Introduction

Like the name suggests, the Realme 5G’s main claim to fame is 5G functionality. It comes courtesy of the new Mediatek Dimensity 800U chipset. Dimensity chipsets are already making 5G phones more affordable in China, and now, they are debuting in Europe with the 7 5G. Realme 7 5G is also proudly marketed as the first phone to support 5G+5G DSDS in its price range in Europe, too.

Sure, 5G networks in Europe are still few and far between. Still, Realme’s rationale is that the 7 5G is competitive even compared to conventional 4G phones on the European market, so the 5G connectivity is a nifty “bonus” of sorts.

Realme 7 5G specs at a glance:

  • Body: 162.2×75.1×9.1mm, 195g; plastic body; Weather-sealed ports & loudspeaker; Colors: Baltic Blue (Mist Blue).
  • Display: 6.50″ IPS LCD, 120Hz, 480 nits (typ), 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 405ppi.
  • Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 800U 5G (7 nm): Octa-core (2×2.4 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G57 MC3.
  • Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM; UFS 2.1; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot).
  • OS/Software: Android 10, Realme UI 1.0.
  • Rear camera: Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.3, 119-degree, 1/4.0″, 1.12µm; Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4; LED flash, HDR, panorama.
  • Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.1, 26mm (wide), 1/3.06″, 1.0µm; HDR.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps; gyro-EIS; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 5000mAh; Fast charging 30W, 50% in 26 min, 100% in 65 min (advertised), Reverse charging.
  • Misc: Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass; NFC.

We can’t say we can fully grasp where Realme is going with its sprawling and ever-growing smartphone lineup. Models now span at least a few distinct families, and their availability varies from market to market. In this context, it’s hard to say where exactly the Realme 7 5G fits in. It has an unconventional combination of features for an affordable device.

Like the 120Hz high refresh rate, for instance. 90Hz panels are already fairly common in Realme handset and can already be had in relatively budget devices, like the Realme 7i and the Realme Narzo 20 Pro. 120Hz is something else and potentially quite the drawing factor for mobile gamers on a budget. The large 5,000 mAh battery and speedy 30W Dart Charge of the Realme 7 5G only sweeten the deal further. Same goes for the decent performance and high power-efficiency of the 7nm Dimensity 800U chipset.

All of this, starting at an MSRP of £279/€279 for the base 6GB/128GB version of the Realme 7 5G model in Europe, makes for quite the value proposition indeed.

Unboxing

The Realme 7 5G ships in an eye-catching bright yellow two-piece box, with “5G” branding prominently featured in a few places. A 30W Dart Charge (5V@6A) wall adaptor is included in the box, alongside a good-quality, thick USB Type-A to Type-C cable. This is a proprietary cable that you need to keep around alongside the charger to get the phone’s full charging speeds. As a nice little extra convenience feature, the Realme 7 5G also supports Power Delivery charging at up to 15W.

In terms of additional accessories, you do get a nice clear soft silicone case in the box, as well as a pre-applied plastic screen protector. Nice little gestures like these can give you extra peace of mind and allow you to start using the phone straight away without any worries.

Design, build, handling, controls and connectivity

Design-wise, the Realme 7 5G is actually pretty similar to its vanilla Realme 7 sibling. In fact, the pair are quite similar in dimensions, as well. The Realme 7 5G is about as tall and just a tiny bit narrower and thinner, measuring 162.2 x 75.1 x 9.1mm, with a weight of 195 grams.

The rear panel of the Realme 7 5G shares a familiar and recognizable design. It is defined by a vertical split and two different color hues on either side. It’s an eye-catching look that Realme claims to be inspired by a mirror. The surface itself actually isn’t all that reflective. It feels silky and smooth, almost premium in a way. Realme says the back features something it calls an “AG matter coating with classic CD textures.”

Realme clearly has both the looks and feel down, but it is worth noting that the back of the Realme 7 5G is a fingerprint magnet and is quite slippery. A case is definitely recommended, even if a bit unfortunate since you are covering up the nice design.

Like its siblings, the Realme 7 5G employs a typical “sandwich” three-piece design. The middle frame is not fancy or flashy in any way, but it does look interesting since it also features a gradient in its color. Going from light at the top of the phone to dark at the bottom. It is made of plastic but still feels nice and provides plenty of structural integrity. There is no flex to speak of. We also appreciate the chamfers on both sides of the frame since they provide a vital boost to the phone’s overall grip.

