Realme 10 Pro+
“The Realme 10 Pro+ has a two-day battery life, excellent everyday performance, and improved software. But underneath the shiny back, it lacks that something special to make it a winner.”
Two day battery
Great overall performance
Light and striking design
No water resistance
No wireless charging
Wide-angle camera disappoints
Which phone should you look at if you want reliability, long battery life, a decent camera, and a design that reminds you of the best flagships from a few years ago?
You turn to Realme, which continues to make good phones at reasonable prices, and the new Realme 10 Pro+ is no exception. It has been my primary phone for over a week and even though I like it I don’t love it, and that’s a problem. Here’s a closer look at why that is.
Realme 10 Pro+ design
The Realme 10 Pro+ that you see in our photos has the Hyperspace finish, which the company claims has a “prism acceleration pattern” and “nebula particles”. This, in language we can understand, means that the rear panel has a glowing ball effect and it’s pretty shiny too. It’s not the most masculine finish, but it really turns heads and in the right light it looks colorful and fun. It reminds me of the amazing job Huawei did to make the P30 Pro stand out the way it did.
If the Hyperspace finish isn’t for you, then the Realme 10 Pro+ comes in Dark Matter (black) and Nebula Blue, a color-shifting blue that’s also reminiscent of Huawei’s efforts. These comparisons are compliments, but unlike Huawei’s best phones, Realme has used plastic for the rear panel and not glass. This helps keep the phone’s weight light at 173 grams, and the 7.78mm thickness makes the Realme 10 Pro+ slim and manageable. The sides are very sharp, but the use of the flexible TPU sleeve included in the box prevents it from becoming uncomfortable to hold.
Realme doesn’t mention Corning Gorilla Glass, but does say that the glass on the front is double-strengthened for added strength and that the phone can withstand drops from around one meter without cracking. Unfortunately, there’s no mention of water resistance at all, so you’ll need to be careful with the Realme 10 Pro+ if you want it to last.
The narrow bezels give the front of the phone a modern look, and while the dual-camera modules on the back look a bit small to me, they don’t dominate the design, letting the glossy Hyperspace finish do the talking. While the durability may not meet our expectations, the Realme 10 Pro+ looks excellent.
Realme 10 Pro+ camera
A 108-megapixel main camera leads the charge, followed by an 8MP wide-angle camera and a basic macro camera. There’s also a 16 MP selfie camera at the top center of the screen. This is the exact same camera setup on paper as the Realme 9, released in April this year, but here it comes with some additional software tweaks to justify calling it new. Realme says the camera has 9-in-1 pixel binning, improved dynamic range, better AI, more speed, and improved algorithms for portrait shots, group shots, and night images.
It’s all about the main camera here, as the wide-angle camera is a disappointment and the macro camera is a waste of time. But even the main camera has its problems. In excellent conditions, it works quite well: nice colors and contrasts, plenty of detail, and enough brightness to share the photo without editing. But other times, it misexposes shots and amplifies colors to the point where they no longer look natural.
The wide-angle camera is worse, and most of the photos I’ve taken with it have come out muddy, fuzzy, noisy, and out of focus. The hideous 8MP camera joins the 2MP macro camera as padding on the back of a phone. Night mode shots are fine, but there’s a lot of anti-aliasing to make them look passable, and the 3x zoom shortcut in the camera app leads to a digitally zoomed image of questionable quality.
Yes, the Realme 9 Pro+ has three cameras, but you really only want to use one of them. And even then, the results will vary.
Using the Realme 10 Pro+ every day
The large 6.7-inch 2142 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display has a 120Hz refresh rate, is curved downward, has narrow bezels, and uses smart technology that reduces flicker even when the screen is dim. Maxing out at 800 nits, it’s not especially bright and while it’s been fine during the gloomy early winter days here in the UK, I’m not sure how it’ll perform in the summer. Viewing angles are good, but the display’s color accuracy drops when you reach extreme angles.
