realme X3 SuperZoom Review
These days with a lot of phones coming out with similar hardware specs and almost identical designs, it seems like the ‘make it or break’ it factor when picking a new device often boils down to the whole user experience.
Now with that said, Realme has always been considerate when it comes to introducing reliable performing daily drivers at very affordable prices; and the Realme X3 SuperZoom is no exception. We’ve had this phone for about a month now and here is our full review, let’s get right into it.
Design and Construction
Kicking it off with design and construction, the Realme X3 SuperZoom is probably one of the better-looking phones with this type of configuration. And despite the redundant design approach that I mentioned earlier, some qualities give it a bit an edge compared to other devices out there. The unit that we have now is in Arctic White, which has a smooth, matte finish at the back and has this Aluminum alloy texture that gives off a very premium feel. The rear panel is made of glass, and beneath that, you have this holographic-like effect when exposed to different lighting scenarios. The frame is made out of polycarbonate but doesn’t feel cheap at all and helps with overall grip. Apart from Arctic White, there’s also the more vibrant Glacier Blue if you prefer that more. But I think white looks good.
Coming in with a display size of 6.6-inches, a thickness of 8.9mm, and weighing 202 grams, this device is a little bit on the chunkier side of things. Though if you like phones that have a good amount of heft and feel well constructed, then this fits the bill.
Looking at the front, we have a dual-punch hole camera layout located at the top left that lights up whenever the front shooter is being utilized. Bezels are thin on all sides, except for the bottom chin, and if you were wondering, it doesn’t have a notification light either, but it doesn’t take that long to get over, which is a good thing. It also comes pre-installed with a screen protector, so you don’t have to worry about any scratches on this device.
On the left, you can find the standard volume rocker keys, while on the right sits your power button that also acts as a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. The power button has a satisfying clicky response that requires a little more force than usual to activate, which I like a lot. Some people might prefer having these buttons located on one side instead of two, but since this button is a little recessed, it doesn’t get in the way when propping the phone on landscape mode. It does slip from time to time, especially on smooth surfaces, but the included clear jelly case makes up for those minor issues.
The top is flush with nothing but the secondary mic, and at the bottom, we have your USB Type-C Charging port, a single bottom-firing speaker, the primary mic, and your dual SIM card slot. Sorry guys, no 3.5mm audio jack and MicroSD card slot for this one.
Display and Multimedia
Moving on to display and multimedia, the X3 SuperZoom has a 6.6-inch FHD+ IPS Panel with a screen to body ratio of 90.5%, a pixel density of 399 PPI, and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
As mentioned in our hands-on, the X3 SuperZoom comes with a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, which feels super buttery smooth when navigating throughout the user interface. It’s easily one of the most attractive features of this device, particularly if you’re familiar with how important it affects competitive gaming, which we’ll get into in a bit. But if you think this will improve your viewing experience when watching multimedia content, you might be a little disappointed as most videos don’t support frame rates that high. While I do appreciate the experience of having a phone with a high refresh rate display, I wouldn’t necessarily say it makes a significant impact when going through your daily tasks.
The IPS display is nice and crisp, but an AMOLED screen would have been better to see. It does have rather good viewing angles, though, and with a screen brightness of up to a nice 480 nits, using this device in bright environments won’t be much of a problem.
Audio quality is well balanced and was loud enough to fill up an average-sized room and is pretty good for a bottom-firing speaker. Output was pretty clear, and with Dolby Atmos support, you can fine-tune your sound to your personal preference. However, trying out the different options didn’t give much of an audible difference — at least when it comes to its built-in loudspeaker.
Moving over to the star of the show, the Realme X3 SuperZoom comes with your typical, vertically aligned quad-camera setup. But what makes this phone a little bit more special is what’s in it. We have a 64MP Main Sensor, an 8MP Periscope Lens with OIS, another 8MP for Ultrawide at 119 degrees FOV, and a 2MP Macro lens with a 4cm focus distance.
The X3 SuperZoom’s 64MP primary camera uses Samsung’s latest GW1 sensor. If you’re wondering how this compares to the Sony IMX 686, they don’t differ much by a large margin except for Sony having a slightly larger sensor. However, other factors, like post-image processing, still play a huge role in the quality of the final image. Nonetheless, the X3 SuperZoom features a very respectable rear camera module. Pictures are nice and crisp, with overall excellent color reproduction. You have the option to switch AI Color Dazzle mode on to give images a little bit more of a pop. Still, colors could often become too overblown, especially under bright environments, so do use this feature sparingly.
