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The Last Hope for Humanity – realme 12 5G


Lisa mutters under her breath as she fumbles for the realme 12 5G box in her backpack while the light fades.

Smoke and ash fill the air. It’s difficult to breathe.

The account manager is braced in the high crook of a large tree, her back to the road, some distance from the pavement. She’s almost in town. The road is a maze of abandoned cars, a few of them burning.

Soft, dangerous growls float up on the breeze.

Her main phone is running dangerously low on power.

Its screen is also dangerously dim in the sunlight.

That fact alone almost cost Lisa her life.

A double line of skid marks tells the story of an emergency brake to avoid a parked van, a panicked swerve to the left, and a short run off road to the tree against which her dual-sport motorcycle leans.

The crash neither hurt her, nor damaged the orange bike. It did attract a corpse lying in the tall grass nearby, which popped out like a jack-in-the-box.

Screaming into her helmet, Lisa was up the tree before she knew it, gear and all.

Where she sits now.

Reconsidering her life.

She wanted to be a journalist, but her mom put her in a business course. Fine. She thought she was going to be an account manager in this, her first real job. But no. She’s just another over-educated salesgirl with broken dreams, riding for her life.

She’s holding this realme 12 5G, a mystery addition to her inventory at the pop-up kiosk she was running in the laboratory lobby. It apparently launched that day on April 25, 2024…. the day her world ended.

She’s decided to follow the instructions of some dead scientist, who said that this unit held the key to ending her new hell. Lisa had no idea how that could be possible, given that she obviously brought it with her to that super secluded, remote laboratory.

Now she’s up a tree, holding the box of a phone she shouldn’t have, hiding from things that shouldn’t exist.

Just to complicate matters, that scientist insists on documentation. The more photos and videos of those creatures, the better.

She looks down and gags.

“I better not be that lab coat’s final prank.”

The zombie pokes around her bike, wheezing. It touches the tailpipe. There is a sizzling sound.

Lisa can swear she smells bacon, but the shambling cannibal seems to not feel any pain.

Whatever. Focus on the tasks at hand.

Move that SIM.

Get mobile.

Get to her younger brother at home.

The yellow packaging is both slick and confusing. The main compartment slides out of the top cover with unnecessary drama. Lisa almost drops the unsecured phone while shaking it out of the oddly complicated box.

It bounces off her thick gloves. She tries to pin it down against her bag.

Lisa slams her hand just a little bit too loudly on a corner of the phone as teeters on the side of the bag.


The corpse suddenly looks up at the source of the noise. Its eyes narrow like a predator, laser-focused on the thick boughs of leaves hiding Lisa.

After an eternity, it loses interest.

Lisa breathes out.

That’s the only time she realizes she’s been holding it in.

Tears roll from her eyes as she concentrates.

A slip of paper peeks out from the packaging.

8 + 256GB PHP 14,999.00 introductory price on Tiktok Shop, Lazada, and Shoppee. Early bird mystery box prizes worth 24,999.00, limited buyers only. Lucky 12 challenge April 26-28, May 3-5, participating outlets, over 600K in prizes,” it reads.


“I just wasted what little daylight I had left… reading that.”

She flips the phone over in her hands, looking at the familiar layout.  Thank goodness for her realme training. The SIM slot should be somewhere on top…

She can’t see it.

There are, however, two tiny holes on the top edge. Both fit the supplied pin.


She sinks the poker into a hole chosen at random.

It’s the wrong one. Something crunches.

Hope that wasn’t important.

She tries the other hole. An obscenely long SIM tray ejects.


The realme logo flashes, and the device hunts for a signal. Three bars – good enough.

At least the networks are still up.

The phone starts updating. realme has thoughtfully included a clear gel case, presumably to protect the rather impressive looking camera assembly.

It also shows off that beautifully distracting Twilight Purple.

Lisa slips it on.

She then logs in to her google account, and begins to navigate the new device.

She covers the insanely bright screen with a gloved hand. She can’t access any of the features until the setup is done. It dims automatically, as if it knows danger is close.

The setup is user friendly, almost to a fault. The tooltips would have been great if this was happening in a mall.

Not up a tree, in the dark, with a monster twenty feet below her.

“Hurry, hurry, hurry!”

The realme 12 5G is unimpressed with her impatience.

She resigns herself to the process, and is finished before she knows it. How anyone would get this thing going without the internet is a new mystery to her – one she never considered before.

