The Realme 8 5G, the cheapest 5G budget smartphone in India has landed. A budget smartphone with decent specs and also some disappointing results. Starting at a price of Rs.13,999, the smartphone has got a IPS LCD 90Hz display and is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC. Also, it packs a 5000mAh battery but misses the Vooc fast charging. A triple rear camera set-up and a single selfie shooter. The smartphone runs 5G and is future proof, though we don’t know how near the future really is.
The Realme 8 5G is cheaper than the Realme 7 5G though some specs had to be sacrificed.
Downgrade from the Realme 7 5G
While the Realme 7 5G had a 120Hz display, a 8MP ultra-wide angle lens and Corning Gorilla glass protection, it is all gone now. There is no Ultra-wide angle lens on the Realme 8 5G. It is understandable when Google Pixel smartphones lack one, because they do the best with what they have. But, that’s not truly the case here. The camera quality is average and the lack of ultra-wide mode makes it even sadder.
Here’s our detailed review and our experience with the handset. You will get to know if this is the smartphone that you be buying, or should you go for another pick.
- Body: 162.5×74.8×8.5mm, 185g; glass front, plastic frame, plastic back.
- Display: 6.50 inch IPS LCD, 90Hz, 480 nits (typ), 600 nits, 1080x2400px resolution (FHD+), 405ppi.
- Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G (7 nm): Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G57 MC2.
- OS: Android 11, Realme UI 2.0.
- Memory: 4GB + 64GB, 4GB + 128GB, 6GB + 128GB, 8GB + 128GB, UFS 2.1, microSDXC (dedicated slot).
- Rear camera: 48 MP f/1.8 + 2 MP f/2.4 + 2 MP f/2.4. (No Ultra-wide angle lens)
- Front camera: 16 MP f/2.1 (wide).
- Video capture: Rear camera: 1080p@30fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
- Battery: 5000mAh; Fast charging 18W.
The Realme 8 5G comes in the usual yellow box, the company’s signature packaging style. Unboxing, we see the phone itself, a 18W power brick with USB Type-C cable and a transparent case (slight grayish overlay).
Aesthetics and Build
The Realme 8 5G has the same design, mostly seen in Realme budget smartphones. This time Realme got rid of the Dare To Leap branding and we can not be happier. In our opinion, the flashy logo was the most unnecessary thing which made it hard to day that the design looks good. Other than that, the design is as usual; a curved back, a thin side panel and a radiant glow.
The Realme 8 5G is more prone to damage via moisture and water. There are no water seals around any port, making it easier for the water to get in. Also, the display is protected by Dragontail glass and not Corning Gorilla Glass. Our main complaint is lack of splash resistance.
The sin tray is located at the top left of the smartphone. The Realme 8 5G has a 5G dual functionality sim and also a dedicated microSDXC slot which is appreciated.
Realme 8 5G Multimedia Experience
The Realme 8 5G has a 90Hz IPS LCD FHD+ panel which is decent. A 120Hz refresh rate would have been better just because the display is IPS LCD. It has a typical brightness of 480 nits and a peak brightness of 600 nits which is good. The fonts are readable in harsh light and the blacks look all black, as is the case with all IPS LCD panels. Dark mode feels great. Also, the brightness can go as low as <3 nits under utter low-light conditions.
Users can choose between adaptive refresh rate or between 60Hz/90Hz. The Realme 8 5G has Widevine L1 support and content can be easily streamed via Netflix or Amazon Prime.
We noticed a slight blue tinge while streaming videos. The whites are slightly bluish (not noticeable) and the blue look a bit over saturated at times boosting the contrast. While this looks good at times, it totally depends on the personal preference of the user. Also, the Realme 8 5G has the support for DCI-P3 color space and is very accurate (natural).
We think Realme 8 5G has a overall good display, with comparatively high ppi density and brightness levels. However, we do feel there is more room for improvement. A 120 Hz refresh rate would have been greatly appreciated and it lacks HDR10 support too.
The Realme 8 5G has a loudness score of -27.8 LUFS which is pretty good. The sound quality is great and is better than every other Realme smartphone that we have tested. The sound quality makes streaming even more enjoyable.
While budget smartphones are also starting to get stereo speakers, the Realme 8 5G has not got it. The mono speakers are good and let’s be satisfied with it for now. The Multimedia experience is great considering the price bracket. Even the Realme 7 5G which is priced higher than this has slightly lower sound quality.
Realme 8 5G Performance
The Realme 8 5G is powered by the cheapest 5G chipset, the MediaTek Dimensity 700 (7nm). Well, I do appreciate that manufacturers like Xiaomi and Realme are providing this at this price in India. While Samsung launches their budget M series smartphones with 11nm battery inefficient Exynos 9611 SoC, the Realme 8 5G is still better. The Dimensity 700 is alternative to the higher-tier Snapdragon 690 5G (with similar CPU and GPU power) found in a bit more expensive phones..
So, is the chipset really, making the Realme 8 5G perform better than it’s previous model? Lets find out.
GeekBench 5 (Multi-core)
The Realme 8 5G scores a handsome 1784 and is just behind the Realme 7 5G which scores 1794. We neglect that difference, as a difference of 10 can not bring any noticeable difference in performance.
