Realme 12 Pro+ 5G First Impressions: Big Upgrades for Less?

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The Realme 12 Pro and the Realme 12 Pro+ are the brand’s latest number series smartphones. Between the two, the more affordable Realme 12 Pro looks identical to the higher-priced Realme 12 Pro+, even if the hardware inside both of them is worlds apart. The Realme 12 Pro+ obviously gets better hardware and plenty of upgrades, accompanied by a higher price tag. It’s priced from Rs. 29,999 for the base model, but it sure packs in a punch even when compared to the competition. Let me explain.

The Realme 12 Pro+ sticks with its faux leather design, which appears refreshing even though it looks similar to the 11 Pro+ released last year. Realme sticks to a faux-leather rear panel, which looks and feels quite premium. It will be available in Submarine Blue, Navigator Beige and an India exclusive, Explorer Red.

In terms of weight, the phone is not too heavy either at 189 grams. It is a bit chunky thanks to the extra layers of the vegan leather-wrapped rear panel, but its curved sides and 3D curved-edge display make it appear quite thin (8.75mm at its thinnest point) and also lend it a good hand feel.

For the first time ever, Realme has managed to squeeze in an IP rating in its number series phone. The Realme 12 Pro+ gets an IP65 rating for dust and water resistance which the company claims is good for splashes but not immersion.

Realme has a very unique-looking camera module which will remind you of an expensive wristwatch

 

Its 6.7-inch curved edge OLED display sports a full-HD+ resolution and offers a maximum 120Hz refresh rate along with a 240Hz touch sampling rate, which should be good for gaming. It’s also a Pro-XDR panel, which means photographs can be viewed in their full dynamic range, and this is useful given the camera hardware the phone packs.

The phone is available in three RAM and storage options. The base 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant is priced competitively at Rs. 29,999, while the 256GB storage variant is priced at Rs. 31,999. Lastly, there’s a top-of-the-line variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, which is priced at Rs. 33,999.

The chipset has also got a notable upgrade. Realme has switched from a MediaTek Dimensity 7050 SoC to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 SoC, which is fairly new and only available on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro, which is also priced similarly. While its maximum clock speed is limited to 2.4GHz, it should do well in the battery department as it has been manufactured using the superior 4nm fabrication process.

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Realme maintains the 120Hz display refresh rate of the previous model along with its 3D-curved edges on the left and right sides

 

Realme went with a massive 200-megapixel sensor with its Realme 11 Pro+ last year and also used it to deliver some telephoto capability. With the Realme 12 Pro+, the company switches gears to a more sensible 50-megapixel camera (Sony IMX 890) with OIS but also adds a superior 64-megapixel periscope telephoto camera (OmniVision OV64B) which also has OIS. This is followed by an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera which appears to be the same as on last year’s model. The 32-megapixel selfie camera, too, seems to be borrowed from the Realme 11 Pro+.

This high-resolution telephoto camera provides up to 3X optical zoom, and Realme claims that it is capable of shooting photos at 120X as well. This telephoto camera also happens to be the same one as on the OnePlus Open and the OnePlus 12, so my expectations for it are sky-high indeed.

realme 12 pro plus charging ndtv Realme12ProPlus5G  Realme

The Realme 12 Pro Plus frame is made from polycarbonate

 

The phone packs in a similar sized 5,000mAh battery as on the previous model, but drops the wired charging rate to 67W instead of the previous 100W. Realme claims a 100 percent charge in just 48 minutes, which we will test out in our full review.

Coming to software, there’s a fresh serving of Realme UI 5.0 which is based on Android 14. The usual ColorOS 14-like features (like File Dock) aside, the device comes with an interesting new feature called Flash Capsule, which we will test out in our full review.

From its premium-looking design to its IP65 rating, the Realme 12 Pro+ seems to offer incredible value for money, given the underlying hardware. There’s also the high-end telephoto camera which Realme has somehow managed to squeeze into this package and price point. This should make it easier to combat offerings from Xiaomi and its Redmi Note 13 series of devices, which lack a dedicated telephoto camera and bank on lossless in-sensor zoom using their 200-megapixel cameras. So, stay tuned to our full review to find out if Realme’s new 12 Pro+ manages to be a solid, well-rounded offering in the mid-range smartphone segment or falls flat with execution.


Realme might not want the Mini Capsule to be the defining feature of the Realme C55, but will it end up being one of the phone’s most talked-about hardware specifications? We discuss this 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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For details of the latest launches and news from Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo and other companies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, visit our MWC 2024 hub.

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