The upcoming school year can be overwhelming for some. Since the new normal has forced most educational institutions to resort to online learning, students are required to own a smart device to participate in online classes. So if you don’t own one, and you’re looking for a smartphone that doesn’t break the bank, then check out the Realme C11.
Priced at only Php4,990, this device is well-equipped with the right specs and features for the students of the new normal. But is it the one you should get? We find out in our Realme C11 Review.
Realme C11 Specs
- Android 10, Realme UI
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 6.5-inch HD+ IPS display, 1600 x 720 pixel resolution, ~269ppi
- 2.3GHz MediaTek Helio G35 octa-core processor
- 2GB RAM
- IMG PowerVR GE8320 GPU
- 32GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
- 5-megapixel front camera, f/2.4
- 13-megapixel (f/2.2) + 2-megapixel (depth sensor) rear cameras, LED flash
- Face unlock
- HSPA+, 4G LTE
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth 5.0
- GPS, GLONASS, BDS
- Dimensions: 164.4 x 75.9 x 9.1mm
- Weight: 196g
- Colors: Mint Green, Pepper Grey
- 5,000mAh non-removable battery, 10W fast charger
Design and Build Quality
Gone are the days where entry-level phones are cheaply built and poorly designed. As you can see, the Realme C11 looks really interesting. It has a textured back plastic back panel, with a large vertical stripe accent that transcends from the square camera glass to the large Realme logo on the bottom.
The unit we have here is the Pepper Grey color, which looks really unique and stealthy. A Mint Green option is also available if you want something with a livelier color.
Realme didn’t mention what glass they used on the screen, but they did pre-applied a screen protector for extra peace of mind. Overall, the build of the Realme C11 is really solid, with no weird flexing or anything.
The physical buttons feel well-made, too. Both the volume controls and the lock/power button are on the left and provides great tactility and audible clicky sound when pressed.
On the other side, we have the SIM tray, which can house two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card all at the same time.
On the front, we have the large 6.5-inch screen, with ultra-thin bezels made possible by the waterdrop notch on top, resulting to a decent 88.7% screen-to-body ratio.
It has a height of 164.4mm, thickness of 9.1mm, and a weight of 196g. It’s not the most compact device of all, but it’s relatively comfortable to hold and operate.
For a device under Php5,000, design and build quality isn’t really a top priority. That’s why we appreciate Realme for going out of their way in making the Realme C11 look good and feel solid.
Display and Audio Quality
The Realme C11 sports a 6.5-inch HD+ IPS screen, with a 1600 x 720 pixel resolution and 269ppi. No fancy extras here. The size is large enough for multitasking while the sharpness, although a bit lacking, is serviceable enough. You can watch movies or read articles comfortably on this thing.
On the bottom, we have a single loudspeaker and a microphone. The bottom-firing speaker offers surprisingly loud volume and audible bass for listening to music or conversing in video calls. For a better listening experience — or video conferences — you can check some of Realme’s affordable earphones.
Hardware and Performance
Having an attractive design and a large display is good and all, but for this price range, performance is what’s important. With the Realme C11, you’re getting a 2.3Ghz MediaTek Helio G35 octa-core processor, making it one of the firsts to have it. Handling the graphics is the IMG PowerVR GE8320 GPU.
Realme C11 benchmark scores:
Quick disclaimer: The review unit we got has 3GB of RAM and not the 2GB model that will be actually available in the Philippines. This translates to a slight difference in app loading times and multitasking.
The storage is the same at 32GB, but 12.8GB is reserved for system memory, so you’re left with about 19GB of storage to use. Thankfully, there’s a microSD card slot that can accommodate up to 256GB of external storage.
So, how it did perform? Well, let’s just say…. it’s not the fastest, but it sure is decent for the price. To get the most out of the processor, you can leave the Performance Mode enabled all the time. It has a large 5,000mAh battery so it should still last for an entire day.
With that, browsing the interface, flicking through social media apps, taking pictures, and making video calls are smooth enough to be bearable for daily use.
