Camera Comparison Review of Realme 5i and OnePlus 7 Pro
For the past 10 years, we’ve seen flagship phones getting more expensive. However, we’ve also seen budget phones getting better. With camera and AI technologies working hand-in-hand to provide better user experience, it seems like the line between budget and flagship phones is getting increasingly blurrier. To put the 10-year advancement to test, we compared Realme 5i that costs P6,990 against OnePlus 7 Pro which launched for P38,990.
|Specs||Realme 5i||OnePlus 7 Pro|
|Display||6.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD, Corning Gorilla Glass 3+||6.7-inch QHD, Fluid AMOLED, 90Hz refresh rate, HRD10+, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 (front and back)|
|Design||polycarbonate body, splash resistance||glass and glass, aluminum frame|
|Dimensions||164.4 x 75 x 9.3 mm, 195g||162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8 mm, 206g|
|CPU/Chipset||Qualcomm SDM665 Snapdragon 665 (11 nm)||Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm)|
|GPU||Adreno 610||Adreno 640|
|Storage||64GB with dedicated microSD up to 256GB||256GB UFS 3.0|
|Main Camera||12 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF|
8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4″, 1.12µm
2 MP, f/2.4, 1/5″, 1.75µm (dedicated macro camera)
2 MP, f/2.4, 1/5″, 1.75µm, depth sensor (dedicated macro camera)
|48 MP, f/1.6, (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS|
8 MP, f/2.4, 78mm (telephoto), 3x optical zoom, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), AF | up to 4k @ 60fps video
|Selfie Camera||8 MP, f/2.0||Motorized pop-up 16 MP, f/2.0, 25mm (wide), 1/3.0″, 1.0µm|
|Connectivity & Ports||4G LTE Wi-Fi ac, BT 5.0 A2DP, LE, GPS, MicroUSB, audio jack||4G LTE, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, LE, USB Type-C, FM Radio|
|Security||face unlock, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner||face unlock, under-screen optical fingerprint scanner|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 5000mAh battery (10W charging)||4000mAH (30W warp charging)|
|Audio||mono south-firing speaker||stereo speakers, aptX HD|
|OS||Android 9.0 (Pie), planned upgrade to Android 10.0; ColorOS 6||Android 9.0 (Pie); OxygenOS 10.0.2 to Android 10|
|Colors||Blue, Green||Mirror Grey, Almond, Nebula Blue|
|Release Date||January 2020 India and Vietnam, January 29 Philippines||June 2019 (Philippines)|
The first photo was shot midday. Upon checking on a monitor, I was surprised to see Realme 5i with well-balanced quality. The colors were properly reproduced with a sharpness level that’s just slightly better than OnePlus 7 Pro. On the other end, the flagship device came out with overexposed quality. This could be attributed to the wider field of view as the sensor tried to find focus.
Switching to the ultrawide sensors, 5i came out yet again with better overall photo quality. However, 7 Pro was a tad sharper in this regard and its HDR processing was a bit aggressive on the trees.
For the telephoto shot, Realme 5i only provides 2x digital zoom whereas 7 Pro goes for 3x optical zoom. That said, the flagship device wins in terms of sharpness. Then again, the budget handset came out with better colors despite lacking in dynamic range.
Close-up shots are where the flagship handset starts to take the lead. Albeit with a brighter output, 7 Pro had better dynamic range as it prevented blowing out the highlights in the background. But color-wise, I like 5i’s clean output here.
Taking another regular shot of a building, either was able to deliver good photo quality. Realme 5i just came out with more contrast while OnePlus 7 Pro was a lot sharper.
When it comes to taking pictures of people, both cameras are more than enough for social media postings. While color reproduction was nearly the same, the 7 Pro looked sharper and well-balanced.
With portrait mode turned on, 5i loses the contrasty quality which looks better by the way. The same goes for the flagship handset but with a warmer tone. Edge detection seems to be better on Realme’s part as seen from the hair cutouts.
Taking the camera indoors, Realme 5i came out with pleasant-looking photos. Although OnePlus 7 Pro has a sharper image, some weird face processing can be seen. Fortunately, this effect didn’t affect the portrait shot.
Night Mode is available on both devices and on both main and ultrawide sensors. Realme 5i provided the grainy shots across the board but at least it’s there in case you need better exposure at night. OnePlus 7 Pro came out with sharper and cleaner photos but flares from bright spots occur using ultrawide.
With good lighting, Realme 5i can really stand out in terms of colors and sharpness. Some might prefer the contrasty look as it seems more pleasing to share. Although OnePlus 7 Pro looks softer, its detail preservation was better as seen from the strands of hair. Additionally, the output is closer to real life. The same goes when shooting indoors.
With portrait mode turned on, Realme 5i came out very aggressive that made my face looked like it was photoshopped. OnePlus 7 Pro just did a better job overall.
OnePlus 7 Pro never had a dedicated macro sensor but thanks to a software update, Macro Mode is available on the stock camera app. On the other end, Realme 5i has a 2MP sensor for that. Quality-wise, Realme produced true to life colors but the detail quality is just better on OnePlus.
In this comparison, we’re not trying to identify which is the better camera. Instead, we’re trying to see the progress of 10 years of technological advancements. That said, the gap between budget and flagship phones, at least when it comes to camera, is not that far. It only proves that you don’t need an expensive device just to get great photos. With software processing and AI doing its magic in the background, the combination of the two is more than enough to compensate for the lack of better hardware.