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29 Jan, 2024 | Monday
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Review: Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G a good pick for Rs 30,000

The new Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G is a premium-looking phone with one of the best cameras in its price segment. Should you buy it?

Edited By: Shubham Verma

Published: Jan 29, 2024, 08:55 PM IST

Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G India price is Rs 29,999. 
Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G India price is Rs 29,999. 

Story Highlights

  • The Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G is one of the most affordable phones with a periscope camera.
  • Its cameras are mostly good, and the battery life is good for a typical day's usage.
  • The processor is fairly fast, and the design may be too much for some customers.
Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G 4 5
Techlusive Rating :
4/5

If you are looking for a phone that can grab eyeballs and bring premium-level cameras for a mid-range budget, the new Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G should be on your radar. Launched in India earlier today, the new Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G is the most powerful and most expensive in the series, which includes a vanilla Realme 12 and a mid-tier Realme 12 Pro. The Pro Plus has appealing specifications on paper but a plain look at the phone will tell you that the phone has a good display and a love-or-hate design. Although there are some weaknesses, most customers will like the Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G at Rs 29,999.

Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G specifications

Display: 6.7-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2412 x 1080 pixels, up to 120Hz screen refresh rate, 800 nits of peak brightness

Processor: An octa-core Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 chipset

Operating System: Realme UI 5.0 based on Android 14

Storage: Up to 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage space

Rear camera: 50MP Sony IMX890 primary rear camera + 8MP ultrawide camera + 64MP OV64B  telephoto camera with OIS and 3X optical zoom and 6x in-sensor zoom

Front camera: 32MP ultrawide camera

Battery: 5000mAh with 67W fast charging technology

Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 5G

Ingress Protection: IP65

Colours: Submariner Blue, Navigator Beige, Explorer Red

Price: Rs 29,999

Realme 12 Pro Plus

The smartphone is equipped with a 50MP IMX890 main lens with OIS, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and a 64MP OV64B periscope telephoto lens with OIS. The camera has up to 120x digital zoom support.

Love-or-hate design, sharp display

At first sight, the Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G looks like it has a smartwatch attached to the top half. And the company wants you to think exactly that. In partnership with French luxury watch designer, Ollivier Savéo, Realme has created a design that you will either appreciate or just abhor. There is no middle sentiment.

A flashy golden strip runs through the centre of the back and around the camera island. It may be a teensy bit shiny for some users, but, as I said, you may like it, too. Faux leather is a nice touch and gives the phone some plushness. All colour variants use faux leather, which gives every customer an option. This material also helps absorb sweat, make the phone less slippery, and remain clean for a long time by not attracting smudges. The side trims are golden, too, which complements the entire look. The buttons and ports are at their usual places and I had no issues reaching or accessing them.

The back of the phone curves into the side. So does the display. This curved display is tall but not unmanageable. I could easily swipe down the notification drawer with my right thumb. Watching videos, doom-scrolling, and reading articles during both day and night was convenient on the display. Even under bright sunlight, I could read content on the screen without having to squint. The display’s ability to change refresh rate according to the content on the screen allows for a judicial use of battery power. The optical fingerprint sensor does the job but sometimes is unreliable. Face unlock works most times, and struggles when it is dark.

Realme 12 Pro Plus

Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G features a ‘luxury watch design’. It sports a 6.7-inch curved display with an FHD+ resolution. The OLED panel has 2412 x 1080 pixels resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, 950 nits of peak brightness, and 2150 PWM support.

Good cameras for the price

Realme takes pride in ‘democratising’ premium phone features. That simply means it makes premium features available on less expensive phones. Next in the line of such features is a periscope telephoto camera. It is the fad right now but you find periscope cameras only on flagship phones. The Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G brings to under Rs 30,000. It is not as good as the one on a Vivo X100 Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, but it is there on a phone at this price and most customers will have no qualms about the photos the periscope camera would click.

