Realme 8 was launched in India earlier this year and now the company has released the 5G variant of the device dubbed the Realme 8 5G. Unlike other smartphones that simply replace the processor and launch the same device as the vanilla 4G version, Realme has stepped up and changed lot of things in its latest budget 5G smartphone. Some of these changes include a 48-megapixel triple-camera setup on the back rather than a 64-megapixel quad-camera setup, removal of the Dare to Leap branding and of course the use of the MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC, instead of the Helio G95 SoC.
With country-wide 5G rollout just around the corner, getting a 5G phone could be considered a smart one if you are looking to upgrade your current device. But is the Realme 8 5G a smartphone you should look at, to become your next daily driver? We will answer this along with a number of other questions here in our review below.
Realme 8 5G Price in India: Rs 14,999 (4GB RAM/128GB storage) | Rs 16,999 (8GB RAM/128GB storage)
Realme 8 5G specifications: 6.5-inch full HD+ IPS LCD display | 90Hz refresh rate | MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC | 4GB/8GB RAM | 128GB internal storage | 5,000mAh battery | 18W fast charging | 16MP front camera | 48MP+2MP+2MP triple rear cameras | Realme UI 2.0 based on Android 11 |
Realme 8 5G Review: What’s different?
There are a lot of differences when you compare the usual Realme 8 and the Realme 8 5G in terms of specifications. Honestly, when compared side to side, apart from the display and 5G compatibility, the Realme 8 seems like a much better option.
The Realme 8 5G sports a faster 90Hz display, whereas, the 4G variant sports a 60Hz display. The display on the 5G version is also a tad bit larger.
Performance wise, both would do similarly in most tasks with a slight edge to the 5G model. The MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset is based on the 7nm manufacturing process and is a bit faster and much more energy efficient compared to the 12nm MediaTek Helio G95 SoC.
Camera wise, the Realme 8 has a much better 64-megapixel quad-camera array on the back, whereas, the Realme 8 5G has a lighter 48-megapixel triple camera setup.
Another major difference is that the Realme 8 5G comes with 18W fast charging, which is comparatively much slower compared to Realme 8’s 30W fast charging.
Realme 8 5G Review: Is 5G a necessity in 2021?
With the 5G network rollout just around the corner, a lot of you might be thinking that getting a 5G phone would turn out to be a good investment. That might be true for some, but not the right decision for others.
If you were about to change your phone because your old phone is now dated, broken or for any other reason then getting a 5G phone to futureproof yourself is a good idea. However, if 5G is your sole reason then I would recommend that you wait for the networks to actually roll out first in the country. By then 5G phones would become much more affordable due to advancements in technology and you would also end up getting a better-specced phone for a similar price then.
Realme 8 5G Review: Performance
With a change in the chipset, one would think there would be a major difference in performance, however, on paper, the 5G variant has similar performance scores to that of the 4G one. I personally have not tested the 4G variant, which is why I would not compare both models in terms of real-life performance here.
Our review unit came with 8GB of RAM paired with 128GB of internal storage. During our synthetic benchmark tests, the device was able to score decently, managing to get a score of 3,58,165 on AnTuTu, 563 single core/1769 multi core in Geekbench and 1,094 with an average fps for 6.60 in 3D Mark Wild Life. These scores are similar to what you get to see with the Realme 8 and the Realme Narzo 30 Pro. However, benchmark results are not always the best way to judge a phone’s performance as they do not take into count all the real life variables like network stability.
Coming to real-life usage, at first, I was disappointed as the phone was lagging out-of-the-box. However, after some time, the phone was functioning totally smooth. This could have happened due to a heavy setup with a lot of files to install along with updates required for the device all happening at once.
While using the device for making calls, browsing social media, watching videos, browsing the web and taking a few photos, I found it to be quite good with no signs of stuttering or lag. I had around 30 tabs opened inside of Chrome and 30 tabs in Opera along with 15 apps simultaneously running in the background. However, out of these, I found that the device had killed a total of around 15 tabs and two apps. These apps could have been parked in the additional RAM extension, however, due to the extension not being as fast and volatile, getting these to show up again could have been what caused the delay.
For light gaming, the device is quite capable and can handle any basic game like Cooking Diary 2, Candy Crush, Crash Bandicoot and more. While playing such games you won’t experience any lag.
I tried playing three heavy games on it, Call of Duty: Mobile, Shadowgun Legends and Asphalt 9. All games were set too high graphics performance modes. All of them worked fine with no major lags or stutters. Sometimes I could find areas that the device was still rendering, but the overall gaming performance was better than what I expected.
Playing for over two hours straight did strain the phone a bit too much making the device warm to the touch, but it was manageable.
Realme 8 5G Review: Cameras
Another major aspect that changes with the chipset is how the cameras of a device perform. Apart from the actual camera performance due to the change in the ISP, you also need to note that the sensors used on the 5G variant are also completely different. This is why there is no comparison between both the devices in terms of the photos they take from the cameras.
The triple camera array consists of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, a 2-megapixel Black & White Portrait lens and a 2-megapixel macro lens. There is no ultra wide angle lens on this, which is sort of a letdown.