Flipping the Realme 7 5G around reveals a 6.5-inch display – the same diagonal you get on the vanilla Realme 7. However, with its smaller overall body proportions, the Realme 7 5G manages an impressive 90.5% screen to body ratio, compared to the 83.4% of the vanilla. That makes for a more elegant look.

The punch-hole for the 16MP selfie camera is on the bigger side and a bit of a distraction. It’s just par for the course with most of Realme’s current designs. On a positive note, the entire front is covered with a Corning Gorilla Glass layer. Its protective qualities are not officially disclosed, but it still offers some extra peace of mind.

Overall, the Realme 7 5G feels very solid and well-built. We have no complaints about manufacturing quality.

Controls and connectivity

There are literally no surprises in terms of controls and their layout. On the bottom side – a single speaker, alongside a 3.5mm jack, the primary microphone, and a USB Type-C port. Naturally, only limited to USB 2.0 in terms of data transfer speeds. USB Host is supported. So is the proprietary 30W Dash Charge, as well as 15W PD.

The top bezel of the Realme 7 5G only has a secondary noise-cancelling microphone. The earpiece is nestled above the display on the front. There is no notification LED.The right bezel houses a power button and capacitive fingerprint reader combo. The reader is really snappy and reliable, as we have come to expect from traditional capacitive modules.

   
Fingerprint setup and settings

By default, the fingerprint is always-on, but you can also switch this behavior to have the reader only trigger after pressing the button if that is what you prefer. We also appreciate the concaved design of the button.

Finally, on the left side, we have two volume keys and a SIM tray. The volume keys work well enough but feel a bit mushy to the press. These could be better.

The SIM tray on the Realme 7 5G has a total of two Nano-SIM slots. You can use either of both for 5G simultaneously.

Unfortunately, there is no dedicated microSD card slot. Instead, you will have to give up one of your SIM cards for extra storage.

Connectivity

Seeing how the Realme 7 5G is being aggressively marketed for its 5G connectivity, we would be remiss if we didn’t elaborate a bit on its overall connectivity. As per Realme’s own claims, the 7 5G is: “the first phone supporting 5G+5G DSDS in the price range in Europe”. It has 5G+5G DSDS capabilities, which means that you can use two 5G standby connections simultaneously on a fairly-extensive list of 12 bands (n1, n3, n5, n7, n8, n20, n28, n38, n40, n41, n77, n78). The Realme 7 5G and the Dimensity 800U also support 5G-CA(2CC 5G Carrier Aggregation) for improved speed and connection stability. Of course, you also get a fallback to 4G, 3G, and 2G from the same modem.

In terms of local connectivity, the Realme 7 5G has the basics covered, like Dual-band Wi-Fi ac and Bluetooth 5.1. There is also GPS, with A-GPS, Glonass, Beidou, and Galileo support. NFC is added to the mix, as well. The sensors on board the Realme 7 5G include: Magnetic Induction Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Gyro-meter, and Acceleration Sensor.

6.5-inch 120Hz Ultra Smooth Display

A high refresh rate of 90Hz is becoming more and more commonplace in increasingly-budget devices. Realme has quite a few examples in its current lineup. 120Hz, on the other hand, is a rarity, even at much higher price points. That’s the kind of IPS LCD panel the Realme 7 5G is equipped with on a 6.5-inch diagonal. The same as its vanilla Realme 7 sibling in both physical dimensions and FullHD+ (1080 x 2400 pixels) resolution. That works out to a very crisp 405 ppi and a modern, tall 20:9 aspect ratio. Plus, the Realme 7 5G sweetens the deal with some extra-small bezels around said panel, for a 90.5% screen to body ratio.

In terms of traditional performance metrics, the panel on the Realme 7 5G managed 484 nits of brightness in our tests. Not amazing, but still respectable on an LCD. The phone was perfectly usable outdoors in sunlight, but mostly with auto-brightness turned on since that offers a nice little boost to a maximum 571 nits of brightness. Again, hardly amazing, but good enough.

