Realme 8 Pro Review – It’s the Relame 7 Pro but with a flagship-level 108MP camera

As I eagerly wait for Realme to launch a flagship device in the UK this year, they have whetted my appetite for what might come with the Realme 8 Pro.

The Realme 8 Pro is launching in the UK as the first sub-£300 phone to feature a 108MP camera.

Specification – Realme 8 Pro vs 7 Pro vs 6 Pro

Realme 8 Pro Mobile Phone, Sim Free Unlocked Smartphone with...
  • 108 MP ultra quad camera: Starry time-lapse video...
  • 50w superdart charge: Charge 50 Percent in 17...
  • 4500mAh massive battery: Super power saving mode
  • Infinite stars design: 176 g and 8.1 mm Slim and...
Realme 8 ProRealme 7 Pro Realme 6 Pro
Display6.4 inch AMOLED 2400×1080 
1000nits peak brightness
60Hz refresh rate
180Hz touch sampling
6.4 inch AMOLED 2400×1080  6.6 inch IPS 2400×1080 
 90Hz, 480 nits 
ChipsetSnapdragon 720GSnapdragon 720GSnapdragon 720G
RAM8GB8GB8GB
Storage128GB
MicroSD slot
128GB
MicroSD slot
128GB
MicroSD slot
Rear Camera108 MP Samsung HM2 1/1.52″
8 MP ultra-wide
2 MP macro
2 MP B&W Lens
64 MP Sony IMX682 1/1.73″ Wide
8 MP ultra-wide
2 MP macro
2 MP depth
64 MP Samsung 1/1.72
12MP 2x telephoto
8MP ultrawide
2MP macro
Front Camera16MP Sony IMX471 32 MP16 MP
Battery4500 mAh
50W charging (but 65W charger)
4500 mAh
65W charging
4300 mAh
30W
OtherDual sim + microSD
3.5mm headphone jack
Dual sim + microSD
3.5mm headphone jack
Dual sim + microSD
3.5mm headphone jack
Dimensions 160.6 x 73.9 x 8.1 mm
176g
160.9 x 74.3 x 8.7 mm
182g
163.8 x 75.8 x 8.9 mm
202 g
Price £2798GB/128GB launch price  £279
Current price £239
349.90 Euros (£305)

The excellent Realme 6 Pro was launched in March 2020, with the Realme 7 Pro landing in October and now the 8 Pro, so we are looking at a 6-month launch cycle. This inevitably means not much changes with each release.

The main difference going from the Realme 6 Pro to 7 Pro was that it ditched the IPS display in favour of an AMOLED which was quite unique at the time with most affordable phones using IPS.

The Realme 8 Pro then also only has one significant improvement. The primary sensor has been switched from the already good 64MP Sony IMX682 sensor to the brand new Samsung 108MP HM2 sensor.

This new 108MP camera isn't quite the same as you see on £750+ flagship phones from the likes of Xiaomi and Samsung, but it is not far off. The main difference is that the sensor is a touch smaller at 1/1.52″ vs 1/1.33″, reducing the pixel size to 0.7 μm from 0.8 μm.

Disappointingly, there hasn't been an improvement from the Snapdragon 720G, which itself wasn't much different from the Snapdragon 730G, which proceeded it, so the chipset is effectively 2 years old now.

In defence of Realme, Qualcomm has left its 7-series platform to go a little stale. The only realistic upgrade would have been the 5G Snapdragon 750G.

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Mobile Pixels Trio Portable Monitor For Laptops Review – Make your laptop dual or triple display

With the prospect of being able to travel again this year I have been contemplating on how to improve my mobile working experience. Whenever I go on holiday or press events, I always set up a small workstation allowing me to get a couple of hours of work done each day (the cost of being self-employed). In recent years this has expanded from just a laptop to include both a proper keyboard and mouse, which massively improves my productivity. However, working from a single monitor is not ideal for me; when writing, I almost always have side by side content so I can research and reference things.

A portable monitor is a perfect solution for this. I recently reviewed the Acer PM1, which was flawed but still good, largely thanks to its great price. However, the Mobile Pixels Trio offers a slightly alternative solution that will be particularily appealing to people that work on the move.

Rather than having a completely sperate monitor, this monitor attaches to the back of your existing laptop, sliding out as and when needed. It gives you a much more convenient set up when working in tight spaces.

The Mobile Pixels Trio name is slightly misleading initially; the monitor you buy is a single monitor, but it is designed to allow two to be attached to your laptop to create that triple monitor setup.