I liked the crispness in the photos, as well as the details in them. Although the photos sometimes turn out a little cool, they look impressive and good to go on your social media. During my initial testing, the camera could not lock focus instantly and the HDR on higher zoom levels was underwhelming. Photo processing was also slightly time-consuming. I brought these issues to Realme’s notice and a few days later, my unit received a software update that fixed those problems. Autofocusing works better now and even the HDR is improved. However, the sensor sometimes struggles with tricky shots.

Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G display

For instance, the shot of a black raven sitting on a wall with the sea in the background on a sunny day. The crow’s body is nearly flat in photos. You can get the best photos at 3X but the sensor supports zoom levels of up to 6x through in-sensor magnification. The shots clicked at 6x retain some distortion and ghost-like appearances when the focus is not locked, but, for some reason, I found these photos crafty. In an ideal situation, these photos should have been better. The periscope camera on the phone is also good at capturing portraits. Background blurring is good but subject segregation could have been slightly better.

The main camera is better at handling HDR but the colour accuracy is not the best. It does take detailed photos with less noise and good depth. The ultrawide camera is handy when you want to capture a lot in a frame, but the detailing is not as good. I clicked several landscapes using the camera and I was happy with the results. Night shots are a mixed bag. Sometimes they are good but most times the amount of light in a photo taken using the Night mode looks artificial. On the flip side, this could be good for someone wanting to click photos at night without having to fire the LED flashlight.

Realme 12 Pro Plus

The Pro Plus model comes with an under-display fingerprint scanner for added security. It has a stereo speaker setup, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, and GNSS suite.

Videos shot on the main or periscope camera are mostly stabilised, but they would need extra stabilisation if you want to use them for B-rolls or professional videos. The clarity, however, is good, especially on the 3x zoom level. The camera app has a bunch of features that you will love to use, such as DIY Street Mode, which gives you presets for capturing stills.

The front-facing camera will suffice for selfies and video calls. Some skin smoothing happens when your selfies are processed and there is no way to turn that off. The cameras have some weaknesses. While some of them have been addressed already, a few things may also get even after a software update. Overall, you will love photography on this phone at this price.

A modest performer

Realme’s atypical choice of using a Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 chipset works most times. I had no issues setting up the phone, navigating around at my best speed, scrolling through Instagram, or making calls. But there were a few areas where I certainly saw hiccups, such as in the processing of images. Realme pushed out an update to fix it and it did help. That means you may not face these issues. The processor, otherwise, is adept at multitasking. While 8GB should be enough for most apps, I would suggest going for the 12GB version for the best experience. Gaming on the Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G is decent, but certainly not the best in the segment. Casual gamers will have no issues with the speed of the phone.

The Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G runs Android 14-based Realme UI 5.0. Unlike its previous counterparts, this version comes with less bloatware. Some pre-installed apps such as Agoda can be uninstalled at any time. Spammy notifications from the App Market app were almost minimal. I think it is a step in the right direction. Calling is convenient, while the sound is ordinary. Since there is no headphone jack, you can either go for USB-C earphones or just get yourself wireless earbuds.

Realme 12 Pro Plus

The smartphone packs a 5,000mAh battery with 67W fast charging support. It does not support wireless charging. It boots on Realme UI 5.0 based on Android 14 OS.

In my testing, I found the battery on the Realme 12 Pro Plus big enough to last more than a day. And whenever the battery is low, the fast charging helps. It can go from dead to 100 in about 45 minutes, while a 10-minute charge should last 4-5 hours easily. Realme provides a fast charger bundled with the phone, which is a good thing today.

Verdict

The Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G ticks many right boxes but has some weaknesses. It has a dandy display with good ergonomics and smoothness that makes the experience good. The cameras are mostly good and will wow you if you have never used a periscope camera on a phone before. The amount of clarity and details in photos will appeal to you. The processor is good but you cannot expect it to be the fastest in its segment. Its design is subjective, but there is no denying the overall finish of the phone is plush. The battery life is another plus point. If cameras are one thing you are prioritising in a phone over other things, the Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G should be your consideration at under Rs 30,000. If you want better performance, do not zero in before looking at the competition. There is the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus and the POCO X6 Pro, both of which offer better performance at the expense of a periscope camera.

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Author Name | Shubham Verma

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