Realme 12 Pro Plus Review: Cameras Are King

When you think of a mid-range or budget phone, you might notice brands prioritizing performance while cutting back on cameras. But what if there was a phone that managed to strike a balance between the two while maintaining a comparable price? This is where the Realme 12 Pro Plus comes in, as it is the only phone under the 30K INR segment to feature a real telephoto sensor.

However, you might wonder: If not the camera, where has Realme cut corners? For the answer, let’s delve into the review of the Realme 12 Pro Plus.

Realme 12 Pro Plus review: Design and Hardware

Back Image of the Realme 12 Pro Plus 2

With the Realme 11 Pro, the company took a significant step up in terms of design, and the same can be said for the 12 Pro Plus. The device features a gorgeous soft-touch leather back, available in Rolex-inspired Submarine Blue, Navigator Beige, and Explorer Red. Additionally, in line with the Rolex theme, the phone boasts a circular watch-like camera setup surrounded by concentric lines, creating reflective patterns when light falls on them.

When looking at the camera housing, you might think there are four camera units, but the phone only includes three cameras, along with a flash and a fourth cutout for symmetry. Although the size of the camera island allows for another holding point, it also tends to bring along cards and keys when coming out of a pocket.

Moving to the sides, the device features a plastic frame, which looks premium at first glance but can be a bit unusual. Typically, on plastic frames, companies like Xiaomi opt for matte colors to enhance the device’s premium appearance and protect it from scratches. Realme, on the other hand, has gone the opposite route by making the sides somewhat shiny, giving the phone a less premium look. However, looks are a subjective topic, and you might love the sides.

Does the Vegan Leather hold up?

Back image of the Realme 12 Pro Plus

It’s no secret that vegan leather is softer and more fragile than a glass back. In our two weeks of testing, we did not notice any discoloration or peeling of the back. However, the fact that this issue was present on the previous Realme 11 Pro Plus does make the durability of the new phone contentious. Therefore, if you’re planning to buy the device, be prepared to protect it with a case or cover.

Realme 12 Pro Plus review: Display

Image from the main camera of the Realme 12 Pro Plus 3

While most flagships today are moving away from curved screens, brands like Realme have gone all in on the technology. The 12 Pro Plus houses a curved 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED 120Hz display, along with a center-punch hole selfie camera. Although the display catches a lot of reflections, the company has managed accidental touches quite well.

In terms of quality, the display produces amazing colors with great viewing angles, providing a stellar content-watching experience indoors. However, the max brightness on the panel leaves a bit to be desired as the phone appears dim in direct sunlight.

Image from the main camera of the Realme 12 Pro Plus 2

The front also houses the optical fingerprint scanner, which, in our testing, performed similarly to other phones and managed to unlock the phone even with slightly wet fingers. Finally, in terms of durability, during our two weeks of testing, the phone did pick up minor scratches from everyday wear, but nothing out of the blue.

The refresh rate is inconsistent

Image of the display on the Realme 12 Pro Pus 1

Almost all modern phones feature an adaptive refresh rate display, and so does the 12 Pro Plus. To put things into perspective, the adaptive refresh rate is crucial because running the phone at the maximum refresh rate all the time significantly increases battery drain. Therefore, many phones adjust their screens based on the content. For example, if you’re playing a 30fps video, your phone’s display will run at 30Hz, and so on.

However, unlike flagships, the implementation of this technology on the 12 Pro Plus is inconsistent. While the UI refreshes at 120Hz, many apps and games never reach their full potential. Instead, most apps are capped at 90Hz, and YouTube never makes it past 60Hz. This inconsistency makes the UI feel sluggish and could be a deterring factor unless Realme addresses this issue with a software update.

Realme 12 Pro Plus Review: Performance and Battery

The Realme 12 Pro Plus runs on the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 7s Gen 2, coupled with the Adreno 710 GPU. Additionally, the phone comes with up to 12GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 256GB of internal storage. Despite Realme’s promise of an extra 12GB of dynamic RAM, this feature appears to be more of a gimmick, as system storage is always slower than RAM, and using this feature can also damage the storage.

