After the Realme 8 Pro, it’s the turn of the Realme 8 to pass the grill for our tests. Offering a complete and correct experience at a moderate price, the Realme 8 is a direct competitor of the Redmi Note 10, from which it takes up the price positioning. Besides its very young design, does the Realme 8 have other ways to stand out from the competition? Answer in this comprehensive test.
Still young on the French market, the Realme brand still has everything to prove. It must demonstrate the quality of its products. It must demonstrate the aggressiveness of its pricing positioning. It must demonstrate the completeness of its offer, both in the smartphone market and in connected accessories.
Read also – Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro test: a smartphone too wobbly to convince
But, fortunately, for a year, the brand has been expanding its catalog in France. Entry-level smartphones, with the Realme 6 and Realme 8 Pro, or premium, with the Realme X50 Pro. Earphones. And even a connected watch, the Realme Watch S Pro, the test of which you can find in our columns. A few days ago, his portfolio grew even more with the arrival of Realme 8, replacing Realme 6 and Realme 7.
This smartphone is obviously a competitor to the Redmi Note 10. Same price. Proposition “theoretically” equal. Equivalent technical sheet. But, it’s not enough to emulate one of the best value brands. The important thing is above all to provide a good experience! Discovering this experience is precisely the aim of this complete test!
Our video test
Pricing and availability
Realme 8 has been available in France since April 22, 2021. It is sold through two distributors: Cdiscount and Electro Depot. No operator offer with this phone when it was launched. Note that each of the two brands benefits from a different version.
At Cdiscount, you can buy the Realme 8 with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. This is the better of the two versions. It is sold 249 euros. If you read these lines before April 31, 2021 and are interested in this phone, you get a 20 euro discount on its purchase.
At Electro Depot, you can buy the Realme 8 with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. The price is 199 euros. This is a fairly attractive price. Note that the phone is not only Dual SIM, but also has a slot for a microSDXC format memory card.
And that’s the trick with smartphones that offer space for a memory card. For around forty euros, you can buy yourself a good 256 GB memory card that will allow you to multiply by 5 the internal storage space, for an amount less than that required to go from the 64 GB version to the version 128 GB of Realme 8.
In the box of the smartphone, you will find a 30 watt charger, a USB type-C cable, a pair of headphones and a soft plastic shell. It is always very convenient to protect the phone out of the box.
The design of the Realme 8 is fairly classic for an affordable smartphone, although one aesthetic detail is not very common. The phone shell and chassis are made of polycarbonate and the screen is protected by mineral glass. Above the glass, you have a slight additional protection: most Chinese manufacturers preinstall this protection. Even on their cheapest models.
Let’s take a tour of the owner. Up front, the Realme 8 features a large touchscreen with moderately thick bezels. You can see a punch in the upper left corner for a webcam and phone headset hidden in the thickness between the case and the bezel of the display. On the back, the phone has a curved shell on the sides and a photo block that obviously resembles that of the Realme 8 Pro.
This photo block is made up of a rectangle with four photo lenses and a flash. We will come back to the technical details of the sensors that are integrated therein in the photo part of this test. You can see that this block is doubly protruding, with a first step for the rectangle and a second for the objectives. Note that the second step is lower than the first.
You will notice that the shell design is in two parts. The first is quite large. It is gray in color with the brand name and legal marking. The pattern is grid there (we tried to take a photo of the grid with the microscope of the Find X3 Pro, but the result is not qualitative enough to present it here). The second part is the finest and more reflective. Its gray color is slightly darker and it takes on different shades in the sun (blue, green, red, purple). But it only works in the sun. Finally, you can see the slogan of the Realme brand: ” Dare to Leap “.
Let’s go around the slices. At the bottom, you find the main microphone, the speaker, the USB type-C port and… a 3.5 mm jack port. On the left, the drawer for two SIM cards and the microSDXC card. At the top, the secondary microphone for active noise reduction. And on the right, the power button and the volume control. No exuberance. Note that the plastic of the chassis is matte, while that of the shell is shiny. The latter therefore retains (a lot) fingerprints.
Overall, the design of the Realme 8 is therefore classic, but functional. Rather light. Not too bulky. The phone is used relatively well with one hand, although you will sometimes have to stretch your thumb to reach certain corners of the screen. In fact, we strongly advise you to equip yourself with the hull present in the box, because the Realme 8 is quite slippery.
