Realme has established a reputation for itself in the budget smartphone market with intriguing, value-for-money offers. Realme 8i is the successor of the Realme 7i, which was released in September of last year. The new Realme 8i offers some improvements over its predecessor and the removal of one camera sensor. The Realme 8i is the lowest priced smartphone in the Series 8 so far, but it’s also turning up to be the most exciting among its competitors. The phone was made with gamers and photographers in mind, and it comes with a 120Hz display, a powerful though budget-friendly processor, and a promising 50MP Samsung camera. Let’s have a detailed look!
In India, the Realme 8i starts at Rs. 12,999. Realme 8i is available at croma.com for Rs. 12,999. This is the base variant of the Realme 8i with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, which comes in Space Black and Space Purple colours. The 6GB+128GB option will set you back at Rs. 15,999.
The majority of Realme’s budget phones come in these eye-catching yellow boxes. You’ll find the following items inside the box:
- 18W power adapter
- USB Cable
- SIM Card Tool
- Screen Protector Film
- TPU Case
- Important Info Booklet with Warranty Card, Quick Guide
Before we talk in detail about the Realme 8i, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 6.6-inch IPS LCD
- Chipset: Mediatek Helio G96
- RAM & ROM: 4GB/64GB RAM, 6GB/128GB RAM
- Software: Android 11
- Rear camera: 50 MP + 2 MP + 2 MP
- Selfie camera: 16 MP
- Battery: 5000mAh
- Weight: 194g
- Dimensions: 164.1 x 75.5 x 8.5mm
The performance of the Realme 8i is unquestionably its USP, while the smartphone’s good looks are also worth mentioning. The company’s latest mid-ranger is made of polycarbonate, with a glossy gradient finish on the backside. The Realme 8i is not a splash-proof phone, so use it with care while it’s raining or near a pool. The earpiece is hidden behind a small grille above the screen. It is not a second speaker; the Realme 8i has only one loudspeaker, which is bottom-firing. There is also no LED notification light.
On the other hand, the handset’s grip leaves something to be desired. The back of the smartphone is prone to catching fingerprints and smudges because of its glossy surface, so if you want to keep it clean for a long time, you should put a cover on it as I did. Realme 8i comes with a clear silicone case that should come in helpful for keeping it safe without sacrificing its look.
Planning to upgrade? Sell Your Old Phone in 60 Seconds From Home
The major connectivity ports are on the bottom, and the fingerprint sensor is embedded into the side of the power button. Regardless, the Realme 8i looks stunning from a distance.
Realme 8i, as previously stated, has a large 6.6-inch LCD display. Realme 8i’s display has a screen-to-body ratio of 90.8 per cent and features a resolution of 2412 x 1080p. Given its affordable price, it offers a touch sampling rate of 180Hz, which feels remarkable. The display has a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, although Realme says that it can intelligently vary the refresh rate to extend the device’s battery life. The display panel is protected by flat tempered glass and has a tiny punch-hole in the upper left corner. The display will have a peak brightness of 600 nits, according to Realme.
Realme 8i’s display has adequate black levels. Although the viewing angles could have been better, the smartphone’s adaptable panel was a blessing for gaming and multitasking. There will be some backlighting bleeding, and the blacks will appear a little grey. However, it is to be expected from an LCD display, and to be honest, you won’t notice it much when watching videos on your phone. From the options menu, you may enable SDR to HDR video colour enhancer, which will attempt to increase the colour range of your videos.
Broke Your Old Phone Screen?
Finally, Realme 8i supports Widevine L1 DRM, allowing you to stream Full HD content from OTT platforms such as Netflix and this is super crazy because a lot of phones in this price range do not have it.
The MediaTek Helio G96 SoC powers the Realme 8i on-paper, which comes with either 4GB or 6GB of LPDDR4x RAM. In addition, Realme 8i has 5GB of virtual memory and can assign a portion of its storage to RAM. During my time with the smartphone, I didn’t find much use for it, but your experience may vary, especially if you choose the 4GB option. The smartphone comes with either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage that can be expanded by the user.
The smartphone’s day-to-day performance is excellent, easily surpassing that of its predecessor, the Realme 7i. I found the chipset to be capable of handling most tasks, including app startup time, gaming, and video streaming on OTT platforms.
Surprisingly, Realme delivers excellent gaming performance. I experimented with graphically intensive games such as Call of Duty: Mobile, Real Racing 3, and Asphalt 9, and was pleasantly surprised. While gaming, there was no lag and the display was incredibly responsive to touch. After around 30 minutes of gaming, there was some obvious heating, but nothing out of the ordinary or unbearable. You may use Google Chrome to open many tabs, change between social media, and much more.
