The Realme C3 is a triple threat - awesome battery life, sparkling new Realme UI and gaming-worthy processor.
The Realme C3 is the third iteration to the best-selling Realme C line. Based on paper, the smartphone made a huge leap when it comes to camera, processor and battery. Just as the company clinched the 4th spot in the Philippine smartphone market, the Realme C3 made huge impressions to the public. Let's find out if the handset deserve all the buzz in this review.
Realme C3 Review
Realme C3’s design is a reminiscent to that of the previously released Realme 5i. The handset’s backing exudes a matte-like finish which makes it a joy to look at. Realme calls it the Sunrise Design, but instead of the rays coming from the bottom, Realme C3 scribes them from the top left. It seems like these rays radiate from the camera.
You can choose between Frozen Blue and Blazing Red hues. Both looks attractive but we love the red variant more.
Due to its texturized back, the handset is far from from being a fingerprint magnet. Likewise, it does not pick up scratches easily unlike other glossy phones. When it comes to button and port placements, the Realme C3 made some changes. The power button is now lonesome on the right side while the volume rocker and the SIM tray are in the left. Down below, there’s a 3.5-mm audio jack, speaker grill and, well, the microUSB port. A USB Type C port could be great since some of Realme’s competitors offer it in their budget segment. But I could let it pass for now.
Once pressed, buttons are quite clickable and have good response. There’s a zippy fingerprint scanner at the back together with the triple camera module. You can check out our unboxing and first impressions video in our YouTube channel to learn more.
Just like the Realme 5i, the Realme C3 frames a 6.5-inch display. It’s an upgrade from the model it replaces but the display resolution is still HD+. The screen is now taller with 20:5 aspect ratio. This makes the phone more manageable.
On the upper part, there’s a teardrop area which house the 5MP selfie camera, Realme calls it “Dewdrop” display to differentiate it to other phones with similar front panel. The earpiece strip is squeezed right above the camera. While the side bezels are thin, its chin is quite sizable.
When it comes to quality, display tends to be on the bright side. Colors are also fine. When reading text, you can spot pixels but that’s expected to an HD+ display in this screen size. Viewing angles are also welcoming.
Hardware and Performance
Realme C3 is marketed to be the first smartphone in the country to rock the MediaTek Helio G70, a big improvement from last year’s Helio P22. The chipset ticks with 2.0 GHz processor and is supported with 3GB of RAM. Our unit comes with 32GB storage but roughly half of it is available for use. But hey, there’s a microSD card which also comes with its own slot in the SIM tray module.
In our day to day usage, the Realme C3 delivers. It does not feel like i’m using an entry-level phone due to the fact that it comes with a fast processor and a shiny new software - more of the Realme UI later. We played a few popular titles like Mobile Legends and Plants vs Zombies 3 which gave us smooth and enjoyable experience. With PUBG Mobile, the handset defaulted to HD graphics and High frame rate . This High preset is very playable with occasional gaps in rendering. Turning it down to medium graphics gives a better experience.
The handset does not warm easily; I could definitely tell that it can manage temperature well unlike other phones with MediaTek chipset. Streaming videos via Netflix is also a worthwhile experience due to its bigger screen. It’s loudspeaker is okay and usable for the most part but you still need to hook the smartphone up to the an external speaker to get better experience.
For your daily smartphone activities like calls, emails, messaging, etc, the Realme C3 could be a dependable device. In our Antutu Benchmark test, handset scores 180,412 - a fairly high score for an entry level phone.
Realme C3's triple rear camera module gives us interesting shots. Most of them, we liked especially the Ultra Macro shots. In good lighting, the 12MP main camera could give us social media worthy photos with good color accuracy and saturation - especially when you use the Chroma Boost feature. Some shots have sharp colors while others are in the cooler side. I hope Realme could fix this inconsistency thru a software update.
It’s also a delight to know that the camera is fast to focus on subjects. But when it comes to subject and background separation, clearly the camera struggles. There’s no telephoto option here, it means that details drop when zooming shots. Lowlight photos are passable. I hope Realme included their iconic proprietary low-light tech for this unit. Check out our sample shots below.
More photos here: Realme C3 Sample Photos
Selfies taken from the 5MP camera are okay, but not really great. Shots came with less details but all in all, selfies are still good for social media. Other camera features include Timelapse, Slo-Mo, Expert mode and Panorama.
It's also refreshing to see different options for filters which you can use right off the bat. You can also shoot up to 1080p video at 30 fps.
Software: The Realme UI
Realme C3 is the poster boy of the new Realme UI v1.0. In fact, it's the first handset to be officially released with the Android 10-based operating system right off the bat. In the Philippines, Realme C3 comes alongside Realme XT and Realme 3 Pro to have this shiny new OS.
Of course, there's still a number of bloatwares but some are still useful like Opera, Facebook, Lazada, etc. The Realme UI borrows some aesthetics from the ColorOS. For one, there's still a Smart Assistant when you try to swipe to the right from the homescreen, but you can just disable it in the settings. The major improvements are the minimalist icons and neat font choices.
Dark Mode is now ingrained in the system wherein you can automatically activate it based on your location's sunrise and sunset data; or you can schedule it in any time of the day. . The Notification Shade looks like Samsung's One UI interface for the controls and clock. Other interesting additions to the control center is the Realme Share which allows fasters sharing of files between Realme devices, and Eye Care which acts like iPhone's True Tone display feature that warms the display mode to protect your eyes.
The gamers would love it since the Game Space is still here. It allows you to block calls and other notifications while using gaming apps.
Battery life is always a winner for HD+ phones with 5000 mAh, and the Realme C3 is not an exception. In moderate usage, the smartphone lasted 44 hours in our testing. Our activities include a few emails, text messages, casual games and web browsing.
The Realme C3 also supports reverse charging just like the Realme 5i. The chipset is very efficient in managing the battery life. Charging the handset took us almost two hours.
Despite being an entry-level smartphone, the Realme C3 has lots of guns on its belt. For me, it’s a triple threat - awesome battery life, sparkling new Realme UI and gaming-worthy processor. Plus, it also crams value-adding features that you’d never expect from a very affordable phone.
For its price, the Realme C3 offers great value. It’s definitely easy to recommend to those looking an all-rounder entry-level handset.
Realme C3 Specs
6.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD display
MediaTek Helio G70 chipset
Expandable via microSD card
Triple Rear Camera:
Selfie Camera: 5MP
Realme UI with Android 10
5000 mAh battery
Frozen Blue, Blazing Red