The Realme brand continues to gradually fill the market with new smartphones and, in addition to budget devices, is trying its hand at the mid-range segment. Today we will talk about Realme X3 SuperZoom, which, as the name suggests, is positioned as a photo flagship. Let’s find out what it can offer us.
Realme X3 SuperZoom specs
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|LAUNCH||Announced||2020, May 26|
|Status||Available. Released 2020, June 02|
|BODY||Dimensions||163.8 x 75.8 x 8.9 mm (6.45 x 2.98 x 0.35 in)|
|Weight||202 g (7.13 oz)|
|Build||Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), glass back, plastic frame|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|DISPLAY||Type||IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||6.6 inches, 105.2 cm2 (~84.7% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~399 ppi density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 5|
|120Hz refresh rate|
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 10, Realme UI|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855+ (7 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (1×2.96 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.78 GHz Kryo 485)|
|GPU||Adreno 640 (700 MHz)|
|Internal||128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM|
|MAIN CAMERA||Quad||64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/3.4, 124mm (periscope telephoto), PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom
8 MP, f/2.3, 119˚, 16mm (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
|Features||LED flash, HDR, panorama|
|Video||4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 720p@960fps; gyro-EIS|
|SELFIE CAMERA||Dual||32 MP, f/2.5, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm
8 MP, f/2.2, 105˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE|
|GPS||Yes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS|
|USB||2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|BATTERY||Type||Li-Po 4200 mAh, non-removable|
|Charging||Fast charging 30W, 100% in 55 min (advertised)|
|MISC||Colors||Glacier Blue, Arctic White|
|Price||$ 639.99 / € 450.00 / £ 462.05|
Price and positioning
In some countries Realme X3 SuperZoom is sold for $420. It some markets the smartphone might only have revision with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, but in general there is an option with 12/256 GB. At the moment, this is one of the most expensive smartphones in the current Realme line.
Where to buy:
What’s in the box
Realme X3 SuperZoom comes in a familiar large yellow cardboard box. Inside you can find a smartphone, a large 30W Dart Charge power adapter, a USB/Type-C cable, a transparent silicone case, a SIM card ejector, and a set of documentation.
The smartphone screen is initially protected by a good protective film. There is nothing unusual about the case – it’s simple, but it provides a normal level of protection. But why there is no adapter from Type-C to 3.5 mm I don’t really understand. Yes, there is no 3.5 mm port in the smartphone, which is hardly surprising nowadays, but the lack of an adapter is controversial. But, apparently, this is a trick so that buyers pay attention to Realme TWS headphones, like the Buds Air Neo.
Design, materials and build quality
The design of Realme smartphones is not particularly surprising. This applies not only to budget and mid-budget devices, but also more expensive devices like the X3 SuperZoom. Therefore, the smartphone looks pretty ordinary. On the front there is a large notch with two cameras. The bezels around the screen aren’t the thinnest, especially the bottom. In general, it is almost a copy of the mid-range Realme 6 Pro.
On the back there is the most standard vertical block of cameras, in the most typical place, in the upper left corner. The iridescent effect doesn’t look too special either. In the Realme 6 Pro, in my opinion, it is more interesting. In short, this is a classic, without anything new. Whether I like it or not is subjective, but personally I would like for it to be far more daring and interesting.
The body is made of glass and plastic. Gorilla Glass 5 is used at the front, the rear is not specified. But why instead of a metal frame we have a plastic one is unclear. This can be forgiven in Realme 6, but in the X3 SuperZoom it would be better to use more durable and premium material. But the frame is at least matte, which is commendable.
The build quality of the smartphone is excellent, but it lacks protection against dust and moisture, which is expected. The body color in my case is blue, Glacier Blue. In addition, there is an Arctic White model.
At the front in the upper part there is an earpiece speaker, light and proximity sensors, as well as the previously mentioned notch with two front cameras in the left corner of the display. The bottom is completely blank.
