It’s often a few upgrades that make a successor better than their predecessors. Well, that is almost the usual consensus but it is something Realme didn’t take into consideration when upgrading the Realme 7 Pro with the new Realme 8 Pro. It surely has a new and shimmering 108MP primary camera with 3x lossless zoom but what you trade-off with it is something dearer. The water-repellent coating is gone and so is the faster-charging speed, a second speaker, selfie camera’s resolution, and a few things here and there.
Check Out: Recycle Your Old Phone, Get Rewarded!
With all that, I reviewed Realme 8 Pro for more than a week, and here’s everything you should know as a potential buyer.
Prices in India, Variants, Availability
Realme 8 Pro is available on sale on Flipkart at Rs.17,999/- or its 6GB+128GB variant while the higher 128GB+8GB variant is on sale at Rs.19,999/-. Flipkart offers an exchange discount of up to Rs 16,500/- depending upon the eligible smartphone. Get your hands on Infinite Black or Infinite Blue colour variants.
Specs at a glance
Before we talk in detail about the Realme 8 Pro, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like?
- Display: 16.26 cm (6.4 inch) Full HD+ sAMOLED Display
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
- Storage: 6GB/8GB, 128GB
- Software: realme UI 2.0 based on Android 11
- Rear cameras: 108MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
- Selfie camera: 16MP
- Battery: 4500 mAh, 50W SuperDart Charge
- Weight: 176g
- Dimensions: 160.60 x 73.90 x 8.10 mm
Design and Build
Have a glimpse and it will be like love at first sight. Now, this is something I noticed when holding Realme 8 Pro although the giant “Dare to Leap” insignia at the back is something I would’ve loved if it wasn’t around. But in any case, if you have no problem with it then there’s no issue.
So, the front has a glass top as usual along with a plastic frame and a plastic back. Let’s keep talking about the front for now. There’s a rather large punch-hole on the top-left corner but the good thing is, there’s no notch. The bezels are profound and the chin is considerably thick but let’s give it a pass since Realme 8 Pro is well under Rs.20,000/-. Also, the display on-board is the same as you might have seen with the Realme 7 Pro and that’s just the starting of the similarities between the two.
On the back, you get a posh plastic panel with a sandblasted texture that looks pretty out worldly. It is flashy and good-looking although there’s a humongous insignia that you will have to entertain. The back panel is curved, which makes it easy to use, and overall, I felt using the phone with just one hand was a lot more comfortable than many of the other models on display. Plus, the phone is lightweight so there’s another plus point here.
There’s a subtle-looking not-so-big and not-so-small quad-camera setup which is a two-piece bump since the sensors have individual metal rings around the edges.
However, the phone lacks water-repellent coating which is something Realme 7 Pro arrived with. Now that might not seem like a big deal but it is a major downgrade since your swanky new Realme 8 Pro cannot be exposed to water at all.
Anyways, moving ahead, you get a 3.5mm headphone jack, a single speaker grille, and a USB Type-C port at the bottom; a volume rocker and power button on the right, and finally, a tri-card slot on the left with a dedicated microSD card slot.
The display mounted on Realme 8 Pro is the same as Realme 7 Pro. It is a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel with a 1080p resolution and a 411 PPI density. Realme could have included a higher refresh rate but instead chose a 60Hz standard refresh rate, therefore, missed an opportunity to outshine the competition. The display is covered with an unknown version of Corning Gorilla Glass for protection.
Speaking about the display quality and stuff, I did feel that being an AMOLED display, it is vibrant and flashy and shows colours that punch out. The display has a DCI-P3 colour gamut and it has Widevine L1 DRM and it is HDR10 compliant although somehow, it is app-specific. This means you get Netflix and Prime Video where you can stream FHD content but no HDR10 but you get the latter on YouTube without any hassle.
The display has 454 nits of maximum brightness that dials upwards of 627 nits with Adaptive Brightness. Somehow, the display doesn’t adjust to the surroundings fast enough when the Adaptive Brightness is enabled. Many times, it simply gives it up and rather shows a dim or a brightly lit display. It can dim down to 2.0 nits which is extremely low and good for those night owlers.
Also Check Out: OPPO F19 Pro+ Quick Review
Not nit-picking here, but the display does flicker a bit when unlocking using the in-display fingerprint scanner. Now, note that this is not noticeable unless you are in a dark room and know exactly when you are looking at it.
Well, you get the same chipset as the Realme 7 Pro i.e. a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chipset comprising of two cores at 2.3GHz Kryo 465 Gold and six cores clocked at 1.8GHz. There’s an Adreno 618 GPU handling the graphics rendering on the device while it has two storage configurations i.e. a 6GB+128GB and 8GB+128GB UFS 2.1 storage.
I usually test smartphones by running graphics-intensive games like Call of Duty Mobile or PUBG Mobile. Since the latter is not available in India, I played COD Mobile for a while and on the highest settings available. It performs really well and on par with devices running on the same chipsets like the Realme 7 Pro or the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro. Of course, your phone would warm up after a match but it is quite usual with smartphones.
I ran a couple of benchmark tests such as GeekBench where it scores 1678 points on multi-core and 566 points on single-core tests. This puts it behind several smartphones such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro and consequently, Realme 7 Pro did manage to score higher as well which was quite surprising.
In any case, the phone was able to pull off 30 minutes of continuous gaming while just getting slightly warm. I did see some frame drops here and there although I don’t think so you will be able to register it unless you play a lot of games. Overall, I would say that the performance on-board Realme 8 Pro is good but I would have rather switched to a phone with a better chipset like the Snapdragon 765G if I am upgrading from Realme 7 Pro.
