Review | Realme 3 Pro smartphone

The Realme 3 Pro is the high-spec follow-up to the previously released Realme 3. The brand markets the device as a gamer-oriented phone, claiming excellent gaming performance. Having used both the Realme 3 and the Realme C1 before it, I was curious to see how much better the new Pro variant was.

To those who may be unaware of Realme as a brand, it was previously a sub-brand of Oppo, which has since started operating independently, though using much of Oppo tech. Including impressive specs such as a Qualcomm octa-core processor, a huge 6.3” IPS screen, and an enormous 4045 mAh battery, let’s take a closer look at what the Realme 3 Pro device has to offer, and how it fares in daily use.

Design and Ergonomics

The Realme 3 Pro is available in three colors: Carbon Gray, Nitro Blue, and Lightning Purple (the former being that of the test unit). The design is fairly simple, the shape being similar to the Realme 3, and an evolutionary step-up from the previous Realme C1.

The screen is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 5, and the plastic rear has a fine pinstripe design that becomes evident when under the light with some refractive glossy properties like many other current phones.

The unit is 172gms and is comfortable to hold in the hand. The power button is on the right while the SIM tray, as well as the volume up and down buttons, are on the left. The SIM tray can house dual SIM’s and a Micro SD card.

At the bottom, there is a micro-USB slot, a single speaker, and a 3.5mm audio jack. This layout is consistent across all three Realme devices I’ve tested, the C1, 3, and 3 Pro. No complaints though, as this placement works for one-handed use. On the rear is a fingerprint scanner, which is within reach of the index finger.

The 6.3-inch screen has a resolution of 1080 x 2340 and is bright and sharp. Compared to some mid-range phones, including Samsung devices, the display was crisp and seemingly premium. The single speaker though is just about adequate, and nothing special. No USB type-C here, making it one of the few phones still sticking to the older micro-USB.

Specs and Performance

On the SoC front, the Realme 3 Pro includes a Qualcomm SDM710 octa-core, which is pretty capable in day-to-day use. In terms of memory and storage, it’s available in two variants: 4GB/64GB and 6GB/128GB. While 4GB of memory should be sufficient for your daily usage needs, if you need the added storage capacity, you’d probably be better served with the 6GB/128GB option.

In everyday use scenarios, the unit remained fast, with no perceptible lags. Gaming was smooth, and even hours of Mobile Legends didn’t slow down the device, maintaining responsiveness.

The included clear case is quite cheap. It’s hard and very difficult to remove from the phone, due to its limited flex. After about two weeks of use, smudgy marks start forming on the inside. Given its extremely low quality, perhaps Realme should look at excluding this from the kit.

Battery and Charging

The Realme 3 Pro includes both a large 4045 mAh battery, as well as VOOC Fast Charging. Battery life was good, easily lasting a day with moderate use. Standby drain was quite low, but drain during use wasn’t the most efficient; while decent, it wasn’t amazing. Charging from 0 to 100% took just a little over an hour; which is impressive given the large battery.

Below is the charge matrix, starting from fully drained, or 0%.

Charge Matrix:

  • 10 mins – 16%
  • 15 mins – 25%
  • 30 mins – 49%
  • 45 mins – 68%
  • 60 mins – 88%
  • 75 mins – 100%

The only oddity being the included charger which has a Type G plug. Though most extensions cords allow for Type G, it isn’t Type A which is standard in the Philippines.

Software and User Experience

The Realme 3 Pro runs Android 9 Pie with Color OS 6. This is in keeping with other current Realme and Oppo devices. If you’ve used an Oppo device in the past, you’ll be familiar with Color OS; it’s light and simple to use. Being quite familiar with the Microsoft Launcher, I found many similarities, including the app screen organized by alphabet, and the Bing Wallpaper sorta high-res, daily-updating wallpaper options for the home and lock screen. Some people who had a look at it felt the UI didn’t feel modern. 

The on-screen volume indicator which appeared on the left was quite aesthetic, and similarly, the implementation of the assistive ball was visually pleasant too, while also being useful. Other usual Oppo features such as the side tray are also present.

Some Google apps can be removed which is nice, especially since there are some I don’t use. After that, with no additional apps installed the unit had 104 GB of space available for apps, photos, and user content.

Camera and Optics

Where past Realme devices have had barely adequate cameras, the Realme 3 Pro surprises with impressive optics. The hardware includes two cameras at the rear, a primary 16-megapixel sensor, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. On the front, there is a 25-megapixel sensor for selfies. There isn’t a wide-angel sensor though.

In addition to good daylight pictures, low light and night pictures are much improved compared to previous Realme devices. Handling of light and reflection are noticeably impressive, showing its strength in dusk shots, with light reflections on the tarmac. AI scene detection is also present.

The included filters are useful in enhancing pictures and making them Instagram ready. If you actively post on social media, this phone will serve you well. If you’re into fiddling with pro-mode settings, the software allows for Focus, ISO, Shutter Speed modifications, and more.

Filter Presets

Selfies are also good, and the beauty mode produces decently real looking results — better than past Oppo implementations. Portrait mode results are impressive, with good Bokeh effects.

Taken on Front Camera

Value and Competition

For P13,990, the Realme 3 Pro is no longer a budget phone. Even the lower specked 4GB/64GB variant costs P11,990. That said, these units still do offer pretty good value, thanks to the solid internals. Couple that with the strong camera showing, and the Realme 3 Pro could easily be a sweet-spot for mid-range offerings with good optics.

Having recently used the Samsung A30, given a choice I would opt for the Realme 3 Pro, largely thanks to the camera performance. Others who used this device also said that they would opt for it over the current mid-range devices they had recently purchased.

Conclusion

If you’re in the market for a mid-range phone with robust performance, good functionality, a straight forward design, and good imaging capabilities, the Realme 3 Pro is pretty spot on. Color OS has some nice UI touches that translate to good functionality, and ease of use. If you don’t need the larger storage, you could save P 2,000 and go for the 4GB/64GB variant.

Model: RMX1851

Price: P13,990

Verdict: An impressive mid-range phone with good optics

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