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Realme C3 Review: All Hail The New Budget King

Realme C3

You won’t find a better deal for the money

Realme is on track to become one of the most popular brands in the Philippines despite being less than 2 years old. The former OPPO sub-brand has managed to continually one-up more established competitors and is on track to sustain its phenomenal growth from last year thanks to new devices like the Realme C3.

Their newest offering is probably the best budget smartphone so far, and while it does have its share of faults, the value that the device brings to the table is undeniable. If you’re looking for a budget phone and don’t have a lot of cash, then the C3 is the best option you have under the Php 6K price point.

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Potent hardware
  • Long battery life
  • Great for mobile gaming

Cons

  • No fast charger
  • NO USB Type-C port
  • Camera is hit and miss

Realme C3

Budget phone, mid-range looks

Realme is constantly switching up the design aesthetic for their budget phones, but they’ve really hit it out of the park with the Sunrise Design of the Realme C3.

Instead of geometric shapes like that in the Realme C2, the Realme C3 uses ridges on the back of the plastic case to make it appear that the camera module is emitting rays of light.

This design approach accomplishes two things: it makes the phone incredibly attractive to the casual observer and adds quite a bit of grippyness to the back of the phone thanks to the raised ridges. The phone also isn’t a fingerprint magnet when you’re using it, and it’s one of the few devices out in the market today that won’t look like crap after a few days when you don’t run a case on it.

Realme C3

Since we’re getting the improved version of the Realme C3, the device comes with a fingerprint scanner on the rear for secure unlocks as well, which isn’t present on the Indian version of the device.

If there’s one thing I don’t like with the phone it’s the fact that it’s still running micro-USB port on the bottom instead of a Type-C port. I’d gladly pay a few extra pesos to get the newer interface instead of what it has now.

Realme C3

Chunkier bezels on the display, but it still looks good

The Realme C3 has a 6.5-inch IPS panel with an HD+ resolution. That’s what you’d typically get on most Android devices nowadays, but it’s pretty big for a budget phone.

Realme C3

Because of the resolution the screen isn’t as sharp as I would like, and the bezels are a bit chunkier than what I’m used to but to be fair I’m probably spoiled with the displays of other, more expensive phones I’ve reviewed in the past.

As it stands the Realme C3’s display is good enough for most people, despite the nitpicks I’ve already mentioned. The phone uses a traditional notch with a 5-megapixel camera. Realme even found a way to toss in Gorilla Glass 3 protection for the display, which is always appreciated.

Realme C3

The camera needs plenty of sunlight to perform well

Like I mentioned earlier the Realme C3 for the Philippines comes with 3 cameras on the rear unlike the one released in India. The triple camera module is composed of a 12-megapixel primary sensor, a 2-megapixel portrait sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.

As far as image quality goes, the Realme C3 is hit and miss. There are some nice shots to be had from the phone, but from experience, you need plenty of lighting to get a really good photo that you can show off.

Thankfully there’s a way around that via the Realme C3’s Chroma Boost feature, that tweaks colors in a way that makes the image pop. Photos taken using Chroma Boost probably won’t stand up to scrutiny when it’s pixel peeped, but for regular social media use it’s perfectly fine.

Realme C3

A gaming powerhouse for cheap

The Realme C3 is one of the few phones right now with MediaTek’s new Helio G70 processor, built on a more power-efficient 12nm process. The G in its name stands for gaming, and oh boy does it deliver.

Firing up Call Of Duty, I was surprised at how well the phone handled the very demanding game. Sure, it’s not perfect (I got frame drops here and there) but the game was very playable with the phone, which isn’t always the case for comparable budget phones.

While there are certainly better phones for gaming than the Realme C3, they cost quite a bit more than what Realme is asking for their phone. We can guarantee you won’t find another phone that has the gaming performance that the Realme C3 has under Php 6K.

Realme C3

The Realme C3 comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, which is a little thin if you’re going to use this phone for gaming. That’s more than enough for one or two big games (Call Of Duty and Asphalt 8 come to mind) and a few other small ones. Storage is expandable of course via microSD if you need it.

The Realme C3 is one of the first phones from the brand to sport RealmeUI, a new Android 10-based overlay that the company is now rolling out to phones.

Realme C3

As for overall battery life, the Realme C3 got a surprisingly long 14 hour and 45 minute run time on our PCMark Benchmark battery benchmark. That’s thanks to the 5000mAh battery inside of its body.

It’s just a shame that the phone doesn’t come with a fast charger nor has fast-charging capabilities.

Realme C3

Verdict: Looking for a budget phone? Buy THIS NOW.

Realme really has a winner with its newest budget phone. The Realme C3 currently the budget phone to beat in 2020, delivering a price-to-performance ratio that’s off the charts.

If you’re looking to buy a budget phone soon, there’s really no other choice right now than the Realme C3, especially if you’re willing to forgive its minor gripes like the inconsistent camera and lack of fast charging capabilities.

The Realme C3 will be available in both online portals (Lazada and Shopee) as well as offline stores today. Lazada buyers get Free Realme Buds 2 for the first 1000 buyers, while Shopee buyers get a 10% discount with the voucher code SHPrealmeC3 for every purchase for the first 1000 users.

The Realme C3 retails for Php 5,990.

Realme C3 (Southeast Asia) Specs

  • MediaTek Helio G70 octa-core processor
  • Mali-G52 MC2 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 6.5-inch HD+ LTPS IPS mini drop display, Gorilla Glass protection
  • 32GB of expandable storage
  • Triple rear cameras: 12-megapixel f/1.8 main camera with PDAF; 2-megapixel f/2.2 macro camera; 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor; with LED flash, Chroma Boost, 80FPS slow-motion at 480P
  • 5-megapixel f/2.2 front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • AI Face Unlock, Fingerprint scanner
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android 10 with RealmeUI

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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One Comment

  1. Agree, the cameras on this is a hit or miss, but for the price they are asking, you can’t complain really. Also, the front cam of 5mp is so 2015.

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