The Realme 8i is some other competent add-on to a somewhat crowded budget smartphone series. Its big, fluid display and large bombardment are stand-out components, though a lack of 5G and slow charging means you lot should carefully consider your priorities.
- Strong display for the coin
- Competent main photographic camera
- Two day battery potential
- No 5G
- Only 18W charging
- No ultrawide photographic camera
The Realme 8i packs a big battery that lasted u.s. through two days of use
120Hz refresh rate
This phone packs a super smooth LCD brandish, with a rapid refresh rate nosotros’re more used to seeing on premium handsets.
fifty-megapixel main photographic camera
The pb sensor on this smartphone has a notably high resolution
The Realme 8i is the third phone in the Realme 8 series I’ve used in the past year, and the 4th to have been released overall.
As the latest phone in this jam-packed range, it aims to supply a budget phone feel that gets close to the Realme eight and Realme viii 5G in sure places and exceeds them in others, all for similar money.
While you can’t buy the Realme 8i in the UK at the time of writing, it’south bachelor beyond Europe at €199 (around £168) for 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Meanwhile, €219 (roughly £185) will secure you double the storage.
The question is, do nosotros really demand another competent budget phone option? And does the Realme 8i do anything to stand out in such a saturated market?
Pattern and Screen
- Fairly drab design past Realme’s standards
- Quite big and heavy
- Large, fluid, and accurate display
Ane surface area where the Realme 8i most certainly doesn’t stand up out is its pattern. It looks an awful lot similar the rest of the Realme 8 range, minus the “Dare To Leap” slogan emblazoned on the rear cover.
That latter motion is an comeback in my book, though it does serve to remove the one real point of departure betwixt Realme phones and so many other budget handsets. Realme isn’t balky to a bold design gesture (witness the Realme GT), so it’s a shame it didn’t cut loose a niggling more here.
Even the tone of my model is a little drab. Realme calls it Galaxy Black, but its true colour is tough to pin down. At times it looks like a freshly poured pint of Guinness, while at others it looks like a kind of dingy off-purple. In that location’s a Space Purple option out in that location if you lot want something a little brighter.
Otherwise, this is some other glossy plastic phone with a particularly finger-impress-hungry finish. Within moments of handling the telephone for the first time I felt impelled to wipe it down and talc my palms.
At 194g information technology’s comfortably the heaviest in the range, but non to a bothersome extent. In the same mode, its footprint isn’t excessive at 164.1 10 75.5mm, while a thickness of 8.5mm just virtually stays on the right side of hefty.
You can’t debate with the build quality, and the metal-effect rim maintains the sense of understated quality. There’due south a fingerprint sensor stashed inside the power push on the correct-manus border, which I found to be quite reliable when hit square-on, simply a little flaky from any kind of angle.
There’s likewise a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom edge, right alongside the USB-C port and a somewhat gutless mono speaker.
The Realme 8i’s display is pretty decent. It’s an IPS LCD rather than an AMOLED, so it lacks the punchy colours and contrast of the Realme 8 and Realme 8 Pro. Merely it’s the largest display in the series at 6.half dozen-inches, and it doesn’t lack anything for sharpness at 1080 x 2412 (FHD+).
This is the simply Realme viii-serial phone with the 120Hz refresh rate, too. Only the Realme 8 5G gets anywhere close at 90Hz. Sure plenty, it feels nice and zippy, even if there isn’t quite that seamlessly fluid feel of a flagship phone.
Information technology’s pretty colour-accurate every bit LCDs go. I measured a gamut coverage of 99.6% sRGB, 83.8% Adobe RGB, and 99% DCI P3 using a colorimeter, which is decent.
Realme claims a superlative brightness of 600 nits, which understandably isn’t equally extreme every bit the 1000 nits of the Realme 8 Pro. I measured closer to 400 nits, but that was with auto effulgence turned off, so it probably has an extra level for when things get very bright.
- Capable 50-megapixel main sensor
- No ultrawide or telephoto
- Competent 16-megapixel selfie camera
The Realme 8i’s camera offering combines the decent with the disappointing. Which is just about all y’all tin can hope for in a budget telephone.
It’s a triple-camera set-upwardly led by a 50MP broad sensor, which sounds similar a strong package. However, there’due south no ultra-wide and no telephoto sensor, with the two secondaries taking the form of beggarly 2MP depth and macro sensors.
With the ultra-wide in particular, upkeep phone makers are in something of a “damned if you do; damned if you don’t” situation. We tend to lament the lack of such a provision, equally in this case, only likewise criticise the sub-optimal results when it is provided, as with the Realme eight Pro.
