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Realme 8 Pro Review

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The Realme 8 Pro is the company’s latest addition to its popular number series.

With this year’s installment, Realme made a big importance on the camera department. But is that it? What other things do this Php16,990 device offer? And ultimately, is it the one for you? We find out in our Realme 8 Pro review.

Realme 8 Pro Specs

  • Android 11, Realme UI 2.0
  • Dual SIM, Dual standby
  • 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display, 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, 409ppi
  • 180Hz touch sampling, 60Hz refresh rate, 1000-nits brightness
  • 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G octa-core processor
  • Adreno 618 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB UFS 3.1 internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 16-megapixel front camera
  • 108-megapixel (HM2, f/1.8, PDAF) + 8-megapixel (ultra-wide, f/2.2) + 2-megapixel (macro) + 2-megapixel monochrome lens, LED flash
  • In-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
  • HSPA+, 4G LTE
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • USB Type-C
  • Dimensions: 160.6 x 73.9 x 8.1mm
  • Weight: 176g
  • Colors: Infinite Blue, Infinite Black
  • 4,500mAh non-removable battery, 50W SuperDart Charge support, 65W charger included

Design and Build Quality

The Realme 8 Pro, like the vanilla Realme 8, has a bold design — quite literally so. Both models have large and bold “Dare to Leap” writing on the back. The font’s shiny placement goes against the anti-glare crystal processed glass.

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Other than the large letters, it also has an enormous square glass for the four equally large lenses for the cameras. The square glass is so large it doesn’t even wobble when laid flat on the table, despite the protruded camera lenses.

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Below the 2×2 camera layout is a lip that houses the dual-tone flash and a text bragging its key feature — the 108-megapixel main camera.

The color options are quite interesting. It’s available in Infinity Black and the one we’re reviewing, the Infinite Blue. A more vibrant and eye-catching Illuminating Yellow has been recently made available, too.

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It may not be the lightest and most compact smartphone, but it’s comfortable enough, considering all the hardware it packs. With its 8.1mm thickness and 176g weight, it’s neither light nor heavy.

The construction is really solid, too—no flexing or squeaking sound. There’s a dark-toned clear case on the box that you can use for extra peace of mind. It has a slim profile and doesn’t add a noticeable amount of bulk to the phone.

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Taking a tour, there’s a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen on the front. Just the right size to provide enough room for multitasking and entertainment while not being too bulky on the pocket.

Like most phones today, the Realme 8 Pro utilizes a punch-hole to tuck away the camera. The earpiece is on the wide slit at the top bezel — almost invisible.

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Speaking of which, the bezels are kept at the minimum. It’s even thinner than most midrange phones, thanks to its AMOLED panel (it uses less hardware than IPS, making the corners smaller).

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The rest of the layout is pretty standard. The SIM tray on the top left can house two nano SIMs and a microSD card.

On the other side, there’s the lock/power switch below the volume controls. The buttons are tactile and clicky, but I wish there are protruded a bit further.

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The top only has noise-canceling microphones. While at the bottom, there’s the 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C, loudspeaker, and the primary microphone.

Display and Sound Quality

Unlike most competitors, the Realme 8 Pro lacks a high refresh rate screen and settles for a 60Hz display. The company makes up for it by using a more vibrant 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED panel by Samsung, with 1000-nits of peak brightness, 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, and 180Hz touch sampling.

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The specs list doesn’t show any official HDR10 support, but it does work on few apps like YouTube. Widevine L1 DRM is also onboard to let you stream in FHD on apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

You can choose between three color options on the display settings: Brilliant for wider color gamut, Vivid for P3 color, and Gentle for sRGB. The Vivid mode is set by default for more appealing colors. But if you’re into photography and editing — something this one is good at (more on that later), then you might want to switch to Gentle Mode.

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Another thing that’s missing on the Realme 8 Pro is the stereo speaker setup. One of the bizarre downgrades from the previous model.

The loudspeaker quality is fine, but nothing too impressive. The volume is more than enough for private listening, the clarity is clean, but the bass is nowhere to be found.

Hardware and Performance

The Realme 8 Pro is powered by a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G octa-core processor. It’s already an aging chipset and the same one used on the Realme 6 Pro two generations ago. But as per Realme, this allowed them to further optimize certain aspects of the device — especially in the battery and charging department.

Realme 8 Pro benchmark scores

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LR: AnTuTu, GeekBench, 3D Mark, PCMark

Realme also claims it’s still one of the most powerful chips in this price range. And per our testing, it still provides satisfactory performance. Basic and daily tasks are seamless, thanks to its 8GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 of expandable storage.

Gaming performance was also decent. Demanding games like Call of Duty Mobile were playable at high graphics quality and max frame rates. Popular titles like League of Legends Wild Rift and Genshin Impact should also run fine too.

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Call of Duty Mobile on Realme 8 Pro

Still, there’s no denying that it’s an outdated processor, and there are a couple of competing smartphones powered by a more modern chipset.

Software and User Interface

Like its newer phones, the Realme 8 Pro runs on the latest Android 11-based Realme UI 2.0. The difference in appearance from the previous version is minimal, at least out of the box.

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You can customize the app icons to the max. There are pre-designed ones like Material Style and Pebble. But if it’s not enough, you can customize your own.

Global theme color adjustment is also present if you really want to make it your own.

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Realme UI 2.0 is also capable of Dual-mode audio, which can simultaneously play music on wired and wireless earphones.

