A year after a promising Realme 7 Pro, the Chinese manufacturer is back on the scene with its Realme 8 Pro. A mid-range smartphone sold for around 300 euros takes up the solid foundations of its predecessor, with a notable change in design, but also in the camera, which now benefits from a 108-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL HM2 main sensor.
Always looking for the best possible value for money, the Realme 8 Pro displays solid characteristics for a mid-range phone. The AMOLED screen, 8 GB of RAM, 4,500 mAh battery, and 65W charger are all assets that the Realme 7 Pro already has. Are the brand changes enough to merit your attention? We dissect the beast, to answer this question at the end of this complete test.
The mustard yellow box of the Realme 8 Pro contains enough accessories to use the smartphone immediately. Everything is there: a case, a charger, earphones, everything is there:
Wired headphones (in France)
A USB-C to USB-A cable
A 65-watt charging block
A quick start guide
A needle to open the dual SIM + microSD hatch
A transparent protective shell
Without changing at all, Realme has made notable changes to the design of its 8 Pro. However, the front face is almost identical to that of its predecessor. The front sensor is still integrated into a punch located in the upper left corner of the screen. The manufacturer does not seem to have reduced the width of the black borders, for a phone-to-screen ratio of 90.8%. We regret that the size of the chin, quite protruding compared to the other edges, has not been reduced.
Without going so far as to talk about a compact smartphone, the Realme 8 Pro is a little thinner and lighter than the 7 Pro (176 grams against 182 grams). A weight, is explained by the choice of a plastic chassis on the back and for the frame of the phone. The elongated format of the model makes it pleasant to use with one hand despite its 6.4-inch diagonal.
The photo module has also been revised. There are still four photo sensors in the upper left corner, but they are integrated into a more square than rectangular format, with the LED flash just below. Everything protrudes slightly from the frame, which can make the smartphone wobbly when used flat.
What about the brand’s slogan, indicated in the watermark and very wide over the entire length of the smartphone? “Dare to LEAP”, which will be translated as “Dare You START”. An aesthetic choice that everyone will judge whether they like it or not.
The power and volume control buttons are located on the right side of the device. Both fall perfectly into the hand. The hatch housing the two nano sims and the microSD card is on the right side. Finally, the lower edge accommodates the 3.5 mm jack and the single speaker.
Like its predecessor, the Realme 8 Pro is equipped with a 6.7-inch AMOLED panel with a Full HD+ definition of 2400 x 1800 pixels. which offers him a good density of 409 pixels per inch.
There is no 90 Hz here, but simply a refresh rate of the screen at 60 Hz and a touch sampling rate of 180 Hz. We regret that Realme does not make the effort to integrate a 90 Hz screen to win a little fluidity, but the OLED is already good for this price.
Unsurprisingly, with AMOLED technology, the contrast is endless. The maximum brightness is also excellent for perfect readability, even in direct sunlight, which is always very appreciable. In terms of colors, the sRGB color space is perfectly covered. Unsurprisingly, the DCI-P3 (wider) space is more limited.
Finally, note that white pulls a little too blue by default, giving the screen a fairly cold tint with the screen color mode set to “vivid.” Go to the display and brightness settings to adjust the color temperature. We are moving towards “warmer” settings for a more natural rendering.
If not for this small color temperature defect, the Realme 8 Pro screen allows you to watch videos comfortably, including at night, with a well-adjusted minimum brightness that won’t take your retina off when you’re in the dark.
The Realme 8 Pro has the same processor as the 7 Pro, namely a Snapdragon 720G SoC, accompanied by 8 GB of LPDDR4X. In the benchmarks, it is not surprising that its performance is below that of a Snapdragon 732G or 750G found in its direct competitors such as the Redmi Note 10 Pro, the Poco X3, or the Xiaomi Mi 10T-Lite. This makes us say that Realme could have gone further by improving the performance of its new model compared to the previous one…
This stagnation would not be a problem if the performance of the Realme 8 Pro were impeccable, which is not the case. On a daily basis, multitasking is effective, but we can’t help but notice some slowdowns at the level of the interface itself. Nothing very disabling, of course, but in 2021, a mid-range smartphone must offer a fluid user experience, particularly for use that will be described as basic.
Unsurprisingly, this is confirmed when the Realme 8 Pro has to run 3D games. Call of Duty Mobile is not a problem (it is very well optimized), but Fortnite experiences severe slowdowns as soon as too many elements are displayed on the screen, with “average” graphics settings at 30 frames per second. Note that we have previously activated the “competition mode” of the smartphone, which is supposed to get the best out of the mobile. Under these conditions, we cannot really recommend the smartphone to those who try out resource-intensive games on their phone.
