Realme 12+ Review


Realme is back with another stylish phone in the Realme 12 series. The new Realme 12+ is the latest in the lineup and takes some cues from the Realme 12 Pro duo. You get a familiar camera module that looks like a luxury watch and a vegan leather back panel that reminds you of the more expensive Realme 12 Pro lineup. This is a mid-range smartphone, though, and it comes with a big screen, a segment-first Sony LYT-600 rear camera, and once again boasts a collaboration with Claudio Miranda.

I’ve been using the Realme 12+ for a couple of weeks now, and here’s why I think it’s a good phone in this price segment.

Realme 12+ price in India

Starting with the price, the Realme 12+ is available in India in two variants. You get the base option with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage that’s priced at Rs. 20,999. There’s also a variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, which is what I’ve been testing. This model is priced at Rs. 21,999.

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The smartphone offers a flat frame

 

The phone has two colour options – Navigator Beige and Pioneer Green. I was sent the Pioneer Green variant, which I believe looks better than the Beige option. Both phones feature a vegan leather finish rear panel with a vertical stripe that runs from top to bottom.

In the box, you get the phone, a transparent case, some paperwork, a SIM ejector tool, a 67W fast charger, and a USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable. The phone also comes pre-applied with a screen protector.

Realme 12+ Review: Design

Like I said in the beginning, the phone reminds me a lot of the Realme 12 Pro series. You get a similar vegan leather finish at the back, the watch-inspired circular camera module, and the stripe. However, unlike the Realme 12 Pro lineup, the new Realme 12+ offers a flat, glossy frame with rounded corners. The frame is made from plastic, so you’ll have to be careful as it can easily get scratched. The phone is comfortable to hold, but the sharp edges of the frame can dig into your hand over an extended period. The camera module has a sunburst texture that forms a beautiful pattern when light hits it and it does like a traditional watch dial.

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The rear design reminds me of the Realme 12 Pro

 

On the front, the Realme 12+ has slim side bezels, a hole punch cutout at the top centre for the selfie camera, and a thick chin. The top and bottom bezels aren’t uniform. The display is protected by a ‘0.68 secondary tempered high-strength glass’ as per Realme. On the right side of the phone, you’ll find the power and volume buttons, and the bottom houses a loudspeaker, a USB Type-C port, a microphone, and the SIM/microSD tray slot. I’d recommend caution when opening the SIM tray, as the ejector and microphone holes look very similar.

At the top, the phone features a 3.5mm headphone port, a second microphone, and a second loudspeaker. The phone weighs 190 grams and is 7.87mm thick. It also carries an IP54 dust and water resistance rating. Yes, you can use the phone in light rain, but don’t go dunking it in the swimming pool.

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The phone gets a 3.5mm headphone jack

 

Overall, the Realme 12+ has a good design that stands out from the rest, at least from the back, and that is definitely a plus.

Realme 12+ Review: Specifications and software

The Realme 12+ is a mid-range phone that’s equipped with the MediaTek Dimensity 7050 SoC. This is a 6nm chipset that is paired with the Mali-G68 GPU. You get up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. While the RAM is expandable virtually up to another 8GB, you can add up to 2TB via a microSD card. For communication, you get 5G support, Bluetooth 5.2, dual-band Wi-Fi 6, and GPS, Glonass, Beidou, Galileo, and QZSS support. In terms of connectivity, you get a USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

For security, the phone comes with an in-display fingerprint scanner that’s placed quite low on the screen. It’s of the regular optical type and worked well during my time with the phone.

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The Realme 12+ scores around 5,90,000 on AnTuTu

 

Realme has packed the phone with a 5,000mAh battery that supports 67W fast charging. Luckily, the charger is included in the box.

In terms of software, the Realme 12+ boots Android 14-based Realme UI 5.0. You get 2 years of OS updates and 3 years of security patches. And as is always the case with budget and mid-range phones from brands such as Realme, there’s plenty of bloatware to fight through. You get ads everywhere: a secondary App Market, Hot Apps, Hot Games, and plenty of pre-installed apps and games. Most of these can’t be uninstalled, so you’ll continue to get ads every now and then, even if you disable them.

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There’s a lot of bloatware onboard the Realme 12+

 

As for software features, you get a File Dock, Flash Capsule, Smart image matting, and Phonelink. With File Dock, you can simply drag and drop text, images, and links between apps. Flash capsule is similar to Apple’s Dynamic Island and gives you quick notifications at the top of the screen. Smart image matting lets you separate a subject/object from its background, and Phonelink lets you connect your phone to a Windows PC using Microsoft LTW (Link to Windows).

Realme 12+ Review: Performance

The Realme 12+ performs well in day-to-day usage and can run most games with ease. On AnTuTu, which runs an all-around CPU, GPU, Memory, and storage test, the phone received a combined score of 5,99,629 points. That’s surprising as the phone managed to score higher than the more expensive Realme 12 Pro. On Geekbench 6’s CPU tests, the phone scored 865 in the single-core and 2,211 in multi-core tests. I also ran 3D Mark benchmarks, scoring 2,239 in the WildLife Unlimited test, but the benchmark kept crashing in the Slingshot test, telling me that it ran out of RAM. This also failed when I beefed the virtual RAM to 16GB total, so I’m not sure what was happening here.

