realme 8 Pro Review: Nice to Have, But Do We Need It?

The realme 7 Pro was one of the favorite phones I’ve reviewed in 2020. Loved its sleek design, performance and ultimately its ultra fast charging capability. It felt like an eternity, but we finally got its upgrade! We’ve been using our realme 8 Pro review unit for over a week now and we are now ready to share our experience with it. Is it worth the upgrade from the realme 7 series? Let’s find out!

REALME 8 PRO SPECS:

OS:Android 11 with realme UI 2.0
Processor:2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G Octa-Core Processor | Adreno 618
Display: 6.4" Super AMOLED Display 1080 x 2400 FHD+
Wireless Connections:LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, A-GPS, GLONASS
Memory:128GB Internal Storage expandable with a microSD Card (dedicated slot); 8GB RAM
Connectors:Type-C USB 2.0, OTG Support
3.5mm audio jack
Cameras:Rear: 108MP f/1.9 + 8MP f/2.3 + 2MP f/2.4 + 2MP f/2.4 Front: 16MP f/2.5
Security:on-display fingerprint sensor;
Face unlock
SIM Card Slots:2x Nano SIM Cards
Battery:4,500 mAh
SRP:P16,990

THE UNBOXING

It was nice to see the yellow box of realme again in our studio! We haven’t reviewed a realme product for several months and we kinda missed them.

Inside the box are the realme 8 Pro review unit, Type-C USB Cable, 50W Super Dart USB Charger Head, Silicon Case, SIM Card Ejector and User Manuals.

THE LOOKS AND FEEL

The first thing we loved about the realme 7 Pro was its sleek and lightweight design. When we were told that we would be reviewing the realme 8 Pro, I expected it to have the same dimensions. To my surprise, the 8 Pro is actually thinner, and lighter! The realme 7 Pro has a thickness of 8.7mm and weighs 182 grams while the realme 8 Pro measures 8.1mm with a weight of 176 grams! Now that’s a sexy phone!

The volume controls are now on the same side with the power button. We think this is a better layout so you can use one finger to press either of those buttons.

At the bottom of the phone are the 3.5mm headphone jack, Type-C USB port and speaker grille.

As always, realme persists in Trendsetting Design to break conventional aesthetics and bring trendsetting aesthetics design to consumer-electronics. This is very evident now in the realme 8 Pro, adding their “DARE TO LEAP” slogan that is easily recognizable. Also different in the back cover is its surface called the AG Crystal process. It was coated with innumerable small granules which produces a matt-effect. We loved this type of texture because slim phones tend to slip away from our sweaty hands sometimes. We also loved the fact that we didn’t spot a single fingerprint during our testing period.

The camera module is bigger now and squarish. The outer part of the module is surrounded by a clear plastic frame, adding some cool accents on its already awesome set of cameras.

THE DISPLAY

Nothing was changed in the realme 8 Pro’s display. It still comes with a 6.4″ Super AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution. Found on the upper left corner of the display is the selfie camera. No issues at all with the 8 Pro’s display and enjoyed watching videos with it during our downtime. realme still left out the 90Hz refresh rate from its display because they think content creators need the clarity of the Super AMOLED display more to check their photos. The good news is the touch sampling rate is up to 180Hz for better responsiveness when playing mobile games.

THE PERFORMANCE

Aside from its display, the realme 8 Pro retained its trusty mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor. We honestly wished for a faster processor but realme thinks that the 720G would already suffice. Can’t argue with them on that one. Here are the benchmark scores attained by our realme 8 Pro review unit:

Like most mid-range phones in the market today, the realme 8 Pro has an internal storage of 128GB and plenty of memory at 8GB. It also has a dedicated MicroSD card slot to store your personal media files. Performance of the phone is most of the time smooth as butter and barely lagged during our evaluation. We felt so at home with our realme 8 Pro review unit that we barely used our main flagship smartphone! One thing we were quite disappointed with the 8 Pro is the lack of 5G. Some phones in this price range already has 5G and we thought that this phone would also have that connectivity. realme thinks that 5G is still new and would rather work around a reliable chipset than include a connectivity that is still new in the country.

