Gadget Guide – Realme X3 SuperZoom


With its new X3 and X3 SuperZoom devices, Realme has again raised the bar for what consumers should expect from a mid-range high-end Smartphone. With Prices starting from only for the Realme X3 and for the Realme X3 SuperZoom, you can expect a high-end 4G SoC, a fast 120Hz display and high-quality optics. Today we look at the X3 SuperZoom, the highlight of which is an impressive telephoto camera, equipped with 5x optical zoom and 60x hybrid zoom. Periscope-style camera systems have been used in more expensive Android phones, but with the X3 SuperZoom, Realme brings this technology closer to a wider audience.

If you only look at the specifications and price, the Realme X3 SuperZoom seems to be a super versatile. Should you buy it rather than other such inexpensive offers like the Realme X2 Pro (Test) or the OnePlus 7T (Test)? Let’s find out.

Superzoom Realme X3 Cameras: Super in broad daylight

The main difference between the Realme X3 and the SuperZoom model is the telephoto camera. The X3 SuperZoom has an 8-megapixel periscope-style camera that provides 5x Optical Zoom. This device also has an f / 3.4 aperture and optical stabilization. Other cameras include a primary with a 64-megapixel Samsung GW1 sensor, an 8-megapixel Wide-Angle camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. For Selfies, you get two cameras built into the display, a 32-megapixel main camera with a Sony IMX616 sensor and an aperture of 1: 2.5 and an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera with an aperture of 1: 2.2.

The camera app provides buttons in the viewfinder to switch to zoom levels such as 2x, 5x and 10x. The zoom buttons turn into a vertical slider when you long press them for more detailed zoom control. You can press the cursor up to 60x, which is possible even in night mode. The X3 SuperZoom digitally enlarges a scene up to about 4.9 x, then switches to the telephoto camera up to 60x.

Although you get 5x magnification, the true optical zoom level seems to be about 2.1 times what I got by dividing the focal lengths of the main camera and the telephoto camera. Most Phonemakers never give true optical zoom values, as they are often much lower than the advertised numbers, which probably does not allow very good Marketing.

Of course, I had to compare the image quality of the Realme X3 SuperZoom with some of the best Smartphones I could get my hands on: the OnePlus 8 Pro (Test) and the Samsung Galaxy S20+ (Test). With a 5x Zoom, the image quality of the X3 SuperZoom is impressive. This phone was able to capture better details than the 8 Pro and the Galaxy S20+, which speaks volumes. At 10x magnification, the Galaxy S20 + caught up, but the X3 SuperZoom continued to produce a sharp image with good detail and slipped on the OnePlus 8 Pro.

With a 20x Zoom, we see that the Galaxy S20 + has the sharpest image, but due to aggressive noise reduction, most textures also become flatter. The OnePlus 8 Pro prefers details over noise, which is why the filming looks a bit grainy, but the edges sharper. The recording recorded with the X3 SuperZoom is somewhere in between, as it cleans sounds perfectly, but also crushes details into the shadows.

At 30x, the quality of the photos taken by all three phones degrades, but the 8 Pro creates slightly better details. The X3 SuperZoom can continue up to 60x, and as you see, the image quality suffers quite a bit. Considering the price difference between the X3 SuperZoom and the others, this is overall an impressive feat.

In low light conditions, the telephoto camera captures bad details unless you use one of the night modes. The Realme X3 SuperZoom features Nightscape 4.0, which includes additional filming modes in low-light conditions, called Pro Nightscape and Starry. The former essentially offers you manual control and only works with the main camera, while the latter can capture stars and constellations in the sky. I was unable to capture any stars due to a constantly cloudy monsoon sky, but I hope it will work under appropriate conditions. Star mode works with main and telephoto cameras.

In tripod mode, the shutter stays open longer to allow more light to enter the sensor, but it is more effective if the phone stands still against something or on a tripod. This is another handy feature, and I managed to capture some beautiful scenery at dusk with this one. It can be used with main, wide angle and telephoto cameras.

Night mode also works for the wide-angle camera, which helps capture better details. Surprisingly, the main camera failed to take very good quality photos in low light conditions without night mode. In Auto mode, textures generally looked blurry and granular, and edges were poorly defined. Night mode helped to solve this problem, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

The main sensor really shines when photographing during the day. The details and colors are generally good and even the wide-angle camera can follow. Close-ups in broad daylight also look good, with lots of detail and bright colors. The macro camera works great, provided there is a good amount of light around. Even without a dedicated depth sensor, portrait photos with a fairly accurate edge detection looked good.

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