Realme’s first smartphone offering in the country, the Realme C1, became a really big game-changer in the budget device category. At an affordable price, the C1 came with features that on par with flagship phones and satisfy the needs of demanding mobile users. But the C1 is just the first of the many phones that Realme is offering to the Philippines market. On March 2019, the smartphone brand unveiled the Realme 3–it’s next bang-for-the-buck smartphone.
The Realme 3 comes in three configurations to choose from, depending on your needs and budget: the 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM for P6,990; the 3GB RAM + 64GB ROM for P7,990; and the 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM for P9,990.
We took the Realme 3 for a spin and see if it is capable of continuing the legacy of that the C1 has started, being an affordable device that is packed with features and powerful specs. Continue reading for our full review:
Design & Construction
Measuring 75.6mm in width, 156.1mm in height, and 8.3mm in thickness, the Realme 3 sports a unibody construction and an attractive design. In front is a 6.22 inch screen interrupted by a dewdrop notch and protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. At the back, the polycarbonate rear cover has a shiny finish that gives off a premium vibe. The gorgeous rear features the dual cameras and the LED flash at the upper left corner and the round fingerprint sensor at the middle. Plus, you can get this device in two different colorways: Dynamic Black and Radiant Blue. However, the glossy rear can be a finger-magnet but that can be remedied by a jelly or hard case.
Button and port placement are typical; all the keys are responsive and tactile. The power key takes the right side of the phone. Meanwhile, the volume rocker and the triple card slot sit on the left side. The tray can accommodate two nano SIM cards and a microSD card. Of course, at the top is a noise-canceling microphone, while at the bottom are the loudspeaker, 3.5mm port, and a microUSB port for charging and file transfer.
In addition to that, the Realme 3 offers a solid feel with its 175g weight. It’s also fairly easy to hold and handle with one hand. Overall, it’s a good-looking device that appears more premium than it’s actually priced.
Display & Multimedia
The 6.2-inch screen of the Realme 3 (with the dewdrop notch that houses the front shooter) provides a huge real estate for you to navigate the interface. This space is also huge enough for a more comfortable experience playing games and watching videos. Resolution-wise, the display only offers HD+ at 1520 x 720px and 271ppi. But it’s understandable given the device’s price point. Furthermore, it isn’t that terrible. In fact, the colors look good and the text are crisp on the Realme 3’s display. The viewing angles are great too from all directions; the screen also remains bright even under harsh lighting. If that’s not enough, head over to settings to adjust the display’s color temperature.
Like the screen, the audio on the Realme 3 is just okay. Nothing game-changing, just enough to provide sound to your viewing or gameplay. Just to warn you: turning up the volume to higher levels can distort the audio. We suggest to just use an earphone or connect to a speaker to get decent sounds.
Realme also equipped the Realme 3 with some more-than-decent cameras. The dual camera system at the back is composed of a 13MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture and a 2MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture. An LED flash assists these shooters when the environment is poorly lit. There are also various shooting modes to inject some creativity with your shots: the Portrait Mode for depth effect on your subjects; the Nightscape mode for improved night photography; the Chroma Boost for pumping up the color saturation on your captured images; AI Beauty for improved selfies; and so much more.
The quality of the images produced by the rear dual cameras are good–great even especially under good lighting conditions. The resulting pictures are sharp and have good color. Nighttime photography is just okay; the Nightscape mode helps but there are still visible noise on the pictures.
In front, the 13MP selfie snapper with f/2.0 aperture is enough to give you fresh self-portraits. It also offer various modes (though not as extensive as the rear’s): AI Beauty, Panorama, and Timelapse. Selfies from the front shooter look natural; the camera software was able to smoothen the subject’s face but not to the point that it looked unnatural. The color of skin on the images are also close to real life.
For your video needs, the Realme 3 can shoot up to 1080p at 30fps–good enough for some casual recording. Just make sure that your hands are steady or you are using a tripod when recording because this phone doesn’t have a built-in image stabilization.
Another big selling point for the Realme 3 is its powerful hardware, considering its price. Under the hood, this phone boasts a 2GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P60 processor paired with a Mali-G72 MP3 GPU. Realme offers various configurations for the RAM and internal storage of this model: 3GB or 4GB for the RAM and 32GB or 64GB for the onboard storage (the ROM can still be further expanded to 256GB via microSD with a dedicated slot).
Overall, the performance is fluid. Launching apps and switching between multiple programs are smooth; the phone is also snappy when it comes to executing tasks. During our whole review, we didn’t experienced any lags even when playing graphic-heavy games (granted the games are set to medium or low settings).
Running Color OS 6.0, which is based on Android 9 Pie, the Realme 3 provides a clean and minimal user interface. Swipe down to reveal the tile-type shortcut menu; swipe up to see the app drawer (available in the default mode). There’s not much bloatware that comes with the operating system, only the default Google apps and some proprietary Realme apps. The UI is intuitive in general and does not deviate to the usual format of other Android-based operating system.
Security features on the Realme 3 are also reliable. Both the AI Face Unlock and the fingerprint scanner respond quickly and accurately when prompted. This phone also comes with the standard connectivity features such as the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, 4G/LTE, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, and USB OTG. A big plus for this device is its huge 4,230mAh battery that can last one whole day or two.
The Realme 3 continues what the Realme C1 has started: providing an affordable device to Filipino consumers that comes packing with reliable and powerful features. The big selling points for this smartphone is its beautiful design and color, solid hardware under the hood, the latest Android operating system, huge battery capacity, great front and back cameras, and of course the very reasonable price tag. If you’re going to get nitpicky, the HD+ display and the microUSB port may be an issue. But really, it’s not. We can assure you that you are getting your money’s worth–and so much more–when you buy the Realme 3.