Realme 8i test: one smartentry-level phone that knows how to impose

Our opinion on the smartphone Realme 8i

Realme 8i

realme 8i Cell Phone, SmartUnlocked phone and MediaTeK Helio G96 processor, 6.6 "Ultra smooth 120 Hz screen, Massive 5000mAh battery, 50 MP triple IA camera, NFC, 4 + 128GB, Purple

Price on: July 6, 2022 9 h 42 min

We no longer present to you Realme, 5th brand of smartbest-selling phones in Europe, with 1800% annual growth. In the bosom of BBK Electronics, Realme, created in 2018, targets the teen and young adult market with innovative and affordable products. After the Realm 8 and the 8 Pro, here is the entry-level variation of this series, the Realme 8i.

Entry level (sold between 199 and 219 €) does not mean at a discount. Indeed, the 8i offers many of the characteristics of its big brother, the 8, but with concessions when necessary: ​​a 5000 mAh battery, triple photo lenses including one at 50 MPX, 4 to 6 GB of RAM, 64 to 128 GB of memory, true dual SIM, expandable memory… and a 120 Hz screen! Will he win?

Realme 8i: one smartcheap phone

Unboxing and getting started

Le Realme 8i comes in the brand's famous orange-yellow packaging. As usual, it is very sober: an “8i” and the brand. There is still the logo on the top, just to add a bit of madness. Basically, you will have the essential characteristics such as processor, battery, fast charging, 120 Hz for the screen… and of course, more specific information for IMEI, S / N….

Inside, you will find a yellow cardboard "case" which includes:

  • The warranty, start-up and safety guides that no one reads,
  • A transparent silicone case which will protect your device while keeping the superb back cover visible (very useful, we will see it later) and small tool to open the SIM holder drawer.

And always in the same place, under the Smartphone, you will discover the mains charger and a USB-C cable for fast charging. We are no longer on the Dart Charge version 8 which allowed everything to be loaded in barely an hour, however. In the case of the 8i, the 18W charger will allow a full charge in 1h30 to 2h (depending on the initial load). It is still not catastrophic either.

Let's take the beast in hand. We immediately see that it looks like two drops of water to its predecessors and is therefore very standard. He does 164,1 x 75,5 x 8,5 mm for a weight of 196 grams. It is therefore a bit bigger and heavier than the others. The general shape is however identical and we find the front photo sensor in the form of a punch at the top left of the screen. Note that the brand has taken care to protect the latter from the start with a protective glass.

The ratio of the screen to the total surface is 84,6% what makes you a 20 inch 9: 6,6 screen (Approx. 104 cm²). If it's like Realme 8, we're sure Gorilla® Glass 2.5D from Corning ®.

We tested the version Space Purple (there is also in Space Black), which looks really great. The color of the back shell is really deep and shiny. It gives really very well but be careful, it takes fingerprints very very easily, making impossible to keep a clean phone. Hence the usefulness of the silicone case provided.

The materials are plastic (slice included) of very good quality. No finishing problem was observed.

You can see on the back 3 photo sensors 1 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.. We will come back to these sensors later in the test.

And as usual with Realme, here we have a real dual SIM phone! That is to say 2 nano-SIM cards AND a micro-SD card (128 GB mac in microSDXC). Really well seen!

On the left edge, you will find the volume plus and minus buttons. While the on / off button will be on the right.

The on-off button also serves as a papillary impression sensor. It is really very responsive and recognition is almost immediate, unlike the Realme 8 Pro is its on-screen sensor. It's a personal choice, but we find the sensors on the edge much easier to use than those on the front. However, usage shows us that when the volume buttons are on the opposite side, unwanted screenshots are legion. Of course, it is also possible to unlock the 8i by facial recognition and password. Facial recognition works very well, with or without glasses and in acceptable light.

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.

Despite its entry-level market, the Realme 8i embeds Android 11 Red Velvet Cake and version 2.0 of Realme UI, very close to see identical to ColorOS V11 that you have on the Reno4 5G. Very similar to Android Stock, the realme overlay allows you to customize your phone as you wish. to put 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.

