Realme has been presenting some stunning smartphones in the budget segment with decent performance backing them. However, with aggressive competition from the likes of Redmi, Samsung, and Asus stakes are higher. For the entry-grade Realme 2 successor, the Chinese maverick bets on MediaTek’s latest and greatest Helio P70 chipset, an upgraded camera, and the new trendy design. But, will all that be good enough? Is the Realme 3 better than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7?
Well, the Realme 3 has been our daily driver for the last week, which has helped us evaluate whether this is a good buy for average consumers. So, let’s not beat around the bush and get right into the in-depth Realme 3 review.
- Realme 3 Review: Price and Specification
- Realme 3 Review: Box Contents
- Realme 3 Review: Display, Design and Build
- Realme 3 Review: Performance and Software
- Realme 3 Review: Camera Performance
- Realme 3 Review: Battery, Connectivity, and Audio
- Realme 3 Review: Verdict with Pros and Cons
Realme 3 Price and Specifications
|Display||6.3-inches, HD+, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, Gorilla Glass protection|
|Processor||2.1 GHz MediaTek Helio P70 Octa-core chipset; ARM G72 GPU|
|Internal Storage||32/64GB (expandable up to 256GB) Dedicated Slot|
|Software||Android 9.0 Pie-based Color OS 6.0|
|Rear Camera||13MP rear camera, f/1.8 aperture + 2MP|
|Front Camera||13MP selfie camera, f/2.0 aperture|
|Dimensions and Weight||–|
|Battery||4230mAh, no fast charging support|
|Others||4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS/ A-GPS, Micro-USB, and a 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Realme 3 Price in India||
Realme 3 Unboxing
First of all, let’s know what’s all packed in the box. We opened up the grey-colored box with a Realme 3 branding to find the following:
- The Phone of course, along with
- Charging brick,
- micro-USB cable
- Sim ejector tool
- Transparent TPU case
- Usual guide booklets.
Realme 3 Review: Display, Design, and Build
Realme 3 is a trendy phone that has been crafted for the youth. It has a seamless unibody design and is quite comfortable to hold. The tiny dewdrop notch, which is increasingly becoming common, is less obtrusive than the wider one we had on Realme 2.
Realme offers large screen real estate, thanks to the slim bezels and a moderately narrow bottom chin. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which is more resistant to scratches than drops.
The tall 6.3-inch screen has HD+ resolution and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The display is reasonably bright and ensures good viewing experience outdoors. The colors are punchy and considering the price it caters to, we won’t go pixel-peeping (but yeah, full HD resolution would have been better).
On the flipside, we have the Realme logo at the bottom-left corner. Vertically up, you have the dual cameras and flash. Right next to it, place your finger on the circular scanner to unlock the phone. The fingerprint reader is aptly reachable and works fine. You also get the option for Face Unlock. However, its finicky in low-lit conditions.
Nothing at the back protrudes out and therefore no apprehension on using the phone while it’s lying down. Finally, the three color gradients i.e., Dynamic Black, Radiant Blue, and Black add to the charm. The best part is that the gradient finish isn’t overly flashy and should work for people of all tastes.
The glossy plastic back feels a bit cheap to touch, but that’s only when you use the phone without a case.
Down at the bottom, resides a micro-USB port besides a speaker grill and a 3.5mm headphone jack on either side. To the left, stays the power button and right side houses the volume rockers. The keys are tactile and easily accessible for single-handed usage.
Realme 3 Review: Performance and Software Experience
Starting with the hardware, octa-core Helio P70 mobile platform powers the phone, which is Mediatek’s flagship chipset. Going by the benchmarks, it’s on par with Snapdragon 660 when it comes to raw performance.
We have tested the 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage variant, and we were indeed impressed by how good the performance these days is on affordable phones.
|Benchmark Tests||Realme 3 Scores|
|3D Mark OpenGL ES 3.1||1214|
|3D Mark Vulkan||1177|
|Geekbench 4 Single-core||1476|
|Geekbench 4 Multi-core||4950|
Realme 3 performed well in almost all heavy games we threw at it including the Asphalt 9, Mortal Combat and PUBG (Medium settings). Overall, It is a reliable performer in moderate to heavy real-life usage and a good pick for gamers on a budget.
