realme 8 Pro Review

realme 8 Pro Review




When the realme 7 Pro debuted last September 2020, it came with a design that was refreshing to see; a straightforward and well-rounded mid-range device with decent hardware specs. Now, the realme 8 Pro has officially launched in the country with a Snapdragon 720G Soc, a generous 8GB of RAM, and a whopping 108MP rear camera. Since we’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, will its new features be worth the upgrade? Let’s dive in a little deeper.

Design and Construction

For those who can still remember, Realme’s initial tagline was “Proud to Be Young”, up until they changed it about two years ago to what it is today. But even if they did change it, realme still has a way of making their phones feel, for lack of a better word, youthful. And that might have something to do with the bold “Dare to Leap” text found on the side. It stands out a lot because of how glossy and reflective it is, while the rest of the rear panel comes in a sand-blasted-like finish that compliments well to the phone’s overall design.

On the left is a triple card tray for two nano-SIM cards and a MicroSD card with expandable storage of up to 1TB.

On the right, the volume keys and the power/lock button will be found. The top is flush with nothing but the secondary microphone, and underneath, we’ll find here the 3.5mm audio jack, main microphone, USB-C port, and a single bottom-firing loudspeaker.

With a weight of 176 grams and a thickness of just 8.1 mm, we like how this feels in hand and is much more comfortable to hold compared to the realme 7 Pro.

Although it is made out of plastic, it does feel quite durable, and as a bonus, since it has that texture, you won’t be getting fingerprints and smudge marks on this one. Taking it home is that large quad-camera module, which brings everything in all together really well. But that large text on the back gives us mixed emotions, as some might find it a little too tacky. Either way, we can easily make this more subtle by putting the included case on, which to me sounds like a win-win situation.

Display and Multimedia

For display, the realme 8 Pro features a 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED Display and sports thin bezels with a little bit of a chin. It pretty much uses a similar screen as its predecessor, with the front camera coming with a punch-hole design located on the top left corner. It doesn’t officially say if this comes with the same Gorilla Glass 3 protection, but it does have a pre-installed screen protector.

The quality of the display is pretty good on this one, boasting vibrant colors and great contrast. With a peak brightness of up to 1000 nits, it’s almost blinding to use this at 100% indoors, but it should be a great advantage when under harsh lighting conditions. To top it all off, the realme 8 Pro comes with a 180Hz touch sampling rate, making this not only highly responsive to your finger but also gives a better edge when it comes to something like gaming—more on that in a bit.

As for audio quality, the single bottom-firing speakers are surprisingly loud enough to fill up an average-sized room. It is a little bit flat, though, with almost no bass at all to offer unless you cup your hands against the grilles, which is a little bit expected on this type of phone.

OS, UI, APPS

For its operating system, the realme 8 Pro runs on realme UI 2.0, based on Android 11. And out of 128GB of internal storage, only 110GB was available to use. Some of that space is consumed by pre-installed apps, such as SoLoop, realme Link, HeyFun, Facebook, and Lazada, which you can thankfully all still uninstall. We also have the usual apps from Google such as YouTube, Gmail, Drive, Photos, and the like. It also has a dedicated dark mode that can be toggled on in the settings, as well as an eye-care mode to reduce eye strains at night.

Performance and Benchmarks

Powering the realme 8 Pro is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G CPU, coupled with an Adreno 618 GPU. Now, if you’ve been keeping up, this SoC shouldn’t be surprising to a lot of you people anymore, especially since realme has been strangely using the same chipset since the launch of the realme 6 Pro.

With two Kryo 465 Gold cores clocked at 2.3 GHz & 6 x Kryo 465 Silver cores clocked at 1.8 GHz, performance is still quite good. Despite being two generations old already, it’s safe to say you won’t be having a problem with this as a daily driver, but let’s give this a quick gaming test.

Now depending on the title you play, there will be some varying results. On COD: Mobile, by default, the graphics, and frame rate are set to high. These can both be bumped up further, but if you have max enabled, it will return you to the default high setting.


 

On PUBG, the default graphics settings will be set to HD with a high frame rate which is also going to be the max capability of this phone. But just like Call of Duty, this title is a smooth one as well, as we didn’t experience any noticeable frame drops. Overall, these popular first-person shooter is still very much playable on this device, so that’s a thumbs up.

We usually like to test out Genshin Impact on new phones since this is arguably one of the most demanding out of the three; even if we’re placed at low settings by default, we still receive some evident lag from time to time. Strangely enough, setting your custom settings can potentially smoothen this out, and by doing so, we were able to get some solid downtime without too much of a problem. So although it isn’t the most optimal, we’re glad it still runs the very least.

As for RAM, the realme 8 Pro comes in either 6 or 8GB options, but here in the Philippines, we’re only going to be receiving the latter, which is great since the extra 2GB should help a lot when it comes to the longevity of the phone. Check out our benchmark scores below.

