Realme 12 Pro Plus Review: It’s No More About the Megapixels


Realme is experimenting with ‘budget photography’, and that’s something I haven’t seen smartphone makers dabble much in. Customers’ eyes usually fall on the performance section of a spec-list when they are purchasing a phone under 30 grand — cameras are mostly secondary. But the Realme 12 Pro Plus wants to stand out, and it wants to be the talk of the town by being a phone that takes awesome shots while being fashionable, offering decent-ish performance and lasting a good day. At an asking price of Rs 31,999, does it hit the nail on the head, though? Find out in my review.

Realme 12 Pro Plus

Rs 29,999



















What Is Good?

  • Lovely design
  • Nice, responsive display
  • Primary camera takes clear photos
  • Telephoto camera delivers
  • Decent battery life
  • Good charging speeds

What Is Bad?

  • Takes time to process photos
  • Processor is surprisingly anaemic
  • Very little has changed from Realme 11 Pro+ overall

Realme 12 Pro Plus Review: Design, build and display

Design and build

Apart from the new colours, which are jaw-dropping, by the way, the Realme 12 Pro Plus doesn’t have a massive deviance from the Realme 11 Pro-series’ silhouette. It has the same leather-like texture on its back, the same curved display, and a slim railing sandwiched in between.

Design Specifications
Thickness 8.75mm
Weight 196 grams
IP Rating IP65
Build Material Glass front, vegan leather rear

Heck, Shahrukh Khan’s face is plastered all over your town holding the phone, so it should look the part, and it does.

The little details such as the glossy mid-rib, and the large, centrally-placed camera island which resembles the dial of a Rolex — are all there to evoke the feeling of luxury.

But then, after that feeling sinks in, you start observing that nothing much really changed from the Realme 11 Pro series (Review), at least in terms of design. That’s not a bad thing, per se, because the phone still looks fresh and attractive.

The textured back helps in holding the phone secure while you’re doing a stretch with your thumb. The buttons have a nice, resounding tactile feedback. The curve around the edges is bold enough to catch attention, but subtle enough to not be a pain while swiping from the edges.

The placement of the ports, the speaker grille and the mic are similar to last year.


The Realme 12 Pro Plus repurposes the same 6.7-inch ProXDR OLED display from its predecessor. So, the resolution, refresh rate, the in-display fingerprint scanner and even brightness — everything is identical. Here’s a quick look at the display specifications:

Display Specifications
Size 6.7-inch
Type FHD+ ProXDR OLED display
Resolution 2414 x 1080 pixels
Refresh rate 120Hz
Peak brightness Up to 950 nits
Other Features 10-bit colour depth, HDR10+, 2160Hz PWM dimming, TUV Rheinland Eye Protection certification
Display protection Not mentioned

The display produces good and vibrant colours while consuming content on Netflix, YouTube, and other apps. The colour temperature leans a bit towards the cooler tones, something we noticed on the Realme 11 Pro+ as well. The display has support for the Widevine L1 certification, so watching 1080p content on OTT platforms is possible.

The 120Hz panel is extremely responsive and the faster refresh rate aids gaming and doomscrolling through social media. At a peak brightness of 950 nits, Realme doesn’t seem to be running behind bigger numbers, which is the new trend in 2024. Content outdoors is legible, and the curved display tackles accidental touches well. The stereo speaker setup on the Realme 12 Pro Plus gets loud enough with decent bass.

Realme 12 Pro Plus Review: Camera performance

Cameras Specifications
Primary camera 50-megapixel, Sony IMX890, ƒ/1.8 aperture, OIS
Telephoto camera 64-megapixel, OV64B, periscope assembly, ƒ/2.6, 71mm equivalent focal length
Ultra-wide camera 8-megapixel, ƒ/2.2 aperture, 16mm equivalent focal length
Selfie camera 32-megapixel

If the Realme 11 Pro Plus was a gateway to 200-megapixel sensors in mid-rangers, the Realme 12 Pro Plus is your stepping stone to periscope photography.

I like this approach to smartphone photography, where it provides you with the tools to tackle all kinds of photography scenarios.

Realme took us to Sri Lanka to try out the camera system, and my initial impressions have been mostly positive. During the time I tested the phone, the processing algorithm was still a work in progress. But that didn’t stop me from clicking some nice shots.

I’m a sucker for telephotos — I believe it’s the best way to challenge yourself to click better-framed shots. Telephoto cameras, by nature, have low distortion around edges and help bring the background of your shots closer to your subject while maintaining that nice depth.

Long story short, telephotos help you click some dramatic photographs, doesn’t matter if you’re clicking a portrait with a subject or cityscapes. And, the Realme 12 Pro Plus’s periscope telephoto tries really hard to be the primary camera of the phone. It can click some well-detailed shots, in the day and night alike. You’ll have some fun framing portraits with it.

But, at least during my initial testing phase, I concluded that it’s not for the touch-and-go kind of photographer. Not only do you have to spend time framing your photos well, but it also takes its own sweet time to process the photos you’ve clicked.

Nevertheless, if you’re serious about photography and are looking for a phone that can get you started, you should definitely consider this.

The primary camera is actually the unsung hero of this entire configuration. It offers nice, natural depth, and captures textures well. Its processing also doesn’t tend to over-sharpen or oversaturate images.

The ultrawide was the least impressive of the trio, but that’s not to say it’s bad – it’s just not as flashy.

It’s like that bare-minimum colleague who does their job, packs up and leaves before the after-party begins.

It tends to struggle a little with low-light photography, but in the day it works as advertised, clicking sharp photos. I wish it was a 12-megapixel sensor, so it could click clearer photos, but I’m letting it slide because of the primary and telephoto.

Realme 12 Pro Plus Review: Performance, battery and charging

The Realme 12 Pro Plus marks the second sighting of the Snapdragon 7S Gen 2 chipset, and it is paired with up to 12GB RAM and 256GB storage.

Hardware Specifications
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 7s Gen 2
Storage 256GB
AnTuTu v10 643705
Software version Realme UI 5.0 based on Android 14
Connectivity details Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, USB Type-C

While I’m yet to perform in-depth performance testing on the phone, I did run the phone casually, and it performed as a typical Realme Pro series phone — smooth, but with some irrelevant preloaded apps. I also ran the AnTuTu v10 benchmark, and the result, of about 600000+, isn’t the best in this price point. The POCO X6 Pro, for instance, shatters the million mark, and that too by a mile.

So, clearly, the focus here is on running basic tasks, and, more importantly, the camera.

In my casual usage, the Realme 12 Pro Plus could last a 7 am to 10 pm day easily, with about 5% remaining. The bundled 67W charger took about an hour to fully charge the phone from zero to 100%.

Realme 12 Pro Plus Review: Verdict

The Realme 12 Pro Plus has a very straightforward approach to mid-range smartphones – come for the design, stay for the camera. And it does what it promises comfortably. But, the other attributes of the phone, be it the design, performance or battery life, haven’t seen a considerable upgrade in my eyes. It’s still a very familiar phone, so if you’re planning to upgrade from the 11 Pro-series, wait it out, and see if you can get a discount on it.

For customers porting from an older device or a different brand, you need to get your priorities straight. Its unique, camera-centric qualities may not be for an everyday user. But, if you’re a young, budding smartphone photographer who likes to keep your feed bussin’, you should give it a shot.

*Disclaimer: Realme sponsored the author’s flights and hotel for the trip to Sri Lanka. However, our take on the phone is not affected by this.