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Highlights

Realme 3 Pro Review




Realme has launched the new big brother of the Realme 3, the Realme 3 Pro. So if the Realme 3 is one of the leading options in the PHP 7,000 to PHP 10,000 price point, where does the Realme 3 Pro stand at the PHP 13,000 to PHP 15,000 range? Well, let’s get into it.

Design and Construction

For the design, at a glance, not much as changed. We still get a unibody design with a polycarbonate back panel that has this glossy gradient finish and this Lightning Purple color we have here is reminiscent of the OPPO F11 Pro’s Thunder Black color.

Just like the vanilla Realme 3, we have a fingerprint scanner, dual rear cameras and LED flash complete with that yellow ring accent on the top camera.

The power button is on the right, while the volume controls and the SIM tray are on the left. The micro USB port, headphone jack, and loudspeaker are at the bottom.

The only major difference here in terms of the build is a slightly bigger 6.3-inch screen for the Realme 3 Pro — whereas the Realme 3 has a 6.22-inch one. We also get a dewdrop notch above the screen, but unfortunately, no notification LED. The screen-to-body ratio is pretty good, as we get nice thin bezels on the sides and top, with a slightly bigger chin.

Overall build quality doesn’t leave much to be desired. We know it’s tough due to the inclusion of Gorilla Glass, the back and sides curve nicely and make the phone rest easier in the hands.

Display and Multimedia

Display quality is really good. We get an IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 2340 x 1080. Text and images are crispy, contrast and colors look pretty nice, viewing angles are good as well, and brightness is adequate even for direct sunlight. It’s also great that we get Gorilla Glass 5 for some extra protection.

So while display quality is good, audio quality… not so much. While the down-firing speaker can get fairly loud, lows are not present at all, and we get an overall tinny quality. Honestly, I’m kinda sick of down-firing speakers. I hope front-facing speakers become mainstream in mid-range phones soon.

Camera

Looking over to the cameras, we get a dual setup at the back – a 16MP main sensor with dual pixel PDAF, and a 5MP secondary depth sensor. Up front, it’s a 25MP selfie camera. Now with the standard Realme 3, we were already impressed with camera quality. But with the Realme 3 Pro, it’s stepped up by a notch. The improvement isn’t drastic, but it’s there.

Again, the Snapdragon 710 allows for better post-processing and even AI scene detection, and in daylight shots with even exposure, you can really see it. There’s a pleasing degree of sharpness and colors look nice and natural. You can even get really close to your subject since there’s a built-in automatic macro function — and portrait mode is great at separating the subject from the background.

Low light though, is where this phone really shines. Even without Nightscape mode turned on, we actually get some clean images. With Nightscape turned on, shots get brighter and slightly cleaner. It even allows the camera to see in the dark to a certain extent.

The front camera as well can get you some pretty nice shots, as long as you have adequate lighting. The AI Beauty effect isn’t so aggressive at default settings, and if you want to, you can customize the adjustments it makes. Portrait selfies also look pretty nice, with effective subject-background separation.

We can shoot videos up to 4K at 30fps, thanks to the better processor. Quality is decent, but at 4K, there’s no stabilization. You need to bump down to 1080p for a shot that isn’t shaky as all hell.

Overall, the Realme 3 Pro’s cameras do not disappoint. Just like last time around, we’re impressed again with the low-light performance, not just thanks to the Nightscape mode, simply because the images are that clean. Aside from the performance, the cameras are a big point to consider buying this phone.

OS, UI, and Apps

For software, we get Color OS 6 on top of Android 9 Pie. I’ll be honest, Color OS has grown on me. As the name suggests, it’s a colorful and clean UI with a few extra features like the quick settings menu that you get on the side, and GameSpace, which frees up your RAM and blocks notifications while you’re gaming.

For the apps, we have the usual Google apps. From Realme, there’s a recorder, compass, clone phone, one-tap lock screen, FM radio, phone manager, ORoaming, and GameSpace. Third-party apps include Durian Man, Facebook, Lazada, Opera, and Webnovel. These can be uninstalled if you don’t need any of it.