Luckily, Realme 8 Pro arrives with Android 11-flavoured Realme UI 2.0 out-of-the-box. This ensures that the phone is Android 12 (Realme UI 3.0) ready and probably Android 13 (Realme UI 4.0) as well. The Realme UI 2.0 is itself a simplistic custom UI with just too many features to count. Always-On-Display is great on the device thanks to the Super AMOLED display. Realme UI 2.0 also gives you multiple icon packs to choose from. You can choose FPS animations, system font, Dark Mode works brilliant on-board and the Android OS keeps optimizing itself thanks to the AI algorithms and machine learning mechanisms in place.
Realme did all that it did to include a 108MP snapper at the back on Realme 8 Pro. The camera setup includes a 108MP primary shooter paired with 8MP ultrawide snapper, a 2MP macro, and a 2MP B&W sensor that completes the quad-camera setup. The front, on the other hand, has a 16MP sensor.
Also Read: Redmi Note 10 Pro Full Review
Talking about the primary 108MP sensor, its 12MP does manage to snag quality shots thanks to its nine-pixel binning technology. All the shots came out with lively colours, details were adequate, and high dynamic range. The sensor can go all-in with the 108MP mode which of course manages to retain more information, details, and overall clarity. It does take a bit longer to capture images at 108MP and the image size could be as huge as 30MB with more details although there are some caveats to it. This includes poor dynamic range and noisy images and overall, it looks as if you are trying to upscale a 12MP image to a 108MP one.
The primary sensor has a 3x lossless zoom which can capture rich details, superb contrast, high dynamic range, and handles noise better. You can go to 5x zoom as well and still the images look very good although you are trading off lossless zoom here. The primary sensor works with a 2MP depth sensor to create impressive portrait shots with a better subject separate, sharp, and detailed subject and overall, accurate colours as some of the pros.
The 8MP ultrawide snapper mounted on Realme 8 Pro captures more area than the primary sensor. It does have average contrast, the dynamic range could have been better. Overall, Realme could have worked on a better ultrawide snapper. Finally, there’s a 2MP macro sensor that does its job with good lighting conditions although it could have been better.
Turn the phone around and you get a 16MP Quad-Bayer sensor which snags photos at 4MP natively. These images are great in colours, contrast, dynamic range, although details aren’t that up to the point.
Low-light photography on the 12MP binned mode on the primary sensor is details although HDR and night mode adds a much-needed balance to the overall details, quality, and other parameters of the images. Finally, talking about the video recording capabilities, Realme 8 Pro can capture 4K videos at 30fps or you can go to 1080p at 30fps or 60fps with EIS on the latter mode.
Even though Realme 8 Pro packs in a giant 4,500 mAh battery, it does get slower charging tech at 50W. Now to put things into perspective, the Realme 7 Pro has a 4,500 mAh battery with a 65W charging tech.
Anyways, Realme 8 Pro’s 4500 mAh battery which should last more than a day and a half with moderate usage. Even if using the phone on heavy usage, it does churn up to a day of battery life without any hassle. In fact, the device was able to score 116 hours of endurance rating which is almost 3 hours over the Realme 7 Pro ratings.
Realme 8 Pro gets a 50W SuperDart Charge which is slower than the last year’s 65W SuperDart Charge. It charges the phone to 50 per cent in 17 minutes while a full battery charge requires 47 minutes. To put things into perspective, it is still in line with the charging speed put forth by Realme 7 Pro.
Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
Well, it will not be fair if I don’t mention that the Realme 8 Pro loses a stereo speaker setup that we have seen with its predecessor. Imagine a next-gen smartphone downgrading the speaker setup and relying on a mono bottom-firing speaker setup instead. Well, Realme 8 Pro has a -28.2 LUFS on a loudness scale which slides way beyond Realme 7 Pro’s -24.8 LUFS. Here, the audio quality on-board Realme 8 Pro is average although the output isn’t that shallow. Overall, you lose something and you gain just a bit if not more.
Talking about the connectivity features, the Realme 8 Pro gets a 3.5mm headphone jack, a Wi-Fi 802.11 a/g/b/n/ac with dual-band support, Bluetooth v5.0 with LE and A2DP as well as USB Type-C 2.0 port on board. It does get BDS, Glonass, and A-GPS navigation systems on board.
Hold your phone, take your thumb towards the bottom of the display, and tap and bingo, the under-the-display fingerprint scanner lights up and unlocks the phone just like that. It is quick so you won’t have to wait for long. You can always use PIN or pattern as additional contingencies.
Pros & Cons
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
- 108MP Quad-rear camera
- 4500 mAh battery
- 50W SuperDart Charge
- Super AMOLED display
- Ultra-fast in-display fingerprint sensor
- Android 11 out of the box
- No NFC and higher refresh rate
- No 5G connectivity
- No Gorilla Glass protection
- No dust and water resistance
Now we are at the end of the hands-on review and I am certain that Realme 8 Pro does a lot of trade-offs just to include an impressive camera rig. The display is the same and so is the battery although the charging speed has been halved. Also, the chipset is the same which I think should have been upgraded as well in case you are coming from Realme 7 Pro. The phone is practically a camera-centric phone with many trade-offs in other departments that gives us a mixed set of emotions when thinking about buying it.
If you already have a Realme 7 Pro, I won’t suggest upgrading to Realme 8 Pro unless all you want is a better camera. For the rest of all, they can check out several alternatives such as Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro instead as their viable option which is better in value than the Realme 8 Pro.