Realme 8 review: Familiar experience, new design

Realme has already launched 6 smartphones (including the Realme 8 series) in the first three months of 2021. The company is refreshing smartphones swiftly to offer users features that are trending and at varied price points. The specifications of the latest Realme 8 smartphone are similar to the Realme 7. Plus the new phone is priced a little higher. So, is the new Realme smartphone a good option to consider under Rs 15,000? We reviewed the new Realme 8 phone and here’s what we think.

Realme 8 review: What is good and what is not good?

The latest Realme 8 smartphone looks good and is well polished. But, not everyone is a fan of the bold “Dare to Leap” tagline that the company is slapping on the back of its phones. When the light hits the rear panel, the tagline gleams in multiple colours. The good news is the black variant of the Realme 8 doesn’t highlight that tagline in a big way. The black colour model that we got for review is subtle and classy.

At first glance, you might think that the device has a glass rear panel. You get a polycarbonate back panel with glossy finish, which easily attracts fingerprints. The build quality of Realme 8 is excellent for the price. The camera setup juts out a bit from the back of the phone, but using the bundled case would be wise to protect the sensors as well as the back panel. The device is slippery, so you should use a case for extra safety.

realme 8, realme 8 review, realme 8 camera The Realme 8 has a polycarbonate back panel and its black variant is classy. (Image credit: Ankita Garg/ Express photo)

While having an in-display fingerprint sensor is good, I prefer side-mounted fingerprint scanners as this placement is convenient to unlock the device. The in-display scanner was fast when it came to unlocking the smartphone.

realme 8, realme 8 review, realme 8 camera The Realme 8 features a punch-hole display design. (Image credit: Ankita Garg/ Express photo)

One of the best parts about the Realme 8 is its display. The company has offered an AMOLED panel in the Rs 15,000 price range, which is a welcome move. The display quality is really great and you will love binge-watching on this handset. The colours really pop out. You get a 6.4-inch FHD+ display with 60Hz refresh rate. Yes, it would have been great to have a high refresh rate panel, but this isn’t a deal-breaker. But sunlight visibility is not very good. It is a bit difficult to browse or even check photos in harsh sunlight.

I was happy with the performance of the Realme 8. I got the 8GB RAM model and had no issues in multitasking. The smartphone was able to able to load apps quickly and it was working fine even after 17 apps were running in the background. I did not notice any lag or stutter while using it for browsing, social networking or any other work and it can handle day-to-day functions really well.

The gaming on this device was fine when I was playing resource-heavy games at low settings. The default setting on Genshin Impact was Medium, and I had to switch to low settings to get a playable and smooth experience. After about 30 minutes of gameplay, the device’s back panel did get a little warm. The only annoying part in this segment was the “Game Assistant.” Every time you open a gaming app, the smartphone forces you to first check out what the Game Assistant can do, which should only happen when you are using the device for the first time and are not aware of the features.

realme 8, realme 8 review, realme 8 camera The Realme 8 comes with a fair amount of bloatware. (Image credit: Ankita Garg/ Express photo)

I liked the fact that Realme is offering 128GB as the base model because 64GB gets filled up quite fast and around 20GB is already used by system and apps. There are people who prioritise storage as well, so for them, this is good news.

Realme is finally shipping the device with the latest Android OS, which I’m happy to see. You get the same set apps that you get with all the Realme phones. Realme 8 comes with a bit of bloatware as well and thankfully, you can uninstall most of the preinstalled apps. But, you can’t remove the company’s Videos app, Browser, and Theme Store. There is also a HeyTap Cloud app, which is a Chinese cloud storage service and you can’t delete it from the phone.

The device has a 5,000mAh battery, which lasted for one full day even after gaming for around one hour, a few small photography sessions, watching a few videos online and a bit of social networking. Realme bundles a 30W fast charger in the box, which charged the phone from zero to 100 percent in about 55 minutes.

realme 8, realme 8 review, realme 8 camera A closer look at the back camera setup of the Realme 8. (Image credit: Ankita Garg/ Express photo)

Realme 8 has a quad-camera setup, which is similar to the one offered by its predecessor. You get a 64MP primary camera, an 8MP wide-angle sensor, a 2MP macro sensor, and a 2MP mono camera. On the front is a 16MP selfie camera, similar to the Realme 8 Pro. The device can capture some good enough shots in daylight, but consistency is lacking, which can be an issue. Some of the shots taken with Realme 8 were a bit overexposed, and a few of them were a tad oversaturated.

You can check out the camera samples in the below album by clicking on the photo and going to Flickr.

Realme 8//

I did get a few good shots, but you will not get the same result when you are trying to capture the same scene again. The HDR mode boosted the colours of the sky and trees. While the shot was looking good with vibrant colours, the photo was looking a bit artificial. The wide-angle camera’s output wasn’t very good, but usable. If you need a wider field of view, you will get one, but don’t expect a very detailed shot.

In Portrait shots, the background blur was not very effective and edge detection was just fine. I got good close-up shots with enough details and colour accuracy (with the primary camera).

The low light and night photos are not up to the mark. The night mode helps offer some details, but the colour reproduction is bad and noise still exists. Comparatively, the night mode on the Realme 8 Pro smartphone was impressive and did work very well. Also, don’t expect that you will get good pictures with flash as some of them turn out to be over-exposed and details also get lost.

realme 8, realme 8 review, realme 8 camera The Realme 8 has a 6.4-inch AMOLED panel and slim bezels. (Image credit: Ankita Garg/ Express photo)

Realme 8 review: Verdict

Realme 8 isn’t a major update over the Realme 7, but you are getting a vibrant AMOLED panel and good performance at an accessible price. Those who want a great battery life will also be happy with this device. You also get 128GB as the base storage variant. The cameras on the Realme 8 will give you good shots in daylight.

Realme 8 is a good smartphone as it is offering most of the key features that a user might be looking for in the Rs 15,000 price range. However, if you care about having stereo speakers, a high-refresh-rate display and a good camera setup, then you will have to look elsewhere. The Redmi Note 10 Pro smartphone might have an edge in the camera department or you can straight up consider the Realme 8 Pro, which has a better camera to offer.

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