realme 12 5G Review | Geek Lifestyle

The realme 12 5G wraps up the 12 series triple threat with a capable camera, sweet aesthetics, and some interesting quality of life features.

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After a successful debut for the 12th installment in their popular numbered series, realme wraps thing up with a bang by introducing the realme 12 5G. With all three phones sporting the same watch-inspired aesthetic and Portrait Master moniker, it was rather interesting to see where the similarities end–and the glaring differences begin.

The realme 12 Pro+ 5G and realme 12+ may have been playing a bit of catch up on the specs sheet, but the latter never found itself left in the dust. The two smartphones simply shared very similar sensibilities while catering to two budget categories. One of the priorities of this review was to see just how much a part of the family the realme 12 5G was. 

Check out our unboxing of the realme 12 5G

Following up on two powerful-yet-affordable 12 series headliners is definitely a tall task. Last year’s realme 11 may have lacked 5G, but made up for this with a decent set of features and a fairly affordable price to reflect it–all while looking nothing like its Pro and Pro+ counterparts. The realme 12 5G aims to, at the very least, replicate what was accomplished last year–and at most, become a worthy member of the 12 series smartphone triumvirate. So, does it have what it takes to be a true blue 12 series standard-bearer, or does it merely share the title? Let’s dive right in.



The realme 12 5G comes in two colorwasy: Woodland Green and Twilight Purple. Lucky for us, we snagged the latter. The usual suspects in accessories include a TPU Case, USB-C to USB-A cable, and a 45W SuperVOOC charging brick. As we mentioned in our first impressions, the phone is lightweight and wafer-thin. While not at all feeling cheap, the lack of a vegan leather backside felt a bit jarring at first. You’d usually get a more glossy, luminescent finish for hard plastic exteriors, but having a fingerprint magnet on your daily driver is no picnic either.

The boxier design allows for easier handling, and being only 7.69 millimeters and 188 grams allows you to literally shoot photos from the hip if need be. As for aesthetics, the realme 12 5G did not fail in showcasing the series’ trademark trendy watch design, incorporating the Sunburst Dial, 3D Jubilee Bracelet, and PVD Edges to the backside and camera adornments. The triple camera setup sits nicely up top, and emits a nice optical illusion under lighting.

Sporting a 6.72-inch screen with a 91.4% screen-to-body ratio means there’s a bit of chin to your FHD+ LTPS LCD display. Still, it does shine bright enough once you power it on, and at first glance colorful enough to keep your attention.

Binge-Watching Factor

While nice and handy to the touch, and seemingly lighter than most smartphones it’s going against, the realme 12 5G boasts the same large display. Coming in with a dynamic refresh rate that peaks at 120Hz, navigating from your home screen to your collection of apps feels snappy enough. It also allows you to save a bit of power, too. In our case, we kept our refresh rate at high settings all throughout–and while we felt there wasn’t much of a difference between that, Standard, or even Auto-Select, the overall feeling wasn’t sluggish. There also wasn’t any issues with running low on battery in spite of the fact. which is worth mentioning.

The 1080 X 2400 resolution allowed for some nice watching, and being able to crank up the videos to 1080p should be mandatory across all midrange phones at this point. It may not be as crystal clear as the 1.5-2K displays you’d find in upper echelon models, but it’s good enough for catching up on your favorite TV shows, K-pop videos, and let’s not forget–newly released movie trailers. The realme 12 5G’s Sunlight Display comes with adaptive brightness that, when tweaked manually, peaks at 950 Nits. You won’t have any trouble watching anything outdoors–though we’d recommend you stay inside, at least during this sweltering season.

We do get dual speakers for some stereo satisfaction, plus a 3.5mm headphone jack if we wish to use our cans. Going up to 200% Ultra Volume allows you to blast music at full force while maintaining a good degree of audio fidelity. It’s nice to literally hear that they kept things consistent in not letting your music snap, crackle, and pop unless you want it to.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that we’re getting IP54 Dust and Water Resistance, which is a very nice thing to have in such unpredictable weather–as the usual errant water droplets could either come from the sky, or your face.

