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    Reviewed: Realme C3

    The entry-level smartphone segment continues to grow of late. Several brands are upgrading the specs to address the demands of customers. Known for its affordable smartphones, Realme recently added a new member to its C-series. Compared to its predecessor, the Realme C3 has a larger screen, longer battery life, triple rear cameras, and a new processor. Is it a hit or a miss?

    Design: 4/5

    Available in two colorways: blazing red and frozen blue, the Realme C3 is a striking phone that boasts a water-resistant design. Inspired by cold glaciers and hot magma, its eye-catching back panel features wavy lines that radiate like light. Unlike any other budget smartphone, it has a water-repellent plastic body to provide extra grip and avoid smudges. Realme’s logo in silver is located on the lower-left corner. The fingerprint scanner is located at the upper center while the triple cameras with LED flash are placed on the top left.

    At the front, you can find a mini drop notch where the front camera sits. Compared to its predecessor, it has slimmer side bezels. Sitting at the right side is its power button, while the volume rocker can be found on the left side. Above it are the dual nano-SIM tray and a dedicated micro SD slot. We got our model unit in blazing red.

    Hardware: 4/5

    Boasting a bigger screen, the realme C3 has a 6.5-inch HD+ display with a mini drop notch that houses its 5MP front camera. The screen gets Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection and produces up to 480 nits of brightness. Under its hood, it is equipped with a MediaTek Helio G70 processor mated with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory which is expandable up to 256GB via microSD slot. Its rear triple cameras include a 12MP primary, 2MP macro, and 2MP portrait sensors, while its front snapper is a 5MP front camera. Replacing the previous UI, it now runs on the brand’s own dedicated RealmeUI based on the latest Android 10.

    User Experience: 4/5

    To make things more interesting, the Realme C3 retains its facial recognition feature for unlocking the handset. The phone has a vibrant panel that produces brighter images and has a bigger screen size ideal for mobile gaming and binge-watching digital content. However, the display struggles to deliver when used outdoors. The contrast was a bit darker even if the brightness at maximum level, but it still managed to deliver.

    Camera-wise, the triple rear cameras of the Realme C3 performs well with natural light. The subjects are more accurate, sharper, and detailed, most especially in macro mode. Colors are more lively and vibrant, thanks to Chroma Boost, a camera feature that was retained from the Realme C3’s predecessor. The story is different when it comes to night shooting and video recording, delivering dim photos with significant noise. Its 5MP front camera produces average photos with good bokeh effect. The colors, however, may a bit inaccurate and dull in normal mode.

    As the first smartphone to sport the brand’s very own Realme UI based on Android 10 out of the box, the Realme C3 comes with an improved icon design and allows users to customize it. Apart from animated wallpapers, it features Dark Mode, personal information protection, split-screen mode, sidebar for navigating Quick Tools, screen recording, and Eye Care mode for preventing eye strain. It also has pre-installed Google apps like Drive, Gmail, and other useful tools, as well as Hey Tap, Realme’s Internet Service Platform. Its 5,000mAh can go a long way; up to 14 hours.

    Equipped with MediaTek’s Heli G70 processor, it can handle simple multitasking with occasional lag when running multiple apps. It struggles when the maximum graphic settings are set on mobile games that demand higher frame rates like Call of Duty. Thanks to Game Space and Competitive, it optimizes the device’s in-game performance and alleviates frame drops. The fingerprint scanner and facial unlock is responsive and works just fine.

    Value: 4.5/5

    Realme has come a long way since its launch in the country. It has claimed the top spot for entry-level smartphones, combining functionality and style in a low price point. If you’re willing to cash out PHP 5,990 with the absence of fast-charging battery and night mode photography, then the realme C3 should be your top choice.

    Specifications:
    • Display: 6.5-inch HD+ 720 x 1600 pixel resolution
    • Processor: MediaTek Helio G70 2GHz octa-core
    • Cameras: 5 MP f/2.4 front camera
    • RAM: 3 GB
    • Internal memory: 32 GB (expandable up to 256 GB via microSD slot)
    • UI: Realme UI (ColorOS 7 based on Android 10)
    • Battery: 5,000 mAh (with 10W charging)
    • Other features: reverse charging, face unlock, fingerprint scanner, Dual nano-SIM, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
    What’s Hot:
    • Incredible battery life
    • Affordable price
    • New UI and OS
    What’s Not:
    • Underwhelming camera performance in poor lighting conditions
    • Contrast of the display needs improvement
    • Not USB-C port
    Bottomline

    It’s a value-for-money smartphone that combines style and functionality.

    Also Published in GADGETS MAGAZINE April-May 2020 Issue
    Reviewed by Jewel Sta.Ana

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