Since its launch in 2018, Realme has joined the ranks of younger brands from the Chinese market that are causing more established names to look over their shoulders. Its blend of solid components and low pricing has already seen Realme phones sell in impressive quantities, especially in markets like India.
We were very impressed with the Realme 6 and Realme 7 when we reviewed them in 2020, and now the company has begun teasing the Realme 8 series, even revealing core specs and our first look at the regular model. We take a look at the news and rumours surrounding this upcoming release.
When will the Realme 8 be released?
Realme has already half-announced the Realme 8 range – the company held an event in March specifically focussed on the camera features of the Realme 8 Pro, which boasts the company’s first 108Mp-led camera system. The event didn’t mention when the 8 Pro would be launching, or when to expect any other member of the Realme 8 family, however.
Looking at the past two models in this range, it seems that Realme has adopted the roughly six-month upgrade cycle that we’ve seen from brands such as OnePlus (who has the same parent company – BBK Electronics). Here’s how the previous handsets have lined up:
Realme 6 – released March 2020
Realme 7 – released October 2020
How much will the Realme 8 cost?
Pricing has always been aggressive in this sector of the smartphone market, with Realme delivering some real bargains with its past offerings. You can see how much they cost in the list below:
Realme 6 – £219
Realme 7 – £179
While the Realme 7 actually saw a drop in price from its predecessor, we don’t expect things to go much lower than the £179 mark when the Realme 8 arrives. Even if it middles out at £199, you should still be getting a great deal.
Realme does also have other models in each range, with the Realme 6 coming in both 6i and 6 Pro versions, offering cheaper or more premium products. The 7 series was slightly different in that it had the standard, i and Pro models, as well as a 5G variant too. We already know that there’s a Realme 8 Pro in addition to the regular model, but only time will tell what other variants appear.
Here’s how much the previous models cost:
Realme 6i – £189
Realme 6 – £219
Realme 6 Pro – £299
Realme 7 – £179
Realme 7 Pro – £279
Realme 7 5G – £279
What specs and features will we see in the Realme 8?
Realme has taken an odd approach to teasing the Realme 8 series – first the company unveiled the Realme 8 Pro’s camera system, with no other details, and then the CEO went ahead and shared a photo revealing half the specs of the standard phone too.
To Infinity & beyond with Trendsetting Tech…Are you ready? pic.twitter.com/GKiR9YNoQg
— Madhav108MP (@MadhavSheth1)
March 3, 2021
CEO Madhav Sheth tweeted the above image, taken on a Realme 8 Pro – which we’ll get to in a second. It reveals most of the core specs for the standard 8, as well as giving us a look at the phone itself. Apparently we can expect:
6.4in Super AMOLED
MediaTek Helio G95 chipset
64Mp quad camera
That’s the same chipset, battery, and charging speed as the Realme 7, though the camera has clearly had an upgrade from 48Mp to 64Mp. The display is more complex; the Realme 7 has a 90Hz LCD, but this appears to be a 60Hz AMOLED – so while colour quality and battery life should be improved, refresh rate is taking a hit.
As for the design, we can see a move to a blocky, almost-square camera module, and the return of the big and bold ‘Dare to Leap’ branding along the rear.
The design does appear to match the phone seen in the hands of Bollywood star Salman Khan in photos shared by GizmoChina. Khan has helped promote the Series 6 and 7 phones, so it does seem credible that he would get an early version of the new hardware.
Although it was the first phone Realme revealed from the range, we actually know less about the 8 Pro now – we only really know it will pack a 108Mp camera using Samsung’s ISOCELL HM2 sensor, and will presumably match or beat the Realme 8 across the other core specs.
Look out for our full review of both devices, once they’re available, and in the meantime read our best budget smartphone and best budget Chinese smartphone roundups to see what the Realme 8/8 Pro are up against – or check out our round-up of all the latest Realme GT news for the company’s other imminent phone launch.