Indeed, Realme has been disrupting the market by countering Xiaomi’s ascendancy in the mid-range segment since its launch. The brand’s approach of giving “impressive hardware at aggressive prices” made the phones sell like hot cakes in the Indian market.
However, the Realme 3 wasn’t really able to hold up to the competition. That said, let’s see whether the newly launched Realme 3 Pro makes a difference and can live up to the “Pro” epithet, in our Realme 3 Pro review.
Realme 3 Pro Specifications
Before we start with the Realme 3 Pro review, let’s go through the specifications, price, and see what’s inside the retail box of the device.
- Display: 6.3-inch IPS display, Full-HD+ (2340×1080 pixels) resolution, 19:5:9 aspect ratio, 409ppi
- CPU: 10nm-based 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 Octa-core processor (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 360 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver)
- GPU: Adreno 616
- RAM: 4GB/6GB
- Storage: 64GB/128GB internal storage, expandable up to 256GB
- Software: Android 9 Pie, Color OS 6
- Main Camera: 13MP Sony IMX519 (f/1.7, 1.22μm pixels, 1/2.6″ sensor size) + 5MP (f/2.4) Depth sensor
- Selfie Camera: 25MP (f/2.0, 1.8μm pixels, 1/2.8″ sensor size)
- Connectivity: MicroUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Cellular: Dual SIM, Dual 4G VoLTE standby
- Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, Capacitive
- Battery: 4,050 mAh, Li-ion Polymer, non-removable
Price: Rs. 13,999 for 4/64GB | Rs. 16,999 for 6/128GB
Realme 3 Pro Review
A complete list of items you get inside the box:
- Realme 3 Pro
- Sim Ejector Tool
- VOOC Charger (20W)
- MicroUSB Cable
- Transparent TPU Case
- Warranty and User Guide
Realme is known to offer phones designed keeping youth in mind, and Realme 3 Pro is no different. The rear panel comes with a gradient finish and reflects an appealing “S” shape when viewed from different angles.
The phone flaunts Realme’s mnemonic yellow concentric rings, circling the secondary camera. Furthermore, a sober-looking chrome lining adorns the camera module. These little quirks make the phone look different and stand out from the competition.
We liked that fact that the front, as well as the back, merge seamlessly with the matte textured frame of the handset. The curvy back offers excellent ergonomics, and the phone sits very comfortably in the hands.
However, the in-hand feel isn’t great as you’d expect. The phone disappoints with its polycarbonate made back and didn’t drive much confidence while using it. In comparison, the Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review) feels a lot more premium with its glass back. But then again, Realme hits back with its lightweight and slim form-factor. There’s no camera bump either.
The front, on the other hand, looks somewhat familiar with a water-drop notch and minimal bezels all around, followed by a significant bottom chin. Overall, the handset seems premium and goes in-line with the current design trend in mid-range smartphones.
Slots and Button Placements
The placements are quite identical to the Realme 2 Pro. The power button is given to the right while tow separate volume rockers sit on the left frame. Notably, the buttons are easy to reach and feel tactile.
The sim card slot, comprising of 2-nano sim slots and a dedicated microSD card slot resides right above the volume buttons. Whereas, the speaker grille, 3.5mm jack, primary mic, and microUSB port stay at the bottom.
Moving further, the earpiece is present on the top edge, followed by the proximity sensor. Interestingly, the ambient light sensor is placed along with the front camera itself.
As for the screen, the Realme 3 Pro gets a 6.3-inch IPS panel with a full-HD+ resolution of 2340×1080 pixels. Thanks to the water-drop notch, it receives a tall 19:5:9 aspect ratio, and has a pixel density of 409ppi. On paper, the panel might sound the same as the one on Realme 2 Pro. However, it is a tad better in reality, and the extra refinement does make a difference. Worth mentioning, the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and yet comes with a pre-applied screen guard.
