Realme 8 Pro review: Is this the best phone to pick under Rs 20,000?

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Bhawani Singh
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The new Realme 8 Pro has finally made its debut in India, and it packs a 108MP camera. Pitched as the most affordable smartphone with a 108MP camera, it is aimed at the masses, a strategy Realme thinks will work in its favour. But more than a camera-centric phone, the 8 Pro tries to be an all-around phone, complete with an AMOLED screen and a fast Snapdragon 720G processor. So, is the Realme 8 Pro worth your money? Let’s find out.

Realme 8 Pro: Design, display

Realme 8 Pro doesn’t feature a unique design, but has a nice shimmering effect at the back. When light hits it, the back panel gleams in different shades of blue, which makes it look beautiful. The device features a textured back panel, which offers a better grip and keeps the fingerprints at bay, unlike some of the glossy phones out there. In case you are wondering, yes the big “Dare To Leap” tag line is also there, which we have seen on Realme X7 Pro.

The Realme 8 Pro features a vibrant display. (Image Source: Ankita Garg/Express Image)

The Realme 8 Pro has a very slim profile, though the rear camera module protrudes a bit. Realme bundles a case in the box. You can use it to avoid getting scratches on the back. The build quality of the device is good enough. It features a polycarbonate back panel and has a plastic frame.

Just like the Realme 7 Pro, you get a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display and there is nothing to complain here. The panel renders vibrant colours and outdoor visibility is also good enough. But the device lacks support for high refresh rate. Plus Realme was one of the brands to offer high refresh rate displays on most of the devices. Also, there are no stereo speakers and IP rating. You do get an in-display fingerprint scanner, which works very well. The mid-range smartphone performed well in almost everything thrown at it. It can easily handle day-to-day tasks, but I cannot say the same for gaming.

A closer look at the back camera setup of the Realme 8 Pro. (Image Source: Ankita Garg/Express Image)

The gaming performance on this phone was not that great. We tried playing Genshin Impact and the device was not able to load graphics on time even at the lowest settings. We also witnessed lag and stutter for more than 25 mins, which was quite frustrating. All this started happening when the device’s battery was 20 percent. The game was working fine when the battery percentage was more than 20 percent. But you can definitely play some light games on the Realme 8 Pro.

The Realme 8 Pro took time to load graphics. (Image Source: Ankita Garg/Express Image)

Realme 8 Pro supports the Always-on Display (AOD) feature, but you don’t get an option to customise it. There is no way to schedule AOD in case someone wants to. The new Realme 2.0 UI brings features like System Cloner, which creates a duplicate system, which you can use to keep your data in a private place. You can now also use the “Hide Apps” feature. This option located in the privacy settings.

It is worth pointing out that the device comes preinstalled with a number of apps, including Facebook, Flipkart, Amazon, HeyFun, and Soloop, among others. The good thing is you can uninstall these, but you don’t get to remove some of the company’s unnecessary native apps. Another issue is we got a lot of notifications from apps like HeyFun and Realme’s browser and we didn’t even open those apps.

The Realme 8 Pro comes with Android 11 out of the box. (Image Source: Ankita Garg/Express Image)

One of the key selling points of the Realme 8 Pro is that it ships with a 65W charger, which is a real saviour. It charges faster and you no longer have to wait for hours to get it fully charged. The charger took around 35 minutes to fully top up the battery. We got one day’s battery life on a single charge after playing hours of gaming and using social media apps.

Realme 8 Pro: Camera performance

Realme 8 Pro managed to capture good shots in most of the scenarios. The 108MP mode delivered a well-produced shot with plenty of details and the colour accuracy was also on point. In good lighting conditions, you will get detailed and sharp enough macro shots with lively colours. But, don’t expect a strong macro shot otherwise. A few photos captured using the Realme 8 Pro were a bit dull too and I had to use the HDR mode for slight vibrancy. The AI mode is of no use and only offers very saturated photos.

You can check out the camera samples in the below album.

Realme 8 Pro//

The wide-angle camera captured comparatively slightly weaker details. The Portrait mode is excellent as it adds proper blur in the background, while keeping the main subject in focus. That said, this is only the case with humans. The edge detection for non-human subjects is above average and the camera added blur on the lower half side of the subject (in a few shots). You get an option to adjust the bokeh effect before clicking a shot, which is nice. There are a few filters as well that make the photo look good.

Low-light and night photos turned out to be good even when there was a very little light source in some of the scenarios. The Night mode offered a much brighter, clearer picture and removed most of the noise. It also managed to retain colours quite well. There is a Starry mode, which takes four minutes to capture one shot, which could be frustrating for many users unless they use a tripod. Some of the features like Dual View Video mode and Ai Mixed Portrait mode are useful and fun to have as additional options. The beautification mode when clicking selfies or portrait shots softens the details too much and your face might look artificial.

Realme 8 Pro: Should you buy it?

Realme 8 Pro is priced at Rs 17,999 in India. The company is already selling the Realme Narzo 30 Pro at Rs 16,999, which is a 5G phone, but offers an LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate. You will get similar performance on both devices.

The Realme 8 Pro is a feature-packed phone for under Rs 20,000 price segment. It offers a vibrant AMOLED panel, good cameras, and 65W fast charging for around Rs 18,000. That being said, Realme 8 Pro faces stiff competition from the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. If you shell out Rs 2000 more, Xiaomi’s mid-range phone offers features like a 120Hz panel and stereo speakers.

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