If you feel like you’ve been seeing a lot of mini massage gun reviews lately, it’s not Deja Vu. The RENPHO R3 is the latest of a long line of massage guns that have been pouring into our testing queue. Contrary to what we initially supposed, we’ve slowly grown fond of them and have been impressed with the handful of mini massagers we’ve reviewed thus far. The RENPHO R3 is no exception.
RENPHO R3 SPECS & DESIGN
The fact that the R3 is classified as “mini” massage gun is, in our opinion, a bit of a misnomer. Yes, it’s small in size, but also large relative to the addsfit Mini, for example. The R3 would perhaps fit better in a mid-size massage gun category if such a thing even exists. Discrepancies in nomenclature aside, we think the size of this particular massage gun would appease even Goldilocks; not too big, not too small, but just right.
Left to Right: Erin BANTAM, RENPHO R3, addsfit MINI, LifePro DynaMini
Measuring 7.3 x 5.7 x 2.3 inches and weighing only 1.5 lbs, you will be immediately drawn to the RENPHO R3 the moment you open the grey heather case. The RENPHO R3 feels light and well balanced in the hand with the majority of the weight allocated to the silicone wrapped handle. With an even weight distribution across the body, the R3 is very comfortable to operate, even for prolonged massage sessions.
For the most part, the construction of the R3 feels well put together. We did notice that the exterior plastic body tends to creak at some of the seams. Granted it’s fairly insignificant, but an observation nonetheless.
Powered on, we didn’t notice any unusual knocks or ticks. If anything, the brushless internal motor is a pretty smooth operator. We’re only guessing, but we’d estimate that it gets no louder than about 55 decibels on the highest setting. That’s great news for the Netflix and chill crowd. Now you can have a great massage while binging your guilty pleasure. Bonus!
Battery Life & Charging
While we’re on the topic of binging, you’ll be happy to know that you can use the RENPHO R3 for up to 6 hours (on the lowest setting). Take it from us and the handful of 1-star reviewers that claim it made them sorer, just don’t do that all at once. If you’re unsure on how to use it or need some helpful advice, check out our simple to follow How To Use a Massage Gun Guide. Thank us later.
From 0 to 100%, it takes about 2-3 hours to fully charge the 2500mAh lithium ion non-removable battery. And thanks to the more universal USB-C charging port, you can top off the battery with almost any cell phone or laptop charging cable. That feature nets RENPHO some major brownie points in our book.
Power & Performance
Now to answer the burning question, “How does it perform?”
The answer to that question is a little two-sided and complicated. Here’s the gist of it: Strictly by the numbers, for a mini massage gun, it’s a performer. It’s more powerful than most others in this segment and it’s quiet while doing so. However, in a real life comparative scenario, a full-sized massage gun will outdo it every time.
We say that because we think most people want to know if the RENPHO R3 could substitute a much more unwieldy, larger massage gun and still reap the same benefit.
While we will always elaborate on the various pros and cons of purchasing one of these niche devices, the one unwavering takeaway is that your overall satisfaction relies heavily on one premise: If you need a strong percussive massager, a mini massage gun is not your solution. The same goes for the RENPHO R3.
The #1 limiting factor of a massage gun of this size is the massage head amplitude. The higher the amplitude, the longer the massage head travel. The longer the travel, the deeper the massage. Get it?
In the case of the R3, it has an amplitude of just 10mm. That’s not very much and as a result, the massage feels more like a vibration rather than a percussion. Contrast that to something like the Theragun Elite with a 16mm amplitude, and you’ll really notice the difference.
Ultimately, we think it boils down to personal preference. Based on buyer’s feedback, many find the massage force to be the perfect amount.
All things considered, if you keep your expectations in check, you’ll absolutely love all that the R3 has to offer.
Overall, the RENPHO R3 comes in a neat, tidy, compact package. Everything included is pretty standard fair, but it’s all that you really need too.
The 5 massage heads are more than sufficient to hit whatever area of the body you need. We particularly like the cushioned massage head for its versatility and given that it just feels good to use on almost any muscle. 2 extra rubber massage head grommets are also included should they wear out and become less than snug. The last thing you want is a projectile attachment.
A USB-C cable is also included, but not a charger itself. We suppose the idea is that most people already have a drawer full of chargers already and you can simply repurpose them. Alternatively just plug the USB-C cable into any USB port (laptop, computer, car outlet) and you’ll get a steady recharge.
Last but not least is an included instruction manual. It outlines the usual safety precautions and features. Nothing groundbreaking, but if you’ve never used a massage gun before, it has clear, legible instructions to get you started.
We very much enjoy using the RENPHO R3. As we mentioned in the beginning, it’s in a class of its own when it comes down to size and that’s perfectly ok. The much more expensive Hypervolt GO is a close match, but costs twice as much. And no, we wouldn’t recommend it over the R3.
While it may lack the true portability of a legitimate “mini massage gun”, it doesn’t miss the mark by much. In fact, we think you’ll appreciate the extra power the RENPHO R3 offers over its competitors.
All said, the R3 is a solid massage gun choice, backed by a 1 year warranty.