Realme introduced two new smartphones in India today. These include the Realme 3i and the flagship Realme X. The Realme 3i is a watered down version of the Realme 3 that was launched earlier this year starting at Rs 8,999. It features a diamond-back pattern instead of laminated plastic. It also comes with a slightly less powerful chipset compared to the Realme 3. I have been using the Realme 3i for the past couple of days, and here are my first impressions.

Realme 3i design: Old wine in a new bottle

From the front, it is difficult to tell the difference between the Realme 3 and Realme 3i. They look the exact same. Even the dimensions for both are the same. But the difference is visible right when you hold the smartphone in your hand. As mentioned, the laminated plastic back is now replaced with a textured diamond-cut finish. It is smudge free, and offers a proper grip when you hold the phone.

Realme sent us the Diamond Blue color variant for review. It sure looks stunning, and those diamond patterns look even more appealing as the light falls on it. The pattern is similar to what we have already seen on the Realme C2. It is good to see brands trying different design patterns that appeals to the end users.

Realme 3i specifications: Slightly underclocked chipset

The Realme 3i and Realme 3 have subtle differences in the form of back panel and chipset. The Realme 3 comes with MediaTek Helio P70 SoC with an octa-core CPU. It comprises of 4 CortexA73 cores clocked at 2.1GHz and 4 CortexA53 cores cocked at 2.0GHz. The Realme 3i, comes with Helio P70 SoC with an octa-core CPU. It comprises of 4 CortexA73 cores clocked at 2.0GHz and 4 CortexA53 cores clocked at 2.0GHz. Basically, the difference is only that the P70 has a higher clock frequency by 100Mhz. In other words, it is just marginally better than Helio P60.

Rest of the specifications include a 6.22-inch HD+ display with waterdrop notch, 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, or 4GB RAM and 64GB storage options. A dedicated microSD card slot is also present for further storage expansion. In the photography department, you get dual cameras at the back which includes a 13-megapixel primary snapper and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Up front, there is a 13-megapixel selfie snapper with support for AI portrait mode. To keep things ticking, you have 4,230mAh battery with 10W fast charging support.

Realme 3i software: Android Pie with ColorOS

Talking about software, you get Android 9 Pie with ColorOS skin on top. The interface looks more refined and matured compared to offering from other Chinese smartphone makers. Realme has included the new Theme Store from where you can download themes and wallpapers. There is also a Realme app market to download apps. There are some bloatware apps like WPS Office, Daily Hunt, NewsPoint, UC Browser and more.

ORoaming app is also included which makes it easier to access data when on international roaming. Security wise, the phone comes with Face Unlock and fingerprint scanner (located at the back).

Initial impressions

There isn’t much to talk about the Realme 3i. However, the price segment in which it is placed is very interesting. The smartphone will compete with the Redmi 7, Honor 8C, Samsung Galaxy M10, and Nokia 5.1 Plus to name a few.

Realme has been quick when it comes to rolling out timely updates. It is also adding features requested by users in its community. This is not something that other brands in the price range are doing. It remains to be seen how well the Realme 3i performs giving the strong competition it has in the segment.

FeaturesRealme 3Realme 3i
ChipsetMediaTek Helio P70MediaTek Helio P60
OSAndroid 9 PieAndroid 9 Pie
Display6.22-inch HD+, 19:9 aspect ratio-1520×720 pixels6.22-inch HD+
Internal Memory3GB RAM + 32GB storage3GB RAM + 32GB storage
Rear CameraDual – 13MP + 2MPDual – 13MP + 2MP
Front Camera13MP13MP

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