GeekBench 5 (Single Core)
The single-core scores are a bit surprising, because the Realme 8 5G scores 569 while the Realme 7 5G scores 600, a great difference of 31. The Realme 7 5g is powered by the Dimensity 800U chipset and has the same CPU as that on the Realme 8 5G but comes with a tri-core GPU in comparison to the dual-core GPU on the Realme 8 5G.
The Realme 8 5G gets a score of 302059 which is lower than the score on the Realme 7 5G (318535). However, it performs better than the Realme 8 (298328) in AnTuTu scores.
The Realme 8 and Realme 8 5G are close to each other in scores (357488 and 361505 respectively).
So, while the scores make it clear the Realme 7 5G performs better than the Realme 8 5G is every aspect, which is expected for the price. While playing games, device software automatically chose the highest settings possible without stutters. The gaming experience was good, in fact great for the price.
Realme 8 5G User Experience (UI)
The Realme 8 5G runs Android 111 with Realme UI 2.0 on top. The latest version of the Realme UI offers much more customization features and stuff, better experience, more diverse dark modes and security. Also, features like mini apps and floating windows are available.
The Realme UI comes with an icon box so that you can choose according to your style and interest- if you are unhappy with the default ones. You can also change the system colors, system fonts, finger print scanner animation and much more. The dark modes are great on first-party applications and fine on other third-party apps. There are three varieties – black, dark gray and light gray.
Similar to Samsung, mid-rangers the Realme UI now comes with a smart sidebar where you can save your contacts and most frequently used apps for ease.
The phone does come with bloatware and pre-installed apps. Well, there are not many budget smartphones with clean UI. even Samsung now adds bloat apps to the UI through updates. Fortunately, most of the junk apps on the Realme 8 5g can be easily uninstalled.
The settings contains a bunch of powerful tools for changing the UI and Android services to a greater extent. But if you do not have much knowledge about them, then leave them as it is and enjoy the Android11 clutter-free experience.
The Realme 8 5G has a snappy UI and provides a great experience with the 90Hz display. The customization features are many and there are also many features which you can explore and dive deep into after buying the device.
Realme 8 5G Camera performance
The Realme 8 5G has a triple rear camera set-up with a 48MP Samsung ISOCELL primary wide sensor with f/1.8 aperture and a pair of 2MP depth and macro sensors. The depth sensor is a monochrome sensor i.e it captures black and white images. The primary rear camera comes with PDAF while the f/2.4 macro lens goes not have auto focus (manual).
There is no Ultra-wide angle lens on the Realme 8 5G which feels like a let down. Every budget smartphone in this price range offers an ultra-wide angle sensor. You use it or not shouldn’t hold back the company from including it in their smartphones. So, Realme, you should have included it.
There is a 16MP ISOCELL Samsung sensor for the selfie shooter. The focus is fixed on the selfie camera and needs to be manually changed.
The rear camera performs well in good lighting conditions and tries it’s best to keep the noise levels pretty low. However, things change in low-light and the might mode is unable to perform very well. The noise levels and lack of details can be felt, only in night photography. In daylight, both the front and rear camera perform decently. There is the AI scene enhancement mode on the Realme 8 5G. What is does is that it boosts the colors and makes the image look more contrasty and colorful. If unnatural saturated images are your taste, then you should definitely go for it.
Both the rear and front cameras shoot 1080p@30 fps which is good as most budget smartphones in this price which shoot 4k do nothing except filling up your internal storage. The 1080p video has great colors, details and dynamic range. Also, there is always-on EIS on both the front and rear sensors.
The Realme 8 5G has good cameras for day-light photography and videography. Though things start to fall apart at low-light scenarios, it is alright considering the price. The video quality is good and the voice recording is good as well.
Realme 8 5G Storage and Memory
The Realme 8 5G is sold in four different configurations :- 4GB+64GB | 4GB+128GB | 6GB+128GB | 8GB + 128GB. The configurations are perfect and grants the user more options to choose from. It is good that Realme has given 8GB RAM in their budget smartphone.
The memory and storage type in all the configurations are LPDDR4X and UFS 2.1 respectively. The RAM type is fast and the UFS 2.1 is also the standard offering in this price bracket.
The good news is that the Realme 8 5G has a dedicated microSDXC slot and supports up to 1TB of external storage.
Realme 8 5G Battery life and charging
The Realme 8 5G packs a 5000mAh battery with 18W charging support. We miss the VOOC fast charging that Realme phones used to have. The charging speed is very slow, 0-100% in 143 minutes (2h 23 min).
A half an hour charging could only revive 30% of the battery which would last for some 2 hours of screen on time (90Hz). All the above tests were performed at 90Hz refresh rate.
The verdict, Alternatives, Pros and Cons
Is the Realme 8 5G worth buying?
The Realme 8 5G is worth your money but it is equally important to note that the Realme 7 5G is better in every scenario. The price on the Realme 7 5G is ought to decrease very soon. So, you can wait if you want. Anyways, the Realme 7 5G is not launched in the Indian market, so Indian users can check out on this new budget 5g smartphone.
What are the extras in the Realme 7 5G?
1. You get a 120Hz display
2. There are water seals and Corning glass protection
3. You have an ultra-wide sensor
4. 30W Dart charging technology
5. 4K video recording
6. Better graphics rendering
1080p display. 90Hz refresh rate, 600 nits peak brightness
Good performance and stable gaming
Good battery life
5G, 3.5mm headphone jack, NFC, microSD (upto 1TB)