Gaming Prowess

The realme 12 5G possesses a fairly capable processor in the MediaTek Dimensity 6100+ CPU. This, coupled with 8GB of RAM will allow you to run most titles at medium to high settings with a bit of tweaking. You won’t be having a good time running max settings–if the game even allows you to set things that high in the first place. The 256GB storage by default is great to have as well, given how most higher-end games have come with 20GB of files upon installation.

Honkai Star Rail and the fairly new Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile were our test subjects this time, and given the limitations (set by the game or otherwise), they ran decently for the few hours of playtime we had. HSR ran smoothly on medium settings at 60 fps. Going up a notch gave us a few stutters and frame drops whenever we’d have Skills and Ultimates going off one after the other. Traversing the overworld was fine on all settings, though. But what’s the point if you can’t even jump, right?

As for CODWM, the game prohibits you from going any higher than low settings–which we believe is a wise decision on the game development end. Because even at low settings, graphics take a while to smooth out, given the nature of the game streaming all the assets in real time instead of allowing you to download everything at the start. In any case, you’ll have a good time in Battle Royales with no frame drops or stuttering for the most part. Since you’re stuck on low graphical settings, your character models won’t look as polished. Still, you’ll be able to spot your enemies from a mile away, which is the most important factor anyway.

In terms of gaming, the realme 12 5G can indeed run all the titles you can play on a phone, but the more demanding ones will require you to play around with the settings first.

Geek Photoshoot Capabilities

Now, for one of the phone’s main selling points. We’d actually go as far as saying it’s what the 12 series has been known for ever since its arrival.  The realme 12 continues with the number series’ tradition of sporting a 108MP main shooter that captures clear, satisfying photos in broad daylight and garners a bit of noise under dimmer circumstances. The camera setup also comes with a 2MP lens which works as it should. However, it would have been nice to have something else in its stead.

Once we enter the midrange price point, we believe that blurry photos under the sun should be a capital sin. There’s no better way to easily improve your shots than to shoot where the sun doth shine. In this case, the realme 12 5G does well. The photos came out vivid and clear with the colors popping out quite nicely.

The 3X in-sensor portrait zoom allows for more artistic shots for those with more artistic sensibilities. Going any farther than the default 3X zoom garners a bit of graininess and noise. But stay well within the two default zoom settings, and you’ll be fine

The portrait shots are definitely worth discussing here. Most midrange smartphones nowadays have successfully toned down the AI behind their bokeh, and we’ve thus seen portrait shots that don’t completely consume subjects in a blurry, futuristic halo. In the realme 12 5G’s case, we get a nice and satisfying cutout and a not-too-blurry background by default. Depending on the light source, it still touches the edges of your subject–producing a nice, more natural effect.

As for Claudio Miranda’s portrait filters first introduced in the higher-end 12 series smartphones, you’ll be glad to know that they make a comeback for the 12 5G–as do all the other nice filters you have right out of the box. In all seriousness, this is one feature you’d want to have, as it produces some dramatic shots for otherwise normal everyday situations. 

We see a bit of a downgrade with selfies, though. At least on paper. Last year’s realme 11 sported a decent 16MP front camera. While the 12 5G’s front camera is just as decent, it’s cut in half with only 8MP at your disposal. But we did say that the downgrade was simply for them spec sheets, and thankfully, the differences aren’t as egregious as one would come to believe.

Lastly, video. Both the front and rear cameras can shoot up to 1080p at 30fps. Given the chipset and we figure this is good enough. It’s surprisingly stable, for as long as you’re not riding a motorcycle along a dirt trail.

While a tad underwhelming in comparison to the 12+ and 12 Pro+, the camera setup does produce some decent enough shots on its own. Now, going from here, we’re excited to see where realme will be taking this–and if we’d still be seeing a 2MP macro lens in their next entry to the numbered series. Fingers crossed. 

Everyday Reliability

Now, this is a certain aspect where we’d have a degree of difficulty finding any midranger that couldn’t perform. If we’re simply talking daily-driver capabilities all while staying alive and powered, the realme 12 5G can definitely deliver. Especially since you’re running on realme UI 5.0, Android 14. This, coupled with an extra 8GB of dynamic RAM, trivializes multitasking at this point. You’re definitely good to go.

