scorecardRealme Pad 2 review: A budget tablet for the masses
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Realme Pad 2 review: A budget tablet for the masses

Realme Pad 2 review: A budget tablet for the masses
Tech9 min read
  • Realme Pad 2 starts at a price of ₹19,999
  • The tablet features a 11.5-inch 2K display with a 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Realme Pad 2 is powered by MediaTek Helio G99 SOC.
After a period of silence, the tablet space in consumer tech is starting to show up again. Post pandemic consumer behaviour has changed, and tablets have gained momentum for both entertainment and productivity. In a space where iPads have a strong hold courtesy of its solid software, Android tablets are slowly getting there.

In this year alone, we have seen two massive Android tablets show up in the market - The OnePlus Pad, and the Xiaomi Pad 6. However you do have to pay a certain premium to get those devices, leaving a massive space for budget tablet options.

This is where Realme Pad 2, comes into play. Launched today, the Realme Pad 2 is a quintessential tablet. It does not over promise or over deliver, but sticks true to its main use case - entertainment. But what's beyond that and is it better than the Redmi Pad? It's a direct competitor. I explain in my full review.


Price & Availability
Realme Pad 2 is available in 2 configurations. There is a base variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage offered at ₹19,999.Then there is a variant with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage offered at a price of ₹22,999. All the variants support 4G LTE. It is available on Amazon and Realme’s D2C websites.


Design

Realme has opted for a tried and tested form factor for the Pad 2, ensuring a safe and reliable design. The tablet exudes a sense of solidity, and its flat edges offer a comfortable grip. Featuring a sleek slate design, the Realme Pad 2 measures around half an inch in thickness, giving it a premium feel. Upon first sight and touch, many of my peers mistook it for a more expensive tablet, showcasing the tablet's appealing aesthetics.



The tablet boasts a generous screen size, providing ample real estate for various tasks. To ensure balanced weight distribution, Realme has taken great care, making it comfortable to hold for extended periods.


I have the Inspiration Green colour variant, which stands out pleasantly. Though I typically prefer more subtle colours, the green hue has grown on me, and its tasteful implementation enhances the overall appeal. The dual-tone colour scheme further adds to the tablet's attractiveness. The metallic finish on the back, combined with the textured finish on the camera module end, creates a subtle yet noticeable contrast. For those seeking a more understated option, there is also a silver colour variant available.

At the back of the tablet, there is a compact round camera module housing a single sensor. Despite its size, the module sits securely, preventing any noticeable wobbling when the tablet is placed flat on a table.

One notable design feature is the IP52 water and dust resistance rating, providing reassurance for worry-free travel with the tablet.

Regarding button placement, the power button is situated on the top right of the tablet in portrait orientation, shifting to the top left in landscape orientation. In either case, the power button remains easily accessible. Similarly, the volume rockers are located on the right side in portrait orientation, corresponding to the top left in landscape orientation. Both the power button and volume rockers are tactile and effortless to operate.

It's worth mentioning that the power button of the Realme Pad 2 lacks a fingerprint sensor, relying instead on face unlock, which is a common feature in the budget tablet segment, as seen on the Redmi Pad as well.

The tablet comes equipped with four speaker grills for an enhanced audio experience. However, it doesn't include a 3.5mm headphone jack, which might be an essential feature for some users. For those who prefer wireless audio solutions like TWS earbuds, this omission may not be a concern. Nevertheless, for those who still prefer wired earphones, a Type-C to 3.5mm converter can be used.

On the top left of the tablet, there is a slot for a SIM card, providing 4G LTE support, which proves to be a crucial addition to the device. Further details about its impact on the overall performance will be discussed in the performance section.

Display

Perhaps the most important aspect of a tablet is its display. The more common use case for a tablet is content consumption, and Realme has taken care of it. The Realme pad 2 has a 11.5-inch 2K display with a resolution of 2000x1200 pixels.

I used the Realme Pad 2 over the weekend to binge on all my favourite content, and the display didn’t disappoint me. The massive screen size, colour accuracy, and generally favourable HDR results in the beautiful image output.

The cherry on top is that Realme Pad 2’s supports HD content for OTT apps like Prime Video and Netflix. So, there are no major compromises on the visual quality. Watching Andor on Disney+ Hotstar was fun on the Realme Pad 2. The space battles, chase sequences and low-light shots all looked great.

The screen is also great for reading, especially with the right weight and design. I surfed through multiple web pages and read books on the tablet, the experience of which was satisfying.

Realme Pad 2 has a peak brightness of 450 Nits which is apt for a tablet. The screen can get really bright indoors. But it might look underwhelming on a bright day if you plan on taking it to a picnic and watching something there.

A hit and a miss is the keyboard on the Realme Pad 2. I have never been comfortable typing on a tablet; unfortunately,Pad 2 couldn’t change that either. The situation improves if you put it flat on a table and type. But punching the screen while holding it upright is a task. Hence I avoided typing notes here and mostly relied on voice prompts.

A solution to this is using a compatible Bluetooth keyboard with the tablet. I, however, would suggest using a laptop to save time.

Another point to note is the lack of a bundled stylus with the Realme Pad 2. This is not a surprise since the competition in this price bracket also skips it. However, the tablet does work with 3rd party stylus’ available in the market.


