Realme and Xiaomi have taken up arms again and consequently, we are seeing some very interesting products in the affordable space. Realme 8 Pro, which we will be talking about here, brandishes a 108MP camera, AMOLED display, 50W charging, and a slick design for a competitive starting price of INR 17,999.
In our Realme 8 Pro review, we will be detailing our experience with the phone, it strengths and flaws, which should hopefully help you decide if this is a phone that you should buy or skip.
Realme 8 Pro review: Price and Specifications
|Product||Realme 8 Pro|
|Display||6.4-inch, 2400 x 1800, HDR1060Hz refresh rate, Dragontrail glass protection|
|Thickness and weight||8.1 mm; 176 grams|
|Chipset||8 nm octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G|
|Storage||128 UFS 2.1|
|Camera||108MP Primary f/1.88 + 8MP ultra-wide + 2MP macro + 2MP B&W
|Software||Android 11-based Realme UI 2.0|
|Battery||4500mAh, 50W SuperDart Charge|
|Fingerprint||In-display fingerprint reader|
|Price||6 + 128GB – INR 17,999
8 + 128GB – INR 19,999
Realme 8 Pro Review: Unboxing
All conventional accessories are bundled in the box. Apart from the phone, customers will get:
- Protective case (evens out the camera hump)
- Pre-applied screen protector
- 65W Dart Charger with USB Cable (phone supports 50W)
- SIM ejector pin and documentation
In a sea of chunky, homogenous design slabs, the Realme 8 Pro looks striking. It’s slim and svelte and remarkably comfortable to hold and operate – even when it accommodates a 108MP camera sensor and a sizeable battery with fast charging.
The external casing is entirely polycarbonate and Realme borrows a few leaves from Oppo’s design book. The back cover for instance has a Reno Glow-like AG crystal finish with a flashy “Dare to leap” insignia etched along once side. The camera array is layered which is a clever way to mask the bump.
Buttons are easily accessible, the in-display fingerprint sensor is snappy and reliable, and all ports along the bottom are symmetrically aligned.
The display has a punch hole notch and the surrounding bezels are reasonably narrow, save for the thick chin at the bottom. Realme retains both the SD card slot and headphone jack.
We are quite happy with Realme 8 Pro design. It looks and feels better than most affordable and mid-range phones we run into these days and there really isn’t any reason to complain here.
Realme 8 Pro review: Display
Realme 8 Pro comes with a 6.4-inch Full HD+ resolution AMOLED screen. The display settings let you choose between DCI-P3, sRGB, and a native color profile. If your eyes are sensitive to PWM flicker, Realme also adds an option for software-based DC Dimming (or DC-like dimming, as the company puts it) under Realme labs.
The refresh rate is capped at 60Hz, and that’s now a problem because the Redmi Note10 Pro Max offers both High Refresh Rate and AMOLED for under 20K. The Realme 8 Pro, of course, is cheaper.
The good thing is that HD streaming is supported on popular streaming apps out of the box. HDR is supported on YouTube but as is the case with all affordable and mid-range phones, the dynamic range isn’t wide enough to make a meaningful difference over SDR.
The display gets sufficiently bright for occasional usage under direct sun or other bright environments to not be a problem.
Realme 8 Pro Review: Performance and Software
The Realme 8 series rehashes capable last-generation chipsets to cut cost and make headroom for other desirable features.
The Snapdragon 720G is paired with ample 6GB/ 8GB RAM and 128GB storage and the regular day-to-day usage performance, as also hinted by the PCMark Work 2.0 writing score, is pretty solid.
Call-of-duty Android runs at high frame rates and high graphics by default and at these settings, we noticed some stutters while gaming but these were promptly fixed via an OTA update. Here’s how the Realme 8 Pro performed on benchmarks:
- PC Mark Work 2.0 – 8534
- PC Mark Work Writing 2.0 – 7336
- Geekbench single core – 582
- Geekbench multi-core – 1787
- 3D Mark Wild Life – 1044
- 3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme OpenGL ES 3.1 – 2581
- Androbench Random Read – 149.57MB/s
- Androbench Random Write – 119.9 MB/s
One downside is that there is no 5G support, but maybe that’s not as big a letdown just yet. We didn’t face any issues with calling and connectivity during our time with the phone. Overall, we are quite content on the performance front.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max offers a better, current-gen Snapdragon 732 GPU with a higher binned Adreno 618 GPU, but the practical usage difference between the two shouldn’t be very noticeable.
