Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Realme X3 Superzoom

Recommended Posts

Posted · Original PosterOP

Is going from a 3.5-year-old flagship, to a modern mid-range phone a downgrade?


This is going to be a unique style of review of a phone, as its going to be a review based on my experience with my outgoing phone. Rather than a true review. I personally feel like that’s a fairer way to review phones anyway, as most of the time us as consumers will compare our new phone to what we had before, and rarely to every other model out there in the market, that’s reserved for when you actually pick a new phone, not when you’ve already bought it. Nevertheless, I will still talk about the phone on its own as well.


Ive had my Galaxy S8 as my main device since June 2017. At the time of purchase, it cost roughly $900, which in todays money is closer to $960. So, on par with the $1000 price tag were used to seeing on flagship phones these days.

Therefore, its easy for anyone to think that going from a $900 phone to a $450 phone, will be a complete downgrade, and not even worth considering. Well, that is the beauty of how fast technology moves these days, and im here to discuss how it still ends up being a substantial upgrade for me.




Let us start with the basics, the look and feel of the phones, it is what you see every day. Both are slabs of glass, surrounding an alloy/plastic frame, with an 84% screen to body ratio, standard these days. Both use corning gorilla glass 5 front and back. The Realme suffers from the 2020 trend of “mo cameras babeh”, so it has a slightly uglier in my opinion, quad camera array,  and dual hole punch selfie cams, something that’s much more subtle on the S8, but that’s just an indicator of the times, not the phones themselves. So, when it comes to looks and feel, I would say you are not losing out on much. The plastic frame might be a no go for some, but personally, It doesn’t bother me at all as 99% of the time the phone is in a case anyway, and there’s hardly any flex or give in the plastic frame either.


Both phones come with a fingerprint scanner on the phone and not under glass like 99% of all phones these days, and I say thank god for that. I do not personally like under screen scanners, and its already been proven from a security standpoint, they are far worse too, as well as being less accurate and slower. I like to have a physical scanner, so to me this was a bonus in transitioning.


The one thing the 2020 trend did take away as well is my god damn headphone jack, like, I get it, people like buying shitty Bluetooth earphones and listen to music through a mud filter, but I actually like to enjoy my music, so this was hard to come to terms with, but the type-c to 3.5mm adapter Samsung sells, works perfectly with this phone, therefore, an annoyance, but can be worked around.


Thus far, the mid-range phone is holding its own against the flagship, so what about the main specs.

Galaxy S8

Realme X3 superzoom

2560x1440 AMOLED

2400x1080 IPS



4gb RAM

8gb/12gb RAM

64gb UFS 2.1 expandable

128gb/256gb UFS 3.0 non expandable

Exynos 8895

Snapdragon 855+

Mali G71

Adreno 640




Triple Layer coating




So how do we decode this. The S8 has a superior screen, in terms of resolution, and make. It has a 1440p AMOLED display, while the Realme must deal with a IPS 1080p panel. However, the refresh rate evens the playing field. For me personally, refresh rate > resolution, I know that is not everyone’s preference, but after using the Realme for over a week now, I knew I couldn’t go back to 60hz. In terms of quality. Yes there is obviously going to be a difference between a 1440p amoled panel with over 500ppi, and a 1080p IPS panel at 400ppi, however, unless you have these two phones side by side, or testing them using specialist equipment, your average consumer wont notice it. I know I haven’t noticed it anywhere where it matters. And to be honest, there have been some scenarios where I preferred the IPS panel over the amoled, for example, watching Netflix shows at night on low brightness. The S8 had a tendency of being waaaay too dark, like maxing out the shadows in lightroom kinda dark. A problem I didn’t have with the IPS display.


With everything else the realme absolutely destroys the S8, not only does it have more of everything, in terms of ram, storage, and battery capacity, it has the latest and greatest tech of that as well. If we put these into percentages, in AtTuTu benchmark the Realme is 59% faster, GFX Bench 63% faster, Geekbench 5 42% faster, RAM is 83% faster (yup its bad), and the storage is 53% faster.


Now, obviously, people will say that this is an unfair comparison, which I agree, tech moves so fast these days, that a phone released 6 months prior is already slower compared to the latest stuff, so comparing something nearly 4 years old is pointless. But, the S8 was a flagship, for more than double the price, you’d expect it to hold up better today, but it just doesn’t cut it anymore, and a mid-range device, absolutely destroys it in all performance oriented tasks.

So far so good, looks like me choosing the S8 to be my last Samsung, after years of only buying Samsung flagships, and switching to a smaller budget-oriented brand, is working out pretty well.


Cameras I will leave out, this is a very opinionated subject, everyone has their own preference, and posting them here won’t do the pics any justice anyway, but its safe to say that the S8s 12mp sensor, although still good, will probably struggle to keep up with the 64mp main behemoth, that the Realme uses, granted that is, the photo is taken with the same app, so that the built in phone camera app doesn’t skew the results. Ive already noticed that the Realme camera app is pretty terrible, with Samsungs camera app being far better, but when both use Gcam ports, the sensors on the Realme are far superior. If anyone is genuinely interested in this, I can do a more detailed follow up.

The inevitable question, how does a company like Realme, able to provide a phone, with flagship specs (because its specs are still flagship material today), but sell at more than half the price of the equivalent Samsung, iPhone or even their parent company OnePlus?




Well, first, its features. A lot of flagships will add, in most cases unnecessary in my opinion, but in some cases useful features, that these budget-oriented phones will never get. These include IP68 certification, stuff like iris scanners, heartrate monitors, barometers, SPo2 sensors, all these things, even though most are useless for someone like me, spike up the price tenfold. 3D touch for example, a feature Apple popularized, cool, completely useless to someone like me, but will definitely mark up the price of a phone by at least another $50-$100, the R&D for these features has to be paid of somehow.


Secondly, it’s the UI. As much as people give Samsung crap for One UI, and most prefer a stock android experience. I can tell you right now One UI, is a far better “skin” than RealmeUI is. Its far more fleshed out, it has far better features, it also allows for far more customizability and generally is extremely well optimized, and I rarely had any issues with it on my S8, only my aging hardware was letting it down. Now Realme UI, so far, hasn’t had any major hiccups or bugs, but you can definitely tell its “early stage” for someone like Realme, it feels more like a very well made ROM, than a fleshed out operating interface. Realme is already rolling out Realme UI 2.0, and my device should get it before the end of the year, and its meant to solve a lot of the issues such as lack of functionality and customization, as well as some performance tweaks, but I cant speak on how well that will go, and can only comment on what I have right now, and right now, One UI is just more refined. However, Realme UI, is still good enough for me not to regret my purchase decision.


But mainly the biggest price differentiator is the brand. Big brands have the name, they have market trust, people know what an iPhone is, what a Samsung Galaxy is, you go to the most remote places on earth, there will be a kid running around with a Samsung. They can easily mark up their prices because of this, they know, consumers will still buy them. Apple used to be the worst at this, basically adding a 25% mark up because of their name, however, Samsung has followed suit recently too, and it was the main reason I didn’t want to go back to a Samsung phone again, overpaying, for the brand, it just didn’t sit right. Of course there is other factors to consider like all the R&D the big companies do, whereas companies like Realme basically steal and copy paste, but if you as a consumer only care about what you get as a final product and not what the company had to invest to get there, then a phone like the Realme is for you.


In conclusion, I am more than happy with my purchase, in every aspect bar one, this is a complete upgrade for me, even though it’s a budget oriented device, and the entire experience, as well as composing this review, made me realize that I should have dropped my brand loyalty a few years ago, and started looking at products for what they offered, rather than the brand that was offering them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now