It’s hard to believe that Realme is about a year old as a brand, given the sheer number of smartphones the company has launched in India. Realme is banking on familiarity with Xiaomi’s Redmi series in more than just name, and hopes to replicate the success that Redmi has enjoyed. Since its launch, Realme has released three “flagship” devices that deserve their place among the best smartphones in the budget-friendly category.
Looking at the front of these phones, you’ll be hard pressed to notice any differences between the two. A waterdrop notch adorns both displays, with slim bezels and a slightly thick chin surrounding them. The phones come with almost identical dimensions and weigh practically the same. Both also share a polycarbonate build that mimics the appearance of glass, but doesn’t feel quite as good as the real thing.
A similar design language isn’t uncommon between iterations, and is even less surprising when you consider that the front fascias of most smartphones duking it out in this price range are very similar looking.
You’ll need to turn the phones over to find any distinguishing features between the two. The dual camera setup and the Realme logo are in different orientations — horizontal in the case of the Realme 2 Pro, and vertical on its successor. Realme adopted the current trend of gradient design with the Realme 3 Pro, with swerving lines that add to the aesthetic. Everyone may be doing it, and there’s no denying that it looks fantastic. The gradient design also gives the Realme 3 Pro a leg up over the relatively plain Realme 2 Pro in terms of design.
Both the Realme 2 Pro and 3 Pro come with 6.3-inch IPS LCD displays with a 2,340 x 1,080 (Full HD+) resolution. Unsurprisingly, not a whole lot is different in this area. Both displays favor cool color temperatures, with good viewing angles and visibility except when viewing in direct sunlight. That said, there are a couple of key upgrades that make the Realme 3 Pro the better choice.
The Realme 3 Pro offers better display protection in the form of a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 panel, compared to the Gorilla Glass 3 protection of the Realme 2 Pro. The former also comes with support for the Widevine L1 DRM standard. This basically allows for HD video streaming from Netflix and other services, and is definitely a big upgrade from the Widevine L3 spec supported by the Realme 2 Pro.
- Snapdragon 710
- 4GB or 6GB RAM
- 64GB or 128GB storage
- Snapdragon 660
- 4GB, 6GB, or 8GB RAM
- 64GB or 128GB of storage
The Realme 3 Pro features the hardware upgrade you’d expect between iterations, jumping from the Snapdragon 600 series processor in the 2 Pro to a Snapdragon 7oo series processor. Both devices are available in 4GB and 6GB memory versions and come with either 64GB or 128GB of built-in storage. However, the Realme 2 Pro has a distinctly high-end version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, a model that Realme decided to forego with the Realme 3 Pro. Both also come with dedicated microSD card slots that allow you to bolster your storage by an additional 256GB.
There isn’t a huge jump in performance, especially with everyday tasks. We did see some differences, however, when it came to gaming performance. The Adreno 616 GPU of the Realme 3 Pro proved to be quite a bit more capable than the Realme 2 Pro’s Adreno 512. The Realme 3 Pro is also one of the first smartphones in this price range to officially support Fortnite.
Unsurprisingly, the Realme 3 Pro easily outperforms the Realme 2 Pro in benchmark tests
When it comes to benchmark scores, we see a decent jump from around 133,000 to 155,000 from the Realme 2 Pro to the 3 Pro with Antutu. With the more graphic-intensive 3DMark benchmark, it goes from 1235 to 1805 (Sling Shot Extreme – Open GL ES 3.1) and from 975 to 1721 (Sling Shot Extreme – Vulcan). Obviously, the higher scores are for the Realme 3 Pro.
The Realme 3 Pro continues to add to its lead over the Realme 2 Pro as we move onto the battery department. Software optimizations aid in providing impressive battery life with both smartphones, but the Realme 3 Pro consistently manages to last almost two full days without issue.
Moreover, when you eventually run out of power on the Realme 3 Pro, it’s quick and easy to get back to a full charge. The device comes with VOOC 3.0 fast charging support and it lets you completely charge the large battery in just 80 minutes.
A Micro-USB port is just poor future-proofing at this point.
The Pro 3 and Pro 2’s use of Micro-USB will not make any user happy, but Realme has hinted that this was a limitation of the ultra-fast VOOC charging. While we would have definitely preferred USB-C, we suspect most users will opt for the rapid charging tech if given a choice against a phone with USB-C.
