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Realme C3 Review

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Realme is currently the fastest-growing smartphone in the industry. It’s not so surprising since they are good at making value-oriented smartphones — and the new Realme C3 is poised to be one of them.

Just released in the Philippines, the Realme C3 packs a lot of features that we never thought we’d see on a device priced at Php5,990.

Which is why we were excited to do our Realme C3 review. Today, we will be detailing what this device has in store for us and see if it’s really the best entry-level smartphone that you can get right now.

Realme C3 Specs

  • Android 10, Realme UI
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby (nano)
  • 6.52-inch HD+ IPS Display, 1600 x 720 pixel resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass, 20:9 aspect ratio, ~270ppi
  • 2GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio G70 processor
  • Mali G52 GPU
  • 2GB/3GB/4GB RAM
  • 32GB/64GB storage, expandable via microSD
  • 5-megapixel f/2.4 front-facing camera, AI Beauty and AI HDR
  • 12-megapixel PDAF f/1.8 primary camera + 2-megapixel (macro) + 2-megapixel f/2.4 camera
  • Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • HSPA+, 4G VoLTE
  • Bluetooth 5.0, FM Radio
  • Face unlock
  • Colors: Frozen Blue, Blazing Red
  • Dimensions: 164.4 x 8.95 x 75mm
  • Weight: 195g
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 5,000mAh non-removable battery, 10W charging

Design and Build Quality

As what we talked about in our Realme C3 hands-on review, this device shares the same design of the also-new Realme 5i.

This new matte, Sunrise design is a first in Realme devices, and we actually commend the company for coming up with a drastically new design just months after the Diamond-cut look that the Realme 5 series have.

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Realme C3 | Realme 5i

There’s a unique Sunrise-like reflection that radiates from the triple cameras on the top left. We rarely see matte coating that can react to light. You can also notice the fingerprint-like texture when you look closer.

Speaking of which, the Realme C3 that we’re getting in the Philippines is the one with a fingerprint scanner and triple cameras. Unlike the unit in India that only has two cameras, without a fingerprint scanner.

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Since the device is really tall, those with smaller hands might have a hard time reaching for the fingerprint scanner on the back.

On the upside, the tall 20:9 aspect ratio makes the device narrow. Making it relatively comfortable to hold, despite its weight of 195g. For a perspective, most smartphones averages at 160g.

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Right on the front, we have said 20:9 6.52-inch HD+ IPS display. There’s a dewdrop notch on the top for the 5-megapixel selfie camera.

It comes with ultra-thin bezels on top and each side. While the chin is a little thicker to give way for the display’s controllers, but it’s barely noticeable.

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On the left side, way up on the top, is the SIM tray that can house two nano SIMs and a microSD card (up to 256GB).

Below is the volume controls, while on the other side we only have the lock/power switch. The physical buttons are tactile enough, although it feels plasticky. Also, you can notice a tiny indent to accentuate the buttons. We really appreciate the attention to detail.

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The top is clean, while on the bottom we have the 3.5mm headphone jack, microphones, loudspeakers, and disappointingly, a microUSB port. A USB Type-C port would have been nice.

Overall, we’re really liking the design on the Realme C3. It looks clean, nice in the hands, and sturdy enough to give confidence that it will last long despite the plastic build.

Display Quality

As stated earlier, the Realme C3 boasts a large 6.52-inch HD+ IPS screen. That’s with a resolution of 1600 x 720 pixels, ~270ppi, an unspecified Corning Gorilla Glass version, and a tall 20:9 aspect ratio.

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An HD+ resolution stretched out on a screen this large results to lack of sharpness — especially in reading texts and other small details. However, it’s barely unnoticeable to the normal eye.

On the upside, a screen this large provides a lot of room for multitasking and on-screen controls on games. It’s also great for watching movies, with its decent colors and contrast. Outdoor visibility is fine, although it’s definitely not the brightest screen that we’ve seen.

Performance and Hardware

The Realme C3 has the bragging right of being the first device to be powered by the latest MediaTek Helio G70 processor. It comes with a Mali G52 GPU, with the unit we have sporting 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage.

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MediaTek’s latest chipset came from the Helio G-series, a line of processors geared for gaming. Thus making the C3, technically, an entry-level gaming smartphone. And as per our testing, it lives up to the name.

Games like Call of Duty Mobile and Mobile Legends ran at playable frame rates. It’s one of the smoothest — if not the smoothest — gaming experience that we got on a Php6k smartphone. Although you might have to settle for low graphics settings.

