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Realme 8 Hands-on review: Display, performance, battery - all you need to know

Is this the best phone under Rs 15,000?

March 25, 2021 / 01:03 PM IST
Realme recently updated its number series with two new handsets. The Realme 8 and Realme 8 Pro bring several improvements across the board, while maintaining the excellent value proposition that has become synonymous with Realme’s ‘Number’ series. However, our focus today will be on the vanilla Realme 8 model. The standard Realme 8’s price in India starts from Rs 14,999 for the base 4GB/128GB model and boasts a pretty impressive spec sheet. But just how do those specs fare in terms of real-world usage, stick around and let’s find out.
Realme recently updated its number series with two new handsets. The Realme 8 and Realme 8 Pro bring several improvements across the board while maintaining the excellent value proposition that has become synonymous with Realme’s ‘Number’ series. However, our focus today will be on the vanilla Realme 8 model. The standard Realme 8’s price in India starts from Rs 14,999 for the base 4GB/128GB model and boasts a pretty impressive spec sheet. But just how do those specs fare in terms of real-world usage, stick around and let’s find out.
While not a lot has changed from the previous generation on the inside, Realme has opted for a complete design overhaul. The Realme 8 is available in Cyber Black and Cyber Silver colour options, ours arrived in the latter. The textured back panel has a glossy finish with the ‘Dare to Leap’ branding engraved on the back. The silver finish has an edgier look, while the black colour looks more subtle. Additionally, the back panel and frame are also made of plastic.
While not a lot has changed from the previous generation on the inside, Realme has opted for a complete design overhaul. The Realme 8 is available in Cyber Black and Cyber Silver colour options, ours arrived in the latter. The textured back panel has a glossy finish with the ‘Dare to Leap’ branding engraved on the back. The silver finish has an edgier look, while the black colour looks more subtle. Additionally, the back panel and frame are also made of plastic.
Whether you look or dislike the finish will come down to personal preference, for us, the glossy finish with the ‘in your face’ Dare to Leap branding seems a little too much. But Realme has taken a bold step here and is being unapologetic about it. It definitely stands out from its competitors, kudos to Realme for that. However, the glossy finish easily attracts smudges, which seems to undercut the bold design choice.
Whether you look or dislike the finish will come down to personal preference, for us, the glossy finish with the ‘in your face’ Dare to Leap branding seems a little too much. But Realme has taken a bold step here and is being unapologetic about it. It definitely stands out from its competitors, kudos to Realme for that. However, the glossy finish easily attracts smudges, which seems to undercut the bold design choice.
For the display, the Realme 8 opts for a 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display with a 180Hz touch sampling rate. The screen features an advertised pixel density of 409ppi and a peak brightness of 1,000 nits. There’s a hole punch camera cutout on the top left of the screen. There’s no high refresh rate, but this is definitely a step up from 90Hz LCD panel on the Realme 7. Overall, the screen looks really good with vibrant colours.
For the display, the Realme 8 opts for a 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display with a 180Hz touch sampling rate. The screen features an advertised pixel density of 409ppi and a peak brightness of 1,000 nits. There’s a hole-punch camera cutout on the top left of the screen. There’s no high refresh rate, but this is definitely a step up from the 90Hz LCD panel on the Realme 7. Overall, the screen looks really good with vibrant colours.
In terms of performance, the Realme 8 gets the same MediaTek Helio G95 as its predecessor. The chipset is available in 4GB, 6GB, and 8GB RAM options, our model arrived with 8GB of RAM. The Realme 8 features a 128GB of UFS 2.1, across all three variants, while storage is expandable through the dedicated microSD card slot. The Helio G95 is pretty solid for gaming and easily one of the best in this segment. Call of Duty: Mobile ran on high settings without any noticeable frame drops, although we were using the 8GB model.
In terms of performance, the Realme 8 gets the same MediaTek Helio G95 as its predecessor. The chipset is available in 4GB, 6GB, and 8GB RAM options, our model arrived with 8GB of RAM. The Realme 8 features a 128GB of UFS 2.1, across all three variants, while storage is expandable through the dedicated microSD card slot. The Helio G95 is pretty solid for gaming and easily one of the best in this segment. Call of Duty: Mobile ran on high settings without any noticeable frame drops, although we were using the 8GB model.
