Realme 8 review: Unbeatable for currently 170 euros
The Realm 8 Pro was able to convince across the board in our test report, especially for the offered price of around 265 euros. But that's not all, because the manufacturer has another affordable smartphone on offer, namely the cheaper brother, the Realme 8.
With this smartphone, Realme would like to make a statement in the entry-level class, because customers currently get a high-quality OLED panel, an ultra-wide-angle camera, a 170 mAh battery that can be quickly charged with up to 5.000 watts, NFC and a Helio G30 from MediaTek, which is already included in the Redmi Notes 10S did a very good job. Compared to Promodel, you have to make compromises on paper, mainly with the main camera. It only has a resolution of 64 instead of 108 megapixels and is also significantly smaller in terms of sensor size. In the following lines you can find out how the Realme 8 performed in everyday life and whether it can be recommended.
Jump to section
- 1 Haptics, design and processing
- 2 Display - above average for the price
- 3 Software - many personalizations thanks to the Realme UI
- 4 Performance - pleasantly fast and fluid
- 5 Battery - very good charging times, even better running times
- 6 Camera - reasonable for the price
- 7 Others - decent fingerprint sensor, solid speaker, and more
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 Buy Realme 8
Haptics, design and processing
With dimensions of 160,6 mm in height and 73,9 mm in width, the Realme 8 is by today's standards neither one of the larger nor one of the smaller smartphones. Added to this is the extremely comfortable weight of only 177 grams and the thickness of only 8 mm, which makes one-handed operation much easier. For such an inexpensive smartphone, the Realme 8 is very comfortable to hold, as the back flows smoothly into the matt plastic frame and it is not too sharp-edged.
The back is made of high-gloss plastic and is therefore prone to fingerprints, especially in the color I tested Cyber Black, which is characterized by the huge "DARE TO LEAP" lettering. Personally, I would have liked the back without the lettering, but depending on the incidence of light, it can hardly be seen and luckily Realme has the color Black Punk also a version without any lettering on offer. If you like it a little more colorful, you can too Cyber Silver grab, which in turn shows the slogan "DARE TO LEAP". At the top left, the manufacturer positions a quad camera that protrudes a little from the case, which means that the smartphone only wobbles very slightly when it is used on the table.
On the front we see a familiar picture of the entry-level class. The edges are nice and thin on three of four sides and the large display is only interrupted by a punch hole in which the front camera is housed.
In terms of workmanship, I can't complain for the low price. The Realme 8 makes a stable impression, the back doesn’t let out too much, like for example with the Little X3 NFC Press in, the keys are well made and have a solid pressure point. In addition, they are also very easy to reach with one hand on the right-hand side.
Display - above average for the price
The 6,4-inch OLED panel is actually a small specialty in this price range, since most manufacturers use cheaper LC displays for less than 200 euros, which weaken in particular in terms of the black value. It has a pleasantly sharp resolution of 2.400 × 1.080 pixels, which means that no individual pixels can be seen in everyday use. Of course, this smartphone does not have a higher refresh rate due to the low RRP. For example, the similarly expensive Poco M3 offers Pro a 90 Hertz refresh rate, but this only has an LC display installed, which in terms of quality cannot even begin to keep up with the OLED screen of the Realme 8.
Typical OLED colors are reproduced intensely, but sufficiently realistically, especially in the "Mild" color mode. The viewing angle stability is completely okay and you can also be more than satisfied with the maximum brightness. The panel can still be read sufficiently well even in direct sunlight. For less than 200 euros, this is an above-average display.
Software - many personalizations thanks to the Realme UI
The in-house user interface Realme UI, based on Android 11, is used as software. It's quite colorful and, for my taste, a bit confusing in some places, especially the settings. But there are some things that can be adjusted to suit your own taste. For example, you can change the colors of the UI, the icon style of the apps or the animation when unlocking via the fingerprint sensor. In addition, Realme integrates the popular Google Discover feed on the left side of the home screen and of course there is also an app drawer.
As additional functions, the user can, for example, configure the icons of the apps, change the navigation and there are screen-off gestures (gestures for the switched-off display). Furthermore, the device can be woken up by tapping twice on the switched-off display and switched off again by tapping twice on a free space. How do I find a very useful and practical feature that I used very often in everyday life. However, I would like to see a quick start function for starting the camera in the future.
Fortunately, Realme pre-installs very little bloatware with Facebook and TikTok. Both apps can even be uninstalled.
Performance - pleasantly fast and fluid
The MediaTek Helio G95 works under the hood, which is supported by either 4 or 6 GB of RAM. Depending on the version, there is also 64 or 128 GB of internal memory procan easily be expanded via a microSD card. In addition, the smartphone can be used in dual SIM mode, and it is important to mention that two SIM cards can still be inserted when expanding the memory via a microSD card. So you don't have to choose between dual SIM and memory expansion. Kudos to Realme.