Display test100% brightness
Black,cd/m2White,cd/m2Contrast ratio
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro (Max Auto)0.4876161265:1
Realme 7 Pro (Max Auto)0585
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S (Max Auto)0.425751369:1
Realme 7 5G (Max Auto)0.667571856:1
Realme 6i0.3285281610:1
Realme 7 (Max Auto)0.3745261406:1
Motorola Moto G9 Plus (Max Auto)0.395221338:1
Huawei P40 Lite (Max Auto)0.5015151028:1
Realme 7 5G0.3764841287:1
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 (Max Auto)0466
Huawei P40 Lite0.4254611085:1
Realme 7 Pro0459
Realme 70.314571474:1
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro0.3554561285:1
Realme 60.3434511315:1
Motorola Moto G9 Plus0.3154271356:1
Xiaomi Redmi 9 (Max Auto)0.2534261684:1
Realme 6 Pro0.3184211324:1
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S0.3034211389:1
Xiaomi Redmi Note 90.2983701242:1
Xiaomi Redmi 90.2023281624:1

Color reproduction on the Realme 7 5G is sub-optimal, but not too shocking for an LCD. In its default mode, compared against the sRGB palette, we got an average deltaE2000 of 5.4 and a maximum of 8.8. There aren’t really any granular white point controls to take advantage of. Just a simple color temperature slider. Moving that all the way to the right did fix the general blue and cold hue that is present on the Realme 7 5G out-of-the-box with an average deltaE2000 figure of 3.8 and a maximum of 7.4.

   
Display settings

There is one particular toggle in the display menu that caught our eye, called OSIE visual effect. As per Realme’s own literature, it is meant to improve clarity, sharpness, and dynamic range, bringing the picture “closer to what the human eye sees and more than what the human eye sees.” PR materials are a bit vague on whether this just applies to video playback or the entire UI. Our testing showed practically no difference to color-reproduction with the app-based testing scenario we run. Videos did look slightly different, but hardly drastically so.

The Realme 7 5G has Widevine L1 certification, so it can take advantage of HD and higher streaming on platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Since its display lacks any official HDR certification, any software HDR decoding support is not really relevant.

There are quite a few idiosyncrasies to the way Realme UI handles the high refresh rate on the Realme 7 5G and its 120Hz display. Things are the most straight-forward when the refresh rate is set to 60Hz. That simply locks the UI and all of the apps to 60fps.

In contrast, the 120Hz option is not nearly as fixed as its name suggests. You typically get the full 120fps/Hz experience while browsing the main UI. A few apps also work at that 120fps cap, like the Phone and Contacts apps and YouTube in its main UI. Most other apps tend to work at 90fps while in 120Hz mode, with a few notable exceptions, like Google Maps and the Camera app, which are locked to 60fps regardless of any OS settings.

     
App behavior at 120Hz setting

YouTube intelligently switches down to 60Hz when a video is played in full-screen, which is the proper behavior for saving battery. The same is true for the Realme Video player app – it does 90Hz in the UI and 60Hz once actually playing a video. However, the Realme Photos app stays at 90fps even while playing a video. Interestingly enough, if you pause the video and wait a bit, it goes down to 60Hz. Odd behavior, for sure. Many other apps that typically run at 90fps also tend to drop down to 60fps automatically if left alone for a few seconds.

   
 
Video app behavior at 120Hz setting

Setting the display refresh rate to Auto results in rather odd behavior. The phone expectedly caps itself at 90Hz. However, it also seems to be a lot less-prone to automatically drop itself to 60Hz like it does in 120Hz mode. A lot fewer apps seem to go down to 60fps once left alone for a few seconds. On the other hand, certain apps like Google Photos and the Realme Videos app seem to lock themselves at 60fps all throughout. The Realme Photos app still seems to have an affinity to stay at 90fps.

     
App behavior at Auto setting

Overall, it’s a bit difficult to entirely grasp the internal logic Realme is using for its refresh rate switching. However, our experience shows that the 120Hz mode is intelligent enough to not waste battery in most circumstances, making it viable to just use daily.

  
Automatic switch-down to 60Hz

On the subject of gaming, we tried a few Android titles know to be able to go above 60fps on other devices. Games like 1945 Air Force, Death Trigger 2, and Mortal Kombat. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to get above 60fps in any of them regardless of the display refresh rate settings we used. That includes launching the games through Game Space, with Competition mode enabled. Consequently, we can’t be sure how that affects the advertised 180Hz touch sampling rate and if that remains a viable in-game advantage regardless of refresh rate woes.

