Realme, a former sub-brand of OPPO, marked its name in the Philippine market thanks to the Realme C1’s very competitive price. That entry-level device is selling like hotcakes ever since it launched in the Philippines. Today, the company has released another smartphone, the Realme 3, that could potentially make a significant impact on the country’s market thanks to its affordable price. We got the chance to take it for a full spin so here’s our full review of the device.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
The Realme 3 has a unibody gradient design which is commonly found in most smartphone nowadays. Its back panel is made up of polycarbonate material with a glossy finish. What’s refreshing, however, is that it comes in two color variants: Dynamic Black and Radiant Blue. We got the former which looks pretty stylish and premium. At the front, we have a 6.2-inch display with a dewdrop notch that houses the 13MP shooter and call speaker. One good thing about this is that the whole screen is covered by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 which adds durability and protection for the device.
The lone power button on the right is sturdy and tactile. Its button placement is just right for my fingers to reach into which is good.
You can find a tray on the left which houses the triple card slot, and the volume rocker which provides the same feel as the power button.
At the top, you’ll see the lone noise-canceling microphone while at the bottom, you’ll get the loudspeaker, 3.5mm audio port, and the micro USB port. Nowadays, I am hoping that all mid-range smartphones will have a USB Type-C port, but I won’t complain given that its price is very crazy affordable.
Flip on its back, and you’ll find the dual camera setup consisting of a 13MP and 2MP lenses. You’ll also see the fingerprint scanner here. The yellow outline on the main camera looks cool and adds extra flair to the phone’s aesthetic.
Overall, the phone feels good in the hands— it’s lightweight and has good grip. It’s also prone to fingerprint smudges, but good thing there’s a free jelly case in the box.
Display and Multimedia
Now, if pixel peeping is your thing, then you might be dismayed to know that this phone only comes in HD+. It has a 6.2-inch Dewdrop display with a resolution of 1520 x 720 which equates to a pixel density of 271. It isn’t terrible, but it’s subpar. Despite that, colors still look good, and viewing angles are acceptable.
You can tweak the color temperature of the display in the settings while there’s also the Night Shield feature that reduces blue light from the screen to avoid eye strain. In case you’re wondering, you can’t hide the device’s notch which is a bummer.
Audio-wise, it’s terrible. While there are decent highs and mids, the lows are almost non-existent. Also, if you put the volume at maximum, there will be cases that the sound is overblown which could ruin your listening experience. I suggest using earphones or a 3rd-party speaker when you want to listen to music on this phone.
OS, UI, and Apps
The Realme 3 runs on the newest ColorOS 6.0 based on Android 9 Pie. The UI kind of looks similar to Xiaomi’s MIUI, especially when you bring down the shortcut menu from the top of the screen. The tiles-type toggle and overall new design look pleasing to the eyes.
By default, there’s an app drawer that you can access by swiping from the bottom of the screen. There is a Smart Assistant that you can see on the furthest part of the screen which is a convenient way to view weather info, step tracker, photos, and the likes. Lastly, there is also a Smart Bar feature that is present in the Realme 2 Pro which lets you access certain apps conveniently.
Pre-installed apps from Google are present, and I like that there were only a few Realme proprietary apps installed on the phone. All in all, you’re getting 50GB of usable space out of 64GB.
One of the main highlights of this phone is also its cameras. It’s got a 13MP f/1.8 + 2MP f/2.4 dual rear camera, and a 13MP f/2.0 front camera. For the rear functionalities, you’d get a portrait mode which has a fixed blurriness level, AI Beauty, panorama, expert, timelapse, and slow-mo. They also have Nightscape mode which is Realme’s version of Night Mode, and Chroma Boost that boosts the photo’s saturation to make it look more vibrant.
For image quality, I can say that Realme 3 is not too shabby. Pictures came out good, especially in daylight. The photos are sharp while the colors are just right. With Chroma Boost turned on, I didn’t find that much difference between it and the original picture which is fine for me, and I noticed that the images are also a bit clearer. Portrait mode is average, but still does its job in separating the subject from the background.
For low light, the Nightscape mode helped out a lot in shooting pictures in low light. It’s legit, and the pictures came out okay, though it isn’t as Wowza as you’d expect it to be as there is still noise but still, not bad.
The selfies, on the other hand, has AI Beauty, Panorama, and Timelapse. Photos are decent, and I like that it stays true to the skin tone. The AI Beauty mode also does a pretty good job in smoothening out the skin without overdoing it.
