Report Card: Realme 3 Pro: A Terrific Deal for under Rs 15,000!

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Realme has been making a name for itself in the Indian smartphone market with its value for money phones. And the latest from the brand is the Redmi Note 3 Pro, which as we remarked earlier, sticks to its tried and tested formula and has a lot to offer (read our initial impressions here: http://kunzum.com/2019/29/realme-3-pro-seven-things-really-note-pro/). But it is one thing to have what it takes on paper and another to actually deliver a great performance. So how well does the Realme 3 Pro actually do? Here’s our report card

Design: A-
The Realme 3 Pro is well-designed but not exceptionally so. Unlike the Realme 2 Pro which had a more flat back, the Realme 3 Pro has a curved one, and with a gradient finish too (except in the black model), which is the rage these days. It is a smart looking phone with the front being all about the 6.3 inch display with a drop notch, and small bezels. The back loses some points for being carbonate rather than glass but it looks good enough with the light making “S” patterns on it, with the vertically arranged dual cameras on the back, with the main sensor having a golden circle around it (a neat design touch), and a spherical fingerprint scanner. No, it is not a small phone, but at 8.3 mm, it is slim enough, if at 172 grammes, slightly on the heavy side. It definitely is a good looking phone, if not quite as premium as the Redmi Note 7 Pro (we suspect it could be because the Redmi uses glass on the back).

Hardware: A
The Realme 3 Pro delivers some very good hardware for the price it charges. The 6.3 inch display is a full HD+ one with a resolution of 2340 x 1080, and also has a drop notch in the middle – it is not the brightest we have seen, but is not a deal breaker. It runs on the very good Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor, which was also seen in the much more expensive Nokia 8.1, and comes in configurations of 4 GB/ 64 GB, 6 GB/ 64 GB and 6 GB/ 128 GB, with the storage expandable to 256 GB using a dedicated memory card slot. The phone has a pair of 16 and 5 megapixels cameras on the rear and a 25-megapixel selfie shooter. Connectivity options include 4G, GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There is a 3.5 mm audio jack for those who like to use their wired earphones, and a 4045 mAh battery with support for fast charging rounds off things. This is a very good hardware line up – among the best at this price point.

Performance: A
The Snapdragon 710 processor is a superb performer, especially for those interested in gaming. You can play games like Fortnite and PUBG on this phone without too many problems, or even it heating up. And well, if it can handle stuff that heavy, you can be assured of a super smooth performance when it comes to routine stuff like browsing the Web, checking mail, checking social network apps or pinging away on messaging. This is not a phone that slows down. We would have liked the display to have been brighter and the sound quality a bit better, but even at the current levels, they are acceptable (though not exceptional). The fingerprint sensor is speedy and works well, although All said and done, this is as good as any phone in its segment and in terms of general overall smoothness, a challenger to the formidable Redmi Note 7 Pro.

Cameras: A+
The Realme 3 comes with a 16-megapixel main rear sensor on the back, supplemented by a 5-megapixel secondary sensor. However, the brand claims that the main sensor is the same that is found on the highly acclaimed OnePlus 6T – the Sony IMX519 with a very large f/1.7 aperture. And it certainly delivers a very good performance. We got realistic colours and a lot of detail in good light conditions, and surprisingly enough, even low light performance was among the best we have seen at this price point – there is a Night mode on the phone which actually seems to work. Video quality is very good and there is support for 4K video. And then there are the selfies – the 25-megapixel front facing camera takes some brilliant selfies, and does not try to overbeautify by default. Both rear and front cameras have decent portrait modes, and deliver some of the best photography we have seen in this price segment. It might not have the megapixels of the Redmi Note 7 Pro, but the Realme 3 Pro has great image quality.

Software: B+
The Realme 3 Pro runs on Android Pie with ColorOS on top of it. And this is where it gets a little interesting. It is not as if ColorOS is not feature rich. It is just that we do not find it quite in the class of Xiaomi’s MIUI and Huawei’s EMUI in terms of smoothness. There is a slight learning curve here and those who are not used to it might just find it a little confusing at times, from the pop up side panel, to the differently designed notification bar. There are also a few too many third party applications. But if you give yourself some time, the interface will grow on you. It is not bad at all, just not quite in the league of the competition.

Battery: A+
The Realme 3 Pro scores really heavily on the battery front. The phone not only boasts a large 4045 mAh battery, but also comes with quick charging and a 20W charger in the box as well, unlike the Redmi Note 7 Pro, which supports quick charging but has no supporting charger in the box. The battery allowed us to get through a day and a half of normal use quite easily, and with careful use can even last two days. Some people might complain that the charging happens through a micro USB port rather than a more modern USB Type C, but in terms of actual use, it hardly makes any difference.

Price: A+
The Realme 3 Pro starts at exactly the same price as the Note 7 Pro – Rs 13,999. And just as in the case of the Redmi device, this is excellent value for money. Considering the kind of performance one gets in gaming and from the camera, not to mention that battery and sleek design, this is an excellent price.

Overall: A
Great cameras, a good processor, plenty of RAM, the latest Android, plenty of storage and a dedicated microSD card slot, and a massive battery that charges fast as well. And all at a very affordable price. That gets the Realme 3 Pro as close to the top grade as a phone possibly can get – it would be a great alternative to the Redmi Note 7 Pro and its rival to being the best phone around for under Rs 15,000. The Redmi device has a slightly more premium design and a marginally better camera, but this one pushes it all the way.  One of the best mid-segment smartphones out there. Easily.

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