The answer is every bit simple as it is unhelpful – provide us with a decent upkeep ultra-wide sensor. Until that happens, we’ll just have to go along pointing out the failings of both approaches. Sorry guys.
The Realme 8i’due south master 50MP sensor seems like a decent upkeep provision, though information technology comes in at a adequately minor 1/2.76″. Like the Realme 8 and the Realme 8 5G earlier information technology, the Realme 8i is capable of capturing decent shots in good lighting, though I should emphasise that the 3 phones use different sensors.
That mutual quality is largely down to Realme’s natural-looking color science, which doesn’t make anything look too garish. However, I did option up on some instances of overexposure, such as when shooting some white flowers in a well-lit farm shop.
At that place’s a serviceable Night mode that makes low light shots wait a lot more than respectable than when simply pointing and shooting in auto mode. However, Realme’due south algorithmic efforts can’t wholly cover for the lack of OIS and that minor principal sensor, with plenty of grain and a full general lack of definition in challenging weather.
While there’southward no telephoto lens, Realme does insist on plumbing equipment its budget phone with both a 2x and a 5x zoom selection. The old is just about usable given the surfeit of pixels on offer, meaning that the cropping technique doesn’t verbal likewise much punishment as long as yous don’t look also closely.
That said, the 5x option (above) is a full blur-o-vision write-off.
The 16MP selfie camera hits competent condition, and I was fifty-fifty reasonably impressed by the selfie portrait mode, which successfully isolated me from my blurred groundwork without chopping my ear off or creating a creepy halo upshot. Perhaps that 2MP depth camera isn’t a total waste of infinite later on all.
- MediaTek G96 Helio offers fairly ordinary functioning
- Realme UI two.0 is a middling Android user interface
- No 5G
Realme promises an “Ultra Polish Experience in the price segment” with the Realme 8i, and information technology largely delivers. That 120Hz display, paired with a stiff and upwardly-to-date budget processor in the Mediatek Helio G96 processor, makes for fluid navigation.
This is the European debut for the Helio G96, which only launched in July 2022. In functioning terms, it’s a slight just notable step up from the Realme viii with its previous-gen Helio G95 chip, as well as the Realme 8 5G with its Mediatek Dimensity 700, and even the Realme 8 Pro with its Snapdragon 720G.
In my benchmark testing the Realme 8i scored an boilerplate Geekbench v multi-core score of 1900, while the Realme scored 1692 and the Realme 8 5G scored 1749. Outside of the Realme bubble, the highly regarded Poco X3 NFC scored 1769. It’southward a stiff result.
While information technology’s a capable bit in CPU terms, however, the Mediatek Helio G96 isn’t quite so impressive when it comes to the GPU. I recorded an average 3D marker Wild Life score of 1093, which falls manner short of the Realme 8 on 1467, even though that uses the older Helio G95.
It’southward about equal to the Realme viii 5G’southward 1095. The gap is similar in the more intensive Slingshot Extreme test.
In gaming terms, CoD Mobile defaults to Low Graphical Quality and Medium Frame Rate, while PUBG Mobile defaults to Hard disk drive with a High frame rate. Both run perfectly competently for a budget phone.
Just virtually the biggest weakness of the Helio G96 is that it doesn’t back up 5G connectivity. If that’s a big issue for you, then the Realme 8 5G is the natural option. For nearly people shopping at this end of the marketplace, even so, I seriously doubt that zippier download speeds in certain areas of towns and cities will be a massive draw.
As with the rest of the Realme 8 family unit, the Realme 8i runs on Android xi with Realme UI two.0 layered on top. This particular have differs from my Realme 8 and Realme 8 5G experience in that it swaps out Google Feed for Realme’s Smart Assistant. This makes it worse, replacing Google’south fantabulous assemblage service for useless Quick Functions (frequently used functions) and a stride tracker.
Otherwise this is a reasonably clean and intuitive take on Android, neither peculiarly sharp and fashionable nor overly fussy. My test model seemed to exist bound for the Russia region, judging from the Russian-language apps that were pre-installed, so information technology’s probably non fair to complain as well much of bloatware.
However, there are constants like Soloop (a video editing app), Realme Link (a smart device manager), a Realme Community app, and other superfluous preinstalled apps. You also become a smattering of preinstalled third party efforts similar Booking.com, TikTok, WhatsApp, and WPS Office.
Suffice to say, if you adopt your preinstalled apps and services to exist minimal, you lot’re probably ameliorate off with a budget phone from Nokia or Motorola.
