Realme 3 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy M30: The obvious choice

There have never been more options in the highly competitive $200-$250 price segment. In a clash between reigning smartphone stalwarts and sprightly upstarts, it is the consumers who end up winning.

Realme is one such upstart that has carved out a definite niche for itself by providing top-notch hardware, great cameras and an equally good software experience. In our Realme 3 Pro review, we found the phone to be a fairly competitive device that presents itself as an alternative to the popular Redmi Note 7 Pro.

However, Samsung too has been hitting it out of the park with their refreshed focus on the mid-range. The Samsung Galaxy M30 is one such phone that packs a gorgeous AMOLED display and a huge battery. Which one should you choose? We help you make a decision in our Realme 3 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy M30 comparison.

Design

Both phones employ a polycarbonate finish that is equal parts resistant to damage from drops and a bit of a scuff magnet. We’ve had the two phones around for a few weeks now and there are very clear and evident signs of scratches and scuffs. Keeping up with the latest design trends, both phones have a gradient-rich design that looks quite good. The Realme 3 Pro has a bit more flair to it. Between the more interesting color scheme and the gold trim around the camera module, the Realme 3 definitely has a more interesting look from the back.

Realme 3 Pro vs Galaxy M30 showing back of the phone

Flip the phones over and the Realme 3 Pro and Samsung Galaxy M30 look remarkably similar. Both devices have a waterdrop notch and large displays. To be fair, there is little room for differentiation here, as all smartphones move towards a homogeneous design with minimal bezels, small notches, and the smallest chin possible.

Realme 3 Pro vs Galaxy M30 front notches

Other differences are fairly minimal. Button layouts between the two phones differ, and the Realme 3 Pro sports a Micro-USB port, which is a definite downer. The two phones weigh approximately the same, which is an interesting point given the much larger battery capacity on the Galaxy M30.

Display

While the notch might have stylistic differences, the biggest differentiator between the Realme 3 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy M30 is the kind of screen used. The Realme 3 Pro has a 6.3-inch IPS LCD panel while the Galaxy M30 sports a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display. The difference is stark and while the Realme 3 Pro’s screen looks quite good, the deep blacks and vibrant colors of the M30 can’t be beat.

Realme 3 Pro vs Galaxy M30 showing display

Viewing angles are generally great on both phones but the Super AMOLED panel on the M30 really takes the cake for being one of the most visually appealing displays at this price point. The Galaxy M30 allows you to adjust screen saturation levels and color profiles to suit your preferences. The Realme 3 Pro too lets you change the saturation levels, but the implementation just isn’t as effective. As an aside, both phones support the Widevine L1 DRM so you should have no trouble streaming high resolution content from Netflix and others.

Performance

Realme 3 Pro

  • Snapdragon 710
  • 4GB or 6GB RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB storage
  • micro SD expansion

Galaxy M30

  • Exynos 7904
  • 4GB or 6GB of RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB storage
  • micro SD expansion

As far as performance is concerned, there really is no comparison between the two phones. The Realme 3 Pro is, by far, a much more powerful device compared to the Galaxy M30. The Snapdragon 710 chipset used on the Realme 3 Pro ensures that it can handily keep up with any and all tasks you might throw at it. Be it heavy multitasking or just regular day-to-day use, there is enough power under the hood to ensure no slowdowns or noticeable lags.

The Galaxy M30’s Exynos 7904 chipset is a definite downgrade in comparison. Yes, you might not notice much of a difference in regular day-to-day tasks, but heavier apps and games will definitely take just a bit longer to start. Simply put, it is a slower processor and it shows once you start pushing the hardware.

Avoid the Galaxy M30 if gaming is a priority.

Graphics capabilities are where the two phones differ the most. Where the Adreno 616 GPU is able to crank out high frame rates at the maximum graphics setting in PUBG, the M30’s Mali G71 MP2 struggles at delivering a solid frame rate even at the medium graphics option. The M30 is one to avoid if gaming is a priority.

Realme 3 Pro AnTuTu
Screenshot of the Samsung Galaxy M30 AnTuTu benchmark results.

Benchmark scores validate our own tests and there is a huge difference between the Realme 3 Pro and Galaxy M30 in the AnTuTu benchmark.

