Realme 3i unboxing and first impressions: finding the right balance

After a lot of hype, the Realme X and the more affordable Realme 3i finally went official today in India. While the former is a pricier offering intended to take on the upcoming Redmi K20, the 3i is in direct line of sight of the recently launched Redmi 7. If you are wondering whether to pick one or other, here’s a brief account of my first impressions of the Realme 3i.

The Realme 3i comes in the signature Yellow and grey packaging of the brand with brandings and logo all around. You will find the sheath containing the protective case and documentation as soon as you lift the lid of the box. Below the sheath lies the Realme 3i, micro-USB cable and a wall charger. Unfortunately, there are no earphones in the package and if you intend to use the 3.5mm audio jack on the phone to listen to the music, you will have to use your own.

As for the phone itself, the Realme 3i is not much different from the Realme C2 with the polycarbonate make and intricate diamond pattern on the back. However, this time around the brand has laser etched the diamond-finish on the phone, giving it a distinctive hand feel. The back panel houses the dual camera module in the top left, Realme branding in the bottom left and fingerprint scanner towards the center. You will find the dual SIM tray with dedicated microSD card slot and volume buttons on the left, while the right spine is home to the power button. The top edge has been left bare while the bottom edge is housing the speaker grille, micro-USB port and the 3.5mm audio jack.

The Realme 3i is one of the few smartphones in India to offer a waterdop notch display under Rs 8,000. The 6.2-inch dewdrop display features HD+ screen resolution, 19:9 aspect ratio and 88.30 percent screen-to-body ratio. The display is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to evade minor nicks and scratches. Realme has already applied a screen protector on the device, which is a plus. The viewing angles, outdoor legibility, colours and text on the display are pretty commendable, so no qualms there.

Coming to the performance, the Realme 3i gets the 12nm Helio P60 processor with a clock speed of 2Ghz ticking at its core. The company is offering the smartphone in two configurations – 3GB + 32GB and 4GB + 64GB. I have the latter with me and it offers around 45GB storage out of the box. During my time with the Realme 3i, the smartphone managed to handle basic tasks without breaking a sweat. I will delve more into the performance in my complete review, which should be up soon. What I was taken aback by was the sheer number of third-party apps present right out of the box. Thankfully, most of them can be uninstalled. Speaking of the softare, the Realme 3i boots the ColorOS 6.0 based on the Android 9 Pie. Powering the whole package is a 4,230mAh battery.

As for the cameras, the Realme 3i comes with a 13-megapixel primary camera on the back assisted by a 2-megapixel depth sensor and an LED flash. You get features like PDAF, Nightscape, hybrid HDR, Chroma Boost, Portrait Mode and 960fps slow-motion video recording in the camera app. The selfie enthusiasts are likely to be impressed with the 13-megapixel front camera with AI beautification capabilities. I didn’t get to play much with the camera during my time with the handset however, the initial shots were decent to say the least. I will put the cameras on the Realme 3i through their paces in my complete review that’s due soon.

With a starting price of Rs 7,999, the Realme 3i has a lot going for it including a stellar design, commendable performance, good cameras and powerful battery. For its worth, the Realme 3i manages to give a stiff competition to the Redmi 7 in India. In fact, the latest Realme offering beats the Redmi 7 in almost every department including the primary camera, battery, processor, RAM and more.

Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman is obsessed with all things tech. His hobbies include reading on his Kindle and clicking random pictures on his phone. His secret superpowers happen to be mixing great cocktails and lip reading. In his spare time, you are likely to find him cleaning his aquascape, researching new species of aquatic fishes and planning which aquatic plants to buy next.