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Realme 8 Review

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The Realme’s main midrange series is being updated twice a year. This is why we’re not surprised to see a couple of familiar items in the Realme 8‘s specs list.

Still, being a newer model, it has a couple of additions and changes to keep things fresh. But the question is, is it enough to keep the series interesting? Is it a viable option for the price? We find out in our Realme 8 review.

Realme 8 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
  • 2.05GHz MediaTek Helio G95 octa-core processor
  • Mali-G76 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB UFS 2.1 internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 16-megapixel front camera
  • 64-megapixel (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 5.1
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • USB Type-C
  • Dimensions: 160.6 x 73.9 x 7.99mm
  • Weight: 177g
  • Colors: Cyber Silver, Cyber Black
  • 5,000mAh non-removable battery, 30W Dart Charge

Design and Build Quality

The Realme 8 has an over-the-top design with a shiny glass-like back panel and the words “DARE TO LEAP” in large, bold font. It comes in Cyber Black, and the one we’re reviewing, Cyber Silver.

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There’s a vertical strip that has the reflective surface with rainbow-like reflections. The other side has a matte-ier finish, with the large camera glass for the four lenses and a lip for the dual-tone flash and the “64MP QUAD CAMERA” sign.

You can look at the Realme 8’s design in two ways: too attractive or too, well, too much. Personally, we find it quite inventive and bold. At the end of the day, design is subjective, so we’ll let you decide on this one.

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However, the plastic-like back panel is prone to fingerprint smudges and even hairline scratches. Ours already have some. So to keep it clean keep the free clear case on.

Like the 8 Pro, the Realme 8 is much lighter and compact than its predecessor. This one only weighs 176g and 8.1mm thick, while the former is at 196.5g and 9.4mm, respectively.

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Taking a tour, we have a 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED screen on the front. There’s a punch-hole on the top left for the selfie camera and a tiny slit on the top bezel for the earpiece.

The bezels are ultra-thin but the chin is slightly thicker than the one on the top and the sides.

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We have the SIM tray on the left side, placed way up high, so it’s not disturbing. It can house two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card.

On the other side, you can spot the lock/power switch and volume controls. The physical buttons are tactile and feel intact, but they are a little too stiff for my liking.

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Unlike the Realme 7, you can notice that the lock/power button is not flat anymore. That’s because they now moved the fingerprint scanner to the screen.

The top only has the secondary microphone for noise isolation, while at the bottom, there’s the primary microphone, headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and the single loudspeaker.

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Overall, we like the Realme 8’s design. It’s light and sturdy. The design may not be for everyone and the material is prone to scratches, but that can be easily fixed with a case design of your liking.

Design and Build Quality

Here’s one bizarre change on the Realme 8. This device has a 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED screen. It looks like Realme wants to please users who want a more vibrant display than those who want it fast.

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It kind of makes sense. The Realme 7 had a 90Hz IPS screen. But, the chipset was not powerful enough to make the smoothness noticeable, so we don’t mind having better color quality instead.

That said, the Realme 8 screen offers vibrant and contrasty colors. The device also has HDR10 and HLG support with Widevine L1 certification for FHD streaming on Netflix and other apps. Unfortunately, HDR doesn’t officially work on Netflix for this device.

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What’s disappointing is the lack of stereo speakers. Thankfully, the single bottom-firing speaker is more than enough for private listening. It has crisp and clear highs and audible lows.

Hi-Res audio certification and Dirac Sound are also present. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom with no free earphones included in the box. If you want to get one, Realme has a slew of audio selections you can choose from.

Hardware and Performance

Like the Pro model, the Realme 7 uses the same vhipset its predecessor has. This one has a MediaTek Helio G95 octa-core processor, with Mali-G76 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage that’s expandable via microSD.

Realme 8 benchmark scores

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LR: AnTuTu, GeekBench, 3DMark, PCMark

It may be an old chip, but the Helio G95 is still one powerful processor. Daily tasks are pretty seamless — social media, taking pictures, video calls, and whatnot.

There are a few hitches and split-second lags here and there, but nothing too alarming.

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Call of Duty Mobile on Realme 8

The Helio G95 was built for gaming, so we’re not surprised by its performance. Call of Duty Mobile was playable at High graphics settings and Max frame rate with no noticeable frame drops. League of Legends Wild Rift, Mobile Legends, and Genshin Impact should run fine, too.

Software and User Interface

The Realme 8, like its newer cousins, runs on the latest Android 11-based Realme UI 2.0. It offers a level of customization without being too much.

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There’s the unique task switcher, with their corresponding icons below them, so you can easily scroll through the open apps.

The home screen layout can be changed. You can go with the app drawer mode, simple mode with large icons, or standard mode for an iOS-like, no app drawer layout.

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This device also has a vast dark mode feature. Plus, an Always-On Display setting, which sadly doesn’t come with tons of customizations and cool AOD wallpapers like what OPPO’s ColorOS have. Still, these are features that take full advantage of the AMOLED screen on the Realme 8.

