Realme has been launching smartphones in the market aggressively in 2021. We got the new Narzo 30 series last month and the Realme X7 series right before that. Now, the company has brought in the new Realme 8 series of smartphones. There are two models, the Realme 8 Pro and the Realme 8, and these are the successors to the Realme 7 Pro and the Realme 7 respectively. These new smartphones have been launched at starting prices of Rs. 17,999 and Rs. 14,999 respectively. I got my hands on the Realme 8 Pro, and here are my first impressions.
Realme 8 Pro price and variants
The Realme 8 Pro is priced at Rs. 17,999 in India for the base variant which has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The other variant has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and is priced at Rs. 19,999. There are three colour options for the Realme 8 Pro: Infinite Blue, Infinite Black, and Illuminating Yellow.
The Realme 8 Pro comes in a bright yellow box just like older Realme smartphones. It sports a big 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a full-HD+ resolution and an in-display fingerprint scanner. It has a 16-megapixel selfie camera in the top left corner and thin bezels on the sides. I found this smartphone to be lighter than the current average, tipping the scales at 176g. It's also only 8.1mm thick.
I found the button placement to be comfortable on the Realme 8 Pro. The power and volume buttons are on the right, and are easy to reach. On the left, the Realme 8 Pro has the SIM tray with two Nano-SIM slots and a dedicated microSD card slot. It has the 3.5mm audio jack, primary microphone, USB Type-C port, and speaker at the bottom, while the top only has the secondary microphone.
The Realme 8 Pro has "Dare to Leap" plastered across the back
The back of the frame is curved towards the edges to make the Realme 8 Pro comfortable to hold. Realme's logo is printed in landscape, and its tag line “Dare to Leap” is plastered across the back, which you might or might not like. The back panel has a textured finish whereas the text is glossy and really stands out. I liked the textured pattern on the back as it helped keep fingerprints off the device. Realme does supply a case in the box.
Speaking of things you get in the box, I was surprised to see a 65W SuperDart charger bundled with the Realme 8 Pro since it is only capable of charging at 50W. This is better than getting an underpowered charger, especially if you share chargers between devices. The Realme 8 Pro has a 4,500mAh battery which seems small compared to what some of the other smartphones in this price range are packing.
The 16-megapixel selfie camera is in the upper left corner of the screen
Camera hardware is the biggest change on the Realme 8 Pro. It packs a 108-megapixel primary camera, as well as an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, a 2-megapixel B&W camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera.
The Realme 8 Pro is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor that also powered the Realme 7 Pro (Review). That's not all, you get 6GB and 8GB RAM options yet again, while storage also remains unchanged at 128GB. Given the very similar core hardware, I'm not expecting a huge difference in performance between the two devices.
The 108-megapixel quad-camera setup on the Realme 8 Pro
In terms of software, this phone comes with Realme UI 2.0 on top of Android 11, and was running the February Android security patch after installing an update which was already waiting at the time of unboxing. Realme has customised the UI but hasn't gone overboard, so it still feels clean and easy to use. I did find a number of preinstalled apps including Facebook, Snapchat, and Flipkart, but these can be uninstalled if you don't intend to use them.
After using the Realme 8 Pro for a while, it does feel as though the company has focused mainly on camera improvements. The pricing is more aggressive than that of the outgoing Realme 7 Pro, which makes this device a lot more interesting. It will be going right up against the brand new Redmi Note 10 Pro and Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, which also has a 108-megapixel rear camera. So should you upgrade to the Realme 8 Pro? Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for the full review to find out.
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