When LG still made phones (sigh), at one point it tried to implement a "Hand ID" unlock gimmick on the G8 ThinQ, though in our experience, there was much room for improvement. For one, you'd have to turn on the screen first to toggle hand tracking. That was dumb. Fast forward to today, Realme is bringing a similar feature back to a new phone, the GT5 Pro, with support for some seemingly practical hand gestures.
Rather than using a time-of-flight camera and an infrared light, the Realme GT5 Pro utilizes its 32-megapixel selfie camera to detect your palm print. In the above demo, you can see how the screen wakes up automatically when the palm moves away from it. I highly doubt that the front camera stays on all the time, so I'm willing to bet that this is working in conjunction with an ultrasonic proximity sensor — most likely by Elliptic Labs, which is present on many Android handsets.
Realme said palm unlock is faster than face recognition, partly thanks to machine learning using over 10,000 models. The company even went as far as claiming that this security feature passed a penetration test involving over 10 million attacks. Still, the good-old under-display fingerprint reader is still there, so palm unlock is just an extra option — probably the most convenient for when you're cooking or driving.
Like the LG, the Realme GT5 Pro also supports several hand gestures. A pinch gesture would toggle the recent app list, and from there you can gently brush left or right to browse through the recent apps. Holding up your index finger will toggle cursor control, and hovering over a spot triggers a click. A three-finger palm gesture takes a screenshot. Flipping your palm around takes you back to the home screen. Pointing your thumb to the left toggles a "back" action. Finally, moving your palm towards the screen switches it off.
The phone itself is otherwise a standard flagship affair. It packs Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, a 6.78-inch curved AMOLED panel from China's BOE (2,780 x 1,264, 144Hz, 4,500 nits), a generous 5,400mAh battery which supports 100W fast charging (12 minutes to 50 percent charge) or 50W wireless fast charging, USB-C 3.2, NFC, dual speakers and infrared remote. As part of its nine-layer thermal structure, Realme threw in a three-layer vapor-cooling chamber, which apparently has the industry's largest cooling surface area. The device is also rated with IP64 for dust and liquid protection.
Photography-wise, you get a 50-megapixel main camera (powered by a Sony LYT-808 sensor; as found on the OnePlus 12), an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera and the same 50-megapixel, 3x periscopic telephoto camera (with a Sony IMX890) as the one on the Oppo Find X6 series. You can already tell the synergy between Realme, Oppo and OnePlus within the BBK family here.
The Realme GT5 Pro is available in China starting from 3,298 yuan or about $460 for the 12GB RAM with 256GB storage model, and maxing out at 4,198 yuan or $590 for the 16GB RAM with 1TB storage model. Color options include black for the glass body, and orange or gold for the vegan leather options.
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