Realme puts the number 7 in its rear view mirror and introduces the realme 8 and 8 Pro. However, just because something is behind you, it doesn’t mean it’s gone. In fact, looking at the specs the 7-series may haunt the 8-series as the two have a lot of similarities.
The new phones are not without their upgrades, of course. But before we dive in, we should note that there seems to be a geographic division between the two new models.
The realme 8 Pro is coming to Europe next week and it will be available in India as well. The vanilla realme 8 is headed to India, but we haven’t heard anything about a European launch at this point.
Realme 8 Pro
It will be difficult for the Realme 8 Pro to escape comparisons with its predecessor. The obvious upgrade is the main camera with its 108MP sensor. However, a few things are the same and there are even some regressions, so the 8 Pro is not a clear-cut upgrade over the 7 Pro. Even the realme 6 Pro is not easy to dismiss.
All three models are powered by the Snapdragon 720G. It’s a chipset that realme knows and loves. And it has spent a lot of time optimizing Realme UI to run on that particular chip. Along with the C25 announced on Monday, the 8 and 8 Pro are the first to come with version 2.0 of the UI out of the box outside of China.
Memory options are the same, you can pick between 6GB and 8GB of RAM, storage is always 128GB – but if you need more, the dedicated spot for a microSD on the triple card tray makes expansion easy. This is a dual SIM phone with 4G connectivity, by the way, if you want 5G you should look at the X-series (or the Narzo phones).
There is exactly one reason to buy the realme 8 Pro – the 108MP Samsung HM2 sensor. It has 0.7 µm pixels and supports 9-in-1 binning (final image resolution then is 12MP). It’s a large sensor too, 1/1.52”, with an f/1.9 aperture, so it serves as a solid base for great low-light imaging.
The sensor also natively supports zoom up to 3x. Since only 12MP of the full sensor is used, the phone has enough processing power to snap eight frames and merge them into one final image. According to realme, the end result is better than a photo from a camera with a 3x lens (a claim we’re sure to test).
The large sensor covers the hardware part, the updated Super Nightscape mode handles the software part. It has a sibling in the Ultra Nightscape Video mode and for patient star-gazers, Starry Mode is now available for videos too (the first such mode on a phone). If you have an hour, the phone can snap 240 frames (each 15 seconds apart) and string them into an 8 second video that shows the movement of the night sky.
The 8MP ultrawide camera has a lens with an f/2.25 aperture and 119º field of view. Finally, a 2MP macro cam and a 2MP B&W camera round up the quartet on the back. On the front is a 16MP selfie camera (IMX471, f/2.45).
Speaking of the front, the realme 8 Pro has a 6.4” Super AMOLED display. It’s not quite the same panel as on the 7 Pro, this one is brighter with a peak of 1,000 nits. Another upgrade is the 180Hz touch sampling rate, but that is of limited use when the display refreshes at 60Hz.
Moving on, the 4,500 mAh battery promises up 20 hours of uninterrupted YouTube videos or 8 hours of gaming. And the supplied 65W charger can refill half of it in 17 minutes, the other half takes 30 more minutes.
Note that the phone actually charges at 50W. The older realme 7 Pro did support 65W (and it’s actually faster too – its 4,500 mAh battery gets to 50% in 12 minutes and to 100% in 34 minutes).
For pricing and availability, check at the bottom of this post.
The Realme 8 will also be compared to its predecessor (to the Realme 7 that launched in Asia, at least). It drops the 90Hz IPS LCD for a 60Hz Super AMOLED. In fact, this appears to be the same panel as on the Pro – 6.4”, 1080p+, 1,000 nits peak brightness and 180Hz touch sampling rate.
However, the vanilla model switches to the Helio G95, which was also used in the Realme 7. When we reviewed the 7 and 7 Pro last year, we found that the G95 has a slightly slower CPU and a slightly faster GPU.
It also helps that realme beefed up the cooling by switching the carbon fiber setup with copper (which improved cooling efficiency by 14%). But this is realme’s camera-focused line (a different series focuses on chipset performance), so let’s look at the camera.
It’s the same as the realme 7 camera, starting with the 64MP main module, following that with the 8MP ultra wide-angle (119º) camera and the two additional modules (2MP macro, 2MP B&W). The phone still can’t shoot 4K video, that is a privilege reserved for Pro owners.
The 5,000 mAh battery is the same too with the same 30W Dart charger. 50% charge can be achieved in 26 minutes, a full charge takes a total of 65 minutes. And here’s something funny – the vanilla realme 8 advertises 23 hours of YouTube videos and 10 hours of gaming. If you compare to the battery claims of the Pro, it only promises 20 hours of YouTube and 8 hours of gaming. The MediaTek is a 12nm chipset, the Snapdragon is an 8nm chip, so you’d think the roles would be reversed (especially considering the identical screens on the two models).
One relatively important change is that the phone now comes with 128GB storage as standard, however a trade-off was made. The base model starts with 4GB of RAM (6GB and 8GB options are available too). There’s a dedicated spot for a microSD card if you need more storage.
There isn’t much else that has changed, really. The switch to AMOLED allowed the fingerprint reader to move from the side to under the display.
Pricing and availability
The realme 8 and 8 Pro will become available in India tomorrow, they will sell through realme.com and Flipkart. They start at INR 15,000 and INR 18,000, respectively. The 8 Pro is joining the realme Upgrade Program, which allows you to pay 70% of the full price and use the phone for a year. After the 12 months are over, you get the next phone in the series and so on.
Next week, it will be available in the UK too (March 31). The 8/128 GB model will sell for £280 over at realme.com and Amazon. Pre-orders start today.
Realme is also expanding the availability of the realme Watch S Pro and the realme Buds Air 2 TWS headset. The company also showed off its first smart scale and its first smart bulb (available in 9W and 12W). Check the image below for pricing, the Watch S Pro is INR 10,000.
The smartwatch and the TWS headset will be available in the UK too, sold through realme.com and Amazon. The realme Watch S Pro will start at £120, though there's an early bid offer that drops the price to £100. The Buds Air 2 will normally go for £47, though early birds can snag them at £37.
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