MediaTek’s Dimensity 1080 is a great performer. I play Asphalt 9: Legends and I haven’t noticed any serious slowdowns or frame rate issues, and it was just as fun as ever. The chip also keeps software running smoothly, and I’ve had no trouble opening and switching between apps, as the 12GB of RAM is great for multitasking.
For everyday use and general gaming, the Realme 10 Pro+ is an excellent companion. It’s efficient, too, with 30 minutes of gaming draining around 8% of battery, and 30 minutes of YouTube taking even less than that (even with both at full brightness). The dual stereo speakers make gaming and video enjoyable, and while there’s not a lot of bass, you don’t need to adjust your grip because you mistakenly covered a single speaker.
Using the phone normally, with between two and three hours of screen time per day, I get at least two full days of use from the 5000mAh battery before it needs a recharge. Plug it in with the supplied 67-watt SuperVOOC charger and cable, and the battery will go from zero to 100% in about 50 minutes in my tests. While it’s clearly fast, it’s not quite as fast as other Realme phones, or the best from OnePlus and Oppo. There’s also no wireless charging, which is a disappointment.
Realme 10 Pro+ software
You get Android 13 with Realme UI 4.0 installed on the 10 Pro+, and it’s the brand’s first phone to have the latest version of its software installed out of the box. I haven’t really been a fan of Oppo’s RealmeUI and ColorOS (they’re basically the same thing) due to their endless babysitters, irritating apps, and inconsistent design. But some real improvements have been made here.
For starters it hasn’t bothered me with notifications for this and that for the first few days of use. He just got to work and let me do the same. The new control center looks great, and the icons appear more consistent and are easier to recognize at a glance. These seem like small changes, but together they make the phone faster, simpler, and less annoying to use.
However, there are still problems. For example, I’ll never understand why the always-on screen notifications refuse to show the latest Outlook email and prefer to show an older message instead. It’s fine with WhatsApp, so I can only assume it’s a compatibility issue with Outlook. Overall though, Realme UI 4.0 is an improvement over previous versions. However, it’s still not as pleasant, logical, or attractive as Samsung’s OneUI or Google’s version of Android on a Pixel.
Realme 10 Pro+ price and availability
The Realme 10 Pro+ will not be available in the US, but Realme has provided its “global” price in dollars. The cheapest 8GB/128GB version is $379, the 8GB/256GB version is $399, and the top 12GB/256GB version is $429. There’s still no final release date for the phone and no details on whether it will launch in the UK.
Its biggest competitor is the Google Pixel 6a, which costs about the same, but offers a much better camera, great everyday performance, and a really nice design. The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G costs a bit more, but it does have water resistance. The Nothing Phone 1 should be another consideration, with its cool design, no-nonsense camera, and excellent software. I would choose any of these three over the Realme 10 Pro+.
The reason to buy the Realme 10 Pro+ is…
I want to give you a reason to buy the Realme 10 Pro+, but I’m not sure I can. It’s a solidly built, (mostly) good-looking, competently performing smartphone with a battery that lasts a couple of days. That makes it a good smartphone, and on the surface, a good buy too. I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you buy it either; I certainly haven’t been desperate to stop using the phone, or encountered problems that make me want to throw it out the window.
The problem is that it doesn’t do anything new and attractive. Realme pushes the display’s special 2160Hz PWM dimming mode as one of its standout features, but it’s not really something I’ve noticed working during my use. I’m coming from the Pixel 7 Pro and Galaxy Z Fold 4, neither of which have the same dimming technology, but I couldn’t have told you the Realme phone did. Its presence is probably beneficial, but the lack of water resistance and wireless charging, as well as the inconsistent camera, are much more impressive for everyday use.
I like the Realme 10 Pro+, but the competition around it is considerably more attractive, and I don’t think Realme has struck the right balance between really useful features and cost. If the 8MP wide-angle camera is the best it can get, I’d rather see the macro camera disappear, potentially making room for water resistance and wireless charging on the budget sheet. It’s decisions like this that would make the Realme 10 Pro+ stand out, as right now, when you remove the glossy rear panel, everything is a bit normal.