Realme C3 benchmark scores

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Even if you’re not a gamer, you’d still appreciate the Realme C3. The powerful processor shines in easy tasks like browsing social media feeds, watching videos on YouTube, and taking pictures.

We rarely see low-end devices like this to handle tasks with finesse. There were no noticeable lags or hiccups. Everything is smooth and seamless.

Software and User Interface

The Realme C3 is one of the firsts to run on the company’s own Android 10-based Realme UI. The interface is a departure from ColorOS from their parent company, OPPO. But you can notice a few similarities here and there.

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We have a clean drop-down menu for the notifications. The control center on top of it has circular icons that really look sleek, and you can even expand it to reveal more control options.

In fact, even the app icons have a rounded design, even third-party ones. If you’re really picky, you can adjust how rounded they get, or choose between different shapes.

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You can easily enable the Dark Mode on the control center, which will show a cool transition before it goes dark. I also like the Smart Tab that you can summon from the side of the display. It gives you quick access to apps you assigned to, or take screen recording and screenshots if you don’t feel like using your three fingers to do so.

Camera Quality

The Realme C3 has three cameras on the back consisting of a 12-megapixel primary shooter, 2-megapixel macro, and 2-megapixel depth sensor.

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Image quality from the primary camera is fine, but not overly impressive. After all, it’s a low-end device, so don’t expect everything to be great.

It takes fine images in good lighting with deep contrast and acceptable colors (although slightly washed out). You can enable the Chroma Boost function to add spice on the colors.

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But just like most mobile cameras, it struggles in low-light conditions.

The 2-megapixel depth sensor can be useful if you really want to take portrait shots, but edge detection is certainly not the best.

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Also, forget about the macro camera. It’s better to use the 12-megapixel sensor, get as close as you can on the subject, and crop it later for that macro-like close-up shot.

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The quality you can get from the 5-megapixel is surprisingly respectable. The sharpness is not great, but the colors and contrast are actually passable.

You can enable the AI Face Beauty and adjust the intensity of the effect. Your face will definitely look cleaner, but the overall image would be smoother and further lose detail and sharpness.

Still, the fact that you can take decent images on the Realme C3 — despite how many impressive features it has for such a low price — is still a big plus for us.

Security

As I’ve mentioned, the Realme C3 now has a fingerprint scanner. A really big step for the series. And as per our testing, it worked really well.

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The scanner is way up top on the back, but when you reach it, the device unlocks in a jiffy. The face unlock also worked really well, despite only having a 5-megapixel selfie camera.

Connectivity

Thanks to the new MediaTek Helio G70 processor, the Realme C3 comes with a more reliable Bluetooth 5.0. It should provide a more seamless connection to your Bluetooth-enabled accessories like wireless earphones, than the other devices in this category.

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The WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and 4G LTE also worked well during our testing. No noticeable interruptions when we’re doing voice and video calls.

Battery

As if having a large display and capable processor aren’t impressive enough, Realme also managed to put an enormous 5,000mAh on the Realme C2.

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We used PCMark to test the device’s battery life. This benchmark app will run different types of workload, on a loop, until the battery reaches 20%. We ran the test with the WiFi and Bluetooth off, and the volume and brightness set to 50%.

Under those conditions, the device managed to pull 13 hours and 43 minutes of screen-on time. In real-world scenarios, you can get an entire day of light to moderate usage out of this thing, with a few juices left for the next day.

Verdict

Do we need to say more? The Realme C3 is possibly the best smartphone you can get for under Php6,000.

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The new MediaTek Helio G70 processor is really revolutionary and allowed low-end devices like the C3 to have seamless and smooth performance.

We also have a reliable battery and enormous display. All these features make the Realme C3 a great companion for mobile gamers, busy folks, or any user who demands a lot on their phones — but doesn’t want to spend too much on one.

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Although we wish that Realme moved on from microUSB to USB Type-C, but I guess that’s too much to ask, considering all the value that we’re already getting for the price.

Realme C3 pricing and availability in the Philippines

The Realme C3 has an official price of Php5,990. You can now get them in tons of Realme physical stores nationwide. As well as in their online shops in Lazada and Shopee.

Pros

  • Large display
  • Fast performance
  • Long battery life
  • Decent camera quality

Cons

  • Still microUSB
  • Unusable macro lens

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