Realme 3 review: Budget blockbuster

    After their entry into the Philippine market with the C1, Realme has all but taken over the budget segment of the market segment. The brand has already expanded to local kiosks and resellers from their previously online-exclusive roots.

    Priced at PhP 9,990, the Realme 3 is another smartphone from the brand that aims to redefine what “value” really means. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Realme 3 to see if it manages to break the mold where budget smartphones are created.

    Realme 3

    Chipset MediaTek Helio P70 (Helio P60 for Global Models)
    Screen 6.2-inch, Dewdrop, 19:9, 1520 x 720, Gorilla Glass 3
    RAM 3GB/4GB
    OS Android 9.0 Pie, ColorOS 6.0
    Rear Camera 13MP f/1.8 + 2MP f/2.4, PDAF, LED Flash, AI Scene Recognition
    Front Camera 13MP f/2.0
    Storage 32GB/64GB, expandable up to 256GB via dedicated MicroSD slot
    Network 4G, LTE
    Connectivity WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, MicroUSB, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS,
    Battery 4,230mAh, Fast Battery Charging 10W
    Colors Dynamic Black, Radiant Blue, Classic Black


    In terms of packaging, the Realme 3 comes with a striking yet mysterious box that boasts the number 3 while the Realme branding takes a backseat. The accessories included with the smartphone shares the same simplicity as the Realme C1.

    Inside the box a MicroUSB cable, a wall charger, a SIM ejector pin, and a silicone case. To keep costs down, Realme has decided to leave out a pair of earphones with the smartphone.

    Design and Features

    It seems that Realme has a tendency of designing beautiful smartphones that hides their rather affordable heritage. That it also true with the Realme 3. Instead of having a bland design, the smartphone has a glass-like plastic rear with a 3D gradient design.

    The rear is shiny like most smartphones with a gradient design. This means that the Realme 3 is incredibly susceptible to fingerprints and dust. Fortunately, there is a silicone case included with the package to protect the gorgeous rear of the Realme 3.

    At the front is a 6.2-inch Dewdrop display with a 19:9 aspect ratio with a 1520 x 720 resolution. Protecting the scren is Gorilla Glass 3 courtesy of Corning. The screen is rather bright in certain conditions, however, the screen will still have some problems conveying information under direct sunlight.

    Clutched at the notch of a display is a 13MP f/2.0 front-facing shooter that also enables the smartphone’s Face Unlock feature.

    Breaking the gradient design of the rear is a dual rear camera setup composed of a 13MP f/1.8 main camera and a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor for better bokeh in portrait mode. The cameras have also been bolsted by AI Scene Recognition that allows the device to automatically adjust its settings depending on the subject.

    The Realme 3 has a traditional rear-mounted fingerprint scanner instead of a on-display fingerprint scanner that some smartphones already have. Although at this price point, it’s understandable that the smartphone won’t have this top-end feature.

    Providing the processor power of the Realme 3 is a MediaTek Helio P60 (the P70 is exclusive for India) with 4GB of RAM and is backed by 64GB of internal storage.

    The device comes with two nano-SIM slots with a third dedicated MicroSD slot just in case users find the 64GB internal storage lacking for their movies, photos, and what have you.

    The Realme 3 does still employ a MicroUSB connection at the bottom. Although we miss using a Type-C cable whenever we are charging the smartphone, Realme’s decision to stick with a rather dated port harkens to the 3’s affordability.

    As for build quality, the Realme 3 doesn’t do much to distinguish itself from the competition. The rear is plastic although it is a sight to behold since it has a gradient design. Overall, not too shabby for a smartphone at its price range.

    User Interface

    The Realme 3 runs on Android 9.0 Pie with ColorOS 6.0. Despite its relation to its parent company, the smartphone largely resembles a stock Android experience such as an App Drawer and Android P navigation. ColorOS 6.0, however, is still reminiscent of iOS.

    The ColorOS 6.0 is also rather light on resources. Without any apps open, the smartphone is able to reserve more than 3GB of RAM for more intensive apps. The OS only takes up a minimal amount of storage leaving more than 46GB of space.


    The Realme 3 has a rather barebones camera app. The smartphone does have standard options such as Video, Photo, Portrait, Time-Lapse, Pano, Expert, and Slow Motion. The device can also capture HDR photos although there is no RAW support.

    The rear 13MP f/1.8 camera of the Realme 3 takes well-detailed photos while the colors are also saturated enough without being offending to the eyes. Thanks to Chroma Boost, which boosts details and saturation, photos makes for an impressive sight given that the Realme 3 is a sub-10K smartphone.

    One trick the Realme 3 does have up its sleeve is its Nightscape mode. Once activated, the camera will need 3 seconds to fully capture several brackets of exposure. The smartphone’s AI then stitches the images together to remove noise while bringing out details for a well-exposed photo.

    If you have steady hands and there are no moving objects in your frame, the Realme 3’s Nightscape mode does take stunning low-light photos.

    Performance and Benchmarks

    The Realme 3 comes with a MediaTek Helio P60 for international models rather than the Helio P70 that is exclusive to India. Despite this small downgrade, the Realme 3 still delivers a speedy operation without any hitches. And with its 4GB of RAM, we were able to open several apps without slowing down.

    For benchmarks, the device was able to reach respectable scores in both AnTuTu and PCMark 2.0. The smartphone was able to score 129997 in the latter and a mark of 7647 in the latter.

    Battery Life

    The Realme 3 is powered by a 4,230mAh non-removable battery. The battery will last you around a day of medium usage. In terms of charging, the device does support 10W Fast Charging. The large battery, however, will still take around 2 hours of charge time from 0 to 100 percent.


    With an asking price of PhP 9,990 (PhP 7,990 for the 3GB/64GB variant and PhP 6,990 for the 3GB/32GB model), the Realme 3 stands as one of the best smartphones in its price range. With a design and camera performance that can be found in smartphones that are much more expensive.

    We believe that the Realme 3 achieves what it aims to do: let users “Discover Real Value.” With a camera performance and design almost on par with more premium smartphones, we’re going to give the Realme 3 our 100% Satisfying Smartphone award. If you’re in the market for a new smartphone that won’t break that brank that offers top performance, then look no further than the Realme 3.

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