Coming from a camera-centric 9 Pro series, realme is now moving on to another smartphone highlight — a “flagship-tier display” within the mid-range segment. Last Tuesday (February 14, 2023), realme has officially made the realme 10 series 5G smartphones available in the Philippines, with an introductory price of only Php 14,999 (originally Php 16,999) for the realme 10 Pro 5G.
Although the spotlight is on its 6.7” display and razor-thin bezels, the realme 10 Pro 5G also boasts of a 108MP ProLight Camera, 5000mAh battery with 33W SUPERVOOC fast charging, Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G processor, and big storage. Is it worth your money? Here’s a closer look at each of its features, tried and tested by a millennial who uses her phone mainly for work and entertainment.
DESIGN AND DISPLAY
Compared to its predecessor which sports a glossy and sparkly finish, the realme 10 Pro 5G in Nebula Blue has a matte feel and iridescent color, making it eye-catching yet fingerprint smudge-proof. The same can be said for the Dark Matter shade in black, but there’s also a flashy version called Hyperspace Gold which is very reflective.
It has a polycarbonate body and frame, which is strong enough to keep my smartphone in ship-shape even as I placed it on random spaces just to shoot my #SpotTheRealPros content. After putting it on rocks, floors, and random spaces under direct sunlight, I’m glad it’s still unscathed. The realme 10 Pro 5G is also easy to carry around, thanks to its 190g weight and 8.1mm thickness – perfect fit in my small hands. I wouldn’t recommend that you put it inside your jeans’ pocket, though, especially when it’s the tight type.
The buttons and ports are in their usual places, but if you’d like a look at all sides, you can find it in our hands-on blog post.
Here comes the highlight of this smartphone – the “flagship-tier display” with thin bezels. It has a 6.7” FHD+ IPS LCD display with 120Hz refresh rate and 93.76% screen-to-body ratio. It has a standard 1080 x 2400px resolution. While I think the title is more applicable to its sibling, the realme 10 Pro+ 5G, realme did their best in minimizing the bezels of the Pro variant. While the visuals are crisp and clear, it may be a slight disadvantage when compared to other brands that offer OLED screens at a similar price point.
It still does its job, though! I was able to comfortably use my phone and watch videos under direct sunlight and even in dark spaces without hurting my eyes. You can always adjust the brightness and color temperature to your liking.
There are two rear cameras – a 108MP ProLight Camera and a depth sensor, which is an upgrade from the realme 9 Pro. It’s also packed with Night Mode, Street Mode in 24mm and 50mm that you can take in JPG or RAW, Portrait with a portrait distortion correction feature, 108MP, Pro, Panorama, Group Portrait, Tilt-Shift, and Text Scanner. Although it doesn’t come with an ultrawide option for “Gen Z selfies” and a macro feature for close-up shots, the quality of the images definitely make up for it.
In front, you’ll find a 16MP selfie camera at the top center portion of the screen. In terms of quality, I prefer the Photo Mode over the Portrait Mode as blurring can be a hit or miss. On Portrait Mode, accessories like sunglasses or some parts of the subject’s hair sometimes gets blurred along with the background.
On video mode, you can toggle between 720p and 1080p – good enough for social media uploads, and switch from 30FPS and 60FPS. Another thing I like about the realme 10 Pro 5G is that it has an Ultra Steady option and Tracking Shot for aspiring vloggers and content creators who want to document special moments. These features are accessible both on the rear and front cam, too!
Selfie Cam vs Rear Cam Group Portrait
The realme 10 Pro 5G has two zoom toggles – 1x and 3x, however, you can maximize it up to 6x when you long-press the number. I wouldn’t recommend that you go as far as 6x though as it appears a bit foggy. There’s also a slight color difference between the 1x and 3x zoom. The former has a higher saturation while the latter has a more muted tone.
I would recommend the realme 10 Pro 5G for shoots outdoors and in well-lit spaces. It’s still struggling a bit under low-light but it’s already pretty decent, considering its price range.
STORAGE AND PERFORMANCE
The review unit I received is a 8GB + 128GB variant but only the 256GB variant will be available in the Philippines. Either way, with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage which is expandable up to 1TB via microSD card, you’ll have more than enough to keep photos, videos, games, and work files in your smartphone. It also supports Dynamic RAM Expansion up to 8GB, which allows your smartphone to virtually expand the RAM using the internal storage. Pair that with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset that helps manage battery life and 120Hz refresh rate, and you’ll be able to seamlessly run apps like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Pokemon Unite (my go-to game), and other hypercasual games.
Having both a top and bottom-blasting speaker to equalize the sound also makes the gameplay more immersive. The same can be said to watching videos on the realme 10 Pro 5G, too. I won’t be enumerating techy benchmarks but all that I can say is that based on experience, I’ve had no lags and it got me hooked into playing Pokemon Unite again.
In terms of OS, the realme 10 Pro 5G is at an advantage given that it’s running on the latest Android 13 and realme UI 4.0.
With a 5,000mAh battery, this smartphone can keep up with a whole day at work – social apps from time to time, travel apps in the morning and evening, a few hours of videos/gaming, and a few minutes of taking photos and videos throughout the day. That’s around 14 hours which can be further optimized to keep apps from draining the battery in the background.
Battery features that I’ve used the most over the past two weeks include Power Saving Mode and Super Power Saving Mode when I need to be out for over 12 hours, and Optimized Night Charging which ensures that my smartphone wouldn’t overheat even as I sleep.
Another strength of this smartphone is its fast charging, which only requires around an hour to reach 100%. This comes in handy when I forget to charge my phone at night. My morning preparation time is enough for it to fully charge before I leave the house.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The realme 10 Pro 5G (8GB +256GB) is priced at Php 16,999; however, you can get it for only Php 14,999 via Shopee on February 15 and via Lazada from February 15-17, inclusive of a free extra one-year warranty and a Globe SIM card.
SM Malls Online app will also be offering it at a discounted rate of Php 15,999, inclusive of a free realme Pocket Bluetooth Speaker. On the other hand, if you purchase the unit from realme physical stores from February 15-19, you’ll be receiving a DIZO 10,000mAh powerbank and TechLife Buds Classic for free.
Downside for me is that the realme 10 Pro 5G doesn’t have an ultra-wide option for photos, which is available in the 10 Pro+ variant. Low-light photos aren’t as clear as I expected it to be, given that its predecessor does a good job in that department.
However, for people who mostly use their smartphone for entertainment (watching videos, playing games), the nearly-bezel-less display would be an upgrade from the 9 series. Battery performance is also great, which is complemented by 33W fast charging. If you won’t be shooting night photos, the 108MP camera does a good job under bright lights, too. Overall, the pros outnumber the cons so I would recommend this smartphone especially now that it’s still being sold at a promo price of Php 14,999.