Video-wise, it can shoot up to 1080p at 30fps. Quality is pretty decent, and if you’re wondering if there’s EIS, there’s none, so keep your hands steady while shooting or you can use a tripod.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the Realme 3 is the MediaTek Helio P60 chipset which is the same one with the OPPO F7 and OPPO F9, Mali-G72 MP3 GPU, and 4GB RAM. So far, we haven’t encountered any problems during our time with the phone, and the performance is smooth while multitasking is a breeze. I am also impressed with this phone’s face unlocking and fingerprint scanning feature. It is fast and responsive and unlocks your phone in a blink of an eye.
- AnTuTu v7 – 128,288
- Geekbench 4 – 1,419 (Single-core), 4,728 (Multi-core)
- PCMark – 7,517 (Work 2.0)
- 3DMark – 1,108 (SSE – OpenGL), 1,068 (SSE – Vulkan)
- Androbench – 288.73 MB/s (Read), 200.52 MB/s (Write)
I can play Asphalt 9: Legends with little frame drops which is a good sign that it can run heavy graphics games but make sure it is in Medium or Low settings. Mobile Legends, on the other hand, is smooth AF. The phone warms up after some time of playing, but it does not reach to a point where it is uncomfortable.
Connectivity and Battery Life
This phone has all the usual connectivity features such as WiFi, 4G LTE, Bluetooth, and GPS. It also supports USB OTG. Call quality is clear, and we’ve encountered no dilemmas when pinning location in navigation apps like Google Maps, Waze, and Grab.
For batteries, the Realme 3 carries a 4,230mAh capacity, and it was able to last us a day or two. And that includes connecting to the wifi/mobile data now and then, playing games, taking pictures, and the likes. Our PCMark battery test yielded us 11 Hours and 40 Minutes which is relatively decent. Our video loop test, on the other hand, lasted for 15 Hours and 10 Minutes. Charging took 2 hours at most which mean that it doesn’t have fast charging technology.
You see, ever since we got our hands-on with the Realme 2 Pro last year, we knew right then that Realme is going to be a game changer. It happened with their almost always sold-out Realme C1, and we’re assuming that the Realme 3 is also leaning towards that direction. If you’re going to set aside its HD display, you’re getting one solid device that’s rocking a power-efficient chipset, Android Pie out of the box, and a good set of cameras for a helluva affordable price. To our relief, we are glad to see that there is a brand other than Xiaomi that produces competitive phones at an affordable price.
Here are the prices of each variant:
- 3GB + 32GB – PHP 6,990 (online exclusive)
- 3GB + 64GB – PHP 7,990 (offline exclusive)
- 4GB + 64GB – PHP 9,990 (offline exclusive)
You won’t find any Helio P60-powered smartphone with decent battery life for only under PHP 7K. So if you only have a limited budget and like playing games, then the Realme 3 is the right choice for you!
The Realme 3 will be on a Flash Sale at Realme’s official Shopee page on March 25, 2019, allowing you to purchase the 3GB + 32GB model for just PHP 6,290 via a special voucher code. The official offline stores, however, will start selling the 3GB + 64GB and 4GB + 64GB starting on April 6 and will remain as an offline exclusive for the next two weeks.
Realme 3 (Philippines) specs:
- 6.22-inch HD+ dewdrop notch display @1520 x 720px
- 2.0GHz Octa-core MediaTek Helio P60
- Mali-G72 MP3 GPU
- 3GB, 4GB RAM
- 32GB, 64GB internal storage
- Expandable up to 256GB via microSD (dedicated slot)
- 13MP f/1.8 + 2MP f/2.4 dual rear camera setup
- 13MP f/2.0 front camera
- Dual SIM (Nano)
- Bluetooth 4.2
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- Micro-USB port
- 3.5mm audio jack
- Fingerprint sensor
- AI face unlock
- FM Radio
- ColorOS 6 (Android 9 Pie)
- 4,230mAh battery
- 75.6mm x 156.1mm x 8.3mm
- Dynamic Black, Radiant Blue, Classic Black
What we liked:
- Nice-looking UI
- Decent performance
- Fast fingerprint scanner and face unlock
- Good cameras
- Long battery life
- Great specs-to-price ratio
What we didn’t:
- HD+ display
- micro USB port