Battery

A bigger battery or faster charging, that’s what you will have to choose between when deciding between the Realme 3 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy M30. A 4,000mAh battery is no slouch and the Realme 3 Pro can easily last you well over a day of use. Add to that VOOC 3.0 charging and you’ve got a phone that can be topped off from scratch in just about 70 minutes.

Bigger battery or faster charging, what do you prefer?

The Realme 3 Pro has great battery life but the Samsung Galaxy M30 manages to top that with an enormous 5,000mAh battery onboard. The phone comfortably manages two days of use. While not as fast as VOOC charging, the 15W fast charger included with the phone can top off the phone fairly quickly.

Camera

Realme 3 Pro vs Galaxy M30 close up of cameras

Realme 3 Pro

  • 16MP, f/1.7
  • 5MP depth sensor
  • 25MP front facing camera

Galaxy M30

  • 13MP, f/1.9
  • 5MP ultra wide camera
  • 5MP depth sensor
  • 16MP front facing camera

The Realme 3 Pro’s dual-camera array faces competition from a triple-camera combination on the Galaxy M30. It would be hard to call either phone as best in class, that crown goes to the Redmi Note 7 Pro, but they are both capable of capturing perfectly serviceable shots.

Galaxy M30 Outdoors Realme 3 Pro Outdoors Galaxy M30 Outdoors

Realme 3 Pro Outdoors

Out and about in bright daylight, the Realme 3 Pro has a cooler cast to the image and it gives the image a slight saturation boost that makes colors pop. The Galaxy M30 too doesn’t quite get the colors right but the warmer cast might make the images a bit more appealing to look at.

Galaxy M30 Outdoor Wide Angle

The one area where the Galaxy M30 definitely has the Realme 3 Pro beat is in the secondary wide-angle camera. Picture quality falls far short of excellent but the sheer flexibility can’t be beat. The ultra-wide camera offers a lot of opportunities to get creative with photography.

Galaxy M30 Realme 3 Pro Galaxy M30

Realme 3 Pro

The Realme 3 Pro’s HDR mode is a lot more effective at containing highlights and bringing out details from dark areas. The Galaxy M30, on the right, burns out the yellow petals. The Realme 3 Pro does a much better job here.

Galaxy M30 Indoors Realme 3 Pro Indoors Galaxy M30 Indoors

Realme 3 Pro Indoors

In less than perfect lighting, noise levels go up on both phones. While I prefer the warmer color signature of the Galaxy M30, the image is noticeably softer compared to the one captured by the Realme 3 Pro. Noise levels are also higher than you would expect. In extreme low-light conditions, the Realme 3 Pro has a night mode built-in, that can produce a brighter but extremely noisy image.

The Realme 3 Pro can capture 4K video at 30FPS as well as super slow-motion 960fps video. The Galaxy M30 on the other hand maxes out at Full HD video recording. Recorded footage looks comparable on both phones, but the lack of any form of stabilization tends to make videos look shaky.

Software

Realme 3 Pro

  • Android Pie
  • Color OS 6
Samsung Galaxy M30

  • Android Oreo
  • Samsung Experience 9.5 UI

There are pros and cons to the software approach on both devices. The Samsung Galaxy M30 still runs on Android Oreo. With the upcoming release of Android Q, it is appalling to see a top-tier manufacturer ship a phone with such an old software build. That said, Samsung Experience 9.5 on the phone has been polished to a sheen and the user experience is incredible. Samsung has done a brilliant job of optimizing the software for the hardware and you will struggle to find slowdowns or jitters in the interface. There are ample features here to customize your entire phone usage experience.

Meanwhile, the Realme 3 Pro runs a newer build of Android. Color OS 6 runs on top of Android Pie and it too, gives you a lot of options to tweak the phone’s interface to your liking. Unfortunately, in our review, we observed that the software wasn’t quite polished enough. From the awkward translations to some less than optimal hard-coded options, the Realme 3 Pro’s software needs a bit more work.

