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    Why have a 5G smartphone in 2021: realme 8 5G review

    Who I am
    Alejandra Rangel
    @alejandrarangel

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    What is 5G and is it at home

    If you agree, let's get to the point immediately and try to understand better what is 5G, how it works and what they are, concretely, i advantages that is bringing - and will bring more and more - into our lives.

    Well, to put it in a nutshell, 5G is an evolution of the 4G networks that we have come to know in recent years and that we all use on our smartphones (and not only) to surf online at speeds that today we could define as more than dignified. even if in the past they seemed very high to us.



    5G raises the bar by bringing the maximum data transfer rate beyond Gigabit per second (therefore over 1.000 Megabits per second, around 1.4 Gbps with current technologies), but above all reducing latency times, which is the time between trying to contact an online resource and getting a response. Suffice it to say that, in the city, with 4G networks there is an average latency of 45 ms; with 5G networks it will be less than half (15-20 ms). For example, in my test of really 8 5G I was able to download an entire movie from Netflix in seconds!

    It does not take a technology expert to understand that, by lowering latency times and having a higher data transfer speed, unprecedented scenarios are opened for activities that require the transit of a large amount of data in the shortest possible time and with the least response time possible: from online gaming (also in streaming) professional applications, such as remote driving of machinery and devices. But 5G will also play a very important role in the realization of the so-called smart city: cities increasingly connected, where various devices (traffic lights, means of transport, information boards, etc.) will be able to communicate with each other to quickly exchange information and provide increasingly efficient services to citizens.



    But now we come to a slightly more technical aspect: at types of 5G available. Yes, because 5G can use various frequency bands and, depending on the frequencies used, is able to cover more or less large areas and to reach more or less high data transfer speeds. In particular, the higher a frequency, the more its download and upload performance increases, but at the same time its maximum range decreases. As a result, each frequency will be used for a different purpose.

    Going into more detail, there are three frequencies destined for 5G in the city.

    • 700 MHz (low band) - the 700 MHz frequencies are those with the widest coverage, but lower data transfer rates than the others (while guaranteeing better performance than the 4G network). They are the most used for smartphone connectivity.
    • 3,7 GHz (mid band) - 3,7 GHz frequencies represent a "middle ground" both in terms of range and performance. In a nutshell: they offer less coverage but more speed than the 700 MHz ones and greater coverage but lower speeds than the 26 GHz ones, which I am about to talk to you about.
    • 26 GHz (high band) - these are very high frequencies, unprecedented for mobile networks in the city. They are those that allow you to fully exploit the potential of 5G and overcome the Gigabit / second threshold with very low latency times. However, since they are very high frequencies, they have a particularly short wavelength and are easily obstructed by elements such as buildings and trees. With this technology it is possible to maintain a stable and fast connection for thousands of devices collected in a small space, thus avoiding the congestion and blockages we are used to with 4G networks in places such as airports and shopping centers.

    - cittàn telephone operators have been active for some time to implement 5G support and, already today, are offering dedicated offers for this technology in a growing number of cities. Clearly, the coverage of the new networks is not yet as widespread as that guaranteed by 4G, but over time the situation will only improve, with the providers building increasingly optimized infrastructures to make the most of the various frequencies mentioned above.



    In this regard, a difference must be made between networks 5G SA (standalone) e 5G NSA (Non-Standalone). In this phase of initial diffusion of 5G technology, a 5G NSA (Non-Standalone) system is being used on the basis of which the 5G network relies on an underlying 4G network. This allowed to accelerate the launch times of 5G but also led to some compromises, such as the fact that a device connected to a 5G NSA network must always be connected to the 4G network as well (with a small increase in energy consumption and timing. of latency). With a network 5G SA (Standalone), on the other hand, the infrastructure is entirely 5G, therefore autonomous: the device that connects to the 5G network, in this case, connects directly to a 5G radio (which is in turn to a 5G core network), without intermediation of 4G systems and therefore without the need to connect to the latter network as well. More advanced smartphones, such as the really 8 5G that I tried, they support both of these types of networks.

