In less than 2 years of its existence, BBK-owned Realme has risen through ranks to be one of the largest smartphone brands in India. With its value-for-money offerings that rival its arch-nemesis, Redmi by Xiaomi, the brand has found a home in the hands of millions of consumers. The Realme C3 is the latest offering from the brand and also happens to be their first smartphone launch of 2020.
The Realme C3 is a successor to the Realme C2 and aims to compete with phones like the Redmi 8A Dual and the Infinix Hot 8. The phone happens to be the first one to be powered by the all-new MediaTek Helio G70 processor and comes with up to 4GB of RAM. A 5,000mAh battery, a 12MP dual-camera setup and Android 10 out of the box are some other notable specifications of this budget smartphone.
So, how does the Realme C3 perform? Well, let’s find out in our in-depth review of the phone.
Realme has more or less done a good job with respect to its smartphone designs. The Realme C3 switches the diamond cut design that was found on the Realme C2 with a new, interesting Sunrise Design. True to its name, the back of the phone reflects light in a way that makes it seem as if the camera module is emanating rays.
The phone doesn't come with a silicon case in the box. But the design also won't catch fingerprints.
The back also has ridges which makes it quite grippy to hold the phone. While we had the red unit, the Realme C3 is also available in Blue. The volume rocker sits to the left of the phone, just below the triple-card tray (microSIM+microSIM+microSD card). The right side of the phone has a single power button. The 3.5mm headphone jack, the speaker and the microUSB pro are located at the bottom.
Although the C3 is quite affordable, the C3’s design and build don’t seem to be cheap in any way.
The Realme C3 boasts of a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD display that punches slightly above the display of the Realme C2 in terms of size. The display is surrounded by considerable bezels all around, especially the bottom. But again, given its price, I wouldn’t complain.
The phone has a chunky bottom bezel.
Although we’re seeing more phones adopt hole-punch displays now, waterdrop notches are still pretty commonplace in the budget segment. The C3, too, has a V-shaped notch that houses the 5MP front camera. Sitting just above the camera is the earpiece that does a good job with phone calls.
The display itself is now slightly taller with a 20:9 aspect ratio and comes with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top. While it’s good to see Realme bundling Gorilla Glass, you should know that the Redmi 8A Dual which is priced similarly makes use of Gorilla Glass 5.
SEE ALSO: Redmi 8A Dual Launched In India Along With Redmi Powerbanks
While the display size is definitely great for media consumption, the display quality itself is quite decent. Viewing angles and sunlight legibility definitely could’ve been better. Also, for what it’s worth, the phone doesn’t have Widevine L1 certification which means you won’t be able to stream content on services like Netflix in HD.
The Realme C3 houses a massive 5,000mAh battery that is quite a step up from the 4,230mAh battery that was present in the Realme C3. Given its frugal processor, the 5,000mAh battery gives the phone at least two days worth’s usage.
At no time during my testing period did I find the battery dying before 2 days. Even on days with a couple of hours gaming, amongst regular social media browsing and music streaming, the phone ended the day with 35-40% juice left. If you’re looking for screen-on-time numbers, you’d be happy to know that my usage averaged at 6.5-7 hours.
The Realme C3 is the first phone in India to be powered by the MediaTek Helio G70 processor. The G70 is an octa-core processor that’s based on a 12nm manufacturing process. Being a part of the Helio G series, the chipset is aimed to appease gamers. And boy, does it deliver!
The phone gets a bit warm while gaming, but nothing uncomfortable.
The Helio G70 does a really good job when it comes to gaming and offers what is probably the best gaming experience in its price segment. I tried games like Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty and was honestly surprised by how well it could handle both games. Obviously, the experience wasn’t flawless and I did experience some dropped frames and stutters here and there. But given the price of the phone, the gaming experience is actually quite good.
