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realme 8 4G Long Term Review - Still good 3 months after?

OPPO
Huawei
We share our thoughts and experiences with realme 8 after three long months of use! 
realme 8 4G Long Term Review - Still good 3 months after?
realme 8's DARE TO LEAP back design

In May 2021, realme announced the realme 8 series in the Philippines. In our Unboxing and First Impressions, we praised its Super AMOLED panel, 5,000mAh battery, 30W charging, in-display fingerprint scanner, and triple-slot SIM tray.

In the Philippines, the realme 8 sells for only PHP 13,990.

How does it perform and is it worth the asking price?

Let's dive in!

Multimedia Experience

realme 8's display
realme 8's display

In front is a large 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 60Hz refresh rate, a 180Hz touch sampling rate, and a 2400 x 1080 resolution. Around the panel are slim top and side bezels. The chin bezel is thicker and there is a punch hole on the top left corner. On top of the display is a super slim earpiece.

We love this display!

The panel produces vibrant and detailed images with deep contrast. It also supports 10-points of multitouch that are responsive, accurate, and quick. We did not notice a delay, misread taps or gestures.
Bottom speakers and 3.5mm audio jack
Bottom speakers and 3.5mm audio jack

The phone has microphones on top and at the bottom. Also at the bottom are the single speaker grill and the 3.5mm audio jack.

At maximum volume, the bottom-firing speaker can produce sound with a decent maximum volume. At full blast, the sound is tingy and distorted. We recommend lowering the volume to 80 percent for the best sound quality. The sound is decently clear and with decent separation. It is found enough to fill a small room but will struggle in an open and loud environment.

The microphone recording of the realme 8 is decent. It can pick up audio to a meter away from the phone. The noise cancellation is good enough that our callers never complained about voice quality.

Cameras

Quad-rear cameras!
Quad-rear cameras!

At the back of the realme 8 are a 64MP f/1.7 main camera with PDAF and EIS, 8MP f/2.25 119-degree ultra-wide-angle camera, 2MP f/2.4 4cm macro, and 2MP f/2.4 monochrome camera with LED flash.

The camera app has several modes that include: Photo, Portrait, 64MP, Night, Video, Starry Mode, Dual-View Video, Slo-Mo, Time-lapse, Movie, Expert, Pano, Text Scanner, and Ultra-macro.

The Pro or Expert mode allows for control of ISO (100-6400), Shutter Speed (1/8000 to 32 seconds), White Balance, and AF, EV (+-3). Users also have the option to switch between the ultra-wide and the main camera.

Rear Camera Samples

Main camera daylight
Main camera daylight
Ultra-wide camera daylight
Ultra-wide camera daylight

In daylight, the images from the realme 8's main camera and ultra-wide camera have vibrant color and decent sharpness. However, the lack of contrast makes the image feel like a flat water color painting.
Close-up shot
Close-up shot

The main camera produced a decent Macro shot where the bokeh falls off is smooth and the subject in focus is sharp. The color reproduction is decently close to the real thing too.
Main camera indoors
Main camera indoors
Ultra-wide camera indoors
Ultra-wide camera indoors

Indoors, the main camera and ultra-wide camera produced the same results. The images have vibrant color and decent sharpness. However, because of the lack of contrast, the images look flat.
Main camera low light
Main camera low light
Ultra-wide camera low light
Ultra-wide camera low light

In low light, the main camera and ultra-wide camera produce images with a lot of noise. This results in soft images with inaccurate color and overexposed light sources. 
Main camera night mode
Main camera night mode
Ultra-wide camera night mode
Ultra-wide camera night mode

Night mode is available for the main and ultra-wide cameras. The main camera's night mode image is a lot cleaner. Most of the noise has been removed which resulted in sharper and more detailed images. However, the color is inaccurate with a prominent warmer tone.

While the ultra-wide night mode produced an overall cleaner image with decent sharpness but with a prominent green tone. 

Both the night mode images are noticeably better than the low light and we recommend using it when the subject is static especially in low light.
realme 8's selfie camera!
realme 8's selfie camera!

On the punch hole of the cover screen, you will find a 16MP f/2.0 Sony IMX471 shooter. It has most of the basic modes like Face Beauty, Portrait mode, HDR, filters, and more. It even has a selfie Night mode.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Portrait Selfie
Portrait Selfie
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Selfie low light
Selfie low light
Selfie Night mode
Selfie Night mode

The front-facing camera is able to produce sharp and vibrant selfies in daylight and indoors. Even the low light image is decent but with more noise and less detail. 

The Night Mode selfie improves upon the low light selfie by reducing the grain and by reducing the overexposed areas. Details were retrieved and the selfie is cleaner. 

