I’ve known realme ever since I used the realme C1. Back then, the brand was mainly focused on bringing value for money. That phone retailed for P5,990. We’ve seen cheaper phones from realme over its 5 years, but I didn’t expect the brand to return to its roots. The realme Note 50 is the first in the new Note series of phones that aim to provide “long-lasting value.” While I could easily dismiss this as another marketing thing, that P3,599 price tag tells me otherwise. Is the phone any good? Find out in my full review.
Disclaimer: realme Philippines sent this realme Note 50 review unit in Sky Blue. I got it on January 12, 2024, and I’ve been using it for five days. I should preface this by saying that my review time with this phone is shorter than usual, but I’m confident in my findings to put this out.
We pretty much get a typical unboxing with the realme Note 50. I remember a previous realme phone not having a charger in the box, so having one here is nice. It may just be a 10W charger but it’s better than nothing at all.
Another thing I noticed is the new realme slogan in the mini box that has the manuals and jelly case. Expect this to pop up in all of realme’s global releases in 2024 onwards.
Design and Build
If I had to compare the design and build of the realme Note 50 to that C1 back in 2018, it would be night and day. This two-toned back looks nice and I’m glad that most of it has a matte feel. I’m also okay with the flat sides despite its size. It comes in two colors: Sky Blue and Midnight Black. I have the former with me and it’s one of the more subtle splashes of color in a realme phone.
Two more things that I like are the presence of both a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot. Phones these days ditch both of them, so seeing them on a value-oriented phone is nice. Another nice touch is getting IP54 dust and water resistance. This is one feature I don’t see in phones at this price point and I’m glad it’s here. There’s even a side fingerprint sensor which is a feature I rarely see in entry-level phones like this.
The realme Note 50 rocks a 6.74-inch HD+ IPS LCD display with a 1600 x 720 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. It has a waterdrop notch that I normally complain about when combined with the previously mentioned specs. For a sub-P4,000 phone though, this is a decent display. My only gripe here is its 450-nit typical peak brightness which is fine indoors but pretty much unusable outdoors.
Performance and Software
This phone uses a UNISOC T612 processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. It has support for RAM expansion where you can use its storage as virtual RAM. Unfortunately, I don’t think you should turn it on since this phone only has eMMC storage. (RAM expansion is actually off by default.)
Pokémon UNITE runs surprisingly well on this phone. I didn’t expect max settings here, but it’s nice to see decent performance at a phone of its price. If you really want that quantified in AnTuTu, here are the benchmark results:
This phone uses realme UI T Edition based on Android 13. It isn’t the full realme UI we see on most realme phones though. Instead, it’s a mostly clean Android experience with some realme UI-specific features. You can see the normal Android 13 notification shade and even a more Google-like About phone section in the Settings app.
One feature that made its way to the realme Note 50 is the Mini Capsule. I first experienced this on the realme C55, and it was useful to see battery info, data usage, and step count.
It’s surprising that realme managed to pull off a decent user experience here. While realme UI T Edition is cleaner than the full version, I think it’s perfect for this phone.
The realme Note 50 carries the same 5000 mAh battery as most realme phones. A big compromise to reach the price point that this phone has is its charging speed: 10W. With that speed, I charged this phone from 27% to 100% in around 2 hours. It’s a good thing that this phone can last a day of use. I mostly used social media and watched YouTube videos during my typical use, so that should be fine for most people.
Another compromise a phone maker would make when making phones more affordable is with the cameras. With the Note 50, it is definitely the case. It has a 13MP main rear camera with a supporting black & white camera. We also get a 5MP front camera. I’m not actually expecting much, but there were some surprises when I took some photos.
Click on the photos for full resolution versions!
In general, the realme Note 50 does a decent job in taking photos. It may not take the best photos, but it can do a decent job for sharing personal photos on social media.
Where the Note 50 shines is indoors with good lighting. Yes, it makes sense that more light is good for any camera. I just think it’s more apparent on entry-level phones like this.
Low-light photos aren’t really its strong suit though. Even when using Night Mode, it still needs more light to get a decent photo.
The 5MP front camera is just fine for sending to group chats or personal posts on social media. It gets the job done for the most part.
Should You Buy the realme Note 50?
Despite all of the positives and negatives I mentioned in this review, all of that pales to its P3,599 price tag. The fact that it runs smoothly and has a big 5000 mAh battery is a good thing. Everything else here is either a bonus or something that you can live with if you’re on a budget.
All I can say is this: the realme Note 50 brings the same (or even better value) that the realme C1 did back in 2018. It’s not gonna wow people with any specific feature, but the result is definitely better than the sum of its parts.
- Its P3,599 price tag
- Nice two-tone design
- Having a side fingerprint sensor, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card slot
- IP54 dust and water resistance
- 90Hz refresh rate display
- realme UI T Edition gives a smoother user experience
- Good battery life with its 5000 mAh battery
- Decent 13MP rear camera and 5MP front camera if you temper your expectations
- The use of eMMC storage
- 720p resolution feels pixelated
- Multitasking might be limited with 4GB of RAM
- 10W charging speed
- Why bother with a 2MP black & white camera though?
The realme Note 50 retails for P3,599 is available in two colors: Sky Blue and Midnight Black. Watch out for the product talk on January 23, 2024, 6:30 PM on the realme Philippines Facebook page.