    In short, the 5G SA network is certainly better from every point of view, but waiting for adequate systems to be set up, the 5G NSA networks that rely on existing 4G systems are an excellent solution to spread 5G and still have the performance of everything. respect.

    It should be noted that to take advantage of 5G technology on smartphones you do not need to have a special SIM (the SIMs we already use are enough to navigate on 4G / 3G networks), but you must subscribe to aoffer that includes 5G and most importantly, you have to use one smartphone with 5G support. In this regard, it must be said that now almost all the top of the range have this feature, but also the mid-range devices are starting to implement it: I will talk to you very shortly about the device, really 8 5G, which I have been able to test these days.



    First, however, allow me a little parenthesis on the issue of safety: there is still a lot of talk about alleged health risks related to the use of 5G. Well, it must be said that these are alarmisms without scientific basis. After all, 5G is just one 4G update: its operation is almost the same, so if the risks we are talking about were real, all mobile networks should be deactivated, including 4G and 3G.

    In this regard, it must be said that in over twenty years of diffusion of mobile networks, on over a billion users who use them daily, there have been no discoveries that can suggest a particular harmfulness of the latter.

    Of course, the classic recommendations to avoid excessive concentrations of radiation on your body remain valid - trivially, you should avoid spending all day with the smartphone attached to your ear (as it is the smartphone that concentrates them, more if the antennas from which the signal comes are far away) - but there are no particular risks associated with 5G. Also because, it should be remembered, our skin acts as a barrier and radio frequencies such as those used for 3G, 4G and 5G mobile networks hardly penetrate the deeper layers of the body.

    Why have a 5G smartphone

    Now that you have a little clearer idea of ​​what 5G is and how it works, you will also understand why it is a great idea have a 5G smartphone. Although the technology in question is destined to increase its potential over time, it already offers numerous advantages today and, given the availability of 5G smartphones at a good price, it would be a shame not to use it.

    Without going too far with the imagination, with a 5G smartphone it is already possible play online streaming to latest generation titles with maximum fluidity and image quality - just think of the possibilities offered by services such as Microsoft's Game Pass -, you can watch movies and TV series in streaming at the highest quality, Yes they can make video calls, even in groups without interruptions and ensuring optimal transmission quality to your interlocutors, and the list could go on and on. In short, think of everything you can do with a 4G smartphone linked to the Internet connection and imagine it faster, more immediate and of quality.

    I, for example, with really 8 5G I enjoyed "stressing" various apps for video calls, from Zoom to WhatsApp, talking to a large number of people at the same time and, even moving where the 5G signal was not optimal, there were no major repercussions on call quality. Then, as already mentioned, the satisfaction of downloading movies or entire series in high definition in a few seconds is priceless!

    Clearly, as already mentioned, to take advantage of the 5G network you need to sign up for a5G offer with your provider and you need to be in an area where signal coverage is already available. As for the smartphone to buy, as already mentioned, there are various opportunities currently given by the market: we are talking above all about top of the range, but there are also some very interesting mid-range devices that allow you to take home a 5G phone at more than reasonable prices and with a optimized autonomy, able to manage 5G (which consumes much more energy than 4G) in an intelligent way, without too negative impacts on the battery.

    Among the 5G smartphones that meet this profile there is certainly really 8 5G, which I had the opportunity to test for a few days and which I definitely feel like promoting: to find out more about its features and functionality, read on.

    really 8 5G

    really 8 5G is the proposal of realme - a brand that is becoming increasingly noticed for its smartphones with an excellent relationship between quality and price - intended for all those who want to make use of 5G technology without investing in expensive top of the range.

    Features great 6,5 ″ Super AMOLED FHD + screen and 2400 x 1080 pixels with a refresh rate of 90Hz and a sampling frequency of the touch of 180 Hz, therefore capable of guaranteeing maximum fluidity in gaming (and not only) and a maximum brightness of 600 thread, for optimal visibility even in direct sunlight.

