Realme 3 Pro
Tushar Kanwar
Realme 3 Pro
TECH
26/04/2019 10:47 AM IST | Updated 26/04/2019 10:52 AM IST

Realme 3 Pro Review: More Xiaomi Than Xiaomi?

Oppo-backed Realme has made rapid strides in the Indian budget segment, and its latest offering, the Realme 3 Pro is a solid challenger to Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro.

Oppo-backed Realme doesn’t get anywhere near the amount of the attention that Xiaomi does, but the company has made rapid strides in the Indian budget segment, in sales and market-share.

Originally created as a sub-brand meant to take on Xiaomi — even the name is a play on Xiaomi’s popular budget brand Redmi — its latest Realme 3 Pro takes aim at Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 7 Pro and scores a direct hit. Read on to see how much the Realme 3 Pro impressed us during our review, and how it compares against its chief rival.

The Realme 3 Pro will be available in 2 variants — 4GB RAM/64GB storage at Rs. 13,999, and 6GB/128GB at Rs. 16,999 — and three colors Carbon Grey, Nitro Blue and Lightning Purple when it goes on sale at Flipkart and Realme.com on Monday, April 29.

Realme 3 Pro – Pros

Performance: If you want to take on the specs and value king, you have to go one better than Xiaomi at the same price point, and that is precisely what we get with the Realme 3 Pro. The phone uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chipset, paired with 4GB or 6GB RAM, the first in its price segment to do so.

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Day to day usage is pretty reliable, and there’s little to tell the two apart in terms of pure CPU performance. The Snapdragon 710 in the Realme 3 Pro pulls ahead with its more power efficient 10-nanometer fabrication process, and it also delivers better graphics performance, courtesy the Adreno 616 graphics chip.

Tushar Kanwar

The Adreno 616 noses ahead of the Adreno 612 used with the Redmi Note 7 Pro’s Snapdragon 675, letting you to run games like PUBG on High graphics settings with no stutter or lag, and even allows compatibility with a game like Fortnite, which is a big win for Realme in the budget segment. The Adreno 612 is not compatible with Fortnite yet, so this is the phone to get if you’re in the market for a budget gaming phone.

Battery Life and Charging: One of the other benefits of employing the energy efficient 710 chip is the big gains in battery life the Realme 3 Pro enjoys. The phone may have a now-standard 4,045mAh battery, but that delivered two full days of everyday use — WhatsApp, calls, videos, and some gaming sessions as well.

When you do hit the low battery warning, VOOC 3.0 20W charging with the included 5V 4A charger takes you from dry to 50% in 30 minutes, with a full charging taking just over 70 minutes. Getting the 20W fast charger in the box is a bigger deal than it seems, as other brands still leave you to buy that as an extra.

Software: Realme uses Oppo’s ColorOS 6.0 (based on Android 9.0 Pie), which is cleaner and less of an iOS-clone than previous iterations of ColorOS. There are nifty additions across the board, including driving/riding modes, dual apps, navigation gestures and an app drawer, among others.

Tushar Kanwar

The visual refreshes all around do well to give the phone a modern look that goes well with the bleeding edge hardware under the hood. Also, the interface doesn’t contain ads, a fact we’ve been critical of in recent Xiaomi phones. It’s also worth looking out for the promised Widevine L1 DRM certification which will allow you to stream videos from Netflix at full HD resolution — the review unit was on pre-release software but this, along with 960fps slow-motion video recording, will be available on retail units.

Display: On the Realme 3 Pro, you get a 6.3-inch full HD+ IPS LCD display, which offers bright and vibrant colors and decent sunlight legibility, with the option to option to adjust the color temperature to your preference. It’s no AMOLED display, but it’s one of the better panels in the segment nevertheless.

Realme 3 Pro – Cons

Design: Pick up the Realme 3 Pro and you get a generic slab that checks off all the current design trends — thin bezels, teardrop notch, Gorilla Glass 5 screen protection — without being particularly spectacular on any one front. There’s a gradient pattern at the back which is understated and elegant, and the phone is comfortable to grip and not too heavy at 172g.

Tushar Kanwar

It is attractive and ergonomics are good, but the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro which has the glass-metal-sandwich design looks far more like a premium product. The plastic rear of the Realme 3 Pro is also prone to picking up dust and the occasional scuff if you’re not careful.

One benefit is the dedicated MicroSD card slot alongside the two SIM slots, but the fact that the phone uses the micro-USB port is a letdown. Maybe it’s to do with the fast charging (in which case, it’s worth the tradeoff), but the port is getting a little long in the tooth and sticks out like a sort thumb on an otherwise slick device.

The fingerprint scanner is conveniently located for the odd time the speedy face unlock isn’t fast enough, but the single speaker is a bummer.

Cameras: Standing on its own, the Realme 3 Pro packs in a capable 16-megapixel Sony IMX519 sensor with an f/1.7 aperture — this is the same sensor used on the OnePlus 6T (review)  — and a secondary 5-megapixel depth sensor for the portrait mode shots, with a 25-megapixel selfie camera. The camera captured good details in daylight landscapes with good dynamic range, but details levels nosedived in low-light conditions.

Tushar Kanwar

You could use the dedicated Nightscape mode to improve brightness levels in low light shots, but you’ll still be left wanting for details. Compared to its peers though, the Realme 3 Pro doesn’t have the large sensor and pixel-binning magic of the Note 7 Pro or the flexibility of the M30’s wide-angle camera, so if you’re looking for a camera-first budget device, you should look elsewhere.

You could use the dedicated Nightscape mode to improve brightness levels in low light shots, but you’ll still be left wanting for details. Compared to its peers though, the Realme 3 Pro doesn’t have the large sensor and pixel-binning magic of the Note 7 Pro or the flexibility of the M30’s wide-angle camera, so if you’re looking for a camera-first budget device, you should look elsewhere.

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