Since its debut in 2018, Realme has only launched two tablet devices so far. The Realme Pad 2 is the brand’s second tablet and comes with some performance and design-related improvements over the previous model. It also adds cellular connectivity to the mix, making it a unique offering in the sub-Rs. 20,000 tablet segment, which mainly consists of budget tablets that lack this feature. There’s also faster charging and a fast display with a 120Hz refresh rate. More importantly, the base variant also comes with 6GB of RAM and its software has been optimized for a widescreen experience. But has Realme cut corners to offer a tablet at this competitive price and can it actually beat the recently launched Redmi Pad when it comes to value? Let’s find out.
Realme Pad 2 Price in India
The base variant of the Realme Pad 2 costs Rs. 19,999 in India and you get 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The top-end variant offers 8GB RAM and 256GB storage and is priced at Rs. 22,999. Both variants offer LTE connectivity as standard, so the higher price over the older model is certainly justified, especially when you consider the other upgrades on offer.
Realme Pad 2 design
The tablet is available in two versions: Imagination Gray and Inspiration Green. As you can see, Realme is targeting the youth with both products, and the bright green device we received for testing definitely looks refreshing, although I found it to be a bit lacking in terms of construction and materials used little resembles the Pad Air from Oppo.
The Realme Pad 2 features a metal frame with flat sides and a chassis with a polycarbonate insert that takes up about a quarter of the back. The plastic band sits on the top half of the device (when held horizontally) and extends from edge to edge (including the frame), with the large camera module placed at one end. The insert conveniently hides all the necessary antennas for radio communication underneath. While the camera bump is prominent, it doesn’t protrude far and doesn’t cause the tablet to wobble when placed on a flat surface.
Since there are no joints or antenna gaps due to this minimalist design approach, it ends up feeling pretty premium and is also quite slim (7.2mm). I also liked the perforations for the four speaker grills, which also look minimalist and subtle. There’s a large 11.5-inch LCD display with thin bezels all around and rounded corner cutouts that pairs well with Realme’s software interface.
Like the previous model, the Realme Pad 2 does not come with any optional accessories. It’s unclear why the Pad doesn’t even have a basic kickstand folio case on offer, but this suggests the brand doesn’t expect its tablet to be used for anything other than a media consumption device. And since there’s no optional case or stand, I had to hold the tablet up or at an angle whenever I viewed content or scrolled through the interface. With a weight of 518g, holding this tablet at the required angle was tiring, especially when watching movies or series.
Realme Pad 2 specifications and software
The Realme Pad 2 is powered by a 6nm MediaTek Helio G99 SoC and has been available in a range of budget devices for some time. This device list also includes the Redmi Pad, the main competitor of this device. Communication standards include Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.2, support for multiple LTE bands and the usual satellite global positioning systems.
There is no headphone jack for those who want to connect. However, you get a SIM card tray that can accommodate a SIM card and a microSD card and supports up to 1TB of storage. The tablet has an 8,360mAh battery that can be charged using the included 33W charger.
For a sub Rs. When purchasing a 20,000 tablet, I was also a little surprised that there was no secure biometric authentication. Just like the previous model, the Realme Pad 2 also lacks a fingerprint reader and the only way to unlock the device without entering a passcode is to use 2D facial unlocking. Although this is not a secure method for unlocking personal devices, it worked well in most lighting conditions except for total darkness.
One improvement over the older Realme Pad would be its software interface. It’s not a “Lite” or stripped down version of the regular Realme UI found on some of its entry-level devices, which included the previous model. The new Realme Pad 2 comes fully equipped with all the personalization features you would expect from its smartphones and then some. This includes a bottom dock that shows pinned and recently launched apps that are active in the background. However, the usefulness of this dock is limited to the home screen, as it is neither available nor accessed anywhere else in the interface or accessed via third-party apps.
Unlike most other Realme devices and tablets in this price range, the Realme Pad 2 was not loaded with bloatware and only had one pre-installed third-party app (Facebook) that can be uninstalled.
