Realme 8 test: a slightly myopic mid-range

Our opinion on the smartphone Realme 8

The smartphones are an integral part of everyday life, almost everyone has them. But it's not easy to find the best quality / price ratio. It is therefore often necessary to start with rising brands, which innovate and keep prices tight to reach their core target. And this is the case with Realme, which we have already presented to you via the tests of the Realm 7, X3 superzoom and Realme watch.

The brand launched its new 8 series dedicated to the mid-range and the Realm 8 is the standard for this 2021 novelty. On paper, this Smartphone will combine convincing features for a sweet price. It embeds a 5000 mAh battery, quadruple photo lenses including one with 64 Mpx, 6 GB of RAM, 64 to 128 GB of memory, real dual SIM, expandable memory… between 199 and 249 €!

Realme 8: unboxing and getting started

The Chinese brand, which is part of the group BBK Electronics who also owns the brands Oppo, OnePlus, was created on May 4th, on the day of "National youth day". Realme targets above all young people by offering them innovative products and affordable so that they can enjoy smartefficient phones without breaking the bank. The slogan of the brand, which has experienced the strongest growth in 2020, is "Dare to Leap" or "Dare to take the plunge". Let's see if we should skip it with this new product.

Le Realm 8 comes in the brand's own orange-yellow box. It is very sober: an "8", the mark and that's it.

On the back, you have some remarkable features and manufacturer information. So we go to the essential.

The type of conditioning always remains the same, but we do not change something that works because we must admit that the smartphone is very well protected.

The Realme 8 is placed under a yellow cardboard "case" which includes:

  • The age-old warranty, start-up and safety guides,
  • A transparent silicone case which will protect your device while keeping it visible and small tool to open the SIM holder drawer.

At the bottom of the box, under the R8, you will find a mains charger and a usb-c cable for fast charging. The brand does not offer a simple charger but « Dart Charge », that is to say an ultra fast charge thanks to this block 30W, 5AV, 6A. In 26 min, you will have 50% charge and 100% in 65 min! So you are not ready to be dry!

Le Realm 8 is a phone with a fairly standard design in the market. We tested the version Cyber ​​Silver (there are also some in Cyber ​​black. The first impression is nevertheless very good. The brand does not use low-end materials. We are on quality products with excellent workmanship. Its size is also in the average of the products of the market with 16,1 cm long by 7,4 wide. On the other hand, it is quite thin with barely 8 mm. But if you add the photo sensors, you get to 1 cm, 177 grams.

The front panel has a 16 MPX front sensor. The ratio of the screen to the total surface is 90,8% what makes you a 20 inch 9: 6,4 screen (Approx. 16,3 cm). Level of solidity, Realme has opted for Gorilla® Glass 2.5D from Corning ®. It looks a lot like the Realm 7. The edge is made of a relatively solid metallized material.

Where the brand has made a divisive choice is for the rear. The plastic shell is always treated in such a way as to give it a metallic and iridescent appearance. This is still the case here but the brand's slogan « Give to Leap » is registered wholesale on one of the sides. And that, like it or not. Apple puts its apple everywhere, why not a slogan? But hey, we're moderately fans. Why not have allowed some kind of customization? Choose us even a message for example? Or nothing at all? Short, bad taste or not, it depends on each one.

You also have on the back 4 photo sensors 2 mm higher than the rest of the device. So be careful if you do not use a shell because they can very easily be scratched or at least wear directly on the surface where the phone is placed..

The brand had already accustomed us to this with its others smartphones, but that's always a pleasure: here we have a real dual SIM phone! That is to say 2 nano-SIM cards AND a micro-SD card (therefore expandable memory). This changes hybrid dual-SIMs where you will have to choose between sacrificing one of the cards to expand the memory or sacrificing the memory to have a second number ...

On the right edge, you will find 2 buttons:

  • A double button volume + and -.
  • The button On Off.

It is also possible toactivate your phone by lifting it and unlock it by facial recognition or fingerprint. Facial recognition works very well, with or without glasses and in acceptable light. The papillary recognition will be done by placing your finger on the bottom of the screen. Really practical and responsive, you can even come and modify the animations of the reading area to personalize your smartphone.

On the underside you have a 3,5mm jack and USB-C plug There are also the outputs of the phone's unique "external" speaker.