- Rear: 16MP f/1.7 primary, 5MP depth
- Front: 25MP
- Rear: 16MP f/1.7 primary, 2MP depth
- Front: 16MP
While the specs of the primary rear camera may appear to be the same, the Realme 3 Pro comes with a better Sony IMX 519 sensor (the same one found with the OnePlus 6T) when compared to the IMX 398 sensor of its predecessor. The 3 Pro shooter is also coupled with a 5MP depth sensor, while the 2 Pro has a 2MP unit. Both phones can record 4K video, but the Realme 3 Pro comes with 960FPS super slow-motion capabilities.
The Realme 2 Pro can take pretty good looking photos, especially in well-lit conditions. However, exposure is often all over the place, resulting in too many blown highlights. The Realme 3 Pro brings a lot of improvement in this regard.
The photos taken with the Realme 3 Pro weren’t overexposed, have more detail, and the colors are more saturated as well. Some would argue that the color reproduction is less accurate, but it does make for a prettier social media picture. Neither phone handles low-light conditions particularly well, with soft images and a distinct lack of detail across the board. Between the two, the Realme 3 Pro does do a better job.
The Realme 2 Pro camera is a fairly capable shooter, especially when you consider its price point, and the Realme 3 Pro carries on in the same vein. These aren’t poor performers by any stretch of the imagination, but they aren’t going to blow you away either.
- ColorOS 6.0
- Android 9 Pie
- ColorOS 5.2
- Android 8 Oreo
Neither version of ColorOS is going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but Realme has done a great job refining and polishing the software experience with the latest version. On the 3 Pro, you now have an app drawer, a slew of navigation gestures, a cleaner notification bar, and a bunch of other improvements that make ColorOS 5.2 seem quite dated. There are still quite a few quirks and numerous pre-installed apps (that can be removed) to deal with, and there’s a bit of a learning curve, but this is not the worst smartphone software ever.
The 2 Pro will eventually get the upgrade to ColorOS 6.0, says Realme, with a rollout slated for June.
|Realme 3 Pro||Realme 2 Pro|
|Display||6.3-inch IPS LCD display|
2340 x 1080 resolution
|6.3-inch IPS LCD display|
2340 x 1080 resolution
|Processor||2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710|
Adreno 616 GPU
|2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660|
|Camera||16MP (IMX519) + 5MP dual rear cameras|
25MP front-facing camera
|16MP (IMX398) + 2MP dual rear cameras|
16MP front-facing cameras
VOOC 3.0 fast charging
based on Android 9 Pie
based on Android 8.1 Oreo
|Dimensions||156.8 x 74.2 x 8.3mm|
|156.7 x 74 x 8.5mm|
|Price||13,999 rupees - 4GB RAM/64GB storage|
15,999 rupees - 6GB RAM/64GB storage
16,999 rupees - 6GB RAM/128GB storage
|11,990 rupees - 4GB RAM/64GB storage|
13,990 rupees - 6GB RAM/128GB storage
15,990 rupees - 8GB RAM/128GB storage
Value for the money
Xiaomi was the first to go down the path of the affordable premium smartphone, but numerous competitors like Realme are now enthusiastically giving chase. Beginning with the Realme 1, which was released just a year ago, the biggest selling point of these smartphones is their price. This remains true with the Realme 2 Pro and the Realme 3 Pro.
The Realme 2 Pro starts at a very affordable 11,990 rupees (~$172) for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version, and goes up to 15,990 rupees (~$230) for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage model. On the other hand, the Realme 3 Pro starts at 13,999 rupees (~$200) for 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, and goes up to 16,999 (~$245) for 6GB RAM and 128GB storage.
Is the Realme 3 Pro a worthy successor? Absolutely!
Is the Realme3 Pro worth the upgrade, though? Well, that depends. If you’re choosing between the Realme 3 Pro and the Realme 2 Pro, the newer smartphone is the much better way to go. If you already have the Realme 2 Pro though, I think it’s best to just deal with the smartphone envy and wait for a future release. Considering how quickly Realme churns out new phones, you won’t be waiting long.
Realme 3 Pro vs Realme 2 Pro: Our verdict
In the battle of the Realme 3 Pro vs Realme 2 Pro, there’s a clear winner. Apart from the generic face and the similar dimensions, there’s very little real overlap between the two. The Realme 3 Pro offers better display protection, Widevine L1 support, a faster processor and even better GPU, fantastic battery life, an improved camera experience, and more polished software. We would pick the Realme 3 Pro.