Now let’s go to the screen. The slab of Realme 8 is technically identical to that of Realme 8 Pro. So that’s good news. It remains to be seen whether this panel benefits from the same advantages… and the same faults. Remember that the screen of the Realme 8 Pro is certainly bright, but moderately respectful of colors. Our probe will tell us if this is also the case here.
You therefore find a large Super AMOLED panel of 6.4 inch with the definition Full HD +, or a resolution of 411 pixels per inch. This is a standard resolution in telephony. You don’t really need more, except for very special needs. And the gain that you could have in terms of smoothness is not worth the energy counterpart that this induces.
The maximum brightness announced by the manufacturer is 1000 nits. This value can only be reached locally, in automatic mode and in broad daylight, under the sun. With manual mode you reach 500 nits in all display modes. And that’s already very good.
The refresh rate of the slab is 60 Hz. If you like the fluidity of 90Hz or 120Hz, you won’t get the same feeling here. And the sampling frequency is 180 Hz. It is therefore three times higher than the refresh rate. This is a very good number which usually corresponds to 90Hz panels.
On the color side, the Realme 8 offers almost the same options as the Realme 8 Pro. So you have three modes available: lively, with the colors of the DCI-P3 sample, soft, with the colors of the sRGB spectrum, and ” energy saving “. At the same time, you also have a slider to cool or heat the slab according to your habits and tastes. This is great for offsetting a tile that tends to accentuate reds or blues. And precisely, our probe tells us that the colors are just a little too cold.
What are the results exactly? First, the best of modes is soft mode. Infinite contrast ratio. Brightness slightly above 504 nits. Average temperature a little high, at 7475 °. But one Average Delta E at 3.1. And only one color above 6: dark green. Energy saving mode is the worst. The brightness drops, of course, to reach 425 nits, but the average Delta E is close to 6 and the temperature remains above 7400 °. No color is below an average Delta E of 2. Vivid mode is in between: exuberant in terms of colors (especially light blue here), but a little more respectful than eco mode. Average Delta E of 4 “only”. Average color temperature of 7400 °. And brightness of 500 nits.
In use, the screen is quite pleasant to use. It’s not the most fluid and color-friendly, but it does offer a setting to counteract that and it knows how to stay bright enough under all circumstances. Its definition is good and the contrast is deep. And that’s already great for a smartphone less than 200 euros (for its minimum configuration). Also note the presence of a fingerprint reader in the screen: at this price point, it is quite rare.
Now let’s move on to the software step. The Realme 8 runs on Realme UI, an Android ROM that we have come to know with the Realme 8 Pro. A ROM that we have also come to know with Oppo smartphones, since Realme UI is, to a very large extent, a ColorOS clone. Remember that the Realme brand, independent of course, is part of the Oppo group with which it shares some technologies, including ROM.
Concretely, Realme UI offers a relatively classic Android interface in its navigation (home screen, Google Discovery screen, application drawer, notifications and quick settings pane, multitasking menu, etc.). You will also find a nice range of Google applications, including the Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, etc.
Here Realme UI is offered in version 2.0. It is based on Android 11. This means that you benefit from all the new features (security, customization, visual comfort, etc.) of Android 11 and certain ergonomic and functional additions developed by Oppo for ColorOS. Some system tools are taken directly from it: Photo, Camera, Phone manager, Games room, File manager, Videos, Clone Phone, etc.
Only one third-party app is preinstalled in the phone. It is Facebook. This is extremely reasonable. And we can only praise this marketing sobriety. But, as long as we do, we might as well go through with it. Some users do not have a Facebook account. So, why impose the application on consumers? Come on, next step: more third-party apps.
The interface is easy to learn. It offers a nice range of customization options, although there are fewer of them than on the Find X3 Neo and Realme 8 Pro. Realme UI is relatively nice and smooth. The experience is therefore rather positive, even if it does not have a “little extra” that would allow it to stand out from the competition (especially Oppo).
Let’s move on to the “performance” step of this test. Let us first recall the platform that powers Realme 8. It is an octo-core SoC Helio G95, a component engraved in 12 nm. Its two powerful cores are clocked at 2.05 GHz and its six less powerful cores at 2 GHz. It is equipped with 6 GB RAM in all versions offered in France.
