Realme 12 Pro hands-on review

Realme kicked off the year with the launch of the Realme 12 Pro series, including the Realme 12 Pro and Realme 12 Pro+, focusing mainly on design and cameras. We reviewed the Realme 12 Pro+, and now we have the Realme 12 Pro with us. We spent some time with it, and here go our findings.

Design

The Realme 12 Pro is built around a 6.7″ FullHD+ curved AMOLED display with 950 nits peak brightness and 120 Hz screen refresh rate. It also has a punch-hole for the 16 MP selfie camera and a fingerprint scanner underneath for biometric authentication.

The fingerprint reader was fast and accurate in our testing, and we faced no issues with it. However, placing it slightly higher would have offered a more convenient phone-unlocking experience.

Realme 12 Pro hands-on review

Turn the Realme 12 Pro around, and you see a design similar to the Realme 12 Pro+. The smartphone’s rear panel features a 3D Jubilee Bracelet spanning the length of the back cover, interrupted by the centrally-placed camera island, which prevents the phone from wobbling on flat surfaces.

Realme 12 Pro (left) with Realme 12 Pro+ (right)
Realme 12 Pro (left) with Realme 12 Pro+ (right)

Like the Realme 12 Pro+, the Realme 12 Pro’s back panel is also covered with vegan leather “crafted from dirt-resistant high-end silicone materials” to offer a luxurious feel, which it sure does. It’s nice to touch and prevents fingerprint smudges while providing a good grip.

Realme 12 Pro hands-on review

The Realme 12 Pro’s camera island is bigger than the Realme 11 Pro’s, sometimes making it difficult to hold the phone with one hand. It is surrounded by a Golden Fluted Bezel and has a Polished Sunburst Dial, which creates a nice visual effect when light hits it at different angles. It protrudes less than the Pro+’s camera island and matches the rear panel’s color, which, in our case, is blue since we’ve received the Submarine Blue version that we found to look better than the Navigator Beige model.

Realme 12 Pro hands-on review

The Realme 12 Pro features a golden-colored shiny plastic frame, and on the phone’s right-side are the volume rocker and power button with decent feedback. At the bottom is the USB-C port, flanked by a SIM card slot, primary microphone, and speaker, and up top is the secondary mic and speaker.


Ports and controls
Ports and controls
Ports and controls

Ports and controls

The Realme 12 Pro also has an IP65 rating like its Pro+ counterpart, which is a welcome upgrade. Its overall design and build are identical to those of the Pro+ model, and we quite like them, especially the Submarine Blue model. The blue and golden colors complement each other well.

Realme 12 Pro (left) with Realme 12 Pro+ (right)
Realme 12 Pro (left) with Realme 12 Pro+ (right)

Display

The Realme 12 Pro packs a 6.7″ curved OLED screen of 2,412×1,080-pixel resolution with 120 Hz refresh rate and 240 Hz touch sampling rate. It’s protected by a “0.55mm Double-Reinforced Glass” and supports 1.07 billion colors. It also comes with HDR10, HLG, and Widevine L1 certifications, with the last one allowing 1080p video streaming on supported apps.

Additionally, the Realme 12 Pro’s screen has Pro-XDR support and 950 nits peak brightness. That’s the same as its Pro+ counterpart, and we found it to be sufficient outdoors under strong sunlight. We also didn’t face any screen mistouch issues with the Realme 12 Pro due to its curved display.

Realme 12 Pro hands-on review

That said, the Realme 12 Pro has Auto-select, Standard (60 Hz), and High (120 Hz) refresh rate options, with the screen supporting three refresh rates in total – 60 Hz, 90 Hz, and 120 Hz.

Realme 12 Pro hands-on review

In Standard mode, the refresh rate expectedly remains capped at 60 Hz. In Auto-select mode, the refresh rate is bumped up from 60 Hz to 90H z for the system menus and some apps when interacting with the screen, but for most apps, it only goes up to 90 Hz. This includes the Play Store, Google Chrome, Google Photos, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The refresh rate remained capped at 60 Hz on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google Photos when playing videos, while YouTube remained at 60 Hz throughout.