  
Games failed to go above 60fps

That’s a rather big bummer since the 120Hz panel on the Realme 7 5G kind of loses its appeal to gamers if they can’t make use of it in games. Hopefully, this is not a permanent state of affairs and is easy enough to fix with an update.

On a much more positive note, the panel on the Realme 7 5G did not show any nasty smearing or other visual artifacts at 120Hz, typically associated with pushing lower-quality panels past their sensible capabilities. The text remains very legible and sharp while scrolling. We also observed no excessive ghosting or “jello” effect. All things considered, despite some of its apparent shortcomings, the display on the Realme 7 5G offers solid-enough performance for the price range.

Battery Life

The Realme 7 5G has a huge 5,000 mAh battery at its disposal, just like the vanilla Realme 7. It is not a bad accomplishment, considering the slightly smaller footprint of the new model, which also has support for 5G. Also present is the nifty 30W Dart Charge – hardly industry-leading, but still plenty fast for most users and great to see on a more budget-friendly device.

On paper, the Realme 7 5G has quite a few strengths lined-up for great battery endurance. There is the massive 5,000 mAh battery pack, alongside an efficient 7nm process for the Density 800U chipset. Since the Density line of chips is still something very new, we were excited to see how well its model seems to do in active calling and standby. We didn’t quite reach the 588 hours of standby offered by Realme in their own testing, but we came pretty close at around 480 hours. While also slightly exceeding the company’s claimed call time by half an hour. A truly great showing all-around. It’s definitely better than the battery efficiency of 5G chipsets like the Snapdragon 765G.

Nearly 19 hours in web browsing and 16 in offline video playback deserve praise. It is worth noting that these results were achieved by using the default Auto display refresh rate option. Due to the way the auto-refresh rate works on the Realme 7 5G, this effectively ended up locking our Viser testing tools to 90Hz – a bit wasteful for video playback and a bit conservative for web browsing, which most users will likely want to experience at the full 120Hz.

For the sake of thoroughness, we manually redid the on-screen tests, forcing Video playback to 60Hz via the built-in Video app and the Web browsing portion to 120Hz via Chrome and the 120Hz toggle in display refresh rate settings. We ended up with around 14 hours of endurance for full-smoothness browsing. The video test was right around the same 16 hour-mark, which is easily explained by the auto refresh-rate dropping behavior the Realme 7 5G has in place. So even though the Viser app was running at a locked 90Hz, its actual video playback ended up at 60Hz, as it should. With a still messy automatic system like this one, we’ll take our wins whenever we can get them.

Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSer App. The endurance rating above denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Realme 7 5G for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We’ve established this usage pattern so that our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you’re interested in the nitty-gritty. You can check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we’ve tested will compare under your own typical use.

Charging speed

Just to reiterate once again, the Realme 7 5G supports 30W Dart Charge with the proprietary adaptor and USB Type-A to Type-C cable, included in the box. You might want to keep track of those. If you fail to do so, the phone will also charge up to 15W on USB Power Delivery. Realme claims that at 30W, your battery should go from 0 to 50% in 26 mins and 100% in 65 mins.

Having already validated the exact same claim on the vanilla Realme 7, with its equivalent 5,000 mAh battery and 30W Dart Charge, we had little doubt that the numbers are correct. Still, we re-ran the tests to get the expected results within the margin of error.

30min charging test (from 0%)

  • SORT BY LABEL
  • SORT BY VALUE
  • Realme 7 Pro94%
  • Realme 670%
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro63%
  • OnePlus Nord60%
  • Realme 758%
  • Realme 7 5G57%
  • Poco X3 NFC55%
  • Realme 5 Pro50%
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S37%
  • Realme 6i33%
  • Xiaomi Redmi 9 (18W)33%
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 931%
  • Realme 521%
  • Xiaomi Redmi 920%

Time to full charge (from 0%)

  • SORT BY LABEL
  • SORT BY VALUE
  • Realme 7 Pro0:37h
  • Realme 60:51h
  • Realme 71:05h
  • OnePlus Nord1:05h
  • Realme 7 5G1:06h
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro1:11h
  • Poco X3 NFC1:15h
  • Realme 5 Pro1:30h
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S1:45h
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 92:33h

On a more positive note, the Realme 7 5G has both Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res certification.


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