What are the results ? They are less charming than those of the Realme 8 Pro, of course. The smartphone never exceeds 360,000 points with AnTuTu. It is a score that seems very honorable, especially against the 290,000 points of the Realme 8 Pro. Be aware, however, that the testing protocol has evolved recently, with a significant increase in scores. It will therefore be difficult for us to make an objective comparison with this benchmark.
With other tests, we get results more in line with our expectations. It is slightly worse than with the Realme 8 Pro. It’s very close to Galaxy A52 5G. And it’s worse than the Redmi Note 10. 3320 points with Slingshot. 2640 points with Slingshot Extreme. Almost 1,500 points with WildLife. 10,000 points with PC Mark. 531 points with Geekbench in single-core. The platform is therefore sufficient for everyday use.
For gamers, the power is clearly not enough to indulge in your favorite hobbies, especially if you like 3D environments and unbridled action. We are thinking in particular of Dead cells and Genshin Impact who have served us as master stallion in recent months. Genshin Impact is positioned on medium graphics by default, but you shouldn’t hesitate to reduce the quality to make the game more fluid.
Under these conditions and by making some visual concessions, you can have fun with the Realme 8. Besides, the smartphone turns out to be quite good thanks to an excellent stability of the platform and a fairly good temperature control. This only increases a few degrees under pressure and very rarely reaches 40 °. In terms of stability, there is only only a few percent differences between the performances at the start of the game and those at the end of the game. We do not play with very beautiful graphics, but we do not lose in FPS!
Autonomy and recharging
This platform is stable. It doesn’t perform very well, but it doesn’t heat up much and it doesn’t consume that much. This bodes well for an excellent battery life score. Especially since the smartphone is equipped with a large battery of 5000 mAh, which is 500 mAh more than the battery of the Realme 8 Pro. A priori, autonomy should therefore be good. Better even than Realme 8 Pro. And this is surprisingly (and unfortunately) not the case.
The battery life is good, but no better than that of the Realme 8 Pro, especially in games. During the Wild Life Stress Test, the smartphone lost 6% battery in 20 minutes. That is 5 hours and 30 minutes of theoretical autonomy. In this same test, the Realme 8 Pro only lost 3%. This good autonomy “but not that much” is confirmed with Genshin Impact. In a quarter of an hour, the game makes you lose 4% battery to the smartphone with the default graphics and 6% battery power with graphics at their maximum (and with very pronounced slowdowns). That’s a little over three hours of battery life in the first case and one hour and forty minutes in the second case. Too bad.
Outside of video game uses, the Realme 8 offers an autonomy in the good average of the market. The smartphone can hold a day and a half quite easily, even two days if you do not use it often. This will obviously depend on your uses. The more series you stream, the harder it will be to reach the day and a half.
Now that we have experienced the battery draining, let’s talk about recharging. The 5000 mAh battery is compatible with fast charging 30 watts. And the smartphone is delivered with a compatible charger. This is perfect. Using the supplied accessories, you charge the smartphone from 0% to 100% in 64 minutes and 30 seconds very precisely (from the screen off). Or, 30 seconds less than the time indicated by the manufacturer. We reach the 58% in half an hour, 87% in 45 minutes and 98% in one hour. Once again, for the price, this is pretty good.
The audio experience offered by Realme 8 is average, not surprisingly. She’s not great. She’s not awful. We are delighted to find a 3.5mm jack port to take advantage of the very good wired headsets that we often have to abandon in favor of wireless solutions, such as the TWS headphones that all brands offer.
Note that Realme has launched with this smartphone a pair of headphones called Realme Buds Air 2. These are not fully supported by the operating system (although they are more so than with smartphones other than Oppo and Realme). You also need to save them in the application Realme Link to update them and change the control options.
In the box, you will logically find a pair of wired headphones, French law requires. However, our test unit did not have it. It is therefore impossible for us to confirm the quality of listening. We have of course tried other wired headsets. And, if you have a good audio accessory, the experience will be quite pleasant. Note that the smartphone includes sound optimization tools depending on the use: film, game, music.
It will not be as good with the mono speaker located on the lower edge. Firstly, because he is on his own to take on the heavy task of emitting sound. Secondly, because it is a small speaker, despite appearances. That means a lot of midrange, little bass, and plenty of highs. And sound that sizzles quickly if you turn up the volume above 50%.
On the sound side in video capture, you only have the main microphone which can easily be obstructed by an improperly positioned finger. We would have liked a third microphone in the back.
