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Realme 3 Pro Review

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Realme arrived in the industry that’s already matured and saturated with competition. But, thanks to their appealing offerings and aggressive pricing, their releases were one of the most highly-anticipated ones in the market.

With the Realme 3 Pro, the company is at full steam ahead in their attempt to surpass rivals such as Redmi and Honor. This latest midrange device is said to be one of the best in the market today, and here in our full review, we shall see why.

Realme 3 Pro Specs

  • Android 9.0 Pie, ColorOS 6.0
  • Dual SIM
  • 6.3-inch FHD+ IPS display, 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution, ~409ppi
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • 2.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 octa-core processor
  • 4GB/6GB RAM
  • Adreno 616 GPU
  • 64GB/128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB
  • 25-megapixel front camera, f/2.0
  • 16-megapixel (Sony IMX519) + 5-megapixel (depth sensor) rear cameras, Dual-Pixel AF, LED flash
  • Nightscape, Chroma Boost, AI Beautification, 960fps slow-mo
  • Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, AI face unlock
  • HSPA+, 4G LTE, VoLTE
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • microUSB
  • Dimensions: 156.8 x 74.2 x 8.3mm
  • Weight: 172g
  • Colors: Lightning Purple, Nitro Blue, Carbon Grey
  • 4,045mAh non-removable battery, VOOC 3.0

Design and Build Quality

The Realme 3 Pro’s design has tons of similarities over its baby brother, the Realme 3. They share the same thickness, with the Pro model, feels just a tiny bit lighter.

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It also shares an identical color gradient paint job on the back. But if you examine closely, it has a Le-Mans speedway-inspired look, with an S-curve reflection reacts to light. There are also some tiny vertical strips accents buried on this shiny, plastic back panel.

The curved corners and edges also made it really comfortable to hold. This design has become a standard in a lot of smartphones today.

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Right on the front, we have the large 6.3-inch screen, with the waterdrop notch on top, and ultra-thin bezels on all sides. All of that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Realme also pre-applied a screen protector, just in case.

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The entire chassis of the Realme 3 Pro is made from metal. It serves as a cover for the noise-canceling microphone on the top, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, primary microphone, loudspeakers, and a disappointing microUSB port on the bottom.

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There’s the SIM card tray on the left side, which can house two nano-SIMs and a microSD card for storage expansion. Right below it is the volume controls, while on the other side there’s the lock/power button. All physical buttons provide a tactile and clicky feeling when pressed.

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Although most people will get the Realme 3 Pro for its features (more on that later), the company still made sure that its prospective users will love its design.

Display Quality

The Realme 3 Pro has a 6.3-inch FHD+ IPS display, with a 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution, ~409ppi, and a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.

Its display quality is pretty standard for an IPS panel, albeit just a bit more colorful. The overall vibrancy and saturation of the image are really there, which is great for binge-watching TV series on Netflix.

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But since it’s a 19:9 aspect ratio screen and most videos are shot at 18:9, expect to see black bars on each side of the screen. You can easily fill up the display by doing a pinch-to-zoom gesture, although the top and bottom frame will be cropped, and the notch getting in the way.

On the upside, having a screen this wide is great for playing games as it provides enough room for on-screen controls. I also found no issues with the screen’s backlight, making it still usable at bright outdoors. The viewing angles are top notch, too.

Sound Quality

Due to price limitations, not a lot of midrange smartphones like the Realme 3 Pro can have it all. So to cut cost, brands tend to compromise some parts of the device, which mostly includes the audio department.

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Actually, it’s not that bad, but it’s definitely not audiophile material. The bottom-firing single speaker offers acceptable volume, which is good for vocals or narrations, but the quality itself is a little flaky and gets distorted in max volumes.

On the upside, the Realme 3 Pro still has a headphone jack, which is starting to disappear on other devices. There’s also a built-in Real Sound Technology equalization software that’s accessible in the settings menu.

Hardware and Performance

One of the biggest improvements of the Realme 3 Pro over the non-Pro model is in the performance department.

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This one has with a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 octa-core processor, Adreno 616 GPU, and comes with 4GB/64GB and 6GB/128GB of RAM and storage configuration. For your reference, the one that we’re reviewing here is the top-of-the-line model.

Since the Snapdragon 710 processor is possibly the most powerful chipset that you can get for the price, the performance on the Realme 3 Pro really satisfactory.

Realme 3 Pro Benchmark scores

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The overall snappiness of the interface makes it really comfortable to use, even for those who are used in using more expensive flagship smartphones. Social media and other basic apps loads and runs really fast.

Of course, gaming performance was also great. The Realme 3 Pro and its ColoroS 6 interface come with Game Space software, which clears the memory and optimizes the entire system every time you open a game so it runs on the best possible quality. It also has Hyper Boost 2.0 for even smoother performance.

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The Realme 3 Pro handled games like PUBG Mobile, NBA 2K19, and Mobile Legends really well, with noticeable smooth frame rates even with the graphics settings set to high. That’s a really rare feat, especially for a device at this price.

Software and User Interface

Being one of Realme’s hottest new smartphone, the Realme 3 Pro comes with Android 9.0 Pie operating system with ColorOS 6.0 UI. The company also promised that this device will be updated to the upcoming Android Q once it becomes available.

