Realme has introduced a more appropriate follow-up to its first tablet: a smaller version. Meet the Realme Pad Mini.
With its screen that’s only at 8.7-inches, this machine is meant for those who want a tablet for some serious work and multimedia consumption, while keeping that compact form-factor that’s only a few inches bigger than a regular smartphone.
But is it worth the price? Or should you choose something else? We find out in our Realme Pad Mini review.
Bear in mind that the one we’re reviewing here is the top-tier 4GB/64GB/LTE model for Php11,990. Cheaper 3GB/32GB LTE and WiFi-only variants will also be made available.
Realme Pad Mini Specs
- Android 11, Realme UI for Pad
- Dual SIM, Hybrid (LTE version)
- 8.7-inch HD+ IPS display, 1340 x 800 pixel resolution, 179ppi
- 2.0GHz UNISOC T616 octa-core processor
- Mali G57 GPU
- 3GB/4GB RAM
- 32GB/64GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 1TB
- 5-megapixel front camera
- 8-megapixel rear camera
- Stereo speakers
- Face unlock
- HSPA+, 4G LTE (optional)
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
- Bluetooth 5.0
- USB Type-C
- Dimensions: 211.8 x 124.5 x 7.6mm
- Weight: 372g
- Colors: Grey, Blue
- 6,400mAh non-removable battery, 18W fast charging
Design and Build Quality
At 372g, the Realme Pad Mini feels noticeably heavy. But that’s more than okay considering that it’s built on a premium metal body. Plus, it’s really thin at 7.6mm, even thinner than other smartphones on the market today.
The build quality is similar to its bigger brother, the Realme Pad. Only this time, obviously, it’s much smaller.
We still have a single 8-megapixel camera on the back, but is now sitting on a rectangular glass-like island. The simple lines are still here, but there are now two of them, and they are placed horizontally. The Realme logo is in its regular place in the bottom right corner of the device.
The bezels are quite thick, but not bad for the price. The screen-to-body ratio is 84.59%. The top bezel houses a downgraded 5-megapixel selfie camera (from 8-megapixels of its bigger brother).
Since it’s meant to be enjoyed in landscape mode, the secondary microphone for the stereo setup is on the top right next to the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The other speaker is at the bottom, together with the USB Type-C port for charging and data, as well as the only microphone.
We have the physical buttons on the left side, which also have a metallic construction that gives a decent tactile feel when pressed.
Since this is the LTE version, we have a SIM card tray on the left side that can house two nano SIMs or one SIM and one microSD card up to 1TB.
Overall, the Realme Pad Mini is built really well and that small size makes operating the device really easy — great if you’re jotting down inventories, taking notes standing up, and doing other on-the-go tasks. Although, even for its size, the heavy weight could be tiring on the hands after a while.
Display and Audio
The Realme Pad Mini has an 8.7-inch HD+ IPS screen with a 1340 x 800 pixel resolution and 179ppi. At 179ppi, sharpness is definitely not its strongest suit. The colors are not the best either.
But what we liked is the space it provides. It may not be a 10-inch panel unlike those standard bulky tablets, but it still provided the screen real-estate that we can’t have on a typical 6.5-inch smartphone.
The screen was enough for multitasking, especially when running apps side-by-side in split-screen mode. Plus, it makes for an immersive viewing and gaming experience.
We also appreciate the stereo speakers. It only has two drivers instead of the usual four, but it was enough to provide a full sound with decent volume for private listening and audible stereo separation.
Hardware and Performance
The Realme Pad Mini is powered by a UNISOC T616 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHZ. It’s paired with a Mali-G57 GPU, a choice between 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB of RAM and storage, with optional expansion of up to 1TB.
Realme Pad Mini benchmarks
It may not be the best chipset for a tablet, but judging by the benchmark scores and the price, it’s quite forgivable.
In real-world use, the Mini was able to handle most tasks fine: doing word documents, internet browsing, video conferencing, and more. The 4GB of RAM was able to hold pretty well, even when running apps side by side.
The gaming performance is where it took a hit. One of the hottest games today, Apex Legends Mobile, ran at balanced graphics settings by default.
Since it’s only an HD screen, we’re fine with the quality. Smoothness, not so much. The game was playable, but it does get hot over time and there are occasional frame drops when too many elements are in the frame.
Software and User Interface
The device runs on Android 11-based Realme UI for Pad. The custom interface looks too close to its regular Android version, which makes us think that Realme hasn’t figured out how to dress a tablet interface just yet.
Still, it’s a huge plus to users as the UI looks clean and straightforward. The layout is easy to familiarize, the keyboard is convenient to type to, and more. No issues here.
Although, Android could still do a better job at taking full advantage of the size and not just simply stretch some elements. Plenty of screen estate is wasted, if it’s not taken advantage of.
The split-screen feature is easily accessible by pressing the Recents button. We can’t seem to find the Floating Window option, which should’ve let you move an open app freely even when two apps are already running side-by-side.
Overall, we’re okay with the UI on the Realme Pad Mini. It’s not the most feature-packed, but at least it looks clean.
The original Realme Pad had 8-megapixel cameras on the front and back. Now, for the Mini, the selfie snapper only has a 5-megapixel sensor.
Image quality is definitely not great. The colors look a bit washed out, the dynamic range is failing, and the contrast, no matter how you adjust the exposure, is disappointing.
But both cameras are more than enough for taking casual snaps and for attending video conferences for work or school. We never expected good image quality for a budget tablet like this, anyway.
The Realme Pad Mini comes with a 6,400mAh battery. Realme could’ve gone with a bigger battery, but I guess there’s no reason to make the tablet even heavier than it already is.
After all, the battery life was decent enough. PCMark’s battery loop test gave it a score of 14 hours and 54 minutes of screen-on time before dropping to 20% from 100%.
That’s quite good. If you’re just a casual user who only uses it for work or school, you may get two days of juice out of this. But if you’re a gamer, you’ll need to recharge this after several hours of gaming.
The 18W adapter is hard to consider as “fast charging” in an era where we’re breaching 100W+ speeds. And in a big 6,400mAh battery, it’s definitely lackluster. A full charge may take two to three hours on this.
The Realme Pad Mini is for those who want something bigger than a smartphone but smaller than your average tablet.
Its compact display provides ample screen estate for multitasking and entertainment, and it’s also paired with a good set of speakers. IThe Pad Mini also has a reliable battery life, 4G LTE option for those who are always on the go, and a clean interface — all crammed into a premium all-metal build.
Still, Realme could’ve gone with a sharper screen and a more capable processor. So, if gaming is a top priority, you might want to look somewhere else. But if you want a small tablet that’s easy to operate and carry in your bag, the Realme Pad Mini is definitely a worth a look.
Those who don’t need the bigger screen would be better off with a more capable smartphone, though.
Realme Pad Mini pricing and availability in the Philippines
The Realme Pad Mini has a starting price of Php9,990 for the 3GB/32GB/LTE variant. On the other hand, the top-of-the-line 4GB/64GB/LTE model, retails for Php11,990. They will have early-bird prices of Php1,500 and Php2,000 off, respectively, exclusively on Lazada.
Both models will be available in offline stores starting April 4. Those who will get it until the 30th will take home a free Realme Mobile Game Finger Sleeves.
- Small and compact size for a tablet, Premium build
- Good set of speakers
- Decent performance
- 4G LTE option available
- Reliable battery life
- Quite heavy
- Low-resolution screen
- Cameras could be better
- Slow charging