Realme 3 Pro Review – Hard to beat for the price!

Realme disrupted the local smartphone market scene once more with the launch of the realme 3 Pro, the highly anticipated upgrade of the realme 3.
Realme 3 Pro Review - Hard to beat for the price!
Meet realme 3 Pro
Coming from the impressive realme 3, the realme 3 Pro is better in nearly every aspect. The emerging Chinese brand upgraded its design, screen, charging tech, cameras, and overall performance.

Moreover, realme made the realme 3 Pro the most affordable with 10nm Snapdragon 710 octa-core chip and 
16MP f/1.7 Sony IMX519 primary camera in the country yet.

Believe it or not, the starting price of this phone is just PHP 12,990 for the 4GB RAM/64GB ROM variant and beefier 6GB RAM/128GB ROM version retails for just PHP 14,990

Sounds fun right? Let’s start with the review!

Unboxing/Accessories

Unboxed!
Unboxed!

Realme 3 Pro comes with a dark blue grey realme box with the 20W VOOC 3.0 USB wall charger, VOOC micro USB data/charging cable, SIM ejector tool, pre-installed screen protector, shockproof TPU clear case, and the paper docs inside.

Sadly, it doesn’t have an earphone with mic freebie in the package.

Build Quality/Design

Radiant blue!
Radiant blue!

Realme 3 Pro is still made out of mostly polycarbonate body. But it feels more refined than the regular realme 3. The back is now 3D glass-like instead of just a glossy finish. The frame also feels tougher versus the previous frame they used.

Now with Gorilla Glass 5 screen protection


The biggest upgrade in terms of materials used is in the display. The 6.3-inch 2.5D curved screen is now protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 protection instead of just Gorilla Glass 3.

However, the frame may still be prone to and dents when dropped, just like most phones. It doesn’t have water and dust resistance as well, just like most mid-rangers.

Put the included case in the package to protect the phone further.

Realme 3 Pro is also one of the better looking phones for the price. In particular I like the finish of its glass-like back that comes in dynamic black, radiant blue, and lightning purple colors. Even the dynamic black variant is gradient with an S-shaped reflection.

Behind, you will also find the vertically-aligned dual-camera system and LED flash with striking yellow-orange painted rings on the main camera sensor. There is a fingerprint sensor at the back too.

Small notch, high screen-to-body ratio
Small notch, high screen-to-body ratio

In addition, I also like its screen. It uses a large 6.3-inch panel, but it has a tiny notch. The bezels are noticeably slimmer as well. The chin bezel is a bit bigger compared with the side and top bezels, but it is far from thick.

The result is it goes with 90.8 percent screen-to-body for more screen real estate!

It also made the phone look smaller at 156.8 x 74.2 mm despite the use of the large screen. It is even considered as “slim” at 8.3 mm for a phone with 4,045mAh large battery capacity.

Top
Top
Bottom
Left
Left
Right
Right

All ports and buttons are found on familiar locations as well. On top you’ll find the first microphone. Below, you’ll see the 3.5mm headphone jack slot, the second microphone, micro USB port, and the speaker grill.

One nitpick is it is still using the ageing micro USB standard. It would have been better if realme used a USB-C reversible port instead. Thankfully, they added the 20W VOOC 3.0 fast charging support.

At left, you’ll see the triple slot tray (dual SIM + microSD) and the volume rocker. At right, you’ll find the power key.

Without the case, the phone is prone to fingerprint smudges. It feels good in the hands in general. It is not that slippery to hold as well.

Display Quality

Big and bright display
Big and bright display


Realme upgraded the display of the realme 3 Pro coming from the realme 3. It now has a 6.3-inch FHD+ IPS panel instead of the standard HD+ screen of the non-pro model.

Good type of screen, crisp FHD+ resolution


To my eyes, it is one of the better screens at this price point. The display comes with sharp details, accurate colors, and good viewing angles. It is also bright enough to be legible for outdoor use.

Personally, I enjoyed using it for watching YouTube clips, viewing the photos that I took, and playing games. Its overall screen quality is quite good.

In addition, it has a responsive auto-brightness mode. It also has a screen color temperature adjustment. You can even change the font size from small to extra-large.

It also has an eye comfort mode dubbed as “Night Shield”. Basically, it’ll reduce the blue light from the screen to prevent eye damage when reading in the dark.

