Realme 3 Review; Rediscovering Value for Money - TeknoGadyet

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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Realme 3 Review; Rediscovering Value for Money

INTRODUCTION:

Realme finds a huge success with their first ever device in the Philippines, the Realme C1, which set the standard higher for the entry-level smartphone segment. This March, just barely 3 months since their arrival in the country, their new handset - the Realme 3, is about to change the market once more. Let's all find out why in this review!

Realme 3 Review; Rediscovering Value for Money
Realme 3 Review; Rediscovering Value for Money


PHYSICAL:

The review unit that we have, comes in a box that has a minimalist design, and uses only two major colors - gray and yellow. That is the actual retail box, and it contains the Realme 3 unit with pre-installed plastic film, flexible clear case, 10W power adapter, MicroUSB cable, paper documents, and SIM ejector tool. Just like the C1, the Realme did not bother to include an earphone in the package, most probably to keep the asking price lower.

Realme 3 Front
Front

Just like its predecessor, the Realme 3 is made entirely of plastic, except for the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 that protects the screen. However, due to its striking glossy gradient finish, people looking from the distance would think it is really made of glass, and not to mention more expensive than its actual cost. Nevertheless, it is indeed quite gorgeous and nice to look at.

Now onto the screen, the IPS LCD panel measures 6.22 inches diagonally, it has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, and 1520 x 720 pixels or HD+ resolution. It also has a small water drop-like notch, which is pretty much similar, if not identical, to that of the OPPO F9. In fact, if you place them side by side, and just look at their facades, it is a bit hard to tell which is which. By the way, the notch holds the selfie camera and the earpiece grill.

Realme 3 Display Info
Display Info

With 270 pixels per inch, the texts and images don't appear as sharp as they should, that is, if your eyes are spoiled with FHD or 4K display, otherwise, it is hardly noticeable as the color reproduction is quite good, black is black, while the other colors are near accurate too. Still, it could have been better if Realme just throws in more pixels, 1080p would have been awesome.

The viewing angles are also good, and the usability outdoors, even under direct sunlight is still okay, although with the expense of setting up the brightness in full. Users also has the ability to adjust the color temperature from default to cooler or warmer, and enable Night Shield that helps preventing eye strain by reducing the blue light.

Realme 3 Back
Back

Moving at the back, its mirror-like nature makes it prone to fingerprints and smudges, so, we recommend the use of the clear case, unless otherwise you do not like protection and you are OK with wiping out the imprints every now and then. Here, you will find the dual rear camera arranged vertically in the upper left corner along with its LED flash, the realme logo written in small letters in the lower left, and the fingerprint scanner horizontally-centered below the camera frame line.

Realme 3 Sides
Sides

As we go along on its sides, the right side holds the power button, while the left has the volume keys and card tray that supports two Nano SIM cards and a dedicated slot for a MicroSD card. Meanwhile, the bottom is where the 3.5mm audio jack is located, the microphone, the MicroUSB port, and loudspeaker grilles, these make that part a little crowded as opposed to the top that has nothing on it.

Realme 3 Triple Card Slot
Triple Card Slot

Also Read: Realme Launches Official Shopee Store

In terms of outside measurements, its dimensions are 156.2mm by 75.6mm x 8.3mm, it is slightly shorter, but quite wider and thicker than OPPO F9's 156.7mm x 74mm x 8mm. For some reason, these numbers are almost identical to Realme C1's 156.2mm x 75.6mm x 8.2mm. It weights 175 grams, which is heavier than 169 grams of both the F9 and the Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite, as well as the 168 grams of the C1. This is quite understandable, since it has a huge battery capacity, besides, you will hardly feel the weight difference.


SOFTWARE:

The Realme 3 is the first device, both from Realme and OPPO, to arrive in the Philippines with ColorOS 6 pre-installed. It is based on Android 9.0 Pie, and brings major upgrades on looks and performance to the previous version, the ColorOS 5.2. When it was unveiled last November 2018, OPPO says it was designed for borderless phones like the Find X, or those with minimal bezels like the Realme 3, and the upcoming F11 series.

