Following the Realme 8 and Realme 8 Pro, the Chinese company is now promoting the Realme 8 5G in our region. A mid-range variation with pricing that is fairly close to that of the “original” Realme 8, but with somewhat different technological qualities and, of course, 5G compatibility. This comprehensive test is taken into consideration.
The 90 Hz IPS LCD screen, as opposed to the 60 Hz AMOLED of the earlier incarnations is the first feature that sets the Realme 8 5G apart from the traditional and Pro variants. The introduction of a new CPU, the MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G, is also noteworthy. Finally, the photo module is much less muscular, with a wide-angle sensor, a macro sensor, and a final sensor dedicated to a depth of field.
The packaging is simple but effective. If our test version omitted connected headphones, such a pair will be readily available in France.
After Realme 8 and 8 Pro with a very daring design, we are back to something more classic. The large “DARE TO LEAP” tagline found on previous models has been removed from the rear of the phone (which we won’t complain about). Only the word “Realme” appears on the phone this time, hidden at the bottom.
The mobile’s back and frame are both composed of durable plastic with a somewhat shiny appearance that attracts fingerprints. Finally, the photo module, which is located in the upper left corner, protrudes from the phone, making it unsteady when set flat.
The phone’s ergonomics have been improved in the sense that the right edge now only houses the power button, which also doubles as a fingerprint reader for unlocking. The latter is both practical and responsive. The volume adjustment controls on the right edge, on the other hand, are significantly more difficult to use because they are placed a little too high.
On the lower edge of the Realme 8 5G, there is the speaker grille, a USB-C connector, and the 3.5 mm headphone jack for fans of wired connections.
With the exception of the one positioned beneath the screen, which may easily be referred to as the “chin,” the front face is quite classic, with black borders of respectable size. On this point, the three smartphones of the “Realme 8” range are housed in the same boat.
In its desire to offer the best value for money, Realme has chosen a panel with a refresh rate of 90 Hz. The panel is therefore more responsive than on the 8 and 8 Pro versions and their 60 Hz screen. The IPS LCD panel, rather than the OLED saw on the other variants, compensate for an “advantage.” Depth of blacks and contrasts or fluidity of the slab, you will therefore have to choose your camp.
The display frequency of the Realme 8 5G automatically adapts from 90Hz to 60Hz based on what is displayed on the screen by default. When scrolling over a web page or your social media feeds, 90 Hz is still very pleasant.
The screen’s default color temperature setting is also nice, but you can always adjust it in the display settings to suit your tastes. This is also accurate to the screen’s color mode, which is set to “vivid” by default for a pleasing display. Those looking for more naturalness will fall back on the “soft” mode, closer to reality.
The Realme 8 5G relies on performance and attracts gamers by using a 90 Hz panel. However, this comes at the cost of a lower display quality than OLED, which also has the advantage of fully utilizing the dark mode to reduce the screen’s energy usage.
The MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G processor powers the Realme 8 5G, which is complemented by 6 or 8 GB of RAM and 64 or 128 GB of storage (our test version is the most muscular). A configuration that stands out from those provided by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor of the Realme 8 Pro or the MediaTek Helio G95 present in the Realme 8.
In theoretical benchmarks, the Realme 8 5G outperforms its two brothers, scoring significantly higher on Androbench, 3DMark, and Geekbench. The latest MediaTek mid-range SoC and a large amount of RAM provide excellent multitasking and smooth navigation in everyday use.
In more demanding applications, like video games, the Realme 8 5G soon demonstrates its limitations. For starters, it’s not compatible with Fortnitemobile, one of the most popular (and resource-intensive) games around. So we played Call of Duty Mobile which runs smoothly with a medium level of detail.
We also ran the adventure game Genshin Impact with the graphics quality set to “Very low” (the lowest) to get a good level of fluidity; everything works, albeit there are a few minor stutters during action scenes.
As a result, the Realme 8 5G is a powerful enough smartphone for regular use. The 90 Hz screen adds to the navigational fluency. On the other side, mobile gamers will go their own way.
The Realme 8 5G runs Android 11 with the Realme UI home interface in version 2.0. We have already mentioned in several tests all the good that we think of this interface which is based on the bases of ColorOS from Oppo. Unfortunately, Realme this time had a heavy hand on the pre-installed apps on its phone.
Apart from Google applications, there are about twenty applications including Booking, WPS Office, Agoda, 92, TikTok, HeyFun, Sloop, and even iQIYI. Not to mention the “Hot Apps” and “Hot Games” which are in fact application stores camouflaged as a folder on your desktop.
In short, the Realme 8 5G is full of “bloatware” at startup. If it is possible to get rid of it, we would have preferred to do without it from the start.
Fortunately, realRealme me UI has other strengths to show off, including very extensive customization, with the possibility of downloading icon packs from the Play Store and integrating them very easily into the interface. The choice of home screen mode, the smart sidebar, its shortcuts, or the dark theme are all elements that enrich the user experience.
The Realme 8 5G also allows you to enjoy all the content of SVoD platforms in HD thanks to its compatibility with DRM Widevine L1.
We weren’t expecting much from the mono speaker on the bottom edge of the Realme 8 5G, and we weren’t disappointed. Its power is enough to listen to a YouTube video without headphones. As on the Realme 8 Pro, saturation is however quickly present beyond 50% of the volume. The emphasis is on the voices (mediums) and the basses are for absent subscribers.