Specs

  Realme 3 Pro Samsung Galaxy M30
Display 6.3-inch IPS LCD display
2340 x 1080 resolution
6.4 inches, 1080 x 2340 pixels (~394 ppi), ‘Infinity-V’ Super AMOLED
Processor 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710
Adreno 616 GPU
Exynos 7904 (2 x Cortex A73 at 1.8GHz, 6 x Cortex A53 at 1.6GHz)
Mali-G71 MP2
RAM 4/6GB 4/6GB
Storage 64/128GB 64/128GB
Micro SD Expansion
Camera 16MP (IMX519) + 5MP dual rear cameras
25MP front-facing camera
Rear: 13MP, f/1.9, 5MP, f/2.2 Ultra Wide 120 degrees, 5MP, f/2.2 Depth Sensor
Battery 4,045mAh
VOOC 3.0 fast charging
5,000mAh, USB-C
15W Fast Charging
Software ColorOS 6.0
based on Android 9 Pie
Android 8.1.0, Samsung Experience 9.5
Dimensions 156.8 x 74.2 x 8.3mm
172grams
159 x 75.1 x 8.4 mm
174 grams
Price 13,999 rupees – 4GB RAM/64GB storage
15,999 rupees – 6GB RAM/64GB storage
16,999 rupees – 6GB RAM/128GB storage
14,990 rupees – 4GB RAM/64GB storage
17,990 rupees – 6GB RAM/128GB storage

Value for money

As more users upgrade from entry level smartphones to something with a bit more grunt, smartphone manufacturers are doing their best to offer the best possible hardware package in this segment. Both the Realme 3 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy M30 offer rather good value for money by targeting very different audiences.

It is clear that the Galaxy M30 is directed towards users who aren’t too demanding from their phones and need something that does the basics right. Couple that with great battery life and you’ve got a winner on hand. The Galaxy M30 is priced at 14,990 rupees (~$210) for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version, while you can step up to the 6GB RAM variant with 128GB of storage for 17,990 rupees (~$250).

The Realme 3 Pro is meant for gamers or users who demand more from their hardware. The software isn’t as polished and the battery isn’t as big, but the Realme 3 Pro’s Snapdragon 710 can run circles around the Exynos 7904 on the M30. The Realme 3 Pro starts at 13,999 rupees (~$200) for 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, and goes up to 16,999 (~$245) for 6GB RAM and 128GB storage.

A third alternative, of course, is the Redmi Note 7 Pro. A brilliant package, the phone combines a Snapdragon 675 chipset with a flagship level 48-megapixel camera that is capable of capturing truly brilliant photos. The base model of the Redmi Note 7 Pro with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage is priced at 13,999 rupees (~$196) while the higher-end option with 6GB RAM with 64GB of storage is available for 16,999 rupees (~$243).

Realme 3 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy M30: Our Verdict

Realme 3 Pro vs Galaxy M30 back and logos

Between the Realme 3 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy M30, we would opt for the Realme. For our money it offers better performance, a battery that lasts long enough and a camera that resolves a bit more detail. That’s not to say that the Galaxy M30 is a bad phone but the antiquated software build does not exude confidence and it remains to be seen how well the lower-end hardware holds up over years of use.

How to get Android Q beta 3 on compatible non-Pixel phones

It’s great to see Android Q beta 3 with so many new features, but it’s also great to see the beta open up to non-Pixel phones. Here’s how to get Android Q beta 3 for compatible non-Pixel phones.

Asus Zenfone 5Z

Zen UI

According to Asus, known issues include SD cards with exFAT format not being supported and no beep when the volume up or down buttons are pressed.

  1. Turn off your Zenfone 5Z.
  2. Hold down the Power and Volume Up buttons until your phone reboots.
  3. Connect your Zenfone 5Z to your PC.
  4. Download and decompress the Android Q’s image file.
  5. Double-click on “update_image.bat,” which starts the flash image command
  6. When the flash finishes, hit the Enter key to restart your Zenfone 5Z.

Essential Phone

Before we start, make sure to download the factory image. Also, download the fastboot tool from the Android SDK Platform-Tools package and add it to your path so the flash scripts can find it.

Finally, turn on OEM Unlocking and USB Debugging from within Developer options. To get to developer options, tap the build number multiple times until you see the “You are now a developer!” pop-up message.

