Realme has refreshed its number series for 2021 with the Realme 8 and the Realme 8 Pro (review). Out of the two mid-range entrants, here we will be concerned with the regular, more affordable variant. It starts at ₹14,999 and comes powered by an Helio G95. This, as you may know already is a gaming-centric chip from MediaTek. So, we will see how it gets along with the new Android 11-based Realme UI 2.0 software at driving performance along with other aspects such as audio-visual experience, battery life, and camera tuning. Also, we can’t help but take the competition into consideration since they are all standing neck to neck with each other.
This is the Smartprix review of the Realme 8. And here are the figures and facts that we are about to make sense of.
|Display||6.4-inch, 2400 x 1800, sAMOLED, 60Hz refresh rate, 180Hz touch sampling rate, Dragontrail glass protection, 1000 nits peak brightness|
|Dimensions and weight||Length: 160.6mm
|Processor||12nm MediaTek Helio G95|
|Memory||4GB/6GB/8GB LPDDR4x dual-channel + 128GB UFS 2.1|
|Rear Camera||64MP Primary Camera + 8MP Ultra Wide-angle Lens+ 2MP Macro Lens+ 2MP B&W Lens|
|Software||Android 11-based Realme UI 2.0|
|Battery||5000mAh, 30W Charger, USB-C|
|Fingerprint||In-display fingerprint reader, 3.5mm jack, 3-Card Slot, Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1|
|Colors||Cyber Silver and Cyber Black|
Realme 8 Unboxing
- USB Type-C Cable
- 5V6A Charge Adapter
- SIM Card Needle
- Screen Protect Film
- Protect Case
- Quick Start Guide
- The Phone, of course.
And here’s the OOBE.
Realme 8 Design and Display
Realme 8 sports a slim and sleek profile with a dual-tone finish at the back. Ours is the Cyber Black variant. Although the entire surface is specular (and easily smudgy), the right-side strip is slightly diffusive and you get to see a rainbowy reflection on it based on the angle and amount of light. Yeah, there’s a big bold Dare To Leap branding. While it may come across as self-indulgent and gaudy for a minimalist like me, you may like the catchy catchphrase.
Rest, there is a camera quartet, the arrangement of which is neat.
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Turn on the screen to see the 6.4-inch stretch light up. And since it’s an FHD+ AMOLED panel, you are getting pixel by pixel illumination and rich color reproduction. I had a good time watching Arjun, The Warrior Prince on this panel. You can also stream DRM-rated HD content from Amazon and Netflix. Even in the outdoor trails, it was legible enough to interface. Now, where it lags behind (relatively speaking) is in screen smoothness and responsiveness. It is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and 180Hz touch sampling rate.
Underneath the display lies a fingerprint scanner. This one, albeit fast but has been a little finicky to read my prints. Gladly, the face unlock is there to swiftly open the doors.
Tying it all together is a metal railing across the perimeter. This offers good grip. Even the volume and power knobs on the right are easily reachable and tactile. The left end is left just for the 3-card slot.
Rest of the peripherals comprise of a 3.5mm jack, USB-C port, multi-mic system, and a single audio outlet.
Realme 8 Audio, Calls, and Connectivity
The speaker output is decently loud with just serviceable details. A 3.5mm jack is a redeemer in such cases. On the software side, you get equalizer settings, whose results were ambivalent to my ears.
Speaking of which, the earpiece and mic system pass the test.
As for connectivity, if you face any issue, resetting the network settings is a troubleshooting step worth following. I was getting slow WiFi speeds initially for some reason and this did the trick. Incidentally, Realme 8 bags all the essential options for the price such as dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.1, dual 4G VoLTE, VoWiFi, etc.
Realme 8 Cameras
The rear camera stack consists of a 64MP main shooter, an 8MP ultrawide lens, a 2MP macro snapper, and a 2MP B&W clicker. Now while the latter two are nothing worth writing home about, we will be a taking look at the results from the others. We will see about the role the software treats and tricks has to play here. The same holds true for the 16MP selfie camera.
Here are the samples to make and heads and tails —
With proper light, the camera can produce quite pleasing photos. Unless you juxtapose it against the results from a rival, you would find no glaring issues here, barring some cases of oversharpening.
The ultramode offers a 119° field of view bringing in more things into the frame. Not so much detail-wise. There is tonal difference too.
Next, let’s welcome indoor shots with some noise. The digital crop-based zoom is handy for reading words at a distance.
But, when the scene goes darker, the nightscape comes to the rescue. It stitches together a much detailed and better exposed result.
Then there are night filters to play around.