On the other hand, the auto-brightness feature on the Realme Pad 2 felt choppy. It often failed to adjust the brightness according to the content on the tablet, leading me to disable the feature altogether.

In terms of display capabilities, the Realme Pad 2 outshines the Redmi Pad with its maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, surpassing the 90Hz of the Redmi Pad. This higher refresh rate proves beneficial for both reading and gaming. The only drawback I found with the display is the absence of an adaptive refresh rate, a feature not commonly seen in budget tablets. Having adaptive refresh rate technology would have made the transition between web pages and games smoother and more seamless.

Complementing the impressive display is the quad-speaker setup on the Realme Pad 2, which truly impressed me. The speakers deliver a substantial volume and even sound distribution. They retain a certain level of richness and detail in the audio at low to mid-volume levels. Though some detail may get lost at higher volumes, it's not a significant concern, especially when enjoying content with friends and peers.

Software

The Realme Pad 2 comes equipped with Android 13 straight out of the box, paired with Realme UI. Realme has optimized the UI skin to function seamlessly on a tablet, providing an enhanced user experience. One notable feature is the widget optimization, which adds to productivity and usability.

Personally, I've integrated my Google suite with the Realme Pad 2, making it my primary device for managing calendars. With the spacious screen real estate, the split-screen functionality works like a charm, allowing me to multitask efficiently.

While the Realme UI performs well, I believe there is still untapped potential that could further elevate the user experience. For instance, the addition of multiple floating windows could be a valuable enhancement.

Over the years, Realme has continuously refined its UI, and the Realme Pad 2 maintains this tradition. The tablet impressively avoids unnecessary bloatware, presenting a clean and visually appealing interface.

The animations are in line with the classic Realme style, and even though they are familiar, they still look great on this particular screen.

Regarding security, the Realme Pad 2 offers face unlock or pin as authentication methods. However, it's essential to note that the face unlock mechanism, which utilises the front camera for recognition, may not be 100% reliable. As a result, I found myself resorting to punching in my password more frequently than relying solely on face unlock.

Performance
Under the hood, the Realme Pad 2 is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity G99 SoC, a favoured chipset in the budget tablet segment, also utilised in the Redmi Pad. The tablet delivers impressive performance, and during my six days of usage, I have yet to encounter any lags or app crashes.

The variant I have comes with 8GB of RAM, which proves more than sufficient to handle the onboard applications, most of which are OTT apps. Multitasking and switching between web pages or multiple apps running in the background pose no problem at all.

The RAM's capability to hold applications in memory for extended periods is commendable. For instance, while switching between Netflix and YouTube, I consistently landed on the exact frame where I had left off.

Gaming on tablets may not be the most ideal experience due to the form factor, but I tested it nonetheless. The tablet can handle games like COD Mobile with respectable graphic settings, specifically at HD resolution. However, the inherent limitations of the form factor prevent a truly immersive gaming experience.

While I enjoy playing lightweight games like Hill Climb Racing on the tablet, the real fun comes from playing games like Ludo with my peers. Although these games may be basic and seemingly boring, the large screen size adds to the enjoyment.

Regarding storage, my variant boasts 128GB of storage space, ample for storing around 20+ movies in Full HD resolution, along with various apps and games. If considering the Redmi Tab, I highly recommend opting for the 128GB storage variant.

One significant advantage of the Realme Pad 2 over its competition is the inclusion of a dedicated SIM card slot. Having mobile network connectivity on a tablet adds substantial value, allowing access to entertainment anywhere. This addition is commendable, considering that even more expensive options lack a SIM card slot.

The Redmi Pad offers all the features necessary for a content consumption device. It allows users to download their favourite movies or TV shows for offline viewing, making it suitable for indoor use.

Lastly, it's essential to discuss battery life. The Redmi Pad is equipped with an 8360 mAh battery, which proves exceptionally resilient. As my primary content-watching device for the past five days, I only had to charge it twice. For light users, the battery can last up to three days. The tablet supports 33W fast charging, but due to its substantial battery capacity, it takes approximately two hours for a full 0-100% charge.

Camera
Cameras on budget tablets have never been a strong point, and the Realme Pad 2 follows suit in this regard. The tablet features an 8MP primary camera on the back, labelled as a "super camera" on the module.

Unfortunately, the camera's performance is not particularly impressive. The shots lack detail, and the colours appear oversaturated. Although the camera does slightly better in natural lighting conditions, the results are still not suitable for posting on social media platforms.

The primary camera allows for 1080P video recording at 30fps, but the footage lacks detail, and the colour tones tend to be warmer. On a positive note, the audio quality during video recording is clear.

However, there are some redeeming features. The camera app includes a text scanner, which proves handy for scanning documents. This feature becomes valuable as we often use tablets to store files and documents.


The front camera is also an 8MP sensor, but it shares similar limitations. The images lack detail, and the colours appear cooler in comparison. Interestingly, unlike the primary camera, the images here are under-saturated.

On the bright side, for video calls, the front camera performs better than most webcams found on laptops, providing a decent experience in that aspect.

Verdict
Realme Pad 2 hits the right chord with its features, you have a solid display, optimised OS and a premium build quality. Added with the SIM card slot, it becomes a viable option for the masses. If you are in the market for a budget tablet, then I suggest paying attention to this one.



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