Realme 12 Pro Plus review: Potential segment winner despite imperfections

Realme 12 Pro Plus appears to offer excellent value for money in the midrange segment. However, whether it lives up to its on-paper promises remains to be seen. Let us delve into details to find out

Realme 12 Pro +

Realme 12 Pro +

Ashmita Kumari New Delhi
Chinese smartphone brand Realme has frequently referred to itself as a technology democratiser. While this claim may not hold true for all models in its lineup, the top-end model in its number series certainly makes a compelling case for it. Known as the Realme 12 Pro+, this smartphone delivers flagship-grade design, display, camera system, performance, and battery life, all starting at Rs 33,999. On paper, the Realme 12 Pro+ appears to offer excellent value for money in the midrange segment. However, whether it lives up to its on-paper promises remains to be seen. Let us delve into details to find out:

Design

The Realme 12 Pro Plus, in the Submarine Blue colour variant under review, features a leather-finished back cover with a watch-like design for the camera and a gold-coloured frame. Realme collaborated with premium watch designer Ollivier Savéo for the watch-inspired design. A vertical golden metallic strip running across the centre enhances the overall appearance of the smartphone. Moreover, there is a vegan leather coating on the back cover that maintains cleanliness by repelling fingerprint smudges and obviates the necessity for an additional back cover.


Inside the camera module sits a vertical bar-shaped LED. The phone's sides exhibit a metallic finish. The frame encompasses a power button and volume button on the right, a secondary speaker, and a secondary microphone on the top, and a USB-C port, primary speaker, primary microphone, and a removable SIM slot on the bottom.

A 3D curved display with thin bezels dominated the front profile. Weighing 196g, the phone's sleek design and soft-touch leather back provide a rubber-like texture for a secure grip. However, the rear camera bulk compromises stability on flat surfaces. Though similar designs are prevalent among premium phones, the Realme 12 Pro Plus distinguishes itself with its watch-like style.

Display and Audio

The Realme 12 Pro Plus boasts a two-side curved 6.7-inch fullHD+ OLED display of 120Hz refresh rate. The display offers modest dynamic range, but remains legible in outdoor conditions. Various screen colour modes such as Vivid, Natural, Pro modes, cinematic, and brilliant are available within the display setting to allow the user to set it based on preferences. The display supports HDR viewing in YouTube and select other apps.

In terms of responsiveness, the display offers a seamless experience, while the haptics heighten the sense of connection while interacting with apps and social media platforms.

As for audio, it stands as one of the smartphone's strongest features. Equipped with a pair of stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos support, the sound is loud and clear. Dual-mic noise cancellation ensures clear voice recording, even in outdoor settings. While the smartphone lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, it supports Hi-Res audio.

Camera

The Realme 12 Pro Plus boasts a triple-camera setup on the rear, including a 64-megapixel Periscope Telephoto camera that no other smartphone in the segment offers. The other two camera sensors are not afterthoughts either, there is a 50MP Sony IMX890 main camera and an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera. The main and telephoto camera sensors support optical image stabilisation. On the front, the phone has a 32MP camera sensor.
Realme 11 Pro+: Camera Sample
Realme 11 Pro+: Camera Sample


Sensors detail aside, the main camera captures images with depth, clarity, and natural colours in daylight. Even in low-light conditions, the camera delivers clear and consistent images without the need for night mode. However, the post-processing occasionally oversaturates images, resulting in excessively white hues.
Realme 12 Pro +: Photo mod
Realme 12 Pro +: Photo mode


The telephoto camera excels in all conditions, particularly with portraits in good light, producing detailed, vibrant, and well-contrasted images. The 64MP telephoto camera with 6X zoom offers detailed shots, with readable signage even at maximum zoom. However, digital zoom beyond 6x yields inconsistent, pixelated images, with struggles evident at 120x zoom.
Realme 12 Pro +: Telephoto camera
Realme 12 Pro +: Telephoto camera
Realme 12 Pro+: Portrait mode
Realme 12 Pro+: Portrait mode




In contrast to the main and telephoto, the ultra-wide camera underperforms with hazy and faded colours. Improvements are needed in both macro capabilities and stabilisation, as many images exhibit instability and necessitate multiple attempts for a satisfactory shot.

The front camera captures detailed pictures with a tendency to soften images, complemented by beauty tools and colour filters.

Video recording capabilities include 4K resolution at 30fps and 60fps, as well as 720p at 30fps and 60fps, with an option for ultra-steady mode limited to 1080p at 60 fps. However, videos may not accurately represent colours, often appearing washed-out.

Performance and Battery

Powered by the Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 system-on-chip, with up to 12GB RAM and 256GB memory, the Realme 12 Pro Plus delivers fast and smooth performance. The 5000mAh battery lasts a full day, even with a 120Hz refresh rate and four hours of continuous content consumption. Fast charging, facilitated by the 67W wired charger included, enables a full charge from zero to full within an hour.

Software

Based on Android 14-based operating system with Realme UI 5.0 layered on top, the Realme 12 Pro Plus offers responsive system natural haptics experience. The skin comes pre-loaded with third-party apps and many bloatware like FinShell Pay, which cannot be removed. However, the custom-skin incorporates features akin to ColorOS, including File dock for quick access, Smart image matting for object extraction from images, and Omoji for avatar creation. Realme commits to two years of major software updates and three years of security updates for the Realme 12 Pro+.

Verdict

The Realme 12 Pro Plus stands out in the segment with a telephoto camera that is pixel-rich and backed by OIS. Together with commendable display and smooth performance, the smartphone makes an all-round package that offers even better value to users seeking a mid range option with solid camera capabilities.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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First Published: Feb 12 2024 | 11:36 AM IST

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