It seems inevitable that everything will go down now. All those movies said so. It’s only a matter of time.

“Ok. Now, to live through the night.”

The realme goes into a jacket pocket with a zip. The slim device slides in so easily.

“Bet this thing is exactly 188 grams.” She pats her pocket to make sure the phone’s actually in.

So light.

The helmet finally comes off. Lisa hangs it on her arm through the visor and chinbar like a shopping bag. Her balaclava and gloves get stuffed into it.

She then goes through her backpack.

“There you go.”

Two long straps used to lash luggage on her bike come out. She clips one to a belt loop, and swings it around the tree trunk she is leaning against. The other side, once caught, is clipped loosely to a loop on the opposite side.

She ties another lash to one of the shoulder straps of the backpack, near the top. Swinging it around again, she secures the other end to the opposite strap, and wriggles the pack backwards onto her chest while juggling her helmet.

She cinches both lashing straps snug, makes sure neither she nor her stuff will fall out of the tree, and gets ready to sleep.

She doesn’t sleep long.

The stars are still out when she wakes. The realme informs her that it’s 4AM, to expect a few thunderstorms in her area, and that her cache junk is oddly increasing.

Her entire body hurts.

Lisa scrolls through the settings to keep her mind off the discomfort, while listening to the sounds of her stalker shambling off into the woods.

Under ‘Special Features,’ she finds ‘Dynamic Button.’ Nice. The ‘Double Press Power Button’ gets set to ‘Open Camera: Street Mode.’ it would have been good if video or voice recorder was an option, but beggars can’t be choosers.

She connects the phone to her bluetooth communicator.

Camera next. This is likely the thing that’s going to get a lot of use.

Night, Street, Video, Photo, Portrait, and More. Under that, Pro, Pano, Hi-Res, Movie, Slo-Mo, Time-Lapse, Dual-View Video, Text Scanner, Group Portrait, Tilt-Shift.

Dual-View Video is interesting. It pops up a double screen, using the front and back cameras to populate either. Her face is on the left. The shadows of the treeline and power cables fill the right monitor.

“Guys, guys,” Lisa chirps quietly through pouted lips, pretending to preen her long hair.

“Welcome to my channel. Fashion and beauty tips for today?

“Don’t die.”

Looks like this mode will be great for screaming into the camera while running for her life.

Street mode, the mode her power button is set to, is fast, fast, fast. She practices a while with it, locking the screen, hitting the power button twice, then transitioning to the volume button to take a shot.

“Night mode,” she mumbles.

A couple of swipes left, a test shot, and Lisa’s eyes widen.

The realme 12 5G hauls in tons of light from the flickering, burning cars. She can see her motorcycle clearly at the base of the tree as if it were late afternoon.

If she were to guess, from her training as an realme account manager, the rear camera must be an F/1.8 with a mind-boggling 108 megapixels at least.

An idea comes into her head. Lisa holds the phone at arms length around the tree trunk, pointed at the road. She presses the volume button, counts to three for night mode, and checks the image.

There are two blurred undead walking around the very clear ruin of the road. One corpse seems to have just caught fire, passing too close to a smoldering vehicle.

The smell of singed feathers suddenly joins the already delightful aroma of petrol, smoke, and death.

And lit foliage.

Wait. That smell wasn’t there before.

Lisa loosens the top lash holding her shoulders to the tree, and peeks.

The burning corpse has wandered off the road and to the dry grass, igniting it like tinder. It staggers drunkenly far to the side of the tree, opposite the motorcycle.

Still lucky in un-luck. The trunk will hide the approach to the motorcycle.

Time to move.

Off comes the top lash, then the bottom.

Coordinates into her navigation.

Phone in the pocket.

Backpack on, helmet on, gloves on.

Shimmy down the tree while the shimmying is good.

She lands astride her bike, and clips the realme into her handlebar phone holder.

The sun begins to rise.

A stiffer wind announces itself with a wide rustling. Must be the thunderstorm. The breeze picks up, pushing the crackling flames forward, towards another motorcycle lying on its side, further from the tree and nearer the road.

There is petrol leaking out of the tank.

With a soft whump, the creeping whiskers of fire become a conflagration.

Good morning, Vietnam.

The bike roars to life as the sun breaks through, casting long shadows in front of the frantic rider.

Shamblers turn to the sound, see the bright headlights, and run like athletes towards Lisa.

She guns the motor. The 80/20 dual-sport tires dig into the dirt, sending chunks flying as she rockets away from the grasp of the suddenly agile undead.