The everyday performance is very good. Apps start and close pleasantly quickly and major stuttering or delays were very rare in my test period. In contrast to Samsung or Xiaomi, animations run much more smoothly with gesture control, which is a big advantage of the in-house Realme UI. The smartphone only reaches its limits with very intensive use, which is completely normal in this price range.
Despite the decent 6 GB of RAM, I would have expected a little more from the RAM management. Apps close in the background quite quickly, but considering the price, I don't want to complain too much.
Battery - very good charging times, even better running times
The 5.000 mAh battery inside ensures extremely long runtimes, which can be fully charged in around 30 minutes using the 70 watt power supply provided, which is a good value.
However, the runtimes are even better. I always came protrouble-free through a day and even 1,5 to 2 days were almost always possible. At the end of the day, with a screen-on-time of 5 to 6 hours, I usually still had 45 to 55 Procent battery left, which are really strong values. Even heavy users shouldn't use the Realme 8 Prohave trouble getting through a day without a charge.
Camera - reasonable for the price
Realme installed a quad camera on the back, consisting of a 64 megapixel main camera with a bright aperture of f / 1.79, an 8 megapixel ultra wide-angle camera and two additional sensors with 2 megapixels each, which are responsible for macro shots and depth effects. The front camera has a resolution of 16 megapixels.
Starting with the main camera, which delivers very useful results, especially in view of the low price. The dynamic range in particular is convincing across the board and the sharpness is also okay, although for my taste it is again sharpened too artificially, which I already did with the Realm 7 5G, the 8th Pro and also that GT was noticed negatively. Colors, especially green tones, are rendered a little too vividly every now and then, but that is still completely okay. The recordings tend to be unusable in poor lighting conditions, which is normal in this price range. The images are mostly lacking in brightness, although the night mode brings a few improvements. I see a Poco X3 NFC a little further ahead at Lowlight, but other smartphones in this price range, such as this one Little M3, OnePlus Nord N100, Redmi Notes 10S or Redmi 9 are not really better, sometimes even a little worse. So I'm quite happy with the main camera.
The ultra-wide-angle camera performs visibly worse. Even if significantly more can be captured and I find it extremely commendable for less than 200 euros that there is one on board at all, the recordings are unfortunately not really convincing. Even in very good lighting conditions, some details are lost and there is a lot of noise at the edges. But honestly, what do you expect in this price range. Even the Realme 8 Pro or the much more expensive one I live V21 5G do not take significantly better pictures with the ultra-wide-angle camera.
As with all smartphones in this price range, the macro camera is completely unusable. Even in good lighting conditions, recordings are far too blurry and quickly start to rustle. I recommend using the main camera for macro photos. With the front camera, you can take quite decent selfies.
Let's take a look at a few test photos. As always, the following images are absolutely unprocessed, but compressed without loss in order to keep loading times and memory consumption of the website low.
Comparison with the Poco X3 NFC and Redmi 9
Last but not least, we want to compare the cameras with similarly expensive competitors in different situations. For this I decided on the one hand for the Poco X3 NFC and on the other hand for the Redmi 9.
Overall, the Poco X3 NFC does the best. Both the main and the ultra-wide-angle camera convince with great sharpness and the best lowlight performance. Realme can't quite keep up with color reproduction and sharpness, but scores with a great dynamic range. In my opinion, the Redmi 9 delivers the most natural colors, but cannot keep up with other smartphones in terms of dynamic range, sharpness and low-light performance.
Others - decent fingerprint sensor, solid speaker, and more
Physical fingerprint sensors on the back or in the frame are actually common in this price range, but Realme decided to integrate an optical fingerprint sensor into the display. This sits a little too far down for my taste and could unlock the device a little faster, but it is quite reliable.
The mono speaker on the bottom sounds decent, but it has to admit defeat to the stereo speakers from Xiaomi. Current Xiaomi smartphones also do a better job in this price range with the vibration motor. Last but not least, I would like to mention that the Realme 8 has a 3,5 mm jack connector, which can be used to connect wired headphones with a jack plug.
The Realme 8 is an all-round successful smartphone for less than 200 euros, which does not allow itself any major weaknesses for this price. Especially the display and the battery life are at an extremely high level and there is also a decent performance, a solid loudspeaker and great software with a number of personalizations. The cameras are nothing special, but that's completely normal in this price range and the cameras of the Realme 8 are definitely sufficient for one or the other photo.
For currently 170 euros, I can recommend the smartphone across the board, since there is hardly any other smartphone in this price range with such a good overall package. However, if you want to and are able to spend a little more, you should definitely get the Poco X3 NFC and X3 Pro take a closer look. Although these cannot keep up with the display, they score with better cameras and in the case of the X3 Pro even with a stronger one Proprocessor.
We would like to thank Realme Germany for providing the Realme 8!