Realme 12 Pro+: Impressive battery life and camera setup at an affordable price

Realme recently launched its new 12 series in India, including the 12 Pro+ and 12 Pro. I have been using the higher-end 12 Pro+ model, which is priced at Rs. 29,999 for the base variant and Rs. 33,999 for the higher variant. The company has made several upgrades and changes to the hardware and software of the device. Let’s take a closer look at whether this phone is worth considering:

Design: The first thing that catches your attention is the vegan leather back and the unique watch-like camera setup. The leather back seems well-fitted, although only time will tell how it ages. The phone features a 6.7-inch (20:9 aspect ratio) display with the front camera placed in the middle. The volume buttons and power/lock key are located on the right side, while the left side is plain. The top of the phone houses one loudspeaker outlet and a secondary mic, while the bottom has the dual SIM card tray, primary mic, USB type C port, and another loudspeaker outlet. With a thickness of under 8.8mm and weighing just under 200 grams, the phone is tall, narrow, and comfortable to hold. It also boasts an IP65 water and dust resistance rating and comes in three color options – Submarine Blue, Navigator Beige, and Explorer Red.

Display: The phone features a 6.7-inch OLED display that supports a 120Hz refresh rate. The display is excellent, with good viewing angles and color reproduction when using the natural mode. However, it is not very bright and requires maximum brightness when used under direct sunlight. One downside is the absence of HDR support in Netflix. Nevertheless, the display is sharp and smooth for watching videos and reading text.

Cameras: The device is equipped with a triple camera system on the back, including a 50MP (f/1.8) main camera, a 64MP (f/2.6) telephoto camera, and an 8MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide camera. The portrait capabilities of this phone are particularly impressive, with good quality portrait shots and minimal sacrifice in contrast and details. The camera app is quick to load, and there’s minimal shutter lag. The ProXDR image mode offers enhanced brightness and contrast, which many users may prefer. However, the camera performance in low-light conditions, especially with the ultra-wide camera, is a bit hit and miss. The Night mode helps reduce graininess to some extent. The front-facing 32MP (f/2.4) camera delivers detailed and well-stitched selfie shots.

Software and Performance: The phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 chipset, with an octa-core processor clocked at up to 2.4GHz, Adreno 710 GPU, and X62 5G modem. It comes with 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS2.2 internal storage (also available in 8GB + 128GB and 8GB + 256GB configurations). The device runs on realme UI 5.0 based on Android 14, with the December security patch. The phone offers a responsive and smooth experience, with no noticeable stutters when switching between apps or scrolling within social media apps. While it can handle less intensive games at 60FPS, it struggles to provide consistent smooth gameplay for more demanding games like Genshin Impact. However, it performs well for games like Diablo Immortal, maintaining around 30FPS most of the time. The phone does not experience any heating issues.

Realme has made some improvements to the software, removing a few pre-loaded apps and allowing users to uninstall most remaining third-party apps easily. The company promises two years of OS updates and three years of security updates, which is decent but falls short of the three plus four years policy becoming more common in this segment.

Battery Life: The phone is equipped with a 5,000mAh battery and comes with a 67-watt SuperVooc charger. Despite the smaller charger compared to its predecessor, the phone still charges from 1% to full in about 50 minutes, which is impressively fast. The battery life is excellent, with the phone lasting a day and still having 15%-20% battery remaining, even with heavy usage like using WiFi hotspot over 5G for a couple of hours. The display settings I used were auto refresh rate enabled and Adaptive sleep disabled.

Other Features: The call quality and 5G reception on the phone are impressive, with fast bandwidth and reliable 5G connectivity wherever available. The loudspeakers provide clear and loud audio for gaming and video playback. WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS perform without any issues when used individually or together. The fingerprint scanner, while not the quickest, works well enough for regular use.

Verdict: The realme 12 Pro+ is a camera-centric phone that stands out for its price. It offers excellent battery life, a decent display, and a familiar yet premium design. Within just 12 days of using the device, I received three OS updates, including camera improvements and software optimization. Hopefully, realme continues to improve and enhance the user experience throughout the promised update period.