Realme Share is also present, which lets you instantly share files from other Realme phones, as well as with Xiaomi, Vivo, and OPPO devices. These are just the key software features you can expect from the Realme 8 Pro.

Camera Quality

Let’s head to the main highlight of the Realm 8 Pro. It features a whopping 108-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL HM2 sensor, together with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel macro, and 2-megapixel depth sensor.

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It has unique software features like tilt-shift time-lapse recording, starry time-lapse, neon portrait and other portrait styles, dynamic bokeh, and more.

The main camera has a 1/1.52-inch sensor size, with a max output resolution of 12000×9000 pixels under the 108M mode. Under standard photo mode, it uses a 9-in-1 pixel binning technology for a brighter and overall better-looking 12-megapixel image.

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It may not output a full-on, flagship-quality image. But, the overall quality is really great. It has impressive details, lively colors, albeit slightly over-saturated, the contrast is deep, and the dynamic range is good.

The AI Scene Enhancement, known before as Chroma Boost and Dazzle Color, is there if you want a more vibrant and Instagram-ready image.

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108-megapixel main camera
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108-megapixel main camera
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108-megapixel main camera
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108-megapixel main camera | AI Scene Detection

Low-light images are good, too. Night Mode is also present, which takes a 5 to 10-second long-exposure shot for a brighter image. But since it lacks OIS, images may look a little blurry.

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108-megapixel main camera | Low-light
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108-megapixel main camera | Low-light
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108-megapixel main camera | Night Mode

Thanks to its ultra-sharp sensor, the Realme 8 Pro can do 3x lossless zoom even without a dedicated telephoto lens.

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3x photos look really clean and legit. The camera app lets you easily go to 5x, where images would still look acceptable. You can slide the 5x button to summon a dial that lets you go up to 20x zoom. 20x images have terrible details but still perceivable.

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108-megapixel | 1x zoom
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108-megapixel | 3x zoom
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108-megapixel | 5x zoom
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108-megapixel | 20x zoom

The rest of the cameras are pretty basic. The 8-megapixel ultra-wide doesn’t have the best color, contrast, and the dynamic range is mediocre. Things get worse in low-light scenarios.

Still, we like the flexibility it provides. The wide field-of-view is great for group shots, architecture, and other scenarios with large subjects.

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8-megapixel ultra-wide
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8-megapixel ultra-wide
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8-megapixel ultra-wide | Low-light
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8-megapixel ultra-wide | Night Mode

With its 2-megapixel sensor, don’t expect to get the best quality out of the macro camera. It has a minimum focusing distance of 4cm. The images look soft, with washed-out colors.

We suggest you use the 108-megapixel main camera instead and crop in if you really want a close up shot of a miniature subject.

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On the front, we have a 16-megapixel Quad-Bayer front-facing camera with f/2.5 aperture. Like the main camera, it uses pixel-binning in standard mode for a lower-resolution but better-looking images.

Selfies will look clean, with realistic skin tone, and deep contrast. Portrait mode also works well here, despite the lack of a dedicated depth sensor.

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16-megapixel selfie camera
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8-megapixel selfie camera | Face Smoothen and Thinner Face at 100%

Connectivity

We already see similarly-priced devices with 5G connectivity. But since it uses an aging processor, the Realme 8 Pro doesn’t have it. This shouldn’t be a big deal for now, but if you plan on keeping the phone for two-three years, you might want to get a future-proof one.

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The Realme 8 Pro also has dual-band WiFi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, and BDS. The website officially says it has NFC, but we can’t find it on the device’s settings.

Call quality, texting, pairing with Bluetooth devices, and internet browsing is seamless on this handset. No issues during our tests.

Battery

The Realme 8 Pro inherits the same 4,500mAh battery as its predecessor. In our standard PCMark’s battery test, it got a screen-on time of 15 hours and 17 minutes. The test was ran with the Bluetooth and WiFi off and the volume and screen brightness set to 50% until the battery reaches 20%.

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It’s surprisingly one of the best scores we got from this battery test — possibly the only main benefit of having an underwhelming processor and regular refresh rate. This should translate to an entire day or two of light to moderate use.

Realme dropped the charging support to 50W SuperDart, but it still comes with a 65W charger. The company explains that they were able to optimize the charging components, so expect a similar charging speeds.

Based on our testing, a 0%-100% full charge would take less than an hour, possibly even shorter than 45 minutes. Great stuff.

Verdict

The Realme 8 Pro is a complete smartphone that should satisfy its owners. It has a bold and flashy design, a colorful screen with deep contrast, fast charging, long battery life, and of course, a whopping 108-megapixel main camera with great image quality.

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However, it lacks a couple of features that the competition has. Despite the reliable performance, it doesn’t have a newer processor, which also resulted in the lack of 5G connectivity for futureproofing. It also has a standard refresh rate instead of a faster one and no stereo speakers.

Clearly, the Realme 8 Pro is a mid-range phone made for picture-takers. It has the right hardware and software features for aspiring photographers. If you’re one of them, then you should check this one out.

Realme 8 Pro pricing and availability in the Philippines

The Realme 8 Pro has a price of Php16,990. It’s now available in the Philippines, alongside the Realme 8, which costs Php13,990.

Pros

  • Bold design
  • Vibrant AMOLED screen
  • Killer 108-megapixel main camera
  • Capable performance
  • Reliable battery
  • Fast charging

Cons

  • No 5G
  • No high refresh rate screen
  • No stereo speakers
  • Outdated chip

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