NOTEworthy Alternative: realme Note 50 REVIEW! [PART 2]

For a phone priced so cheap, we’re not going to expect anything mindblowing about that 13MP camera.

SEASON TWO! Let’s go! We are already impressed by the phone’s overall design and even fluidity. The 90Hz refresh rate is also a nice bonus but really, if people think about “realme”, what is the first thing that pops up? Definitely the cameras. We already saw multiple reviews made by our colleagues saying how the realme note 50 is way too good for PHP 3.5K and is touted as realme’s back to form. We can’t all be winners and honestly, that 13MP primary camera at the back should not be faring just as well as more expensive ones do.

We cannot talk about the realme note50 camera without talking about how its array was arranged. It is arranged similarly to the iPhone but of course, they are not as functional. The primary camera is a 13MP sensor while the top camera is the depth sensor. The front features a 5MP selfie shooter sitting on top of the dewdrop notch. Also, we noticed that the camera island is sitting on top of the glittery area of the phone, and a noticeable cut is present to distinguish the non-glossy part.


The camera UI is basic. You get a rolling carousel that switches to different modes, including the “MORE” option where you can find the Pro Mode and Panorama mode. At the right side are the video and night options. The yellow line you see on the screen is the levelling, which is disabled by default. Grid is also disabled and must be manually turned on. Unfortunately, night mode lacks any gridlines so taking perfect shots at night are a bit challenging if you’re a novice.

The shutter button’s location is way too high up for our liking. Sometimes, when we’re about to take a shot, we miss because the position of it is slightly higher than what we’re used to. So it would be nice if this was optimized.

Every setting you need is located by tapping the gear on the top right of the screen. Here, you can select various modes including the ability to turn on watermarks (not customizable sadly) and enable AI scene recognition which, as far as our experience goes, is usually located within the viewfinder so we’re not sure why it’s obscure here.

Another, this phone has surprisingly more composition line options than even our OnePlus Nord 3. Not only you get the usual 3×3 grid and Golden Ratio grid but also you get a frame and cross grid which are perfect if you want to take a 1:1 aspect ratio shot.

The PRO Mode option allows for full finetuning of the camera, including Shutter Speed (1/1000 to 1/5), Focus, ISO (100-1600), and White Balance (2800-7000). For the ISO and Shutter Speed, they use a selector so there’s really not a lot you can mix and match with it. White Balance is completely manual but there are also preselected filters.


We expected absolutely nothing about this camera, considering it’s an ultra-budget phone. Phones with a similar price we have reviewed in the past fared terribly in our camera tests but we were shocked by how good that simple 13MP camera is on the realme note 50! We took the phone to Baguio City because it’s quite a hot (or should we say cold) trendy destination thanks to its breeze, mountain views, and overall just a great site to take pictures and create moments with. The cold weather is also useful for our CPU throttling test as the place is the Philippines’ natural refrigerator. It is the “Summer Capital of the Philippines” as many would put it.

Anyhow, going back to that 13MP camera, the viewfinder will actually view the photo as we would expect it. Soft and with bland or dull colours but realme’s post-processing effects shined greatly here. The final resulting photos are surprisingly colourful without overextending anything, as in making everything saturated, details are plenty, each image is pretty bright, and dynamic range is decent too. However, it is not perfect. When you zoom in, the photos are noticeably oversharpened. Also, for some weird reason, there is no way to turn off facial detection so we find it a little challenging to take photos at a crowded area without refocusing first. We also don’t like how its beautify filter is enabled by default so some faces would look cartoonishly soft when it’s not needed.


The portrait mode has a selector enabled allowing you to skim between f/0.95 to f/16 aperture rates. The more open, the stronger the applied bokeh effect. Our pictures are taken with apertures between f/2.0 to f/2.8

We are impressed with how well the realme note50 creates bokeh effect. It’s surprisingly natural. For human shots, it was able to identify and separate the foreground and background without turning on the AI Scene recognition in the settings. Though there are definitely misses, such as with the fingers and parts of the hairline, or when parts of an image aren’t in focus. Also, we find it a nuisance that face detection cannot be turned off making it harder for us to shoot a portrait shot with heavy crowds as the phone will start focusing on the detected face instead. There is a band-aid fix though, just by focus-locking the phone. Again, the keywords here are: band-aid fix.

With that said, we still had lots of fun with the note50’s portrait mode. We expected so little of it and we’re definitely expecting a lot worse but these shots clearly more than surpassed our expectations!