That’s not how we feel about the Software, though. Realme has coated the feature-packed Color OS 6.0 which puts us in a tough spot. We will start with the good, followed by the bad (things that could be improved) and fret not, there’s no ugly.
We love the ability to uninstall most of the bundled apps without a hitch. This means more space for your apps and data. Even those that can’t be debloated are utilities like Radio, voice recorder, weather, and cleaner.
The inbuilt launcher gives you options to choose the home screen layout, navigation gestures, and other customizability. Gamers would appreciate the inclusion of ‘Game space’, a game optimization service with add ons like do-not-disturb mode, brightness lock.
Dig deep into the software and you could tinker lot many features like Real-time network speed indicator, battery percentage, data saver, color temp, audio equalizer, private safe, screen off gestures, a half-baked smart assistant, motor ride mode and a neat option to turn on sports scorecards.
Surely enough, Realme has packed a galore of bells and whistles with their new device. But all is not sunshine and roses.
From our use, we felt the Realme’s native OS rendition, needs to improve on fluidity. The animations and the notification drawer feel clumsy and heavy at times. The heads-up notification stays for a little longer than required, while the drawer shows up a blank space betwixt notification messages. We’d also want better optimizations for the notch. All you see on the status bar is system icons. And there’s no L1 certificate or HD streaming support.
Having said that, we agree that some of these are nitpicking while others are bugs which could be resolved with a software update. It must be noted that the new Color OS 6.0 is a significant step up from the last generation interface.
Also, Realme 3 comes with its bootloader unlocked and all advanced users will hopefully be able to root and flash custom ROMs after a while.
Realme 3 Review: Camera Performance
Realme 3 packs a 13MP (f/1.8) primary shooter accompanied by a 2MP secondary sensor at the back. Coinciding with the rear, it sports a 13MP (f/2.0) selfie snapper up front. Now, let’s dive into the photography experience.
The camera app packs the usual features and much more like Portrait mode, Panorama, and Nightscape mode. The beauty mode nicely touch-up your selfies, while the Chroma Boost mode smartly enhances shots to churn “social media ready” photos. We found that the aforementioned boost mode takes a tad longer to process the photo, but it certainly works.
Kudos to Realme for providing Camera API 2.0 native support! This means you could take the optical prowess up a notch by installing the Google Camera app. As you can see from the samples, the Google Camera delivers better details and better metering. But, Realme camera takes wider shots capturing a larger field of view.
From our usage, the Nightscape mode didn’t shine as touted. The selfies tend to be a little too polished by the beauty mode sacrificing some details. However, in good lighting scenarios, the phone is capable of taking bright, vivid shots with good detail and exposure.
On the video front, Realme 3 could record up to 1080p Full HD clips and the company has also baked in 90fps/720P slow-mo video-shooting. You could have more fun with videography.
So, yeah! considering the price, you get a commendable snap shooting experience out of Realme 3. Finally, for getting the maximum output out of the Realme cameras, we recommend installing Google camera.
Realme 3 Review: Battery, Connectivity, and Audio
Realme 3’s 4230 mAh battery should endure for more than a day for most users. We were bummed by the lack of fast charging support, but since our unit’s fuel fared well during the day, we hardly felt the urge to charge.
As far as connectivity options go, it brings all the basics to the table and we had a smooth experience with voice calls, dual VoLTE, data and the rest. There is no dual-band Wi-Fi support, though.
The earpiece sounds loud enough. However, the same can’t be said for the loudspeaker. The audio output via speaker is average at best.
Realme 3 Review – Should you buy it?
Well, Realme 3 has all boxes ticked when it comes to a budget buy. For those among us whose software taste goes with Stock, this could feel a little overwhelming. Having said that, we are quite happy with the overall package it delivers, and that too at a very aggressive price.
The USP of the phone has to be its gaming and camera performance. Other things to look forward to including its long-lasting battery, elegant looks, and a dedicated card slot.
So, if you have a tight budget and want a decent smartphone, this could be your pick. The other option is Xiaomi’s new Note 7, which costs a couple of thousand more.
Drop your comments down below about this new Realme budget smartphone. We would love to know your views and inhibitions and will surely help you out in picking your next smartphone.
- Excellent performance
- Great camera for the price
- Dedicated card slot
- Trendy design
- No dual-band Wi-Fi support
- No HD streaming
- The display could have been sharper