Realme 12 Pro 5G First Impressions: Certainly Stands Out

Realme 12 Pro is the latest smartphone from Realme to hit the Indian market. It was launched alongside the Realme 12 Pro+ on January 29. The new handset has an improved camera setup and a new chipset but looks identical to the Realme 11 Pro from last year, at least from the front. One of the key selling points of the newly launched handset is that it has been designed in collaboration with a luxury watchmaker. This is very much evident in the rear camera island. Here are my first impressions of the Realme 12 Pro after having used it for a few days.

For the Realme 12 Pro series, the Chinese smartphone maker has partnered with Ollivier Savéo for the design. Savéo is a well-known French luxury watchmaker who’s collaborated with brands such as Rolex. The phone is available in Submarine Blue and Navigator Beige colour options. I received the Submarine Blue variant of the Realme 12 Pro.

As soon as I unboxed the smartphone, I realised what Realme was talking about. On the rear panel, it has a large circular camera module, which has elements usually found in a luxury watch. There’s a golden bezel that runs around the circular module, and it gets a polished blue sunburst dial. The dial reflects light to create a spectacular gradient that a watch enthusiast will find pleasing. A golden stitching element is also found on the back panel, running at the centre from top to bottom.

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Realme 12 Pro 5G in Submarine Blue

The Realme 12 Pro 5G also has a vegan leather finish rear that gives it a premium look and feel. It has a curved rear and front glass panel, giving the impression that the phone is slimmer than it is. The in-hand feel of the phone is really nice. There’s also a good weight to it, making it feel premium. The frame is still plastic, but it has a gold coating that matches all the other golden elements on the phone. The buttons are all placed on the left edge and easily reachable. Realme has included dual stereo speakers, a dual-SIM card tray, a USB Type-C port, and two microphones on the smartphone.

On the front, the phone has a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with full-HD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. The display curves around the edges, but not too much, and you get slim bezels all around. It’s a good-looking display, and I reckon it’ll be great to watch videos and movies and play games on this panel. There’s no Corning Gorilla glass protection here, though, but it does offer some kind of high-strength glass over the display. The panel can get as bright as 800 nits, and it supports ProXDR visuals. You also get an in-display fingerprint scanner and a hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera located at the top centre.

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Realme 12 Pro 5G has a 6.7-inch curved AMOLED display

At the back, the circular camera module does remind me of the Realme 11 Pro, as it is placed in the same position as before and is roughly about the same size. However, that sunburst dial makes me forget all about the resemblance. The Realme 12 Pro has a triple camera setup housed inside the camera module, this is a step up from the dual-camera setup on the predecessor. There’s a 50-megapixel Sony IMX 882 sensor with OIS, a 32-megapixel Sony IMX 702 unit with 2x optical zoom and OIS, and finally, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide unit. Thankfully there’s no macro sensor here. I did try out the cameras, and it looks like Realme has done a good job. You’ll have to wait for my full review to find out more about the camera performance.

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The Realme 12 Pro 5G gets a 50-megapixel Sony IMX 882 primary camera

For selfies and video calls, Realme has included a 16-megapixel camera, the same as last year. What’s not the same as last year is the processor. The Realme 12 Pro 5G comes with a Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 SoC, which is a 4nm chipset said to provide better performance and efficiency when compared to the older model. I’ll have to test the claims to find out if it’s true, but everything seemed smooth at first glance. The chipset is paired with 8GB RAM and up to 256GB onboard storage. The handset gets dual-band Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and GPS connectivity.

Realme has packed a 5,000mAh battery on the Realme 12 Pro 5G with 67W fast charging support, the same as last year. I’ll test the battery performance in my full review. The phone runs Android 14-based RealmeUI out-of-the-box, and you do get plenty of bloatware.

The Realme 12 Pro seems like a good deal for Rs. 26,000, but I will have to test it out more in the coming days. Its design is certainly one of the key selling points, and so is the upgraded camera setup. Stay tuned for my full review.

The Motorola Edge 40 recently made its debut in the country as the successor to the Edge 30 that was launched last year. Should you buy this phone instead of the Nothing Phone 1 or the Realme Pro+? We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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