As with all the brand's products (test version?), You have three search engines: Yandex, the Russian search engine, @ MAIL.ru (very popular web portal in Russia) and Google is also available. As soon as you launch a first quick search on the quick bar, you will have to select your default engine. Fortunately, GA is the phone's basic voice assistant. and not Alice, Yandex's voice assistant. But you can of course associate with it Alexa by default voice assistant.

When you use it for the first time, you will be asked for your Google credentials in order to automatically configure Gmail and other company applications. There are a few apps preinstalled from Realme and Google. In use, navigation is fluid, without latency ... Perfect.

Realme has equipped the 8i with a battery Li-Po (polymerized form of lithium, and non-ionic, stronger and safer) of 5000 mAh. On a daily basis, you can use up to 2 days with standard use (surfing, games, music, etc.) and almost a day if you listen to music (20 p.m.), watch videos (around 15 p.m.) ... However, in Thu, it's about 8 a.m.

In terms of connectivity, no change with the R8, we remain on the basic: 4G, WiFi 5, dual band, Bluetooth 5.1 et NFC. But for this price, you can't ask for more.

Technical specifications

  • Dimensions : 164,1? 75,5? 8,5 mm for a weight of 196 grams
  • Screen : 20: 9, 6,6 ″
  • Robustness : Gorilla® Glass 2.5D
  • Water resistance : No info.
  • Memo : 64 or 128 GB internally, 4GB of RAM. Possibility to put a micro SDXC of 128 GB. There is a 6 + 128 GB version, that of this test, which can be found on some websites.
  • SIM card : dual nano SIM
  • Operating system : Android 11
  • Battery : 5000 mAh, USB C charging, 18W, 5V, 2A
  • Networks : 2G, 3G and 4G
  • Connectivity : Wi-Fi 5 (2,4 and 5 GHz)
  • GPS : A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS
  • Other : NFC, Bluetooth 5.1
  • Fingerprint sensor : yes, on the edge
  • Facial Recognition : Yes

This phone is available with 4 GB of RAM. There are then two versions: 64 GB (199 €) and 128 GB (219 €). The tested version, model RMX3151, is a special version of 6 + 128 GB. It is possible to find it on the internet from time to time. But this 8i has a really very interesting specificity: the Swap memory. This function will allow you to virtually allocate part of the ROM memory (therefore among the 64 or 128) to increase the RAM up to 5 GB. You can therefore transform the 4 GB of RAM into a virtual 9 GB. Very interesting for having a phone that is even smoother when it comes to multitasking or gaming (even if in this case, the processor will remain the limiting factor).

 

One thing is certain, even for a Smartphone at around 200 €, the characteristics are quite good: real dual SIM, an interesting autonomy, papillary and facial recognition… Even if the 4 GB are a little weak, the problem can be circumvented.

Even though his design is very cushy, and its constituents standard quality, the brand has nevertheless decided to provide it with the functions found on mid-range phones and little on entry-level. It is a good choice which will be verified on the more specific characteristics in terms of sound, image and photo / video.

Realme 8i: the sound

As Realme targets a young audience, the brand can't really miss the sound. Thus, the 8i will, like the 8, support most of the known codecs, both in standard definition and in Hi-Res audio. Note that it does not have preinstalled software processing like some brands (SONY and its DSEE for example). You have at your disposal an audio player without any possibility of adjustment. You will therefore go through your streaming applications.

 

Hold on tight, because for an entry-level, it supports, in addition to lossy formats (lossy, like MP3, AAC ...) and lossless ones (lossless) like FLAC, APE or WAV, the Dollby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio !

