Realme 5i Unboxing and Initial Impressions

realme 5i

The much-teased Realme 5i is finally brought in the Philippines

The year 2020 has just begun, and for smartphone enthusiasts like myself, this means new set of phones are coming our way that will offer new technology trend with some releases offering minor upgrades or slight changes from the previous year's releases. Realme is one of the smartphone makers that is starting the year with a bang with the launch of its new device called the Realme 5i. In fact, the company is targeting to hit more than 50 million smartphones shipment this year. The Realme 5i is just the beginning.

Realme Philippines is generous enough to send me a review unit of this upcoming Android smartphone for me to personally try out and share my experience using this phone with you my readers and followers. So here is my Realme 5i unboxing and initial impressions post.

Basically, the Realme 5i is the same Realme 5 model that we fell in love with in 2019 except for three things; front camera, back cover design, and pricing that according to Realme Philippines will be the "first quad-camera smartphone and powered by Snapdragon 665 processor in its price segment plus EIS (electronic image stabilization)". Pricing is not revealed yet at time of writing though.

Box and packaging

First off with the boxing of the device, the Realme 5i comes in a bright yellow box where the front face sports the huge "5i" branding right at the center. Right below it is the Realme name. Same goes on the sides of the box while on the back are the key specs of the device. Now inside the device are the usual stuff, the smartphone itself wrapped in its own plastic protection cover, microUSB charging cable, charger brick, SIM ejecting tool, and some documentation. Unfortunately, it does not come with free clear jelly case like its predecessors.

realme 5i

The Realme 5i

The Realme 5i sports a huge 6.5-inch IPS display panel with HD+ or 720p resolution. The screen is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 layering. Underneath the phone is an 11nm octa-core Snapdragon 665 processor that clocks up to 2.0GHz. In terms of memory and storage, the Philippines will have the 3GB RAM and 64GB storage variant. Still, the storage is expandable via a dedicated microSD card slot up to 256GB.

realme 5i
Realme 5i in Forrest Green
Being part of the Realme 5 family, the 5i has four cameras on the back. The primary is pegged at 12MP with f1.8 aperture and phase detection autofocus (PDAF). The secondary lens is at 8MP equipped with f2.25 aperture and 119-degree ultrawide angle lens. The third and fourth shooters are at 2MP each and are equipped with ultra-macro and portrait lenses. And then the front facing camera has 8MP for selfie needs and like its rear facing counterparts, it also has AI technology embedded in it. And yes of course the Super Nightmode 2.0 and Chroma Boost camera features are also present in the Realme 5i for a much better mobile photography experience day and night.
 
The rear cameras can record videos up to 4K resolution. 1080p and 720p video format are also available with EIS or electronic image stabilization for shake-free video recordings. Panorama, Expert, Time-Lapse, Slo-Mo and Ultra Macro camera features are also available on the 5i phone.

Right out of the box, the device is powered by Color OS 6.1 sitting on top of Android 9 Pie mobile OS. We know that Realme has started rolling out Android 10 with Realme UI software in some markets to Realme 3 series, we are just hoping that Realme 5 series' turn is also just around the corner.

New design, new colorway

One of the unique things this Realme 5i offers is its design. Gone are the glossy and smudge-hungry rear covers found on the previous Realme 5 devices and are now replaced with a new textured finish. And instead of the diamond cut design we saw on the original Realme 5 smartphones, we now see sun rays-like pattern on the new iteration. The company calls this look the "Sunrise Design". According to Realme, this new design on the Realme 5i is inspired by the power and hope that the first rays of the sun bring us. It represents the enthusiasm and endless possibilities of the young generation. It comes in two color options - Aqua Blue and Forrest Green. As you can see in the last image above, the textures on the surface are so pronounced that if you run your nails on it will create a scratching sound effect.

realme 5i hands on review

Other features we can see on the back panel are the traditional fingerprint scanner situated right in the upper center and of course the Realme branding at the bottom left.

As for its buttons and ports, Realme has them placed in the same usual spots around the device. For example, on the right side is the power/lock key while the volume rocker keys and triple card slot on the right. Yes there are still three card slots on the 5i, meaning users are able to use two SIM cards and a microSD card for storage expansion all the same time. And then, the 3.5mm audiojack together with the microUSB port, mic, and speaker grilles are situated at the bottom.

realme 5i unboxing

Interface and Software

As mentioned, the Realme 5i is powered by Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6.1 on top right out of the box. Most likely, this device will also receive the much anticipated Android 10 with Realme UI update soon, but we have to wait for the official announcement coming from Realme regarding that. So, if you have previously used a Realme device especially the most recent ones, the visual and navigation experience will just be the same in terms of the interface. It's fast and fluid most of the time and the screen is still responsive as usual and then there are a few pre-installed apps such as Lazada, Trip.com, Webnovel, YT Music and even Google News. Good thing is, those apps can be uninstalled if one wanted.

realme 5i unboxing

For the storage, the one I got sports 64GB and upon initial boot the available storage space was about 51GB. So it will take a little more time before users will start needing to use microSD card.

Initial verdict

It is too early to give my final impressions of this smartphone since I am still to start using this as my daily driver and Realme has not revealed the official pricing yet. However, at first look and apart from the new design on its back which I find really nice as it adds more character and grip to the phone, the Realme 5i offers relatively the same experience as the standard Realme 5 smartphone and that is a good thing knowing that technically this 5i is a downgraded version powered by the same powerful Snapdragon 665 processor. Perhaps we are in for an even more treat when Realme Philippines finally reveals more details about this phone next week. Let's wait.

Realme 5i specs:

  • 6.5-inch HD+ IPS Display
  • 1600 x 720 resolution
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • 2.0GHz Octa-core 11nm Snapdragon 665 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Supports microSD card
  • 12MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP quad rear camera with f/1.8 aperture, PDAF, ultrawide, macro, and depth sensors
  • 8MP front camera
  • Anroid 9 Pie with Color OS 6.1
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G LTE
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Aqua Blue, Forrest Green
  • 5000mAh battery
As of writing, we don't know how much the Realme 5i will be retailed for and when this will be available for everyone to purchase. However, it will be officially launched in the Philippines on January 29. So stay tuned for that. But to give you an idea of its price tag, its closest Realme 5 brother which has 3GB RAM and 64GB storage was priced at Php7,990 when launched in October last year. Hopefully, Realme will price this one a little more aggressively.

Update: The Realme 5i has been launched in the Philippines and priced for only Php6,990.

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DUGOMPINOY: Realme 5i Unboxing and Initial Impressions
Realme 5i Unboxing and Initial Impressions
Here is my unboxing post of the new and upcoming Realme 5i smartphone with quad rear camera set up. Read more here.
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