Specification

Mobile Pixels Trio Portable Monitor for Laptops, 12.5'' Full...
  • ★Extend Your Vision by Ultra Wide Screen...
  • ★Plug and Play, One Cable Setup,Backward...
  • ★One Trio Max Display on Multiple...
  • ★Optimized Design for Home Office and Work...
  • Display Size: 12.5″ (Max model is 14″)
  • Resolution:  1920 x 1080
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hertz
  • Power: 4.5W
  • Brightness: 300 nit
  • USB: 2x USB-C (one for power if the source device can't provide it)

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Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021 announced with Intel i7-1165G7 & Iris Xe graphics for £1599.99

Huawei may be suffering a bit with their phones lacking Google, but they are easily one of the best laptop brands around at the moment for any non-gaming laptop. Today they have announced the latest Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021, which is a 13.9 inches ultra-portable, weighing in at just 1.33 kg. As usual for … Read more

EZVIZ C8C Smart Pan/Tilt Outdoor Colour Night Vision Camera with AI launched for £109.99

Home surveillance tech is getting scarily advanced, Ezviz is one of the companies at the forefront of this technology. I am a huge fan of both colour night vision and AI object detection. Now, these have been combined with a PTZ camera to offer AI automatic tracking of anyone that enters your property. This model … Read more

Xiaomi POCO F3 vs POCO X3 Pro Compared – F3 aka Redmi K40 star of the show at £329 while X3 Pro is a bargain at £199

Today, Xiaomi affordable sub-brand launched their latest two phones, the POCO F3 and POCO X3 Pro.

Xiaomi likes to capitalise POCO, but I can't cope with writing that in an entire article, so from now on, it is Poco.

Xiaomi Poco F3 vs Xiaomi Redmi K40

Poco F3

First up, and the stand out option from the two new devices is the, however, it has technically already been launched under the name Redmi K40.

The Redmi K40 was launched in February with an official release on the 4th of March. The base model launched for CNY 1999 or £221 (UK price is higher).

Poco F3 vs Poco X3 Pro – Kinda the same but not

Poco X3 Pro

The naming convention of these phones seems a little off because they feel like they should be under the same model series with one being Pro and the other standard.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 vs Snapdragon 860/855+, SD888 & SD865+ Specification Compared – Qualcomm re-release old chipsets for new affordable phones

Several phones are tipped to feature two new Qualcomm 800 series chipsets. Two of them should be launching very soon.

Qualcomm is effectively reusing old tech to allow companies to launch high-performance phones at a low price. It may seem like a strange decision, effectively diluting their flagship 800 series brand with old tech, but it is likely Qualcomm are doing this due to the increased competition they will face from MediaTek this year.

MediaTek have the Dimensity 1200 and Dimensity 1100 which should be used on phones launching in the UK soon.

So how do these two chipsets compare with each other, and what similarities do they have with their older siblings?

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+/860 Mobile Platform

Looking at the Snapdragon 860 first, Qualcomm has put no effort in and are just re-releasing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ under a new name. Even the product page states Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+/860 Mobile Platform.

So clearly, this is just a marketing gimmick. Last year, Realme launched the Realme X3 SuperZoom using the SD855+ and I thought it was a great idea to reuse older flagships for new affordable offerings.

Obviously, Qualcomm feels like advertising a new phone with a 2-year-old chipset is not as marketable as rebranding it as something new.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 vs Snapdragon 865+

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Devolo Mesh WiFi 2 Review – Mesh WiFi with a powerline backhaul to compete vs the TP-Link Deco P9

Before Mesh WiFi was a thing, powerline was by far the best solution for home users wanting to extend their home network without having to physically wire the house up with Ethernet.

Since the launch of mesh, powerline has fallen out of favour somewhat, and only a handful of company produces hardware feature this technology. However, I know a lot of gamers who still swear by this technology.

Devolo has long been the most reputable company in the business, with TP-Link being the major competitor.

While most companies are now launching WiFi 6 mesh systems, Devolo has only just launched its first WiFi 5 mesh system.

Devolo Mesh WiFi 2 vs Devolo Magic 2 WiFi – Not the same

Devolo doesn't make it very easy to work out what is what and this is made worse by searching on places like Amazon.

I was very confused by the product name devolo Mesh WiFi 2 but most places selling Devolo Magic 2 WiFi.