The 3.5mm headphone jack saves the day in that it delivers much better sound quality when you plug in earphones or headphones. Bluetooth 5.1 is also there so you can enjoy your music with your wireless headphones.
The Realme 8 5G is a good phone. The calls are clear and the voice is perfectly intelligible. The network grip is also excellent, with a latency time measured at 31 ms on the Orange 4G network in the Bordeaux region. The phone benefits from two 5G SIM slots, as well as a third that can accommodate a microSD card to expand storage memory.
On the GPS side, the Realme 8 5G was able to quickly pick up the first satellites (less than 3 seconds), and offer an accuracy of 2 meters, which is simply excellent.
The Realme 8 is equipped with a photo module consisting of three sensors on the back of the phone. Unlike the Realme 8 and 8 Pro, this 5G version is therefore deprived of an ultra-wide-angle sensor. The main sensor also loses definition as it goes to 48 megapixels, compared to 64 and 128 for the other models in the range. There is also no telephoto lens:
The photo application is simple and effective. You can easily scroll between the different shooting modes on the lower part of the interface. On the other hand, it will be necessary to look for the “Macro” and “Expert” modes in the “More” tab, which is not always practical. The possibility of having a visual aid to take level photos is also well seen.
The main sensor (wide-angle) allows you to take pictures in 48 megapixels. By default, it uses Pixel-Binning-4-in-1 technology to capture 12-megapixel photos. The photosites thus combined come to simulate a larger pixel to bring more light to the photos.
The 12-megapixel photos have a sufficient level of detail for viewing on the phone and on social networks. The colors are rather natural, but we would not have said no to a little more liveliness in the final rendering. On the other hand, the lack of dynamism is quite obvious, with shadow areas that are a little too “clogged” for our taste. It is the effectiveness of the HDR mode which is in question here.
If you take advantage of good light conditions and want a more detailed image, for the purpose of printing it, for example, the 48-megapixel mode is ideal. To be honest, it’s very hard to tell a difference with the 12-megapixel mode on a screen unless you zoom in on the image.
The absence of a telephoto lens forces the Realme 8 5G to use digital zoom. The latter is unfortunately not very flattering. A simple x2 zoom will result in a significant loss of detail and completely washed-out colors. Use only when absolutely necessary.
Unsurprisingly, it gets worse with the x5 zoom which is simply unusable. It would almost pass the x2 zoom for a quality photo. We are therefore quite far from the zoom prowess of which the Realme 8 Pro is capable.
The macro sensor is 2 megapixels. Too low a definition to take full advantage of the details expected in a macro photo. The minimum distance of 4 centimeters for focusing also makes shooting complicated. Too close, and you have a blurry photo. Too far, and you lose all your interest in macro photography. A sensor that we will quickly forget as its use is frustrating.
The Realme 8 5G obviously does not work miracles on night shots, but the rendering remains relatively clean. The night mode uncovers certain gray areas, but the difference with conventional shooting is far from obvious.
Portraits and selfies
Portrait mode, on the other hand, works well, with a clean outline of the subject and a marked background blur, although a little too uniform. To get the best possible rendering, the camera will be sure to ask you to step back if you are too close to your subject.
The selfie portrait mode, on the other hand, has a few hiccups. As you can see, the clipping of the cap is a bit risky. The area between the cap and the glasses is even completely forgotten, leaving a space without background blur.
The Realme 8 5G is capable of filming in 1080p at 30 frames per second, with digital stabilization. As for the photo, an option of embellishment thanks to artificial intelligence is available, but it does not make a big difference in the final rendering.
Like the Realme 8, this 5G version has a 5,000 mAh battery. What offers him a comfortable autonomy of two days in the context of moderate use. If you use it more intensively, while playing, for example, you can still count on a day and a half of use before recharging. A good autonomy to put in perspective with its 5G compatibility will consume more resources, which will have a significant impact on its endurance.
With its 18 W charger, this 5G version is a bit of a poor relation to the v8 range. Indeed, the “Pro” version is compatible with 50 W charging, and the Realme 8 benefits from 30 W fast charging. , the 18W charger allows Realme 8 5G to gain +22% battery in 30 minutes, and +52% in one hour. Count a little less than two hours to fully charge it. Yes, it’s long.
By further declining its Realme 8 in a 5G version, Realme takes the risk of losing consumers. Offered at the same price as the “basic” model, this version gains 5G compatibility and a 90 Hz screen.
But this comes at the price of other concessions. Thus, the Realme 8 5G sacrifices the OLED screen for an LCD screen. The main 64-megapixel sensor gives way to a 48-megapixel sensor and the photo module is cut off from its ultra-wide-angle sensor. The power supply is also increased from 30W to 18W, which significantly extends the charging time of the phone.
That said, the Realme 8 5G of course has its strengths, starting with a more sober design than that of its big brothers, as well as very good autonomy, satisfactory performance, and a faster screen.
The photo module, on the other hand, is too planned to be convincing. A smartphone with good value for money, but lacking in balance, will force users to come to terms with the sacrifices made on the altar of 5G.
The Realme 8 5G will be available from May 18, 2021, in two versions:
The (6+64 GB) variant is officially available in Bangladesh at 20,000 BDT. and (6+128 GB) 22,999 at BDT.