Affordable Android tablets have been present in the Indian market for many years, but earlier, one would have been hard-pressed to recommend a tablet in the Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 segment. And one would ultimately end up suggesting an entry-level iPad to their friends and family. However, brands like Xiaomi, Realme, and Motorola are now launching low-cost tablets that are actually quite impressive. I reviewed the Xiaomi Pad 6 a few months ago and called it the go-to tablet under Rs 30,000, and now I’m here to tell you about the sub-Rs 20,000 Realme Pad 2.
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The Realme Pad 2 is a worthy successor with some noteworthy upgrades, including a smoother display, longer battery life, faster charging, and an attractive design. All of these qualities make the Realme Pad 2 a tablet worth buying under Rs 20,000.
Design and display
- The Realme Pad 2 is attractive primarily due to its design. It features a sleek form factor, measuring just 7.2mm in thickness. The metal rear panel boasts a dual-tone appearance with a matte finish covering a significant portion of it, complemented by a textured, brushed finish on a strip running down from the camera module.
- The tablet weighs 518 grams, which makes it about 30 grams heavier than the Xiaomi Pad 6. Probably the only time you’ll be bothered by the weight of the tablet is when you try to use it for watching videos or browsing one-handed. Otherwise, this is a good-looking tablet for its price that is sure to grab the attention of onlookers, especially in its Inspiration Green colour option.
- The tablet is equipped with quad speakers that support Dolby Atmos. They sound clear even at high volume levels and add an immersive layer when watching content.
- Coming to the display, you get an 11.5-inch 2K (2,000 x 1,200) screen that supports up to 120Hz refresh rate. This is a combination that is pretty rare to find under Rs 20,000, and Realme gets top marks for that. Compared to the first Realme Pad, the second generation model gets a slightly larger screen-to-body ratio thanks to slimmer bezels around the screen.
- It’s a crisp display that delivers plenty of sharpness and details while watching content on platforms like Netflix. The colours look good and the contrast levels are about as adequate as you can expect from an LCD panel.
- Brightness levels and viewing angles are quite disappointing. While I had no issues viewing the reflective screen indoors under ambient lighting, the tablet’s max brightness of 450nits leaves you wanting more under direct sunlight, especially due to its highly reflective screen.
Performance and software
- Powering the new tablet is the MediaTek Helio G99 chipset, an upgrade over the Helio G80 SoC inside the first-gen Realme Pad. We’ve seen the Helio G99 power several affordable smartphones over the years as well as the more affordable Redmi Pad (review) last year, so one has a pretty good idea of what it is and is not capable of handling.
- Now, if you consider the Realme Pad 2 as a purely entertainment-centric device with the occasional checking of emails, browsing through social media, or working on Google Docs, then you won’t face any major performance issues throughout the day. With up to 8GB of onboard RAM, you’ll be able to switch between apps without problems although it won’t be extremely fast.
- Thanks to the 120Hz display, the Realme Pad 2 actually feels quite smooth. Gaming on the Realme Pad 2, however, won’t be the most enjoyable experience. The tablet’s large and sharp screen makes games like Alto’s Adventure, Limbo, and Ella’s Dimension visually pleasing and immersive to play.
- But games that are more graphically demanding like BGMI don’t look quite as good, as the processor is only capable of running it in HD graphics. You’ll also notice the occasional frame rate issue and mild heating after a long session of gameplay.
- The tablet ships with Realme UI 4.0 based on Android 13. It is a clean UI with very few pre-loaded apps that you’ll be greeted with right after setting up. You get features like Split Screen and Dual Window, where the latter allows you to open two windows of the same app. You can also have a floating window in addition to a split screen if you really love multitasking. During the review period, the Realme Pad 2 managed to handle light multitasking tasks (checking email on one side and browsing through Chrome on the other side, for example) without any slowdown.
- The Realme Pad 2 comes with an 8,360mAh battery unit, a big upgrade over the 7,100mAh capacity in the first Realme Pad. Needless to say, the tablet’s battery life is stellar.
- You can easily get 3-4 days on a single charge on light to moderate usage. The device’s standby time is excellent as well, ensuring you won’t have to worry about the battery quietly draining in the background.
- The bundled 33W charger takes roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes to fully charge the tablet, another big upgrade over the 18W charging speed of the Reame Pad.
The Realme Pad 2 comes with a price tag of Rs 19,999, which is several notches higher than its predecessor. For what Realme is asking, the brand is giving you a 2K 120Hz display, a relatively smooth processor that can handle basic workloads and entertainment, and bigger battery life, among other things. Overall, it’s a solid tablet in this segment and manages to one-up many of its rivals, such as the Redmi Pad, Moto Tab G62, and Honor Pad X9. While the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is likely to offer a better display and speakers, it doesn’t hold up to the Realme Pad 2 in the battery and chipset departments. Aside from the fact that it is quite a dated model now.
Despite some of its downsides, the Realme Pad 2 is easily one of the best tablets under Rs 20,000 in India right now for the simple fact that there aren’t many new tablets in this segment. If you’re looking for a purely entertainment-centric tablet that looks good and is convenient to travel with, the Realme Pad 2 is a great budget option.
Editor’s rating: 8 / 10
Reasons to buy the Realme Pad 2
- The Realme Pad 2 comes with an impressive 2K 120Hz display, which is not common in this price range.
- The Realme Pad 2 is one of the better-looking tablets under Rs 20,000 with its dual-tone matte finish, especially in the Inspiration Green colour option.
- The tablet’s upgraded battery and charging speeds make it a dependable device
Reasons not to buy the Realme Pad 2
- The MediaTek Helio G99 chipset can handle basic tasks and day-to-day workloads but will struggle to run graphically challenging games and multiple tabs in a browser. The processor might not age well down the line.
- While you get a crisp display with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, the Realme Pad 2 offers poor brightness levels and viewing angles outdoors.