The new Realme C25s is a new budget smartphone that has a lot of familiar specs and features.
It’s a quick follow-up to the C25 that came out only a few months earlier. Priced at Php7,490 for the 4GB/64GB, and Php8,490 for the 4GB/128GB unit that we’re reviewing, the ultimate question we want to answer is if it’s worth your money. So, without further ado, here’s our Realme C25s review.
Realme C25s Specs
- Android 11, Realme UI 2.0
- Dual SIM, Dual standby
- 6.5-inch HD+ LCD display, 1600 x 720 pixel resolution, 269ppi
- TÜV Rheinland Smartphone High-Reliability Certification
- 2.0GHz MediaTek Helio G85 octa-core processor
- 4GB LPDDR4X RAM
- Mali G52 GPU
- 64GB/128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
- 8-megapixel front camera
- 48-megapixel (f/1.8, PDAF) + 2-megapixel (macro, f/2.4) + 2-megapixel (BnW, f/2.4) rear cameras, LED flash
- Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
- Headphone jack
- HSPA+, 4G LTE
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
- Bluetooth 5.0
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
- USB Type-C
- Dimensions: 164.5 x 75.9 x 9.6mm
- Weight: 209g
- Colors: Water Grey, Water Blue
- 6,000mAh non-removable battery, 18W fast charging
Design and Build Quality
The Realme C25s look and feel like all of the previous entry-level smartphones from the brand. It has a plastic material on the back with a matte and textured finish that keeps it safe from fingerprint smudges and possible hairline scratches over time.
As usual, there’s a vertical strip adjacent to the square camera glass, with the large realme printed on the bottom. Having the LED flash posing like the fourth camera to complete a 2×2 layout is becoming a common trend on phones today. We also have the fingerprint scanner back here.
The C25s come in two colors. There’s the Water Blue option, which the one we’re reviewing here, and a darker Water Grey color.
There’s a standard 6.5-inch HD+ screen with a traditional waterdrop notch for the selfie camera on the front. The bezels are not the thinnest, but forgivable for a budget phone.
The top is clean, while at the bottom there’s a USB Type-C port, loudspeaker, headphone jack, and built-in microphone.
On the top left, there’s the tray that can house two nano-SIM cards and a dedicated slot for a microSD card. While on the right side, we have the physical buttons. It’s protruded well enough and has a firm and tactile feel when pressed.
The overall build feels really solid, despite the plastic material. Although, possibly due to its enormous 6,000mAh battery, it’s quite heavy at 209g and thick at 9.6mm.
Expect the bulkiness to get worse when you use the free clear case. Still, for a budget device, we’re just glad that it feels built like a tank.
Display and Audio
The Realme C25s has a standard 6.5-inch HD+ IPS screen. The only extra display feature it has is the TÜV Rheinland Smartphone High-Reliability Certification.
It lacks a high refresh rate, which is honestly fine. We’ve seen similarly-priced devices with 90Hz panels but the difference is mostly unnoticeable.
That said, display quality is acceptable on the C25s. Like most budget smartphones, it does the job fine. It has the right size and color quality. Although, it would’ve been nice to have a sharper FHD+ resolution instead of HD+.
As for audio, the C25s’s single bottom-firing speaker works fine. It’s not the loudest and clearest of all, but for the price, it’ll do just fine. There’s a headphone jack on the bottom for a more immersive listening experience, but you have to provide the audio device yourself as it doesn’t come with one.
Hardware and Performance
The Realme C25s is powered by a MediaTek Helio G85 octa-core processor. That’s one of its key differences from the C25, which came with a Helio G70.
Realme C25s benchmark scores
Basic and day-to-day performance is fine and acceptable. You can browse social media, watch videos, take videos, and other basic tasks just fine. However, you’d start to notice occasional lags and stutters when you run multiple apps at once.
That’s expected since it only comes with 4GB of RAM. It would be nice if the 128GB top-tier model came with extra RAM space, but it’s the same.