Lastly, it comes with the standard 10 points of touch for accurate swiping and typing. It should help you play games better as its touch response is great.

Audio Quality

Below, realme 3 Pro has a single speaker setup, just like most mid-range phones. It is really hard to find a phone with stereo speakers at this price point. Fortunately, the speaker that realme used is quite good.

It delivered clear tunes with respectable mids and nice highs. Just don’t expect it to be bass heavy and have the soundstage of stereo speakers.

The good thing is it can go quite loud with minimal distortion.

Headphone audio quality is great as well. It can drive most of my wired in-ear earphones with ease. Like the realme 3, it has the “Real Sensaround” audio to bring an immersive and more natural HiFi and cinema-like sound.

It can deliver clear vocals, good instrumental layering, and wider soundstage. It may sound unnatural sounding and too bright in some tracks though. But when it works, wow.

You can turn it off whenever you want and get the more natural and warmer sound sig.

It works well with my Hi-Res Bluetooth in-ear headphones with LDAC support as well.

Since it has two microphones, most of the audio from the videos we took are decent sounding. Noise is minimal for indoor use. Wind noise for outdoor use is noticeable. For calls, no problem. The earpiece is also loud and clear.

Battery

Battery options


Realme 3 Pro has a slightly lower 4,050mAh battery coming from the 4,230 of realme 3. It is fine, 4,050mAh is still considered as big.

As expected, solid battery performance!


In my test, I was able to use the phone from 12NN to 12MN with 10 percent left in the tank. That’s highly impressive since I’m a heavy user. My mobile data is on all the time and I use the phone for work, taking photos, watching video clips, and even playing games.

In the battery settings, it also has the “Super High Power Efficiency” mode that will automatically close down some background apps when not in use, reduce screen brightness, and turn off vibrate on touch to further help in saving power.

It also has the “Smart Power Saver” feature to make your phone last even longer. I also like that it has the sleeping mode that sense when you might be sleeping and will switch to “Low Power” mode to make your phone more power efficient.

The other highlight of this phone is its charging speed. It doesn’t have a USB-C port, but it is the most affordable phone with support for the 20W VOOC 3.0 charger yet.

It can fully charge the phone from 0 to 100 percent in just 1 hours and 20 to 30 minutes. That’s way faster than the 20 hours and 20 to 30 minutes of the regular realme 3 with 10W charging.

Camera

Powerful dual-cam


For me, the main highlight of this phone are its cameras. It is equipped with some of the best camera specs found on mid-range phones today.

Behind, realme 3 Pro rocks a 16MP f/1.7 Sony IMX519 main camera with faster Dual Pixel focus technology. Sony IMX519 is the same sensor found on some 2019 flagship phones like the OnePlus 6T.

Its main camera is also paired with a secondary 5MP f/2.4 depth sensor for bokeh shots. The dual-cam setup at the back is aided by AI for scene detection/optimization and a bright single LED flash.

Snapdragon 710, its processor also has the Spectra 250 ISP also allows better image processing.

Feature-rich camera app
Feature-rich camera app

The camera app is a joy to use. It has one of most intuitive UI I ever tested yet. It comes with easy to locate modes such as HDR, photo, portrait, face beauty, panorama, filters, and expert.

It also retained the intuitive expert mode UI with ISO (100 to 3200), shutter speed (1/8000s to 16s), white balance, focus, and EV (-2 to +2) adjustments found on the realme 3. But, it now has an ULTRA HD mode that can output 64MP images.

You can also find the improved Chroma Boost mode to enhance colors, dynamic range, and noise.

The Nightscape mode is now dubbed as the AI Super Nightscape mode which stacks 11 layers of images and will add RAW on top. It works like a stabilized handheld long exposure mode for 2 seconds.

Like the realme 3, it comes with options to enable grid, smart gradienter, auto HDR, AI scene recognition, customizable watermark, and AI for scene detection/optimization in the camera settings.

The best photography phone in its class!


The result? This phone shoots near flagship-grade photos! It has super fast focus speed and can take close-up images with ease. It also has pretty fast shutter speed.

