realme 12+ 5G: Redefining mid-range capabilities with style, flagship-level photography under Php 20k

Did you know that the Philippines is not only dubbed as the Selfie Capital of the World, but also as the Social Media Capital of the World? This is why it’s not surprising why a lot of Filipinos prioritize cameras and the ability to open multiple social apps in one go when choosing their smartphone. However, devices with exceptional camera specs often come with a hefty price tag, leaving budget-conscious Pinoys searching for alternatives. Enter the realme 12+ 5G, a newly launched smartphone that seamlessly combines style, affordability, and flagship-level photography, all under Php 20,000.


Similar to its predecessors, the realme 12+ 5G still comes in the classic yellow realme box with complete accessories – a USB Type-C cable for charging and data transfer, a 67W SUPERVOOC fast-charging adapter, a SIM ejector tool, a transparent protective case, quick guide, safety guide, and warranty card. As always, the unit comes with a pre-applied screen protector for added convenience.


We’ve mentioned this in our first impressions blog post but one of the things we really like about the realme 12+ 5G is its unique design. You won’t always see a smartphone covered in premium vegan leather! Aside from that, it draws inspiration from the luxury watch industry, sporting elements like the Golden Fluted Bezel (golden bezels) and 3D Jubilee Bracelet (the silver lining at the middle) which looks nothing short of elegant. This design was created in collaboration with International Luxury Watch Design Master Ollivier Savéo, renowned for his work with Swiss brands like Rolex and Piaget, leveling up the device’s aesthetic appeal. However, these are just supporting features in the device because the star of the show is really its camera module which seems to house four cameras, even if it really is just a three-cam setup. Like a watch, the module has a polished sunburst dial design which reflects light on every angle.

The premium vegan leather back finish in “Navigator Beige” adds a touch of sophistication, but it’s also available in “Pioneer Green” for those who prefer a darker shade. Despite its luxurious design, the smartphone remains lightweight at 190g and easy to handle, thanks to its thick yet rounded edges similar to an expensive smartphone brand that is often associated with high status.

Another notable thing about the realme 12+ 5G is the presence of a 3.5mm audio jack on top which makes it more consumer-friendly even though actual premium devices already did away with it. This mid-ranger still has the usual physical buttons so it’s easy to get used to it. On the right side, you’ll find the volume rocker and power button, while at the bottom is a SIM card slot for two nanoSIMs, a USB Type-C port, and its main speaker. To balance the audio, a secondary audio output can also be found on top.  

In front, you’ll find a 6.67” E4 AMOLED FHD+ display with 120Hz refresh rate, IP54 dust and water resistance, and an in-display fingerprint sensor. Complementing this would be its Eye Protection Features for added comfort during extended use. With crisp visuals and vibrant colors, the realme 12+ 5G delivers a decent viewing experience, whether you’re streaming videos, playing games, or doom-scrolling on social media. Best part? It has Rainwater Smart Touch, which enables you to keep scrolling even when your hands are wet. Think along the scenarios of typing while tears are falling on your screen or while just lounging by the poolside. No more constant wiping!


While it looks like it has four cameras, the realme 12+ 5G only has three. As someone who values balance in everything, this seems like a smart move to me. Equipped with the SonyLYT5600 OIS main camera, 8MP wide-angle camera, and 2MP macro lens, the device delivers clear shots even in low-light environments. It also supports Optical Image Stabilization, has up to 2x In-Sensor Zoom and Cinematic 2x Portrait Mode capabilities which are often only seen in flagship smartphones.

In all honesty, I prefer its saturated, glare-free photos compared to the 2023 flagship smartphone that I’m using. The 2x Portrait Mode could still use some improvement to reach the flagship level, though, but aside from that, this is way more than I expected from its price point.

To further please the aesthetic-loving millennials and Gen Zs, realme introduced new filters co-made with Claudio Miranda: Journey which has an old-photo-like yellow tone akin to Life of Pi’s color scheme, Memory which has cold tones and less saturated colors a la The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Maverick which is like a balance of the other two similar to Top Gun: Maverick. It gives off cinematic colors, adding drama to your photo subject.