Realme 3 Software
Software

One of the major differences in aesthetic is the font used, the ColorOS 6.0 now has a new text called OPPO Sans, developed in collaboration with Chinese designer Hanyi. Another thing is that the interface gravitates towards white, specifically, cloth white as what OPPO calls it. But, these things are quite hard to spot on, the most obvious that users can easily notice are the Quick Setting icons, they are now more of the rectangular type rather than being circles, and when toggled, have different colors too! The default Navigation Keys are now only two, one is for going back one step, the other one brings users back to home screen when pressed, and shows the apps running in the background when swipe upwards.

As for the performance improvements, it has something called as "AI Cold Storage", wherein it intelligently freezes applications running in the background when not used after 20 minutes.  For mobile gamers out there, it has the Game Boost 2.0, wherein the game can be optimized up to 73.68% as well as the touch response by up to 21.6%.

It also comes with lots of useful features as follows:

  • Smart Assistant, as the name suggests, helps users organize better
  • Smart Driving, helps users to focus more on the road
  • Emergency SOS, aimed to help users to make emergency calls and SOS messages more conveniently
  • Kid Space, restrict available apps and usage time, prohibits system modification, prevents unwanted charges

One thing that is not present in Realme 3 is Breeno, OPPO's very own intelligent assistant, and still relies with Google Assistant. More info about ColorOS 6 can be found at https://www.coloros.com/topic/coloros6.html, but that's written in Chinese.


PERFORMANCE:

The Realme 3 is available in several variations, those that arrives in the Philippines are with 3GB/4GB of RAM, 32GB/64GB of internal storage and 2.0GHz octa core MediaTek Helio P60, however, it would have been more appealing to the users if they bring the newer Helio P70 variant instead.

Realme 3 CPU-Z Info
CPU-Z Info

We used the word appealing, because in reality, there isn't much difference between the two chipsets. In fact, the only differences we know are the additional 100MHz speed on the 4 Cortex-A73 performance cores and the 100MHz added max frequency on the ARM Mali-G72MP3 graphics, other than those, there's nothing much significant. Yes, we know that Mediatek promises 10 to 30% boost in AI tasks with the P70 compared with its predecessor, but for the not-so-techy users, we bet they won't feel any difference at all.

Realme 3 Game Space
Game Space

In terms of actual usage, having an only 720p resolution helps a lot to have pretty fast and responsive performance, especially when playing graphics-intensive and highly interactive games. Mobile gamers  can also take advantage of the Realme Game Space, wherein they can choose different modes to suit their need - High Performance, Balanced or Low Power Consumption.

See Also: Realme Buds, Realme Tech Backpack Now Available on Shopee

As usual, we still run our favorite benchmark tools to see its raw processing performance, and here are the scores:

Antutu - 132,107
Geekbench - 1,421 (single core)
Geekbench - 5,109 (multi core)
Geekbench - 4,791 (RenderScript)
PC Mark - 7,494
3D Mark Sling Shot - 1,548
3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme - 1,087 (Vulkan)
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme - 1,122 (OpenGL ES 3.1)
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited – 20,137
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme - Max

Realme 3 Benchmark Scores
Benchmark Scores

Unexpectedly, the results above are slightly lower when compared to the OPPO F7 and Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus that have the same chipset, except for the Vulkan and OpenGL ES3.1. We suspect that the reason behind could be the newer Android Pie OS of the Realme 3, since the other two have Android Oreo. Nevertheless, these scores are still higher when compared to devices with Snapdragon 450, SD 429, and Exynos 7885.

For the audio, it has a single-firing loudspeaker at the bottom that has decent sound and above the average loudness. However, it is a different story when in comes to using an earphones through its 3.5mm audio jack, the output is slightly underwhelming, which makes us believe that the ColorOS 6's Dolby Sound enhancement isn't applied here.

For securing the device, it has a physical fingerprint sensor mounted on its back that can accommodate up to five fingers. It also has face unlock feature, which works pretty well too. By the way, the passcode is needed when setting up your fingers or face.