A word about the fingerprint reader located under the screen. The latter has too many failures to be pleasant to use on a daily basis. Even after reconfiguring the two thumbprints, we regularly had trouble unlocking the smartphone, preferring to switch to unlocking by facial recognition, which is less secure but more efficient.
The phone runs Android 11 with the latest version of the home interface, Realme UI 2.0. The experience is quite different from Android in its “stock” version but remains pleasant to use. However, it requires a period of adaptation to understand the logic of the organization of the menus when one is in the parameters.
For the rest, we find all the customization we expect from a modern interface, with a dark mode, several navigation systems (by gestures or buttons), as well as the possibility of activating or not activating the application drawer. Version 2.0 of Realme UI also marks the arrival of new colorful themes, extensive icon customization, and an “Always on” mode for the screen. Little by little, the Chinese manufacturer is making changes that set the Realme UI apart from ColorOS, the interface designed by OPPO.
The security update is dated February 5, which is normal for a smartphone tested at the beginning of March. With the latest version of Android (11) being installed, we hope that the manufacturer will make the effort to update its product regularly in the months and years to come, at least until Android 12.
The Realme 8 Pro also benefits from DRM with the highest level of security (Widevine L1), which allows it to play content from all SVoD platforms in HD.
The Realme 8 Pro says goodbye to the stereo speakers of its predecessor to make way for a “Hi-Res” certified mono speaker, which does not fool anyone. Unsurprisingly, the sound quality is just fine. We will use it to watch short YouTube videos, taking care not to exceed 50% of the volume, or you will hear strong distortion. The accent is, as often, placed on the medium to favor the intelligibility of the voices.
We still advise audiophiles to fall back on the 3.5 mm headphone jack, which does not suffer from any particular defect. You can plug in your favorite headphones or earphones to take full advantage of the sound on offer, although the output power is not incredible. For fans of wireless headphones, Bluetooth 5.0 does what it is asked to do perfectly.
The Realme 8 Pro is a good phone. During calls, voices are perfectly intelligible on both sides of the line. The mobile is not 5G compatible, which will be a problem for those who wish to switch to the new mobile network in the months or years to come. Users who are easily satisfied with 4G will be able to save on the bill required to acquire the smartphone.
To test the speed of the model, we launched the Opensignal application, which measured 28 ms of latency in 4G on the Orange mobile network (Bordeaux region). The Realme 8 Pro, therefore, has nothing to envy other smartphones on the market on this point. Same observation for the accuracy of the GPS (tested with the GPS Test application), which is 5 meters, with the first GPS captured in 3 seconds, which is quite honorable.
The Realme 8 Pro is equipped with a module composed of four sensors, of which here is the configuration:
108MP wide-angle sensor, f/1.88 aperture
8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor, f/2.25 aperture, 119° angle
f/2.4 aperture, 2MP macro sensor,
f/2.4 aperture, 2MP monochrome sensor for portrait mode, 2MP
Front camera: 16MP, f/2.45 aperture.
The photo app
Before getting to the heart of the matter, let’s take a look at the photo application. The latter is complete and easy to use. Here we find the different shooting modes: night, video, photo, portrait, 108 megapixels, and “more” to access additional modes such as panoramic, ultra-macro, or even Pro mode.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to organize these shooting modes as you see fit. If you are a fan of the “Pro” mode, for example, you will always have to go through the “Plus” tab to access it.
In the upper part of the screen are the options available for the chosen shooting mode, such as filters, timer, flash, or HDR mode.
The great novelty of this photo module is, of course, the arrival of a 108-megapixel Samsung HM2 sensor, a first on a Realme smartphone.
From the 108-megapixel sensor, 9-in-1 Pixel-Binning technology is used to produce 12-megapixel photos by default. The advantage of such a process is that it combines 9 photosites of 0.7m to simulate a larger pixel of 2.1m and thus captures more light to improve the quality of the shots.
The 12-megapixel photos captured by the main sensor (wide-angle) are very contrasty, with saturated colors. A rendering is flattering to the eye, but quite far from our perception of reality. The micro-contrasts bring an impression of sharpness to the scene. Looking at the full-size photos, you can clearly see a drop in the quality of the objects, especially in the corners of the photo.
The 108-megapixel mode allows you to capture more detailed shots but is logically less bright than pixel-binning. The contrast is lower, but the colors are still saturated. A mode that can be relevant if you want to zoom in on the image or make a “large format” photo print.
