Back in October last year, realme released the realme Pad here in the Philippines. And for a company that’s known for producing bang-for-the-buck smartphones, it looks like they did well with their first tablet that it is following it up with a smaller version, aptly called the realme Pad mini. Should you get this one or are you better off with the regular Pad? Let’s find out in this review.
Table of Contents
Design & Construction
Starting with the design, the realme Pad mini surprisingly feels premium for something considered as the smaller sibling of the original realme Pad. We were expecting an all-plastic body, but this one sports a metal chassis that is cool to the touch.
The frame is flat on the sides, similar to what you’ll see in modern tablets. You can even make it stand if you want.
It features an 8.7-inch screen on the front with relatively thin bezels, although the top and bottom parts are a bit thicker, which is fine as we can rest our thumbs there when holding it in landscape. Placed above the screen is the 5MP front camera, which makes it intended to be used more in the portrait orientation.
From this position, we can find the volume and power lock buttons on the right, which is a bit awkward since we’re used to having the power button below the volume. They’re firm, clicky, but with a soft bump so it’s not noisy. In landscape, the power button is easy to reach, although the volume buttons can take a bit of an effort.
Back to portrait, found on the left side is the card tray for two nano-sized SIM cards and up to 1TB microSD card in a hybrid setup.
Up top, we have the 3.5mm audio jack and the loudspeaker.
While down at the bottom is the main microphone, USB-C port, and another stereo speaker.
Turn it on its back and you will see the slightly protruding camera module that houses the 8MP shooter. Found on the lower right is the realme branding.
One of the things you will like about the Pad mini is, well, its size. It’s not that thick at 7.6mm, yet it’s hefty, though, at 372g, so it can be a bit tiring to hold one-handed. But given its size, it’s like holding a notebook. You can easily hold it while watching a video or reading an ebook. You’ll also have no problem putting it inside a bag. Portability is one of its strengths.
Display & Multimedia
The display part is where you’ll notice a downgrade from the original Pad. While the bigger sibling packs a 10.4-inch 2000 x 1200 display or equal to 224ppi, the Pad mini’s 8.7-inch IPS screen only has a 1340 x 800 resolution or equal to 179ppi. There’s no screen protector pre-installed and there’s no mention of any special glass protection.
It’s not hi-res, so if your eyes are accustomed to screens with higher resolutions, you’ll definitely notice the pixels. It can get really bright and has Dark Mode and Eye Comfort features, although it’s not bright enough to handle the bright outdoors. Viewing angles are not that perfect as we can notice it dimming when tilting it a bit. But given the limitations, it’s good enough for casually watching videos, browsing social media, or even online classes or meetings.
When it comes to audio, the dual speakers are effective in creating this immersive experience. However, it’s mostly trebles. The bass is almost non-existent so, you’ll find everything to be “too crisp.” It’s good in handling vocals, though, but if you want better quality, the use of a wired headset or external speakers is still recommended.
The realme Pad mini is equipped with an 8MP rear camera and a 5MP front. Obviously, this device isn’t exactly intended to compete with smartphones but it can produce decent photos for social media. Just make sure to take multiple shots or a steady one since it is highly prone to muddy outputs.
If not used for that purpose, it’s also good enough for video calls. The camera angle is good in portrait, but a bit awkward when in landscape mode.
Video recording, on the other hand, is up to 1080p at 30fps. Take a look at our sample.
OS, UI, Apps
Software-wise, the Pad mini runs on realme UI based on Android 11. The UI looks stock and even uses Google apps as its default. The only non-Google app that was pre-installed is Facebook.
Judging from some pre-installed apps like YouTube Kids and Kids Space, we can see that realme is also aiming this tablet at parents. It even asks you if you’re logging in as a child or as an adult or teen when setting up a Google account.
So, if you want to use this as an entertainment and educational tool for your kids, the realme Pad mini will be able to accomplish that. Although it would have been great if realme included a protective case or folio in the package.
For the storage, the Pad mini model that we have comes with 64GB, which is now considered entry-level capacity but is enough to house plenty of apps. There’s also a 32GB model for very light users who have no plans of downloading plenty of apps or files. Users can expand it, though, via microSD.
Performance & Benchmarks
The realme Pad mini is running on a Unisoc T616 chipset with 2.0GHz octa-core CPU, Mali-G57 GPU, and 3GB or 4GB of RAM. Performance is okay for its caliber. I don’t notice any hiccups when navigating the UI or launching a few apps. It functions like any decent device as long as it’s not games or running plenty of apps in the background.
Speaking of games, we played Genshin Impact on it and it’s actually playable, as long as you keep the graphics settings to its lowest. Even then we get the occasional stutter during action-packed scenes. We can also notice it get warm at the back near the cameras but not too much to cause discomfort. Check out the benchmark scores in our full article review that’s linked in the description box.
Connectivity & Battery Life
Connectivity-wise, the realme Pad is not just a tablet since it also has phone functionality. Meaning you can take and make calls. So you can call it a “phablet” as well. Other than that, it has the basic ones like 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, and USB Type-C. In terms of security, it doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner, so you’ll have to make do with a PIN or pattern, or face unlock.
Providing power to the realme Pad mini is a 6,400mAh battery with 18W fast charging and support for wired reverse charging. When used mostly for browsing social media and watching videos, it can last for more than a day. PC Mark’s battery test rated the battery at 8 hours and 36 minutes, which is not bad, but the actual experience is longer than that.
The realme Pad mini is a good follow-up to the realme Pad. It feels premium, portable, has 4G LTE connectivity, and a big battery. The price, however, is a bit tricky. The 3GB + 32GB LTE variant is at PHP 9,990, while the 4GB + 64GB 4G LTE is at PHP 11,990. A WiFi-only model will be available soon.
If you’re going for the entry-level, just add PHP 1K more and you’re better off with the realme Pad, minus the LTE connectivity and extra portability, which is not a big deal. You’ll get a better screen, more powerful chipset, quad-speakers, and a much bigger battery with fast charging
But if you’re looking at the 4GB + 64GB model, that could work, if you really need the smaller size and if budget is an issue. But for an extra PHP 3K more, you can also opt for the 4GB + 64GB LTE realme Pad. I think that would be a much better value for your money.
realme Pad mini specs:
8.7-inch WUXGA+ (1340 x 800) display, 179ppi
Unisoc T616 SoC
3GB, 4GB RAM
32GB, 64GB storage
microSD up to 1TB (hybrid)
8MP rear camera
5MP front camera
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
GPS, A-GPS, BDS, GLONASS
3.5mm audio jack
Dual stereo speakers
realme UI for Pad (Android 11)
6,400mAh battery w/ 18W fast charging, reverse charging support
211.8 x 124.48 x 7.6mm
Realme tiny pad Whether you’re playing a game or watching a movie, the 8.7″ (22.09 cm) screen’s 84.59% screen ratio and a dual-speaker audio system create an incredible cinematic experience. The great world of film is accessible to you from the comfort of your own home. Up to 15.8 hours of uninterrupted video streaming are possible with the enormous 6400 mAh (typical) battery, letting you to work without interruption. It is simple to make sure you have adequate battery before you leave with 18W quick charging.