Ameya DalviApr 29, 2019 09:01:29 IST
At the time of publishing this article, Realme 3 Pro sale on Flipkart remains an hour away. If you happen to read it post that, probably the next sale is a week away. Either way, this article will serve you well in case you are thinking of buying the Realme 3 Pro (Review) but aren’t yet sure if that’s the best option for you. Yes, the latest from Realme is a good all-round device that wouldn’t disappoint most users looking for a smartphone in that budget. But it isn’t the one phone to rule them all. So it’s always good to have options to choose from; alternatives that cater to different needs.
Here are five such phones you should look at closely before investing in a Realme 3 Pro. Before you proceed, you may want to browse through my quick take on the latest Realme device.
Redmi Note 7 Pro
Pretty obvious, isn’t it? The very phone that Realme 3 Pro was born to compete with. The glass-clad Redmi Note 7 Pro (review) is pleasing to the eye and protected against scratches by Gorilla Glass 5 at the front as well as at the back, something that the Realme phone can’t brag about. A 6.3-inch Full HD+ display with a drop notch does a good job. It has a new Snapdragon 675 SoC that is marginally faster than the Snapdragon 710 found on the Realme 3 Pro in most tasks except gaming. It’s not far behind in gaming either. It is available in two variants — 4 GB RAM with 64 GB storage and 6 GB RAM with 128 GB internal storage, that are priced exactly the same as its Redmi counterpart. The 4,000 mAh battery lasts a day of standard usage comfortably but Xiaomi doesn’t include a fast charger in the bundle.
The major talking point of the Redmi Note 7 Pro and where it scores over the Realme 3 Pro is its 48 MP rear camera with a Sony IMX586 sensor. Like some of the flagship devices from other brands, it uses pixel binning technology that combines details from 4 pixels into one that provides more light data and helps retain finer detail in captured images. It is arguably the best phone for low light photography in this budget. There’s a 5 MP depth-sensing camera too for bokeh shots and a 13 MP AI-assisted front camera for selfies. On the OS front, the new Xiaomi device runs the latest Android Pie out of the box with MIUI 10 layer on top. However, it isn’t as clean and pleasant as the new ColorOS 6.0 on the 3 Pro.
Redmi Note 7 Pro price in India: Rs 13,999 for 4 GB RAM/64 GB storage; Rs 16,999 for 6 GB RAM/128 GB storage
If you are looking at raw processing power in this budget, there is none better than the Poco F1 (review). This handset from Xiaomi’s sub-brand is powered by a flagship Snapdragon 845 SoC and it’s the only one with that chipset that sells under Rs 20,000 in India. In terms of pure performance, it offers unmatched value for money. But it is not perfect in every other aspect. For instance, the design is fairly generic and nowhere as appealing as that of the Realme 3 Pro. The 12 MP + 5 MP dual camera setup at the back does a comparable job in decent lighting with the Realme scoring better in low light, courtesy of its Nightscape mode. It runs Android Oreo 8.1 with a Poco launcher, which is a definite improvement over MIUI.
Other than Qualcomm’s flagship SoC, the base variant of the phone comes bundled with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. The storage can be further expanded up to 256 GB using a microSD card. You get a bright 6.2-inch Full HD+ notched display and a 4,000 mAh battery that provides sufficient juice for a day’s usage. If you are a performance buff or a gamer who isn’t too picky about design or camera output, the Poco F1 is the right choice for you. It lets you play PUBG Mobile and other popular games smoothly at highest settings in this budget.
Poco F1 price in India: Rs 19,999 6 GB RAM/64 GB storage
Huawei’s sub-brand, Honor had ideas similar to Poco when they released the Honor Play (review) with their then flagship Kirin 970 SoC under Rs 20,000. The performance is comparable to a Snapdragon 845 in many areas, though it doesn’t go past it. Unlike Poco F1, the Honor Play has a metal (Aluminium) body and an elegant design. It has a slightly larger 6.3-inch Full HD+ notched display and a 3,750 mAh battery. It ran Android Oreo 8.1 with EMUI 8.2 on top at launch but received an Android 9 Pie update earlier this year.
Photography is handled by 16 MP + 2 MP dual rear cameras, while there’s a 16 MP sensor at the front for selfies. The cameras do a decent job but not better than those on the Realme 3 Pro. It comes with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage that can be expanded further with a microSD card. The Kirin 970 chip along with Huawei’s GPU Turbo technology provides enough processing muscle in gaming and other resource-intensive tasks. The price of the phone has just dropped well under Rs 20,000 on Amazon and wouldn’t be a bad idea for mobile gamers to grab one before the stocks run out.
Honor Play price in India: Rs 14,999 for 4 GB RAM/64 GB storage; Rs 16,999 6 GB RAM/64 GB storage
Samsung Galaxy A50
One of the recent launches from Samsung, the Galaxy A50 (review) is a solid all-round phone in terms of display, design, features and performance. It was launched in order to counter Xiaomi and Realme’s dominance in the mid-range segment. You get arguably the best displays in this budget with a 6.4-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED screen with a tiny drop notch, or Infinity U display as the company likes to call it. It’s not just sharp but the colour accuracy is excellent too. The phone is powered by Samsung’s new mid-range Exynos 9610 SoC, which is comparable to a Snapdragon 660, and you get 4 GB RAM and 64 GB (expandable) storage. The 4,000 mAh battery easily goes beyond a day of moderate usage.
You get the latest Android 9 Pie OS with Samsung’s new OneUI on top, which is a big improvement over its predecessor, Experience UI. The Galaxy A50 boasts of a triple-camera setup that includes a 25 MP primary sensor, an 8 MP ultra-wide lens, and a 5 MP depth sensor. The ultra-wide lens on the phone offers a 123-degree field of view. The camera output is pretty good for the segment but don’t expect miracles. All in all, Galaxy A50 is a solid offering under Rs 20,000 and though not the best performer of the lot, it is ideal for the brand-conscious users or those who do not prefer Chinese brands.
Samsung Galaxy A50 price in India: Rs 19,990 for 4 GB RAM/64 GB storage
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 (review) may not be as powerful as the Realme 3 Pro or the first three phones in this list, but it does offer something that none of those phones can boast of — stock Android UI. To make things even better, Asus has recently started rolling out Android 9 Pie update for the same. The phone is powered by the competent Snapdragon 660 SoC and after the recent price drop, one can get the 6 GB RAM variant with 64 GB internal storage well under 15K.
The design is aesthetically pleasing with a 6.26-inch Full HD+ notched display up front and a glossy back similar to the Realme 3 Pro. The phone’s standout feature is its mammoth 5,000 mAh battery that lasts a day and a half to two provided there's moderate usage. The camera department is handled by 12 MP + 5 MP dual rear cameras clicking good pictures in bright conditions and with acceptable quality for the segment in low light. The portrait mode here does an excellent job with accurate edge detection. The 13 MP front camera takes pretty good selfies too.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 price in India: Rs 11,999 for 4 GB RAM/64 GB storage; Rs 13,999 for 6 GB RAM/64 GB storage
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