The phone is also capable of running PUBG at HD settings, which is not something a lot of phone in its price range can boast of. To get some more perspective on performance, I also paced the phone through Geekbench and Antutu. With a score of 352:1262 (Single-Core:Multi-Core) on Geekbench and a score of 190310 on Antutu, the C3 definitely punches above its class here.
But again, the Realme C3 is still a budget phone. It’s not as nippy in opening applications and the UI is definitely not as responsive as phones that cost only INR 3,000-4,000 more. Having said that, this is as good as it gets in this price segment with respect to gaming.
The bottom-firing speaker of the Realme C3 is meh. Don’t expect it to surprise you in any way. Instead, just stick to using wired earphones via the 3.5mm headphone jack or via Bluetooth.
Software (Realme UI)
The Realme C3 is the first phone from the brand’s stable to run on Realme UI out of the box. Realme UI is layered on top of Android 10 and makes up for an intuitive user experience. Gone is the garish ColorOS. Realme UI has a handsome spray of features that will add to your smartphone experience. Some notable features include Dark Mode, Eye Care, Partial Screenshots, Screen Recording, and Gestures & Motions.
It’s not all good though. There’s quite some bloatware too. But most of it can be uninstalled or their notifications can be disabled. The UI will also throw ads in the UI by default. But that, too, can be disabled without much ado.
The Realme C3 has a dual-camera setup that consists of a 12MP primary sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. Also, the back of the phone looks quite similar to the Realme 5i. The camera application is quite similar to what we’ve seen on other Realme phones and comes with modes like Portrait, Slo-mo, Expert, and Timelapse amongst others. Notably, Night Mode is missing here.
The dual-camera setup of the Realme C3, accompanied with an LED flash.
At front, handling the images is a 5MP sensor. Pictures taken from the Realme C3 aren’t quite good. Good shots need dollops of sunlight. A slight drop in lightning drops image quality further. Since there’s no night mode on the phone, low-light imaging is something I suggest you not try with the phone.
To make up for lost ground, there’s a Chroma Boost mode that amplifies colours and makes images pop. I found myself resorting to Chroma Boost quite often as it’d make the photos more likeable to the average eye. Selfies too, are pretty meh. Despite good lighting conditions, the phone can’t get to seem the skin tones right.
If you really want a decent photography experience, I suggest you spend a couple thousand more and opt for phones like the Realme 5 or the Redmi Note 8. There’s a bigger jump in quality vis-a-vis price.
SEE ALSO: POCO X2 Review: Redefines Value For Money, Just Like The POCO F1
No Fast Charging, USB Type C
Unfortunately, even though being launched in 2020, the Realme C3 comes with a microUSB port. Considering how Redmi switched to USB Type-C ports, even for its Redmi 8A, the C3 not having a USB Type-C port is a bummer.
Also, there’s only support for 10W charging. With a battery size of 5,000mAh, the Realme C3 takes a couple of hours to charge completely. Again, given that the Redmi 8A Dual has support for 18W charging, the Realme C3 being capped at 10W charging speeds is a bit disappointing.
But then again, the Realme C3 has exceptional battery life too. So this might not be as big a deal for you.
The Realme C3 is a meaningful upgrade from the Realme C2 and proves to be one of the best phones to buy under the price tag of $159.99. The phone has a massive display, exceptional battery life and good gaming performance going for it. Although, it’s not quite a good camera phone and doesn’t have a USB Type-C port.
Nonetheless, with the Realme C3, rest assured of getting a good smartphone experience. Also, Realme UI on top of Android 10 is probably the best software experience you’ll have in this price category. So, if on the basis of what I’ve said, you’re inclined towards buying it - go for it! If not, the Redmi 8A Dual and the upcoming Infinix S5 Pro will be good alternatives.
OPPO realme C3 4G Smartphone Helio G70 Octa-core 2.0GHz Android 10 3GB 64GB 6.5 inches 12MP + 2MP + 2MP Triple Camera 5000mAh Battery Global Version