Realme C3 is the sequel to a popular entry-level phone C2 of 2019. This time, the successor lands in two different form factors, one carries a dual camera on the rear side, and the second one comes with the triple camera setup. Apart from the camera, there are several upgrades this time; a 5000 mAh battery, Android 10, and realme’s own UI are the highlighting features.
We reviewed the triple camera variant that has everything else similar to the dual-lens version. Let’s start our review to know more about this device.
Realme C3 specs
- Display: 6.4 inches IPS LCD
- OS: Android 10, Realme UI 1.0
- Chipset: Mediatek Helio G70
- RAM/ROM: 3GB/32GB
- Camera (rear): 12MP + 2MP + 2MP
- Camera (front): 5MP
- Battery: 5000 mAh
- Full specs
Design and Display
The design language of Realme C3, like the predecessor, revolves around youth, and this is the reason this latest iteration carries the funky color scheme featuring Frozen Blue and Blazing Red.
C2 had the diamond cut pattern on the rear side, but this time, the polycarbonate body exhibits sun rays seemingly originating from the triple camera setup. And, a unique wavy pattern on the rear panel ensures the smudge-free surface without the hassle of hiding the phone’s beauty under the silicon cover.
The front is a Gorilla Glass 3 protected screen of 6.5 inches mini drop LCD that offers an HD resolution, 720 x 1600 px precisely. The size is bigger and ideal for gamers and movie maniacs; however, the display struggles outdoors even at full brightness. We noticed the indoor experience adequate at well over 50% brightness level, but it is otherwise under the sun that makes it highly inconvenient to look at.
Realme C3’s isn’t the crispiest display on the market, but it is fairly decent to watch content at its HD screen. The display setting area modestly offers only the color temperature option; the screen vividness can not be altered, though.
The bezels are nearly perfect for an entry-level device. The chin is comparatively bigger than the sides and top.
There is a Dark mode, which is still a beta feature yet on C3, but it does the job since the OS skin is based on Android 10 on this phone.
Overall, it looks sturdy and feels very comfortable in hands, though with 195gms, it’s a bit weighty.
Performance and battery
It is a Mediatek Helio G70 gaming chipset under the hood that is built for entry-level phones and surprisingly this one goes head to head with some of the mid-range contenders. The AnTuTu ranking (177581) shows it equals the Redmi Note 8 (177451) but a little behind the Honor 9X (181341), Vivo S1 Pro (181778) and Huawei Y9s 2019 (178183). In fact, it is far better in scores than last year’s Samsung Galaxy A20 and A30.
Our unit had 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. Depending upon the market, there are 2GB and 4GB RAM variants available as well, with 32GB and 64GB internal storage.
The G70 chipset is manufactured on the 12nm technology that Mediatek has also used in Helio G90 and G90T. The latter has already proven its gaming prowess in the Redmi Note 8 Pro in the mid-range category. On Realme C3, the CPU is further supported by Mali G52 GPU and Game Space.
During our gaming experience, we hardly noticed any major frame drop while playing PUBG at HD settings, which is highly unusual with the entry-level phones.
Considering the price of this phone, a noticeable lag at the time of switching apps in the middle of a gaming session is quite normal. We also noticed aggressive RAM management on the pattern of Infinix and Tecno phones, which keeps killing the idle apps for releasing resources for the on-screen activity.
Realme C3 comes with a number of tempting features, including face unlock and fingerprint scanning that function as expected. The device is splash resistant, but don’t take it as something closer to IP67 water-resistant rating. It may only survive a minor rain shower.
Realme C3 boasts a 5000 mAh battery that is large enough to take you through an entire day, no matter if you play games or use TikTok at frequent intervals. It charges in nearly 3 hours with the supplied 10W charger. An hour of continuous PUBG session on a 4G connection can eat away 16% of the battery power.
For lesser gaming and social media enthusiasts, the phone can easily survive for over two days.
Our four hours battery test drained 42% of the juice out of the battery. You can have a look at the details in the following graph.
This mammoth battery can also serve as your power bank with a reverse feature onboard. With OTG cable, you can charge any other mobile device or accessory, but you might need to wait a little longer to see the receiving device extracting some juice from 1.3A of the source. It’s a slow transfer of energy that requires a little patience.
