realme 8i review: Don’t judge a phone by its spec sheet

Dec 17, 2021 Administrator Reviews 48 hits

realme 8i review: Don’t judge a phone by its spec sheet

It was May 2019 when the 90Hz refresh rate screen first hit the mainstream smartphone market. Just when we thought phones had plateaued in bringing blistering speed, this feature suddenly arrived. At the moment, it felt like a game-changer.

Fast forward to December 2021 and we’ve quickly transitioned to 120Hz refresh rate screens as the new norm for flagship smartphones.

It has become a requirement for the best-of-the-best to have a blazing fast refresh rate. Anything less would feel like a disappointment. It’s that very reason that makes the realme 8i such an intriguing smartphone choice.

Priced at PhP 9,990 for the 4GB/64GB option, and PhP 11,990 for the 6GB/128GB option, the realme 8i promises an #InfinitelySmooth experience that’s accessible for the everyday Filipino.

The spec sheet is promising, but does the actual experience with the device hold up?

Impressive hardware hindered by an inconsistent screen

Out of the box, the realme 8i is an impressive-looking device. Sporting a 6.6-inch screen with small bezels, you wouldn’t blame people for thinking that the phone cost more than its asking price. If you chose to rock this phone without a case, I wouldn’t blame you; it’s gorgeous and it feels very good in the hand.

It’s a shame then that the LCD screen in the 8i is marred by poor brightness. Indoors, it’s a very good display; so good in fact I’d argue it competes against the AMOLED screens of the smartphone world. The phone offers good contrast and colors pop out well. Consuming media with this screen is a delight when paired with its impressive set of speakers.

The problem is, the experience isn’t as good outdoors and in less than ideal lighting situations. Browsing through social media when outside can be a struggle, even on max brightness. While realme did promise that, “Even at night, your eyes can stay comfortable while you use your phone,” I can’t give it the same amount of praise when using the 8i during the morning.

The realme 8i offers a triple-camera setup, but don’t be fooled. Its macro lens and B&W lenses don’t move the needle that much when it comes to the experience of this phone.

This is a reminder that when doing multi-camera setups, it’s best to pair the main sensor with a wide-angle and telephoto lens. At this point though, that feels like nitpicking. For the price of the 8i, you are getting a great main camera.

Although, realme’s 50-megapixel primary lens consistently came out with great shots no matter the lighting condition. Indoor shots were never grainy and provided adequate detail on images.

Outdoor shots were great and showcased realme’s quality image processing. Pictures got that pop most users expect out of modern smartphone cameras, but they weren’t oversaturated to the point of looking unnatural.

The same can’t be said of the 8i’s selfie shooter. While you expect outdoor shots to showcase a camera’s capabilities, that wasn’t the case for this device. Shots done outdoors in good lighting conditions came out with unnatural results, which is the opposite of what you’d expect from modern shooters.

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