One of the reasons Realme has stood out in the Indian smartphone market this past year is because of how quickly the company has grown by launching disruptive smartphones. The rise of Realme is quite similar to Xiaomi a few years ago, which is why one tends to make comparisons between the two brands and their phones often. Today, we plan to do just that. We are looking at the Realme 5 Pro and the Mi A3, both disruptive smartphones in their own right under Rs 15,000.
The Realme 5 Pro was launched in India on Tuesday and Xiaomi launched the Mi A3 a day later, which isn’t surprising at all. The two phones will wvy for your attention under the Rs 15,000 segment. With the Realme 5 Pro, you get a 48MP quad-camera setup, crystal design, Snapdragon 712 chipset and VOOC 3.0 fast charging. The Mi A3 gets a 48MP dual-camera system, premium glass design and Android One software.
We take a look at how the phones compare on paper to find out which one offers the best value for money.
Realme 5 Pro vs Xiaomi Mi A3: Price in India and Availability
Realme 5 Pro price starts at Rs 13,999 for the 4GB + 64GB storage option. It will also be available in 6GB + 64GB and 8GB + 128GB variants that are priced at Rs 14,999 and Rs 16,999 respectively. The first sale of the Realme 5 Pro will take place on September 4 on Flipkart and Realme.com.
Mi A3 comes in two configurations. The 4GB + 64GB storage option is priced at Rs 12,999, while the 6GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs 15,999. The Mi A3 will go on sale in India for the first time on August 23 on Amazon.com and Mi.com.
Realme 5 Pro vs Xiaomi Mi A3: Design and Display
Both the Realme 5 Pro and Mi A3 have been designed to look like premium phones. That being said Xiaomi has clearly used more premium materials such as Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back and a chrome finish covering the plastic frame. The smartphone comes in three colours – More than White, Not just Blue and Kind of Grey.
The Realme 5 Pro, in comparison, lacks that high-end look, but it makes up for it by offering a unique crystal design on its curved plastic rear panel. The diamond-cut pattern shimmers under light to make it stand out in its segment. Realme 5 Pro is offered in two colour options – Crystal Green and Sparkling Blue.
Talking about the display is a bit tricky because each phone offers something that the other doesn’t. The Mi A3, for example, sports a 6.08-inch Super AMOLED display but only delivers a standard HD+ resolution, which is a downgrade compared to the FHD resolution on the Mi A1 and Mi A2. So, on the one hand, you have an attractive OLED display with rich and vibrant colours, but the 720p resolution means picture quality will not be sharp whether you stream videos or play games.
The Realme 5 Pro brings a larger 6.3-inch display that uses an LCD panel rather than AMOLED, but offers a higher FHD+ (1080p) resolution compared to the Mi A3. It may lack the appealing OLED quality like saturated colours and deep black, but you do get a sharper panel that will deliver good picture quality, especially while streaming content on platforms like Netflix and Prime Video as the phone comes with Widevine L1 certification as well.
Realme 5 Pro vs Xiaomi Mi A3: Hardware and Software
As for the performance, the Realme 5 Pro does look good on paper. For a starting price of Rs 13,999, the Realme 5 Pro rocks a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 712 chipset, which is marginally faster and more efficient than the Snapdragon 710 SoC that powers the Realme 3 Pro. Pair this with up to 8GB of RAM and Adreno 616 GPU and the phone should deliver a smooth user experience, especially while running graphic-intensive games like PUBG.
The Mi A3, which starts at Rs 12,999, runs on a 2.0Ghz Snapdragon 665 SoC which also happens to power the Realme 5 under Rs 10,000. The Snapdragon 665 SoC is based on a 11nm process and is equipped with an Adreno 610 GPU. On paper, the chipset appears to be no match for the Snapdragon 712 SoC, but real-world usage may differ depending on how well the phone is optimised.
This brings us to the software, which is perhaps where the Mi A3 arguably looks more attractive. The Xiaomi phone is part of the Android One program and runs on a stock version of Android 9 Pie. This means no bloatware, no added customisations – just good, clean Android OS with native Google apps and nothing extra. Stock Android interface is typically easier to get used to and feels lighter as well. Additionally, as an Android One phone, the Mi A3 will receive regular software updates and at least two major software versions. Xiaomi has confirmed that the Mi A3 will be one of the first devices to get updated to Android 10.
In comparison, the Realme 5 Pro runs on ColorOS 6 based on Android Pie. ColorOS is a fairly thick skin on top of Android as it brings with it tons of bloatware like preloaded apps, heavy customisations and some features that are unique to Realme phones. Preloaded apps can be annoying to see, but ColorOS does get some useful features like lock screen magazine and Game Space.
For those looking for a clean Android user experience, the Mi A3 is the default phone to buy under Rs 15,000. But in terms of performance, you are likely to get a better experience with the Realme 5 Pro by spending Rs 1,000 more.
Cameras is another area where the Realme 5 Pro looks more exciting on paper. It is the first phone in its segment to bring a 48MP quad camera setup. So, in addition to a 48MP Sony IMX586 main sensor, the Realme 5 Pro’s quad camera system also includes an 8MP ultra wide-angle camera, 2MP macro lens and 2MP portrait lens. On the front, the phone gets a 16MP selfie camera.
The Mi A3 makes do with a triple camera setup that includes a 48MP Sony IMX586 main sensor, 8MP ultra-wide angle camera and 2MP depth sensor. So, it lacks a macro lens that you find on the Realme 5 Pro, but every other sensor on the back is mostly similar between the two devices. For selfies, the Mi A3 gets a 32MP camera, which looks better than the 16MP selfie sensor on the Realme phone.
Both the Realme 5 Pro and Mi A3 should deliver high-resolution and detailed shots in daylight. They both also get dedicated night modes that should help in low-light as well. Both phones offer versatility and various shooting modes thanks to a multi-cam setup, and the only real advantage that the Realme 5 Pro seems to have is in macros. If that’s not a major feature in your wish list, you should be satisfied with either of these phones, although we will reserve a verdict on the camera performance after an in-depth review of the phones.
The Realme 5 Pro and Mi A3 come with around 4,000mAh battery, which should be good enough to last a full day. For the Mi A3, it is a substantial upgrade over the Mi A2 which offered an underwhelming 3,000mAh capacity. Realme phones in the past have impressed with their battery life and the 4,000mAh battery with some ColorOS-based battery optimisation features should help the phone last long in between charges.
Both the phones support fast charging as well. The Mi A3 supports 18W fast charging over Type-C, while the Realme 5 Pro supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging and you get a 20W charging brick in the box.
These phones by Realme and Xiaomi are some of the best you can buy right now under Rs 15,000. On paper, the Realme 5 Pro gets an edge in the performance and camera department, while the Mi A3 looks better when it comes to design and software. Stay tuned to our in-depth review of the Realme 5 Pro and Mi A3 to find out more about these smartphones.