Getting right into the meat and potatoes, you have a 5000 mAh battery with 45W SuperVOOC charging. This guarantees up to two days of battery life with minimal use, and about 8 hours under more taxing circumstances coupled with mobile data. As for topping up from empty, you can go up to 50% in half an hour, and 100% in just over that hour. Not bad.

The realme 12 5G also comes with some nice bells and whistles in the form of quality of life features. We get a Dynamic Button the familiar Mini Capsule, and Riding Mode. The former allows you to double tap or double press the power button to toggle a selection of apps and settings. Ours allows us to set the phone to vibrate upon double tap, and launches the camera when you double press. As for mini capsule, it comes with the settings present in the realme C67. These include viewing charging status, data status, a step tracker, weather notifications, event reminders, and most importantly–a music playback controller.

Riding mode allows you put the realme 12 5G into a more cycling-friendly state by muting notifications, messages, and calls. It throws up maps by default, and even allows a preset reply that tells everyone that you’re not really in the best situation to be texting. It’s a helpful feature for those who either work as riders, or subscribe to their services.

In terms of reliability, there’s really not much to say about the realme 12 5G. Can it perform as your daily driver? Yes. Can it go above and beyond? Well, that depends on your expectations.

Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict

If we were to view the realme 12 5G for what it is, and that aspect alone, we’d say it’s a fairly decent phone that checks all the necessary boxes when it comes to one’s day-to-day, the occasional dip into photography, casual gaming, and simply being unapologetically gaudy. It’s definitely a nice phone that can stand alone.

All things considered, there is one, arguably massive caveat here–that is the price. The realme 12 5G comes in at PHP 14,999. This means it costs exactly the same as the realme 12+ 5G base version was upon launch–a price which goes up and down regularly, depending on the season. This proves quite the conundrum as the 12+ 5G is no slouch in its own right, and under specific situations, can hold its own against the premiere 12 Pro+ 5G–a feat which the realme 12 5G is not capable of.


Still, the realme 12 5G sports a different aesthetic, and provides a slew of quality of life features that aren’t present in its older siblings, so that could be a reason to consider it. It’s also worth noting that not everyone likes the leather exterior or slapping on a TPU case either. At the end of the day, it all boils down to preferences, certain needs, and your overall budget. We’ve given you the 411, so now it’s time for you to decide.

The realme 12 5G available right now via realme’s and James Afante’s TikTok Shops, and will include a bunch of freebies upon order.



First-Selling Duration


realme TikTok Shop

April 25, starting 7:30PM until April 30

realme Pocket Bluetooth Speaker (PHP 990) & TechLife Cooling Fan (PHP 1,999)

James Afante TikTok Shop

April 25, starting 7:30PM

TechLife Cooling Fan (PHP 1,999) + TechLife 4.5L See-Through Air Fryer (PHP 2,799)

realme Buds T100 (PHP 1,299) + TechLife 4.5L See-Through Air Fryer (PHP 2,799)

TechLife Portable Steam Iron (PHP 1,499) + TechLIfe Electric Kettle (PHP 1,299) + TechLife Portable Electric Pot (PHP 1,799)

As for Lazada and Shopee, we’ll have to wait a bit longer.

realme Lazada Flagship

May 5-10

realme Buds T100 (PHP 1,299) & TechLife Hair Dryer (PHP 2,399)

realme Shopee Official Store

May 5-10

TechLife Power Bank 2 20000mAh (PHP 999) & TechLife 4.5L See-Through Air Fryer (PHP 2,799)

For more information and details on the realme 12 5G, you can visit realme’s official website, or drop the official Facebook page.

realme 12 5G Specs:

  • 6.72” 120Hz LTPS LCD(1080 x 2400) Display
  • Mediatek Dimensity 6100+ (6 nm)
  • Mali-G57 MC2
  • 108 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide)
  • 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
  • 8 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide) front-facing camera
  • 8 GB RAM (8 GB Dynamic)
  • 256 GB internal storage (expandable to Up to 2TB via hybrid sim card tray)
  • Fingerprint (side-mounted), Accelerometer, proximity
  • Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot/ LTE /5G
  • USB Type-C
  • 5000 mAh Battery, supports 45W SUPERVOOC charging
  • Android 14
  • realme UI 5.0 Edition
  • Woodland Green, Twilight Purple