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Realme 3 review: Big on specifications, is it able to deliver on performance?

Realme 3 review: At Rs 8,999 Realme 3 packs a big battery, MediaTek Helio P70 processor and dual-rear cameras. Here's how it performed during our testing.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Rs. 8,999
Written by Mohammad Faisal | New Delhi | Updated: March 4, 2019 9:16:51 pm
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After a good run with the Realme 2 smartphone, the company has launched its latest Realme 3 in India. With Samsung pushing out Galaxy M-series smartphones and Redmi not in the mood to give up its position as the number one smartphone brand in the budget segment, the fight for Realme to stand out will be harder than before.

While Realme 3 packs specifications which tally well with the starting price of Rs 8,999, how well does the phone deliver? Here is our full review of the Realme 3 device.

Realme 3 specifications: 6.22-inch HD+ display (1520×720 resolution) | Helio P70 processor with 3GB/4GB RAM and 32GB/64GB internal storage (expandable up to 256GB) | 13MP+2MP rear camera | 13MP AI selfie camera | 4230 mAh battery | ColorOS 6.0 with Android Pie

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Realme 3 price in India

Rs 8,999 for 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, Rs 10,999 for 4GB RAM and 64GB storage

Realme 3 review: Design and display

The design of the Realme 3 does not register as something new, but it still manages to impress. Realme 3 comes in two colours– Dynamic Black and Radiant Blue. I had the Dynamic Black unit that looks classy and nothing less than a premium phone.

The black colour has a subtle gradient with blue colour at the bottom that changes to purple when you view it at a different angle. But the phone is a fingerprint magnet. The vertical camera and flash setup at the top left corner is embossed. The phone ships with a back cover in the box. Realme 3 retains a 3.5mm headset jack, but there is no USB Type-C port. Instead, it uses the older micro-USB port for charging.

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Realme 3 has a noticeable chin, and thin bezels at the side. The power button on right and volume rockers on left are well-placed and click just right. I had no complaints with the display of Realme 3. It is bright, has great viewing angles and the text is clear even under direct sunlight.

The Night Shield of the display is a big plus and users have the option of scheduling it as well. The fingerprint sensor at the back is snappy and almost never misses the mark. The face-unlock feature of Realme 3 is impressive as well. It is as fast as the fingerprint unlock at the back.

Realme 3 review: Camera

Realme 3 sports a 13MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture (f/2.2 at the Realme 2) clubbed with a 2MP depth sensor. The front camera of the device is a 13MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture (8MP f/2.2 at the Realme 2).

The rear camera is capable of taking good pictures in bright outdoors. The colours are accurate and close to natural, but it does not carry as much as details as one would have hoped. Indoor shots with artificial lighting are okay, but low light shots have too much noise.

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Realme 3 has given Chroma boost mode in the camera app, which oversaturates the colours in the picture, which will depend on user preference, and some users may actually like it. The phone has also got a Nightscape mode, which is good to see at this budget. We will need some time to use that more extensively since the feature just rolled out.

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The rear camera’s Portrait mode is disappointing. It rarely differentiates the subject out of the background.

Coming to the front camera, Realme 3 excels here. It takes social media ready pictures, and the colours are pleasant. One thing that I personally liked about the front camera is the option to select/deselect the beauty effect. Even when selected, the beauty effect does not make the subject unnatural with skin smoothing.

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There are also other beautification features like Thinner Face, Smaller Face, Bigger Eyes etc, but they tend to make the skin seem unnatural with extra smoothing. The portrait mode on the front camera is better than the rear camera in my view.

Realme 3 review: Performance, software, speaker and battery

Realme 3 runs the MediaTek Helio P70 and the devices performs well. The device rarely gets hot and during my review period, I never experienced lag or stutter while opening apps or games. Switching between apps is smooth and no matter how many tabs are opened in the Chrome web browser, the device does not struggle.

Realme 3 runs ColorOS 6.0 based on Android 9 Pie. The device has Android Pie specific features like adaptive brightness, gesture navigation, app action etc, and Realme promises that Digital Wellbeing will be available through OTA update soon.

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I am not a fan of ColorOS given the fact that it feels slow and is the exact opposite of clean and minimal. Although ColorOS has improved a lot over time, it still has a long way to go.

The speaker on Realme 3 is loud but the sound is not impressive. It is clearly audible, but the audio falls flat on the ears. The sound lacks depth and often feels like noise, but this is a budget phone.

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The battery on Realme 3 lasts close to two days. My daily usage includes watching videos, listening to online music, browsing Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, making calls, using WhatsApp web for 8 or more hours, 24 hours Bluetooth connectivity with my fitness band, and 2-3 hours of Wifi hotspot for data-needy friends.

Realme 3 does not support fast charging and takes more than two hours to get to the full battery mark from 15 per cent, but with such good battery backup, I am not complaining.

Realme 3 review: Verdict

Realme 3 focuses on an all-rounder performance and gets most of it right too. It has nice overall performance, brilliant battery backup, decent camera and a truly stylish design.  Realme 3 has a lot to offer and it won’t have trouble standing out against the competition like Redmi Note 7, Galaxy M20, and others in the budget smartphone market. The Realme 3 should not disappoint users, considering it ticks most of the right boxes.

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