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The phone doesn’t heat up a lot when gaming

 

Let’s move to the display, where I do know what’s happening. The Realme 12+ gets a 6.67-inch AMOLED display that offers full-HD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, and a peak brightness of 2000nits. The phone gets plenty bright indoors and is also legible outdoors under direct sunlight. It offers Vivid, Natural, and Pro colour modes. I’d recommend using the Natural or the Cinematic colour mode found under the Pro modes for the most accurate colours. Viewing angles of the panel are also good, with only a slight change in colours and contrast when viewed from different angles.

Realme has also included a Rainwater Smart Touch feature that’s supposed to improve touch response and stop false touch from rainwater droplets or wet fingers. I tried this, and it works as advertised.

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The 6.67-inch AMOLED display is great for watching videos

 

The Realme 12+ has dual stereo speakers, and the audio quality isn’t bad. It gets loud but lacks bass, but there’s no cracking at full volume. There’s also good stereo separation. The earpiece and the microphone also worked well during phone calls.

Now, let’s talk about gaming performance. The Realme 12+ comes with a game mode that apparently boosts performance when gaming or performing other resource-intensive tasks. I played BGMI on the phone, and it let me select HDR graphics and Ultra frame rate options. With these settings enabled, I didn’t notice any major lag in the game that would affect my gameplay. The phone also didn’t heat during a 45-minute gaming session, which is mostly thanks to the 4,357mm square vapour cooling chamber inside the phone. There were also no heating issues when using the camera app.

Coming to the battery performance, the 5,000mAh battery inside took about 52 mins to charge from 0 to 100 percent and about 21 mins from 0 to 50 percent. Of course, Realme claims faster charging times, but I did not experience those. The battery life on the phone is average, and it lasted me a full day with normal usage. In our HD video loop test, the phone lasted about 19 hours. With heavy usage, the battery tends to drain faster, and you could run out of juice before the end of the day.

Realme 12+ Review: Cameras

One of the key selling points of the Realme 12+ is the segment-first Sony LYT-600 50-megapixel rear camera with an f/1.88 aperture and OIS. The phone also gets an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera with a 112-degree field of view and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, there’s a 16-megapixel camera up front. The camera interface is easy to use, with all the main modes arranged right in front of you.

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The phone takes good photos from the primary rear camera

 

The Sony LYT-600 camera can take good shots in daylight with accurate colours and dynamic range. There’s plenty of details in the photos as well. Even 2x zoom shots offer good details with no difference in colours. A 50-megapixel mode is also available on the phone, but photos taken in this mode are not as colour-accurate. In low light, the camera can take decent shots if there’s plenty of light, but otherwise, the photos are mediocre and have a lot of noise.

Moving on to the ultra-wide and the 2-megapixel portrait camera, the photos aren’t really that good, even in broad daylight. The colour and white balance are off compared to the main camera. I’d recommend not using the ultra-wide in low light conditions, as the photos are mostly unusable and have a lot of grain and a watercolour effect. The portrait camera is okay in daylight with decent edge detection but isn’t good in lowlight conditions.

Coming to the front camera, selfies taken from the Realme 12+ offer good detail with mostly accurate skin tones in favourable light conditions. Let’s take a look at some samples.main 1x day 1711799020971main 1x 1711798646687

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Top to bottom: All shots using the primary rear camera at different times of the day (Tap to expand)

 

Below are some ultrawide and lowlight photos.ultrawide2 1711799386134ultrawide 1711799284019

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Top to bottom: Two daytime photos and two night photos shot using the primary camera, two photos shot using the ultrawide (Tap to expand)

 

The video performance from the primary rear camera is good in daylight conditions, with good details and stabilisation. There is a bit of oversharpening and oversaturation, but nothing that’s going to put you off. You can record up to 4K resolution at 30fps from the rear camera. You’ll find a lot of noise from the primary camera in the lowlight. The ultrawide camera performs okayish in broad daylight but is not usable in low light as there’s plenty of noise, and colours look washed out.

Realme 12+ Review: Verdict

The Realme 12+, although a good all-rounder, faces plenty of competition from phones such as the Poco X6 and the iQoo Z9 5G. Then there’s also the Nothing Phone 2a (Review), which is slightly more expensive but offers better features.

While the Poco X6 offers a better display, slightly faster chipset, a bigger battery, and higher base storage, the iQoo Z9 5G gives you better performance and more storage at the same price as the base Realme 12+ and a similar-performing main rear camera. Now, if you pay more for the Nothing Phone 2a, you’ll get a faster chipset, a unique design with a Glyph interface, a better software experience, and a better camera setup.

If I were to spend Rs. 20,000, I’d probably pick the Poco X6. However, if I were purely buying the phone for its design and main rear camera performance, then I’d go with the Realme 12+, which is a good all-rounder at this price point.


Realme might not want the Mini Capsule to be the defining feature of the Realme C55, but will it end up being one of the phone’s most talked-about hardware specifications? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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