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The Realme 5 really does undercut the Mi A3 in India

The new Realme 5. (Source: Realme)
The new Realme 5. (Source: Realme)
The Realme 5 series has been released in India, and has been followed closely by the Xiaomi Mi A3 in the same market. It turns out that the Mi A3 and the base model from the new line does indeed have the same processor, although the 5 has quad cameras where the Xiaomi has 3. The latter starts at INR 12,999 (~US$182), whereas the former starts at INR 9,999 ($140).

Xiaomi has launched its latest Android One device, the Mi A3, in India today (August 21, 2019). However, it already has stiff competition from another fresh release, the Realme 5 series. These phone have been teased on Flipkart as the first to sport quad rear cameras in their price brackets. This site's sales listings show that this is very much the case.

The Realme and Xiaomi devices still do have a lot in common, though. They are both powered by the Snapdragon 665 SoC; however, the newer device has more SKUs than its Xiaomi counterpart. Therein lies the A3's problem: its 4GB RAM/64GB ROM variant is priced at INR 12,999 (~US$182), whereas the Realme equivalent is INR 11,999 (~$168).

Moreover, the OPPO sub-brand is also offering a 3GB/32GB base model of the 5, priced at INR 9,999 (~$140). Then again, it could have been worse for Xiaomi: an earlier report indicated that it would in fact start at INR 14,998 (~$210). This is closer to the Realme 5 Pro's entry-level SKU's price, which gets you 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.

In fact, the main disappointment so far for potential customers may be the fact that the 5 does not do any better than the Mi A3 in terms of screen quality: they both have HD+ resolutions, which is stretched across 6.5 inches in the new Realme phone.

As indicated previously, the Pro variant is the one with the 48MP sensor (an advantage the Mi A3 shares over the 5, which has 12MP+8MP+2MP+2MP cameras instead). This new phone is powered by the Snapdragon 712 processor, a new SoC that may (despite a disappointing preliminary Geekbench leak) outperform the 665, along with the 710 found in the Mi CC9

The Realme 5 Pro also comes with VOOC fast charging from OPPO, as promised. However, oddly, it also has a smaller battery than the 5000mAh power pack found in the Realme 5. Both phones are now visible on Flipkart, although the 5 or 5 Pro cannot be bought until August 27 or September 4, 2019 respectively.


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Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-08-21 (Update: 2019-08-21)