realme launched the realme Pad mini, the company’s second tablet in India, last month, soon after the launch of its first realme Pad. This has a slightly smaller 8.7-inch WXGA+ display, comes with a sleek 7.6mm metal body, has dual speakers, and a 6400mAh battery. The MediaTek Helio G80 SoC is replaced by UNISOC T616 SoCthat is used in budget phones. Is this the best budget tablet? Let us dive into the review to find out.
- realme Pad mini 4GB + 64GB LTE in Grey colour
- 18W charger
- USB Type-C Cable
- SIM Ejector tool
Display, Hardware and Design
Starting with the display, the tablet has an 8.7-inch (1340×800 pixels) WXGA+ (Widescreen eXtended Graphics Array Plus) with a pixel density of 179 PPI and 84.59% 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. The low resolution display for the large screen is noticeable if you are used to a high resolution displays on phones, but most won’t notice it.
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, since it is glossy.
The tablet is just 7.6mm thick and weighs just 372 grams, even though it packs a huge, 6400mAh battery and has a large 8.7-inch screen.
Coming to the button placements, the power button and the volume rockers are on the right side, if you are holding the tablet in the portrait mode. The hybrid SIM slot is present on the left side. The primary microphone, USB Type-C port and speaker grill are on the bottom. The 3.5mm audio jack and the secondary speaker grill is on the top.
The main highlight of the realme Pad mini 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. You can also see the small realme branding on the bottom. It feels solid and good to hold in hand. It might be a bit slippery for some. The top and bottom parts of the tablet have a plastic finish where the antennas are present.
We have the Grey version, and the tablet also comes in a Blue colour variant.
Coming to the camera, the tablet has an 8-megapixel rear camera on the back without flash. There is an 5-megapixel camera on the front. The rear cameras can record videos up to 1080p 30 fps, and the front camera has 720p 30 fps video support. The front camera is decent for video calls, and the rear camera takes decent images. The camera UI is just basic with option for up to 10X digital zoom, toggle to front and back, portrait mode, video mode and the more option has burst mode, filter, timelapse, pro mode, panorama and slow motion.
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 March 2022. 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 are available on their phones. Apart from Google apps, it doesn’t have any bloatware.
Out of 4GB LPDDR4x RAM, you get 3.5GB 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 51.3GB of free storage. The phone uses UFS 2.1 storage, which is better than the eMMC 5.1 storage used in the first realme Pad. We got sequential read speeds of about 905 MB/s.
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.
YouTube Music is the default Music Player, and there is Real Sound Technology when the earphone is used, but it doesn’t have Dolby Atmos which is present in the realme Pad. It doesn’t have FM Radio support. Audio through the dual speakers is good, and there is no distortion even at 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, Amazon Prime Video and other apps. There is no HDR support, which is not expected in the price range. 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 mini 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). Wi-Fi range is decent, but it is 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 realme Pad mini’s body SAR is 1.059W/Kg which is less compared to realme Pad. It well under the limit in India, which is 1.6 W/kg (over 1 g).
The realme Pad mini replaces the MediaTek Helio G80 with UNISOC T616 SoC. This uses the same 12nm architecture, and Dual 2GHz Cortex-A75 + Hexa 1.8GHz 6x Cortex-A55 CPUs paired with up to 4GB RAM and up to 64GB UFS 2.1 internal storage. The UNISOC T616 is a decent mid-range SoC for phones, and it is also decent for tablets, but the Helio G80 is slightly better when it comes to gaming, even though it handles casual tasks such as browsing, social media and streaming on Netflix with ease with no lags.
For casual games like Temple Run and Ludo King and graphic-intensive games like Asphalt 8, it is decent, but not the best. It gets a bit warm on intensive gaming for long since it has a metal body, but it doesn’t get too hot. There are some third-party cases you can get to protect the tablet.
Coming to the battery life, the tablet packs a 6400mAh (typical) battery that promises up to 12 hours of video playback, same as the realme Pad since this has a smaller battery. Based on my use, I got close to 11 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 100% in about 2 hours, which is long. This is common in tablets with huge batteries.
Overall, the realme Pad mini is a good tablet in the budget for multimedia consumption, thanks to the large display and stereo speakers. The performance is decent as well, but the gaming performance in the Helio G80 used the realme Pad is slightly better. The choice of processor is to keep the cost low. There is also an LTE model with hybrid dual SIM support if you spend more
Even though the tablet has a low resolution display, it is decent for most tasks.
Pricing and availability
The realme Pad is priced at Rs. 10,999 for the 3GB RAM with 32GB storage Wi-Fi version, Rs. 12,999 for the 3GB RAM with 32GB storage LTE + Wi-Fi version, the 4GB RAM with 64GB Wi-Fi model costs Rs. 12,999 and the top-end 4GB RAM with 64GB storage 4G + Wi-Fi version costs Rs. 14,999.
It will be available from realme.com, Flikart and offline stores. The company offered a Rs. 2000 during the launch, but it should get cheaper with deals.
- Dual speakers
- Decent performance
- Ultra-sleek design with metal body
- Hybrid Dual SIM option in LTE model
- Good battery life
- Low resolution display
- realme UI for Pad needs work
- Helio G80 is better for gaming compared to Unisoc T610