Realme disrupted the smartphone market by offering value-for-money devices at different price points. The company did take a leaf out of Xiaomi’s playbook but managed to give other popular brands a run for their money. With the launch of the Realme Pad, it seems that the company plans to replicate this in the tablet market.
The new tablet offers good features at a fraction of cost, and it seems to have the power to dent Lenovo’s well-established dominance in the budget segment. It comes with a starting price of Rs 13,999 in India. We used Realme Pad for a few weeks and here’s what we think about it.
Realme Pad review: What is good?
Realme knows that design and build quality are equally important for people these days. So, the company hasn’t cut corners in this segment. The Realme Pad offers a premium design at an affordable price. The device’s robust build quality and design are good to see. The grey colour model that we got for review has a metal chassis with a matt finish and sharp squared-off sides, which makes it look like this is an expensive tablet.
Realme has also incorporated powerful stereo speakers on the right and left sides. The speakers come with Dolby Atmos support. It features a Type-C port as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. It has an option for expanding the internal storage as well. The base model doesn’t come with support for LTE, but you can get it by paying Rs 2,000 extra.
The Realme Pad has slim bezels and has an 82.5 per cent screen-to-body ratio, which makes the content visually more satisfying. It doesn’t have an AMOLED panel, but it is still very good. The colours pop out and the display is vibrant and bright. However, it is quite reflective and some might get annoyed by its insufficient brightness levels, when viewing the screen in direct sunlight.
When indoors, users will enjoy watching movies and other content on this tablet. It features a 10.4-inch WUXGA+ LCD display with rounded corners. During my usage period, it didn’t pick fingerprints or scratches. However, you will have to spend extra on a case if you don’t want to see a dent at the back of the tab or scratches on the rear camera sensor.
The Realme Pad packs a Mediatek Helio G80 processor, which is fine considering this is a budget tablet. While the device doesn’t offer a very powerful processor, it is good enough for basic usage. It can handle most tasks well and users can do video streaming, browsing, and e-reading as well. But, if you are into high-performance games, then this tablet is not for you.
One can definitely play basic games on this without any issues. The multitasking experience was smooth enough, though some of the apps took some time to fully load. A few apps like YouTube and Facebook crashed occasionally. Our review unit has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The cheapest model with Wi-Fi comes with only 3GB RAM, which might not offer best performance.
The Realme Pad offers a clean user interface. I’m happy to see that the company is offering a bloatware-free UI. It ships with Android 11 out of the box. You will mostly see Google apps and Realme’s proprietary apps are not there. Users get fewer customisation options and there is no fingerprint scanner. But, you can use the face unlock feature, which might not be as secure as a fingerprint sensor. Users can set PIN, password, or pattern.
I used this tablet for video calls as well. It offers good enough video call quality and the person on the other end also said my voice was quite clear. In good lighting conditions, the Realme Pad offered me better video quality than the webcams on laptops. However, don’t expect the same quality in low light.
The device has an 8MP camera on the rear and front. In less ideal lighting conditions, you will get photos with noise and fair colour contrast. There is no HDR mode, so I used the expert mode, which offered better photographs.
I got up to four days of battery life with lite usage, involving browsing, a bit of social networking, and video calls. Once you start watching movies too, you will get two days of battery life.
Realme Pad review: What is not good?
It takes a lot of time to fully charge this tablet. Realme bundles an 18W charger in the box, which takes around three hours to top up the battery. It is a bit difficult to wait this long, given brands, these days pack a 30W or 65W charger which takes less than 90 minutes to charge the devices. Realme has also provided support for reverse charging.
I also experienced a few app crashes, which was a bit annoying. For instance, the YouTube app crashed and refused to play any videos even after removing the app from the background.
Realme Pad review: Should you buy it?
The Realme Pad is a good enough device for those who want a tablet for basic needs. The tablet is quite portable and will please those who want a bigger screen for binge-watching. Apart from video streaming, one can also use it for web browsing, video calling, making notes, and basic gaming. You get four speakers that make the content more enjoyable.