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realme Pad Mini review: Best budget tablet?

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realme shook the tablet market when it launched the realme Pad. It plans to do so again with a smaller form factor in the realme Pad Mini.

The realme Pad Mini is a promising compact tablet with an 8.7-inch 1340 x 800 display, a Unisoc T616 chip, and a huge 6400mAh battery. But can it establish itself as the budget tablet of choice in a market dominated by iPads and Galaxy Tabs? Well, let’s find out.

Accessories

The realme Pad Mini’s packaging is a departure from the yellow-colored boxes of their smartphones. It’s in a white box with an image of the tablet in front.

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In the box

  • realme Pad Mini
  • USB-C cable
  • Charger
  • SIM tool
  • Documentation
realme Pad Mini Review

Design and Display

The realme Pad Mini follows its big brother’s design language. It has an aluminum frame with flat sides. It’s a great look that gives off a premium aesthetic. As an added bonus, the edges also make it easier to grip and handle.

realme Pad Mini Review

The compact tablet has an 8.7-inch LCD display which measures 1340 x 800 across. It’s not a full HD panel, but it looks sharp with good colors. Unless you nitpick, you will barely notice it, even while watching YouTube or Netflix.

The Pad Mini has the front camera at the top bezel. The bezels, by the way, are thick, which many will appreciate, because it gives you these areas where you can hold the tablet properly.

realme Pad Mini Review

The power button and volume rockers are on the right side. While on the left, we have the SIM card tray. The top side has the headphone jack and one of the speakers. And on the bottom, there’s the microphone, USB-C port, and the other speaker.

In landscape orientation, the speakers will be on the left and right sides. I appreciate that these were placed slightly higher up on the frame, which prevents being covered by hands when watching videos.

Performance and Battery

The realme Pad Mini is powered by a Unisoc T616 chipset with eight cores and a Mali-G57 GPU. Our review unit is the 4GB + 64GB LTE variant. It also runs on realme UI R edition based on Android 11 with a 6400mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging.

The performance of the realme Pad Mini is surprisingly good. Basic navigation is smooth, and the UI is responsive. Opening apps is not blinding fast, but it’s not slow either. The HD display and the realme UI R edition help with lessening the stress on the Unisoc T616, especially the latter because it’s a trimmed version of realme UI.

The stereo speakers are decent. As expected, it doesn’t have that deep a bass, but it does get loud and it’s definitely better than just having one speaker. Besides, it’s plenty good for watching videos on YouTube and Netflix, considering the price.

realme Pad Mini Review

As for gaming, don’t expect too much from the compact tablet. Casual games are not a problem, but it will struggle with graphics-intensive games.

Call of Duty Mobile runs fairly well. Loading time is not that fast and graphics default to Low. You can, however, raise the graphic quality to Medium and frame rate to High, and still get good results.

Genshin Impact is another matter. It defaults to Lowest. You can get away with Low settings and get acceptable gameplay. It does stutter sometimes when there’s so much happening on the screen, like when there are multiple enemies and you perform a burst.

Here are the benchmark scores of the Unisoc T616.

  • AnTuTu – 220,723
    CPU – 71,116
    GPU – 24,881
    MEM – 64,224
    UX – 60,502
  • Geekbench – 372 (Single-core); 1360 (Multi-core)
  • 3D Mark – 466 (Wild Life)

As for the battery life, the 6400mAh actually pretty good. You can get through one workday with some left for the evening and even the next day. Charging is a little slow, despite the 18W fast charging. A quick 30-minute charge will get you 23 percent, while 60-minutes will get you to almost 50 percent. A full charge from zero takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete.

Cameras

Taking photos using a tablet (any tablet) is less than ideal. But should you be left with no choice, the realme Pad Mini is equipped with an 8MP rear and a 5MP front camera.

realme Pad Mini Review

There’s nothing special about these, really. Photos taken using the main camera are average, at best. It’s not bad and it’s certainly decent enough for social media. The colors are okay, but it’s short on detail and sharpness.

Also Read: realme 9 Pro+ review: Great value, great cameras

The 5MP front camera, on the other hand, is enough for video calls like Zoom and MS Teams. The placement of the camera, though, is less than ideal. On portrait orientation, it’s at the top. This means that on landscape orientation, it will be on the left side.

Final Remarks

The realme Pad Mini is made to consume content, and the compact size helps. It’s easy to carry and it’s light. In fact, it’s a great bedside companion to watch a quick movie on Netflix, browse the web, or read an ebook before going to sleep.

Apart from the comfy size, you’re also getting good performance from the Unisoc T616, stereo speakers, and long battery life.

The realme Pad Mini’s biggest strength is the value you’re going to get for the price. And in a tablet market revived by the pandemic, this is a huge deal. It’s a great tablet that offers a lot without breaking the bank.

All in all, the realme Pad Mini is easy to recommend. So if you’re in the market for a compact tablet, then this should be on your list.

Price and Availability

The realme Pad Mini will be available in 3GB + 32GB LTE variant priced at Php 9,990, and 4GB + 64GB LTE variant for Php 11,990. realme will also launch a 3GB + 32GB WiFi variant, which will be coming soon.

As an early-bird offer exclusively via the realme Official Store on Lazada (link), the 3GB + 32GB LTE variant will be available at Php 1,500 OFF (Php 8,490) while the 4GB + 64GB LTE variant will be available at Php 2,000 OFF (Php 9,990).

realme Pad Mini specs

Display8.7-inch WUXGA IPS Display, 1340 x 800
ProcessorUnisoc T616, Octa-core
Mali-G57
RAM3GB/4GB RAM
Storage32GB/64GB Storage, MicroSD External Slot
Rear Cameras8MP Main
Front Camera5MP Selfie Camera
Network4G LTE, Dual SIM (Optional)
ConnectivityWi-Fi AC Dual Band, Bluetooth 5, GPS
OthersUSB-C, Stereo Speakers, Headphone Jack, Dolby Atmos Adaptive
OSrealme UI for Pad, Android 11
Battery6400mAh battery, 18W Fast Charging
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Author

Bryan is a tech enthusiast and self-admitted geek who enjoys blogging and watching NBA clips on YouTube. He has over 20 years of experience in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations from different industries such as telecommunications and banking.

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