Realme 10 Pro+ review: all that glitters is not gold

The back of the Realme 10 Pro Plus.

Realme 10 Pro+

MSRP $379.00

“The Realme 10 Pro+ has two-day battery life, great everyday performance and improved software. But underneath the glittery back, it lacks that special something to make it a winner.


  • Two-day battery

  • Excellent overall performance

  • Stereo speakers

  • Lightweight and eye-catching design

The inconvenients

  • No water resistance

  • No wireless charging

  • The wide-angle camera disappoints

Which phone should you look at if you want reliability, long battery life, an acceptable camera, and a design that reminds you of the top flagships of a few years ago?

You turn to Realme, which continues to make good phones at reasonable prices, with the new Realme 10 Pro+ being no exception. It’s been my primary phone for over a week, and while I As I don’t like that — and that’s a problem. Here’s a closer look at why.

Realme 10 Pro+ Design

The Realme 10 Pro Plus held in a person's hand.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Realme 10 Pro+ you see in our photos is in the Hyperspace finish, which the company says has a “prism acceleration pattern” and “nebula particles”. This, in language we can understand, means that the back panel has a glitter ball effect and is also quite shiny. It’s not the most masculine finish, but it really grabs attention and in the right light looks colorful and fun. It reminds me of the amazing job Huawei has done to make the P30 Pro stand out the way it did.

If the Hyperspace finish isn’t for you, then the Realme 10 Pro+ is available in Dark Matter (black) and Nebula Blue, a color-shifting blue that also harkens back to Huawei’s efforts. These comparisons are compliments, but unlike Huawei’s best phones, Realme used plastic for the rear panel, not glass. This helps keep the phone light at 173 grams, and the 7.78mm thickness makes the Realme 10 Pro+ slim and handy. The sides are heavily tapered, but using the flexible TPU case included in the box keeps it from becoming uncomfortable to hold.

The side of the Realme 10 Pro Plus, held in a person's hand.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Realme doesn’t mention Corning Gorilla Glass, but says the glass on the front is double-reinforced for extra strength and the phone can withstand drops of around one meter without cracking. Unfortunately, there’s no mention of water resistance, so you’ll have 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 little small to me, they don’t dominate the design, letting the sparkling Hyperspace finish do the talking. Although the durability didn’t quite meet our expectations, the Realme 10 Pro+ looks excellent.

Realme 10 Pro+ Camera

The camera module of the Realme 10 Pro Plus.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

A 108-megapixel main camera leads the charge, followed by an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera and a basic macro camera. There’s also a 16-megapixel selfie camera at the top center of the screen. It’s the exact same on-paper camera setup as the Realme 9, released in April this year, but here it comes with a few more software tweaks to justify calling it quits. New. Realme says the camera has 9-in-1 pixel grouping, improved dynamic range, better AI, more speed, and improved algorithms for portraits, group shots, and night shots.

It’s all about the main camera here, as the wide-angle camera is a bummer and the macro camera is a waste. But even the main camera has its issues. Under the right conditions, it performs well enough – with pleasing color and contrast, plenty of detail, and enough pop that you’ll be happy to share the photo without editing. But other times it exposes shots poorly and amplifies colors to the point that they no longer look natural.

The wide-angle camera is worse, and most photos I’ve taken with it have been muddy, blurry, noisy, and out of focus. The dreadful 8MP camera joins the 2MP macro camera as filler on the back of a phone. Night mode shots are decent, but there’s a lot of smoothing to make them acceptable, 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. And even then, the results will vary.

Using the Realme 10 Pro+ on a daily basis

Play Asphalt 9: Legends on the Realme 10 Pro Plus.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The large 6.7-inch, 2142 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display has a 120Hz refresh rate, is curved at the sides, has narrow bezels, and uses smart technology that reduces flicker even when the display is dimmed. With a maximum of 800 nits it’s not particularly bright, and while it did fine during the first dark days of winter here in the UK, I’m not sure how it will fare in the summer. . Viewing angles are good, but the screen’s color accuracy drops when you reach extreme angles.

MediaTek’s Dimensity 1080 performs very well. I’m playing Asphalt 9: Legends and I didn’t notice any serious slowdown or frame rate issues, and it was still just as fun. The chip also keeps software running smoothly, and I had no problems opening and switching between apps, as the 12GB of RAM is great for multitasking.

The charging port of the Realme 10 Pro Plus.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

For everyday use and for gaming in general, the Realme 10 Pro+ is an excellent companion. It’s efficient too, with 30 minutes of gaming draining around 8 per cent of the battery, and 30 minutes of YouTube taking up even less than that (even with both at full brightness). Dual stereo speakers make gaming and video enjoyable, and while there isn’t much bass, you don’t need to adjust your outlet because you’ve mistakenly covered just one 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 5,000mAh battery before it needs recharging. Plug it in with the included 67-watt SuperVOOC charger and cable, and the battery will go from zero to 100 percent in about 50 minutes in my testing. While clearly fast, it’s not as fast as some other Realme phones, or the best from OnePlus and Oppo. There’s also no wireless charging, which is a bummer.

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 with the latest version of its software installed out of the box. I haven’t really been a fan of RealmeUI and Oppo’s ColorOS (they’re basically the same) due to their endless nanny, irritating apps, and inconsistent design. But real improvements have been made here.

For starters, I didn’t bother with notifications for this and that for the first few days of use. He just got by, 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. It looks like small changes, but together they make the phone faster, easier, and less annoying to use.

Problems still exist, however. For example, why permanent screen notifications refuse to display the latest email from Outlook, preferring to display an older message instead, I’ll never understand. It goes with WhatsApp, so I can only assume it’s a compatibility issue with Outlook. Overall though, Realme UI 4.0 is an improvement over older versions. However, it’s still not as nice, logical or as attractive as Samsung’s OneUI or Google’s version of Android on a Pixel.

Realme 10 Pro+ price and availability

The Realme 10 Pro+ won’t be available in the US, but Realme has provided its “global” price in dollars. The cheapest 8GB/128GB version costs $379, the 8GB/256GB version costs $399, and the top 12GB/256GB version costs $429. There’s no final release date for the phone yet, and no details on when it will be released in the UK.

Its main competitor is the Google Pixel 6a, which costs about the same but offers a much better camera, excellent everyday performance and a very nice design. The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G costs a bit more, but is water resistant. The Nothing Phone 1 should be another consideration, with its cool design, no-frills camera and great software. I would choose any of these three over the Realme 10 Pro+.

The reason to buy the Realme 10 Pro+ is…

The screen of the Realme 10 Pro Plus.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

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) attractive and capable smartphone with a battery that lasts a few days. This 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, nor have I encountered any issues that make me want to throw it out the window.

The problem is that it doesn’t do anything new and alluring. Realme pushes the screen’s special 2160Hz PWM dimming mode as one of its standout features, but that’s not really something I noticed during my use. I’m coming from the Pixel 7 Pro and the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which don’t have the same dimming technology, but I couldn’t tell you that the Realme phone has it. Its presence is probably beneficial, but the lack of water resistance and wireless charging, as well as the inconsistent camera, impact day-to-day use much more.

I like the Realme 10 Pro+, but the competition around it is considerably more appealing, and I don’t think Realme has struck the right balance between really useful features and cost. While the 8MP wide-angle camera is the best it can do, I’d rather see that and the macro camera gone, potentially giving way to water resistance and wireless charging on the budget sheet . It’s decisions like this that would make the Realme 10 Pro+ stand out, because right now when you take off the glossy back panel, everything is a bit ordinary.

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