  1. Connect your Essential Phone to your PC.
  2. Use the ADB tool to run the command adb reboot bootloader
  3. Reboot your phone while holding the Volume Down button.
  4. Unlock your bootloader.
    1. Run the command fastboot flashing unlock
    2. Use the Volume Down button to go to the YES option and press the Power button to confirm
    3. While your Essential Phone is rebooting, press and hold the Volume Down button to return to Fastboot mode.
  5. Flash your factory image.
    1. Unzip the previously-downloaded factory image and go to where you unzipped the files.
    2. On Windows, run the command flashall.bat
    3. On Linux and MacOS X, run the command flashall.sh
  6. Relock your bootloader
    1. You don’t have to re-lock your bootloader, though doing so improves security.
    2. Run the command fastboot flashing lock
    3. Go back to Fastboot mode and run the command fastboot flashing lock_critical

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The twilight back of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Keep in mind that you must have released at least one app on the Google Play Store and use a Huawei Mate 20 Pro to qualify. Also, your Huawei ID must be registered with the same email address used for your Google Play Store developer account.

Finally, the beta is available from tomorrow, May 8 through June 30. After registration, the first version of Android Q beta 3 will be pushed out this Saturday, May 11. Following versions will be pushed out every Tuesday and Thursday.

You can go here to learn more about possible restrictions.

  1. Open this link on your Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
  2. Download and install the Beta app from the aforementioned link.
  3. Log in to the app with a Huawei ID registered with the Google Play Developer account’s email.
  4. Sign up for the Huawei Mate 20 Pro Developer project.

LG G8 ThinQ

LG G8 ThinQ Review display

Before installing Android Q beta 3, LG advises device owners to do a factory reset of their devices. Also, known issues include the camera with limited functionality, SD cards over 32GB not being recognized, Wi-Fi hotspot not working, voice calls over a Bluetooth headset not working, and some apps on the Google Play Store not working due to Q-OS compatibility issues.

Finally, you’ll have to use LG Beta Downloader every time there’s an update.

  1. Download and install LG Beta Downloader v1.0 or later (only works on Windows).
  2. Start LG Beta Downloader and follow the displayed instructions.

Nokia 8.1

The Nokia 8.1 screen.

Note that the beta only supports models TA-1119, TA-1121, and TA-1128 and associated 00WW images. Also, you must go here to sign up for a Nokia account and add the Nokia 8.1 to your account. From there, you can request Android Q beta 3 for your device.

Nokia is cagey on exact instructions, so make sure to have a compatible Nokia 8.1 device and follow the on-screen instructions.

OnePlus 6/6T

Even though the OnePlus 7 series also supports Android Q beta 3, the phones aren’t out yet. We’ll update this section with any new steps once the OnePlus 7 phones launch.

  1. Download the latest ROM upgrade zip package from the specified server, which you’ll find below.
    1. OnePlus 6
    2. OnePlus 6T
  2. Copy the Rollback package to the phone storage.
  3. Go to Settings -> System -> System Updates.
  4. Tap the top right icon, then tap Local upgrade.
  5. Tap on the corresponding installation upgrade, then tap Upgrade -> System upgrade completed to 100%.
  6. After the upgrade is complete, tap Restart.
  7. Your phone will reboot into recovery mode to format user data, then reboot again after updating.

Oppo Reno

Oppo Reno Hands On rear glass panel

Oppo hasn’t yet posted instructions on how to get Android Q beta 3 for the Oppo Reno. We’ll update this section once that changes.

Realme 3 Pro

Realme 3 Pro back of the phone

Realme hasn’t yet posted instructions on how to get Android Q beta 3 for the Realme 3 Pro. We’ll update this section once that changes.

Sony Xperia XZ3

Sony notes that only versions H8416, H9436, and H9493 of the Xperia XZ3 support Android Q beta 3. Also, Sony advises that device owners factory reset their devices before flashing the software.

  1. Go here to download the latest version of the Xperia Companion app on your PC.
  2. Start the Xperia Companion app.
  3. Hold down the Alt key on your keyboard and click on Software Repair on the homescreen.
  4. Tick the checkbox My device cannot be detected or started, then click Next.
  5. Wait for the initialization to complete, then follow the on-screen instructions.

Every subsequent software update for Android Q will be an OTA update. As such, you don’t have to use the Xperia Companion app unless you want to return to factory settings.

