The realme C3 is here and it wants to impress with its price tag. The latest entry-level device from the competitively-priced smartphone manufacturer does have its perks, but how far can realme breach its technological limits with a small price? That's what we're going to find out here in this review.
C stands for Color in the wise words of realme themselves. Hence, the realme C3 will come in two striking variants Frozen Blue and Blazing Red, once officially launched. The one we got is the Frozen Blue variant and its design feels somewhat like the realme 5i due the textured rear cover. Perhaps it's an aesthetic thing but having a textured rear does have some benefits especially for those with butterfingers.
The wave texture is also deliberate to create that shimmer effect, giving the realme C3 a unique identity. And while it looks metallic, it's pretty much plastic throughout.
realme UI Features
The realme C3 is the first realme smartphone to be pre-installed with the realme UI operating system. In a way, it's slightly different than its predecessors in terms of its OS and wants to work better. By that, we singled out a few features of the realme UI on the C3 that might be worthwhile to take note of.
One of the first few things to notice is the collapsible sidebar. It's nifty. Accessing it is an easy left swipe from the edge of the screen where the 'tab' is subtly shown. This feature makes the realme UI slightly more versatile to access apps much quicker or create another segment or "compartment" to store certain apps.
Style and Aesthetics
realme UI also allows for a variety of customization. What we really like in particular is the Icon Style customization feature. This lets you dictate how you want your app icons to look consistently. While there are themes to enable such changes in other Android smartphones, this lets you keep the icons anchored to the style of your choice until you decide to change it.
Maximum Graphic Settings
The hype about the realme C3 is really that it has a MediaTek Helio G70 processor for a steal. But does it work? Well, we went ahead and maxed out the graphics settings on Marvel Super War and the results were flawless. Just as advertised, the C3 managed to pull off high frame rate, max settings graphical configuration with no issues. Heck, even after 15 minutes of gameplay, it only heated up a small bit. For that we were quite impressed that a gaming smartphone is now available for a fraction of what you might pay for a flagship.
Screenshot Made Easy
Another feature of the realme UI allows users to take a screenshot by swiping down on the screen using three fingers. Additionally, there's also a 3-finger selected screenshot, which allows you to take only a portion of the screen and not the entirety of it. Just think of it like Windows' snipping tool.
Binging Netflix on the realme C3
While gaming is a beaut, Netflix content are slightly more muted and grainy. This could be because of its display resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels at 270ppi density. But it technically works alright if you're not all that fussy about crisp, sharp movies.
Here comes the part that may make or break the decision-making process on buying the realme C3.
The realme C3 has a triple camera setup, which consists of a 12MP main, 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensor. Here's when you can discern that realme is being thrifty. Well, how else can you get an entry-level device?
Unfortunately, there won't be an ultra-wide angle camera that we so absolutely love. But sacrifices are meant to hurt, no?
Without further ado, here are the raw shots to give you a sense of what you will be getting out of the realme C3:
Main (normal) and (night shot)
Before we go on, here's a note that the realme C3 doesn't have a "night mode" camera setting. Hence the night shot was manually photographed.
It does seem that the main camera is having some trouble at night but did quite okay during the day.
Selfie (Front Camera) and Portrait (Rear Camera)
The selfie camera comes with a beauty slider and is activated by default. The resulting photograph feature minimized flaws.
The portrait mode of the rear camera, on the other hand, seems to have a pretty strong bokeh effect thanks to the dedicated depth sensor. A small pet peeve is that the rear shooter seems to have flipped the photograph, making the selfie shot and a rear-camera shot inconsistent in terms of angle.
Here's how they look.
2X Zoom (50%) and 4X Zoom (Max)
When it comes to zooming, the main shooter is only allowed up to 4x zoom and that's maxed out.
Here are two photographs of 2x and 4x zoom.
Last but not least, the macro lens is very functional. However, the end result might not be as great. But it's still good to have it if you're a person of close-up encounters.
The photograph is slightly blurry and very grainy but the colors are quite accurate.
All in all, the realme C3 is an entry-level smartphone but with realme's generosity in cramming in a MediaTek Helio G70 chip, effectively making it quite an affordable work horse in day-to-day tasks and gaming. However, with the price that you're paying, it is to be expected that the smartphone may not satisfy every dimension of your needs. That's when it technically fails to catch up in the camera department.
But if you're not a camera junkie or live to take amazing smartphone photographs, the realme C3 could just very well be the affordable companion to your day-to-day endeavors.