Supported Bluetooth codecs, to listen to everything with suitable equipment, are both basic formats but also codecs Hi-Res Wireless like LDAC or APTX HD. And that is great! AND if you have a 360 Reality Audio headset like the Sony WH1000XM4… It’s amazing! You can of course on more accessible headsets or headphones that support Hi-Res such as Jabra Elite 75t. You will be able to really indulge yourself as long as you also have a streaming provider supporting Ultra-HD, Dolby Atmos and 360 as Amazon Music for example. We move on to 24 bit / 48KHz (while the input is 24 bit / 96 KHz) but also, as announced in 360 and in Atmos.

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 become nasal. On the other hand, at moderate volume, you can listen to music or watch a movie without any 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 features

  • High resolution : Yes. High-resolution audio and high-resolution wireless audio.
  • Supported formats : AAC (basic format with loss successor to MP3) / APE (WAVE lossless format) / 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) / 360 Reality Audio et Dolby Atmos
  • Bluetooth audio formats : SBC (For lossy format), AAC (For lossy format), APTX, APTX HD (used for listening to HD music in Bluetooth without loss of quality), APTX Adaptive and APTX TWS + (True Wireless Stereo+), LDAC (SONY format used for listening to HD music in Bluetooth without loss of quality)
  • Diverse : 3,5 mm audio jack

Realme 8i: gaming and video playback

As always, we treat video and video games in the same chapter because the two are closely linked.

At the general level, the R8i is equipped with a 6,6 '', 20: 9 aspect ratio, much wider than a 16: 9 and allowing a more important peripheral vision during the gaming and a more interesting video rendering. Be careful, however, because the screen ratio is only 84,6%, the 6,6 '' are therefore theoretical. However, to keep the price tight, farewell to the Super Amoled of the 8 and 8 pro, but back to a IPS LCD display of much lower quality. But to overcome this, Realme has opted for a refresh rate of 120 Hz. It's one of the few phones in this price range to offer it, if not the only one. This frequency is either adaptive by varying between 60 and 120 Hz as needed or you manually choose the desired frequency, but there are only 2 choices: 60 or 120 Hz. It supports Full HD with 1080 x 2412 px and 400 ppi. Of course, an LCD panel is in fact darker than an Amoled panel but the 120 Hz give it a little boost and make it do pretty well. The contrast ratio is correct, the colors quite good and nuanced but the brightness remains quite low (limited to 600 nits max (420 on average)). It is a very good LCD screen. The image is very clear and pleasant to watch. No halo or gradient during color transitions, it works quite well. Even if there is better… but more expensive.

For gaming, Realme has equipped it with the latest entry-level SoC, the MediaTek helio G96. 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. Good idea because it is the latter which allows a frequency of 120 Hz, but also photo sensors of over 50 MPX. The tactile response is 180Hz, so fine. It also embeds a graphics processor ARM Mali 57 MC2. And this is where the shoe pinches because the latter, less powerful than for the 8, will be the limiting factor in terms of the game. Even if you can run the latest titles which are quite resource-intensive, watch out for micro-freezes. It doesn't really interfere with the immersion as it is limited. However, for FPS games, this can be problematic quite quickly because it is necessary to be very responsive. You can allocate additional RAM to it with swap memory, but the GPU remains the same ... For more sober games, it is very fluid and the tactile and gyroscopic responses are very good.

In the end, even if we are on the entry-level, it does not have to be ashamed of its performance. Its screen is certainly limited but the refresh rate allows him to come out honorably. For the game, very good as long as you don't push it to its limits.

Video specifications

  • Processor : SoC MediaTek helio G96
  • High-resolution video : Yes. 120 Hz 1080 x 2412 px PIS LCD screen. IPS means that you will have a crisp and clear picture even when looking at the screen from the side.
  • Frequency : Update rate not communicated, touch scan rate 180 Hz
  • 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 8i: photo and video capture

We saw at the start of this test that the realme 8i has 3 photographic sensors. The 4th location, bottom right, is actually the flash. Hopefully they are of better quality than those of the 8.
We have :

 

  • A main sensor of 50 MPX, f / 1.8, 26mm (wide-angle), 1 / 2.76 ″, 0.64µm, PDAF. Count between 14 and 16 MB per photo.