MediaTek’s Helio G-series were made for gaming, and it shows on the Realme C25s. Call of Duty Mobile was playable at High Graphics Quality and High Frame Rate — the highest settings you can play the game on.
The gaming experience was relatively lag-free, albeit not the smoothest frame rate.
Software and User Interface
Like its cousins, the Realme C25s runs on the current Android 11 OS with the company’s Realme UI 2.0 interface on top. It may not be the cleanest and most impressive interface in the Android space, but it works fine and compliments the hardware really well.
That said, we got no immediate problems with the device’s interface. It looks relatively clean and straightforward.
The app drawer is enabled out of the box, which you can quickly access by swiping up from the home screen. But if you want all your apps laid out on the home screen, you can switch the Home Screen Mode settings to Standard. A Simple mode is also present for the elderly which enlarges the icons for easier access.
Dark Mode is also present, which you can schedule if you want to. You can also pick between three different styles and tinker with a couple of settings.
Digital Wellbeing that keeps track of your smartphone usage is also here, as well as Parental controls if you’re getting the device for your kids.
Realme-specific software features like HeyTap Cloud, its take on the likes of iCloud of Apple, are present if you have the time to set up an account.
Under the Realme Lab, you can enable Dual-mode audio that lets you play audio on wired and wireless audio, simultaneously. Smooth scrolling and Sleep Capsule are also here.
Oh, and if you’re worried about storage, 13.8GB of the 128GB are reserved for system memory.
Realme’s Game Assistant is easily accessible by swiping from the top left of the screen while in-game. It gives you access to different performance modes and notification blockers.
What I really like is the Bullet Notification, which slowly floats an incoming notification from right to left so you don’t miss an incoming message while also not being too distracted when playing.
The Google Keyboard layout is not the most comfortable keys to type on. However, you can get used to it, or since it’s an Android, you can customize it yourself to fit your taste. Another most-used application is the camera. The one on the Realme C25s is familiar and easy to get used to. No problems here.
One of the main reasons why you would be getting the Realme C25s over the old C25 is the camera. This one now has a sharper 48-megapixel main shooter, versus the 13-megapixel of the former.
The rest are the same, though. There’s a 2-megapixel macro lens, 2-megapixel mono, and 8-megapixel front-facing camera. Sadly, it didn’t get to have an ultra-wide lens.
The camera quality is fine, but certainly not the most impressive we’ve seen. Colors look close to real-life, but a little dull at times. Contrast is middling, and the dynamic range, even with HDR On, is all over the place.
On the upside, the two 2-megapixel sensors worked fine no matter how mundane their tasks are. The macro shots are fine, and the depth sensor has good edge detection for a believable effect.
Images from the 8-megapixel selfie camera are surprisingly sharp, although the skin tones are not the most accurate. You can also play with the Face Beauty settings if you’re into that type of thing.
Here’s where the Realme C25s nailed it. As you can see, it has an enormous 6,000mAh battery. It’s so large that it has reverse charging technology so you can use it as a power bank to charge other devices via an OTG cable. To do so, you should enable OTG mode on the drop-down menu.
Battery life is really solid, our standard PCMark battery stress test gave it a score of almost 18 hours before the charge reached 20%. That’s a loop of synthetic workload with the volume and screen brightness set to 50% and all connectivity features turned off.
Although, with its large battery, charging with its 18W charger is a little slow. A full 100% charge may take around two hours.
The Realme C25s is a great all-rounder smartphone. It has a capable gaming performance, a neat interface to work on, a decent set of cameras, and a really long battery life.
But for the price, we’ve seen similar devices that already offer a sharper FHD+ screen and a more powerful CPU performance with higher RAM capacity for handling productivity tasks.
Realme C25S pricing and availability in the Philippines
The Realme C25s is now available in the Philippines for a starting price of Php7,490 for the 64GB model, while the 128GB variant is at Php8,490.
- Decent gaming performance
- Clean interface
- Long battery life
- Only HD+ resolution
- Occassional stutters