Realme 8 5G in for review

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mobtkr24 April 2021Last Update : 1 year ago
Realme 8 5G in for review

We are in a period of transition – 5G is becoming more common, but is not yet the common option. This is why we often get both a 4G and a 5G version of phones, and sometimes the difference between them goes beyond the modem.

That’s the case for the Realme 8 5G and its 4G siblings. Part of that is inevitable, most chipsets these days have built-in modems, so if you want a 5G modem, switch to a 5G chipset.


Realme 8 5G arrives in the office - an affordable phone that loves 5G above all else

Realme 8 5G arrives in the office – an affordable phone that loves 5G above all else

Realme chose the Dimensity 700, MediaTek’s most basic 5G chip. The modem is fine – it has a theoretical top speed of 2.77 Gbps, and considering that most next generation networks are in their infancy, we do not think you will need anything faster in the next few years.

By the way, this is the first Dimensity 700-powered phone in India, a country not yet launching its first 5G network. It does come, however, but current expectations are that the first network will be put into operation by the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022. It’s never too early to secure the future of your phone, we assume.

But this chip can create or destroy Realme 8 5G. It’s the first Dimensity 700 we have benchmarked, and while we reserve the rating for the review, we doubt its GPU will get the best out of the 90 Hz display.

The 6.5
The 6.5

The 6.5 “IPS LCD has a refresh rate of 90 Hz, but is it a proper replacement for the 60 Hz Super AMOLED?

Speaking of which, the 90 Hz panel is an IPS LCD instead of a Super AMOLED as on the 4G phone. As we said, the differences go far beyond the modem. The screen has three modes, 60 Hz, 90 Hz and Auto, and at first glance it is not nearly as bright as the AMOLED panel.

The camera is another concern. Without any ultra-wide module, we get a pretty basic setup with only a 48 MP camera (yes, there are two 2 MP modules, but they hardly count). Realme even arbitrarily cuts some features like Starry Mode and Tilt-Shift Mode.

The 48 MP camera on the back really needed an ultra-wide friend
The 48 MP camera on the back really needed an ultra-wide friend

The 48 MP camera on the back really needed an ultra-wide friend

Of course we can live without them, but it is worth remembering that Realme 8 and Realme 8 5G cost the same – £ 15,000 in India and € 200 in Europe. It’s pretty cheap when 5G phones go, remember.

Realme 8 Pro and Realme 8 5G side by side
Side-mounted fingerprint reader (LCD, remember?)

Realme 8 Pro and Realme 8 5G side by side • Side-mounted fingerprint reader (LCD, remember?)

But still, every downgrade makes our wallets shake. Even if you do not see the screen as a downgrade (we know some prefer LCD over AMOLED), it is clear that the camera is. And it’s also the 5,000 mAh battery, which only goes up to 18W charging (down from 30W on the 4G model).

We like Realme 8 5G. It has a slim body and feels more robust than the vanilla 8. Supersonic Blue (the color we received) looks beautiful and seems immune to fingerprints. We’re worried it might be scratched up, but that’s not so much of a concern as Realme included a case in the box. And an 18W charger too.

A well-stocked retail package, though we would still have preferred a 30W charger
A well-stocked retail package, though we would still have preferred a 30W charger

A well-stocked retail package, though we would still have preferred a 30W charger

Do we still like it more than its 4G siblings? Or any of the other 5G phones in this price range? The answer to that will soon come in the form of a full review, stay updated!

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