Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Realme Pad

Realme Pad is the company’s first attempt to test its feet in the world of Android tablets. The Realme Pad isn’t a rival to Apple's iPad lineup, but it is a very well built budget Android tablet. 

With the Realme Pad, the company is bringing the much-needed refresh to the budget segment in India. The competition in the budget tablet space isn’t as interesting as the budget smartphone segment. The Realme Pad is aimed at students attending online classes or those who prefer watching movies and shows on a screen bigger than a mobile’s. 

To start off with, the Realme Pad comes with a large screen that produces good colours and viewing angles, but it does not support HDR and the screen picks up smudges easily which might become annoying after a while. The Realme Pad is an excellent choice as an entertainment device as it also sports a Dolby Atmos powered quad-speaker setup.

In terms of design, this is a sleek and stylish slate making it easy to carry around. The big battery will last at least one day with heavy usage and extend up to two days depending on the usage. The software on the tablet is clean without any third-party apps or too many customization options from Realme. 

The performance isn’t as good as a good Rs 15,000 smartphone, but this is arguably the best performance tablet you can get for the price in India right now. The Realme Pad is a great tab for entertainment purposes on budget. It is a good choice if you don’t want to spend on a budget tablet just for the educational purpose of your kid. 

Realme Pad price in India and availability

The Realme Pad price starts at Rs 13,999 for the 3GB+32GB variant with Wi-Fi connectivity. The LTE version of Realme Pad is available in two configurations 一 3GB+32GB and 4GB+64GB which costs Rs 15,999 and Rs 17,999 respectively. The base 3GB+32GB Wi-Fi variant is now up for pre-order while the other variants are available for purchase on Flipkart. 

In terms of offers, you get 10% off on ICICI Bank Credit/Debit card transactions and also 10% off on Axis Bank Credit card. 

Check out Realme Pad on Flipkart

3GB + 32GB (LTE) - Rs 15,999

4GB + 64GB (LTE) - Rs  17,999

3GB+32GB(Wi-Fi) - Rs 13,999 (available later)

Design

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

While the Realme Pad isn’t a premium tablet, the company has made sure you get a premium experience with its build quality and sleek design. It measures just 6.9mm and weighs 440 grams. Even with the sleek body, the company has managed to squeeze in a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom. 

The slate is made up of an aluminium alloy body design which includes CNC diamond cutting as well. The tablet has nice curvy edges on all four sides. The Realme Pad is available in Realme Grey and Realme Gold colour options - you are seeing the Grey variant in the review. The Realme Pad feels good to hold in the hands and it also offers a good grip to hold. 

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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Once you hold the tablet in landscape mode, you get the power button on the left top, the volume rockers are present on the top left while the hybrid SIM slot is present on the top right. To the right-hand side, you get a Type-C port for charging. You also get quad speakers set up on the tab 一 two on either side. 

The webcam or the front-facing camera is placed on the top bezel of the tablet when you hold the tab in landscape mode 一 making it convenient for online classes and meetings. On the back, there is a silver line passing through the rear camera along with the Realme logo on the bottom of the device.

Overall, the Realme Pad’s design is refreshing and it feels comfortable to hold in hand even for an extended time. The Realme Pad looks and feels premium that its price tag suggests. It is sleek and easy to carry around in a bag without taking too much space. It is made to use landscape mode and offers good ergonomics. 

For now, there are no first-party accessories like a case or a keyboard cover 一 you will have to find good third party accessories after you purchase the device. Also, the device misses out on a fingerprint scanner. 

For now, there are no first-party accessories like a case or a keyboard cover 一 you will have to find, if needed, good third party accessories after you purchase the device. Also, the device misses out on a fingerprint scanner. 

Display

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

A good tablet should always have a good display and the Realme Pad won’t disappoint you here... most of the time. You are looking at a 10.4-inch WUXGA+ LCD display with 2000 ×1200 resolution and an 82.5% screen-to-body ratio. Realme says the tab can go up to 360 nits of peak brightness. 

The tab is designed to be used in landscape mode and that’s good for watching content on OTT apps or attending meetings or attending classes online. For indoors, the display is nice and vibrant 一 but, of course not to the level of AMOLED panels. We did enjoy binge-watching shows and attending meetings on the tab and we were pretty happy with what it has to offer. While these all were done indoors we did not have any issues in terms of brightness. 

There is no case or screen protector out of the box

The brightness on the Realme Pad for outdoors is good too - we could read on the kindle app and browse on Chrome, but watching videos was tricky as the display was reflective and also the screen picks up smudges easily. The auto-brightness is slow to respond, which is why we had to switch back to manual control. 

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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Further, there are several modes like reading mode, night mode, dark mode, and sunlight mode. The Reading mode is useful if you like to read e-books on the tablet while the night mode will offer screen brightness to a minimum of 2 nits 一 a handy feature if you are a night owl. 

There is no support for HDR or HLG on board here, but you do get support for Widevine L1 allowing you to stream HD content from OTT apps

The Realme Pad does offer a good screen for most use cases if your usage is mainly for classes and entertainment purposes in indoor conditions, the Realme Pad won’t disappoint. While in outdoor conditions, it gets tricky as the screen is very reflective and attracts smudges easily. 

Performance

Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Most budget tablets suffer when it comes to performance and tend to slow down after the initial few months. With Realme Pad, the brands offer a powerful chipset compared to the other offering in the segment. The MediaTek Helio G80 sits in the heart of the slate with a clock speed of up to 2GHz. Mali-G52 GPU clocked at 950MHz takes care of gaming tasks.