She can swear she hears teeth snapping.

Dodge that car. Downshift, look through the corner, crack the throttle, lean.

Weave through the wreckage. Up the sidewalk.

“In 300 meters, turn left.”

Ahh, the reassuring voice of navigation.

Lisa looks down at the map.

Even with the sun directly behind her, the screen is ridiculously bright. She doesn’t need to squint or cover the phone to see that a five-way intersection is coming up. The blue line traces a path through the farthest right, in almost a U-turn.

Downshift. Back it in. Leg out, elbow up, roll the throttle on.

Look to where the bike should go.

The fat rear tire breaks traction on some sand in the corner, fishtailing the motorcycle. A little bit more throttle and the bike stands up.

A tree has fallen across the road. There is a corpse pinned under it, arms flailing. A small crowd of zombies is gathered around a small informal store on the left, like a gaggle of rubbernecks morbidly ogling an accident..

The store zombies turn at the sound of the approaching motorcycle.

“Go straight for 20 kilometers,” offers that reassuring voice.

“Through the tree,” growls Lisa.


The front wheel snaps up into the air half a bike length from the tree, with a blip of the throttle and a jab at the clutch. Shocks compress as the tire punches the trunk, then rebounds. Another blip of the gas launches the rear wheel up and over the obstacle.

For a brief moment, Lisa hangs suspended in the air. She is standing on the footpegs, floating above the tree, chunks of bark flying.

The bright, bright realme screen rotates the map towards her heading. The sun glints off the purple case.

Lisa’s long hair spreads out behind her like a shadow made of silk, just that tiny bit out of reach of the outstretched, hungry, bloodstained hands.

It’s poetry.

She lands on the road, still on the gas, laughing and whooping.


What a ride.

This is too good to pass some recording up.

Double-press the power button. Swipe to dual-video.

Damn, this phone is easy.

Lisa puts her boot over the front wheel and kicks the rear out as she takes another left. The sun is behind her once more, making the realme 12 5G’s purple case shine like the wings of a butterfly.

The double feed engages. The 5G’s screen shows up clearly against the now-harsh light, looking like exactly 950 nits of peak brightness.

The left box shows Lisa on the ridiculously clear, possibly 8 megapixel f/2.0 front-facing camera. The right box shows a painfully high-definition view of the road ahead.

Zombies are coming out of the last few houses on either side of the road, blocking the black asphalt snaking its way back into the mountains. The promised thunderstorm looms dark in the background.

Lisa takes aim at a large-ish, one-armed housewife wearing a duster and pink curlers, lofts the front wheel again, and smashes the bash plate into its midsection.

She stands on the footpegs, and whoops once more.

The rear wheel kicks up as it hits the lady’s shins, driving the corpse to the ground and rolling over it like a speed bump.

Then, gas.

“The world is ending.” Lisa yells into the camera over her communicator.

“The dead are walking.

“I’ve got what might be humanity’s last hope to end this.”

The rider makes tracks out of town, attacking into the twisties without slowing.

“It’s a horrible day on God’s green earth.”

Lisa laughs as she dodges a lone corpse.

She flicks the bike left, then right, then left again through a chicane. The neutral light comes on as the rear wheel locks. Lisa skids into a quarter-turn to a halt like a stuntwoman.

With practiced grace, she disengages the realme 12 5G from the holder and points the rear camera at the now-distant zombie.

It sits in her hand like she’s had it all her life.

So easy. Such an easy phone.

The undead shuffles towards her at first, then leans forward into a sprint, mouth agape, snarling like a wolf.

When it reaches the second corner on the chicane, she snaps the realme back in, kicks the bike into second, and smokes her tire as the corpse disappears into her rear-view mirror. Lisa is distracted by that incredible 108 megapixel rear camera.

The realme 12 5G’s amazing front camera catches a glimpse of her smile under the helmet.

She’s laughing again.

“But it’s a great day to be alive!”

Note to readers:
The realme 12 5G, priced at PHP 14,999, is now available in the Philippines! Early buyers from April 26 to May 5 can receive a Mystery Gift Box with freebies valued up to PHP 24,999 at any official realme store. The “Lucky 12 challenge” also offers extra chances to win TechLife items. While promotions are initially launched online via TikTok Shop, they will also be extended to Shopee and Lazada from May 5-10. For more details and updates on the realme 12 5G promotions, visit the official realme website and Facebook page.