Gaming was also decent, but not the best. You can stick to low or medium settings to have a playable experience in games like Call of Duty. Mobile Legends also ran tolerably under the graphics settings that you can see in the screenshot above.
Software and User Interface
Just like its siblings, the Realme C11 runs on the latest Android 10-based Realme UI. It’s a departure from OPPO’s ColorOS, but with some similarities left.
The home screen looks neat, with the easily accessible Google Search widget on the bottom. Swiping up easily launches the app drawer. Swiping down reveals the search tab that do local search of your apps, contacts, and more.
On the top, we have the notifications tab and the control center, right in their usual places. If you’re heavy in customization, you can change the home screen mode to Drawer, Standard, or Simple Mode where every icons and text are larger and easier to read.
You can also pick different themes, wallpapers, and icon styles.
Users can also pick between different navigation buttons or gestures. For multitasking, you can swipe up using three fingers to enable split screen mode.
A Game Space app is pre-installed to let you easily launch games, choose between Low Power, Balanced, and Competition modes, and disable notifications for less distraction while playing.
The Realme C11 didn’t come with a lot of bloatware, but those which are pre-installed can be removed easily. Realme also used the familiar and intuitive Google Keyboard on this thing. Plus, the camera app is easy to use.
Overall, we’re satisfied with the software on the Realme C11. Hopefully, it continuously gets software updates over time.
It doesn’t have the fanciest camera around, but we’re pretty pleased with what the Realme C11 has. This thing has a single 5-megapixel selfie snapper on the front, while on the back we have a dual-camera setup consisting of a 13-megapixel main shooter and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.
The 13-megapixel camera takes okay photos, but nothing too impressive. At good lighting, the image looks clean with the right amount of detail, acceptable contrast and colors, and so-so dynamic range. Unsurprisingly, the low-light photos are pretty bad.
You can enable the Chroma Boost feature on the camera apps to add extra colors to the images.
The 2-megapixel depth sensor does its job fine. It can distinguish the subject to isolate it from the background well, creating a DSLR-like depth-of-field effect.
Meanwhile, the 5-megapixel front-facing camera on the Realme C11 also takes decent photos. It’s sharp enough for taking selfies or for video calls. Low-light photos is also decent, but more noise and grains are introduced.
The AI Face Beauty is present, too. But be careful about using it as it will further decrease the details and sharpness from the already low-resolution sensor.
With its cheap price tag, the Realme C11 didn’t get to have a fingerprint scanner. Albeit, it does use the 5-megapixel selfie camera for the Face Unlock feature, which worked decently in our tests.
Software-level privacy features like App Lock, Kid Space, and Private Safe are also present to prevent anyone from using a specific app or help you hide any sensitive files or data.
The Realme C11 comes with 4G LTE, single-band WiFi, and Bluetooth 5.0 — all of which worked well during our testing. The mobile network was reliable enough, so you can stay connected even if you don’t have WiFi at home.
Call quality is also decent using the earpiece and the single microphone. No issues here.
Brands tend to compensate in the battery if the overall specs are underwhelming. So with the Realme C11, you’re getting a large 5,000mAh battery.
If you’re doing video calls and school works all day, then you might have to reach for the 10W charger every night. But if you’re a light to moderate user, you can easily stretch the battery for two days or more.
The Realme C11 is one of the most complete smartphones in the entry-level category. It has a large screen, a capable processor that can handle gaming, a long and reliable battery life, and satisfactory camera quality.
What’s more, Realme wrapped all those features in an attractive body. Pretty much everything you need if you’re a student taking online classes, or just looking for a capable device that doesn’t break the bank, is on this budget smartphone.
If we were to nitpick, we wish that Realme included a clear case and earphones in the box. A fingerprint scanner would be nice too. But I guess that’s too much to ask for the price.
Realme C11 price and availability in the Philippines
The Realme C11 has an official price of Php4,990. It will be initially available in Shopee starting July 23, and will be available through Realme stores nationwide on the 24th.
- Attractive design
- Large display, surprisingly good speakers
- Capable processor
- Long battery life
- Acceptable camera in good lighting
- Clean interface
- No clear case, earphones included
- No fingerprint scanner