As said earlier, the Realme Pad is available in three variants with an LTE option with up to 4GB of RAM and 32/64GB eMMC 5.1 storage. We are testing the 64GB variant and out of that, we got 50GB of free space which should be enough for most users. There is also support for microSD card support up to 1TB on all three variants. You might run out of space on the 32GB variant soon if you plan on storing a lot of video content or files. Unless you can store most content on a microSD card, we’d suggest you pick the 64GB variant if possible. 

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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

The performance isn’t really bad on the tablet, but it is not very snappy as well. The performance is decent here. Apps are quick to open and close, but multitasking might get hectic if there are too many apps running in the background. This might also be due to the limited RAM option on the Realme Pad as you can get either 3GB or 4GB  RAM missing out on the 6GB version. While moving between apps, browser, steaming apps, etc, we could notice the slowness of the chipset coming in to play 一 but that’s expected given it is an entry-level chipset and also low RAM as said earlier. 

The Realme Pad is decent for day to day usage. We could browse, take calls (Meetings), scan docs, and watch content without running into many issues. It is a good tablet for users who don’t use too many apps simultaneously and need one for education or entertainment purposes. 

Lately, in terms of gaming, the tab’s performance is subpar as you lose out on frames and the gameplay starts stuttering after a while - for heavy games like COD Mobile, BGMI, Asphalt 9 etc. However, you can play games without many actions and graphics. 

Software

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

The Realme Pad runs on “Realme UI for Pad” which is at its core a clean stock Android experience. There are no Realme UI elements. The tablet comes with just 31 pre-installed apps 一 all of which are Google apps. 

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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

The Android 11 allows you to multitask between apps using a split-screen which will come in handy for many. You also get Kids space with parental controls. Since the tablet is designed for educational purposes, while setting it up it will ask if the tablet is being used by kids or parents.

It is a clean software experience and there aren’t too many features and customization like we’ve seen on the Realme UI on phones. The setup, icons, and setting page are still from Realme UI though. Interestingly, the UI misses out on Google discover feed on the -1 screen and there is no way to customize icon shape, colour, etc.

Camera

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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)
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Realme Pad

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

You get an 8MP front-facing camera with 105-degree and dual-mic. For video calls on Duo and meetings, the 8MP shooter did a good job. While it doesn’t offer sharp videos, it did a good job in terms of field of view. The audio pickup was also good as long as you are in the hand reachable distance. 

The rear 8MP camera is good enough for scanning docs or taking some photos when needed. Other than that, the photo quality is quite average here. There is no flashlight which means it’s hard to take images after sunset in dark conditions. The tablet is a good choice as the front camera is better than most budget laptops out there. 

The camera app is also different from Realme UI on phones - you get Video, Photo, and Expert mode for shooting. Since the device misses on a fingerprint scanner, you will have to rely on the face unlock which does work well in both orientations. 

Battery

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

You get a big 7,100mAh battery on the Realme Pad which is paired with 18W fast charging. We have managed to get about five to six hours of screen time regularly which lasts a full day for us with extensive usage and we could also manage to get up to a two-day battery a few times. Our usage included using the Realme Pad for video calls, watching movies, and web surfing. 

The lack of super-fast charging feels like a missed opportunity

For charging, there is an 18W charger included in the box along with a Type-A to Type-C port. The tablet takes more than 2 hours and 30 minutes to charge from 5% to 100% - which can be painful in the middle of the day. The tablet also supports reverse charge using OTG cable. 

Realme has always been a pioneer when it comes to fast charging on phones and we did miss the fast charging on the Realme Pad. While this is common in the segment, we felt Realme could have taken a leap ahead in this department. 

Everything else

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

Audio: The Realme Pad offers Dolby Atmos powered quad-speaker setup 一 two on top, two on the bottom. It gets loud and they’re well-tuned. The quality was surprisingly loud and more enjoyable while watching videos than we’d anticipated. There is also support for Hi-Res audio and you also get a 2.5mm headphone jack. 

Connectivity: In terms of connectivity options, you get support for dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0. The LTE version also supports voice calls, but you will have to use a loudspeaker or an earphone. 

Verdict

Buy it if...

You want a good tablet on budget 

Among all the existing budget tablets, the Realme Pad is the best with a good display, great speaker setup, and good battery life. If you want a tablet for casual use for educational purposes, this one should be on the list. 

You consume lot of content 

If you like to binge-watch a lot of movies or shows, the Realme Pad can be a great companion with its quad-firing speaker setup and large display. 

You prefer sleek design

The Realme Pad measures just 6.9mm and weighs 440 grams - making it very slim and sleek to carry around your backpack. 

Don't buy it if...

You want a tablet for productivity

The Realme Pad is powered by an entry-level Mediatek chipset which is not made for productivity usage. Additionally, the 4GB RAM limit also makes it hard to recommend for power users. 

You want add-on accessories 

The Realme Pad does not come with any first-party accessories like a stylus, cover case or keyboard. If you are looking for any of these accessories, you will have to rely on third-party accessories. 

Check out Realme Pad on Flipkart

3GB + 32GB (LTE) - Rs 15,999

4GB + 64GB (LTE) - Rs  17,999

3GB+32GB(Wi-Fi) - Rs 13,999 (available later)

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