CAMERA:

The Realme 3 is equipped with a total of 3 cameras, 2 at the back and 1 at the front. The main shooters are composed of a 13MP f/1.8 phase-detection auto focus sensor + a 2MP depth sensor, a familiar setting with the Realme C1, but with brighter lens. Meanwhile, the front-facing one has also a 13MP resolution with an aperture opening of f/2.0, a huge leap from C1's 5MP f/2.2. Both snappers are assisted with artificial intelligence, such as AI Beautification that automatically beautifies the face/s it detected inside the frame, and Automatic Scene Recognition that tweaks the camera settings accordingly based on the scene that it recognize.

Realme 3 Camera Interface
Camera Interface

There are also added features when shooting with the rear cameras, namely the Chroma Boost and Nightscape. The former is an HDR mode in steroids, as it stacks several images together to improve dynamic range for more light-balanced pictures as well as more vivid colors. The latter on the other hand, allows users to take blur-free low-light shots, even by just holding the phone and not using a tripod or any similar stabilizing tool.

For those who love to play with the camera settings, particularly the exposure and shutter speed, in order to capture light trails or better images at night, we are glad to report that the Realme 3 supports Expert or Manual mode.

Zooming can also be done easily, no need to pinch the screen since there is a 1x/2x button that users can touch on the interface. However, be reminded that it is just a digital zoom, as the phone has no telephoto lens of any kind.

Dual-Rear Camera Samples:

Realme 3 Main Camera Sample - Noon, Against the Light
Noon, Against the Light
Realme 3 Main Camera Sample - Late Afternoon
Late Afternoon
Realme 3 Main Camera Sample - Close-up
Close-up
Realme 3 Main Camera Sample - Sunset, 1x Zoom
Sunset, 1x Zoom
Realme 3 Main Camera Sample - Sunset, 2x Zoom
Sunset, 2x Zoom
Realme 3 Main Camera Sample - High Noon without Chroma Boost
High Noon without Chroma Boost
Realme 3 Main Camera Sample - High Noon with Chroma Boost
High Noon with Chroma Boost
Realme 3 Main Camera Sample - Night, Normal
Realme 3 Main Camera Sample - Night, Normal
Realme 3 Main Camera Sample - Night, Nightscape
Night, Nightscape
Realme 3 Main Camera Sample - Indoor, Low Light
Indoor, Low Light
Realme 3 Main Camera Sample - Cityscape, Normal
Cityscape, Normal
Realme 3 Main Camera Sample - Cityscape, Nightscape
Cityscape, Nightscape

Front Camera Samples:

Realme 3 Front Camera Sample - Selfie with AI Beautification at Minimum
Selfie with AI Beautification at Minimum
Realme 3 Front Camera Sample - Selfie with AI Beautification at Medium
Selfie with AI Beautification at Medium
Realme 3 Front Camera Sample - Selfie with AI Beautification at Maximum
Selfie with AI Beautification at Maximum
Realme 3 Front Camera Sample - Portrait Selfie with AI Beautification
Portrait Selfie with AI Beautification

Both the front and back cameras can give great quality images when the shots are taken under good lighting conditions. The resolved details are more than enough, and the colors are accurate with nice highlights, especially when HDR is on. By the way, HDR mode works on auto, there is no option to either turn it on or off. We guess, Realme did it in order for the Chroma Boost to be noticed, which as we mentioned earlier is HDR on steroids.

When Chroma Boost is turned on, the dynamic range is greatly improved, and details lost in the shadows or dark areas can be recovered. Moreover, images tend to be more vivid most of the time.

At night or in low-light situations, the bright f/1.8 lens does its job well, at least in giving out ample details of the subject. High levels of noise are evident though, and becomes more noticeable when users zoom in the picture. When Nightscape is used, the images are brighter, have more details, and with noise kept at a minimum, that is, if there are only a few objects in the scene. However, noise will escalate quickly when there are lots of things inside the frame, such as shooting landscape or cityscape. In addition, it takes about 3 seconds after you take a nightscape shot before the phone is ready again to take a new one. Hopefully, this will be improved over software updates soon. Nonetheless, it is still plausible, especially when the Realme 3 asking price is added into the equation.