Tecno Spark 3 Pro

Press render of the Tecno Spark 3 Pro.

Tecno hasn’t yet posted instructions on how to get Android Q beta 3 for the Spark 3 Pro. We’ll update this section once that changes.

Vivo X27

Press render of the Vivo X27.

Vivo notes that the first version will be released this month, with the second version releasing in early July. Once Android Q is available to the public, Vivo will no longer release beta updates.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Vivo X27.
  2. Copy the firmware package to the root directory of the Vivo X27’s storage.
  3. Tap on the software package, then select Start Upgrade when prompted.

Vivo Nex S

Vivo Nex

As previously mentioned, there will be an update in early July. Vivo will end the beta program once Android Q is publicly available.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Vivo Nex S.
  2. Copy the firmware package to the root directory of the Vivo X27’s storage.
  3. Tap on the software package, then select Start Upgrade when prompted.

Vivo Nex A

As previously mentioned, there will be an update in early July. Vivo will end the beta program once Android Q is publicly available.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Vivo Nex A.
  2. Copy the firmware package to the root directory of the Vivo X27’s storage.
  3. Tap on the software package, then select Start Upgrade when prompted.

Xiaomi Mi 9

Xiaomi Mi 9 hero shot

Xiaomi notes that there are seven known issues with Android Q beta 3 for the Mi 9. You can read the known issues below.

  • Alarm does not ring when the device is switched off.
  • Device restarts after user selects wireless projection device in the Wireless display.
  • Settings app stops running after user deactivates shortcut to mute device.
  • Settings app stops running when Gesture is selected in Settings.
  • File app stops running after refresh.
  • Unable to switch screen color in Settings.
  • Unable to add a fingerprint.

Also, you must opt-in through the fastboot method that’s listed in the steps below.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Xiaomi Mi 9.
  2. Download the MIUI ROM Flashing Tool.
  3. Unlock your device.
  4. Turn off your Mi 9.
  5. Press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons to enter Fastboot mode.
  6. Connect the Mi 9 to your PC.
  7. Double-click the downloaded firmware to decompress it.
  8. Open the file folder for the decompressed firmware and copy its path on the PC.
  9. Once the MIUI ROM Flashing Tool is installed, open MiFlash.exe and paste it into the address bar the firmware file folder path copied in the previous step.
  10. Click the first button (circled out in yellow) to refresh.
  11. Click the second button (circled out in red) to flash the firmware to your Mi 9.

If these steps don’t help you, you can download the Mi PC Suite. From there, put your Mi 9 in Fastboot mode, connect the phone to your PC, and select the firmware.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G logo

Xiaomi notes that there are seven known issues with Android Q beta 3 for the Mi Mix 3 5G. You can read the known issues below.

  • Alarm does not ring when the device is switched off.
  • Device restarts after user selects wireless projection device in the Wireless display.
  • Default print service stops after device connects to Wi-Fi to print photos from gallery.
  • Settings app stops running after user deactivates shortcut to mute device.
  • Settings app stops running after user selects “Gestures”.
  • File app stops running after refresh.
  • Unable to switch color in settings.
  • Settings app crashes after Automatic brightness is selected.

Also, you must opt-in through the fastboot method that’s listed in the steps below.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G.
  2. Download the MIUI ROM Flashing Tool.
  3. Unlock your device.
  4. Turn off your Mi Mix 3 5G.
  5. Press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons to enter Fastboot mode.
  6. Connect the Mi Mix 3 5G to your PC.
  7. Double-click the downloaded firmware to decompress it.
  8. Open the file folder for the decompressed firmware and copy its path on the PC.
  9. Once the MIUI ROM Flashing Tool is installed, open MiFlash.exe and paste it into the address bar the firmware file folder path copied in the previous step.
  10. Click the first button (circled out in yellow) to refresh.
  11. Click the second button (circled out in red) to flash the firmware to your Mi Mix 3 5G.

If these steps don’t help you, you can download the Mi PC Suite. From there, put your Mi Mix 3 5G in Fastboot mode, connect the phone to your PC, and select the firmware.


And that’s it! Let us know in the comments if you have any of the devices listed here and plan to install Android Q beta 3.