A quick glance at their product pages proved to be equally confusing, with the Magic 2 WiFi not listed under mesh yet still claiming mesh functionality on the product page. They also offer the same WiFi speeds and powerline technology.

However, they are not the same. The 2-device Magic 2 WiFi uses two different units, the MAGIC 2 LAN Adapter and the MAGIC 2 WiFi next Adapter. The Lan adaptor offers no WiFi. This is instead used to connect your router to the powerline network. So the two pack system won't actually offer mesh WiFi; you would then need to pair it up with another MAGIC 2 WiFi to get mesh functionality.

The MESH WIFI 2, on the other hand, has all its adopters providing WiFI. With the whole point of this being that you switch the WiFi off on your router, then the Devolo does all the WiFi offering seamless roaming as you move around the home.

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Gigabyte AORUS 15G YC RTX 3080 Gaming Laptop Review – The best solution for PC gaming in 2021 (or until the GPU market improves)

The Gigabyte AORUS 15″ is the gaming focussed range from the laptop brand, offering an FHD 240Hz display with a variety of GPU and Intel CPU options.

With the launch of the RTX 3000 series GPUs, there are options ranging from £1600 with the RTX 3060 up to £2700 for the 17-inch model of the laptop I am reviewing today, with a GeForce RTX 3080.

Gaming laptops have never offered the best value for money for PC gamers. However, at the time of writing this review, the only consumer desktop GPUs available to buy on Scan are the GeForce GT 1030, GT 730,  GT 710, GT210, none of which are much use for gaming.

So anyone looking for new hardware to game on right at this minute has no option but to buy a laptop (or get screwed by scalpers on eBay).

Specification

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Max Q
  • 10th Gen Intel® Core i7-10870H
  • 15.6″ 1920×1080  Full HD 240Hz Wide Viewing Angle IPS-level Display with NTSC 72%
  • 64GB (2x32GB) RAM
  • 1TB NVMe + 1 spare M.2 PCIE slot.
  • 3mm Ultra-thin Bezel Design
  • Up to 8 Hours of Battery Life
  • 3 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C
  • HDMI 2.0, Mini Display Port, Gigabit RJ45, SD/SDHC/SDXC Card Reader

GeForce RTX 3080 Max-Q vs RTX 3080

Nvidia and the brands using the GPUs are a little sneaky with the RTX 3080 GPU term. A laptop GPU is generally not the same as a desktop GPU; while it uses the same technology, the GeForce RTX 3080 Max-Q you find in this laptop has a boost clock of 1245 MHz with a  maximum graphics power of 105W.

The full-fat desktop RTX 3080 variety has a base clock of 1440MHz, boosting to 1740MHz with a TDP of 320W.

While this may be obvious to keen PC gamers/PC enthusiasts, it is probably less so to someone just getting into gaming or a parent buying a child a laptop.

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HyperX Alloy Origins 60 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review – The best alternative vs the Ducky One 2 Mini

Launched this year, the HyperX Alloy Origins 60 mechanical keyboard follows a very popular collaboration with Ducky.

It is about the cheapest brand name 60% keyboard on the market, yet there is nothing cheap about this petite keyboard, and it could be one of the best options on the market.

HyperX Alloy Origins 60  vs HyperX x Ducky One 2 vs Ducky One 2 Mini

Previously HyperX did a collaboration with Ducky for the HyperX x Ducky One 2. This was a limited run of 3,700 units worldwide. That launched at $109 USD, I can’t find the UK pricing, but I assume £109, which is also the price of the HyperX Alloy Origins 60.

Both the Alloy Origins 60 and HyperX x Ducky One 2 use the same HyperX mechanical switches, and by all accounts, they are almost identical apart from a few design tweaks.

The new Alloy Origins 60  is a touch smaller, with HyperX eliminating the outer bezel of the keyboard and exposing more LEDs which I think makes it look a little nicer.

The Ducky One 2 Mini comes in various models, including White RGB and Black RGB. It retains the original dimensions and weight of the HyperX collab but gets rid of the HyperX switches in favour of several Cherry MX or Kailh switches, depending on which option you choose. Prices vary depending on the switch your choose.

I prefer the overall look of the HyperX Alloy Origins 60, the switches work well for me, and the price is a touch lower than Ducky. However, Ducky have far more switch options, so if you have a certain preference, they are definitely a better choice.

