Realme X3 SuperZoom: The new affordable flagship king?

Realme X3 SuperZoom
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AT - TIME

Realme has quickly carved a name for itself with solid budget and mid-range smartphones since its introduction in 2018. Gimmicky marketing messages and its bread-and-butter portfolio aside, the young upstart is more than capable of churning out flagship-level devices. Case in point, the realme X2 Pro and 5G-enabled X50 Pro. It hasn’t been a long wait—the latest flagship—realme X3 SuperZoom is now here, rocking a periscopic telephoto camera with some beefy internals. Can this new entry rock the flagship boat occupied by the present-day incumbents?

Aesthetically, it’s nothing fancy. In fact, the realme X3 SuperZoom resembles the X50 5G launched in China early in the year. Offered in two colours, Arctic White and Glacier Blue, the phone features 3D curved glass on all sides with a gradient finish.

It comes with a 6.6-inch Full HD+ LCD display (2400×1080) with a 120Hz refresh rate. Protected by Gorilla Glass 5, the display houses two punch-hole cameras.

Like the X50 5G, realme 6, and realme 6 Pro, the device features a side-mounted fingerprint scanner.

Across its product line, realme continues to focus on camera technology and experience. The X3 SuperZoom is no different. Reflected on its moniker, the device boasts “super” telephoto capabilities thanks to the 64MP f/1.8 Samsung ISOCELL GW1 sensor, a fancy 8MP telephoto periscope system, and some software wizardry.

The 8MP f/3.4 telephoto camera supports up to 5x optical zoom, and up to 60x digital zoom. The sensor is aided by optical image stabilisation (OIS) to ensure steady, blur-free shots.

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These are flanked by an 8MP f/2.3 ultra-wide-angle and 2MP f/2.4 macro shooters.

Super Zoom sample shots

With the new camera system, realme is not just pushing super zoom capabilities of its new device but also night- and low-light photography. The barrage of camera modes include Starry Mode and Super Nightscape, in case you want to catch those rare meteor showers or the International Space Station (ISS) in orbit. No Moon Shot mode like on the Huawei Mate 30 or P40 series though.

Starry Mode and Super Nightscape sample shots

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Super Nightscape (Pro)
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Starry Mode

Over on the front, the massive 32MP f/2.5 (Sony IMX 616, if you care) and 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle shooters take care of bokehlicious selfie duties. They also support up to 1080p@30fps video recording and electronic image stabilisation (UIS).

Under the hood, it’s all about performance although strangely, realme has opted for the slightly older Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chip instead of the more current Snapdragon 865. This could be a cost-related issue and it also means the X3 SuperZoom is sans 5G connectivity. Still, the 855+ is a mighty chip–a 7nm octa-core processor firing up to 2.96GHz, paired with the powerful Adreno 640 graphics chip.

The phone doesn’t hold back in terms of memory, either, offering up to 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage.

Keeping things juiced is a substantial 4,200mAh battery that supports 30W Dart Charge via USB-C. A 5V/6A charger is included in the box.

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While without 5G, the phone supports a multitude of 4G LTE bands, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, an Bluetooth 5.0.

Audio-wise, the X3 SuperZoom offers a single down-firing speaker that supports Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res Audio format.

The realme X3 SuperZoom runs realme UI built on top of Android 10.

Pricing and availability

The realme X3 SuperZoom (12GB/256GB storage) is priced at EUR499 (~MYR2,386).

It is available for pre-order starting 26 May 2020 via realme.com and select retail platforms such as Amazon, Fnac, MediaMarkt, and more. First sales commence on 2 June.

The official Malaysian launch of realme X3 SuperZoom will take place on Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 11.00AM via realme Malaysia’s official Facebook page.

Initial impressions

Can the realme X3 SuperZoom take on the iPhone 11 Pro? The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra? Huawei P40 Pro? Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro? How about the Poco X2 Pro or the OnePlus 8 Pro? If it was solely based on pricing, then it can’t be beat. However, as a true flagship, it’s clearly missing a couple of features—IP-dust- and water-resistance, wireless charging, so forth. That said, it’s a rock-solid all-rounder and if you’re looking for an affordable device with flagship-level hardware, this looks like a compelling buy, at least on paper.

For more, visit realme.com.


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