Realme X3 review: Consider it for its imaging, performance and ease of use

Realme X3 makes for an excellent value for money in the midrange smartphone segment

Chinese smartphone brand Realme recently expanded its X-series line-up in India with the launch of the Realme X3 and Realme X3 SuperZoom smartphones. Except for the optics and RAM & storage configurations, the two smartphones are similar in design, specifications and features. However, it is the Realme X3 that makes for an excellent value for money in the midrange smartphone segment. Read on to know why:

Realme X3: Design

There is little novelty here; the Realme X3 looks like any other Realme smartphone — a glass build with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front and gradient reflective glass on the back. Sandwiched between the front and back glasses is a plastic frame painted in the colour of the rest of the body.

The phone’s power key-cum-fingerprint sensor is mounted on the right side of the frame, and the volume rocker keys are on the left. The top of the frame has a slightly pressed design with a secondary microphone opening. The bottom has a pressed design, too, and it features the SIM slot, primary microphone opening, USB type-C port for charging and data transfer, and the phone’s mono speaker.

The Realme X3 is neither thin nor lightweight, but it has good ergonomics for a comfortable in-hand experience. Overall, the phone’s design might not be extraordinary but it is not bad, either.

Realme X3: Display

The Realme X3 has a 6.6-inch LCD screen of a fullHD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. For an LCD unit, the display is great; it renders good colours, has a satisfactory contrast and the peak brightness is good enough to show up on-screen content under direct sunlight.

Moreover, the 120Hz refresh rate makes the UI’s transitions effects smooth and improves the overall experience. The screen is set to render vivid colours by default, but it can be tuned from settings to use natural colours. Additionally, there is a dark mode and, despite being an LCD panel, the screen renders deep blacks across the user interface.

While most things seem fine, the capsule-shaped punch-hole on the top-left corner of the display looks out of place. It is big and the display around it is not evenly lit. Besides, it increases the size of notification area unnecessarily, reducing the actual usable screen estate by a good margin. The bezels around the display are quite wide, especially the bottom one. One might not notice the phone’s midrange affiliation by its design, but the display quality and bezels give it away.

Realme X3: Camera

The Realme X3 has a quad camera array on the back, featuring a 64-megapixel primary sensor of an f/1.7 aperture, 12MP telephoto sensor of an f/2.5 aperture for 2x zoom, 8MP ultra-wide sensor of an f/2.3 aperture and 119-degree field-of-view, and a 2MP macro sensor. On the front the phone has a dual camera set-up of a 16MP primary sensor of an f/2.1 aperture mated with an 8MP ultra-wide sensor of an f/2.2 aperture and 105-degree FoV.

Technical details aside, the Realme X3 has a versatile camera system that delivers good results, but not always. The phone’s primary camera takes detailed shots and, unlike other Realme smartphones, it does not post-process that frame heavily. As a result, you get detailed shots with natural colours and a good dynamic range. The ultra-wide sensor does a good job, too. It takes detailed shots in good lighting conditions and manages to straighten the barrel effect without cropping the edges. The telephoto lens is good for 2x zoom and the 5x zoom samples also look decent. However, the quality goes for a toss if you zoom past the 5x level. The phone supports up to 20x zoom (digital). The macro sensor is decent, but its presence has more novelty than utility.

Realme X3 camera sample: 64MP mode
Realme X3 camera sample: 64MP mode
Realme X3 camera sample: 64MP mode
Realme X3 camera sample: Macro
Realme X3 camera sample: Macro
Realme X3 camera sample: Macro

All sensors struggle in lowlight imaging, except the primary one. It works great in the auto mode and captures a good amount of detail. There is a dedicated night mode with manual controls built in for scenes that require tweaking camera settings like ISO, shutter speed, focus, white balance, etc. The night mode also has a new tripod mode, which increases exposure time beyond the regular 2-5 seconds. Through this mode, you can capture star trails or just stars. However, the mode does not always work. It takes time getting used to and even then the output might not always be what you expected.

Realme X3 camera sample: Low-light
Realme X3 camera sample: Auto low-light mode
Realme X3 camera sample: 5x zoom low-light
Realme X3 camera sample: Night mode
Realme X3 camera sample: Night mode

The front camera is good for selfies and group selfies, thanks to an ultra-wide sensor. But, unfortunately, the ultra-wide sensor is not available outside the phone’s native camera app. So, you cannot use it for video calls on clients like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet.

Overall, the phone’s imaging justifies its midrange price tag. However, do not expect it to be on a par with premium smartphones.

Realme X3 camera sample: Ultra-wide
Realme X3 camera sample: 2x zoom
Realme X3 camera sample: Wide
Realme X3 camera sample: 5x zoom
Realme X3 camera sample: Wide
Realme X3 camera sample: 2x zoom
Realme X3 camera sample: 5x zoom

Realme X3: Performance

The Realme X3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ system-on-chip, paired with up to 8 GB of RAM (LPDDR4x) and 128 of GB internal storage (UFS 3.0). It ships with the Android 10 operating system-based Realme UI, which brings some value-added customization, such as the dark mode, night mode, gesture navigation, app clone, game space, split screen, and much more. These features improve the phone’s usability and utility without diminishing the UX. However, the custom UI comes with a lot of bloatware which might not please everyone.

As for the performance, there is nothing that the phone could not handle -- be it graphic-intensive games or processor-intensive tasks like multimedia editing.

Realme X3: Battery

The phone is powered by a 4200 mAh battery, which is good for a single-day on-battery time on normal usage: a couple of hours on social media, intermittent chats on instant messaging services, an hour of video calls with Bluetooth earphones connected, an hour of casual gaming, and a few sessions of internet browsing.

The Realme X3 comes with the 30W Dart Charge, which replenishes a completely drained out battery in around two hours.

Realme X3 review: Verdict

Priced Rs 24,999 onwards, the Realme X3 makes for an excellent value for money in the midrange smartphone segment. Its display is the only thing that may pinch but that is a small flaw, considering the phone’s affordable pricing and overall package. Consider this one for its imaging, performance and ease of use.

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