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Realme Pad Review: Good enough for video calling, frenzy

Realme has shaken up the smartphone market by offering great-value devices at different prices. The company took inspiration from Xiaomi’s playbook, but managed to give more bang for the buck to other popular brands. With the launch of the Realme Pad, it looks like the company is planning to replicate this in the tablet market.

The new tablet offers good features at a fraction of the cost, and it seems to have the power to shake Lenovo’s well-established dominance in the economy segment. It comes with a starting price of Rs 13,999 in India. We have been using Realme Pad for a few weeks and here is what we think about it.

Realme Pad Review: What’s Good?

Realme knows that design and build quality are just as important to people these days. Thus, the company has not cut back on this segment. The Realme Pad offers premium design at an affordable price. The build quality and rugged design of the device are good to see. The gray-colored model we reviewed has a metal frame with a matte finish and sharp, square sides, making it look like an expensive tablet.

The Realme Pad has four speakers. (Express image)

Realme also incorporated powerful stereo speakers on the right and left sides. The speakers come with Dolby Atmos support. It has a Type-C port as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. It also has an option to expand internal storage. The base model does not support LTE, but you can get it by paying an additional Rs 2,000.

The Realme Pad has thin edges and an 82.5% screen-to-body ratio, which makes content visually more satisfying. It doesn’t have an AMOLED panel, but it’s still pretty good. Colors stand out and the display is vivid and bright. However, it is quite reflective and some might be annoyed by its insufficient light levels, when viewing the screen in direct sunlight.

Inside, users will enjoy watching movies and other content on this tablet. It has a 10.4 inch WUXGA + LCD display with rounded corners. During my period of use, it did not take any fingerprints or scratches. However, you’ll have to spend more on a case if you don’t want to see a bump on the back of the tab or scratches on the rear camera sensor.

The Realme Pad has a reflective screen. (Express image)

The Realme Pad packs a Mediatek Helio G80 processor, which is good considering it’s a budget tablet. Although the device does not offer a very powerful processor, it is sufficient for basic use. It can handle most tasks well and users can also do video streaming, browsing and e-reading. But if you like high performance games, this tablet is not for you.

You can certainly play basic games on this without any problem. The multitasking experience was fairly smooth, although some apps took a while to fully load. A few apps like YouTube and Facebook occasionally crashed. Our review unit has 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The cheaper model with Wi-Fi comes with just 3GB of RAM, which might not offer the best performance.

The Realme Pad offers a clean user interface. I’m happy to see that the company offers a bloatware-free user interface. It comes with Android 11 out of the box. You’ll mostly see Google apps, and Realme’s proprietary apps aren’t there. Users benefit from fewer customization options and there is no fingerprint scanner. However, you can use the face unlock feature, which might not be as secure as a fingerprint sensor. Users can set a PIN, password, or pattern.

The Realme Pad has a single camera on the back. (Express image)

I have also used this tablet for video calls. It has pretty good video call quality and the person on the other end of the phone also said my voice was pretty clear. In good lighting conditions, the Realme Pad gave me better video quality than webcams from laptops. However, don’t expect the same quality in low light.

The device has an 8MP camera on the back and front. In less ideal lighting conditions, you will get photos with decent noise and color contrast. There is no HDR mode, so I used expert mode, which offered better photos.

I had up to four days of battery life with light use, involving browsing, a bit of social media, and video calling. Once you start watching movies, you’ll have two days of battery life.

Realme Pad review: what’s not good?

It takes a long time to fully charge this tablet. Realme has an 18W charger in the box, which takes around three hours to charge the battery. It’s a little hard to wait that long, given the brands they now pack a 30W or 65W charger that takes less than 90 minutes to charge devices. Realme has also supported reverse charging.

I also experienced a few app crashes which was a bit annoying. For example, the YouTube app crashed and refused to play videos even after removing the app from the background.

The Realme Pad has insufficient brightness levels when viewing the screen in direct sunlight. (Express image)

Realme Pad review: should you buy it?

The Realme Pad is a pretty good device for those who want a tablet for basic needs. The tablet is quite portable and will appeal to those who want a larger screen for binge-watching. Besides video streaming, it can also be used for web browsing, video calling, note taking and basic games. You have four speakers which make the content more enjoyable.

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