Low-light shots, on the other hand, are pretty decent. We do lose a good amount of detail, but turning Night Mode on brings a lot of those missing elements back, even in less favorable lighting conditions. If you’re a little more hands-on, you could also enable Pro Nightscape mode, giving you more manual control. Switching to Tripod mode allows you to take 25-second long exposure shots while Starry Night mode gives you a scenic view of the evening sky, as long as you have your phone mounted somewhere stable.
The ultra-Wide mode works like a charm but seems to have problems whenever shooting in darker scenarios and is probably the least favorable camera on the X3 SuperZoom, but shooting in well-lit surroundings works rather well, which is a good thing.
As the name of the phone implies, The 8MP periscope lens enables you to capture shots at long distances. We get 5x Optical zoom and up to 60x digital zoom combined with OIS, which helps keep images stable as you’re capturing your shot. Things look pretty great, but images tend to get hazy and could use a little sharpening, in our opinion. If you’re going to compare this camera’s zoom capabilities to the X2 Pro’s, the X3 SuperZoom isn’t much of a match but is still very respectable.
Heading over to video quality, the X3 SuperZoom can record up to 4k @ 60/fps using its primary sensor. We get Realme’s UIS Video Stabilization and UIS Max Video Stabilization feature, which gives you beautiful smooth shots even with the shakiest of hands. We also have Slo-Mo recording that enables you to shoot at either 240, 480, or 960 Frames per second. Video playback is nice and bright, as long as you are shooting with the right amount of lighting; since there is less time to expose each frame, especially if you start recording at 960 FPS.
As for the front shooter, we get a 32MP primary sensor coupled with an 8MP Ultrawide lens, which is excellent to have if you are always fond of taking group selfies or if you’re into some casual streaming. Testing it out with all the beauty features switched off, details are very clear with hairs and blemishes being very apparent but, quality seems to significantly lessen whenever shots are taken indoors where there is less substantial lighting. Just like the main camera module, the front camera comes equipped with UIS Video Stabilization, making this also a useful device for some quick vlogging.
All in all, the X3 SuperZoom’s front and rear cameras pass with flying colors, especially when it comes to bright environments. But cameras can show some inconsistency depending on the mode you are using, particularly in low-light scenarios where noise can be quite apparent.
OS, UI, and Apps
When it comes to software, the Realme X3 SuperZoom runs on Realme UI 1.0 based on Android 10, which we like a lot because of it’s clean, stock Android-like look. Now, this does borrow a lot of elements found on ColorOS, which was their previous skin before using their very own; but we think Realme does it a little better with a slightly more refined user interface. Apart from a system-wide dark mode, OSIE Vision Effect, and of course game space for optimization, Realme UI also has Focus Mode, NFC Support, and double-tap to lock. However, for some reason, we don’t get a double tap to unlock, which makes this feature feel a little bit half baked, but it’s still pretty handy to have.
If you look through the settings, you can also find the option to set the refresh rate to 120Hz, 60Hz, or Auto Select. Admittedly, a 120Hz display is a pretty cool thing to have on a phone. Still, we can’t say that it’s a feature a lot of people are currently prioritizing since not all apps support high refresh rate displays, let alone games even; but, the numbers are slowly growing, so that’s something to anticipate.
Gimmick? Not really. Right now, it’s still a relatively uncommon feature to have in the smartphone industry, so it’s only a matter of time before developers start optimizing their apps to support higher frame rates. And don’t get me wrong, at 60Hz, everything still runs just as snappy, but just not as smooth, if you know what I mean.
You can toggle Google Assistant by holding down the power button for half a second. Swiping towards the right of the home screen will give you access to the Smart Assistant section, which lets you access quick functions like open apps, display the weather, track your steps and add your favorite contacts all on one convenient page. Our unit has an internal storage of 256GB, which should be more than enough for the average consumer. Still, again you’ll have to keep in mind that this doesn’t have expandable storage, so it doesn’t make it ideal for storing massive amounts of multimedia content, although still very capable.
As for the fingerprint scanner, those who have gotten used to the rear-mounted layout might be a little confused at the beginning. But actually, I kind of find it an ideal as my middle finger sits right where the power button is. Unlocking the phone is quick, and you can even toggle the sensor to activate either via firm or light touch, depending on your preference. You can also turn face unlock on, which works pretty well even in dim environments.
