Better specs and an improved camera will enable it to give its competitors a run for their market share
Close on the heels of the Realme 3 comes the 3 Pro, which went on sale online recently. Realme has also learnt a thing or two about the Indian online market and has kept releasing phones regularly in the booming mid-range and budget segments. Are they quite different? Well, yes mostly, but they also carry over some similarities. Here’s how the Realme 3 Pro was to use.
On unboxing the phone, I felt it looked like the twin of the Realme 3. The gradient on the back, the drop-notch on the front with a visible bottom bezel, the dual camera and flash assembly on the back — there’s almost nothing to tell the two apart — except that the 3 Pro is ever so slightly slimmer than the 3. Something that is noticeable only on squint-eyed scrutiny. The back remains polycarbonate, however, and maybe glass could have put this ahead of the competition. It gets a 6.3-inch 1080×2340 FHD display protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
The big changes all lie under the skin. The Realme 3 Pro comes with a Snapdragon 710 processor, putting it well in the top half of the mid-range going by this spec. The review unit came with a more-than-adequate 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage (it also has a 4 GB and 64 GB variant that’s cheaper). The Realme 3 was quite good an all-rounder and with these improved specs, the 3 Pro carries it on and makes it better. Everyday use hardly makes it break a sweat and gaming is smooth too.
In fact, this device handles gaming better than the Realme 3, thanks to the greater RAM size on the version I reviewed and better graphics rendering . It also gets what Realme calls ‘TouchBoost’, which is claimed to improve and optimise touch response when gaming. But honestly, it is very difficult to tell or experience the difference these software tweaks bring in the real world, so I will refrain from commenting on it.
This phone gets the VOOC fast charging and the charger looks just like the old Dash charger for OnePlus phones. That figures, given that the brands Oppo, Vivo, and OnePlus all belong to the same parent company. The charging time had me impressed, with the 4,045 mAh battery going from below 30 per cent to full in less than an hour. The battery also lasted me over a day even when I significantly used the video features. It still hasn’t moved to USB Type C, though.
Coming to the camera — another area where the Realme 3 Pro gets an upgrade. The primary camera set-up consists of a 16 MP + 5 MP set with Sony IMX519 sensors. The 16 MP primary shooter gets a pixel size of 1.22 um and an f/1.7 aperture. This is a recipe for good daylight shots and the 3 Pro didn’t disappoint. Colours came out quite well and the chroma boost helps make them even more vivid — which has its takers though I preferred the natural shots. Indoors, the photos sometimes tended to turn out looking a tad artificial. The Nightscape mode helped brighten up things in the dark and did its job, though in some cases, the photos evidently looked software-embellished.
But the real fun with the rear camera is withvideo. Timelapse is a lot of fun and Instagram and YouTube geeks will like it. What is even better is the 960 FPS super slow motion video capture and it’s coming to users at an affordable price. Even the 120 FPS slow motion videos came out well. I did find the back warming up the longer I played with these video-capture options, however.
The front 25 MP selfie shooter is good, except that I didn’t like the portrait mode on it much as it turned out looking a little too artificial. Apart from that, it has the usual ‘AI’ fixes like making your face look like its perfect for social media. The front camera also has a timelapse, which is fun to use.
The ColorOS stays pretty much the same as it was on the Realme 3 and is on Android 9 Pie. The 3.5 mm jack remains and the loudspeaker is also par for the course. All in all, Xiaomi’s Redmi Note series has some serious competition and things are finally getting interesting in the race to capture the mid-range segment, with Samsung also finally getting its act together with its A Series. Customers, you are now spoilt for choice.
Price: Rs 13,999 (4 GB, 64 GB), Rs 15,999 (6 GB, 128 GB)
Pros: Good camera set, good specs and performance, Video features are fun
Cons: Still no USB Type C, plastic back