Hands-on with the Realme X3 SuperZoom, coming to UK for £470 (plus other stuff too)

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Realme’s latest launch is the X3 SuperZoom. It boasts a premium camera experience at a very affordable pricepoint.

To keep the price down the X3 SuperZoom uses last year’s top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chipset instead of this year’s 865 SoC. That saves money that can go on other high-end phone features instead.

With LPDDR4x dual-channel RAM, UFS 3.0 storage with Turbo Write and HPB, plus liquid cooling technology, this phone is no slouch. I’m currently testing the phone ahead of a full review and you can see later on just how fast it is.

Camera

The phone comes with no less than six cameras. Four are on the back, which consist of:

  • A Samsung GW1 64-megapixel primary camera (f/1.8)
  • 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera (f/2.3, 119 degree Field-of-View)
  • 2-megapixel macro camera (f/2.4)
  • 8-megapixel periscope camera with 5x optical zoom and offers a 10x hybrid zoom that goes all the way up to a 60x digital zoom

The phone comes with 4K recording (up to 60fps) and improved night photography features, where the phone detects the scene to choose between Super or Ultra Nightscape modes.

A brand new feature is Starry (‘Astro’) Mode that combines a long exposure time with multi-frame shots to best capture the movement of the stars/night sky. By automatically balancing the brightness and contrast, the camera aims to improve the purity of the darkest part of the photo and eliminate ghosting.

Starry shot (Note in diary: next time, shoot without the trees – they move!)

There are also two different video stabilisation modes, the latter providing an action-camera style experience for super-stable video even with high levels of movement. This is identical to the likes of the Realme X50 Pro 5G, Oppo Find X2 Pro, OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro – all costing a lot more.

Finally, the dedicated macro camera allows pin-sharp photos from as close as 4cm.

On the front you get two more cameras in the pill-shaped punch-hole top-left. First is a 32-megapixel standard camera (f/2.5), and secondly a 8-megapixel wide-angle camera (f/2.2 105 degrees FoV).

Display

The large, non-curved, 6.6-inch LCD screen comes with a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR, a resolution of 1080×2400 pixels, and OSIE feature to enhance video display clarity. It also has 480 nits peak brightness.

There’s Corning Gorilla Glass 5, plus a factory-fit screen protector out of the box. (You also get a clear plastic protective case for the back of the phone too).

Other Features

To keep the phone going, there’s a 4,200mAh battery with Realme’s 30W Dart flash charger that comes in the box and fully charges the phone in under an hour.

It is also compatible with OnePlus and Oppo fast chargers under the Dash and Vooc brands.

Connectivity wise, the phone comes with dual-band Wi-Fi 5, and two SIM slots. There is no 5G here, however.

Fingerprint security is integrated within the side-mounted power button (0.3 second unlock time), and at the bottom of the phone is an extremely loud 1216 (12x16mm) Super Linear speaker with Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res certification.

The phone is fully water resistant with three individual layers of protection.

There’s no stereo audio, nor a 3.5mm headphone jack, but otherwise there’s a lot of high-end functionality packed into this device.


First Impressions

Although I’ve only had the phone for a few days, I’ve been using it enough to form an early opinion and it’s very positive, even if the lack of 5G is a little disappointing for future proofing purposes.

The screen, although lacking the deep-blacks of an AMOLED display, is bright and smooth, thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate and HDR, while the adjustable colour options allow you to customise things to your personal preference.

Audio is loud, if a little too high in treble and low in bass, so much so that it can feel a little uncomfortable at top volume when watching video (blasting out in one direction makes it feel a little unbalanced with no second speaker). For music playback, or as a speaker phone, it’s excellent.

The battery is also proving to be very impressive. The omission of 5G might even give it a little competitive edge here.

And while some people may be disappointed to see it coming with ‘last year’s’ chipset, it’s important to note we’re talking about a chip that came out at the tail end of 2019 and was the fastest available at the time. The results below shows just how capable the phone is, with results from both AnTuTu and 3DMark.

Unsurprisingly, the phone sits around the same level of 2019 flagships like the OnePlus 7T using the same chip. Realme claims a AnTuTu score that should top 517,000, so I’ll be revisiting this during my review.

Given the phone is going to be marketed not just to gamers, despite being amply capable, but people who want a good camera experience, the phone is looking set to impress in this department too.

I still need time to get some varied photos and video, but with a setup not too dissimilar to the X50 Pro 5G, I’m looking forward to seeing how it all works with the superior optical zoom camera that gives this phone more range.

I tried the various zoom levels below and I am not expecting to use the 60x zoom often, but I am quite excited to try out the Starry Mode again when I get the time to get the best location (free of trees!).

With two selfies, the X3 SuperZoom seems set to have every possible angle covered when it comes the cameras. There’s a lot more testing to be done yet, but it should be fun to see how it performs – as well as alongside other devices.


Camera Samples

Here are an early selection of photos. I’ll be taking more and creating the obligatory Google Photos gallery soon.

Video with pan
480fps slow-motion

Overall, Realme has to be commended for coming up with an affordable phone where the emphasis has been put on the camera experience.

But that doesn’t mean the other features are in any way compromised, as long as you don’t mind having a slightly older chipset, and no 5G.

If neither of these things concern you, you stand to save a fair few quid with the X3 SuperZoom.


Specifications

Realme X3 SuperZoom (4G)
Size & Weight163.8×75.8×8.9mm / 202g
Display6.6-inch LCD 1080×2400, 120Hz
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 855+ (Adreno 640 GPU), Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0
Memory / StorageUp to 12GB RAM (LPDDR4)
Up to 256GB Storage (UFS 3.0)
Front camera32-megapixel + 8-megapixel
Rear Cameras64MP Wide Angle
8MP Ultra Wide Angle
8MP Periscope Telephoto (5x)
2MP Macro
4K 60fps Video Recording
Astro/Starry night mode
Two different video stabilisation modes
UnlockSide-mounted sensor (in power button)
Battery4,200mAh, 30W Dart Flash Charge
OSAndroid 10 + Realme UI (based on ColorOS 7.x)
Other1216 Super Linear Speaker
Dual microphone noise reduction
Dolby Atmos
Hi-Res Audio
Dual 4G SIM slots
Water resistance
Arctic White

Pricing & Availability

The X3 SuperZoom is available in a choice of two colour finishes; Arctic White (with a matte glass finish, as pictured above and not looking too dissimilar to the breathing crystal Huawei P30 Pro) and a shinier Glacier Blue.

There is a choice of RAM/storage options, ranging from 6-12GB of RAM and 64-256GB of storage but the UK will get the range topping 12GB/256GB version.

Pricing for this will be £469 and the phone goes on sale June 2nd at 10am, available from the Realme website and Amazon.


  • Realme also launched the following products today: Realme Watch (£49.99), Realme Band, Realme 18W Powerbank 2 and Realme Buds Air Neo (£39.99). These will all be released in the UK too.

#RealmeRevolution #RealmeX3SuperZoom

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