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realme 8i Review Philippines: The New Budget King?

by John Nieves  November 16, 2021

Review Verdict: The realme 8i brings a great mix of design, cameras and performance to the Philippines, all with a price that’s hard to ignore.

Pros

  • Stand out design
  • Good camera performance
  • Good display for the price
  • Excellent price

Cons

  • No ultra-wide snapper

realme 8i Philippines specs

  • MediaTek Helio G96 processor
  • 4GB/6GB RAM
  • 64GB/128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 6.6-inch IPS Full HD+ display, 120hz refresh rate
  • 50-megapixel f/1.8 main camera, 2-megapixel mono camera, 2-megapixel depth-sensing camera, LED flash
  • 16-megapixel camera
  • LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, side-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • 18W fast charging
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android 11, realme UI 2.0

realme is launching yet another smartphone in the Philippines this week, this time it’s their new realme 8i. The new phone looks visually stunning and has some serious performance under the hood along with an excellent, affordable price tag.

Design

The realme 8i is quite different from the usual phones we see from the brand: instead of a matte, non-reflective design, you’re getting an incredibly shiny, reflective phone that’s treated with a gradient finish.

The phone’s back is made out of plastic, though it doesn’t feel like a cheap, budget phone. The realme 8i punches above its weight class in terms of the overall design and feel – something that we wish other phones in its price range achieve.

Physical controls on the realme 8i are pretty typical – the right side of the plastic frame holds the power button (which doubles as a fingerprint scanner) while the left side holds the volume rocker. The bottom of the phone holds the Type-C connector, flanked by the speaker grille and a 3.5mm jack.

Overall the realme 8i is probably the most striking of all the budget phones that have come across our desk so far this year and should be the choice of anyone that puts a premium on a phone’s overall appearance.

Display and sound

While the realme 8i has a typical LCD screen measuring at 6.6-inches, it makes up for this with a relatively fast refresh rate of 120Hz that has dynamic refresh capabilities. This means the panel’s refresh rate drops down to as low as 30Hz and as high as 120Hz depending on the content on the screen, which saves power.

There’s a punch-hole notch at the upper left side of the display that holds the selfie camera.

Surprisingly enough the LCD screen is very bright, which isn’t always the case for displays on budget phones. It has to be one of the brightest, non AMOLED panels we’ve seen this year and is easily seen even under direct sunlight.

The realme 8i also has a few other goodies: DCI-P3 color support as well as Widevine L1 DRM and 180Hz sampling rate.

The phone has a single bottom-firing speaker, and it’s a good thing it also has a 3.5mm jack – audio from the speaker is acceptable below 50 – any more than that you’re just creating noise that’s both tinny and lacking in depth.

Cameras

The realme 8i has three cameras, but only one is truly useful. Its rear camera module holds a 50-megapixel main shooter that has an f/1.8 aperture lens, along with a 2-megapixel macro and depth camera that has an f/2.4 aperture lens.

We’re a little disappointed that realme decided to go with two filler cameras to beef up the main shooter instead of going with a secondary wide-angle lens, as the latter is more useful for consumers.

That being said, the main camera produced really good photos. Photos are pixel binned to 12.5-megapixels, and the result are snaps that have excellent detail, great colors, and fantastic dynamic range.

The main shooter’s capabilities are very surprising for what you’re paying for, delivering image quality that we usually associate with more expensive phones.

Performance, software, battery

The realme 8i sports the Mediatek Helio G96 processor under the hood, which is paired with a Mali-G57 MC2 chipset. Two variants of the realme 8i will be made available to the Philippines: a 4GB/64GB version and a 6GB/128GB variant.

Storage can further be expanded using a dedicated MicroSD slot, though if you’re interested in the phone you’d be better served with the variant that has more storage.

As far as performance goes, the realme 8i is pretty good and scores good marks for the price in synthetic benchmarks. The phone’s perfectly capable of running most apps and games without any issues, and thanks to its big battery and excellent battery life, you’ll be able to run those apps for a while before needing to charge.

The realme 8i uses Android 11 along with realme UI 2.0. Like similar phones in its price range, realme UI 2.0 offers rich customization options along with customizable home screens (and an app drawer).

One thing I don’t like about realme UI 2.0 is the fact that it has a LOT of bloatware pre-installed. The shot above shows just how much comes with the phone when you first get it – take note that the only apps that we’ve manually installed ourselves as of that photo were PCMark, 3DMark, and GeekBench.

As for the battery, the realme 8i has a 5000mAh battery, and the phone comes with an 18W fast charger. Battery life for the realme 8i is 15 hours and 38 minutes using PCMark’s battery benchmark, which is pretty good – that’s more than enough endurance for an entire day’s use.

Wrap-up and verdict

We found that the realme 8i is a great buy in our review for anyone looking for a value-packed smartphone in the Philippines. While it doesn’t have a wide-angle camera, its 50-megapixel snapper punches way above its weight class, producing photos that you’d typically expect from more expensive devices.

The phone’s distinct look makes it stand out in a sea of similarly-priced phones, and its processing package offers fantastic value for anyone looking to make the most out of their money.

realme 8i Review Philippines Price

The realme 8i has a price of Php 9,990 in the Philippines for the 4GB/64GB variant and Php 11,990 for the 6GB/128GB variant.

As an early-bird offer exclusively on Lazada, the realme 8i 4/64GB will be available for P8,990, while the 6GB/128GB will be Php 10,990 starting November 17, 12MN onwards, until November 21.

 

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