Realme has entered the tablet space with the aptly named Realme Pad as its first product.
Instead of going all out by putting all the top-tier specs for their first release, Realme went the smart way by coming out with a budget-friendly tablet that everyone can attain. But is it the one for you? Are the specs and features enough to satisfy your needs? We find out in our Realme Pad review.
Realme Pad Specs
- Android 11, custom Realme UI
- nano SIM (LTE model)
- 10.4-inch FHD+ IPS display, 2000 x 1200 pixel resolution, 224ppi
- 5.3 aspect ratio
- 2.0GHz MediaTek Helio G80 octa-core processor
- 3GB/4GB RAM
- Mali-G52 MC2 GPU
- 32GB/64GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
- 8-megapixel front camera
- 8-megapixel rear camera
- Dual microphones
- Quad speakers
- Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res Audio
- Headphone jack
- HSPA+, 4G LTE (LTE model)
- WiFI 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
- Bluetooth 5.0
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
- USB Type-C
- Dimensions: 246.1 x 155.9 x 6.9mm
- Weight: 440g
- Colors: Real Gold, Real Grey
- 7,100mAh non-removable battery, 18W fast charging, Reverse charging
Design and Build Quality
The Realme Pad gives a good first impression the moment you take it out of the box. It looks really premium and feels very sturdy thanks to its aluminum build and CNC speaker grills. It also has chamfered edges.
When you pick it up, all you feel is solid metal in your hands. Although it made the device heavier than it should, so unless you have a stand for it, it can get tiring to use after some time.
Speaking of which, since it has chamfered edges and an all-metal build, you might want to put a case on this thing (if you can find one.) Not to protect the smartphone itself, but actually to protect the user in case you drop it while using laying down. Also, since it’s large and very thin, a chunkier case could provide a more secure grip.
Let’s take a closer look at the back. Unlike their smartphones, Realme went with a very clean, minimalistic, and almost boring design for their first tablet. This is where an exaggeratedly large and bold Realme logo could’ve made sense, but instead, they went with a small one. The one we got here is the Real Grey color, while a Real Gold option is also available.
The finish made it safe from fingerprint marks and smudges. There’s a silver line that goes from top to bottom that adds a bit of character and could also be the WiFi antennas. There’s also a quite noticeable camera bump that makes us worry about the lens.
Since it uses an IPS panel, the bezels are quite thick, but you can tell they did their best to keep it at the minimum. What’s interesting is, the bezels are uniform thanks to the lack of physical buttons, making it quite a joy to look at for people with OCD.
The 8-megapixel front-facing camera is on the left side, so it’s in the center when you’re video calling in landscape mode.
It has three physical buttons. There’s the lock/power switch on top, and the volume control on the right. They are close to each other so you can easily take screenshots using one hand.
The buttons are fine with a tactile and audible click when pressed. I just wish they are bigger and protruded further since they are sometimes hard to locate on a device this large. Also, having a larger power button lets you easily know which is up, so it’s less confusing when auto-rotate is enabled. But, we’re just nitpicking here.
There are four speaker grills on this device for a stereo speaker setup. The first two are on the top, joined by the power button, while the other two are on the bottom, sandwiching the USB Type-C port. We also have the 3.5mm headphone jack down here, which you can almost miss since it’s in the far left corner, almost pointing to the edge.
The left side is clean, while the right (or top in landscape), has the aforementioned volume controls, a tray for a microSD card, and the microphones that were placed intelligently so it can pickup your voice clearly in video calls.
Sadly, the Realme Pad didn’t get to have a fingerprint scanner, so you’d be relying with screen patterns, pins, and face unlock which worked surprisingly well during our testing that we didn’t miss the fingerprint sensor.
Overall, the Realme Pad sure is a stunner thanks to its elegant design and solid build quality.
Display and Sound Quality
One of the main reasons why you’d be going with a tablet instead of smartphone is the large display. That’s something the Realme Pad can provide thanks to its enormous 10.4-inch FHD+ panel. But since it’s only an IPS panel, don’t expect vibrant colors that OLED screens offers.
In fact, even compared to other IPS panels, the Realme Pad lags behind in features, possibly due to its price. For one, it only has a standard 60Hz refresh rate and doesn’t have HDR support. On the upside, it does have Widevine L1, so you can watch movies on streaming platforms like Netflix at FHD resolution.
Overall display quality is fine. It gets bright enough to be used outdoors, gets dim enough for night reading, has acceptable colors if you plan on doing basic photo editing or streaming content all day. What’s important is, it has a large screen real-estate for working or learning.
The best feature of the Realme Pad is its quad-speaker setup. They can get really loud, with fair balance, and since they’re 10.4-inch-screen apart, stereo separation is audible for a more immersive experience. There’s even a Dolby setting easily accessible on the drop-down menu.
My only gripe is that it lacks sound clarity. Still, there’s no denying that it’s the handset’s best asset. Heck, it’s so loud you can use it all by itself and forget about external Bluetooth speakers if you’re hanging out with a couple of friends.
Hardware and Performance
This is possibly where the Realme Pad will show its weakness. This device is powered by a Mediatek Helio G80 processor. Yup, the same chipset powering some low-end smartphones. The unit we’re reviewing here is the 3GB/32GB model, but 4GB/64GB and 6GB/128GB models should be available in the market, too. All models come with a microSD card support up to 1TB for the hoarders out there.