Realme’s AI is also quite good. It isn’t that aggressive and it just works most of the time. It enhanced most of our shots without overdoing it.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight 1x zoom
Daylight 1x zoom
Daylight 2x zoom
Daylight 2x zoom


Daylight shots are detailed, clear, and properly exposed. Even the 2x digital zoom looks fine.

Against the light shot
Against the light shot


Auto HDR also works well. Our against the light shots doesn’t look too cartoonish for me.

Well-lit shot

The Chroma Boost is the settings that you should use if you want to make your shots have more pop. Just be careful with it as there are occasions where it’ll oversaturate your shots.

Auto (left), Chroma Boost (right)
Auto (left), Chroma Boost (right)

The Chroma Boost is the settings that you should use if you want to make your shots have more pop. Just be careful with it as there are occasions where it’ll oversaturate your shots.

But when it works, it works well. It’ll make your daylight shots have sharper details and wider dynamic range.

Portrait mode bokeh
Portrait mode bokeh

On portrait mode, the camera cropped the field of view to let you take images with bokeh background blur with decent edge detection and subject to background separation.

Normal and 100 percent crop
Normal and 100 percent crop
Indoor dim


In challenging conditions, realme 3 Pro can still perform quite well. Noise is minimal and dynamic range is still respectable.

Normal night
Normal night


In low light, shots are still good even without using the night mode. Grain is visible but it is still considered as decent. 

To lessen the grain, use t
he Super Nightscape mode. It’s arguably the best night mode found on mid-range phones which can compete with the night modes from several high-end phones. It is that GOOD!

Super Nightscape 1
Super Nightscape 1


Again, it low light images with details, balanced looking colors, well-controlled lights/highlights, and wider dynamic range. Realme also made sure that its night mode shots are natural looking without oversharpening.

Normal night 2
Normal night 2
Super Nightscape 2
Super Nightscape 2
Normal night 3
Normal night 3
Super Nightscape 3
Super Nightscape 3


Again, its night mode is this incredible. No need to use the flash most of the time.

Selfie cam UI
Selfie cam UI


For selfies, realme used an upgraded 25MP f/2.0 snapper with AI face beauty technology. You will find the portrait mode (bokeh mode), auto HDR, several filters, and screen flash (for low light selfies). It also has fast face detection and photo saving speed.

Selfie Camera Samples

Crisp and natural looking selfies
Crisp and natural looking selfies


It takes images with plenty of details and punchy yet close to accurate colors. It won’t produce selfies that are soft in details.

Well-lit selfie
Well-lit selfie

Unlike other Chinese phones, do not expect to get selfies with face beauty right off the bat as well. It is a good thing as you get natural looking selfies when you want and beautified selfies when you need.

Indoor normal and bokeh
Indoor normal and bokeh

Having said that, it has one of the better AI face beauty tech. You can even customize it to smoothen your skin, make your face thinner, make your face smaller, and even adjust the size of your chin.

Detailed dim indoor selfie
Detailed dim indoor selfie

Indoor selfies are mostly okay as well. In fact, the indoor selfies I took could be considered as great even in challenging lighting scenarios.

Low light selfie
Low light selfie


In low light, quality will suffer a little. Grain will be more visible too. But, it is still considered as pretty good for a selfie cam at night.

Realme 3 Pro also has the ability to shoot up 4K 30fps and 1080p 30fps EIS videos. Realme also added the 1080p 120fps slow-mo and 720p 960fps super slow-mo videos.

The 4K mode shoots videos with plenty of details, good colors, and minimal crop. Autofocus speed is fast since it has Dual Pixel focus. It has no OIS, but it has EIS for help you take stabilized videos.

The 1080p video is more stabilized than the 4K video. So, it could be the ideal video mode for most.

Its 1080p 120fps slow-mo video looks smooth. The 960fps super slow-mo is decent, but it doesn’t look as smooth and as slow-mo as other 960 super slow-mo video modes from high-end camera phones.

Selfie videos at 1080p 30fps are also detailed with proper colors and respectable dynamic range in daylight. However, crop is noticeable. Stabilization is also acceptable, but do not expect it to be as stabilized as the 1080p mode from the main cam.

Video Samples

Performance

Capable performance for the price!


With its PHP 12,990 starting price, Realme 3 Pro is the most affordable phone powered by Qualcomm’s 10nm Snapdragon 710 processor made out of Kryo 360 semi-custom cores. It also comes with Adreno 616 GPU and an multi-core AI Engine.

