realme Pad Review: Sleek Android tablet in a budget


After a lot of teasers, realme finally launched its realme Pad, the company’s first tablet in India last week. This has a large 10.4-inch WUXGA+ display, comes with an ultra-sleek 6.9mm metal body, has quad speakers, and packs a 7100mAh battery. It has a MediaTek Helio G80 which is mostly used in mid-range phones, is this good for a tablet with a large screen? Is the new realme UI for Pad optimized for tablets? Let us dive into the review to find out.

Box Contents

  • realme Pad 4GB + 64GB LTE in Real Grey colour
  • 18W charger
  • USB Type-C Cable
  • SIM Ejector tool

Display, Hardware and Design

Starting with the display, the tablet has a 10.4-inch (2000×1200 pixels) WUXGA+ (Widescreen Ultra eXtended Graphics Array Plus) with a pixel density of 224 PPI and 82.5% screen-to-body ratio. The display is bright to view indoors since it has 360 nits brightness. The viewing angles are good as well, but the screen is glossy and is prone to fingerprints. There is reading mode which turns the display black and white and this is useful when you are reading books. The eye comfort mode cuts out the blue light.

The company says that it has Sunlight Mode that will adjust the screen’s maximum brightness, so you can clearly see the content when outdoors. However, the display is hardly visible in bright outdoors even when the auto brightness mode is enabled or when brightness is set to full.

The tablet is just 6.9mm thick and weighs just 440 grams, even though it packs a huge 7100mAh battery and has a large 10.4-inch screen.

Coming to the button placements, the volume rockers are on the right side, if you are holding the tablet in the portrait mode. You can also see dual microphones. The hybrid SIM slot is also present on the same side. The power button and speaker grills are on the top. The 3.5mm audio jack, speaker grills and the USB type-C port are present on the bottom.

The main highlight of the realme Pad is its aluminum alloy body. realme says that this involves CNC diamond cutting, anodizing, precision sandblasting, and more. There is an 8-megapixel camera on the corner, and a small line running along the camera. You can also see the small realme branding. It feels solid and good to hold in hand. It might be a bit slippery for some. Hope we can expect some cases from realme to protect the tablet.

We have the Real Grey version, and the tablet also comes in Real Gold colour variant.

 

Camera

Coming to the camera, the tablet has an 8-megapixel rear camera on the back without flash. There is an 8-megapixel camera on the front, but this has 105° wide viewing angle. Both the cameras can record videos in up to 1080p 30 fps which is decent. The front camera is good for video calls and the rear camera takes decent images. The camera UI is just basic with option to take 1X, 2X and 5X images, toggle to front and back, video mode and the expert mode, which is the pro mode. The camera UI doesn’t rotate to landscape mode when you rotate the tablet.

Check out the camera samples.

Software, UI and Apps

Coming to the software, the tablet runs Android 11 with realme UI for Pad. It has the latest Android security for September 2021. There are options like Multi-Window Mode that lets you run two apps side-by-side simultaneously, but this doesn’t work will all the apps. You also get Google Kids Space that has a range of applications, videos, and books suitable for children. Parents can set a screen usage limit and select which applications
their children can use.

This is more like stock Android on a phone that is designed to work in landscape mode. realme can work on adding more features that is available on their phones. Apart from Google apps, it doesn’t have any bloatware.

Out of  4GB LPDDR4x RAM, you get 3.8GB of usable RAM, and about 1.8GB of RAM is free when default apps are running in the background. Out of 64GB, you get about 50.8GB of free storage. The phone uses eMMC 5.1 storage, which is common in most tablets in the budget.  We got sequential read speeds of about 308 MB/s.

Face unlock

The tablet doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner, so you have to rely on face unlock, which is quick to unlock the device. realme also says that you can use your Band/Watch to unlock the realme Pad instantly with Bluetooth.

Multimedia

YouTube Music is the default Music Player, and there is Dolby Atmos. It doesn’t have FM Radio support. Audio through the quad speakers is brilliant without any distortion even in full volume. Audio through earphones is decent, but it is not the best when you compare it with phones.

