RealMe is relatively new to the smartphone market with the “youth” as their target market. The brand focuses on providing a trendy design that appeals to the youth while offering competitive specs and pricing. Launched globally on May 2018, RealMe’s expansion reached the Philippines with the release of their RealMe C1 budget smartphone. Realme claims that the C1 can take the title of “the entry level king” with jam-packed specs while maintaining a low price-point. Is it worth of its title? Let’s find out.
Snapdragon 450 1.8Ghz Octa-core Processor
Adreno 506 GPU
16GB Storage with microSD support up to 256GB
6.2″ 1520x720p 19:9 notch display
ColorOS 5.1 based on Android 8.1
Dual nano-SIM + microSD card slot
13MP f2.2 + 2MP f2.4 Rear and 5MP f2.2 Front Camera
Unboxing and First Impressions
At first glance the RealMe C1 looks like a premium smartphone as it has a 6.2″ notched design. But after a short stare, its chin would immediately attract your attention. Looks aside, it has a resolution of 1520x720p with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for durability – That’s something you wouldn’t expect on a sub 6,000 peso smartphone.
Moving to the back, it has a reflective glossy finish that definitely looks sleek and all, until it becomes a fingerprint magnet. There’s also Navy Blue option available if you don’t like the Mirror Black design, the former gives the smartphone a more “youth” look. Another thing to notice here is that there’s no physical fingerprint reader to unlock the smartphone, a first compromise to lower down its price.
The sides have a matte finish. The power/lock button is located at the left side while the Sim+microSD slot, the volume buttons and the sim+SDcard tray are located at the right. The volume buttons are separated this makes pressing volume up or down at a try more accurately as opposed to being a long button where you’d mostly end up at the center or pressing both functions. The aforementioned slot supports 2 nano SIMS plus a microSD card. The fact that a brand can fit this much for a budget smartphone makes some people question flagship phones.
At the bottom you’ll find the speaker grill, a microUSB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Considering its price, another compromise that had to be made is with RealMe opting for a microUSB port instead of a type-C port.
The RealMe C1 performs as you would expect on a Snapdragon 450 device. The 2GB ram is definitely a bottleneck if you try to run multiple apps. We recommend always clearing/closing apps which are not in use to have a smooth experience.
With just 16GB of storage, you are limited to by about 3 games with just barely enough space for taking pictures and videos. Good thing is the RealMe C1 compensates by having additional storage.
The RealMe C1 can play games smoothly, provided you have to play it on the lowest settings. Playing mobile legends at low settings is definitely enjoyable without noticeable frame drops even during team fights. Rules of Survival runs smoothly at the lowest setting possible with framedrops occurring during the parachute drop. PUBG Mobile however, is a different story with some stutters especially if you’re exposed to multiple enemies and grenades. The RealMe Game Space squeezes every bit of performance available as it clears out background apps and automatically blocks notifications for an optimal gaming experience.
The pictures taken by the Front Camera is asisted by AI and beautification. Personally, I’d prefer using AI over beautification when taking selfies as it adjusts the color and generates a more realistic effect compared to the latter.
A dual camera system may not be always better as it still depends on the performance of the main camera and its software, take the Google Pixel 3’s singe rear camera being able compete with dual and triple camera flagship. With that being said, the 13MP + 2MP camera with the assistance of AI is able to capture photos with enough detail as the sensors can obtain. The dual camera setup definitely helps in giving the best image possible on a smartphone of this price range. Improved AI software thru updates will further increase its overall image quality.
Quality of Life
The RealMe C1’s face unlock feature only relies on software with no fancy IR, Infrared or depth sensing sensors to generate a secure facial recognition algorithm. It takes about 2 seconds before it unlocks, depending on how your pointing the front cam to your face. If you unlock it at an optimal angle, it unlocks the moment you press the button. The screen also lights up when your phone detects that you are in dark areas to compensate the lack of ambient/natural lighting.
The 4,230 mAh battery is by far, exceptional, considering the phone’s value at Php 5,990. ColorOS does pretty well in battery management to get an optimal battery life experience.
OS + Bloatware
As far as stock android experience goes, the ColorOS doesn’t give you a close enough experience. It has bloatwares that you wouldn’t even try to use and are thankfully removable. The ColorOS UI could be better as we hope for an future update alongside with android pie.
The included silicon case is very hard to install and remove. Moreover, the edge of the case extends to the height of the display which causes an unpleasant experience in using the device.
Performance. RealMe managed to squeeze every cost of the C1 to be geared towards performance. The 4,320mAh battery is just exceptional considering that some flagship phones don’t even surpass the 3,700mAh mark, and especially noting that the C1 is just an entry level smartphone. The SnapDragon 450 is just the best processor you could get on a sub Php 6,000 smartphone. While the RAM has less than the average memory you’d expect on a smartphone, it just means that you must regularly close apps before playing intensive games and the like.
Build Quality. The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and the pre-applied screen protector together with a free case are a value add for this smartphone as it offers above standard protection. The back, while prone to fingerprints, is not that easy to scratch. The buttons are sturdy
Functionality. The exclusion of a physical finger print reader is a bummer, but you are not limited to unlocking the phone via passcode thanks to RealMe’s facial recognition software. While it’s a bit slow on some cases, it gets the job done even in dark places as it has a brightness compensation feature. Moreover, the underwhelming 4GBs out of the box usable storage from the onboard 16GB can be solved by adding a microSD card, albeit, you’ll be incurring additional costs.
Bundle. With lots of corners being cut to maintain a low price point such as the exclusion of a fingerprint scanner, a 720p display instead of a 1080p and 16GBs of internal storage are small things that do not impair the overall smartphone experience. You’ll still get a phone that’s able to do a little bit of everything that can fit your lifestyle. The 4,230mAh battery will certainly give you more than a day’s power.
Value. The RealMe C1 arguably sets the landscape on how an entry level smartphone should be done. It puts where your hard-earned money where it should be, and it compromises on the things that you wouldn’t consider to be a turn-off for its price. If you only have Php 6,000 to squeeze for a smartphone, then the RealMe C1 doesn’t disappoint.
Despite its Php 5,990 price tag, the RealMe C1 has lots of features that you wouldn’t think to see for a budget phone. It has a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 that sets it apart from its twin brother, the Oppo A3s, adding a premium touch to the smartphone. The exclusion of a fingerprint scanner and fast charging are things that you would definitely miss coming from a flagship. The Front and Rear Cameras are okay and performs better than expected, although not that exceptional. Its performance can be further improved with software updates particularly the system’s memory management as the RAM is the C1’s weakest point.
With all of that said, the RealMe C1 has a lot to offer for its price as it truly claims the title of “Entry Level King.” We give it our Best Value Award!
RealMe C1 Phone Giveaway
We’ve teamed up with RealMe to provide this smartphone we reviewed to giveaway to our readers.
Share this giveaway with the caption “I want to win a @PHRealMe C1 Smartphone! Thanks for the chance @Back2Gaming! #2EZ4B2G #EntryLevelKing” Make sure you set the post to public and the tag the right pages!