AnTuTu – 342,772
Geekbench – 569 (Single-core), 1,656 (Multi-core), 1,227 (OpenCL)
3D Mark – 2,581 (SSE – OpenGL ES 3.1), 2,445 (SSE – Vulkan), 1,056 (Wild Life)
PCMark – 8,294 (Work 2.0)
AndroBench – 516.39 MB/s (Sequential Read), 195.42 MB/s (Sequential Write)

Connectivity and Battery Life

The realme 8 Pro comes with the usual connectivity features such as WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, SatNav systems, and for those who need NFC, we have that available as well. But unfortunately, there’s no 5G support on this one. As for security, there’s an in-display fingerprint scanner, and face unlock capabilities.

Keeping everything running is a 4,500mAh battery, and on average use, is good enough to last throughout the day. The PCMark battery test rates it at 15 hours and 20 minutes, while our standard video loop test gave us a total of 22 hours and 10 minutes of playback. For juicing this phone up, the realme 8 supports 50W SuperDart charging and takes just 45 minutes to reach from 0-100%.

Cameras

Now let’s talk about the camera. The realme 8 Pro comes with quad rear cameras consisting of a 108MP F1.9 (main), 8MP F2.3 119° (ultrawide), 2MP F2.4 (macro), and another 2MP F2.4 (depth) sensors. Upfront, it has a 16MP F2.5 camera.

The cameras provided us with awesome daylight photos, with images capturing a great amount of sharpness, especially when using the full 108MP, while the ultra-wide is of good quality during the daytime, without the edge distortion being too jarring. However, when it comes to color reproduction, reds and greens are more vibrant, so you should be careful when using the AI Color enhancement feature since it can go a little overboard with saturation.

With up to 5x optical zoom and 20x digital zoom, photos look great even when taken from a distance, at least up to a certain extent, after which photos end up looking quite noisy. But if you’re not heavy on the detail, it does a pretty good job. The macro lens, just like most other devices, is sub-par. It’s not much of a gimmick since it does work, but the quality is far from what you can get compared to the rest of its lenses. Portrait shots maintain a great subject background separation, particularly when there’s a good amount of light, and it makes sense since a big part of the brand is focused on a younger market. So if you’re a big fan of those bokeh shots, you won’t be missing out here.

Shooting in night mode is probably one of its best features, as it does a solid job at capturing images in low-light situations. It brings in a lot of detail that is usually lost when in normal mode, and sometimes, it looks as if it’s already been color graded, which could be an issue to some mobile photographers. But, if you just want to point and shoot and still capture a great shot, at least it can be easily done on this phone.

When it comes to selfies, the skin tone is retained, but beauty mode is a bit too much, so make sure to turn that off for that all-natural look. The portrait mode also has an excellent background subject separation, and you could also adjust the blur style depending on what you prefer.

You can shoot up to 4K at 30fps (no stabilization), and recording in 1080p at 60fps, we get decent stabilization. Here’s a quick video of me doing a little walking and jogging test.

The realme 8 series also touts itself to be the world’s first Tilt-Shift Time-Lapse Video Lens. Now what this does is just give a bokeh effect so you can focus on your subject more, making it look slightly miniature, so to speak. We did do some research on this, but unfortunately, it’s still not a true tilt-shift lens since it doesn’t have any physical motors to tilt and shift, which helps correct perspective and vertical line convergence. So it’s probably more of a gimmick than the macro lens, to be honest, but hey, it does work when you want it to.

Conclusion

To wrap things up, if you’re looking for a decent mid-range phone with a camera sporting a high megapixel count, then you’re already in the right direction. The Snapdragon 720G chipset and the lack of 5G could hold you back since we don’t consider this one to be much of an upgrade if you’re coming from the Realme 7 series. But if those things aren’t too important to you, it’s still quite a respectable daily driver. But the real question is, for how long?

The realme 8 Pro is priced at PHP 16,990 and is available in all realme stores nationwide, as well as on e-commerce sites such as Lazada.

realme 8 Pro specs:
6.4-inch FHD+ (1080 x 2400) super AMOLED
180Hz touch sampling rate
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
Adreno 618
6GB, 8GB LPDDR4X
128GB UFS 2.1 storage
Quad-rear cameras
• 108MP F1.88 (main)
• 8MP F2.25 (ultrawide)
• 2MP F2.4 (macro)
• 2MP F2.4 (b&w)
16MP front camera
4G LTE
Dual-SIM (nano)
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.1
Fingerprint scanner (in-display)
realme UI 2.0 (Android 11)
USB Type-C
4,500mAh batter w/ 50W superdart charge
160.6 x 73.9 x 8.1mm
176g
Infinite Black, Infinite Blue



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