Specification

  • Petite 60% form factor
  • HyperX mechanical switches
  • Full aircraft-grade aluminium body
  • Double shot PBT keycaps with side-printed secondary functions
  • RGB backlit keys with radiant lighting effects
  • Advanced customisation with HyperX NGENUITY software
  • Three adjustable keyboard angles and detachable USB-C cable
  • Included keycap puller and additional keycaps
  • Onboard memory
  • Game Mode, 100% anti-ghosting, and N-key rollover functionalities
  • Multi-platform compatibility

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Xiaomi Mi 11 UK Price from £749 but with £100 off via Amazon – RRP £100 more expensive vs Europe

Better late than never, the Xiaomi Mi 11 finally gets a UK launch. UK pricing and deals The Mi 11 will be available in 128GB and 256GB and retail for £749 and £799, respectively. However, if you order through Amazon, you will receive £100 off the official retail price. Xiaomi is not clear how long … Read more

Netgear Nighthawk MK83 vs MK63 vs Orbi RBK753 Mesh WiFi System – Tri-band upgrade for a lower price than Orbi

Today, Netgear has quietly listed the new Nighthawk MK83 on their website, offering a significant upgrade to the affordable Netgear Nighthawk MK63 I reviewed last year. The main difference with the new Netgear Nighthawk MK83 is the inclusion of a second 5Ghz channel that offers 4×3 AX up to 1800Mbps. This channel will then be used as the backhaul, … Read more

Huawei Watch Fit Elegant Edition Announced with Stylish Design and Enhanced Smart Features

Today, Huawei have launched their latest wearable, the Huawei Watch Fit Elegant Edition. The new edition comes in Frosty White and Midnight Black, together with the polished glass surface and fluoroelastomer strap, allowing users to match the smartwatch to their style. Enhancing the health monitoring experience further, the Huawei Watch Fit series now offers all-day … Read more

Realme 8 Pro Preview – Realme’s latest budget camera phone competes with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro with its massive 108MP camera

My full review of the Realme 8 Pro is now live.

The Realme 7 Pro was one of my favourite phones of last year. Launching at £279 on Amazon, it offered a fantastic balance of affordability and performance. While it may have been outclassed in terms of chipset performance, what it offered was a beautiful AMOLED display and a 64MP Sony IMX682, which provided significantly superior performance than the 64MP Samsung sensors found on other Realme phones.

I know some people don’t mind LCD displays or even prefer them, but I am a big fan of AMOLED. In particular, it offers much better visibility outdoors. This may seem like a minor detail, but if I have a phone with a good camera, it is highly likely I will want to use it outdoors on sunny days.

Realme 8 Pro launch event will be on the 24th of March at 2 PM UK time

Realme will be launching its successor on the 24th of March at 2 PM UK time. I don’t have links yet, but it will be via the usual channels on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

They have kindly sent me the Realme 8 Pro to review, which will go live at the end of the launch event, but for now, I am permitted to show a few titbits about the phone.  

Realme 8 Pro Preview

I did a quick YouTube video. It is my first ever, so a bit crap. Things will improve with time.

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Chuwi 3:2 series laptops, the amazing office assistant to rebuild the productivity

After a 4.4% global recession due to the COVID-19 in 2020, the IMF expects the world economy to grow by 5.5% in 2021 and 4.2% in 2022. Restarted productivity will be a key theme of global life. In this issue, we will analyze and compare two new “3:2 tools of productivity” — Chuwi Gemibook and Corebook Pro 13-inch laptops , and find out which one meets your needs of the office.

Tailor-made lightweight and portable 13 inches 3:2 laptop

Chuwi Gemibook and Corebook Pro are both featured with lightweight and thin office books. Both of them adopt a 13-inch portable design and a thin metal body, which makes the appearance appear light and luxurious, chic and elegant. The same weight is only 1.34kg, which is very in line with the trend of lightweight mobile office.

3:2 screen display area increased by 8% under the same diagonal length which longitudinal showed increased nearly 20%. The content of the picture vision was improved effectively to avoid big office documents has the disadvantages of small black side words. This two laptops are needed for the work productivity artifact.

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Iogear Keymander 2 Mobile Review – A Keyboard/Mouse adaptor for gaming on the iPhone, iPad & Apple TV [GE1337M]

The Keymander 2 Mobile is a similar idea to the various Gamsir peripherals I have reviewed recently. It offers a way to add keyboard and mouse control to your Apple iOS-based devices. You may wonder why this is needed seeing as they have some compatibility built-in, but the Keymander expands the range of compatible games … Read more

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