Regarding the operating system, we are entitled to Realme UI version 2.0, very close to see identical to ColorOS V11 that you have on the Reno4 5G. You will also have the right to Android 11 Red Velvet Cake! In use, the home overlay does not take precedence over the Android Stock but allows a very simple customization (more than 1000 possibilities) like putting Alexa by default voice assistant, change the animations but also do a lot more in terms of app management. We find ourselves very easily in the different parameters and it has the merit of being very light.

On the other hand, by default at the level of the quick launch bar, you have Yandex, the Russian search engine. Quite particular choice because searches will be in Russian. Fortunately, Google is also available. And it is besides Google Assistant which is the basic voice assistant of the phone and not Alice, Yandex voice assistant. The name looks a bit like that ofAmazon, no ? You can therefore do without this extension.

When using for the first time, you will be asked for your Google credentials in order to automatically configure Google Play, Gmail and other company applications. There are a few preinstalled apps from Realme and Google but with 128 Go of memory, you will be able to please yourself. In use, it is fluid and pleasant. The screen reacts well, precise and sensitive. Especially since it is a very good screen.

The Realme 8 has a 5000 mAh battery. With the Dart Charge, hours of fun lie ahead! Such a capacity makes it possible to hold 40 days with the phone on standby. You will be able listen to streaming music for 98h, play for 10h, watch 23h of video (you can make yourself the total of Big Little Lies and still have some juice) or make a call for 43 hours ! During our tests (video, game, call, surfing, photos…), these times could be confirmed.

In terms of connectivity, no change with the R7, we remain on the basic: 4G, WiFi 5, dual band, Bluetooth 5.1 et NFC. A 5G version is announced today. No Wi-Fi 6.

Basic features:

  • Dimensions: 16,06 x 7,39 x 0,799 cm for 177 grams,
  • Screen: 20: 9, 6,4 ″
  • Robustness : Gorilla® Glass 2.5D
  • Water resistance: No info.
  • Memory : 64 or 128 GB internally, 6 GB RAM. Possibility to put a micro SDXC.
  • SIM card : dual nano SIM
  • Operating system : Android 11
  • Drums : 5000 mAh, USB C charging, 30W, 5V, 6A
  • Réseaux: 2G, 3G and 4G
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5 (2,4 and 5 GHz)
  • GPS: GPS / AGPS? Beidou? Glonass
  • Other: NFC,Bluetooth 5.1
  • Fingerprint sensor: yes, thumb on the screen
  • Facial recognition: Yes

You have surely noticed that there are 2 different memory capacities. Indeed, there is a version at 199 € and another around 249 €. The only difference will be storage capacity (64 or 128 GB), the other characteristics will be the same. But for 50 € more, we advise you to go on the most punchy from the start.

Once again, Realme sells dreams with the configuration in relation to the price: memory, real dual SIM, substantial autonomy, papillary and facial recognition ... Even if its design is not original, its standard materials but good quality, we were seduced by this first grip. It is indeed pleasant to use, responsive and well proportioned. The fingerprint sensor works very well. The rather significant personalization is also a big strong point.

Realme 8: the sound

Let's see what the Realm 8 noise level. True to its principles, the brand has designed it to appealing to as many people as possible and being versatile. It will thus support a large number of formats. Note that it does not have preinstalled software processing like some brands (SONY and its DSEE for example). You have the android audio player and integrated equalizers, but also and especially those of your streaming applications. No home listening app either, because since most people only listen to streaming, we can understand that the brand does not waste time with home reading that will not serve. This seems to be the policy of BBK because it is the same on Oppo.

Even if this smartphone is in the mid-range segment, it is very well equipped for audio processing. It will therefore support very basic lossy formats (lossy, like PM3, AAC, etc.) and lossless ones like FLAC, APE or WAV. And for this to be complete, it is necessary that Bluetooth follows behind. Indeed, except if you listen to music with a wired headset, the BT must also support Hi-Res codes. And again, very pleasant surprise, it also supports codecs Hi-Res Wireless like LDAC or APTX HD. And that is great!

We tested it with devices supporting BlueTooth Hi-Res audio Wireless like the Sony WH-1000XM4 but also with more accessible devices such as Tronsmart Apollo Bold (Aprt X only) and one in between with the Jabra Elite 75t. And really, the rendering is excellent. You will be able to really indulge yourself as long as you also have a streaming provider that manages Ultra-HD like Amazon Music for example. We move on to 24 bit / 48KHz (while the input is 24 bit / 96 KHz)

It is also equipped with an "external" speaker allowing sound to be broadcast through the lower edge of the telephone. It is quite good but will quickly saturate and distort the sounds. On the other hand, at moderate volume, you will be able to listen to music or watch a movie without problem.