The display is sharp, offers excellent viewing angles, and has apt colour reproduction. Outdoor visibility isn’t spectacular, yet the screen fares well under flat sunlight. In our opinion, the colours are more vibrant, and the blacks seem to look deeper on the Realme 3 Pro as compared to the Redmi Note 7 Pro’s panel.
Additionally, you also get an option to tweak the colour temperature and display scaling. The handset also gets Widevine L1 certification, which, when combined with a fantastic display, makes it perfect for on-the-go media consumption.
The Realme 3 Pro is powered by octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 AIE SoC, built on 10nm FinFET process. The chipset uses two Kryo 360 cores and six Kryo 350 cores which could reach a clock speed of up to 2.2GHz. Graphics are handled by Adreno 616 GPU and are optimised for games including PUBG and Fortnite.
In my usage, I didn’t face any issues while playing massive titles like PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9 or even the newly launched Call of Duty Mobile on the device. The games were playable on high settings while keeping graphics on medium aided for a more smoother experience. Over the extended hours of gaming, the phone managed to keep a consistent frame rate. However, it did get a bit warm at the back, nothing uncomfortable though.
The same is visible in daily performance – the UI is responsive, and multitasking is handled well. Animations are optimised well, and there’s no lag or stutter while scrolling or switching apps.
Now, I guess you’re thinking “How does it fare against the Redmi Note 7 Pro?” Well, the Snapdragon 675 on the latter having 4th-gen flagship Kryo cores is better when it comes to raw performance. However, the Snapdragon 710 on Realme hits right back with a superior GPU. While the Redmi Note 7 Pro is excellent for everything, the Realme 3 Pro takes a pace ahead, offering slightly better performance in gaming.
While reviewing the Realme C1, I found Realme’s custom skin, i.e. ColorOS to be the biggest limitation of the device. This one, however, gets the newer ColorOS 6 based on Android 9 Pie which seems much better than its predecessor.
Notably, you now get an App drawer which can be revealed by a simple swipe on the home screen. Moreover, you can choose between Pixel-styled pill gestures or the new full-screen gestures for a more immersive experience. The UI also includes several motion and screen gestures to play around with. There’s a good amount of bloatware like DailyHunt, Opera, and UC Browser, ShareChat, Web novel which, fortunately, can be uninstalled in the settings.
The phone gets a fantastic feature dubbed as Realme Share, which is quite similar to Apple’s AirDrop. That said, it lets you instantly share files between compatible Realme devices. The UI is further loaded with handy features like Smart Driving, Smart Assistant, Game Space, Clone Apps, etc.
The Private Safe let you hide your personal data, including photos and videos, away from prying eyes. Whereas, the Clone feature allows us to run two instances of the same app simultaneously, remarkably useful for buyers who have two different numbers on messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram.
The UI is highly customizable and skinned version of Android. Hence, if you’re someone like me who loves stock Android, the Color OS won’t suit you at all. Anyways, what’s interesting is that the Realme 3 Pro has been included in the Android Q beta program by Google, meaning you can install the stock Android-based beta version. The software, however, would still be back to ColorOS in its final release.
Thankfully, unlike, its main competitor, the Redmi Note 7 Pro, there are no spammy ads in the Realme 3 Pro’s UI.
The dual camera module on the Realme 3 Pro comprises of a 16-megapixel Sony IMX519 sensor with an f/1.7 aperture. It’s the same sensor found on expensive smartphones like OnePlus 6T. Furthermore, there’s a 5MP depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture. For selfies, the phone gets a 25MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture and 1.8μm pixels.
While it’s not a 48MP shooter like the Redmi Note 7 Pro, you can still stitch four 16MP photos together to produce 64MP images in the expert mode. Talking about camera performance, the Realme 3 Pro clicks excellent pictures during daylight, full of punchy colours and details. The AI scene detection further enhances the image quality, especially for landscapes; the dynamic range is quite good as well. The phone also has a Chroma Boost mode that further boosts the colours and brightness.
