Realme 3 Pro review: When David tries to topple Goliath
While it is no secret that Oppo’s newest sister brand has its corsairs trained on Xiaomi’s Redmi line of smartphones, in the past couple of months some of the new Realme phones have indeed punched above their weight class. The new Realme 3 Pro takes the battle to another level with it going head-on against the mighty Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro. So much so that we have executives complaining on Twitter about what the competitor has claimed. When you have Xiaomi’s India bossman whining, then you know on some level you’re getting under the brand’s skin. And indeed, it is a power packed phone with bright display, gradient finish design, water droplet notch and an excellent battery life, which makes the Realme 3 Pro perhaps the only true competitor to the Xiaomi. That in itself is a feat as till last year, the Redmi Notes didn’t have a real rival. Now they a bit more than a rival in the Realme 3 Pro. Read this to understand why because as they say, the devil is always in the details.
- This is a surprisingly packed phone which will impress its users. It has the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor along with a 6GB of RAM. This is the same package as the Nokia 8.1 which we’ve grown to love. Saying it is better than compared to its counterpart Redmi Note 7 Pro wouldn’t be correct as both chips are pretty neck and neck, but while the 710 excels in gaming, the 675 on the Xiaomi works better for multitasking. Then there is the case of the software tuning also which were the Realme ain’t too bad. Graphically, it is a geek’s paradise for gamers. We played Need For Speed & PUBG — Realme promises an graphical joy ride to the gamers, enriching the experience with realistic graphics minimal frame-rate issues without overheating to boot. And mind you, we ran pre release firmware — retail units will be more stable than our review units. We find it to be the best gaming phone if you’re on a tight budget.
- Realme 3 Pro houses its homegrown Colour OS 6.0 which comes with Android Pie. The interface is very smooth and the transitioning with applications is like a knife through butter. For Android purists this may not be the most intuitive thing but blessed is the openness of the platform that you can easily change the drawer/launcher, you can download the likes of Nova, Apus, etc. etc. The phone can be totally customised to your whims and fancies.
- Hold on to those horses! Realme 3 Pro has one surprise after the other.. This device offers a dual sensor with a 16MP sensor (IMX519 1/2.6 inches). The pixel size of the camera is 1.22 µm and an aperture of f/1.7 and a 5MP Secondary camera. For some context here, this is the same camera that’s there in the OnePlus 6T which means you’re going to get the same performance. This is a very reliable camera — and many people actually like it more than an iPhone 8. This phone also supports Google’s Camera API which means you can side load Google’s Pixel camera app which can theoretically make the camera even better. Surprisingly the night mode churns out some good low light photography to those daredevils who like capturing a moment when the need arises. To our ladies in the house, the famous beauty mode packs in more functionalities and gives an amazing outcome for your social media handles.
- Coming to its front camera sensor which offers a 25MP (f/2.0 aperture) that also provides a portrait mode and a facial recognition to those who like their security features to offer this as well. Mind you, this is a better selfie camera than the Redmi Note 7 Pro.
- Catering to the masses, with this mid-range phone Realme has left no stone unturned to please its fans, with dual camera vertically aligned and a futuristic gradient coloured back which mesmerizes you under the sun. It is also splash proof to boot. The phone is also very ergonomic to hold with rounded edges and frankly it is one of the prettiest phones in the segment when you add the fact that it has an OnePlus 6T style facia with a water droplet notch. And gamers who’re concerned if they can play PUBG on this phone in the bright shining sun of New Delhi’s fret not.
- Yes, it doesn’t have a C port but let me tell you the micro USB port does justice to juice up the battery with an Ultra-fast VOOC 3.0 charge, 50% in 30 minutes of plug-in time. While I was using it with fair time?, the 4045 mAh lasted 2 days with full charge. That’s insane battery life
- Perhaps the biggest weakness of this phone is its display which looks washed out compared to phones like even the Nokia 6.1 Plus. That’s something which is a true critique of the phone and is not something subjective.
- Compared to the Redmi Note 7 Pro, the camera is seemingly inferior. It is no slouch, but for the camera crazy this will not quench the desire of an incredible flagship grade camera.
- The build quality is obviously is not on par with what’s being offered in the market. Most people will prefer the build of the Xiaomi Redmi’s or the Nokia phones in the price range.
This smartphone is priced very aggressively at Rs 13,990 with several variants available at 4GB/64GB and 6GB/128GB. It will be available in 3 different colour variants with gradient finish (Carbon Gray, Nitro Blue & Lightning Purple). You can expand the memory upto 256 GB via microSD. Overall, it is one of the most performance oriented phones at its price with easily the best gaming performance for less than Rs 15,000. We rate it 4 out of 5!
Words by Khalid Wani