- 5000mAh bombardment adept for two days of light apply
- 18W charger is 1 of the lowliest in the range
Just like the Realme 8 and Realme viii 5G, the Realme 8i, the Realme 8i packs in a meaty 5000mAh battery. Unlike that latter phone, it doesn’t have to worry nigh 5G connectivity, but unlike both phones it does have to worry about a 120Hz display refresh rate.
Non that this makes a huge divergence to stamina. Playing thirty minutes of PUBG sapped 7% of a charge, just similar it did with the Realme 8.
Ane hour of video streaming also drained 7% on the Realme 8i, which is significantly worse than the Realme 8 (iii%), and just a tad better than the Realme 8 5G (eight%) and the Oppo A54 5G (9%).
The standard Trusted Reviews battery test, which involves running 3D Marking’s Wild Life Stress Test for a solid 60 minutes, sapped 11% of a charge, which falls a footling shy of the Realme 8 5G’s ix%.
Ultimately, in general mixed usage, this is a phone with genuine 2 day potential. In that respect it’s very much in keeping with the aforementioned Realme 8 siblings.
One way in which the Realme 8i falls somewhat brusk is its charging speeds. Realme supplies an 18W charger in the box, which doesn’t get shut to the 30W chargers of the Realme 8, allow lone the 50W charger of the Realme viii Pro.
In practical terms, I recorded it charging from 0 to 50% in 47 minutes. That’s not far off double the time information technology took the Realme 8 (26 minutes) to do the same for me. Information technology’s a piffling quicker than the Realme viii 5G (52 minutes), which also comes supplied with an 18W charger.
Should you lot buy it?
You want a skillful screen at a peachy toll.
The Realme 8i’s brandish is big, sharp, fluid, and colour accurate, which hasn’t ever been a common combination in a budget phone.
You want two days’ worth of accuse.
The Realme 8i’s 5000mAh battery will get you through 2 days of solid usage, provided you don’t push button the media side besides hard.
You want 5G.
The Realme 8i doesn’t support 5G connectivity. Get the Realme 8 5G if that matters to y’all.
You like to shoot wide-angle shots.
At that place’s no ultra-wide camera provision whatsoever here.
From a certain angle the Realme 8i feels like a somewhat unnecessary addition to the four-stiff Realme 8 range, which perhaps explains its express availability.
It’s a competent telephone all the same, with the largest and most fluid display in the family, though information technology’south not quite up there with the best cheap phones around. Meanwhile, its large battery comfortably lives upwards to the Realme 8 and Realme 8 5G in terms of ii-twenty-four hours potential. It’s a shame the charging speeds fall so far short of the best in the serial, however.
Otherwise, information technology’due south an exercise in priorities. Functioning is adequate, but you’ll have to brand exercise without 5G. Similarly, you’ll become a reasonable 50MP main photographic camera, merely no ultra-wide.
If display clarity is everything to yous, then the Realme 8i is worthy of serious consideration. Otherwise, information technology’s another budget telephone also-ran.
How we test
Nosotros test every mobile telephone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our master device over the review period. Nosotros’ll ever tell yous what we find and we never, e’er, accept coin to review a product.
Photographic camera tested in multifariousness of situations with all modes
Tested with synthetic benchmarks and existent world utilize
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How expert is the battery life?
The 5000mAh bombardment is good for two days.
Is this phone 5G?
There is no 5G support for this phone
What software does it run?
Android xi with Realme UI 2.0
Trusted Reviews test data
Time from 0-50% accuse
Time from 0-100% accuse
xxx minute gaming (intensive)
1 hr video playback (Netflix, HDR)
Geekbench 5 multi cadre
Geekbench v single core
3D Mark – Sling Shot Extreme
3D Mark – Wild Life
Refresh Charge per unit
Mitchell & Brown
75.5 x 8.5 ten 164.ane MM
1080 10 2412
MediaTek Helio G96
An abbreviation for milliampere-hour and a manner to express the capacity of batteries, especially smaller ones in phones. In well-nigh cases the higher the mAh, the longer the battery volition last but this isn’t ever the case.
Offering faster download and upload speeds when compared to 4G. Great for game streaming and HDR video playback. Not supported everywhere all the same and speeds vary wildly.
The blazon of display normally used on cheaper and mid-range devices. Lacks the dial on an OLED panel.
Qi Wireless Charging
The nearly common format for wireless charging and the one supported past the bulk of devices. Accuse speeds vary a lot by the phone.
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