We were expecting Realme to release the 3 Pro some time soon – and yes, we have one on our hands already. We have first dibs on the Realme 3 Pro and obviously, we took it out for a spin. It has officially been announced in Malaysia, and we know one thing is for sure – it is too good for its price, yet it’s real.
Let’s take a deep dive into the Realme 3 Pro and have a look at the wonders this phone brings forth.
The phone box itself is pretty much identical to the Realme 3 that we reviewed here. It comes with the same grey lid with yellow texts. Take a look at our unboxing video here where we take a tour around the entire box itself and alongside with all its contents.
All in all, the box comes with everything you need – a TPU case, the VOOC 3.0 charger and its micro USB cable, and the phone itself. The phone already has a screen protector pre-installed too, so that’s a great touch from Realme.
With smartphone from Realme, there is a special design that is inspired by something. The Realme 3 is inspired by the starry night sky of the cosmos, and the Realme 3 Pro has these lines that are S-shaped, and it is inspired by the Le-Mans speedway.
The one we have here is in the Nitro Blue color option, and it is also available in Lightning Purple and Carbon Grey. We saw the Lightning Purple color here too, but the we have not seen the Carbon Grey yet. So not only that it has these speed lines, but the Nitro Blue color even has a two-tone color gradient. Interesting.
Overall grip of the phone is pretty good too as it has this curved sides around the back that makes holding the phone ever so comfortable. There are other smartphones – even flagships – that has a boxy design that just bites into your hands. The Realme 3 Pro feels good.
Realme 3 Pro also comes with a very thick TPU case. It has a protruded lip that encircles the cameras, and another thick lip around the entire screen. Remember – the phone itself already comes with a screen protector pre-installed. That means the phone is completely protected right out of the box.
[nextpage title=”Connectivity & Ports”]
The all new Realme 3 Pro comes with a better chipset – and with it, better connectivity too. There’s AC WiFi, which means you can fully utilize your 300MB/s Unifi Turbo.
On the left side here we have the volume rocker and also the card slots.
Continuing the trend of having the best in terms of connectivity, the Realme 3 Pro also has a total of 3 dedicated card slots – you have SIM 1 + SIM 2 + microSD card slot. Great job here.
The power button is on the right side of the phone, which is not really ideal since it is directly opposite of the volume rockers. I unintentionally mashed the volume down because I was pressing the power button.
At the bottom we see our treasured friend, the headphone jack, a microphone, micro USB port and loudspeaker grill. The speakers sound decent for a phone, by the way.
The top has nothing but a secondary microphone.
The Realme 3 Pro lacks NFC or anything fancy like that because there is no need for such connectivity. There are no NFC-based payment systems that are supported by Realme phones just yet. Though I do wish there is an IR blaster, even if if only a niche percentage of users actually utilizes it.
The big 6.3-inch screen on the Realme 3 Pro is gorgeous and gets the job done. Depending on your personal preference, the white balance might be a little off for some people.
I find the Realme 3 Pro’s display a little on the bluer side of things. Hence I did a simple adjustment in the display settings menu and changed it back to have a warmer hue. We talked about this on the Realme 3’s review, which I honestly like the amount of granularity that ColorOS 6.0 brings to the table.
The display is honestly bright – and it looks gorgeous too with a fairly high contrast. Nothing much to talk about it since the display is not particularly noteworthy or have anything wrong with it. It just works and has a decent quality to it.
The Realme 3 Pro has a total of 2 cameras at the back and a single selfie camera at the front. Pretty standard in terms of smartphone cameras these days. Here are the list of specs for the camera:
- Dual rear-facing cameras
- 16MP f/1.7 with dual pixel PDAF
- 5MP f/2.4 depth sensor
- Selfie camera
- 25MP f/2.0 with fixed focus
Like our usual tradition, we have an entire Shutterfly album here to showcase all of the pictures taken in its full size, alongside with the metadata.
Rear camera pictures
Let’s first go on by saying that the camera on the Realme 3 Pro is actually quite good. We tested out the camera for ourselves and we have to say that the camera is indeed capable of taking great pics.
We use the word “capable” here because the image quality varies depending on the settings that you use. Let me show you what I mean.
Starting off with the usual scene for pictures, I took the same picture with various settings – with and without AI, with and without chroma boost, with and without HDR. Here’s a few combinations of settings I want to show you.
From here, you can get a wide range of outcome depending on what type of look you want your picture to have. The most obvious here is the shadow over the two buildings on either side and also the sky’s color.
I personally like it with just AI turned on.
Taken from a building from the 18th floor, we have a good view of Jalan Tun Razak and it is great for pictures. With this scene, we also changed the different settings to see what looks great.
In this scenario, we can see that the picture changes drastically depending on the settings enabled. Since there are a total of 4 options to mess around with, I found that for beautiful, colorful scenes like this – it is best to just turn on everything.
We went over to Penang two weeks ago and we went up to the 59th floor at The Top. Obviously, it is photo-taking time.
In this scenario, I honestly am torn between the 4 combinations of settings. I do like the overall detail and brightness of the buildings on the last picture, but the mountains and the sky looks very flat in terms of color dynamics.
The mountains and sky look the best on the 3rd image – and that is without HDR turned on.
Back home, I tried taking scenario 1 again but at night. It was a stormy night, hence the patch of bright light from afar. Here, we realized one peculiar behavior of the night mode.
Did you realize the change in field of view? From what we discovered, the image goes from 16MP to 12MP – a decrease in pixel count. However unlike any other smartphones that goes down 4 times the pixel count to perform the 4-in-1 pixel mambo jumbo, the Realme 3 Pro cuts only 25% of the pixel count to perform EIS, hence the cropped field of view.
