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realme 8i Review: A Budget All-Rounder Smartphone!

realme 8i

realme 8i is the newest member of the Infinity 8 series lineup. It features a 120Hz display, a powerful Helio G96 processor, a triple 50-megapixel camera, and a 5000mAh battery with 18W fast charging.

realme 8i

The realme 8i is available in two configurations: 4GB+64GB and 6GB+128GB, as well as space black and space purple colorways. Here's our hands-on review, following up on our initial impressions that you can read here.

realme 8i Specs

Android 11, Realme UI 2.0
6.6-inch Full HD+ IPS display, 2412 x 1080 pixel resolution, at 401ppi
120Hz Refresh rate / 180Hz Touch sampling rate
2.05GHz MediaTek Helio G96 octa-core processor
Mali-G57 MC2 GPU
4GB/6GB RAM with Virtual RAM Expansion up 5GB
64GB/128GB UFS 2.1 internal storage,
Expandable via microSD
50MP, f/1.8, PDAF + 2MP, f/2.4 macro + 2MP, f/2.4 depth sensor rear cameras, LED flash
16MP, f/2.05 selfie camera
Side-mounted fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
Dual SIM, Dual standby
HSPA+, 4G LTE
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
Bluetooth 5.1
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS
USB Type-C
5,000mAh battery, 18W fast charging
Colors: Space Black, Space Purple
194g

Design and Built
The realme 8i is slightly larger than its predecessor realme 7i. It has a plastic body with an "arc beam" texture on the back panel that pops when the light hits it. The surface of the panel is extremely fingerprint-prone since it is made of glossy material.

realme 8i

We have the Space Black color, and it looks stunning. When light hits the "arc beam" texture on the rear panel, it transforms from black to a silvery tint. The back panel has a glossy finish that is prone to fingerprints. However, the fact that it is black means that smudges are not as obvious.

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The realme 8i appears to have four cameras at first glance, but it actually has only three which are the 50-megapixel, f/1.8 primary sensor, a 2-megapixel, f/2.4 macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel, f/2.4 depth sensor. An LED flash is put in one of the camera's spaces. The included case protects the device from scratches and smudges with a special cut-out for the cameras.

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The power button is located on the right, and it features an integrated fingerprint scanner. The unlock works quickly and reliably each time it is used. If you experience an excessive number of accidental misreads when holding the phone in your hand, you can toggle between touch unlock and press-to-unlock modes.

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 The volume control and the SIM tray are located on the left side of the device. The SIM tray features a triple tray slot that can accommodate two 4G nano-SIM cards and one microSD card for additional storage needs.

realme-8i-review

The usual 3.5mm headphone jack, primary microphone, USB Type-C connector, and loudspeaker are all located at the bottom of the device. It has a flat top and bottom, and it can easily stand on a flat surface.

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In addition to having a premium appearance, the realme 8i is designed to provide an excellent grip while using and with its attractive design and sturdy construction, it can leave a great impression.

Display
The realme 8i features a 6.6-inch LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, and a 180Hz touch sampling rate. The viewing angle is excellent, and the colors appear incredible, with deep black levels to match.

realme-8i-review

The screen may be refreshed at six different rates: 30Hz, 48Hz, 50Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz. While 60Hz is sufficient by default, upgrading to 120Hz provides a substantially smoother visual experience but consumes more power, resulting in shorter battery life.

realme 8i

It features a 120Hz adaptive mode, which means that whenever the screen is touched or the UI is used, it refreshes at 120Hz and then lowers to 30Hz a few seconds later. However, when watching YouTube or Netflix, the screen cycles between 120Hz and 60Hz, although the difference is barely noticeable, ensuring smooth and fluid operation.

realme 8i

The realme 8i display is very snappy and adaptive; it automatically adjusts to the standard refresh rates when applicable, which is a feature we particularly appreciate.


Performance and Software
realme 8i is the first smartphone that is powered by the MediaTek Helio G96 chipset. It features two powerful Arm Cortex-A76 processors cores clocked up to 2.05GHz in its octa-core CPU and Arm Mali-G57 for graphics performance.

realme 8i

It is offered in two configurations: the 4GB+64GB version and the 6GB+128GB model. The model we have for review has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage with a 5,000mAh battery.

realme 8i's performance on benchmark apps:

AnTuTu – 218,986
Geekbench – 538 (Single-core); 1,882 (Multi-core); 578 (OpenCL)
3D Mark – 1124 (Wild Life - Vulcan); 183 (Wild Life Extreme -- Vulcan)
PC Mark – 3536(Work 2.0)

For day to day use the realme 8i performs well delivering a smooth user interface experience thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate. Apps load fast, multitasking, and switching between apps is also fast and seamless.