As for the AI Beautification, it is quite aggressive, in the sense that the software adds too much "make-up" to the face and other exposed skin. Still, we think that a lot of people will enjoy using it, but for us, we will stick with manual adjustment that will suit our taste.

Meanwhile, the video capability of the Realme 3 maxes out at 1080p at 60fps, it cannot shoot videos at 4K. The resulting clips have accurate colors and good audio quality. However, it has no stabilization of any kind, so, using it handheld or when moving will give out shaky outputs.


CONNECTIVITY:

The Realme 3 supports dual Nano SIM cards with multiple 4G/LTE bands, including band 28 or popularly known as 700MHz frequency. The WiFi standard is 802.11 b/g/n at 2.4GHz, the Bluetooth version is 4.2, the USB port with OTG functionality is still the micro type connector, and FM radio receiver is still present, which can be activated when you plug in an earphone on the phone's 3.5mm jack.

Realme 3 GPS Test
GPS Test

As for the location services, particularly the GPS signal, we are glad to report it has a stable reception when using it as our navigation companion both on Waze and Google Maps. In addition, GPS Test also shows up to 2-meter accuracy with 43 satellites in view and about 22 of them are in used.


BATTERY:

The battery capacity of the Realme 3 is also 4230mAh, the same amount found inside the Realme C1, and one of its major strong points. Based on PC Mark Battery test, it got an impressive score of 14 hours and 44 minutes, which is 2 hours and 12 minutes longer than the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1's 12 hours and 32 minutes. That's quite awesome, considering that it beaten the Max Pro M1 that has 5000mAh power source. However, it is still not able to beat the C1's 20 hours and 34 minutes, our all-time highest scorer.

Realme 3 Battery Test Score and Settings
Battery Test Score and Settings

Meanwhile, recharging the fuel cells using the supplied 10W charger takes about almost 3 hours from 0 to 100%. So, if you will use a regular 5V1A power adapter, charging will definitely takes a lot longer.


FINAL WORDS:

Realme once again sets the standard higher for budget-centric smartphones with the Realme 3, just like what they did before with the Realme C1. The 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM variant is definitely a phone to beat under the 7,000 pesos segment. With an asking price of only Php6,990, it already has a great specs-to-price ratio, and if you able to get it at the discounted price of Php6,290 from Shopee, then it is definitely a steal!

Realme 3 Philippines, Specs, Price, Availability
Realme 3

With all the good things the Realme 3 has to offer and its very affordable price tags, we couldn't agree more with the hashtag #DiscoverRealValue!

Realme 3 Specs (Philippines):

  • Dual Nano SIM, dual standby, supports 4G/LTE connectivity
  • 6.22-inch IPS HD+ (1520 x 720) capacitive touchscreen, 19:9 aspect ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • Dimensions: 156.2mm x 75.6mm x 8.3mm
  • Weight: 175 grams
  • ColorOS 6.0 based on Android 9.0 Pie
  • 2.1GHz 64-bit octa-core CPU, ARM Mali-G72MP3 GPU, Mediatek MT6771 Helio P60 chipset
  • 3GB/4GB RAM
  • 32GB/64GB internal storage, expandable up to 256GB via MicroSD card, uses dedicated slot
  • 13MP f/1.8 PDAF main sensor + 2MP depth sensor, dual rear cameras with Chroma Boost and Nightscape
  • 13MP f/2.0 front camera with AI beautification
  • Multimedia Player
  • FM Radio
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth v4.2
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Sensors: fingerprint, accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
  • Others: face unlock
  • Colors: Dynamic Black, Radiant Blue, Classic Black
  • Price: Php6,990 (3G+32GB), Php7,990 (3GB+64GB), Php9,990 (4GB+64GB)

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