on, the device lost 3% of the battery. With this level of use, I am really impressed with the Realme 5i's battery life.

Realme 5i is not equipped with fast charging capability and only comes with a 10W charger, so fully charging this large capacity battery could take more than a while. I plugged the charger from the time the device was still at 15% battery and it took more than 3 hours for the device to be fully charged.

Realme 5i: Verdict

The Realme 5i is actually a great all-around phone for Rs. 8,999. The handset features a powerful chipset, that is capable of running medium to heavy-graphics games pretty well. Thanks to its beefy 5,000mAh battery, the device can certainly last for at least one day. Sadly, you might need to wait for around 3 hours to fully charge its massive battery. Its weakness is the LCD display, which is unavoidable in the sub-Rs. 10,000 segment. You won't be able to find one smartphone with an AMOLED display.

Read more Read less

Realme 5i Full Specifications

  • Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE
  • 2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2
  • 3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100
  • 4G bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41 - Global
  • 1, 3, 5, 8, 38, 40, 41 - India
  • Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (2CA) 450/50 Mbps
  • Announced 2019, December
  • Status Available. Released 2020, January
  • Dimensions 164.4 x 75 x 9.3 mm (6.47 x 2.95 x 0.37 in)
  • Weight 195 g (6.88 oz)
  • Build Glass front (Gorilla Glass), plastic back, plastic frame
  • SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Splash resistant
  • Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Size 6.52 inches, 102.6 cm2 (~83.2% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Resolution 720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~269 ppi density)
  • Protection Corning Gorilla Glass (unspecified)
  • OS Android 9.0 (Pie), planned upgrade to Android 10.0; ColorOS 6
  • Chipset Qualcomm SDM665 Snapdragon 665 (11 nm)
  • CPU Octa-core (4x2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver)
  • GPU Adreno 610
  • Card slot microSDXC (dedicated slot)
  • Internal 32GB 3GB RAM, 64GB 4GB RAM
  • eMMC
main camera
  • Modules 12 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/2.9", 1.25µm, PDAF 8 MP, f/2.3, 13mm (ultrawide) 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro), 1/5.0", 1.75µm 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
  • Features LED flash, HDR, panorama
  • Video 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS
selfie camera
  • Modules 8 MP, f/2.0
  • Features HDR, panorama
  • Video 1080p@30fps
  • Loudspeaker Yes
  • 3.5mm jack Yes
  • WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
  • Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
  • Radio FM radio
  • USB microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
  • Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  • Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery
  • Charging Standard charging 10W
  • Colors Blue, Green
  • Models RMX2030