Storage-wise, the unit we have for review has a 128GB capacity with 106.14GB as usable space which is still sizeable. Expandability is not an issue as it has a dedicated microSD card slot.

Performance and Benchmarks

What makes the Realme 3 Pro really exciting is its internal hardware. We get a Snapdragon 710 chipset with an Adreno 616 GPU, 4GB or 6GB of RAM, and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.

Our review unit has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and can I tell you the performance is super smooth for anything you throw at it. The face unlock and the fingerprint scanner is fast, the 6GB of RAM can handle any multitasking, and heavy graphics games are no issue. You get great frame-rates. If you want a more in-depth look into this phone’s gaming capability, watch our episode of Can it Game right below.

And in our benchmarks, we get some pretty good results for a phone at this price point:

• AnTuTu – 154,400
• 3D Mark Slingshot Extreme – 1,810 (OpenGL), 1,735 (Vulkan)
• PC Mark – 6,618 (Work 2.0)
• Geekbench 4 – 1,475 (Single-Core), 5,816 (Multi-Core), 6,685 (RenderScript)
• AndroBench – 284.86 MB/s (Read), 190.2 MB/s (Write)

Connectivity and Battery

Connectivity is not a problem as it has full dual-SIM support with 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Calls are loud and clear while mobile data connects quickly. Data speeds vary though depending on your network and location. GPS works well as it can quickly locate our position using apps like Google Maps and Waze.

We get a 4,045mAh battery, which is quite a bit smaller than the Realme 3’s 4,230mAh. But there IS a tradeoff. The Realme 3 gets VOOC 3.0 fast charging, which I must say, is pretty fast. From 10% to 100%, it only took me a little over an hour, and this was while the phone was in use.

But for battery life, it lasts about a day on regular use. In our video loop test, it lasted 12 hours and 44 minutes, which is just average, especially for a 4,045mAh cell. Then again, you get VOOC charging, which is a big deal!

Conclusion

I’m pretty impressed with what Realme has been doing. They’ve managed to provide products that other brands would have priced more expensively, at lower prices. From last year’s Realme C1 to the Realme 3 and Realme 3 Pro, they’re all great deals.

And for this one specifically. You get amazing raw performance, solid design, a decent big display, a headphone jack, and cameras that don’t just perform well in the daytime, low light performance is good too. You do get some caveats like poor speaker quality and the fact that it uses a micro USB port, I think for a starting price of PHP12,990, this can be forgiven.

So yeah, for PHP12,990, you get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and for PHP14,990, you get 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, like the unit we have here.
And at this price point, the Realme 3 Pro is definitely a, if not THE leading option.

Realme 3 Pro specs:

6.3-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) 19.5:9 IPS display, 409ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 10nm 2.2GHz AIE octa-core
Adreno 616 GPU
4GB RAM + 64GB storage
6GB RAM + 128GB storage
microSD up to 256GB (dedicated slot)
16MP F1.7 Sony IMX 519 + 5MP f/2.4 dual rear cameras
25MP F2.0 front camera
Dual-SIM
4G LTE
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS,
FM Radio
microUSB 2.0
Fingerprint scanner (rear-mounted)
Face Unlock
ColorOS 6.0 (Android 9 Pie)
4,045mAh battery w/ 20W VOOC 3.0 flash charge
156.8 x 74.2 x 8.3 mm
172 g
Lightning Purple, Nitro Blue, Carbon Grey

What we liked:
* Good build quality
* Nice design and colors
* Sharp display
* Good performance
* Good cameras w/ 4K video recording
* Large battery w/ VOOC 3.0
* Competitive price

What we didn’t:
* Poor speaker quality
* Micro USB port

With words and editing by Louie Diangson.



Joey graduated with a degree in Digital Filmmaking from the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde last March 2017. A filmmaker by heart, he has since put aside cinema to focus on his other passion, technology. PCs, mechanical keyboards, audio, cameras, and gaming are among his biggest tech interests.

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1 Response

  1. wub_wub_for_wut! says:

    I love this phone already but I also like Oppo’s F11 Pro. Hard choice.

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