The least model you can get from the latest Realme number series is the Realme 8 5G. It is priced at P11,990 and compared to the Realme 7 5G, it’s a downgrade, but P3,000 cheaper. It is also P2,000 more expensive than the Redmi Note 10 5G. However, it’s a reasonable price with a 90Hz refresh rate, 5G cherry on top, and higher configuration.
- Optimized Battery Efficiency
- Vibrant Display
- High GPU frequency
- Impressive camera quality
- Ram Expansion
- Fingerprint magnet
- Slow charging time
- misleading fourth lens
Realme 8 5G is available in two color variants–Supersonic Blue and Supersonic Black. We got our hands on the Supersonic Black, and it’s quite a bit premium and elegant looking with a smooth glossy finish. It is a fingerprint magnet, but you can opt to put a jelly case. It has a large rectangular protruding camera bump, and it is wobbly on a flat surface. Although there are fewer user impressions of the design, it is aesthetically pleasing when you look at the overall finish. This Realme 8 variant doesn’t have a dare to leap catchphrase, making it look cleaner and simpler.
It has a curved edge making it comfortable to hold, and it is one of the lightest among the 5G midrange device within the price bracket. It is even lighter than the Realme 7 5G with 195 grams versus the 185 grams of the Realme 8 5G. The body is quite thicker, but compared to the Poco M3 Pro 5G and Redmi Note 10 5G, Realme 8 5G is the slimmest.
The module’s fourth lens on the upper right side is a bit odd due to the written AI text. It’s just there to make it look like it has a 4th camera. And it turns black when viewed directly. You can’t tell if there’s a lens or not, but when you look from the sides, it has AI text printed on it.
The frame looks like it has a sandblasted texture and on the right, it has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, while on the left are the volume rocker and the simtray with dual nano sim card slot and expandable storage slot up to 1TB. The power button and volume rocker are placed reachable by my small hand. Meanwhile, at the bottom, it has a down-firing loudspeaker, USB Type-C port, main microphone, and the 3.5mm headphone jack. It’s quite a bummer that there’s no secondary microphone at the top.
Moving on to the display, the Realme 8 5G boasts a 6.5-inch FHD+ IPS LCD with a 90Hz refresh rate. It has a fairly good brightness outdoors at 480nits with up to 600 nits in auto mode. The brightness is so bright that you may think it is an AMOLED panel. The overall bezels are quite thinner; however, the chin is noticeably thicker. The punch hole cutout at the top left corner is perfectly placed to reduce distraction, but it’s a bit larger than other phones I’ve held.
Contrast is a bit above average for the display quality, but setting the font size to Small will show an overall good-looking component inside the display. The colors are vibrant even in IPS LCD while maintaining true-to-life colors and sharpness. It also has a dark mode and eye comfort in the display settings menu to reduce eye strain and help you sleep at night, which is great. White is quite good but it will become more premium when you slide the screen color temperature to a warmer tone.
Also, I said that it is vibrant because the Realme 8 5G’s Screen Color Mode has two available options–Vivid with P3 richer color gamut or the Gentle sRGB. It is true to life with the Gentle sRGB, but vibrancy increases when using the Vivid Mode. It also has an auto-select refresh rate to reduce the battery life and optimize usability, which is an excellent choice since the display only offers IPS LCD rather than AMOLED. If dark mode, font size, color temperature, and color mode are tweaked, the overall display quality is better than the default settings out of the box. Making the display versatile while maintaining the battery efficiency.
Unto the camera, as I mentioned, the Realme 8 5G is only equipped with a triple camera, a 48MP f/1.8 primary shooter, and 2MP for macro and depth purposes.
It has a built-in Google Lens inside the stock camera app and some gimmicky and technical features. This includes the different creative filters, ultra steady, night mode, slow motion, and expert mode with up to 6400 ISO and 32-second shutter speed. There is nothing too fancy about the camera features, but the important features are there, and I’m happy it has an expert mode. For video recording, it can only shoot [email protected], which is acceptable for social media posting, but I’m expecting a 4K capability.
HDR processing is not noticeable on the main camera when there’s enough light and balance exposure in the shot. The output is always in nice color and exposure in which the blue sky is visible. The HDR processing truly works when the subject is up close while against the light. It has impressive shadow lift and highlights priority, but the picture output is oftentimes inconsistent in white balance. But it’s a hit and miss which is pretty fair due to the change of scenery. The sharpness, colors, and overall balance exposure are outstanding for the price.
As for depth sensor, outputs using portrait mode is alive and feels natural. Just like the main cam as it uses the same sensor to capture images. The portrait mode adds an aid to the main shooter to output a bokehlicious image. The edges are accurate and clean even the subject is not a person. The subject to background works fine and it’s excellent all the time.