Honestly, this is an interesting way to circumvent the stabilization issue while maintaining a rather high pixel count. The 25% reduction in pixels does create sufficient leeway for EIS – and the image looks rather good in terms of colors and overall brightness. Not so much on the sharpness, though.
Here’s a bonus scenario for the night mode. This was taken at our hotel at Penang.
Selfie camera picture
I’m surprised by the sharpness of the selfie image as my face – while holding the phone at arm’s length – is sharp. The background has been blurred slightly and that actually creates a good image. However, the image turned out to have a strong cyan hue to it.
[nextpage title=”Software – Android 9.0 Pie with ColorOS 6″]
Once again just like what I have said with the Realme 3 that we reviewed here, the new ColorOS 6 is a major improvement from before. It comes with a refreshing home screen update which I can now enable the app drawer, making it ever so slightly closer to stock Android.
Though with the Realme 3 Pro, there are a few options that you might want to pay attention to – like the high performance mode. This setting is quite obscured and I don’t think Realme wants you to use this option at all.
The only power mode that they recommend is the power saver mode – which I personally do not use.
By default, there is an option called “smart power saver” which Realme recommends you to turn it on. This option enables the system to automatically suspend and kill apps in the background. You can also do this per-app manually if you choose to do so.
Overall, I do like ColorOS 6 a lot. Miles ahead of its predecessor.
[nextpage title=”Performance & Gaming”]
The Realme 3 Pro comes with a fairly beefy set of specs. The one we have here is equipped with this list of specs:
- 6.3-inch IPS LCD display
- Waterdrop notch
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chipset
- 6GB LPDDR4X RAM
- 128GB of internal storage (expandable with microSD)
- 4,045mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 Flash Charge
Actually, it also comes with two power modes. There’s a “normal” mode and also a “high performance” mode that you can toggle via the battery menu in the settings. We have included them in our review here for you to see what’s so powerful about the Realme 3 Pro.
When the high performance mode is activated, you can get quite a bit of juice out of the phone – however, there is a notification that cannot be dismissed, that warns you about the higher power consumption and hotter phone. Though from our test, we don’t really feel much heat radiating off the phone after intensive benchmarks.
When it comes to gaming, we once again tried with our 3 usual games – Honkai Impact 3, Asphalt 9, and also PUBG Mobile. We tested using normal mode by the way.
We downloaded the HD graphical assets and played the game with everything set to the highest. From here we can see that the phone can actually run the entire game smoothly – other than a barely noticeable frame rate drop when God Kiana is casting her ultimate skill.
Asphalt 9 runs smoothly on the Realme 3 Pro with the highest graphical setting. Best of all, the anti-aliasing looks great on the cars too. No jagged edges.
PUBG Mobile is weird since the phone can only run on HD graphics with “high” frame rate. We know for a fact that this phone can indeed run at higher graphical settings, as the OPPO R17 Pro is also using the same chipset.
Either way, it is still very smooth at HD graphics with “high” frame rate.
[nextpage title=”Battery & Charger”]
The Realme 3 Pro comes with a 4,045mAh battery – weird in terms of capacity since it’s mostly in the hundreds and not doesn’t go down to the tenths. Either way, the 4,045mAh battery is actually pretty good – lasts for about 13 hours and 30 minutes in our test. Pretty decent.
We have to take into account that the Snapdragon 710 is indeed quite a powerful chipset while being power efficient at the same time. You can get a better on why Snapdragon 710 is power efficient here.
Here we have Realme’s first ever smartphone that supports VOOC 3.0. This is a 20W charger that blasts a high amount of current into the phone to charge it quickly. Fun fact: VOOC is the world’s first really fast charging technology that people actually care about.
It even comes with a VOOC-compatible cable with Realme Yellow tips!
For the Realme 3 Pro, here’s the charging curve for both the VOOC 3.0 charger and also a conventional 5V 2A charger.
For the VOOC 3.0 charger, it took around 23 minutes to reach 50% battery charge and a total of 38 minutes to reach 75% of battery charge. That’s really quick!
As for the conventional 5V 2A charger, it took around 40 minutes to reach 50% battery charge and a total of 67 minutes to reach 75% battery charge. That is a stark difference compared to the VOOC 3.0 charger!
[nextpage title=”Wrapping up the Realme 3 Pro review”]
The Realme 3 Pro comes in at an attractive price – even cheaper than the OPPO F11 (non-Pro variant) that was launched not too long ago, yet comes with the same specs – if not better.
Firstly, the Realme 3 Pro comes in these two variants:
- 4GB RAM + 64GB storage: RM899
- 6GB RAM + 128GB storage: RM1,099 (the one we reviewed here)
For that price, you can get Snapdragon 710 chipset – which is miles ahead of the Snapdragon 660 that is found in many other smartphones around this price range. If you need more RAM for multitasking, then go for the 6GB RAM version. It’s priced at only RM1,099 – and that is jaw-dropping. Comes with VOOC 3.0 too.
Specs aside, I do feel the camera has some hit-or-miss. It mostly hits but there are a few misses here and there. The UI is great with the options laid out nicely – but requires the user to have a deeper understanding on what and how the available options affect the picture. When we knew what options does what, we were able to take great pictures with just one shot.
All in all, the Realme 3 Pro is honestly, with great price and even greater performance. It’s fantastic and I can easily recommend both 4GB RAM or 6GB RAM variants, depending on your use case. Honestly, I’ll go for the 6GB RAM version.