Chinese smartphone brand Realme's latest budget offering, the Realme 3i, seems to be a hybrid of the Realme 3 -- in terms of performance -- and Realme C2 -- in terms of design. The Realme 3i has a dual rear camera setup on the back, dewdrop notch display on the front, and an octa-core MediaTek Helio P60 system-on-chip powering the phone. On paper, the phone seems to be a feature-rich proposition. However, like any other phone, it has its strengths and weaknesses. Here’s the phone review:
The Realme 3i boasts the Realme C2 inspired diamond cut shaped smudge free design. The phone’s thin profile and polycarbonate body with micro-pattern gradient design looks sturdy and feels comfortable to hold and operate. The phone has a capacitive fingerprint sensor on the back, which comes handy to unlock the phone using the index finger. On the front, the phone has a dewdrop shaped notch screen with minimal bezels on sides. The phone is neither big nor small and seems to be a perfect fit for single hand operations.
The Realme 3i has a 6.2-inch dewdrop shaped display of HD+ resolution. The display looks vibrant and has decent viewing angles. However, the display panel is not bright, which hampers the screen sunlight legibility. Like the Realme 3, the 3i does not have Widewine L1 certification required to stream video content in high-resolution from over-the-top platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos.
The Realme 3i is powered by MediaTek Helio P60 chipset, mated with two RAM and storage configurations – 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB. The 4GB/64GB that we have reviewed is a decent performer. The phone boots Android Pie operating system based ColorOS 6.0, which is a heavily customised theme that comes loaded with bloatware. Though the phone feels sleek and snappy, the heavily customised UI dampens the user experience.
The phone shows no performance issues while handling everyday chores such as web browsing, calling, messaging, social media, etc. The phone also handles processor and graphic intensive tasks moderately well. Graphic intensive games such as PuBG runs on medium graphic settings on the phone and plays well for most of the time, except for a few stutters and frame drops here and there.
Like the Realme 3, the 3i is powered by a 4,230 mAh battery and comes with a regular 5V/2A charger bundled in the box. The battery lasts for more than a day on moderate usage, including browsing the Internet, streaming videos, handling social media apps and casual gaming sessions.
The Realme 3i has a dual camera module on the back, featuring a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, it has a 13MP lens that support artificial intelligence-based beauty mode. The dual rear camera setup works well in adequate lighting. The shots captured offer good detailing and the colour reproduction is natural. However, the camera struggles in low light. Shots captured in low light look bit grainy and off-colour. The same seems to be the case with the front selfie camera, it does a good job in good lighting conditions but struggles in low light
Priced at Rs 9,999 (4GB+64GB), the Realme 3i is a cross between the Realme 3 and the Realme C2. It is an excellent performer in its segment with good on-battery time. Consider this phone for its unique design, good performance, decent on-battery time and capable imaging. The phone’s display could have been better and made the phone a complete all-rounder in its segment.