The camera and post-processing do an okay okay job at handling humans. The AI beautification was turned off by default and skin-softening was under control. But that pertains to the skin features only. When it comes to tones, it was noticeably shifting between bracketed shots. Auto-HDR too can make human compositions look garish. As for portraits, the various fun bokeh effects should make up for a hit n’ miss edge detection. In some instances, if you peep, you can see color bleed around the edges of the subject.
Before jumping to the next section, know that the 4K30 fps videos from the rear are fairly stabilized, the starry mode isn’t here at the time of writing this review, and slow-mo clips are passable for party tricks.
Realme 8 Helio G95, Realme UI 2.0, and 5000mAh battery
Finally, Realme updates both the software and the skin on top. Realme 8 runs on Android 11 with Realme UI 2.0. It is both good to see and use. Loaded to the teeth with features that really enrich the experience. This includes Dual Mode Music feature, granular Dark Mode settings, Private Space, Subtitle Stitching, QR-based WiFi sharing, Multiple Profiles, System Cloner, Super Power Saving Mode, and a deluge of personalization and multi-tasking options.
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Still, there are some things that might irk the Power users and minimalists amongst you but are solvable. For eg: Turn off Lockscreen Magazine and Get recommendations for stopping unwarranted interferences. Then there is the bloat situation. I don’t mind pre-installed apps as long as they’re uninstallable and don’t cause redundancy. Case in point – two file managers and two photo galleries on the Realme 8. The good thing is that you can get rid of them using this guide.
The regular interaction with the phone, jumping between dozens of apps, browser tabs, casual gaming, etc takes place without a major hitch. I played Asphalt 9 (at highest graphics), Call of Duty Mobile (~50-60 fps at high graphics and max frames), and the 8gigs worth of animated adventure through the world of Genshin Impact (~24 fps). It was only in the latter that I felt the system struggling.
With heavy titles and large downloads, you’d feel it getting warm.
That’s perhaps an act of the MediaTek machinery inside. The Helio G95 with Mali-G76 GPU, 8gigs of RAM, and 128GB of storage is pushing out respectable performance, after all.
Here are some usual synthetic tests I ran:
|Realme 8 Benchmark Tests||Scores|
|Androbench Sequential Read | Write (Storage)||525.15 MB/s | 203.51 MB/s|
|Androbench Random Read | Write (Storage)||160.34 MB/s | 160.16 MB/s|
|Geekbench 5 Single-core | Multi-core (CPU)||534 | 1669|
|3DMark Slingshot Extreme (OpenGL) | Slingshot | Wildlife||2643 | 3189 | 1487|
|GFXBench Manhattan 3.1||25 fps|
|PCMark Work Battery Life (full brightness)||9Hr 15 mins|
Like the row above shows, the phone is easily a full-day runner in the dint of the 5000mAh Li-ion cell inside. The bundled 30W charger is also adept at quickly refilling the tank. I also appreciate the optimized night charging feature within the Battery Settings in the software.
At last, it’s time to bring it all of this into context.
Realme 8 Review Verdict: Should you buy?
So in conclusion, Realme 8 endows a svelte (in both size and scale) design, optimal gaming performance, nimble software with ever-more features, a dependable battery situation, AMOLED visuals, and plenty of enjoyable photo modes to play around with. All these make for a fine phone (especially in the case of the base variant). You could buy it from Flipkart if your budget is less or around 15K.
That said, the phone isn’t breaking any new grounds here. Moreover, it’s only when you get into the weeds, you find it missing a few things such as a high refresh rate and stereo speakers. Now if you care about these things, then that could put the Realme 8 behind the eight ball.
- Svelte design
- Optimal gaming performance
- Feature-rich Android 11 software
- Dependable battery life
- AMOLED display
- Versatile camera experience
- Only 60Hz refresh rate
- Average speakers
Realme 8 FAQ
Q. Does Realme 8 support carrier aggregation?
A. No, the Realme 8 doesn’t support carrier aggregation.
Q. What is the protection offered on Realme 8 display?
A. Realme 8 comes with ASG DT Pro Dragon Tail Glass protection on its display.
Q. What is the screen refresh rate of the Realme 8?
A. Realme 8 screen refresh rate is just 60Hz.
Q. What are the SAR values of Realme 8?
A. Realme 8 SAR values are: 1.124 W/kg @ 1gm (Head) & 0.694 W/kg @ 1gm (Body).
Q. Does Realme 8 support dual-band WiFi?
A, Yes, Realme 8 supports dual-band WiFi (2.4GHz + 5GHz).
Q. Does Realme 8 support VoWiFi or WiFi calling?
A. Yes, Realme 8 does feature VoWiFi.
Q. Does Realme 8 support HD stream on Netflix and Amazon Prime?
A. Realme 8 has DRM L1 certification and you should be able to HD stream on Prime Video and Netflix.