The software is the biggest improvement we are seeing in Oppo and Realme phones this year. The Android 11 based Realme UI 2.0 is a neat and pleasant UI aligned with global taste – and we’d say Realme/Oppo have finallay managed to win us over. The annoying bits are bare minimum and the UI isn’t overly aggressive with pushing its own apps and services.
There are loads of useful customization options and a doc vault that can secure documents from Digi locker is quite a handy tool. On the downside, Google’s smart home dashboard and auto callrecording are conspicuously missing.
Realme 8 Pro Review: Camera Quality
Just as the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, Realme 8 Pro drags down 108MP camera to a very affordable price point. Both of these phones use Samsung’s HM2 sensor that we have experienced on a few phones by now and the results are usually better than what we get with 64MP sensors, in both low-light and proper day-light situations.
The Realme 8 Pro does a great job with retaining details and with keeping balanced color tones (leaning towards warm) in well-lit outdoor shots. Images shot in full 108MP resolution let you pixel peep even further, but the extra details are salvageable only in proper lighting. We mostly preferred the binned samples.
In tricky situations, Redmi Note 10 Pro Max was more consistent with metering, but really the performance from primary camera is quite close on both of these phones.
In well lit indoor settings, the 8 Pro once again punches much above its weight, but don’t expect flagship-grade quality. The night mode further help improve dark scenes.
There’s a new tilt-shift mode that essentially blurs the entire image save for a circular patch or rectangular strip in the middle. This creates an illusion of a miniature world. We don’t see ourselves using this mode very often though.
Speaking of blur, the 8 Pro is remarkably good with portraits and the ColorOS/ Realme UI software includes a few interesting filters like dynamic bokeh (motion blur effect for backdrop), AI color portrait (monochrome background) and more to spice things up.
Realme also highlights a Starry mode for astrophotography, but the polluted night sky of the city in which I reside didn’t give any opportunity to test this mode
The wide-angle camera can help capture a slightly wider canvas, but at the expense of details and dynamic range.
The macro camera and the front selfie camera do a decent job. Video quality and stabilization is above average.
Overall, the Realme 8 Pro camera performance feels perfectly apt for the price.
Realme 8 Pro Review: Battery and Audio
The 4500mAh battery on the phone can comfortably last for more than a day. The 50W fast charging remains a massive advantage for phones from Realme and other BBK subsidiaries like Oppo and OnePlus.
Yes, this is a downgrade from the 65W fast charging support on the Realme 7 Pro, and Realme says that cut back was one of the outcomes of the whole approach of making the 8 Pro more affordable than the 7 Pro. Honestly, 50W is still plenty fast and the experience is still plenty awesome. The phone charges to 100 percent in less than 50 minutes and to 50% in just 17 minutes!
As compared to 7 Pro, there are no stereo speakers either. The mono speaker at the bottom does a fine job, though. We didn’t face any issues with Bluetooth connectivity. The 8 Pro supports LDAC, aptX, aptX HD, SBC, and AAC codecs. The 8 Pro also comes with high-res audio certification.
Realme 8 Pro Review: Should you buy it?
Realme 8 Pro offers impressive value and is a perfectly recommendable phone. It is slim and light, has fast charging convenience, offers dependable performance hardware, and has a very capable camera – and that’s more value than we expect at a starting price of 17,999.
If you compare the specs to the 7 pro, not much has changed on paper. We strongly believe that comparing across generations is utterly pointless for hyperactive brands that have tightly spaced portfolios spread across different series and traverse multiple generations within a year. All that matters is where the phone stands compared to similarly priced options in the current scenario. Or in this case, how it compares against the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max.
In comparison, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max offers additional high refresh rate support and a more powerful chipset, but if you ask us Realme arguably has the advantage of less cluttered software, of a convenient optical in-display fingerprint sensor, and of being cheaper. So, yeah, it will be a tough pick between the two.
Realme 8 Pro FAQ
Does Realme 8 Pro support DC Dimming?
Yes, the option is listed under Realme Labs.
Does Realme 8 Pro Support 4G LTE-A carrier aggregation and dual 4G VoLTE?
Yes, it does.
Does Realme 8 Pro support HDR and HD streaming?
HD streaming works out of the box on popular apps like YouTube, Netflix and Prime Videos. HDR streaming works on YouTube.
What is the SAR value of Realme 8 Pro?
Head SAR is 1.193 W/kg and Body SAR is 0.888 W/ kg
What Bluetooth codecs does Realme 8 Pro support?
Realme 8 Pro supports SBC, AAC, AptX, AptXHD and LDAC codec for transmission over Bluetooth 5.0.