This 50 MPX mode is very good. Your photos will be very bright thanks to the opening. The sharpness is also very good. It is sometimes even preferable to night mode under certain conditions. However, you see that as is often the case with Realme, the colors are very, very clear, too even. They are completely exacerbated. It is their trademark.

On the other hand, no zoom in this mode. You have to go through more standard shooting. The latter is also doing very well with photos weighing between 1 and 5 MB. You lose sharpness, that's for sure, but it's still very acceptable.

More no wide angle in standard mode, it is only available in 50 MPX. It's a shame… And the zoom? let's talk about it and forget it. The result is really very very average. The zoom x 2 is passable, the x5 is to be forgotten because nothing is clear. Look at this assembly in x1, x2 and x5.

  • A captor Black and White 2 MPX, F / 2.4 aperture, 1,75µm,
  • A captor macro of 2 MPX, F / 2.4 aperture, 1,75 µm. Maximum precision at 4 cm. He is really not at the point either so much he is almost impossible to have a clear picture.

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 which does not work miracles even if it makes the images sharper and clearer than the normal mode, they remain a little blurry. Indeed, in low light it is not sufficient. No starry night mode ... it's a shame.

If you are a fan of selfies, you can take a picture with the 16 MPX front sensor, f / 2.1, (wide-angle), 1 / 3.0 ”, 1.0µm! There are of course the portrait, beauty and whatever it takes to make you look a little more attractive.

We can be disappointed with the zoom, the lack of wide angle in standard mode, macro mode and night mode a bit tight, but it is still better than the R8 which was really not on level. The 50 MPX mode is excellent. It's not a photophone, let's be clear, but it will satisfy those who are simply looking to capture everything they see in general.

Photo features

  • Focus : Auto-Focus of the PDAF type. It is a passive auto-focus with phase detection.
  • Other : photo flash, lighting, HDR (high dynamic range) technology, night mode, panorama and time lapse.
  • zooms : digital zoom x 5
  • Photo formats : JPEG, DNG

For taking videos, you will have the choice between 1080 and 720, 30 IPS. No 4K. However, here too, low light levels are not welcome. Do not shoot 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. The videos in 1080 are quite good, with good colors and good sharpness. You can also zoom in and enable HDR if you want. You can also make slowed down to 1080 or 720 p. However, the loss of luminosity is very important and the 720 is to be avoided.

Still, there is plenty to make some pretty cool vacation videos. It is also necessary to keep in mind that we are talking about a Smartphone at 200 €. So we can pass him some gaps.

Video specifications

Realme 8i: our test in video

Take a look at this video to see the Realme 8i in action. Subscribe to our channel and like, it's always nice!

In conclusions of this realme 8i test, the entry-level variation of the 8 series, we can say that it imposes some ... compared to its price. Yup, let's keep this one in mind. The main asset of this smartphone remains its screen 120Hz IPS LCD, making it possible to balance, to a certain extent, the loss of luminosity of this type of technology. Supporting the Full HD, the picture is more than correct for a product at this price. The sound is also a great surprise with support for Hi-Res Audio, 360 Reality Audio, and Dolby Atmos codecs. It will not be the 8i which will be the limiting factor in this aspect, even if these external speakers quickly reach their limits.

The shot blows hot and cold. the 50 MPX sensor allows you to take a very good photo, just like other more standard types of capture, but only this format serves as a wide angle. Zoom should be avoided and slow motion quickly loses brightness (especially in 720 p). You can still treat yourself if you are not looking for a photophone. His Helio G96 Mediatek (octo-core at 2.05 GHz) allows very fluid use but also to make games without too many problems provided they are not too greedy. Its autonomy is also quite good. Boarding Android 11 and Realme UI 2.0, for a smartphone at around 200 € (between 4 + 64 or 4 + 128 GB with expandable memory of 128 GB via microSDXC), the Realme 8i remains excellent value for money.

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!