The realme 8 Pro can also be used as a gaming machine and we played several games ranging from Mobile Legends: Bang Bang to Genshin Impact. Set to the highest settings and frame rate, the realme 8 Pro handled Genshin Impact with ease and rarely encountered hiccups during hours of gameplay. It may not have the fast refresh rate we mentioned earlier, but at least the Super AMOLED display provided a great visual experience while gaming.

The realme 8 Pro is the first to come with realme UI 2.0 based on Android 11. realme claims that the realme UI 2.0 is faster, smoother and safer for all its users. It supports over 100 customizable items which includes Global Theme Color, 3 Styles Dark Mode, Icon Customization among others.

THE CAMERAS

On to the main upgrade of the series. The realme 8 Pro still has a quad-camera system. They did not add another camera, and instead, bumped its main camera to a whopping 108 Megapixel shooter!!! Normally seen in high-end smartphones, realme became the second phone brand to bring this feature to the mid-range smartphone segment. The cameras are composed of a 108 Megapixel main camera, 8 Megapixel ultra-wide, 2 Megapixel Macro and 2 Megapixel Depth.

The photos we took during broad daylight turned out really good as I have expected. Wide-angle photos did not have any distorted lines usually seen in other phones. Good job realme! We used the 108 Megapixel camera to take several photos and noticed their great details when blown up. While this is a nice feature to have, we think it’s not really practical for everyday use. Unless you crop your photos a lot, we think a 64 Megapixel main camera would already suffice. Also, taking photos with the 108 Megapixel camera will take more space on your storage. Night photos look great on the 8 Pro and even the ultra wide-angle camera supports it. Its selfie camera was downgraded from 32 Megapixels to 16 Megapixels because realme thought that users need the camera nowadays for video calls than selfie pictures. Nevertheless, the 16 Megapixels took nice natural photos.

Here are some of the photos taken with the realme 8 Pro:

The cameras came with other gimmicks to give content creators have some tricks to work with. VLOGgers can use the realme 8 Pro’s video features like the Starry Time-lapse Video, Tilt-shift Time-lapse video, Dual-view Video and Ultra Nightscape video to their advantage for making social media content. Here’s a sample of our Tilt-Shift Time-Lapse video we have taken earlier:

THE BATTERY LIFE

The realme 8 Pro comes with a 4,500 mAh battery with a 50W Super Dart Charger. Our average usage was between 13-14 hours with more than 15% of battery juice left. We are not sure why they lowered the Super Dart charging capacity from the 7 pro’s 65W, but 50W is still faster than most chargers out there. It can fully charge the phone from 0 to 100% in less than an hour!

DR’S CONCLUSION

The realme 8 Pro is a great phone overall. We really loved its design and the camera is fantastic. Now back to our question in the beginning – is it worth the upgrade? If you are coming from the realme 7 Pro, we suggest sticking to it for a while. If you are coming from the 6 Pro which was also released last year, we still suggest sticking to it as well. The cameras of the realme 6 Pro and 7 Pro are still good enough for everyday use, and like what we said in our review, having a 108 megapixel camera is nice but not practical for everyday use. It’s the only reason why you want to upgrade. But if you are really itching to try a 108 MP camera phone, go right ahead.

There is one thing that bothers us and its their competitor – Xiaomi. We think the Redmi Note 10 Pro is the direct competitor of the realme 8 Pro and it also comes with a 108 Megapixel camera. Aside from having a 120Hz refresh rate which its AMOLED display supports, its 128GB/8GB variant is only priced at P13,590. That’s more than P3,000 less than the P16,990 SRP of the realme 8 Pro. If realme considered having 5G in the 8 Pro for the same SRP, then that would give realme the upper hand.

PROS:

  • Slimmer and Lighter than its predecessor
  • Loved its design
  • 108 Megapixel camera
  • Fast Charging

CONS:

  • No 5G
  • Same processor as the previous two models
  • Competitor has a cheaper 108 Megapixel smartphone

Visit the realme Official Store at Shopee – https://shp.ee/zmp8pc6

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