The new Realme X3 series aims to deliver a flagship smartphone experience, with a strong emphasis on cameras, while keeping pricing as aggressive as possible. Realme has just announced the X3 and X3 SuperZoom smartphones, and today we’re going to take a first look at them.
The Realme X3 SuperZoom boasts a periscope-style telephoto lens, which we’ve usually seen in phones that cost a lot more. It allows for 60x hybrid zoom, which is impressive considering the price of the phone. There are also many other flagship features such as a 120Hz screen, fast RAM and storage, powerful processor and fast charging.
We start with the design. Other than the Realme X (Review), which had a pop-up selfie camera, most of the Realme lineup follows similar design principles. Where Realme innovates is in the patterns on the back of its phones. Each new model has a slightly different finish or design on the back, which helps keep things fresh. Realme sent me the Arctic White color of the X3 SuperZoom, which I think looks really good. The matte finish has a satin texture and the hues change subtly depending on the angle you look at it. In fact, it reminds me a lot of the OnePlus 6 Silk White Edition.
The build quality also seems very good, and there are rounded corners and edges throughout, so the X3 SuperZoom is comfortable to hold. It’s a bit big and heavy though, weighing in at 202g. Button placement is convenient, and the X3 SuperZoom has a capacitive fingerprint sensor in the power button on the right, which works as expected.
Realme skipped the in-screen sensor since this phone has an LCD panel, rather than an AMOLED. The display in question is a 6.6-inch panel, with Full HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. This is the highest refresh rate to date on a Realme device.
In the short time I’ve spent using the X3 SuperZoom, I’ve seen that the screen can get very bright and the colors are punchy. However, to really enjoy any content, the brightness level needs to be pushed quite high. When using this phone indoors in medium to low light, the screen looks a bit dull.
Realme UI feels fast and smooth thanks to the high refresh rate, and I’ll be testing this with games as well, so keep an eye out for the full review, coming soon.
Part of Android’s liveliness is also processor-related. The X3 SuperZoom uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ SoC, which is currently the fastest non-5G SoC for Android phones. Realme also claims that this phone can get the highest AnTuTu score, compared to any other phone with the same chip. So far the SoC has worked well and I haven’t noticed any heating issues, but I’ll have my final report on that in the full review.
I am using the high-end variant, with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, priced at Rs. 32,999. There is also a cheaper version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for Rs. 27,999 You get dual SIM support but no option to expand storage.
Other specs include a 4,200mAh battery with 30W “Dart Charge” fast charging, a single bottom-firing speaker, and support for the usual wireless and navigation systems. I wish Realme had included the faster 50W charging and stereo speakers you get with the Realme X2 Pro (Review).
Alright, let’s get to the main trick of the X3 SuperZoom – the periscopic zoom camera. The overall camera setup is similar to what you get on the Realme X50 Pro 5G (Review), with the main change being the telephoto lens. Realme used an 8-megapixel sensor with a periscope-style lens, the kind you get on the Huawei P30 Pro (Review) and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (Review). It is capable of an impressive 5x optical zoom and can go up to 60x hybrid zoom. I still have a lot of testing to do, but the first samples I pulled definitely look promising. It will be fun to see how the Realme X3 SuperZoom compares to the OnePlus 8 Pro (test) and Samsung Galaxy S20+ (test).
The other rear cameras are a 64-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. For selfies, there are 32-megapixel main cameras and 8-megapixel wide-angle cameras.
Realme has also added new features in the camera app. There are now several settings in Night Mode to choose from, including what is known as Starry Mode. Like Google Pixel 4’s Astrophotography mode, Realme claims this will let you capture stars in the sky, constellations, and more. A clear night sky is a prerequisite for such a shot, so hopefully the rain gods will be kind to me while I’ll be testing this in the next few days.
The Realme X3 SuperZoom starts at Rs. 27,999, which is a very aggressive price considering the entire package on offer. We’ll be testing its cameras, battery life and overall performance more over the next few days, so stay tuned for the full review, coming soon.
Is Realme TV the best TV under Rs. 15,000 in India? We discussed it on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple podcast Where RSSdownload the episode or just hit the play button below.