Last part of this test, photography. Let us first recall what is the nature of the elements present in this mobile. This is the same setup as the Realme 8 Pro, with one exception: the main sensor. The latter is a model 64 megapixels with lens opening at f / 1.8 and phase detection autofocus.
It captures photos in 16 megapixels by default. It is accompanied by a sensor 8 megapixels with ultra-wide-angle lens opening at f / 2.3 and two sensors 2 megapixels, the first for the macro and the second to calculate the distances. They are both associated with a lens opening at f / 2.4. At the front, you will find a webcam of 16 megapixels with lens opening at f / 2.5. Only one of the five sensors is equipped with autofocus.
Let’s move on to the result of our tests starting with the 64 megapixel sensor. The latter offers rather good results. Good balance between light and shadow areas. Bright, natural colors. Good contrasts. This is thanks to the good work of artificial intelligence and scene recognition. But, be careful, the details are too smooth: if you zoom in, you quickly lose dive.
To regain detail, you have the option of switching to 64 megapixel mode. This mode is accessible among the main modes (on the right of portrait). In this mode, the photo remains balanced, contrasting and colorful. The decrease in brightness is less pronounced here than with other smartphones (like the Find X3 Neo for example, tested recently). It’s good news. But it is offset by a gain in detail that does not necessarily meet our expectations. We thought we could zoom in more in the photo without losing quality.
At night, the situation is different. The 64-megapixel sensor drops significantly in quality. Little light. A sharp drop that drops considerably, as well as the contrast. However, we find color. Night mode partly improves this. It reveals some details and offers more brightness. But some details are marred by the abundant vagueness. And surprisingly, he sometimes has difficulty controlling the sources of light.
The main sensor is in charge of portraits, of course. In this exercise, he is quite convincing, with a good clipping of the subject, even if we find that he has a problem with light management: the subject is less bright than the outline. At night, the 64-megapixel sensor will have more difficulty focusing on the subject. But it still offers beautiful shots.
This 64 megapixel sensor is also responsible for zooms. The 2x and 5x reports are accessible via buttons in the photo interface. But you can go up to 10x with pinch-to-zoom. With the 2x zoom, you get acceptable shots, with light and good colors, but the loss of detail is accentuated here, of course. With the 5x zoom, it gets more complicated. And with the 10x zoom, it’s terrible. Obviously, these problems are accentuated when the sun goes down …
The wide-angle sensor is, unsurprisingly, less qualitative. We find practically the same problems as with the 8 megapixel sensor of the Realme 8 Pro. Less light. Less details. Less contrast. But photos that can be used during the day. Beware, as always, of distortions that are not always very well managed. At night, the problems deteriorate. And even the night mode, which improves some aspects, can not do much about it.
The 2-megapixel macro sensor is pretty bad, so to speak. The pictures are pixelated day and night. And they are regularly blurry. A little bit of wind, and presto, the photo is to be thrown away. We largely (very largely even) prefer to take close-up photos with the 64 megapixel camera, even if it means zooming in slightly.
Finally, let’s finish with the selfie sensor, perhaps the best of all, especially during the day. He then makes very beautiful self-portraits, with a lot of details, sharpness, contrast, light and beautiful colors. These qualities are exacerbated with portrait mode. Be careful, some beautification-related functions are enabled by default, but the settings are then rather discreet. At night, this is unfortunately less the case. Image processing smoothes out details too much, losing their naturalness. Too bad.
The Realme 8 offers a full experience and, often, qualitative. We found it to have many strengths throughout this test. In particular on its endurance, on the qualities of its selfie sensor and its main sensor, on the stability of its platform, on its very bright screen and on its interface, copied on ColorOS of course, but fluid and easy to use. .
We don’t forget the flaws. Performance that does not allow all uses. A screen with imprecise colorimetry. Two photo sensors very little useful and a third quality below expectations. A decent design, but which retains a lot of fingerprints. A sparkling audio experience. Here we find some of the shortcomings of the Realme 8 Pro. The family relationship is quite obvious.
Its price is an argument in its favor. Less than 200 euros for such a complete experience, it’s very encouraging. But this is not yet qualitative enough to shake up the cador of the year: the Redmi Note 10 that we tested in our columns. It offers an even better experience. However, the Realme 8 proves to us that the brand is capable of reaching out to Xiaomi in this field. And we can’t wait to see it.