The sub-Rs 25,000 smartphone segment is now attractive for companies. With inflation, plus the cost of components rising, manufacturers are launching their best smartphones for under Rs. 25,000 instead of what we used to get for under Rs. 20,000 a couple of years ago. Competition out there is brutal, with the likes of Xiaomi, iQoo, Samsung and Realme refreshing their lineups regularly to attract more buyers. Realme, which is one of the top five smartphone players in India, is no different. The company has launched the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G as its latest mid-range smartphone, and it boasts of some premium specifications.
While the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G succeeds the Realme 9 Pro+ 5G (Review), which was well received for its camera system and other features. the formula has changed a little. This time, with its latest high-end number series smartphone, Realme has tried to focus on design and the multimedia experience. This new phone also packs a beefy battery and the latest mid-range MediaTek SoC. So, should you consider buying the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G? Here is our full review to help you decide.
Realme 10 Pro+ 5G price in India
The Realme 10 Pro+ 5G comes in three variants. The base variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage is priced at Rs. 24,999 in India. The variant we have for this review has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage and is priced at Rs. 25,999. There is also an 8GB + 256GB storage option priced at Rs. 27,999.
Realme 10 Pro+ 5G design
Unlike many phones launched in 2022, the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G has a curvy body, making it quite comfortable to hold. The company calls this look 'HyperSpace Design. The phone is also fairly light at 173g and is 7.8mm thick. It comes in three colour options — Dark Matter, Nebula Blue, and HyperSpace Gold. Of the three, the HyperSpace Gold version, which the company sent us, looks the most flashy. The rear panel looks quite busy, reflecting multiple colours when light falls on it. You'll see a prism-like effect in shades of blue radiating outwards from the two circular camera cutouts. The lower half of the phone's rear panel has a glittery finish, which fades away as you move to the top. While this might be subjective, I think there's too much going on in terms of effects and I would probably choose the black colour option for myself. The HyperSpace Gold finish also has a glossy back, making it a magnet for fingerprints and smudges.
The Realme 10 Pro+ 5G has a polycarbonate back panel
As with most Realme phones, the power and volume keys are on the right, while the left is blank. The top houses one of the two microphones, whereas at the bottom, there is the USB Type-C port sandwiched between the dual-SIM tray and the primary speaker grille.
One highlight feature of the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G is its 6.7-inch full-HD+ curved-edge AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. At the time of writing this, the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G is the most affordable smartphone in India with a curved-edge AMOLED display. I did not experience any ghost or accidental touches while using the phone for day-to-day tasks or while playing games, which are sometimes caused by a palm making unintentional contact with the active screen area. The bezels around the display are also very thin, including the chin.
Realme 10 Pro+ 5G's chin is 2.3mm thick, and the company claims it is thinner than that of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
However, a curved screen makes a phone more prone to cracking if you drops it accidentally. The company claims to have used double-reinforced glass to improve durability against drops of up to 1m but I would not recommend testing that claim.
The display is a treat to watch anything on. I played some video on the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G while on a road trip and had no complaints. The brightness of the screen, coupled with dual speakers, made for a good multimedia experience. There is a definite stereo imbalance as the bottom speaker is noticeably louder than the earpiece. Colours are quite rich and punchy, and you get deep blacks when watching something like 1899. Although HDR support is missing, there is WideVine L1 for Netflix.
The Realme 10 Pro+ 5G's fingerprint scanner is placed slightly lower than I would have liked
You get an in-display fingerprint scanner, and authentication is quite quick. Unlike the Realme 9 Pro+ 5G, the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Realme 10 Pro+ 5G specifications and software
The Realme 10 Pro+ 5G features a MediaTek Dimensity 1080 SoC with integrated Mali-G68 graphics. It packs a 5000mAh battery and supports 67W fast charging, but you get an 80W charger in the box, Connectivity options include dual 5G, a USB Type-C port, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.2. The handset supports eight 5G bands in India.
In terms of software, the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G comes with the Android 13-based Realme UI 4.0. This custom skin has what Realme is calling 'Aquamorphic' design. It has a card-style control centre, which I think looks quite organised. Realme continues to offer support for customisation, such as changing the wallpaper, icon shape and size, font, etc. There is support for Always-on Display (AoD), with integration for select apps such as Spotify so you can still control music on the standby screen. There are some security and privacy features as well. You continue to get Android 13's Privacy Dashboard and indicators when an app is using the camera or microphone. OnePlus' Shelf and Zen Mode have also made it to Realme UI 4.0.
The new control centre design in Realme UI 4.0
Realme UI 4.0 allows users to lock specific apps with a password as an added layer of privacy and security. This essentially prevents others from opening certain apps when they have access to your phone. Also, there is a feature called Auto Pixelate, which attempts to blur sensitive information in screenshots. While this feature is not 100 percent accurate, you can manually pixelate content in a screenshot via the edit option. There are also other neat UI touches such as large folders, home screen widgets, etc.