Realme Pad benchmark scores
The performance is acceptable for the price, but could be better. You can do a lot with this smartphone: social media browsing, check emails, participate in online classes or meetings, do word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, basic photo or video editing, etc.
All of those tasks are doable, but do expect hiccups and lags here and there.
We have similar sentiments with the gaming performance. Call of Duty Mobile was playable at Medium graphics quality and High frame rate. Those are the highest settings available for this device, no Ultra.
Under those settings, the game ran smoothly, albeit with occasional frame drops. Also, playing shooter games on a phone this enormous can be hand straining. Either stick with basic games or get yourself an external controller.
Software and User Interface
The Realme Pad runs on Android 11 with a dedicated Realme UI for tablets. It looks bare and basic, and we like it. We wish this is the same interface that Realme smartphones have.
What I really like is the lack of bloatware. Pretty much all the native apps here are from Google. Since tablets are used by kids mostly these days, Realme preloaded Google’s Kids Space and YT Kids apps. You’re not buying this tablet for kids? Tough luck, since they cannot be removed, although can be disabled.
It even uses Google Photos for the gallery, but the camera app is pure Realme UI, minus the features that the hardware can’t support.
The drop-down menu is a little narrow. It does provide a cleaner look, but I wish it took better advantage of the large screen.
Like a lot of Android devices, it uses Google’s own keyboard. Those with bigger hands can type on it easily in landscape mode, while others may have to lay it on a table and use their index fingers instead of thumbs.
We wish tablet keyboards have a split mode like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 that puts a large gap in the middle so the keys are in the corners for your thumbs to easily reach. There’s a learning curve there, but worth it once you get used to it. Alternatively, you can always use an external keyboard on the Realme Pad if you’re really using it for work.
The Realme Pad also has a split-screen feature. Again, we wish Android tablets would copy Samsung foldables. Instead of limiting to two apps side-by-side, users should have the ability to run up to four apps all at once, displayed in four quadrants. Although, the underwhelming hardware may not be able o handle it anyway, so I guess we’ll give it a pass.
Bottomline, we appreciate Realme for allowing users to choose what they want in their tablets in terms of apps installed and aesthetics. The UI is bare and clean and it’s up to users to dress it up whatever they like.
See also: Realme price list in the Philippines
The Realme Pad has 8-megapixel cameras in front and back. Not the best cameras around, but more than enough for a device of this caliber.
Quality-wise, the rear camera takes fine photos if you really need to. It’s sharp enough to take pictures of notes and presentations in classes. The colors are acceptable for casual snaps, and low-light images look dull but usable if you really have to use it.
The 8-megapixel front camera has a 14mm focal length for a wide field of view, so rest assured you’re in the frame even if you’re face is near the tablet when you’re using it intight spaces. The image quality is good, too. Selfies in well-lit scenarios has decent sharpness and acceptable color tones. Low-light performance is grainy, but still usable. Overall, it’s more than enough for selfies and video calls.
Realme rigged its first tablet with a 7,100mAh battery, which is not the largest we’ve seen as most tablets have at least an 8,000mAh capacity. On the upside, battery performance is still quite impressive.
It was able to get 12 hours and 32 minutes of screen-on time in PCMark’s battery test. This test is done by running synthetic tasks over and over until the battery drops from 100% to 20%. We ran the test with the WiFi and Bluetooth off and the screen brightness and volume set to 50%.
This means that, those who would only use it for word documents, presentations, and other light task may get up to two days of juice out of it. But if you plan on using its quad speakers and display heavily, like for video meetings, gaming, or watching movies, then you might have to reach for the charger before the day ends.
Speaking of charging, the Realme Pad comes with an 18W charger. Not the fastest since a full charge may take about three hours. But considering the price, it’s hard to complain.
The Realme Pad technically comes with 4G LTE connectivity, but that’s for the higher-end models with larger RAM and storage capacities. No word yet when we’ll get those models in the Philippines, as the 3GB/32GB variants that we have now don’t come with LTE.
Having a mobile network should be great for those who don’t have WiFi at home or who plans to use the phone while on the go.
On the upside, the antennas it got worked fine during our testing. It has dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, and a USB Type-C port.
There’s no denying that the Realme Pad is a great device. Despite its cheap SRP, this tablet was able to provide everything that its target market needs, plus more.
Its large screen with decent colors and loud quad speakers are great for work and entertainment. The clean interface is a breath of fresh air making it more appealing to use, the cameras are reliable, and has a cherry on top, it comes with a fancy and sturdy build and materials.
However, while the performance is fine, Realme could’ve gone with a more powerful processor. A larger battery would’ve been nice, too. But we’re obviously just nitpicking here. At the end of the day, the Realme Pad is still one of the cheapest tablets that you can get without a huge compromise in features.
Realme Pad price in the Philippines
The unit that we have here, the 3GB/32GB (WiFi only), has a price of Php10,990 in the Philippines. The local prices for the 4GB/64GB (LTE) and 6GB/128GB (LTE) are Php14,990 and Php16,990, respectively, but their availability dates are yet to be known.
- Sturdy, premium, thin, and lightweight build
- Large display with decent colors
- Loud quad speakers
- Reliable cameras
- Clean interface
- Realme could’ve went with a more powerful processor
- Battery could be bigger