The device also allows you to keep using 4G data while you are on a GSM call.
C3 sports Real Sound technology that gets active by pairing earphones. Keeping in view the trend among youth, Realme has colored the equalizer accordingly that amplifies the loudness and enrich the sound experience through various preset or user-based settings. You can further use karaoke toggle key for an amazing experience on this budget device.
Realme C3 features three lenses on the rear side, a 12MP main sensor, a 2MP portrait lens, and a 2MP macro lens able to shoot from 4cm away. On the front, there is a 5MP selfie camera hidden inside the mini notch. A flash is present on the backside; there is no LED flash on the front, though.
The default camera app in realme’s latest OS inherits a couple of arrangements from the old ColorOS, especially the bottom bar that shows off different shooting modes. It ends on the extreme right at the ‘More’ button, which houses additional modes like ‘Slow-mo’, ‘Ultra macro’, ‘Expert’ etc.
Zoom buttons, HDR, Chroma Boost, and Filter, are placed where you would normally find them in ColorOS’s camera app.
Despite being an entry-level phone, C3 is seemingly consistent with its camera performance. It captures true colors in the daylight unless the Chroma Boost is active. It preserves the details very nicely. The contrasts are good, although noise can vary depending upon the light condition; it remains under acceptable limits even under the low light.
Like earlier times, Chroma Boost is a toggle key meant to enhance the colors, contrast, and exposure, which it does very decently. Similarly, HDR is very functional for highlighting and balancing the dark and white areas.
It can go as high as the 4x zoom that is very acceptable under in the daylight. At 2x, the results are not much grainy, but the impact is noticeable at 4x. However, it does not get messy at this level, though.
C3 does not feature a night mode; however, the standard lens can take some reasonable pictures under good light. Lens flare is visible, but it isn’t as bad as Samsung does with most of its Galaxy A-series phones.
Well-lit subjects are shot with a fair amount of detail, but the noise level isn’t as friendly as it is during the day shots. Overall, the colors are captured naturally, and its internal AI algorithm does not seem to overdo the processing.
Zooming, either 2x or 4x, does not work properly at night, even under good light. The images are blurry, most of the time, and lack details, which is something very expected from this entry-level device. However, the image quality at 1x is splendid.
Selfie, Portraits, and Macro
Selfies in the standard mode register a good amount of facial detail. The exposure is on the higher side, which also whitens the skin area, making it look fairer than usual. The HDR mode is helpful to an extent, but most of its impact is visible on the background of the subject.
The front camera doesn’t quite judge the edges of the subject neatly. Most of the time, we found it merging a portion of the background with the subject.
The Realme 5 Pro didn’t impress us with its 2MP macro lens, but this smaller device has all the ingredients to convince us that a macro sensor this small can also work. From 4 cm away, with stable hands, it can take some interesting shots under good light. Soon as the light goes down, so does the charm of the macro sensor.
The portrait mode with human and non-human subjects works the way it should. The edge mapping of the subjects is unlike the front camera. The 2MP lens does a reliable job when the light is suitable.
C3 can shoot 720 and 1080p videos from the rear as well as the front camera and interestingly you can also make slow-mo videos at 480 resolution which icing on the cake. Being an entry-level phone, the quality of the videos isn’t questionable.
Looking for a budget-friendly solution that works is always a tough job. The segment is filled with phones like Samsung Galaxy A10, Huawei Y6s, Infinix Hot 8, and many others but it is the freshly made gaming chipset of C3 and an acceptable camera performance that gives it an edge over the rest. There are many other positives attached to the C3 that might be enough to overshadow the poor display quality outdoors. But if you are a kind of user who spends most of the time in the field, under the sun, you may look for other options.
The overall camera result of Tecno Spark 5 Pro is much better than what we have seen in Realme C3 and the latter also excels in the phone’s display quality. But if you are ready to splurge a little more money, you can find Infinix Note 7 to be a more satisfying device that comes with a good camera and overall performance. The only downside is that Realme C3 excels in battery consumption rate whereas Infinix Note 7 is quick in discharging its battery.