Realme 8i evaluation: An reasonably priced cellphone with a 120Hz display and good battery life

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The Realme 8i runs on a MediaTek Helio G96 chipset, which doesn’t assist 5G.

Picture: Realme

Realme tends to subdivide its smartphone strains into a number of configurations to cater for various market segments. The Realme 8, for instance, is available in 4 flavours: on the entry stage is the 6.4-inch Realme 8 (£169); those that need 5G ought to look to the 6.5-inch Realme 8 5G (£199); and the top-end specs are discovered within the 6.4-inch Realme 8 Professional (£279). All of those handsets can be found on to UK consumers. The 6.6-inch Realme 8i with its 5000mAh battery and 120Hz display is not a direct buy within the UK on the time of writing, however is promoting throughout Europe for €199 (4GB/64GB) or €219 (4GB/128GB).

The instantly eye-catching factor about my Realme 8i evaluation unit was its pale lavender-coloured backplate with a silver tint. This color, which Realme calls House Purple, will not attraction to everybody, however it’s actually distinctive. Extra conservative consumers can select the House Black different.

The backplate is a fingerprint attractor and likewise fairly slippery within the hand. Realme features a clear bumper with the cellphone, which is able to resolve these points, whereas additionally affording further safety for the plastic backplate. Nevertheless, the again’s light-reflecting capabilities will probably be misplaced underneath the bumper.

Professionals

  • Reasonably priced
  • 120Hz IPS display
  • Twin SIM and MicroSD slots
  • Superb battery life

Cons

  • No 5G assist
  • Poor speaker
  • 18W charging

An oblong bump on the again homes three cameras and an LED flash unit. Its positioning has the acquainted impact of elevating what’s the high proper nook of the handset when it is face-up on a desk, in order that any strain utilized within the higher left quadrant trigger the cellphone to rock round. That is irritating, if hardly novel, however is resolved for those who use the bumper, which flattens off the again.

Realme features a 3.5mm headset jack on the underside fringe of the cellphone, which additionally homes a USB-C port and a speaker grille. The left edge has two quantity buttons and a caddy that accommodates two SIMs and a MicroSD card. Be aware that this isn’t a 5G handset. The precise aspect has a small indent for the facility button, which includes a fingerprint reader.

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The Realme 8i’s 6.6-inch IPS display has a decision of 1080 by 2412 pixels (401ppi) and a most refresh fee of 120Hz. The primary rear digital camera on the again is a 50MP unit, complemented by 2MP macro and depth cameras.

Photographs: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The Realme 8i’s dimensions of 75.5mm vast by 164.1mm deep by 8.5mm thick and 194g weight are unremarkable for a 6.6-inch cellphone. There’s a giant bezel on the backside of the display, which accounts for the reasonable screen-to-body ratio of 84.7%. Nonetheless, the display has a most refresh fee of 120Hz, and you’ll both run it at this fee on a regular basis or set it to dynamically fluctuate relying on the content material being displayed.

The display’s FHD+ decision (1080 x 2412 pixels, 401ppi) ensures that textual content is very legible and graphics look sharp. Whereas the IPS panel shouldn’t be as vibrant as OLED, its most brightness of 600 nits helps with out of doors use on sunlit days. I used the handset for studying e-books, doing social media and watching some video, and had no points. 

Sadly the identical cannot be stated for the speaker, which is common at greatest. Quantity goes fairly excessive, however there is a lack of bass, whereas a tinny, treble overtone appears consistently current. At this worth level some issues do have to present, and on this case the speaker is a type of issues. 

The finances worth of this handset is obvious within the on-board storage, with simply 128GB put in. Of this, 18GB is used leaving 110GB free. Luckily, the MicroSD card slot permits for storage enlargement.  

The Realme 8i is powered by the MediaTek Helio G96 chipset, supported by 6GB of RAM in my evaluation handset. This platform turned in Geekbench 5 CPU scores of 536 (single core) and 1885 (multi core), placing it in broadly the identical efficiency camp because the Sony Xperia 10 III (548 and 1601, Snapdragon 690 5G/6GB) and the rugged Nokia XR20 (507 and 1675, Snapdragon 480 5G/6GB). 

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You may populate the Sensible Sidebar — a part of Realme UI 2.0 — with steadily used apps and instruments.

Photographs: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The Realme 8i runs Android 11 with the producer’s Realme UI 2.0 on high. There are some neat usability options, together with the Sensible Sidebar, a pop-out launcher that is referred to as up by sweeping inwards from the precise of the display. You should utilize the Sensible Sidebar from any app to entry favorite apps or instruments, and it is easy to personalise. There’s additionally a split-screen mode that is invoked by swiping up with three fingers.

In case you prefer to tweak the feel and appear of your cellphone, you’ll be able to customise icon kinds, system colors, system fonts and extra. It is even potential to regulate darkish mode, deciding on three darkness settings (enhanced, medium and mild), and deciding whether or not wallpapers and icons ought to comply with swimsuit.

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A variety of UI customisations can be found in Realme UI 2.0, together with completely different Darkish mode settings.

Photographs: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The Realme 8i is liberally peppered with apps over and above the Android staples, together with photograph, music and video apps, plus a file supervisor. Then there are the third-party apps, together with the same old social media suspects. It is loads to cope with, and a few customers might need to simply throw what they do not want right into a folder or, the place potential, hit the uninstall button. 

The 16MP f/2.1 selfie digital camera did a superb job of capturing me at numerous factors throughout testing, however the triple digital camera array on the again is not fairly as spectacular because it first appears, provided that two of them are 2MP gadgets — an f/2.4 macro digital camera and an f/2.4 depth sensor. 

The macro lens is mounted focus, and it is advisable that you just shoot from a 4cm distance. In case you do, it takes an affordable photograph. The depth sensor does not do something by itself, however serves as a background blurring sensor for portraits taken with the primary digital camera, and did a reasonably first rate job. 

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Contemplating the value of this handset, The primary 50MP f/1.8 digital camera works higher as a point-and-shoot gadget than I might anticipated. Nevertheless, my restricted night-time capturing expertise means that this isn’t its robust swimsuit. 

With a 5000mAh battery on-board it appears honest to anticipate good longevity from the Realme 8i, and it does not disappoint. The PCMark for Android Work 3.0 battery life take a look at ran for a formidable 18 hours and 56 minutes. And when requested to stream YouTube video, the handset misplaced 19% from a full cost throughout a three-hour interval, suggesting battery lifetime of round 16 hours (on a linear extrapolation).  

There’s a draw back in that the handset does not assist super-fast charging. With the battery at 20% and utilizing the offered 18W adapter and cable, it rose to 37% in quarter-hour, to 53% in half-hour and to 68% in 45 minutes. 

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Realme 8i in House Black.

Picture: Realme

Conclusions

The Realme 8i is one thing of a blended bag. On the plus aspect is the reasonably priced worth, the 120Hz display refresh fee, spectacular battery life, twin SIM assist plus MicroSD storage enlargement, a reliable essential digital camera and a particular purple chassis color (with black obtainable if it is to not your style). On the minus aspect is comparatively sluggish 18W battery charging, a disappointing speaker and no 5G assist. 

In case your finances is tight and you do not want 5G, the Realme 8i is unquestionably price contemplating. 

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