In our testing, the phone performed well in everyday use, whether scrolling through social media or watching 4K content. The gaming performance was a pleasant surprise as well. With the help of a new vapor chamber cooling system, the phone maintained temperatures during long gaming sessions of COD Mobile and BGMI. Additionally, it is important to note that we tested COD mobile and BGMI on the max settings.

Gameplay setting image of COD mobile on Realme 12 Pro plus

Moving to synthetic benchmarks, the Realme 12 Pro Plus scored 970 in Geekbench’s single-core test and 2854 in the multi-core test, putting it on par with other mid-range smartphones with the same chipset. Additionally, in a 30-minute, 30-thread throttle test, while the phone did get warm to the touch, it did not overheat and maintained its performance.

Battery life is surprisingly good

When testing the phone, it maintained solid battery performance with a 5,000mAh cell, lasting a full day, which consisted of gaming and also taking camera samples. Additionally, the phone includes a 67W Type-A to Type-C charger in the box, allowing it to recharge fully in just 48 minutes.

Realme 12 Pro Plus Review: Cameras

Realme made some bold statements during the launch event, and we are here to confirm that the cameras on the Realme 12 Pro are impressive in certain conditions and acceptable in others. To provide context, the Realme 12 Pro Plus boasts a 50MP Sony IMX890 OIS main camera sensor, along with a 64MP 71mm periscope lens and an 8MP 112-degree UltraWide camera.

Now that we’ve covered the specifications, let’s dive into the performance of the main camera. In our testing, the Realme 12 Pro Plus delivered excellent daytime photos, showcasing ample dynamic range, sharpness, and vibrant colors. However, when it comes to nighttime photography, the phone struggles. While the shots do look good, a purple tint in darker areas and noise becomes apparent.

Portraits and Zoom

Moving on to portrait and zoom shots, there is one thing we should clear: don’t buy this phone with the expectation of achieving zoom capabilities comparable to Samsung. The 120x branding feels redundant and produces photos that could be mistaken for paintings. Realistically, you can achieve a decent zoomed photo at around 20x.

However, the portrait mode on the 12 Pro Plus benefits from the periscope lens, capturing photos at 3x zoom. This results in pleasing photos with excellent edge detection and natural bokeh. However, similar to the main camera, the sensor struggles in low light, introducing a purple tint and noise. Nighttime portraits may also lead to blurry faces due, in part, to the extended time the phone takes to capture photos.

UltraWide and selfies

Like any phone in the mid-range price segment, the UltraWide camera performs decently during the day, capturing photos with good dynamic range and minimal distortion. However, the story changes at night, with the sensor struggling and producing muddy photos.

Speaking of selfies, the Realme 12 Pro Plus houses an improved 32MP sensor, delivering good-looking shots with ample dynamic range and sharpness. However, it is important to note that the selfie shooter can only record 1080p videos.


While a phone can process an image after capturing it to enhance its quality, the same isn’t true for videos, where the true nature of the sensor determines the quality. During the day, the video quality was great, and the phone managed to capture all the details without blowing out the sky. At night, the phone surprisingly held up, with only minimal noise levels. However, it’s important to note that you can only record 4K 30fps videos with the main camera sensor.

Realme 12 Pro Plus review: Software and Speakers

Unlike Xiaomi, the Realme 12 Pro series comes with Android 14 out of the box, with RealmeUI 5.0 running on top. While the phone feels smooth in day-to-day use with no lags or stutters, it comes with a lot of pre-installed bloatware and hot apps such as Facebook, Google Pay, Netflix, and Spotify. Fortunately, you can uninstall all these apps with a few clicks.

Finally, when it comes to the speakers, the phone includes a stereo setup that sounds great for dialogues. However, at maximum volume, it sounds muddy and lacks bass. Additionally, in our testing, the haptic motors and call quality felt great as well.


At a starting price of 29,999 Indian Rupees, the Realme 12 Pro Plus goes head-to-head with the Redmi Note 13 Pro Plus, which arguably is a better-performing phone. However, if you’re someone who values a better camera, look no further, as no device in this price segment includes a telephoto lens, let alone a 3x periscope sensor.

Similar Posts