You have probably noticed that the Realme 8 Pro is not equipped with a telephoto sensor. However, the smartphone benefits from a new zoom technology integrated into the main sensor. Concretely, this means that when you use the x3 zoom, the phone captures several images (up to 8) of 12 megapixels each, which are then merged and enlarged using an image processing algorithm.
The result is surprisingly sharp for a smartphone without a telephoto sensor! Even the x5 zoom remains perfectly usable, despite a logical drop in quality compared to x3.
The main sensor thus benefits from ISOCELL Plus and Smart-ISO technology for brighter shots and better color reproduction. enough to offer the Realme 8 Pro convincing night shots. Digital noise is clearly present, but the “Night” mode is very relevant here, bringing a real gain in clarity and sharpness to the shots. The rendering is very convincing for a smartphone, which, let’s remember, is sold for under 30,000 Taka.
A passable ultra-wide-angle
The 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor impressed us much less. The colorimetric continuity with the main sensor is not guaranteed, and the level of detail is quite low. Distortion is also visible in the corners. A sensor is to be used only in very favorable light conditions when you absolutely need to use its 119° angle.
Unsurprisingly, the situation deteriorates a little more with the nocturnal shots. The night mode raises the bar a bit, but we are very far from the rendering obtained with the main sensor.
Like (too) often on the smartphones we test, the macro sensor is not very convincing. Of the Realme 8, Pro is only 2 megapixels and allows you to take a shot up to 4 centimeters from the subject. In fact, the development is risky and the lack of detail is flagrant. If you have good light and want precision, we recommend using the 108-megapixel mode instead and then zooming in on the image.
Portrait mode works well. It uses the monochrome sensor to calculate the depth of field. Thus, it is possible to adjust the background blur (bokeh) before shooting. On the other hand, it is impossible to modify it once the photo is captured, which is a shame. The subject is well outlined, even if a few beard hairs are lost along the way.
The 16-megapixel front sensor is also convincing, with a good level of detail and skin that isn’t too smooth by default. The different options allow you to take advantage of cheap surgical operations such as “thinner face”, “bigger eyes”, “thinner nose” or even “shrinking of the chin”.
A complete video mode
The Realme 8 Pro is capable of shooting videos up to 4K @30FPS (only with the main sensor in this definition) and slow motion up to 720P @960FPS. The UIS stabilization, of the game, is effective.
It is also possible to apply a bokeh effect to your videos, provided you film only one person at a time for optimal rendering. Among the other video options, there is also the “dual-view” option, which films simultaneously with the front and rear sensors, or the “time-lapse” mode, which takes photos at regular intervals for 4 minutes and then transforms them into video. 8 seconds.
Solid battery life and ultra-fast charging
As you don’t change a winning team, the Realme 8 Pro takes up the strengths of the Realme 7 Pro and is equipped with a 4,500 mAh battery capable of lasting between one and two days depending on your usage. Under test conditions and playing Fortnite for 30 minutes, the smartphone had no trouble lasting a day and a half. So there is no doubt that the Realme 8 Pro will not let you go before the end of the day.
The height of luxury, the smartphone is compatible with 50W fast charging but comes with a 65W fast charger in the box. It allows you to go from 15 to 89% battery (+74%) in just 30 minutes. Another 10 minutes is enough to fully charge it. The Realme 8 Pro is therefore an excellent companion for those who want to charge their smartphone quickly in the morning and not worry about the battery level throughout the day.
The Realme 8 Pro is available in Bangladesh at the recommended price of 27990 Taka for the version with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage (expandable). Two colors are available on the Bangladeshi market: black and blue. You can find it on the official Eealme website and at all the usual Bangladeshi retailers.
Like the Realme 7 Pro, from which it borrows many technical characteristics, the Realme 8 Pro is a success. For a product under 30,000 TK, the Chinese brand’s smartphone benefits from a quality Super AMOLED screen, and an even more pleasant interface to use.
and solid autonomy, supported by a very fast 50W recharge. But the great novelty of this model is, of course, the 108-megapixel sensor. The technologies associated with the sensor are convincing enough to make the Realme 8 Pro a very good quality-price ratio.
Nevertheless, the performance of the main camera should not overshadow that of the other sensors, which are much less convincing; the ultra-wide-angle and macro are clearly relayed in the background. The performance of the smartphone also left us wanting.
If the Snapdragon 720G allows you to use the Realme 8 Pro without too many hitches, we feel some slowdowns in the interface or in-game. In 2021, the choice of a slightly more muscular SoC would have been relevant to stand up to direct competitors like the Xiaomi Mi 10T-Lite, for example.
We still recommend the Realme 8 Pro to people looking for a balanced smartphone at less than 30,000 TK with good photographic capabilities.