The rear can capture up to 4K at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps w/out stabilization but is limited to the main camera only. While the ultra-wide camera can capture up to 1080p 30fps w/out stabilization. 

There is an Ultra Steady mode that stabilizes the video but with a huge crop.

Performance

AnTuTu and GeekBench
AnTuTu and GeekBench

The realme 8's 12nm MediaTek Helio G95 octa-core processor, Mali-G76 3EEMC4 GPU, LPDDR4X RAM, and UFS 2.1 managed to score 359,576 in AnTuTu. The phone increased an average of 6 degrees. During the whole run, it lost 3 percent in the battery.

G95 is not bad

While in GeekBench, the phone scored 536 in the Single-Core tests and 1704 in the Multi-Core tests.
3DMark and CPDT
3DMark and CPDT

In the 3DMark Wild Life benchmark, the phone scored 422 and 2.5 average fps. 

While the internal storage managed to get a result of 140.11 MB/s in sequential write speeds and a score of 325.70 in sequential read speeds. 

In terms of synthetic benchmarks, the realme 8 performs as expected. Sometimes even better.
Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact

It is in the gaming graphics department the MediaTek G95 SoC managed to unlock the Medium graphics settings as the default in Genshin Impact. This is respectable as very few affordable phones can even run the phone above the Low graphics settings. Users also have the option of lowering the graphics settings and switching to 60fps for a smoother experience.

In our daily use with the realme 8, we can play an hour session of Genshin Impact smoothly with little increase in temperature. The phone never got uncomfortably hot.
Call of Duty: Mobile
Call of Duty: Mobile

In the latest version of Call of Duty: Mobile, the 12nm SoC managed to unlock the Max Frame Rate setting and the Very High Graphics setting. Unfortunately, users can not select both the Max frame rate and the Very High graphics settings at the same time. At best, the phone can run CoD: Mobile at High graphics settings and Max frame rate.

Under the display is the fingerprint scanner. It is quick to set up and it detects and scans the fingerprint right away. Unlocking the phone is instantaneous and is accurate. It struggles when our fingerprint is dirty.

While the Face Unlock with the punch hole camera is also easy to set up and works just as fast as the fingerprint scanner as long as you are looking at the camera. It detects my face and unlocks the phone instantaneously in both well-lit and poorly lit environments. The screen brightens up when in a darker environment too. 

The phone works with OTG when the feature is enabled manually. The WiFI, Bluetooth, LTE connections are fast, stable, and reliable. The GPS acquires our location immediately and accurately.
PCMark and Battery usage
PCMark and Battery usage

Inside the phone is a 5,000mAh battery with 30W Dart Charge fast charging via USB-C. 

It takes the phone under 60 minutes to charge from 0 to 100 percent. 

In our usual PCMark battery benchmark, the realme 8 managed to endure 14 hours and 8 minutes.

The realme 8 has slightly above-average battery performance!

We used the phone as our daily driver where we would be doing our routine tasks where we use the phone to call, text, web surf, e-mail, stream music, and video, play games, and navigate with Waze. The phone managed to last a day with 30 to 35 percent of battery left after a 12-hour workday. In one of our heavy workdays, we managed to reach over 8 hours and 49 minutes of on-screen time with 20 percent left.
realme UI 2.0
realme UI 2.0

For software, it is running on the latest Android 11-based realme UI 2.0. Visually, there have been tweaks from the original realme UI that makes it unique and more appealing. The OS is also snappy and responsive. Navigating, opening, and switching between apps is instantaneous. realme UI does not have a problem with the Helio G95.

The phone has a ton of settings and features that are categorized in an organized manner in the Settings app. Most are placed in a logical manner but because there are a lot of them, the search bar is very helpful.

Though realme UI 2.0 originally launched just a few years ago, it is pretty polished and we do not find much to complain about it.

Pros - Eye-catching design, lightweight, enduring battery life, surprisingly good gaming performance, well-rounded smartphone, fast charging, 
Cons - 60Hz panel downgrade, super thick chin bezel, terrible low light camera performance

Verdict

realme 8's web browsing experience
realme 8's web browsing experience

For PHP 13,990, realme has made one of the most well-rounded smartphones we've tried in 2021. 

The design is eyecatching. the build materials are decently solid while being lightweight. The screen is bright, vibrant, and detailed but is not a high refresh rate panel. The cameras take good pictures and the battery is solid. The Helio G95 manages to offer solid gameplay.

Our only concerns are considered nitpicks: The chin bezel is thick, the panel is a 60Hz refresh rate panel downgrade, and the low light camera performance could be improved.

What do you guys think?

Build/Design - 4
Multimedia Experience - 4.25
Cameras - 4
Performance - 4/25
Average - 3.56/5
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