At the communication level, the rendering will depend greatly on the network but also on the telephone of your interlocutor. But frankly, no complaints. Its clear, very distinct and very good understanding from the person at the end.

Audio specifications

  • High resolution : Yes. High-resolution audio and high-resolution wireless audio.
  • Supported formats: AAC (basic lossless format successor to MP3) / APE (lossless format from WAVE) / FLAC (free lossless format, used for HD streaming, 2001) / AMR (rather dedicated to speech) / MID (or MIDI) / MP3 / OGG (free compression format) / WAV (Microsoft / IBM format) / WMA (Microsoft format) / MKA (free)
  • Bluetooth audio formats: SBC (For lossy format), AAC (For lossy format), APTX, APTX HD (used for listening to HD music in Bluetooth without losing quality), LDAC (SONY format used for listening to HD music in Bluetooth without quality loss)
  • Various: 3,5mm audio jack

Realme 8: gaming and video playback

The two being inseparable, we are dealing with these two subjects at the same time. They each require a good screen and clear, stable colors.

Let's start with the gaming part. The Realme 8 will carry the same SoC as the Realme 7. And since the performance and characteristics of a device largely depend on the SoC, this explains why we have very close phones (too much ?). It embeds the MediaTek helio G95 SoC. The latter is a Octo-core processor with 2 Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2,05 GHz and 6 Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 2,0 GHz. The firm uses it to the maximum for the management of its screen, but the latter still has some under the elbow for RAM and storage. It is a "System on a Chip (SoC)" which is a very good mid-range. It also embeds a graphics processor ARM Mali G76 MC4.

The very size of the screen will allow you to immerse yourself in games but also in your videos. It's a 20: 9 format, Much wider than 16: 9 and allowing greater peripheral vision while gaming. In this case, Realme has given its phone a better screen quality than the R7. We are on a screen Super AMOLED FHD +, so 2400 x 1080, 16,7 million colors. This type of screen developed by SAMSUNG allows even greater contrasts and clearer brightness than AMOLED and this while consuming much less. Hence the differences in autonomy between the R7 and the R8 while the battery is the same. The brand does not communicate on the frequency of its screen but this is quite suitable for streaming video playback. The slab allows a very good color management, dark deep and colors present. The gradients are also very well managed (no halo or blur phenomenon). The contrast ratio is very good and the brightness, with 1000 nits at most (1000 candles or candelas per m²), is excellent. The image is really very clear, the FHD + does wonders.

Regarding the game, you can run gourmet titles without any particular problem like Call of Duty Mobile or Asphalt 9. Realme thought about gaming from the start not only with its Helio G95 processor but also thanks to a touch response rate of 180 Hz, which is very good if you play shooting games that require you to touch your screen all the time. For the Asphalt car game, no particular problem, even with full settings. No latency, the games are fluids with very good image quality and good responsiveness despite 6 GB of RAM.

On the fact, the Realme 8 is therefore quite suitable for video playback and games. It is even thought of for this from the start. Combine that with a sound of a very good level and as much to say that you are going to enjoy it!

Of course, for surfing the Internet, managing several applications at the same time or juggling multiple windows will not pose any problem.

Video specifications

  • Processor : SoC MediaTek helio G95
  • High-resolution video: Yes. Super AMLOED FHD + 2400 x 1080 display.
  • frequency: Refresh rate not communicated, 180Hz touch scan rate
  • Supported image formats: JPG / BMP / PNG / GIF / HEIC
  • Supported video formats: avi/mp4/3gp/3g2/3gpp/3gpp2/m4v/flv/f4v/webm//wmv/asf/mov/qt/ts/m2ts/mts/mkv

Realme 8: photo and video capture

For the moment, it is a full box for this Realme 8, but you will see that the photo management will lessen our enthusiasm a little… On paper, everything is however idyllic.

By turning the R8 over, you see that it has been fitted with 4 photographic sensors:

  • A main sensor of 64 MPX, 6 lenses, aperture F / 1,79. Allow around 20 MB per photo.

64 MPX mode does the best. But no zoom possible. The aperture allows for bright and fairly crisp photos. On the other hand, if you use the standard world (the most used) you will quickly be disillusioned. The photos all, or almost, have a blur in the detailslike brush strokes, and not just around the edges. When you watch them on PC, it's blatant. The colors are also either saturated or desaturated.