On the right edge there is a power button combined with a fingerprint scanner. On the left there are two separate volume keys.
At the top there is only a hole with an additional microphone, while at the bottom we find a multimedia speaker, Type-C port, main microphone and a tray for two nanoSIM cards. You cannot install a memory card.
At the back there are no surprises: the cameras, flash, markings and the vertical Realme logo at the bottom.
The smartphone has a large display, so it itself is not small: 163.8 × 75.8 × 8.9 mm and 202 grams. It is not comfortable using it with one hand in the sense that it is difficult to reach the top of the screen. But with buttons there are no problems, everything is reachable.
Those who like keys on different sides will appreciate not only this fact, but also the fact that the buttons are low enough and it is convenient to use them. The backplate is curved at the edges, which also has a positive effect on ergonomics.
Realme X3 SuperZoom display
The smartphone has a 6.6″ IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2400 × 1080 pixels (Full HD+), which, with an aspect ratio of 20:9, resulted in a pixel density of 399 ppi. One of the main features of the Realme X3 SuperZoom display is support for an increased refresh rate (120 Hz).
This was expected from Realme, considering that even the inexpensive Realme 6 has a 90Hz screen. With regard to the difference between 90 and 120 Hz, it is not as easy to notice it as between 60 and 90 Hz, or even more so between 60 and 120 Hz. But nevertheless, this is a flagship feature. Sadly, there are some issues, but more on than later.
Another thing is the IPS panel. Its use in Realme 6/6 Pro is justified since smartphones are still relatively inexpensive, but Realme X3 SuperZoom deserves better. On the one hand, I would like OLED, but IPS is not irrelevant technology either. In addition, do not forget that there are people who are especially susceptible to PWM and for them IPS is not a disadvantage, but an advantage.
But IPS screens can be vastly different, so let’s move on to discussing the specific panel installed in the X3 SuperZoom. And, unfortunately, it is far from ideal for several reasons. First, the brightness. On the street, especially on a sunny day, there are problems with readability.
Secondly, there are questions about the implementation of 120 Hz. Unfortunately, there are few places where the smartphone displays honest 120 Hz. They can be seen in the settings, but the desktop and built-in programs are displayed only at 90 Hz. Games generally do not support more than 60 Hz. Social media clients periodically cross the threshold of 100+ FPS, but also periodically drop to less than 90 FPS. Everything is quite unstable.
Otherwise, this is a typical display for Realme devices. The colors are natural, the viewing angles are relatively wide, with the inherent fading at certain angles.
In the settings there is a customizable dark theme (can be applied to applications without its support), an eye protection mode, a slider for changing the color temperature of the screen and two color display profiles. These are “bright”, close to the DCI-P3 space, and “soft” which is closer to the sRGB profile. Refresh rate with three modes: auto, 120 Hz and 60 Hz. There is OSIE visual effect, notch hide/show in apps and forced full screen mode for apps.
Realme X3 SuperZoom Performance
The Realme X3 SuperZoom is powered by the 7nm Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855+ platform. It consists of 8 cores, divided into three clusters: 1 Kryo 485 core with a maximum clock speed of up to 2.96 GHz, 3 Kryo 485 cores with a clock speed of up to 2.42 GHz, and 4 more Kryo 485 cores with a clock speed of up to 1,78 GHz. Adreno 640 handles the graphics.
There’s 8 GB of RAM (LPDDR4x), more than enough. The model that I’m testing has 12 GB, but it is not officially present in some countries.
