It’s the first quarter of 2021 and Realme has already launched so many new smartphones and the most recent one to arrive is the Realme 8 series that includes Realme 8 Pro and Realme 8.

We have already reviewed the ‘Pro’ variant of the smartphone (Realme 8 Pro review) and this is the time for the more affordable version — Realme 8.

Realme 8 comes at a starting price of Rs 14,999. For the price, the smartphone once again shines in terms of feature to price ratio. It has got a modern-looking design with a glossy two-tone back panel design and a square camera housing with an array of sensors. Plus, it has also got a competent chipset paired with ample amounts of RAM. Fast charging, bigger battery, etc are add-on bonuses here.

But how is the overall experience of the Realme 8? Is it worth the price it is asking for or it is just another update? Let’s find out in our review.

Realme 8: Design and display
The design of Realme 8 is subjective as it can be described as love it or loathe it design. We personally found it to be too flashy. However, some seem to love the new two-tone or let’s say the mirror and matte finish combination at the back. The Dare to Leap logo also looks a bit odd here. Another problem with the design is that it is a fingerprint magnet. We barely managed to keep the phone clean even after wiping it a couple of times and eventually we gave up.

The rectangular camera module looks good and the finish of the phone is also good considering its price range. No rough edges whatsoever. We think Realme has done a really good job here. Also, the phone feels solid in hand.

Despite being a glossy back, it feels stable and less slippery in hand, thanks to the slightly contoured corners at the back. Also, the rims are thick enough to offer a comfortable grip while holding landscape and portrait orientations.

Button placement of the phone is good, the volume and power buttons are placed on the right side of the smartphone. There’s a pretty decent gap between the keys and are easily differentiable. Also, they offer good feedback when pressed.

On the left, there’s a triple SIM card tray slot. The top of the phone just gets the secondary microphone. The bottom has the usuals such as speaker grille, charging port, microphone. There’s also the 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom.

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In terms of display, the Realme 8 features a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a punch hole at the top left corner that houses the front camera. Bezels around the sides and forehead are thin, while the chin has slightly thicker bezels but that’s not a deal-breaker.

Now, the Realme 7 came with an IPS LCD display and AMOLED is a big step up over the LCD panel and that reflected in the quality as well.

It is a vibrant display with deep blacks and punchy colours. Viewing angles and brightness levels are good too. We tested this phone under bright daylight and we never faced any issue there. Also, the auto-brightness feature works really well.

The only issue here is that this is a 60Hz panel. It’s a bit odd since the Realme 7 had a 90Hz panel and we would have loved to see that with Realme 8 as well.

Realme 8: Performance
Performance is one place where companies bet big with their new smartphones. However, there’s nothing much to talk about with Realme 8. The smartphone is powered by the same SoC as Realme 7 — MediaTek Helio G95. It’s an octa-core chipset clocked at 2.0GHz and comes with a Mali-G76 GPU for graphics duties.

In terms of RAM and storage, the smartphone comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage.

The Helio G95 is a mid-range chipset and that reflects in its performance too.
We used this smartphone for calls, messaging, games, social media, taking photos and videos, watching shows and movies and other regular tasks.

Realme 8 performs well and we never faced any lag or delay while opening/closing or navigating between the apps and game. In short, it handles day-to-day tasks without any issue.

Call of Duty Mobile, Asphalt 9 Legends, Subway Surfer, Candy Crush and Shadow Fight 2 are a few games that we tested on this smartphone. Heavy titles like COD Mobile, Asphalt and Shadow Fight 2 ran at pretty acceptable frame rates, however, we had to reduce the graphics settings a bit to make it run much smoother. There’s no issue with lightweight games like Candy Crush and Subway Surfer.

Overall, the Realme 8 packs a decent performance be it for regular usage or gaming. This phone does justice to the price tag.

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Realme 8 runs Android 11 operating system out-of-the-box topped with Realme UI 2.0 custom user interface. We have to agree that Realme UI has come a long way both in terms of polishing the interface and layout.

Undoubtedly, the Realme UI 2.0 feels more smooth and snappy than before. The addition of a new Privacy tab where users can manage permissions for apps and service is a plus.
Another interesting feature is System cloner which basically creates two different instances of the OS for personal and work. Something similar to Samsung’s Secure Mode or Android’s Work mode.
Realme has also added some nifty features such as the ability to run multiple instances of the messaging apps, split-screen, dark mode, etc.

Realme has also packed tons of customisation options such as Themes, wallpapers, icons and more.

The smartphone comes with a single bottom-firing speaker and as far as the sound quality is concerned, it’s decent and sufficiently loud for a quiet room. The call quality of the phone is good and the microphone does a decent job of eliminating the background noise during an ongoing call.

Realme 8: Camera
Realme 8 comes equipped with quad rear camera setup of 64MP primary sensor (f/1.79 aperture) + 8MP ultra-wide angle lens (f/2.25 aperture) + 2MP macro lens
(f/2.4 aperture) + 2MP B&W lens (f/2.4 aperture). At the front, there’s a 16MP sensor.

Realme has also packed a bunch of shooting modes that includes Super Nightscape, Panoramic view, Expert, Time-lapse, Portrait Mode, HDR, Ultra Wide, Ultra Macro, AI Scene, Starry Mode, Tilt-shift mode, AI Beauty, Filter, Chroma Boost, Bokeh Effect
Control, Starry Mode, Tilt-shift, Neon Portrait, Dynamic Bokeh and AI Color Portrait.

The primary 64MP sensor is a competent shooter and does a fair job at capturing details, lights and colours in daylight conditions. The same is the case with the 8MP ultra-wide sensor as well.

The only problem here is that images from both the sensors are oversharpening. Almost all the photos we took had some bold outlines to them. Be it building corners or a tattoo on someone’s forearm.

At night, the dedicated Night mode does a good job of brightening up the images by a margin. Noise levels are well controlled and images are usable too. Yes, the Night mode shots lose some details and are on a softer side, but we are glad that it looks more natural than dramatic.

Wide-angle shots are also acceptable and have an almost similar story to tell as the primary sensor. We also tried capturing a couple of macro shots. The smartphone did manage to focus on our tiny subject but the smaller 2MP sensor started showing its limit earlier than we thought it would. We wish that Realme should have gone with at least a 5MP sensor here.

Video quality from the camera is also acceptable.

Realme 8: Battery
Realme 8 is backed by a 5000mAh battery and supports 30W DartCharge. In our test, the smartphone managed to last through a day efficiently with moderate usages. A 0 to 100% charge took around 90 minutes.

Realme 8: Verdict
Realme 8 is a capable smartphone and it does almost everything a mid-range smartphone should do. At a starting price of Rs 14,999, the Realme 8 is a good option for those looking for a practical smartphone that offers good battery life, display, a decent set of cameras and also excels in design.

So, if you are looking for a smartphone in a budget that does not disappoint then Realme 8 could very well be your next choice.