Compared to the Redmi Note 7 Pro, the Realme 3 Pro is better at handling direct light coming from the sun. It also shows a better dynamic range. However, the Note 7 Pro hits right back with better details and natural colour tones. The portrait mode is quite good at edge detection and has an ample amount of details.
Coming to the low light performance, the Realme 3 Pro takes astounding pictures. However, on zooming, the images turn out a bit soft compared to the Note 7 Pro. You do get Night mode on both the phones where again the latter outperforms the former with better details and sharpness.
As for the front camera, the 25MP snapper on the Realme 3 Pro completely outshines the competition. It takes amazing shots in daylight with a ton of details and exhibits natural skin tones. Same is the case with lowlight performance, and the handset manages to produce good images. That said, the camera struggles to define edges in front portrait mode, especially with the hairs.
Realme 3 Pro can shoot 4K videos at 30fps and 1080p videos at 60fps through its rear camera. There’s no OIS, and the EIS kicks in only while recording at 1080p. As a result, the 4K footage is quite shaky compared to the full-HD videos. The video offers the right colours and level of details in daylight.
The Realme 3 Pro is also one of the cheapest smartphones to record super slo-mo 720p videos at 960fps. The feature, however, turned out to be gimmicky and the videos shot at 960fps appear choppy. It seems like the phone captured the footage at 240fps and slowed it down to make it equivalent to a super slo-mo clip. That said, the videos shot in normal slo-mo mode are decent in the right amount of light.
A massive 4,045mAh battery backs the Realme 3 Pro. The phone managed to last us for a full day of use, comprising of listening to music via Bluetooth earphones for hours during the commute, watching YouTube videos, streaming Netflix, and an hour of Call of Duty Mobile followed by continually checking emails and social media.
That said, if you are a light user, you could easily shell out around 6-7 hours of screen-on-time on the device. The battery life feels marginally lesser than the Redmi Note 7 Pro in usage.
What’s more fun? Well, it’s the VOOC 3.0 fast charger included in the box. With the 20W rapid charger, Realme 3 Pro takes just about an hour and a half to charge up from 0 to 100%, which is quite unusual for the price. Nonetheless, the smartphone still uses the old-school microUSB, which seems disappointing.
The fingerprint scanner on the Realme 3 Pro is quite snappy and accurate. Face unlock performs well too. While I was sceptical initially, the single speaker on the unit gets loud enough for games and media playback.
To check dual 4G VoLTE, I inserted two Jio sim cards in the device which, as expected, worked without any issues. The network was good as well, and no problems were faced during calls by both the parties.
There’s also the Widevine L1 DRM certification which allows streaming videos from apps such as Netflix, Prime Video, etc., at resolutions higher than HD. Lastly, the phone gets a dedicated microSD card slot which helps it in edging out the competition.
- Class-leading performance (especially the GPU)
- A Vibrant LCD panel with good contrast and viewing angles
- No overheating issues
- Same rear camera sensor as OnePlus 6T
- Excellent selfie camera
- Great Battery Life
- Bundled VOOC 3.0 Charger
- No Ads in UI
- ColorOS- not everyone’s cup of Tea
- Lots of bloatware
- Dated microUSB port
- Polycarbonate back
Realme 3 Pro Review Verdict- Should you go for it?
The Realme 3 Pro is the perfect smartphone which most will demand. For a starting price of Rs. 13,999, you get a beautiful design, a fantastic display, and class-leading performance. While the battery life is excellent, the VOOC 3.0 charging further smokes the competition. The selfie camera is impressive as well.
Notwithstanding, the phone leaves us demanding at many places, be it the rear camera, the ColorOS, polycarbonate back and the dated MicroUSB. However, you get an amazing value for the price you pay. If the rear camera isn’t your highest priority and you can live with the ColorOS without demanding for third-party development, the Realme 3 Pro surely is an ideal smartphone to go with.