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The Realme 3 Pro’s interface is similar to a lot of Realme and OPPO devices that we saw before — which obviously took a lot of inspiration from Apple’s iOS.

Realme implements the thin Helvetica Neue font, from the numbers on the clock in the home screen, the icons on the control center, and the naming on the icons from the apps that are spread on the home screen.

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The app drawer is disabled out of the box, but you can easily enable it from the settings menu. You also choose from different navigation keys and swipe-up gestures.

Smart driving is here for a less distracting interface when you’re driving, Clone Apps for easily multi-account management on social media apps, and app split screen that really utilizes its 6GB of RAM.

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The camera app is familiar. Although I wish the Nightscape feature was sitting in the row, next to the Portrait Mode, and not hidden on the menu tab, since it’s the Realme 3 Pro’s biggest feature.

Realme also uses Google Keyboard as its native keyboard app. It’s easy to get used to, although you can easily swap it if you’re more comfortable using a different one.

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OPPO also did its best to not included unwanted pre-installed apps. But if you think the included ones are still hogging your storage, they are easily uninstallable.

However, it lacks some of the features that Android Pie has. For starters, Digital Wellbeing, which lets you see your smartphone habits and act upon it, is missing here. I also wished that the battery consumption viewer is identical to stock Android’s, which gives you exact data of your overall screen-on time and other general data.

Security

Since it doesn’t have an AMOLED panel, the Realme 3 Pro settles for a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner instead of the more advanced in-display one. But considering how inconsistent that newer technology works, having a physical one is actually better.

The fingerprint scanner on this device is really fast and accurate. You can also use this biometric feature for the App Lock and Private Safe features.

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Its face unlock feature, which is enabled by its 25-megapixel front-facing camera, also worked well. You can enable its Raise to Wake function, so it immediately unlocks the device the moment you pull it out.

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The Realme 3 Pro also has a dedicated security keyboard that automatically comes out every time you type in a password.  It basically prevents anyone from stealing sensitive information from you by knowing your password.

Camera

Other than having a more powerful processor than the Realme 3, the company also upgraded the cameras on the Realme 3 Pro in a major way.

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It sports a 48-megapixel primary camera on the back. This one has a wide aperture of f/1.7, and a Sony IMX519 sensor, which is also found on more expensive flagships like the OnePlus 6T and the OPPO Find X.

With that, it does without saying that the image quality that you can get from this thing is really good. Partnered with its Chroma Boost feature, it can take images with really vibrant and punchy colors, deep contrast, and reliable dynamic range.

It can also take impressive images in low-light. But if you want a brighter image, you can enable its Nightscape mode, which takes a long-exposure shot for clearer night pictures.

The lack of an ultra wide-angle lens is a little disappointing since a lot of the competition now has it. But, I’m happy to report that the accompanying 5-megapixel depth sensor does its job well of creating that shallow depth-of-field effect that you can get in professional cameras.

We also have the 25-megapixel selfie camera on the front. Having this much pixels on a camera results to a really sharp image and overall good quality in terms of colors and contrast.

It also gives the camera enough details to work with when using the AI face beauty modes, so it doesn’t look blurry unlike what we’re used on seeing when having this effect.

Battery

If you’re a power user, then you’d really like the Realme 3 Pro. Besides having a really powerful processor, the device also has an impressive battery life so you can play with it longer than most.

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Its 4,045mAh battery was able to last me for a full day of moderate to heavy use, with still around 25% to 30% battery left to utilize for the next day. That’s a day of social media browsing from time-to-time, randomly taking photos, and casually gaming.

As if that’s not impressive enough, the Realme 3 Pro also comes with VOOC 3.0 fast-charging, which can fill-up the device from 20% to 100% in only around an hour.

Verdict

Midrange smartphones are starting to get better every time we see one. And devices like the Realme 3 Pro makes us wonder if purchasing a way more expensive flagship device still makes sense in this era.

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This device pretty much has all the things you’re looking for on a smartphone, even on a high-end one. It has an attractive and premium-looking design, a powerful processor that can handle anything you throw at it, and a flagship-level camera that can shoot in different scenarios.

As a bonus, you’re also getting a great battery life from this thing, which is ironically hard to find in most flagships today.

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If there’s something holding the Realme 3 Pro back, that’s probably its outdated microUSB implementation. Which can be a big drawback to a lot of people. Also, I wish that Realme would further work on their ColorOS interface.

But maybe we’re just nitpicking. The Realme 3 Pro, checks all the boxes of being a great smartphone — flashy design, powerful performance, long battery life, and great cameras — all of that is sandwiched in a device with a really competitive price tag.

Realme 3 Pro pricing and availability in the Philippines

The Realme 3 Pro will be available in the Philippines for a price of Php12,990 for the 4GB/64GB base model, while the one that we just saw, the 6GB/128GB variant, is available at Php14,990.

Both models are up for pre-order until May 24, where each reserved units will come with freebies worth Php1,899. Realme is also partnered with Home Credit to offer this device in a 0% 6-month installment plan.

Pros

  • Attractive, sleek design
  • Large and sharp display
  • Powerful performance
  • Great cameras
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Still uses microUSB
  • ColorOS still needs polishing

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