For macro shots, I’m impressed with the details thanks to its higher megapixel count. Colors are true to life with no visible grains and noise even indoors. The macro lens clearly is not a gimmick, however, the white balance consistency outdoors falls apart. Nonetheless, the overall quality is excellent.
Switching to selfies, the 16MP selfie camera is quite sharp even beautification is turned on. There is no visible processing on my face and it looks clean even I have pimples. My mustache didn’t fade away as well which is also a great sign of processing. Skin tone color is quite consistent even though there’s a hit and miss due to the change of scenery. Blacks aren’t deep and it is detailed and alive. Portrait mode is just ok with lower accuracy on the head part. And I think it is because my hair isn’t black. They should fix it for people with dyed hair. But overall, it’s also an excellent selfie camera.
Under the hood, Realme 8 5G is equipped with a 5G midrange chipset, Mediatek Dimensity 700 5G. Compared to its predecessor, Realme 7 5G is equipped with a Mediatek 800U 5G. They have similar 7nm nanometer architecture, but the former wins at 10% higher numbers in terms of single and multi-core processes. However, when it comes to gaming, the Dimensity 700 5G has a 950Mhz GPU frequency. No wonder why Poco and Redmi use the same chipset this year.
As for gaming, all famous games like Call of duty Mobile, PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends, and Wildrift showed excellent performance, with some reaching 60fps at high stability. You can also play Genshin Impact and Honkai Impact 3 on average 40fps with lower stability but playable and enjoyable.
The Realme 8 5G is also backed by an 8GB ram and 128Gb of internal storage. What’s new about the technology today is the ability of the OS to expand its ram capacity by pulling some storage space. Realme 8 5G features ram expansion from 2GB, 3GB, or even 5GB, so a total of 13GB of ram on our 8GB variant. The ram expansion, which I explained in our Reno 6 5G review, is a nice feature and this could reduce the frame drops in gaming and add stability to ram eating games. It can make multi-tasking much more manageable.
Heading to the software, Realme 8 5G runs on Android 11 out of the box with Realme UI 2.0 on top. The UI remains clean, light, and fluid that adds a seamless experience to the 90Hz display. It has dedicated settings for all personalization features and a bunch of power-saving and optimization in the battery. The ram expansion is useful when running ram-eating apps and games, and the apps are also quite stable.
As for the battery, Realme 8 5G is backed by a large 5000mAh battery but only paired with 18W charging. Battery optimization is great. There are no background draining apps and a stable battery performance. The device can last more than a day with daily usage, while on heavy usage it endured almost 8 hours while gaming, browsing, social media handling, and watching movies.
As for charging, the Realme 8 5G took about 2 hours and 20 minutes to fully charge from 0-100%, which is quite slow for today’s standard. I wish they could’ve just opted to increase the fast charging to 30W. Nonetheless, it’s not too slow, but it is not fast either.
Overall, Realme 8 5G is a worthy device and one of this era’s affordable 5G handsets. Even though it has downgraded specs from the Realme 7 5G, Realme managed to fit the price ratio inside the competition’s bracket. Most competitors offer the same chipset, and it feels like a counter-offer. If you’re not into 5G, some devices within the price range offer more than you expected. On top of that, if you still want to experience having the latest realme phone, the Realme 8 and Realme 8 Pro are both equipped with a Super AMOLED panels and have more cameras and megapixels. But they are more pricey than the Realme 8 5G.
The Realme 8 5G is priced at P11,990, it is quite better than other 5G devices within the price bracket, and besides, they offer this device on Globe Postpaid plan and Smart Signature plan for as low as P999.
We also have a performance comparison between the Realme 8 5G and Redmi Note 10 5G. They almost look the same and almost the same specs. Watch it here.
realme 8 5G specs, price, availability in the Philippines
- Display: 6.5-inch FHD+ IPS LCD 90Hz, 600 nits peak
- Design: all-polycarbonate
- Dimension and Weight: 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.5 mm, 185g
- Chipset: MediaTek MT6833 Dimensity 700 5G (7 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)
- GPU: Mali-G57 MC2
- RAM: 4GB/8GB
- Memory: 128GB with dedicated microSD slot
- Main Camera: 48MP, f/1.8, 2MP macro, 2MP depth | video up to [email protected]
- Selfie Camera: 16MP, f/2.1 | video recording up to [email protected]
- Connectivity: 5G, LTE, Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi ac, GPS, audio jack, USB-C
- Security: side-mounted fingerprint scanner, face unlock
- Battery: 5000mAh(18W)
- Audio: loudspeaker 24-bit
- OS: Android 11, Realme UI 2.0
- Colors: Supersonic Blue, Supersonic Black
- Price: P11,990 SRP for (8GB/128GB)
- Release date: June 2021 (Philippines)