You get 128 GB of storage (UFS 3.0). Let me remind you that you cannot put a memory card in any way and this should be taken into account.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ may have been on the market for a year now, but it is still an excellent chip that perfectly copes with any kind of task, whether it be doing ordinary daily activities or demanding games. By the way, the Gamebench results:
- PUBG Mobile – maximum graphics settings with anti-aliasing and shadows, an average of 59 FPS
- Shadowgun Legends – ultra graphics, an average of 56 FPS
- Call of Duty Mobile – very high, all effects included, Battlefront mode, an average of 60 FPS; Battle Royale, 59 FPS
Excellent FPS in games with the highest graphics settings. The manufacturer also claims that it has managed to reduce heating by 12.5%, so the performance will remain at a high level. However, the throttling test showed the opposite. Anyway, until the last update. Previously, performance dropped sharply and remained at the same level. With the update, it got a little better and the performance does not decrease so quickly and dramatically. Nevertheless, the problem is there. But the smartphone shows the most adequate result in this test in the high performance mode.
In games, you can also notice a similar effect, but it will not be as obvious. At first the game will run perfectly, but after about half an hour or an hour, when the device heats up, the FPS will start to slowly drop. And the more it heats up, the less comfortable the whole process will be. The way out is to turn on the high performance mode.
Realme X3 SuperZoom Cameras
Cameras are perhaps the main feature of the Realme X3 SuperZoom.
- 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF
- 8 MP, f/3.4, 124mm (periscope telephoto), PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom
- 8 MP, f/2.3, 119˚, 16mm (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
- 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
But let’s go in order. The main camera shoots at 16 megapixels by default, but with a separate mode you can shoot at full 64 megapixels. There is a difference between such shots, but here you need to decide on the shots you like best. In normal mode, there will be a little less details, but not so much noise. At 64 megapixels, on the contrary: the detail is higher, but sometimes there is too much noise, especially with an average lighting level. In general, the main problem with this camera is in unhealthy abundance of digital noise. Even with excellent lighting, it appears and if everything looks normal on the screen of the smartphone itself, then on the bigger screen issues become obvious. The rest is okay: correct color reproduction, sufficient dynamic range.
But as soon as it comes to evening and night conditions, the quality drops. Night mode is designed to solve the problem and… it does. The night mode actually works, but at the cost of a slight “watercolor” effect.
Ultra-wide camera is suitable for shooting only during the day, but even so, we get medium detail and noise. Night mode works with this module as well, but there is no special gain in comparison with the auto mode.
The macro camera in this case is too weak, somewhere on the level of the one in Realme 6. Low resolution does not allow obtaining high-quality photos, and this camera does not have autofocus, so the subject needs to be 4 cm from the camera.
Now the telephoto. The module is built on the principle of a periscope and provides a 5x optical zoom. It’s very cool that a smartphone for that kind of money has a full-fledged telephoto camera, as well as a 5x one and with optical stabilization. In this regard, Realme is great. It uses the telephoto always, regardless of the lighting. And let me remind you how almost all other manufacturers do it: if the automation considers that there is not enough light, the crop from the main camera will be used. It’s worth remembering how different this process can be depending on the manufacturers. OPPO Find X2 uses a mediocre digital zoom instead of an excellent telephoto lens in almost any situation, so I regard Realme’s refusal to use a similar algorithm as an advantage.
The module itself it quite good: the pictures are sharp and detailed, though only during the day. It’s good that they didn’t save on OIS and applied it to this particular module in order to minimize shaking, because with such a focal length it would be difficult to make a photo’s that’s not blurry. It is better not to use the module at night.
Video can be filmed at a maximum resolution of 4K at 60 FPS, but only on the main camera. Ultra wide and telephoto support maximum Full HD at 30 FPS. In the case of the main lens, everything looks pretty decent, there is electronic stabilization.
- 32 MP, f/2.5, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.8µm
- 8 MP, f/2.2, 105˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
The first one has good detail, but sometimes it does not correctly convey skin color. In addition, under certain conditions, there’s not enough light. In general, not bad. The second is noticeably weaker in terms of sharpness, slightly different from the main one in terms of white balance. However, it will be able to capture as many faces as possible in one picture.