Shots taken in ample light turned out decent with a good amount of detail and punchy colours. The dynamic range is a bit off and the white balance also is a bit tilted towards the warmer side. The camera does not manage to capture skin tones properly and tilts towards an orangish colour for skins. The shots that have shadows in them come out a bit patchy and with grain in the darker portions.
The low light performance of the device is not something one would brag about. The results have noise, a lack of focus and detail. However, not much is expected from phones in this price bracket as they all have similar mediocre low light performance. The Night Mode does reduce the grain and noise, however, the images are not as clean as I would have wanted them to be.
Portrait and macro photography are also pain points for the device. In portrait mode, the device struggles with edge detection and background blurring, whereas, human skin is softened and brushed a lot, so much so, that it feels like the beauty filter is active. The macro camera has difficulty focussing on objects, which makes the results to often come out blurry and lacking details.
On the front, the device features a 16-megapixel camera to take selfies. In good lighting, the front camera performs well with images coming out with a good amount of detail and with punchy colours. However, it does soften human faces and introduces an orangish tone to the skin.
Overall, the cameras on the Realme 8 5G are nothing to brag about. They simply get the job done when required. So if you are looking for a smartphone with amazing camera performance we recommend you look elsewhere. But if you are ready to look past the camera performance this is still a decent smartphone. Not to forget, it is currently the cheapest 5G smartphone available in India.
Realme 8 5G Review: Design and Build
I usually do not like funky coloured smartphones, but the Realme 8 5G’s Supersonic Blue colour looks quite amazing. Moreover, if you add the in-box case, which has a dark shade to it, the colour gets blended and feels quite premium. And with there being no Dare To Leap branding that stretches throughout the back, the phone looks quite minimalist and premium.
The phone features a plastic build, however, considering the specifications, and that this is the most affordable 5G smartphone available in India, we can let this one slide.
It is also quite thin and light, which makes it easy to grip and use with one hand. It features a tall and flat form factor, which I personally liked consuming content on.
The back does consist of a significant camera bump, that will not let your phone lay flat, but it has sort of become a go-to in most smartphones, so I would not complain about it.
Realme 8 5G Review: Battery
The device features a 5,000mAh battery, which lasted me throughout the day with heavy usage with incoming calls, browsing social media platforms, consuming content from Prime Video, Netflix and YouTube, and playing games, with around 25 percent battery left. This performance is similar to what you would expect a smartphone with a 5,000mAh battery to have.
With light usage, I was able to stretch the battery life to around two days of constant usage.
Charging is where I was disappointed, as the device supports only 18W fast charging, which charges the phone in around 2 hours 15 minutes. This seems quite slow considering that the vanilla 4G Realme 8 comes with support for 30W fast charging.
Overall, the battery performance is what you would expect, but the charging speeds do fall a bit short. However, considering that this is currently the most affordable 5G smartphone available in India, some corners were expected to be cut.
Realme 8 5G Review: Display
Realme 8 5G sports a 6.5-inch full HD+ IPS LCD display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The display is nothing stellar but does get the work done. It does get bright enough to be usable under direct sunlight, but sometimes you would have to shade it to view the content properly if the overhead light is too bright. At night time, the display is able to dim up a lot as to not hurt your eyes in dark environments. The colours look vibrant and punchy while viewing images or videos.
There is also a cut-out on the top left corner to accommodate the selfie camera. I personally do not like a hole punch as it cuts into content, but seeing as it has become somewhat of a norm, not much can be done about that.
I do appreciate the 90Hz refresh rate, as it makes the display appear quite smooth and pleasing while scrolling, watching content and playing games.
Overall, I found the display of the Realme 8 5G to be quite decent, with good viewing angles and a good amount of brightness. I would have preferred an AMOLED display for the deeper black’s and its battery optimisations, but this also does get the work done.
Realme 8 5G Review: Software
Realme 8 5G runs Google’s Android 11 operating system with the company’s own Realme UI 2.0 skin on top. The skin mimics stock Android with a few customisations like different logo styles, Private Space and more.
Navigating the UI is very simple and straight forward. The learning curve is also not as high, with every feature being extremely easy to access and customise.
The phone does come with a few third-party bloatware like Snapchat, SoLoop, Netflix, HeyFun and more. The good thing is that these can be easily uninstalled with a few taps.
Realme 8 5G Review: Security
For security, the device features a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and facial recognition. Both the authentication methods are quite fast, however, the fingerprint sensor is much more secure. Facial recognition uses the front camera to detect your facial structure to unlock the device, which can easily be fooled.
Realme 8 5G Review: Verdict
Realme 8 5G is a decent phone, which you surely can consider under Rs 20,000. The phone performs well under heavy-usage, the 90Hz display is quite smooth, it is very easy to handle and not to forget that this is currently the most affordable 5G smartphone you can get in India. However, not all is hunky-dory, as the camera performance is lacklustre and well 5G is still some time away.
All of this considered, I still feel that the Realme 8 5G is a good smartphone that you can get if you are already looking for an upgrade. However, if you are looking to just get a 5G compatible smartphone, I would recommend that you wait a bit and you will be able to get a better-specced smartphone at around the same price.
|Features||Realme 8 5G|
|Price||14,999 | 16,999|
|Chipset||MediaTek Dimensity 700|
|OS||Realme UI 2.0 on top of Android 11|
|Display||6.5-inch full HD+ IPS LCD display with 90Hz refresh rate|