Last year Oppo launched its Realme budget sub-brand in India, taking inspiration from Xiaomi’s Redmi in both name and business model. The strategy seems to have been successful. Realme was India’s third biggest smartphone brand over the Diwali shopping season, according to Counterpoint Research, while IDC figures put it in fourth place for the fourth quarter of 2018 — one place ahead of Oppo itself.
Now Realme is launching its first 2019 device, the Realme 3, and it’s another impressive exercise in managing to bring advanced features down to a super-low price point. For comparison, the Realme 1 only came out last May and didn’t even have a fingerprint sensor. But the 3 could easily pass for a flagship-level device at first glance.
Key to this is the 6.22-inch LCD with a "waterdrop” notch, which first showed up in Oppo’s F9 and later made its way to the OnePlus 6T. I still like the way it looks, even in this age of hole-punch displays and sliding cameras. The "chin” at the bottom of the screen is a little larger than you’d expect on a flagship device but it isn’t a big deal, especially not for this category. While the screen isn’t going to blow you away with its 720p resolution or passable viewing angles, it’s fine in regular use.