Capable performance for the price!
Capable performance for the price!

The phone comes in 4GB RAM/64GB ROM or 6GB RAM/128GB ROM. The unit that I tested is the 6GB RAM/128GB ROM version priced at PHP 14,990.

Strong benchmark scores!


The result? Actual performance is buttery smooth especially at this price point. You won’t have a problem with loading most of the apps like social media and productivity applications with ease. Of course, the multitasking performance of this phone is strong.

Game Space
Game Space

Realme also said that this is a phone designed for mobile gamers and they are correct. Realme 3 Pro features HYPERBOOST 2.0 to improve gaming performance in realtime, TOUCHBOOST to improve touch response by 16.2 percent, and FRAMEBOOST to improve frame stability while gaming by 38 percent.


Realme also has the Game Space feature which basically tunes the system to provide the best possible uninterrupted gaming experience. 

We never had an issue while playing games like PUBG Mobile, Fornite, and Mobile Legends on default settings. NBA 2K19 works in high and medium settings as well.

Thermal management is also great. On normal use, average temperature is 31 degrees Celsius. When playing games with 4G LTE data it rises to around 34 to 36 degrees. Not bad!

The UI

ColorOS 6.0!
ColorOS 6.0!


Realme 3 Pro also uses the new ColorOS 6.0 skin based on Android 9.0 Pie OS. Again, it’s the neatest looking skin of the company yet. It is comes with near stock-like look with deep Google integration and few removable bloats.


It also has effective machine learning features which will freeze the apps in the background instead of shutting them down. It is designed to learn your habit in two weeks to effectively optimize the performance of the phone.

It also has a swipe left function at the right side of the interface to for easy access of your favorite apps and settings like the screen recorder, screenshot, and apps like Facebook and more.

There’s a built-in Phone Manager that you can use to clean-up storage, control privacy permissions, scan viruses, guard payment apps, and run a routine test to check if your phone is healthy.

ColorOS 6.0 is also complete with gestures, unlocked bootloader, and Camera 2 API support. It doesn’t have a system-wide dark mode yet though.

Other features

Realme improved the connectivity options for the realme 3 Pro. It now comes with WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz). Again, its GSM signal is strong. It comes with 4G LTE with 700MHz band support, accurate GPS, and FM radio too.

At the back, there’s a fingerprint scanner that just works. It also has a face unlock tech with lift to wake function. There is even an option where the face unlock won’t work if the user’s eye are closed for better security.

As usual, it comes with OTG support for file transfer and gyroscope for VR/AR apps.


Pros – Sharp and bright display with small notch, great performance for the price, pretty strong battery life, fast charging, flagship-grade photography performance, ultra-competitive price
Cons – Still on micro USB, 4K video stabilization needs improvement

Realme 3 Pro Specs

Display: 6.3-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5 protected IPS screen w/ FHD+ 2340 x 1080 resolution at 409 ppi
CPU: 2.2GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 710 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 616
RAM: 4GB/6GB LPDDR4x
ROM: 64GB/128GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 16MP f/1.7 Sony IMX519 + 5MP f/2.4 w/ Dual Pixel and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 25MP f/2.0 w/ AI face beauty
Battery: 4,045mAh w/ 20W VOOC 3.0 flash charge
OS: Android 9.0 Pie w/ ColorOS 6.0
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, face unlock, Colors: dynamic black, radiant blue, lightning purple
Dimensions: 156.8 x 74.2 x 8.3 mm
Weight: 172 g
Price: PHP 12,990 (4GB RAM/64GB ROM), PHP 14,990 (6GB RAM/128GB ROM)

Verdict

Realme 3 Pro is a mid-ranger that’s solid to excellent in nearly every aspect.

For the starting price of PHP 12,990 (4GB RAM/64GB ROM) variant, you will get a phone with stylish looks, great display, powerful performance, strong battery life, solid connectivity options, and class-leading cameras.

For PHP 14,990, you get the beefier variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM.

It has few weaknesses like the use of the ageing micro USB port, but for me this can be forgiven since it has the proprietary VOOC 3.0 charging tech.

Remember, not all mid-range phones has a fast charging solution.

Overall, realme 3 Pro is very hard to beat for the price!

Do you agree with us?