The High mode is basically Auto-select mode, except the refresh rate goes to 120 Hz in Twitter, Quora, and GSMArena’s apps when you interact with the screen.

Those into gaming are in for some disappointment, though, since almost all the games we tried ran at 60FPS. So, if you want the smoothest possible experience, the High refresh rate mode is your best option.

Software and Performance

The Realme 12 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 SoC, unlike the Realme 12 Pro+ that has the Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 chip at the helm. It comes with up to 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. Our is the top-end version with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. However, regardless of which model you go for, the smartphone runs Realme UI 5.0 based on Android 14.

The Realme 12 Pro comes pre-installed with third-party apps, but most can be uninstalled. The smartphone’s overall software experience is similar to that of the Realme 12 Pro+, so we suggest you read our Realme 12 Pro+ review to learn more about Realme UI 5.0.

Realme 12 Pro hands-on review

Talking about the performance, the Realme 12 Pro was quite smooth most of the time. It did stutter, but not enough to hamper the user experience. The gaming performance was also good enough, even during long gaming sessions. However, as we already mentioned, not a single game we played on the Realme 12 Pro ran at more than 60FPS.

Camera

The Realme 12 Pro features four cameras – one on the front and three on the rear. The selfie camera on the front uses a 16 MP sensor vs. 32 MP on Pro+. It has an f/2.4 aperture, 83° FOV, and can record videos in 1080p resolution at 30fps.

Realme 12 Pro hands-on review

The triple camera system on the Realme 12 Pro is also different from the Realme 12 Pro+’s. It’s a combination of 50 MP primary, 32 MP telephoto, and 8 MP ultrawide units. The Pro+, on the other hand, features 50 MP primary, 64 MP periscope telephoto, and 8 MP ultrawide cameras.

The 50 MP primary cameras on the Pro and Pro+ are different, too, since the Pro uses the Sony IMX882 sensor. It has OIS, an f/1.8 aperture, and a 26mm focal length. The camera can record 1080p videos in 30fps and 60fps, but 4K recording is limited to 30fps. The 32 MP unit uses a Sony IMX709 sensor and sits behind a 47mm telephoto lens. It has OIS, 2x optical zoom (vs. 3x on Pro+), 20x digital zoom, and an f/2.0 aperture.

The Realme 12 Pro’s three rear cameras were quick enough to capture images in the default Photo mode when clicking only one or two pictures at a time, but the camera app got quite slow when taking multiple photos and switching between the cameras. The phone also stuttered often during photography when switching between apps.

Realme 12 Pro hands-on review

Moreover, there was some inconsistency in colors, especially of skies, when clicking pictures with the primary camera in the Photo mode during the day. Sometimes, the same skies looked dull, and sometimes, they looked more blue. In low light, this happened with the 50 MP “High-Res” mode, which also produced darker shadows with fewer details compared to the Photo and ultrawide modes. During the day, some pictures clicked in High-Res mode looked saturated with shadows lacking details.

The Night Mode gave better results as it resolved more details in shadows. However, it’s worth mentioning that regardless of the camera used, some pictures had lens flares, and light sources were getting overexposed at times.

You can check some pictures we took from the Realme 12 Pro below.

Daylight Photos

Let’s take a look at the daylight pictures first, captured with the 50 MP primary camera having a 12.6 MP output in the Photo mode at 1x, 2x, and 4x magnification.

Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm).


Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)

Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)

Ultrawide camera, 8 MP, 0.6x magnification (16mm).