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Still, there’s a special Personalisations tab in the settings menu. You can change the overall theme, icon style, app layout, fingerprint icon style, colors, font design and sizes, and more.

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Smart Sidebar can be enabled from the menu. It lets you easily take screenshots, screen recordings, screen translations, and access apps of your choice.

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The Realme 8 uses Google Keyboard that’s easy to get used to. The characters are large and comfortable to type with. Meanwhile, the camera app is familiar with the right settings within reach.

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Game Assistant is also present that lets you choose between performance mode, enter game focus mode, and more. Bullet notifications is also present, so you can read notifications without getting too distracted.

Security

Thanks to its AMOLED screen, the Realme 8 gets to have an in-display fingerprint scanner. It also has a face unlock feature. Both biometrics worked really well during our testing. You can also use them to lock apps and secure sensitive media via the private safe.

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Security features like Find My Device, Google Play Protect, Payment Protect, and other features are also present.

Camera

The main highlight of the Realme 8 Pro is its whopping 108-megapixel primary camera. That’s obviously gone on the cheaper Realme 8 model. Still, it has a pretty capable set of cameras.

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It has a 64-megapixel main shooter, 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel macro, and 2-megapixel mono lens. On the front, there’s a 16-megapixel sensor for selfies.

The device has a couple of software tricks that take advantage of its flexible cameras. There’s a tilt-shift mode that makes subjects look miniature. You can access it by swiping down from the standard Photo mode.

Starry Mode is like your typical night mode for taking pictures of the night sky. Neon Portrait can blur the background with a touch of color. Dynamic Bokeh blurs the background in unique ways. Also present are Super Night Scape, Dual-view video with changeable layout, and the typical AI scene detection.

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Now, let’s talk about quality. The 64-megapixel main camera of the Realme 8 outputs 16-megapixel images by default thanks to pixel-binning.

The images you can get out of it are detailed, with vibrant colors, deep contrast, and good dynamic range. The colors may get oversaturated, so be careful on using AI scene detection. On the upside, it could come in handy if you want an Instagram-ready image.

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64-megapixel main camera
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64-megapixel main camera
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64-megapixel main camera
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64-megapixel main camera

Low-light images are also good. A couple of noise and grains are present, which is actually nice as it’s a sign that software processing has been toned down.

Due to its midrange processor, it takes 5 to 10 seconds for the Night Mode to take a picture. But even when you get it right, the difference is not that noticeable.

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64-megapixel main camera | low-light
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64-megapixel main camera | Night Mode

The 8-megapixel camera’s quality is typical. Colors, contrast, and details are certainly not the best, but the wide field-of-view it provides can be really handy when shooting group photos inside a car, tall buildings, and more.

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8-megapixel ultra-wide | Outdoors
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8-megapixel ultra-wide | Low-light

We also have a 2-megapixel macro lens if you really need it, but don’t expect great images out of it. The portrait mode also works well, which has good edge detection as long as the foreground and background don’t look too complicated.

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2-megapixel macro
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Portrait Mode

The 16-megapixel selfie camera takes sharp photos, even in low-light scenarios. AI Face Beauty and Portrait modes also work well for those who use them.

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16-megapixel front camera | AI Face Beauty OFF
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16-megapixel front camera | Face Smoothness: 100

Battery

The Realme 8 has the same 5,000mAh battery as its predecessor. But thanks to its more power-efficient OLED screen, we’re getting better longevity on the newer model.

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PCMark’s battery loop test gave it a score of 15 hours and 24 minutes of screen-on time. The Realme 7 capped at 11 hours and 14 minutes. That’s a loop of synthetic workload until the battery reaches 20%. We ran these tests with the WiFi and Bluetooth off and screen brightness and volume set at 50%.

In real-world use, expect to get an entire day of use out of this, possibly more if you’re a more conservative user.

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The Realme 8 also comes with a 30W Dart Charge technology. Realme claims that a full 100% charge will only take about an hour, which is similar to the time we got on our testing.

Verdict

Realme might have gotten a little lazy in creating the Realme 8, but it’s still one of the most interesting phones in its price range. It offers a vibrant screen, powerful and flexible cameras, long battery life with fast charging, and a processor for a smooth gaming experience and day-to-day tasks.

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But for the price, there are alternatives out there with a more capable processor, faster screen, stereo speaker setup, and even 5G connectivity.

Realme 8 pricing and availability in the Philippines

The Realme 8 has an official price of Php13,990, while the Realme 8 Pro model costs Php16,990. It’s been available in the Philippines since May 12. You can get it at Realme physical stores nationwide, online through Lazada, and monthly installments from Home Credit.

Pros

  • Unique and bold design if you’re up for it
  • Vibrant AMOLED screen
  • Solid performance
  • Good and flexible cameras
  • Great battery longevity with fast charging

Cons

  • Design can be excessive for some people
  • Prone to fingerprint smudges and hairline scratches
  • No stereo speakers
  • No high refresh rate screen

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