This is a complete review of the Realme Pad Mini. Google’s revelation to discontinue its high-end Pixel Slate in 2019 with no plans to continue the tablet line in the future disappointed many large-screen users, including myself. This did not look well for the Android tablet market as a whole given that Google owns Android. But, ever since the pandemic, the demand for large-screen devices has surged like never before. As a result, different smartphone manufacturers entered this market for better or worse. And one such brand is Realme.
Realme Pad Mini Specifications:
- Body: 211.8 x 124.5 x 7.6mm, 372 grams
- Display: 8.7-inch IPS LCD panel, 1340 x 800 pixels
- Chipset: Unisoc T616 (12nm)
- CPU: Octa-core:
– 2x Cortex-A75 (2.00 GHz)
– 6x Cortex-A55 (1.80 GHz)
- GPU: Arm Mali-G57 MP1
- Software & UI: Realme UI for Pad based on Android 11
- Memory: 3/4GB RAM, 32/64GB storage (MicroSD card up to 1TB)
- Rear Camera: 8MP, f/2.0
- Front Camera: 5MP, f/2.2
- Audio: Dual speakers with Dolby Atmos
- Battery: 6,400mAh, 18W fast charging, reverse charging support
- Connectivity: LTE, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (Dual-band), Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C
- Price in Nepal: N/A (Starting at INR 10,999 (3/32GB, Wi-Fi) in India)
Realme Pad Mini Review:
Realme dabbled in the world of Android tablets with the Realme Pad last year, which was a low-cost rival to the popular Samsung Galaxy Tab A family. But the company recently launched an even more affordable tablet dubbed the “Realme Pad Mini”.
Currently, it’s available in Europe and a handful of South-Asian regions including India where it costs INR 10,999 for the base 3/32GB WiFi-only model or two thousand more for the LTE variant. And for what it’s worth, this thing looks like a solid tablet. So, is the Realme Pad Mini a go or no-go for this price—let’s find out in this review.
- 211.8 x 124.5 x 7.6mm, 372 grams
- Metal unibody design
Owing to its affordability, Realme has undoubtedly made compromises on the Pad Mini—but not in terms of design or build quality. It keeps the metal unibody design of Realme’s first-gen tablet, which gives it a sturdy hands-on feel. And I’m totally sold on these flat edges from the usability perspective since it helps a lot with the grip.
Complementing this is the slim form factor of the device with an equally good weight distribution across the chassis. So it doesn’t feel uncomfortable to carry during those long jam sessions when watching movies and stuff. Likewise, the matte finish at the back ensures that you won’t struggle with fingerprints or smudges either.
However, I would recommend wrapping it around a case or cover, since my unit already has dents here. This did not happen during the time of review, by the way; instead, it arrived in the package like this. Therefore I can’t guarantee that won’t suffer scratches or dents if you happen to drop it from a table or something.
- 6400mAh battery
- 18W USB Type-C charging
Anyway, under the backplate is a 6400mAh battery, large enough to last you through your favorite series or podcast sessions for hours. I’ve been using Realme Pad Mini for more than two weeks now and I’m yet to drain its battery entirely before bedtime. However, charging it from empty to full takes a whopping two hours with the 18W charger included in the box.
- 8.7″ IPS LCD panel, HD+ resolution
- Widevine L1 certification
On a different note, the quality of its screen is just… fine. Obviously, it’s not an AMOLED panel and I wasn’t expecting one either. But this 8.7-inch IPS screen is accompanied by just HD+ resolution, which means contents don’t look as sharp as they would on a Full HD display.
Even the core quality of this screen is not on-par with the IPS panel you’ll find on smartphones these days. Realme’s decision to opt for an inferior display quality is apparent on this tablet, as one can easily notice the lack of saturation when watching shows/movies—or just general web browsing. But to make matters a little less terrible, there’s a feature called “Video display enhancement” in the settings which makes the content look brighter and more vivid. Then again, it is limited to select Google apps, such as YouTube and Photos only.
Fortunately enough, Realme has secured Widevine L1 certification here, so you can enjoy HD content on OTT platforms. And if you prefer reading comics or manga, I found that its lower resolution doesn’t make the experience any less enjoyable. On the other hand, screen visibility isn’t an issue on this tablet while you’re indoors, which extends to cloudy outdoors too. But of course, it does struggle to maintain sufficient brightness levels under direct sunlight.
- Octa-core Unisoc T616 (12nm)
- 3/4GB RAM, 32/64GB storage (expandable)
If not the display, the performance is where the Realme Pad Mini gains full points. It is powered by the Unisoc T616 chip which—if you look at its core specifications—is nearly identical to the MediaTek Helio G80 featured on the Realme Pad. While the latter didn’t really offer a buttery smooth experience, the low-res display on the Pad Mini means that’s not the case here.
You see, a screen with fewer pixels requires less processing power—especially in terms of GPU—and consequently is more energy-efficient as well. Plus, this tablet runs on Android 11-based Realme UI R edition which is a lightweight operating system in and of itself.
This ultimately relieves the processor’s stress which makes things somewhat smoother and relatively more responsive. And I don’t have any complaints about its memory management either.
Having said that, the software aspect leaves things to be desired. Although I appreciate its near stock Android-like layout, Realme hasn’t really made any tablet-specific tweaks on this OS originally built for smartphones. In comparison, Samsung’s One UI on tablets brings meaningful changes to help things adapt naturally on large screens. Yet, I am hopeful that Realme will issue an Android 12L-based upgrade sometime in the near future to enhance the user experience.
Moreover, while this is not a gaming tablet by any means, you can enjoy some popular titles such as PUBG and Call of Duty Mobile at medium settings. But maybe it’s because of the underpowered processor or the HD display, graphics felt a touch off to me.
- Dual-speakers with Dolby Atmos
Getting to the audio, unlike the Realme Pad, this guy gets only two speakers: one at the top and one at the bottom. Its audio output can get pretty loud—although you will notice some distortion at max volume. And bass is nearly non-existent on this thing as well. So if you’re an audiophile, then you’d be better off with wired or wireless earbuds.
- 8MP rear camera
- 5MP front camera
Moving on, as with most budget and mid-range tablets, cameras are not the strongest suit of the Realme Pad Mini. It comes with an 8MP lens at the back and a 5MP sensor on the front—both of which can take average-looking photos.
Of course, I’m not going to complain about the dynamic range or sharpness of the images here, but its quality is good enough for taking photos of notes or when chatting with friends and family on a video call.
Realme Pad Mini Review: Conclusion
Okay, so let’s wrap things up now. The Realme Pad Mini—like the first-gen Realme Pad—is aimed at those who value affordability above all else. And for a low-cost tablet, it ticks almost every box. You get a clean software experience, great performance, and its all-metal construction is just the icing on the cake. Granted that the overall display quality could’ve been better, but its price makes it easy to overlook a few flaws. All in all, if you want a small yet powerful Android tablet, the Realme Pad Mini is one of the easiest recommendations for 2022 so far.
- Watch our video review of Realme Pad Mini
Realme Pad Mini Review: Pros and Cons:
- Metal unibody
- Widevine L1 certification
- Reliable performance
- Clean software experience
- Great battery endurance
- Software requires optimization for tablets
- Lower resolution IPS screen