The 13MP rear camera is where every magic happens, and unfortunately, that’s also where it ends. The 5MP selfie camera is very less impressive with each shot resulting in soft and bland colour reproduction and a noticeable lack of a wider field of view. Not to mention, some parts of the photos are blown out, especially when it comes to indoor lighting. It’s alright for a PHP 3,599 phone but a selfie lover might skip this one.

The applied portrait filter is okay. It was able to apply a bokeh filter while trying to determine who’s the background and who’s at the foreground. It was able to determine who’s who with a decent accuracy but still, you can see through my white shirt just how awful the dynamic range is for this phone’s selfie sensor. But I should not be harsh. The realme note 50 after all, is catered towards the budget-conscious and just want a phone to communicate with loved ones.


We found the camera’s primary weakness. Shooting photos at night, even with night mode. The returning shots are still better than the previous budget phone we reviewed, that’s also a tad more expensive (and also blue), but that’s not really a compliment, is it? It takes about 3 seconds for the phone to capture and process the image and the post-processing tries its hardest to make a coherent image. Unfortunately, the viewfinder isn’t telling you the actual result so you might be disappointed before taking the shot.

When there is zero light at all, like our mountain view shot, the phone takes a huge dip and cannot apply the proper post-processing effects the way our more expensive phones do. This should give you a wider perspective of how companies apply post-processing effects on different price ranges. You probably won’t expect a shot like that on a sub-15K phone, will you?

Night photos appear soft and dull with noticeably washed out colours. In decent lighting conditions however, dynamic range is alright, though we noticed that the light side is slightly stronger than the darker areas. Again, the pictures are overprocessed so some areas when you zoom in have a crispy texture to them. Still, for a sub-4K phone, this is better than expected, and we expected very little but the Note 50 delivered.

Unlike previous budget phones we reviewed where the night mode felt like filler, the note50’s night mode actually does something noticeable and significant. The left side is shot using the normal photo mode while the right side is with using night mode. It was able to boost the brightness and add more lively colours to the image (most noticeably, the “yellow light” at the bottom left corner) so the night mode really makes things better at the dark. Making it useful and not just another filler for a brand to put in. We’re honestly impressed on how much realme’s post-processing can do with such a cheap sensor. This goes to show how much they have been developed since their heyday. These shots remind us on how the realme 3 first took photos. This what must be that “Chroma Boost” they have been talking about for years.


The rear camera can capture up to 1080p@30fps but the front is sadly stuck to just 720p. The cost-cutting is much more visible this time as now you can theorize that realme used an older sensor for its front camera to keep those prices down. Even our Oppo A18, a phone of a similar caliber, can take 1080p videos at the front.

Of course, we’re only taking videos in 1080p and 720p. Yes, face detection can only be disabled and enabled in video mode (but not in photo mode).

Above is a 1080p video footage shot directly on the realme note 50 without any edit. Just like other budget phones we used, the video appears way too processed with noticeably jagged lines even when I’m only moving so gently. Also, since the microphone hole is located at the bottom, there are times it gets blocked by my hands, but we’ll discuss the audio quality just shortly after.

The video quality will also depend on what environment you are in. For instance, we recorded a vertical video inside a restaurant and the quality and colour reproduction turned out to be good. However, it still suffered from the same oversharpening as the one above us moving. This means the phone is not that good for vlogging on the move but it’s good enough for steady videos. How we wish we made more of those instead.

(NOTE: We apologize if the above video is not in the highest resolution, it seems like WordPress compressed the video down but in reality, it’s higher quality than that).

Now, let’s go back to the audio quality. I was actually surprised how good my voice sounded out of that measly single speaker. It’s coherent, clear, and feels amplified. There is a right amount of tune done here and that’s kudos to realme. Even when my hands blocked the microphone, my voice still sounded high quality, not the tin cans I usually here from phones at this price. This is one hell of a competitive phone for sub-4K.


The front camera can shoot 720p@30fps max. That’s it. These days, 720p is not a lot and some even consider it “standard” quality, yes like, SD standard. But how does it fare?

Let’s get to the good stuff first. Just like the rear camera, when the video is finally recorded, my voice is clear, coherent, and deep. Something we would like to see more on many other budget phones.

That’s pretty much it for the front camera. Dynamic range is unbalanced here and you can tell that the background is way too blown out. Also, the video itself is pretty soft with bad colour reproduction. But then again, it’s a very old 5MP sensor so we’re not expecting miracles here. Just note it’s not “TikTok-worthy” at the slightest.

That is pretty much it for the camera tests. We expected nothing but still come out impressed, except for the selfie camera that is. Stay tuned, Part 3 is on its way… and that’s a challenge because the phone only has 64GB internal storage (and a UNISOC Tiger T612 chip).