    The design, then, is certainly of impact: we are talking about a full screen device with one thickness of just 8,5 mm it's a weight of only 185 g and with a design, called Dynamic Speed Light, which makes very interesting use of the play of light and reflections. But what is even more striking is what is under the body.

    To animate realme 8 5G, in fact, we find the chipset MediaTek Dimensity 700 with 2.2 GHz Octa-core CPU and 7nm manufacturing process, which is 28% more energy efficient than an 8nm process. The latter, together with the battery from 5.000 mAh integrated into the phone and technology Smart 5G for the intelligent management of consumption, it allows realme 8 5G to offer full support to 5G (both with systems 5G SA and 5G NSA) without giving up a long battery life, despite, as mentioned, 5G consumes more energy than 4G. This happens thanks to the fact that the phone automatically switches from 4G to 5G (and vice versa) according to the needs and the operations to be performed, in order to "push" with the speed of the connection only when really necessary and without wasting energy.

    This feature is associated with the Super energy saving mode, which intelligently optimizes CPU, app and screen backlight usage, and the Sleep Standby Optimization, which saves energy when the smartphone is not used (for example when sleeping) by blocking inactive applications.

    In my tests I made use of all these features and I can say that they keep their promises: I always managed to arrive in the evening with a stressful use of the phone, while with a lighter use I came to cover well beyond the day of use. Charging, which takes place via the USB-C port (charger and cable are supplied, along with a convenient transparent protective case), is also very fast.

    On the photographic front we have one triple rear camera with 48MP main sensor (paired with a black and white lens for portraits and 4cm macro lens), F1.8 aperture, Nightscape to make clear shots even in poorly lit environments and multi-frame synthesis algorithm. There are also filters dedicated to photos and night landscapes.

    Everything is managed by a really well packaged software, which allows less experienced users to get excellent shots and videos without having to "go crazy" in adjusting the various parameters and, at the same time, allows more advanced users to have fun in the adjustment. manual of various settings.

    The front camera, on the other hand, is from 16MP with F2.0 aperture. We find it embedded in the hole at the top left of the device screen and has support for many nice and interesting filters. It also allows you to unlock the phone with your face (a mode that is combined with unlocking via fingerprint reader, located on the back).

    The general quality of photos and videos (maximum resolution Full HD 1080p at 30 FPS) is more than good: clearly we are not at the levels of top-of-the-range camera phones, which cost three times as much, but for a device of this range really nothing to complain. .

    We have said that realme 8 5G has a very powerful processor, a display with a very high refresh rate that allows a very smooth execution of games and cameras of a very good level to take photos and videos. To manage all this you need a good amount of storage and RAM, and in fact the device is available in versions from 64GB with 4GB of RAM and 128GB with 6GB of RAM. In both cases we are talking about a terminal with expandable memory and with ben three slots: two for the SIM and one for the microSD, in order to use two SIMs and expand storage space up to 1TB at the same time.

    The presence of technology should also be emphasized DRE (Dynamic RAM Expansion) which converts the ROM into virtual RAM if the real RAM available on the device is not sufficient to perform the required operations (a bit like it happens with swap on a computer).

    On the software side, realme 8 5G is animated by the operating system really UI 2.0 based on Android 11, with over 100 customization options available, numerous optimizations in terms of performance (realme estimates a 32% improvement in system speed and 23% in app startup times) and file and information security (e.g. there are the private safe in which to protect private files with passwords and the payment protection to detect and eliminate any risks for the payment systems configured on the device). The presence of the Google services and Play Store to download games, applications and other content.

    really 8 5G is available in two versions: the one from 4 + 64GB (Amazon exclusive), which costs 199 euros and is in promotion at 179 euros from 18 to 20 May 2021, and that 6 + 128GB (available both online and in physical stores) which instead costs 249 euros and is in promotion, only online, at 229 euros always from 18 to 20 May 2021. It can be purchased in version Supersonic Blue with indium plating e Supersonic Black with lenticular pattern and mirror effect with a premium look. For more information, visit the official realme website.

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    Article created in collaboration with realme.

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