Realme 12+ review

Value at mid range

from ₹ 20,999

(8GB / 128GB version)

Realme’s latest release comes after a brief hiatus, and the new Realme 12 series has been introduced as a value mid-range smartphone. Like most of the latest smartphones in the market, the Realme 12 5G and Realme 12+ 5G (Realme 12 Plus 5G) ride on their imaging capability, especially focussing on portraits. The Realme 12+ goes head-to-head with the likes of Poco X6.

The Realme 12+ primarily leans on the latest Sony LYT-600 imaging sensor and its imaging brilliance, while also boasting a 120Hz AMOLED display and 3D vapour cooling system. In fact, the launch event saw the brand comparing certain features of the Realme 12+ with the iPhone 15, which is pretty audacious for a Rupees 20k smartphone. Does it really live up to the claims?


Realme 12+ review: Design

The Realme 12+ has an extremely light body at 190 grams with a flat screen and rear surface we could safely call an iPhone-inspired design, complete with a flat shiny band similar to the iPhones’ stainless steel frame. Take a closer look at that side band and you can’t miss the wobbly imperfection of plastic beneath the metallic PVD finish. Turn the phone over and you get Realme’s familiar vegan leather rear finish with the glossy metallic strap element bisecting the surface vertically.

Realme has managed to give the circular camera housing a luxurious look, thanks to their collaboration with renowned French luxury watchmaker Ollivier Savéo. The camera housing has a pleasing theme-specific gradient with what they call a polished sunburst dial, akin to luxury watches. The phone is available in Pioneer Green and Navigator Beige colours. We received our review unit in green finish and it looked quite good for a value smartphone. The phone carries an IP54 dust and splash resistance, and Realme’s launch video claims that the screen is responsive even when operated with wet hands. Similarly, the rear PU leather surface is understood to be more dirt-resistant than previous models.

After using heavy phones for a long time, you are likely to feel the extremely lightweight design of the Realme 12+ somewhat less secure since you associate heavy metal chassis with ruggedness and reliability. Well, we can only say that a phone is not meant for driving nails on walls, and some light carbon composites have higher strength-to-weight ratios than some metals.

Realme 12+ review: Display

It seems like smartphones across budgets have hit a sweet spot with a 120Hz refresh rate, and the Realme 12+ offers this on its 6.67-inch AMOLED display. The screen offers FHD+ (2400 x 1080) resolution and is capable of reproducing 100 percent DCI-P3 colour gamut. Like the more premium phones in the market, this phone also offers a wide range of colour modes and pro-level display customisations with its 2000 nits peak brightness and 4096 levels of brightness adjustment. 

The display felt crisp and responsive with 240Hz touch sampling rate. You can enjoy movies with Cinematic mode for faithful colour reproduction. The in-display fingerprint scanner unlocked the phone without delay, but the face unlock was not quite as responsive.

As we mentioned, the display is responsive with wet hands. However, the tech goes beyond ordinary oleophobic coatings and Realme calls this Rainwater Smart Touch. The display’s sensors are used to detect water and the phone uses an algorithm to reduce the effects of water and hence improve the touch input accuracy. And we found it working like a charm.

Realme 12+ review: Cameras

The Realme 12+ sports a triple camera system at the rear with the premium Sony LYT-600 sensor handling the main camera function. On top of this 50-megapixel sensor is a 26mm-equivalent lens with f/1.88 aperture. This primary camera offers Optical Image Stabilisation and up to 2x in-sensor zoom aided by the high resolution of the sensor. The main camera is complemented by an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 2-megapixel telephoto unit at the rear while a 12-megapixel central punch-hole camera handles the selfie department.

Coming to the quality of cameras, the main camera delivered sharp results with natural colours under controlled lighting conditions. However, the camera had a tendency to oversaturate colours outdoors under daylight. We have never been great fans of 2-megapixel cameras, and the telephoto (portrait) unit didn’t succeed in changing our opinion. The telephoto camera’s low resolution makes the images fit only for web and social media use with noise and inconsistent colour rendition. It rendered images with good depth-of-field and bokeh, but the edge detection wasn’t perfect. Even the front camera disappointed us with over-sharpening and thereby introducing more noise. The camera also had trouble getting the contrast right for back-lit selfies.

Realme 12+ review: Software and features

The Realme 12+ uses the Mediatek Dimensity 7050 octa-core chipset. This 6nm octa-core SoC is a mid-level processor with two performance cores and six efficiency cores with a peak clock speed of 2.6 GHz. The device comes with 8GB RAM with additional virtual RAM of up to 8GB and is available in two storage variants — 128 GB and 256 GB. A large vapour chamber helps to keep the phone cool during gaming sessions.

The phone features two physical SIM slots, one dedicated and the second a combo slot that accepts either a second nano SIM or a MicroSD memory card for additional storage. A 5000 mAh battery powers the device, and Realme includes a 67W SuperVooc charging adapter in the box.

The device runs on realme UI 5.0 skin over Android 14 and Realme offers three years of security updates and two years of OS updates. The interface is smooth for a phone of this category. Predictably, it comes with the usual clutter of bloatware sprinkled all around, ready to spring up at the slightest accidental touch. Many of these can be uninstalled, but it would be a nightmare for a novice user to avoid them.

Realme 12+ review: Performance

The Realme 12+ is a decent performer if you ignore the brand’s overzealous chest-thumping around a value phone. This may not be the best phone for gaming, but for a phone in this segment, it offers competitive gaming capability, though the UI is not optimised for the best gaming experience. The FPS is capped at around 65 even when it is set to maximum even with medium graphics settings. However, we didn’t experience any heating issues.

Power efficiency seemed to be on the lower side, but it’s amply compensated by the 67W adapter, which tops up the device in around 45 minutes, delivering around 50 percent charge in under 20 minutes.

Most people buying a phone in this segment use it for entertainment and the Realme 12+ delivers a pleasing experience with a brilliant display and competitive sound from dual stereo speakers that come with Hi-Res Audio certification.


If you are looking for a phone that costs around ₹20,000 and like lightweight phones that look good, you will appreciate the Realme 12+. It offers a great display combined with a competitive sound output and comes with some gaming capability. The main camera is good for your everyday photographs in good lighting conditions, especially if you like punchy vivid colours. The portrait camera is good enough to suffice your social media fervour. If you share our preference for a clean interface, you may have to spend some time uninstalling and sweeping the heap of unnecessary apps that come preinstalled.

Stuff Says

Though not a perfect phone, this device is born to coexist and not disrupt the competition.
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Lightweight design

  1. Brilliant display

  1. Competitive sound

  1. 67W fast charging

  1. Cameras need improvement

  1. Excess bloatware

  1. Gaming performance

Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 7050
Memory and storage: 8GB + 128GB / 8GB+256GB
Display: 6.67-inch FHD+ screen; 120Hz peak refresh rate
UI / OS: realme UI 5.0 / Android 14
Rear camera: 50MP main, 8MP wide-angle, 2MP portrait
Front camera: 16MP
Battery: 5000mAh
Fast charging: 67W SuperVooc
Dimension: 162.95 x 74 x 7.87mm
Weight: 190g