This has Widevine L1 so that you can play HD content on Netflix and other streaming apps. However, Amazon Prime Video couldn’t play HD content properly. Hope we can expect realme to fix this in an update. There is no HDR support. Since this has 5:3 aspect ratio, you get a tiny black bar on the top and the bottom, but this is hardly noticeable.

Dual SIM and Connectivity

The realme Pad comes in both Wi-Fi and 4G LTE models. The 4G version we have has hybrid dual SIM support so that you can use dual SIM cards or a SIM and a microSD card. It has 4G VoLTE and VoWi-Fi, but there is no Carrier Aggregation on 4G. There is Dual-Band Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz). Similar to other Helio G80 powered tablet, the Wi-Fi range and speed were not the best. Other connectivity options include Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, GLONASS and also has USB OTG support to connect external drives. Moving on, the call quality is good, and we did not face any call drops and the volume from the speaker and when using a headset is good.

The realem Pad’s body SAR is 1.279W/Kg which is slightly high compared to most phones, but it well under the limit in India which is 1.6 W/kg (over 1 g).

Performance

Powering the tablet is the new MediaTek Helio G80 Octa-Core SoC that is built on the 12nm architecture. There are Dual 2GHz Cortex-A75 + Hexa 1.8GHz 6x Cortex-A55 CPUs paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. The Helio G80 is a good mid-range SoC for phones, and it does a decent job in tablet as well. Coming to the performance, the Helio G80 on the realme Pad handles casual tasks such as browsing, social media, streaming on Netflix and casual games with ease with no lags or whatsoever.

With intensive tasks like video rendering, Photo Editing, it is fairly decent. For casual games like Temple Run and Ludo King and graphic-intensive games like Asphalt 8, BGMI and Call of Duty Mobile, etc. it is decent, but not the best. In Call of Duty Mobile the maximum setting is Medium- High. It gets a bit warm on intensive gaming for long since it has a metal body, but it doesn’t get too hot.

Battery life

Coming to the battery life, the tablet packs a 7100mAh (typical) battery that promises up to 12 hours of video playback. Based on my use, I got close to 10 hours of streaming videos on Netflix and YouTube. This might vary if you set the brightness to high. Since the tablet has support for 18W fast charging, it can charge from 0 to 50% in about 1 hour and 15 minutes, and 0 to 100% takes 3 hours for a full charge, which is long. This is common in tablets with huge batteries. Hope we get the realme Dart Charge tech for next-gen realme Pad.

Conclusion

Overall, the realme Pad is good for multimedia consumption, thanks to the large high-resolution display and quad speakers with Dolby Atmos. The performance is decent as well, but the company could have opted for Helio G90 series that offers a better gaming performance. The choice of processor is mainly to keep the cost low, according to realme. You don’t get a tablet with a sleek design and a metal body in the price range. On top of that, there is also an LTE model with hybrid dual SIM support that you rarely see in tablets.

Even though the display is good for indoors, the glossy finish is prone to smudges and the brightness makes viewing hard outdoors. As I have mentioned earlier, we also need good cases to protect the tablet. I couldn’t find any third-party cases either.

Pricing and availability

The realme Pad comes is priced at Rs. 13,999 for the 3GB RAM with 32GB storage Wi-Fi version, Rs. 15,999 for the 3GB RAM with 32GB storage LTE + Wi-Fi version and the top-end 4GB RAM with 64GB storage 4G + Wi-Fi version costs Rs. 17,999. However only the LTE version is going on sale today, September 16th through Flipkart, realme.com and offline stores. The Wi-Fi only entry-level version will be available soon.

Flipkart purchases get Flat Rs. 2000 off with HDFC Bank Debit and Credit Cards and EMI and buyers on realme.com get Flat Rs. 1000 ICICI Bank Credit Cards and Credit Card EMI.

Pros

  • Large high-resolution display
  • Quad speakers with Dolby Atmos
  • Decent performance
  • Ultra-sleek design with metal body
  • Hybrid Dual SIM option in LTE model
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Outdoor display visibility is not the best
  • realme UI for Pad needs work
  • No cases for protection available right now

Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram