The entry-level smartphone market has always been saturated with different offerings from multiple brands trying to take a slice of the pie. Realme has been one of the most active companies in this category, and the new realme C53 is their latest attempt to lure buyers who want to make the most out of their hard-earned money.
With an SRP of Php7,999, what does it have to stand out in this crowded market? Is it better than everyone else? Or are you better off skipping it? We find out in our realme C53 full review.
realme C53 Specs
- Android 13, realme UI T
- Dual SIM, Dual standby
- 6.74-inch HD+ display, 1612 x 720 pixel resolution, 261ppi
- 90Hz refresh rate, 180Hz touch sampling
- 1.85GHz UNISOC T612 octa-core processor
- 4GB/6GB RAM
- Mali-G57 GPU
- 64GB/128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
- 8-megapixel front camera
- 50-megapixel (f/1.8, PDAF) + 2-megapixel (depth sensor) rear cameras, LED flash
- Side-mounted fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
- HSPA+, 4G LTE
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
- Bluetooth 5.0
- GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO
- USB Type-C
- Dimensions: 167.3 x 76.7 x 7.5 mm
- Weight: 182g
- Colors: Gold, Black
- 5,000mAh non-removable battery, 33W fast charging
Design and Build Quality
The realme C53 sure is a stunner in terms of design. There’s the distinct camera layout that’s been aggressively inspired by the iPhone Pro models. Plus, this Champaign Gold color that we have really glows as it reacts to light.
It has a glass-like plastic rear panel, which, together with the aggressive styling, makes fingerprint marks and smudges invisible. This should also make hairline scratches disappear, but for peace of mind, you might want to slap the included case in the box.
The thickness the case adds shouldn’t matter much considering the device itself is relatively thin. It feels quite heavy, too, which is to be expected on a big-screen budget phone.
On the front, we have the said large 6.74-inch display. The bezels are not the thinnest, but at least they are uniform so they still look appealing to the eyes. A traditional notch holds the selfie camera. The SIM tray is on the left side, way up top so it’s inconspicuous.
On the right, we have the volume controls and the lock/power switch that doubles as the fingerprint scanner. The physical buttons feel really tactile and satisfying to press.
The top is clean while at the bottom, we have the single loudspeaker, USB Type-C port, built-in microphone, and thankfully, a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Overall, the new realme C53 feels really durable and looks incredibly attractive. It is a little bulky, but that’s forgivable as we got a large display and battery out of it.
Display and Sound Quality
The realme C53 boasts an enormous 6.74-inch HD+ display, with a 1612×720 pixel resolution, 261ppi, smooth 90Hz refresh rate, and 180Hz touch sampling.
For this price, it’s hard to be picky with display qualities. That said, the screen on this thing is decent, and it’s more than enough for watching content, reading articles, and other activities.
We do appreciate the large size, which gave us more room compared to the usual 6.5-inch displays in this category. It adds extra space for on-screen controls in games and makes movies more immersive.
As for the single bottom-firing speaker, well, is definitely not the best. It has an UltraBoom feature that can max out the volume by up to 150%. It works, but the quality sounds so distorted that it’s pretty much pointless.
Still, considering the price, the loudspeaker quality is decent. But if you can, try using an external speaker or pair of earphones for a better listening experience.
Hardware and Performance
The realme C53 is powered by a 1.85GHz UNISOC T612 octa-core, with a Mali-G57 GPU, and the unit we have here sports 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage.
realme C53 benchmark scores
As for the performance, well, in layman’s terms, it’s quite laggy, especially when opening and switching between apps. But when apps like Facebook, Instagram, Chome, and others start running, they do feel relatively smooth.
Gaming performance is also passable, as long as you’re fine with Low to Mid graphics settings. It did get warm after a couple of minutes of gaming, so be on the lookout for that.
We tried playing Mobile Legends, Call of Duty Mobile, and PUBG Mobile — all of them were playable. But if you want a device for gaming purposes, this is definitely not it.
Software and User Interface
The realme C53 runs on the current Android 13 operating system with the brand’s special realme UI T Edition, which appears to be made for entry-level phones such as this one.
As you might’ve already heard, one of the key features of the C53 is the Mini Capsule, which essentially works like the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro series. Essentially, it plays with the waterdrop notch to show cool notification animations.
The animation looks really smooth and seamless which has a wow effect. However, we wish we can see it more by also working on incoming messages, calls, etc., as it only pops up when showing the battery status when you plug the charger, data usage when you hit 90% of your limit, and step stats.
We also appreciate the quick shortcuts you get when you long-press an app icon. Plus, the clean yet comprehensive Control Center.
The device also has Smart Controls like the Smart Wake feature that instantly wakes the screen when you double-tap it or pick up the device. Smart Motion and Pocket mode are also here.
I also liked how the realme UI T Edition spared us from bloatware and duplicate apps. This means that the Gallery is Google Photos, the Calculator is stock Android, and more.
That means that realme also used Google Keyboard by default, which is really convenient, easy to type on, and has easy access to other formats like emojis, gifs, and more.
Unfortunately, it’s not using the famous Google Camera app. But still, the one it has feels was sufficient.
The realme C53 has a 50-megapixel main camera, joined by a less useful 2-megapixel depth sensor. An 8-megapixel selfie camera is on the front.
Images taken from the 50-megapixel main camera are passable, even in low-light scenarios. The software could’ve done a better job of handling the details. But still, it easily beat our expectations for a budget smartphone.
The selfie camera, as expected, isn’t great. It works fine in good lighting as it can provide stunning details and exposure, but can be easily bogged down if you’re taking a selfie indoors.
Battery and Charging
The realme C53 has a 5,000mAh non-removable battery just like everyone else, which you can charge via the included 33W SuperVOOC charger in the box.
We were able to get one of the best scores we’ve ever gotten on our standard PCMark test with the C53. That’s 18 hours and 33 minutes of screen-on time before reaching 20% after a loop of synthetic workload.
To give you an idea, the average score we get is around 13 hours. This means that, under light to moderate use, the device could easily last you for two days. Although, heavy gamers and binge-watchers may have to reach for the charger before the day ends.
Speaking of charging, the 33W SuperVOOC charging managed to charge the device from 18% to 63% in just 32 minutes. A full charge only took about an hour.
The realme C53 has a couple of things going for it. It has an attractive design, a large display, long battery life, a decent camera, and fast charging.
But for this price, most people really prioritize performance. So to answer the question we had before, well, there are definitely other similarly-priced devices out there that are more powerful than this one.
Still, we won’t blame you if you’re captivated by its looks, and if you end up actually getting it, you won’t be disappointed.
realme C53 price and availability in the Philippines
The realme C53 has an official price of Php7,999 in the Philippines for the sole 6GB/128GB variant. It will be available starting June 23 with a special introductory price of Php6,999.
- Attractive design
- Large display
- Long battery life
- Fast charging
- Competing devices are faster
- Poor speaker performance