It supports virtual RAM that is activated with a 2GB set with the option to increase it to 3GB or 5GB if needed, and because we want to enjoy maximum capability, we set it to 5GB to assist keep the performance smoother.

realme 8i

Gaming-wise, the realme 8i is capable of handling games ranging from simple and casual to high-graphics titles such as Genshin Impact, Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG, and our favorite, Pokemon Unite, among many others. Gameplay is seamless when using medium settings in Genshin Impact, whereas Call of Duty Mobile plays smoothly when using high graphics settings, and the 180Hz touch sampling rate is really handy in this game.

realme 8i

We played for more than 30 minutes and observed that the back of the device had become slightly warm to the touch. This is not a major problem, but it could have an impact on battery life. If you are going to use this as your main gaming phone we suggest getting the realme Cooling Back Clip which is a cool accessory that can keep your smartphone cool.

realme 8i

Out of the box, it runs on Android 11 with Realme UI 2.0, which provides extensive customization choices, new features, and functions, as well as better security features and settings. It's also on the company's list of devices that will receive the realme UI 3.0-based on Android 12 update when it becomes ready.

Battery Life
The realme 8i, like the majority of other realme smartphones, comes equipped with a 5,000mAh battery that is capable of 18W rapid charging. During our video loop test, it lasted for a total of 22 hours and 11 minutes, which is somewhat longer than other brands in the same price category.

realme 8i

It comes with a standard 5V/2A, 9V/2A 18W power adapter, while it's not slow at charging but it's not also fast compared to a 30W charger adapter. It is capable of charging the battery from 0% to 55% in around an hour, and fully charging the battery takes more than two hours. Sadly, no support for wireless charging.

Cameras
At first sight, the camera configuration in the back appears to have four camera systems, but a closer look reveals that there are only three cameras which includes the 50-megapixel Samsung sensor, f/1.8 primary main camera, a 2-megapixel, f/2.4 macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel, f/2.4 depth sensor. Upfront is has a 16-megapixel, f/2.05 selfie camera.

realme 8i

It comes with the standard realme camera app, which includes various shooting modes at the bottom of the viewfinder for easy access. At the top, there is an AI option that, when activated, allows the AI to detect what you're shooting and make appropriate modifications.

realme 8i

The basic shooting mode utilizes pixel binning to produce a 12.5-megapixel image from the sensor's 50-megapixel resolution. Photos taken in natural light appear to be above average in terms of detail and sharpness. In comparison to using the full 50-megapixel mode, which produces more detailed and sharper images, particularly when shooting distant subjects.

realme 8i-sample2

Close-up photos look great, with good colors and a soft depth of field. When using the portrait mode, the camera app allows you to adjust the amount of background blur before pressing the shutter button; images captured in this manner look excellent and clear, with good edge recognition on the subject.

realme 8i-sample1

Low-light performance is above average in this price range. Photos shot in low-light conditions lack some details and obvious noise; using the Night mode improves image quality by capturing details and making the photographs brighter.

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More sample photos taken using realme 8i here

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Both the primary and selfie cameras can shoot video in 1080p and 720p HD, sadly there is no support for 4K video recording. Additionally, it has an Ultra Steady mode that helps to stabilize footage and make recordings more stable.

Pros
Stylish design
Smooth display with high refresh and touch sampling rate
Fast performance with virtual RAM
Good battery life
Average camera performance

Cons
Single speaker
No wireless charging
On 18-Watt charger
Camera only supports 1080p video recording

Final Thoughts
The realme 8i is a good all-around midrange smartphone, with its primary features would be its stylish design and build, a large display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and a 180Hz touch sampling rate. With the Helio G96 chipset and virtual RAM, the device provides a smooth user experience and with very capable cameras. Battery life is good, but the bundled 18W charger feels insufficient when compared to the realme 7 with its 65-watt charger.

The realme 8i 4GB+64GB retails for ₱9,990 while the realme 8i 6GB+128GB will retail for ₱11,990. It's now available online exclusively on Lazada, and in over 500 offline stores and more than 4,000 partner dealers nationwide.

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