realme 12 5G Review

Balanced Design, Strong Performance, and Impressive Battery Life

Carl Lamiel/WalasTech

The realme 12 5G is a mid-range smartphone that promises to deliver a compelling mix of design, performance, and battery life. With a sleek build, a vibrant 6.72-inch FHD+ display featuring a 120Hz refresh rate, and the power of a MediaTek Dimensity 6100+ 5G processor, does this device meet the needs of modern users? Here’s our full review.

Design

The realme 12 5G features a sleek and modern design with dimensions of 165.6mm x 76.1mm x 7.69mm and a weight of 188 grams. It is available in two color options: Twilight Purple and Woodland Green.

The slim profile and lightweight construction offer a comfortable grip, making it easy to handle for extended periods. The side-mounted fingerprint sensor is conveniently placed for quick access and enhanced security.

At the top is the SIM and microSD card slot. You’ll need to use the provided ejector, though, as the hole is deeper than previous phones we’ve reviewed.

The phone has a solid build quality, with attention to detail in its finish, providing a premium feel despite its mid-range positioning.

Bottom of the device: 3.5mm audio jack, microphone, USB-C port, and loudspeaker

Including a USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm audio jack offers versatility for charging and audio needs. Overall, the design is functional and aesthetically pleasing, suitable for users who value form and function.

Right side: protruding volume keys, and the power/lock button that doubles as the fingerprint scanner

The realme 12 5G’s design is well thought out, offering aesthetic appeal and practical features. The solid build quality and convenient fingerprint sensor enhance the user experience, making it a suitable choice for users looking for a stylish yet functional device.

Display and Audio

The realme 12 5G excels in its display capabilities, providing a high-refresh-rate and bright screen that enhances the multimedia experience. It boasts a 6.72-inch FHD+ display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels. The screen supports a 120Hz refresh rate, ensuring smooth scrolling, responsive touch, and an overall improved viewing experience, particularly for gaming and multimedia.

With a peak brightness of 950 nits, the display remains clear and legible even under direct sunlight. The color reproduction is vibrant, and the viewing angles are wide, making watching videos and playing games enjoyable.

Audio-wise, the phone includes a 3.5mm audio port for wired headphones and a standard loudspeaker that delivers clear sound, though it may lack deep bass. The audio quality is sufficient for calls, media consumption, and casual listening. The overall multimedia experience is enhanced by the high-quality display and adequate audio performance. It meets the needs of most users for everyday use. This combination makes it a strong contender for users who prioritize visual experience.

Cameras

The realme 12 5G features a dual camera setup on the rear and a single front-facing camera, designed to cater to a range of photography needs.

The primary camera is a 108MP f/1.75 lens, which is impressive for a mid-range device. This high-resolution sensor captures detailed and vibrant photos, particularly in good lighting conditions. The large aperture allows for decent low-light performance, although some noise can be expected in very dim environments. The secondary camera is a 2MP f/2.4 portrait lens, which is used for depth sensing to enhance portrait shots with bokeh effects. The portrait mode works well, providing a good balance between the subject and the background blur.

The front-facing camera is an 8MP f/2.0 AI selfie shooter. It delivers satisfactory results for video calls and selfies, with AI enhancements that can automatically adjust settings for better skin tones and lighting conditions. However, the quality can drop in low-light situations, where the images might appear slightly grainy.

The camera app on the realme 12 5G is user-friendly, offering various modes like Night, Portrait, and Pro mode for manual adjustments. Additionally, it includes AI scene recognition, which automatically adjusts the camera settings based on the detected scene to optimize photo quality. Check out samples here:

The realme 12 5G supports video recording up to 1080p at 30fps. Video quality is acceptable, with stable footage thanks to electronic image stabilization. While it doesn’t support 4K recording, the 1080p resolution is adequate for casual video shooting and social media uploads. Here’s a sample recording:

The camera performance of the realme 12 5G is commendable for its price range. The 108MP main sensor stands out, providing high-quality images with good color accuracy and detail. The portrait mode adds value for users who enjoy taking bokeh shots, although the 2MP sensor is quite basic. The front camera is suitable for everyday selfies and video calls, performing well under good lighting. Overall, the realme 12 5G offers a versatile and capable camera setup that meets the needs of most casual photographers and social media enthusiasts.

Performance

The performance of the realme 12 5G is solid across the board, with a competent processor, adequate RAM, and ample storage. The software experience is streamlined and user-friendly, while the connectivity options are extensive and reliable. This makes it a well-rounded device for a variety of users, from casual to moderate power users.

The realme 12 5G is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 6100+ 5G octa-core processor built on a 6nm process, which provides efficient performance for daily tasks, multitasking, and moderate gaming. The ARM Mali-G57 MC2 GPU handles graphics tasks well, ensuring smooth gameplay and media experiences.

The device comes in an 8GB RAM variant, paired with 256GB internal storage, which is expandable via microSD on a hybrid tray format. This combination ensures that the phone can handle a variety of applications and store ample media and files. I now mainly use this phone at work involving taking photos, answering calls and messages, chatting with officemates in Microsoft Teams, and doing a whole lot of work in other apps. Not surprisingly, the phone can keep up with my daily activitiy as it performs competitively within its class, making it a solid choice for users who need reliable performance without breaking the bank.

Running on realme UI 5.0, based on Android 14, the realme 12 5G offers a user-friendly interface with a range of customization options. The software is optimized for performance, with features such as Dark Mode, customizable icons, and enhanced privacy settings. The user experience is smooth, with minimal bloatware and useful pre-installed apps, most are removable upon first boot. Regular software updates ensure the device stays current with security patches and new features. The overall software experience is positive, with an intuitive interface and useful enhancements.

The realme 12 5G supports the latest 5G LTE networks, providing faster download and upload speeds. Additionally, it features Wi-Fi 5 (2.4/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.2 for reliable wireless connections, and multiple navigation systems (GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS) for accurate location tracking. These connectivity options ensure that users can stay connected and navigate effectively. The inclusion of 5G ensures future-proofing for faster network speeds as they become more widely available.

Battery

The battery life of the realme 12 5G is one of its strongest features, offering long-lasting power and quick charging capabilities. It is equipped with a robust 5,000mAh battery, which offers excellent battery life capable of lasting through a full day of moderate to heavy usage. Whether for streaming, gaming, or browsing, the battery performance is reliable.

The device supports 45W SUPERVOOC charging, enabling quick charging times—charging from 0 to 50% in just under 30 minutes. This ensures that even if you run low on battery, a short charging session can provide a significant power boost, reducing downtime. Battery management features within the software help to optimize usage and extend battery life further. Overall, the battery performance is a strong point for the realme 12 5G, providing dependable power for all-day use. This makes it highly suitable for users who require a reliable phone for all-day use without frequent recharging.

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Carl writes for WalasTech when he's not working full-time. Give him tips and/or leads at [email protected].