When it comes to optics, the quad-camera setup on the back features a 64 MP, f/1.79 primary sensor. The other three camera sensors are the same – 8 MP, f/2.5 ultrawide shooter with a 119-degree field of view, a 2 MP macro unit, and a 2 MP B&W lens. On the front, the notch house a 16 MP, f/2.45 selfie shooter. The main camera on the back can record 4K video at up to 30fps or 1080p video up to 60fps, while the ultrawide and selfie cameras are limited to 1080p video at 30fps. There’s a Dual Video, Ultra Steady Video, and Pro mode.
When it comes to optics, the quad-camera setup on the back features a 64 MP, f/1.79 primary sensor. The other three camera sensors are the same – 8 MP, f/2.5 ultrawide shooter with a 119-degree field of view, a 2 MP macro unit, and a 2 MP B&W lens. On the front, the notch house a 16 MP, f/2.45 selfie shooter. The main camera on the back can record 4K video at up to 30fps or 1080p video up to 60fps, while the ultrawide and selfie cameras are limited to 1080p video at 30fps. There’s a Dual Video, Ultra Steady Video, and Pro mode.
In our little time with the device, photos taken on the main camera had a fair bit of detail with well-represented colours. In bright outdoor light, the camera performed quite well.
In our little time with the device, photos taken on the main camera had a fair bit of detail with well-represented colours. In bright outdoor light, the camera performed quite well.
In outdoor light, the ultrawide camera was pretty good, although there tends to be a noticeable colour shift, especially when it gets darker.
In outdoor light, the ultrawide camera was pretty good, although there tends to be a noticeable colour shift, especially when it gets darker.
And speaking of darker, there’s a night mode that’s supported on both the main and ultrawide cameras, although it will require a good bit of ambient light to get decent results.
And speaking of darker, there’s a night mode that’s supported on both the main and ultrawide cameras, although it will require a good bit of ambient light to get decent results.
The Realme 8 also gets a solid 5,000 mAh battery with 30W Dart Charge support and an adapter in the box. Battery life is pretty good, offering a day and a half of general use. There’s a good balance of battery life and charging speed here, with little to complain about.
The Realme 8 also gets a solid 5,000 mAh battery with 30W Dart Charge support and an adapter in the box. Battery life is pretty good, offering a day and a half of general use. There’s a good balance of battery life and charging speed here, with little to complain about.
On the software front, the Realme 8 runs Android 11-based Realme UI 2.0. The interface seems clean and easy to use with a fair bit of customisation, although there are a bunch of pre-installed apps that can be uninstalled.
On the software front, the Realme 8 runs Android 11-based Realme UI 2.0. The interface seems clean and easy to use with a fair bit of customisation, although there are a bunch of pre-installed apps that can be uninstalled.
The Realme 8 seems like a pretty good sub-15K headset, probably one of the best. It’s got a vibrant display, solid chipset, reliable battery, fast charging, bold design, clean software, and a good primary camera. This isn’t to say that there aren’t fault here, camera consistency doesn’t seem like an issue, while the design can seem a bit too bold for some, present company included. But all things considered, the Realme 8 is shaping up to be one of the best smartphones under Rs 15,000. After having tested the Realme 7, apart from the display and design, not much appears to have changed and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Stay tuned for our full Realme 8 review for an in-depth look at the phone’s cameras, performance, and battery life.
The Realme 8 seems like a pretty good sub-15K headset, probably one of the best. It’s got a vibrant display, solid chipset, reliable battery, fast charging, bold design, clean software, and a good primary camera. This isn’t to say that there aren’t fault here, camera consistency doesn’t seem like an issue, while the design can seem a bit too bold for some, present company included. But all things considered, the Realme 8 is shaping up to be one of the best smartphones under Rs 15,000. After having tested the Realme 7, apart from the display and design, not much appears to have changed and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Stay tuned for our full Realme 8 review for an in-depth look at the phone’s cameras, performance, and battery life.
Carlsen Martin
first published: Mar 25, 2021 01:03 pm

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