Ultrawide camera, 8MP, 0.6x magnification (16mm)
Ultrawide camera, 8MP, 0.6x magnification (16mm)
Ultrawide camera, 8MP, 0.6x magnification (16mm)
Ultrawide camera, 8MP, 0.6x magnification (16mm)
Ultrawide camera, 8MP, 0.6x magnification (16mm)
Ultrawide camera, 8MP, 0.6x magnification (16mm)

Ultrawide camera, 8MP, 0.6x magnification (16mm)

Primary camera, 50.3 MP (High resolution), 1x magnification (26mm).


Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)

Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)

Nighttime Photos

Now, let’s take a look at some nighttime photos.

Primary camera, 12.6 MP, 1x magnification (26mm).


Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)

Primary camera, 12.6MP, 1x magnification (26mm)

Ultrawide camera, 8 MP, 0.6x magnification (16mm).


Ultrawide camera, 8MP, 0.6x magnification (16mm)
Ultrawide camera, 8MP, 0.6x magnification (16mm)
Ultrawide camera, 8MP, 0.6x magnification (16mm)

Ultrawide camera, 8MP, 0.6x magnification (16mm)

Primary camera, 50.3 MP (High resolution), 1x magnification (26mm).


Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)

Primary camera, 50.3MP, 1x magnification (26mm)

Primary camera, 12.6 MP (Night Mode), 1x magnification (26mm).


Primary camera, 12.6MP (Night Mode), 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP (Night Mode), 1x magnification (26mm)
Primary camera, 12.6MP (Night Mode), 1x magnification (26mm)

Primary camera, 12.6MP (Night Mode), 1x magnification (26mm)

Next, we have a 1080p video recorded at 30FPS.

Battery

The Realme 12 Pro has a 5,000 mAh battery under the hood, which is the same as the Realme 12 Pro+’s cell. We couldn’t run our standard battery tests on the Realme 12 Pro since it wasn’t tested at our HQ, but anecdotally speaking, the Realme 12 Pro got us through the day on a single charge with an average screen-on time of about 5 hours on moderate usage with 120 Hz screen refresh rate and 5G mobile data and Wi-Fi hotspot enabled the whole time. The usage consisted of web browsing, using social media apps, and streaming YouTube videos. With heavy gaming for about an hour, we got an average screen-on time of a little over 4 hours.

Realme 12 Pro hands-on review

Once the Realme 12 Pro’s battery is drained, you can charge it with the bundled 67W power adapter, advertised to fill the cell from 1% to 50% in 19 minutes and 100% in 48 minutes.

In our testing, the Realme 12 Pro charged from 1% to 18% in 5 minutes, 30% in 10 minutes, 41% in 15 minutes, 50% in 20 minutes, 68% in 30 minutes, and 100% in 54 minutes. The Realme 12 Pro+, which also packs a 5,000 mAh battery with 67W charging support, goes from flat to 100% in 43 minutes.

Realme 12 Pro hands-on review

That said, it’s worth mentioning that the charging tests on the Realme 12 Pro were run in India with the Always-On Display enabled, and your mileage may vary depending on your usage and ambient temperature.

Conclusion

The Realme 12 Pro flaunts a design that punches above its price range, with the Submarine Blue version looking very premium. The smartphone has a nice build and packs a display that’s legible enough outdoors to get work done, while the 5,000 mAh battery should get most people through the day with moderate usage. The cell took over 50 minutes for a full charge, which, though not blazing fast, should be enough for most users.

The Realme 12 Pro’s performance was also good, and the phone was mostly smooth. However, it did stutter when switching between the apps and the camera.

Realme 12 Pro hands-on review

Speaking of, the Realme 12 Pro’s rear cameras had slow processing and faced issues with shadows and consistency in colors, but they clicked decent daylight pictures. The telephoto camera also took usable shots up to 4x zoom. Even those at 6x magnification were good, but we rarely went up to 10x zoom and beyond.

The Realme 12 Pro starts at INR22,999 ($275/€255) in India, and if you are looking for a smartphone having an attractive, premium design with a nice in-hand feel and cameras that can take decent daylight photos, then you can consider the Realme 12 Pro. Otherwise, consider other options available in this price range.

Leave a Comment