Performance and Benchmarks
The Realme X3 SuperZoom is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor along with an upgraded version of the Adreno 640 GPU, making this phone is quite a performer. And rightly so as this is the same CPU that’s found on previous flagships like the Samsung S10 and the OnePlus 7 Pro—both of which are still very powerful devices. Our unit comes with a generous 12GB of RAM, so switching through apps is quick and snappy and doesn’t reset applications as frequently as other phones with smaller onboard memory, which can come in handy for those who multitask a lot.
When it comes to gaming, the X3 SuperZoom can run virtually any game you throw at it. For a quick reference, Call of Duty: Mobile ran on very high by default with max frame rate settings while PubG runs on HD with the frame rate set too high. However, you can max out the graphics and frame rate to HDR and Extreme, respectively, which was a real treat to play on. As mentioned earlier, not all games on the play store support 120hz, but they are slowly increasing. Some of the supported games we tested include Shadowgun Legends, Dead Trigger, and Temple Run 2, all of which ran very smoothly.
Cooling everything down is Realme’s liquid cooling technology that keeps internal temperatures running at safe levels, so overheating isn’t going to be much of an issue for this device. Gaming does still get quite warm, though, especially with the charger simultaneously hooked up as well as when using the camera for extended periods, but nothing too unbearable to the hands.
As for benchmark tests, the Realme X3 SuperZoom scored pretty high numbers as expected. We get an overall Antutu score of 484,638 and sits at 14th place in between the One Plus 7 and One Plus 7 Pro, while Geekbench gives a score of 774 for single-core and 2,652 for multi-core, beating the OnePlus 7T by 17 points and the Xiaomi Mi9 by 83 points respectively. We get blazing fast read speeds of up to 1522.73 MB/s and a writing speed of 527.89 MB/s based on Androbench. Here are the rest of the benchmark scores:
• AnTuTu V8 – 484,638
• Geekbench 5 – 774 (single-core) 2,652 (multi-core)
• PC Mark – 11, 642 (Work 2.0 Performance) 15h 28 min (Work 2.0 Battery Life)
• 3D Mark – 5,430 (OpenGL) 4,877 (Vulcan)
• AndroBench – 1522.73 MB/s (Seq. Read) 527.89 MB/s (Seq. Write)
As for the battery, we get a 4,200 mAh capacity, which is around the standard for smartphones nowadays. In our standard video loop test, the X3 SuperZoom lasted for 20 hours and 48 minutes. Although this isn’t breaking any barriers when it comes to having a long battery life, it’ll get you through the whole day, as long as you’re not constantly running heavy tasks like gaming.
Now, it’s no surprise that having a high refresh rate display can affect how fast your battery drains. Although true, the X3 SuperZoom was able to hold up just fine. This particular unit has been running on mostly 120hz, and it was able to power through from morning until night, with moderate usage. Either way, using its 30W Dart Charger, the X3 SuperZoom can be fully juiced up in less than an hour, taking just 22 minutes to go from 0-50%. At the same time, it takes only 53 minutes to charge to 100%, which is excellent, especially if you often forget to charge your phone before leaving the house, or if you simply just use your phone a lot.
Coming in at of PHP 24,990 for the 12GB+256GB configuration, the Realme X3 SuperZoom is packed with top-notch, flagship features and is a good value for the price. An 8GB+128GB option does exist, but unfortunately, it will not be available in the Philippines. Hey, at least we’ve got the better variant, right? You can get one for yourself on official Realme stores and e-commerce websites such as Lazada and Shopee.
So if you’re okay living with an IPS panel and losing the 3.5mm jack and expandable storage in exchange for solid hardware specs, a buttery smooth experience, plus NFC support, then this phone is worth considering as your next daily driver.
realme X3 SuperZoom specs:
6.6-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) 120Hz display
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ octa-core CPU
Adreno 640 GPU
12GB LPDDR4x RAM
256GB UFS 3.0
Quad-rear cameras: 64MP Samsung GW1 F1.8 (main) + 8MP F3.4 (periscope) with 60x SuperZoom + 8MP F2.3 (ultra-wide) + 2MP F2.4 (macro)
32MP F2.5 Sony IMX616 (main) + 8 MP (ultra-wide) F2.2 front cameras
Supports up to 4K @ 60fps video recording and UIS Max Video Stabilization
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU, GALILEO, QZSS
1216 Super Linear Speakers powered by Dolby Atmos
Fingerprint scanner (side-mounted)
Realme UI (Android 10)
4,200mAh battery w/ 30W Dart Charge
Approximately 202 g
163.8 x 75.8 x 8.9mm
Arctic White, Glacier Blue