realme 12 Pro+ 5G Review: Periscope Prowess

realme 12 Pro+ 5G Review Header

This year has been a year of rebranding for realme. While its Number Series is where we usually find the brand’s new camera tech, 2024 is the year when realme showcases Next-gen Imaging in these phones. The realme 12 Series 5G is the brand’s biggest statement in the camera aspect. While the realme 12+ 5G stands out with its main camera, the realme 12 Pro+ 5G does that with its Periscope camera. Does everything else it has to offer make it worth P25,999? Find out in my full review.

Disclaimer: I purchased the realme 12 Pro Plus in Submarine Blue from TikTok Shop. It arrived on March 17, 2024, and I unboxed it on March 18, 2024. This phone has been my main Android phone for around 3 weeks.

Design and Build

realme 12 Pro+ 5G Review - Design and Build

I feel like the 12 Pro+ is THE best representation of the Luxury Watch Design that’s present across the realme 12 Series 5G. Whether it’s the curved back or its Golden Fluted Bezel, this phone just has a more premium feel to it. After three weeks with this phone, I honestly do prefer having the curved back of this phone. While its vegan leather back felt stickier to me at first, I grew to prefer it more.

This phone also has IP65 dust and water resistance, which is peace of mind especially when it rains or when I’m washing the dishes.

Display and Speakers

The realme 12 Pro+ has the same 6.7-inch 120Hz Curved OLED display as its predecessor. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when my experience with the 11 Pro was good. It’s plenty bright and sharp for most cases, but I do wish we get the 2000 nits brightness from the 12+. You may have your thoughts on the curved display vs. flat display debate, but I don’t have a preference anymore.

realme 12 Pro+ 5G Review - Display

I find its dual stereo speakers to be good enough in most cases. It’s nice to have support for both Hi-Res Audio and Dolby Atmos for content that supports them. I’m not a fan of the placement of the secondary speaker since I tend to cover it when using the phone in landscape.

Performance and Software

While previous Pro+ models used MediaTek chips, the realme 12 Pro+ 5G uses the Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 processor paired with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB of UFS storage. (I still haven’t confirmed what type of UFS storage this phone uses, but I’ve seen other reviews mention UFS 3.0 storage.) Notable performance-related upgrades include a 3394mm² Vapor Chamber Cooling System and an Antenna Array Matrix for better cooling and better Wi-Fi/cellular signal.

For a phone that’s this slim, I’m glad it’s plenty capable to run most apps and games. While I still experienced frame drops on more graphics-intensive games, I can count on the 12 Pro+ a lot. The phone does tend to heat up when playing games in a hotter environment, but it cools down quicker than most once you leave it be.

Here are some benchmark results if you really need those numbers:

realme UI 5.0

There’s not really much to say about realme UI 5.0, realme’s UI skin based on Android 14. I do love some of the features introduced in this version such as the File Dock and Smart Image Matting. I’ve said on record that this is one of my favorite Android skins and this version reinforces that more. I do wish there was less bloatware here, especially in a sub-P30,000 phone.

Battery Experience

The realme 12 Pro+ has a 5000 mAh battery paired with 67W SUPERVOOC fast charging. It’s also nice that you get the charger out of the box. While the battery size is very common in realme phones, this phone brings a more efficient use of its battery. Getting almost 16 hours in the PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test is great for this phone. In real world use, I get at least 5 to 6 hours of screen-on time in a typical day. I mostly get a day of mixed use or even a day and a half with lighter use.

Charging time from 20 to 100% is around 45 to 50 minutes. While this is good enough for me, some might find it lacking compared to its predecessor’s 100W SUPERVOOC charging.

realme 12 Pro+ 5G Review - Charging Time


realme 12 Pro+ 5G Review - Cameras

I must say that the 64MP Periscope Portrait Camera is the real deal. Taking a lot of zoomed in photos was a lot of fun with this phone! I also enjoyed taking portrait photos with both the periscope and the 50MP Sony IMX890 primary cameras.

If I were to mention this phone’s biggest strength, it would have to be its portrait photos. realme did a good job with the image processing (though hair cutouts are still a problem). I just wish the ultrawide camera was given the same love as the other two rear cameras.

My detailed thoughts on the realme 12 Pro+ 5G’s cameras are in the dedicated camera review I just posted.

Should You Buy the realme 12 Pro+ 5G?

realme 12 Pro+ 5G Review - Conclusion

It’s been a while since a realme Number Series phone pushed the boundaries of mobile photography for me. Since the 9 Pro+ back in 2022, I wasn’t sure whether realme would make another leap (no pun intended) in providing a better smartphone camera experience in the midrange segment.

The realme 12 Pro+ is that midrange phone for me. It may not have the best performance or the best value-for-money, but it has the most versatile smartphone camera experience in the sub-P30,000 segment. Everything else in this phone is good enough for someone like me who values camera versatility more. I’m really hoping that realme doesn’t do a huge shakeup with the cameras in the next one.


  • A better representation of the Luxury Watch design language + better-feeling Vegan Leather
  • IP65 dust and water resistance
  • A good 120Hz Curved Vision Display
  • Great user experience thanks to the Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 + 12GB LPDDR5 RAM + realme UI 5.0
  • Good battery life + fast 67W SUPERVOOC charging
  • Great portrait and zoomed-in photos with its 64MP Periscope Portrait Camera
  • Generally got good photos from the 50MP Sony IMX890 primary camera and 32MP Sony IMX615 front camera


  • The Vegan Leather on this phone tends to be stickier
  • No headphone jack and microSD card slot
  • Its 900 nits peak brightness is lower than the realme 12+ 5G
  • Lesser raw performance compared to other phones in its price range
  • A lot of bloatware for a sub-P30,000 phone
  • Its 2-year software update support feels lacking
  • Underwhelming 8MP ultrawide camera
  • No 4K video recording in the front camera

The realme 12 Pro+ 5G retails for P25,999 with 12GB RAM and 512GB storage. You can purchase one at all realme Concept Stores and Kiosks, and authorized retailers nationwide. It is also available online through e-commerce partners Lazada, Shopee, and TikTok Shop.

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