Realme 8i comes with Realme UI 2.0 and Android 11 out of the box. The UI is simple, with plenty of customizability choices such as icon shape, in-built wallpapers, dark mode, and reading eye comfort mode. The launcher features basic home screens, a simplified and significantly cleaner notification/toggles area, and a simple task switcher. There’s also an App drawer, which is as clutter-free as one could wish for. If you choose, you can disable the app drawer. You can also customize the system colours, notification drawer icons, and even the system font using Realme UI 2.0. There’s also a Theme Store where you may add even more uniqueness to your experience. Amazon, Daily Hunt, Josh, Moj, Snapchat, and more are among the pre-installed apps on smartphones. Except for some of Realme’s own apps like the Calculator, Compass, Clone Phone, HeyTap Cloud, and others, there are a lot of bloatware apps that can be removed.
On the back of the Realme 8i are three cameras: a main 50MP camera with a wide-angle lens, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP monochrome depth sensor. The round hole in the display also houses a 16MP selfie camera. In natural light, the back camera performs well. The photographs I took with a high contrast background turned out well. In indoor lighting, the result was just about good, although I noticed some inconsistency and noticeable noise in darker spots.
In most scenes, the foliage appears natural, and the photographs have a balanced sharpness. The colours are a little more vivid than they should be, but for this price range, I think it’s a flaw we can live with. I took photographs in both night and regular mode in low light, and the results were better with night mode on, as expected. Photos taken without the night mode were grainy, therefore in low-light situations, it’s best to employ the night mode to get a decent image. The other two sensors are there to fill in the gaps, and their overall utility and quality are poor.
The front-facing 16MP camera allows you to take wide selfies, and the sensor provides decent detailing. It also features a built-in flash for taking photographs in low light, although that is merely an extra option in case you need it.
When it comes to the modes, it allows you to take images in portrait mode, which blurs the background. A dual-view video mode, which may capture a video with both front and back cameras with a vertical divider, is a fascinating feature of the camera. I haven’t used the feature yet, but vloggers might find it handy. It also has 1080p and 720p video recording options. You may manually change the auto-focus and ISO in video mode. In daylight, the videos I shot using the video mode at 1080p accurately reflected the original colours, however, at night, the result was noisy. In general, it’s a good camera for its price range. It doesn’t take amazing photos, but it does well in natural light.
Realme 8i is fueled by a 5,000mAh battery that should last you a full day on a single charge. With a mix of Google Chrome surfing, Amazon Prime and YouTube streaming, and light gaming, I received roughly 10 hours of screen time. With basic usage, it should last you all day on a single charge. This phone has a Super Power-Saver mode that claims to offer hours of use even when the battery is at 5%.
Realme 8i comes equipped with the same 18W power adaptor as the Realme 8 5G. It’s a 5V/2A, 9V/2A adaptor, and while it’s not bad, it’s not as fast as Realme’s usual 30W power adapter for many of its other smartphones. It takes more than two hours for the 18W charger to charge from 0% to 100%.
In terms of audio, Realme 8i’s mono-speaker becomes loud enough without cracking or distorting the sound at higher volumes. Thankfully, the phone comes with a headphone jack, allowing you to listen to music or play games with no audio lag using wired earphones.
The smartphone has dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, a headphone jack, and a Type-C port for connectivity. The Realme 8i does not include a 5G-capable SoC. However, you’ll be pleased to hear that the phone’s LTE connectivity is flawless.
Realme 8i supports fingerprint unlocking, and the side-mounted sensor performs excellent – it’s quick and precise. You may also use face unlock to unlock your phone even faster, however it is less safe.
- Expansive 120Hz display
- Impressive battery life
- Good selfie camera
- 5000 mAh battery
- Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
- Dynamic RAM expansion
- Plastic build
- No 5G connectivity
- LCD panel
- 18W charging is too slow
- Lots of bloatware
If you want a budget smartphone with a high refresh rate display and powerful performance, the Realme 8i is a decent option at 12,999, but keep in mind that the camera isn’t its most appealing feature. It’s an excellent smartphone for everyday use because the battery lasts for a long time. Its use of the Helio G96 chipset allows it to operate well in everyday life. For the time being, I believe the Realme 8i is a good phone with a good blend of features. Sure, it’s not the best phone in its price range, but for most people, it’ll suffice.