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Realme Pad quick review: Is it the budget tablet we’ve been waiting for?

Realme Pad review: Our first impressions when we picked up the Realme Pad were positive.
Realme Pad review: Our first impressions when we picked up the Realme Pad were positive. (Prakhar Khanna/htdigital)

  • Realme Pad is a welcome addition to the Android family with its narrow design. While the price starts at 13,999 for the base variant, it is not available at the time of filing this review. 

Realme Pad marks the beginning of the budget Android tablet in the 2021 pandemic-hit era. While there have been budget tablets in the past, we haven’t seen many Android tablets in the past few years. The Realme Pad is a welcome addition to the Android family with its narrow design. While Realme Pad price starts at 13,999 for the base variant, it is not available at the time of filing this review. You get added LTE at 15,999, while the top-end version with 6GB RAM, 64GB storage, and LTE will have you spend 17,999.

Our first impressions when we picked up the Realme Pad were positive. It comes with a metal body made out of aluminium alloy, which offers a premium look. It is thinner than 7mm and lighter than 450 grams, which makes it quite good for one hand reading and browsing. If you are expecting bezels the size of a modern smartphone, please don’t. While most of the front is covered by the display, you get considerable bezels, which make it easy to hold the tablet in your hand.

Realme Pad tablet is mostly meant to be used indoors.
Realme Pad tablet is mostly meant to be used indoors. (Prakhar Khanna/htdigital)

Detailing the design, the Realme Pad features most of the perforations and buttons on the edges. At the top of the right edge, you get a volume rocker, while the power button sits at the top right corner. It features two mics followed by the SIM card tray towards the centre. The USB Type-C port is at the bottom with the headphone jack placed at the bottom left corner of the device – holding the tablet vertically. Furthermore, the selfie camera sits in the top centre above the display (when holding the tablet horizontally). There is no option for biometric authentication, which feels like a miss since the feature has trickled down to budget smartphones.

The Realme Pad features a 10.4-inch WUXGA+ (2000x1200) display. It is sharp but doesn’t get as bright as we’d like it to when outdoors. However, the tablet is mostly meant to be used indoors. In the indoor sitting, the brightness felt satisfactory. You’ll notice that the display picks up smudges and fingerprints in a heartbeat. The tablet comes with Widevine L1 certification and Netflix allows for full-HD playback. However, my experience was extremely poor with Amazon Prime. The device just wouldn’t go above SD quality on Prime. The experience will not be up to the mark if you are an Amazon Prime binge-watcher. And considering the tablet is meant for entertainment purposes, this is a major miss from Realme’s end.

Realme Pad tablet can’t hold more than three apps in the memory.
Realme Pad tablet can’t hold more than three apps in the memory. (Prakhar Khanna/htdigital.in)

The Realme Pad comes with a four-speaker setup with support for Dolby Atmos. The audio can get loud with Dolby Atmos kicking in to make it more immersive. I enjoyed listening to my Spotify playlist on this device in the budget tablet segment. If you prefer a more personal viewing experience, there's a 3.5mm headphone jack. I loved reading on the Realme Pad. I’m currently reading Watering the Soul by Courteney Peppernell on the Kindle app, and the experience was no less than enjoyable. The size and aspect ratio of the Realme Pad make it a serious contender if you want a tablet for reading purposes.

The Realme Pad is powered by the MediaTek Helio G80 processor, paired with 4GB of RAM. In our day to day usage, we experienced apps shutting down out of nowhere. The Spotify app crashed sometimes while in the middle of playing songs. Plus, the tablet can’t hold more than three apps in the memory. Gaming performance was not exceptional either. We played Call of Duty: Mobile where we experienced some stuttering. The device allowed Medium graphics and High frame rate. The toggles for every other effect (Depth of field, Bloom, Ragdoll) greyed out.

In this study from home and work from home era, you are likely to pick several zoom calls on the Realme Pad. For this, the company provides an ultra-wide-angle 107-degree view with the front-facing camera. The quality is okay with helping you get the job done. Coming to the performance of the 7,100mAh battery, we were very impressed. One of the most important features for a tablet is its standby battery life, and the Realme Pad is exceptional with it. As for regular use with several hours of browsing, reading, consuming media, the Realme Pad will last you more than a day. The tablet supports 18W charging.

Realme Pad has some things that go extremely against it, while there are a few that are in its favour.
Realme Pad has some things that go extremely against it, while there are a few that are in its favour. (Prakhar Khanna/htdigital.in)

The Realme Pad runs Android 11, and doesn’t come with bloatware out of the box. The tablet only has Google apps pre-installed. It is different from what Realme offers on its smartphones but is a welcome move considering the 32GB storage option. However, Android feels limited in its capabilities of multi-tasking. Instead of offering a way to smoothly open multiple apps simultaneously, you need to go to the recent apps menu and tap on the multi-window button at the top right corner of the apps, which is not ideal. The usability of Android on a tablet could use some improvements.

Overall, the Realme Pad has some of the things going extremely against it, while some are in favour of it. If you want a budget Android tablet to binge content on Amazon Prime, multitask and run multiple apps, the Realme Pad is not for you. If you are in the market for an Android tablet that lets you attend video calls, browse and read on it while on the go, you can buy the tablet. Just know what you want to do with it and keep your expectations limited.

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