The photography functions don’t end here, though! True enough to what it claims, realme has brought functions such as the Cinematic Bokeh Algorithm, Snap Portrait System, NightEye Engine, and Street to this mid-ranger. That’s on top of the usual Pro Mode, Panorama, Hi-Res, Macro, Movie, Slo-Mo, Time-lapse, Long Exposure, Dual View, Group Portrait, Tilt-shift, and Text Scanner modes.

In terms of zoom capabilities, it does a very good job ‘til 10x. Going beyond that may result in softer images which remind me more of a painting than typical pixelated images. The 0.6 wide angle camera also does a really good job with minimal distortions.

Last but certainly not the least, I’m happy to share that its 16MP selfie camera is capable of snapping true-to-life images – wrinkles and all. However, if you prefer the filtered effect, its Beauty Mode can be enabled for minor fixes on skin texture, cheek and eye size, and the like.


With its Mediatek Dimensity 7050 octa-core processor, the realme 12+ 5G still delivers powerful performance and seamless multitasking capabilities even though it’s the same as the realme 11 Pro+ 5G that we reviewed last year. Clocking in at up to 2.6GHz, this flagship-level processor ensures smooth operation even during demanding tasks, making it ideal for light gaming (if it needs to be said, this isn’t a gaming smartphone), streaming, and everyday work use. Boasting an impressive AnTuTu Score of 587,000++, the smartphone promises exceptional speed and responsiveness, allowing users to navigate through apps and games with ease. Additionally, its 6nm Architecture ensures high-level efficiency, maximizing battery life and minimizing heat generation for prolonged usage.

We’ve tried binge-watching on Netflix, switching from different games (The Ants, Asphalt 9, and Pokemon Unite), and social media apps non-stop but it didn’t heat up like how typical mid-range smartphones would when used for over 4 hours. This may also be due to the Vapor Chamber Cooling System that helps dissipate heat and ensure smooth performance despite long hours of use. The high refresh rate also helps with the fluid performance, too.

When it comes to storage, it has ample space for storing apps, games, photos, and videos with 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. It’s also available in 8GB variant which costs less, though! With support for Dynamic RAM Expansion, expect enhanced multitasking capabilities, seamlessly switching between apps with minimal lag or slowdown.


All the features mentioned above wouldn’t be enjoyable if the device can’t stay powered up for long hours, though! Luckily, the realme 12+ 5G comes with 5000mAh battery and 67W SUPERVOOC fast-charge that can keep it up and running for up to three days with minimal use of apps and cameras. Meanwhile, for a busy millennial who is always on social media, taking photos, and multitasking work and play on their smartphone, it can stay alive for around 14 hours. Not bad, especially since you can customize your settings further to optimize battery use.


Priced at Php 17,999 SRP for the 8GB+256GB variant and Php 19,999 SRP for the 12GB+256GB variant, the realme 12+ 5G is a really promising smartphone to consider if you’re after flagship-level camera features but don’t want to spend a fortune. While it’s already affordable and worth it for the price point, early bird promotions on Lazada, Shopee, and TikTok will still be up for grabs from March 7-15, 2024, allowing buyers to snag discounts – Php 14,999 only for the 8GB variant and Php 16,599 only for the 12GB variant.

On the other hand, offline purchases come with freebies like the TechLife 4L Digital Rice Cooker or TechLife Hair Dryer, which costs up to Php 2,399! That’s already a compelling offer for budget-conscious shoppers. Overall, I would say it’s worth every peso and you’re paying less for really good features that could’ve been priced higher. It’s a good choice for people who value smartphone photography!

For the full specs, check out our previous blog at:

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3 Replies to “realme 12+ 5G: Redefining mid-range capabilities with style, flagship-level photography under Php 20k”

  1. Ang gandang phone.. ng realme 12+5G. Sulit n sulit mg purchase nito from camera with high quality images, unique design.. at may freebies pa.. bongga .

  2. Ang ganda naman Nito Ms.Ces
    Pati kulay at design is so stunning ✨
    Sulit talaga bilhin itong phone kasi malaki Yung storage at maganda Din Yung Cam

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