The camera app has a night mode with several settings. There’s a tripod mode, which takes longer time, but the result will be better. In addition, you can manually adjust the shooting parameters. It’s like a manual mode for night shooting. I don’t know whether it actually has any real purpose, but it won’t harm either. You can take photos with background blur, panoramas, scan text, identify objects and record fast and slow motion videos.
The fingerprint scanner is combined with the power key and is located on the right side. It is very fast and accurate. The user can also choose exactly how the unlocking will take place: by lightly touching the platform, or only after physically pressing the scanner button.
Unlocking by face recognition is also quite fast and accurate in general, the method did not work a couple of times in more than two weeks of using Realme X3 SuperZoom. Of course, this method works only when there’s light. You can always increase in the brightness of the display, but this can result in some discomfort for the eyes.
Realme X3 SuperZoom battery life
The Realme X3 SuperZoom received a 4200 mAh battery, which is even slightly less than in Realme 6. But, suddenly, the battery life not only remained at the same level, but also improved. Although, of course, a lot here depends on the intensity of use.
In 120 Hz mode, the smartphone survives for a day and a half. For a smartphone with such hardware and a screen, this is quite a good result. It may lose power faster if you load it with resource-intensive tasks, but in general, it is not bad. In the PCMark Work 2.0 test at maximum display brightness the smartphone worked for 7 hours and 15 minutes; this is a good result.
I was also pleased with the speed of the proprietary Dart Charge charging technology. You can fully charge the smartphone from the included 30 W power adapter and cable in less than an hour, and 60% is easily obtained in the first half hour. Even before leaving the house, the smartphone can be quickly recharged for the rest of the day.
- 00:00 — 15%
- 00:10 — 40%
- 00:20 — 57%
- 00:30 — 74%
- 00:40 — 91%
- 00:50 — 99%
Sound and communication
The earpiece speaker performs its direct function well. The multimedia one plays alone, the top one, unfortunately, does not sing along. The sound is normal, and that’s about it. The frequency range could be a little wider, but in general it will be enough for undemanding users. In the headphones, everything is fine, the maximum volume level and quality are solid.
The firmware does not provide any advanced sound settings, there are only four presets from the Dolby Atmos add-on: dynamic, movies, games and music.
But what is interesting is Tactile Engine vibration control technology. The vibration feedback offered here will be nicer than most smartphones of the same class.
Wireless modules are presented in the usual sufficient quantity. Dual band Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 (A2DP, LE). GPS (A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS) and an NFC module. Everything works perfect – except for Wi-Fi.
The smartphone simply reported that my home network did not have access to the Internet and, accordingly, could not download anything. Despite the fact that another smartphone worked perfectly. Turning Wi-Fi off and on again helped, but still.
Read also: realme Buds Air Neo TWS Headset review
Firmware and software
The Realme X3 SuperZoom runs on Android 10 with the proprietary Realme UI 1.0 shell, which is almost the same as OPPO’s ColorOS 7.1. It has everything you need and even more. Multiple desktop modes, themes, icons, gestures, and more.
Read also: Realme 6 review – The best in its class?
What’s the bottom line? Realme X3 SuperZoom has a conventional design, but it offers a handful of noteworthy features. First of all, the device has telephoto lens, and a good one at that. The screen is 120 Hz and IPS. It’s also one of the most productive smartphones in its segment. Let’s spice it all up with solid battery life and fast charging. Suddenly it’s the best smartphone ever?
Not quite, it has its issues, which, oddly enough, mostly overlap with the mentioned advantages. I said about the design. Of the six cameras, except for the main one and the telephoto lens, none were particularly impressive, and I can’t say that the main one is that good as well. The display may work at 120 Hz, but this feature is not always available, plus the brightness is lacking.
The smartphone costs $420, which means that certain sacrifices have been made. Although if the above points are not critical for you, then Realme X3 SuperZoom should not be written off. It offers a lot for that price.
Where to buy Realme X3 SuperZoom
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