These features are great and do improve the user experience. However, what annoyed me was the number of pre-installed apps. In addition you get even more recommendations while setting up the device. You have to deal with not only Realme's own apps but also multiple third-party ones, such as Moj, Moj Lite+, ShareChat, Paytm, Josh, etc. Some of these might be useful for some people but I clearly am not a fan of the bloatware. The app drawer looks so cluttered that you will struggle to find an app you require at times. You can choose to uninstall most of these apps though.
More than 50 apps are pre-installed on the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G
Another area where the company messed up was with its Hot Apps and Hot Games storefronts, which show suggestions in folders on the home screen. Some of the ones I saw when I first set up this phone were questionable adult-oriented apps. Realme did release an update that removed such app suggestions after Gadgets 360 and others brought this to its notice. The company also released a statement stating that it has removed 95 per cent of ill-suited apps and will scrutinise them more carefully in the future. It goes without saying, such recommendations should never be made. As for software updates, the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G is promised to get two major Android versions and three years of software support.
Realme 10 Pro+ 5G performance and battery life
With a MediaTek Dimensity 1080 SoC under the hood, the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G can handle almost every task that you throw at it. This 6nm SoC can handle day-to-day tasks easily. I also played some games such as Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends on the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G and the experience was quite good. Call of Duty: Mobile ran at High graphics and Very High frame rate settings. You can choose to play at the Max frame rate setting but will have to be content with low graphics but I would rather have a balance. Surprisingly, the phone did not heat up even after playing games for more than 30 minutes.
Moving to benchmark tests, the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G scored 820 and 2,348 in Geekbench's single-core and multi-core tests. These are marginally better than the Realme 9 Pro+ 5G's scores of 818 and 2,316 points in the same tests. The Realme 10 Pro+ 5G scored 5,04,626 points in AnTuTu, which is lower than its predecessor's score of 5,07,258. Should you be concerned? Not really, as these benchmark tests push the SoC beyond what's likely with real-world usage, which in the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G's case is much more than just passable for most use cases.
Realme 10 Pro+ 5G does not feature a 3.5mm audio jack
The phone's 5000mAh battery can last a day on a full charge. In our HD video battery loop test, the phone's battery lasted for 19 hours and 43 minutes, which is very close to the company's claimed time of 20 hours. The Realme 10 Pro+ 5G took 1 hour, 1 minute to charge from 1-100 percent, compared to the claimed time of 47 minutes. The phone also took about 24 minutes to charge up to 50 percent as opposed to the 17 minutes claim.
Realme 10 Pro+ cameras
The Realme 10 Pro+ 5G features a triple-camera setup on the back. It has a 108-megapixel Samsung HM6 main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera.
The camera module design might look similar to what we've seen on some of Honor's phones in China
The primary camera, overall, captures detailed shots with good dynamic range. There were times though when there was chromatic aberration around the edges of branches and leaves. During the night, the camera did a good job of balancing highlights and shadows while exposing photos well.
Realme 10 Pro+ 5G primary camera samples (tap to see full size)
One downside is that there is no optical image stabilisation (OIS), which the Realme 9 Pro+ 5G's primary camera offered. You do get electronic image stabilisation (EIS) but it might not be as useful when capturing videos or shooting in low light.
The ultra-wide camera, in comparison, blows out highlights in both daytime and nighttime shots. Details were not good compared to the main camera, and the edges of frames were heavily distorted too. Lastly, the macro camera is best not used. I would rather use the main camera's 108-megapixel mode and crop the resulting shot enough to get a well-exposed, detailed close-up.
Realme 10 Pro+ 5G ultra-wide camera samples (tap to see full size)
The 16-megapixel front camera is a hit or miss when it comes to capturing facial tones. It also smoothens skin a bit too much, even after disabling the beauty mode filters. Portrait mode, while getting edge detection right in most cases, makes skin look slightly fairer.
Realme 10 Pro+ 5G's screen has curved edges and a camera hole at the top centre
Realme 10 Pro+ 5G front camera sample
The rear camera can shoot up to 4K video at 30 fps, doing a surprisingly good job with colours and dynamic range during the day. There was noticeable noise in video shot in low light or at night. The front camera's video recording resolution is capped at 1080p 30fps. It compromises dynamic range but focus on the subject was sharp.
The Realme 10 Pro+ 5G gets many things right. While design is mostly subjective, I like the overall in-hand feel and weight distribution. The Realme 10 Pro+ 5G's curved-edge AMOLED display is also a class apart, making this a great device for content consumption. The phone's performance is, more or less, the same as that of the Realme 9 Pro+ 5G. It's quite capable for most use cases, including casual gaming. The primary camera does a good job in most situations. I wish it had OIS support in order to really justify the Pro+ moniker, though.
Software is typically developed and designed to complement hardware and this defines the user experience. While it has many new features, Realme UI 4.0 now has a huge amount of bloatware and spam. If not for this, the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G could have been among the top contenders for the title of the best smartphone under Rs. 25,000. If you are okay with the software situation and want a smartphone that is built well, offers great multimedia experience, and has decent cameras, the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G can be considered.
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