Although there are no officially supported accessories, this tablet-optimized version of Realme UI offers full touchpad support (under Additional Settings) with full support for gestures that you would perform on a regular trackpad. There are also the core features like the ability to run two apps in split screen, with an additional app able to be launched in a pop-up window, allowing three apps to be displayed at once.
Performance of the Realme Pad 2
Multitasking is easy on this tablet. I could keep five Chrome tabs open while simultaneously viewing the YouTube app side by side in split-screen mode. It’s also possible to open a floating window while doing this, and the system seems to handle this well, with some lag when drawing long web pages.
Regardless of this tablet’s software performance, which was good for a budget tablet, I liked the aspect ratio of this wide display. It’s ideal for consuming content and is wide enough to run split-screen apps side by side. Luckily, Realme offers support for Widevine L1, which allows me to stream and enjoy full HD video content on this tablet. Readability outdoors is good, but the display loses contrast when viewed at an angle. At the same time, the display isn’t the sharpest on the market (given its resolution and size) and its high refresh rate MEMC system gets pretty choppy from time to time when scrolling or transitioning between video and apps.
As far as the benchmarks are concerned, the tablet performed as expected and achieved values that were on par with budget smartphones in this price range. The Realme Pad 2 scored 4,29,907 points in AnTuTu, as well as 726 and 1,975 points in Geekbench’s single and multi-core tests. In terms of graphics, the tablet managed 25 fps, 55 fps and 15 fps in GFXBench’s Manhattan 3.1, T-Rex and Car Chase test suites.
The MediaTek Helio G99 isn’t a powerful powerhouse, but it’s enough for everyday errands. This makes this tablet more suitable for casual gaming than graphics-heavy titles, although it does have a 120Hz refresh rate. I tried Asphalt 9: Legends and it worked fine with the default settings, with some skipped frames and slight stuttering.
What I liked about the gaming and video experience was the sound, which has improved compared to the previous model’s simpler dual-speaker setup. The sound is significantly louder and more immersive compared to the previous model. The tablet also comes with Dolby Atmos support.
The Realme Pad 2 has a 5-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front camera. As expected, the main shooter offers basic image quality with below-average details but closer to natural colors. Even in bright daylight, the textures were mostly flat, meaning you’ll actually be able to take better photos with any smartphone camera available in this price range.
Front camera selfies show low details and flat textures. This camera is more suitable for video calls as it was able to handle background exposure well when shooting videos, which is useful when making video calls.
Battery life is quite solid for a budget tablet. In our standard battery loop video test, the Realme Pad 2 managed an impressive 26 hours and 13 minutes. With or without the SIM card inserted, it easily lasts about 2 days under heavy use and 3 days with occasional use, which is good for a slim tablet. The additional LTE connectivity also means it’s a reliable road warrior that can provide uninterrupted entertainment (for OTT apps) or connectivity (video calls, etc.) on the go. Thanks to the larger battery, it also lasts much longer than any smartphone you carry in your pocket.
As for charging, the 33W charger managed to charge the tablet to 33 percent in 30 minutes and to 62 percent in an hour, so the charging was completed in 1 hour and 36 minutes, which is not bad for a tablet is.
In a broader sense, the Realme Pad 2 remains the same as the previous model in form and function. It is best used as a media consumption device and nothing more. Realme missed the opportunity to use the tablet as a lightweight productivity device by not releasing a keyboard accessory with it. It is also not suitable for scribbling as it does not offer stylus support.
However, the Realme Pad 2 builds on the weaknesses of its predecessor and manages to be something of an all-rounder by expanding its feature set to include a high refresh rate display, an updated processor and cellular connectivity. At Rs. 19,999, it’s hard to get something like this in the market. The closest competitors include the Redmi Pad (test report) and the Oppo Pad Air (test report), which are slightly cheaper but do not have a cellular connection and have smaller displays and batteries.