What if want to use the zoom? Forget. Even if it has a digital zoom x 10, it is unusable or almost. Look for example at this photo of sheep with a zoom x2. Nothing is clear.

Another example ? Zoom x 1, x2, x 5 and x10. The x2 is the maximum. We used the most usable photos for this montage.

  • A captor ultra wide angle 119 ° 8 MP, 5 lenses, F / 2.25 aperture. Big problem with this sensor which is worthy of a Fish Eye or almost. The following photo speaks for itself, nothing is right.
  • A captor Black and White 2 Mpx, F / 2.4 aperture,
  • A captor macro of 2 Mpx, aperture F / 2.4. Maximum precision at 4 cm. He is really not at the point either so much he is almost impossible to have a clear photo.

Le HDR is also taken into account, but this is now part of the norm. The system is also equipped with an "IA" which will detect the subject or the scene you are photographing in order to adapt the aperture and the parameters accordingly. No dedicated photo application but notable evolutions of Android functions. You will have the expert mode that we find on many current products where you will come to play with the ISO, the color of the whites, the brightness, the opening time ... There is also a night mode that does not work a miracle although it makes the images sharper and clearer than normal mode, they are still a bit blurry. Indeed, in low light, it is not all level.

With night mode:

Without night mode:

Without night mode

On the other hand, starry night mode is awesome. It is in fact to leave the phone in place for 4min30 pause time in order to photograph the sky. And the result is excellent.

If you are a fan of selfies, you can take a portrait with the 16 Mpx SONY front sensor, f. / 2.45! There are of course the portrait, beauty and whatever it takes to make you look a little more attractive.

We may be a little rough with Realme 8 but it is clear that the brand has accustomed us to better, much better. People wishing a Smartphone that can replace a basic camera will pass their way. But it can satisfy those who are just looking to take pictures on the fly.

Photo features

  • Focus: Auto-Focus PDAF type. It is a passive auto-focus with phase detection.
  • Others: photo flash, lighting, technology HDR (high dynamic range), night mode, panorama, bokeh, tilt shift ...
  • Zooms: digital zoom x 10
  • Photo formats: JPEG, DNG

The video part will partly suffer from the same observations. The operation remains the same as for the photo function. You will even be able to film in 4K! However, here too, low light levels are not welcome. Do not take a video below 1080p because you will quickly be disappointed with the result in 720. This is the sine qua non for having a minimum of sharpness. Under normal conditions, 4K videos will be crisp, with well-balanced and well-rendered colors. You can also zoom in and enable HDR if you want. In the settings you can choose what you want: 4K, FHD or HD, number of frames per second (30 or 60).

Do you like slow motion? Perfect ! The Realme 8 allows you to capture footage in FHD or HD at 120 or 240 IPS!

We are therefore also there on a function versatile : on-the-fly video or more elaborate, more staged video… The brand gives you the possibility of using the basic functions or, on the contrary, of adapting them to your needs. You also have a fairly effective stabilization system.

Video specifications

Realme 8: our video test

To get a more concrete idea of ​​realme 7, take a look at our video. Subscribe to our channel and like, it's always nice!

An introductory offer is proposed until April 30, 2021 at Cdiscount with a immediate discount of 20 € or a purchase price of 229.00€

To conclude on this test of realme 8, we are on a halftone conclusion. This smartphone is simply excellent for video, music, streaming and everyday use with its Super AMOLED screen, SoC dedicated to gaming, its sound quality Hi-Res Audio Wireless. It is bluffing for the management of greedy games and you will be in heaven with a superb sound (if you have in addition the adequate equipment) coupled to its screen immersing you completely in movies and games. For 250 € maximum, that would be an exceptional quality / price ratio… Would only be… Because the management of photography greatly spoils the whole. We are really disappointed with what Realme is providing us. We have been used to so much better ... Really better. The photos are not very clear, the wide angle gives a fish eye effect and the macro is almost unusable. But if it only concerns a software aspect, the brand will correct the situation very quickly and there, we will be on the heavy side.
Did i choose Alexa or did she choose me? Let's say that as a beta tester, it's a bit of both! And I do not regret having met our favorite assistant nor this adventure undertaken with Alexien Modo. Technophile, self-taught and loving popularization, I try to make our common passion easy to access!