Realme deserves applause for making a lot of noise in just a matter of six months. The company, which started as a sub-brand of Oppo, made its debut in May, released a few phones that have become best-sellers on e-commerce platforms, and earned itself a place among Xiaomi, Honor and Samsung in no time. Realme’s success is a rare thing to see in a market as highly competitive and crowded as the budget segment. Every Realme phone so far has offered something unique that has made it stand out from the segment, and the latest Realme C1 is no different.
The Realme C1 was announced with most of the same specs as the Realme 2, but at a much lower price point of Rs 6,999 which made it even more appealing. But the company was recently forced to hike the price by Rs 1,000 due to depreciating rupee and so the Realme C1 now costs Rs 7,999. In a budget segment, this hike can make a world of a difference, so what we have to do now is figure out whether the C1 still makes sense at its new pricing. Here’s what I found after using the device for a little over a week.
Realme’s whole philosophy circles around offering phones for a youth-centric audience. For this to work, the company feels design is just as important as the specs. So the Realme 1, Realme 2 and the Realme 2 Pro have tried to deliver that. The Realme C1 is an entry-level smartphone and you would think that the company would make some trade offs with the design, but it hasn’t. The C1 looks similar to all the other Realme phones in that it gets a glossy reflective rear panel and an edge-to-edge display. It’s closer to the Realme 2 because it gets the same kind of wide notch, while the missing fingerprint sensor makes it look similar to the Realme 1.
The rear panel is plastic, but the glossy sheen to it makes it look good in the Deep Black variant that I received as my review unit. There’s also an Ocean Blue option that is a little more bright attention-grabbing. The phone manages to stay pretty compact despite a tall display on board. It also has a solid build quality with firm and tactile buttons around the frame. The SIM tray on the top left side can hold two nano SIM cards (dual 4G VoLTE support) and a microSD card.
Since the Realme C1 looks identical to the Realme 2, it also comes with the same design issues. The display feels disassociated with the body as it doesn’t seamlessly curve around the sides. It feels like the glass has been cheaply glued on top and this is a very common sight to see on Realme and Oppo phones. The glossy plastic rear panel will see scratches and scuffs after a few days so it’s best to go for a dark colour option or a protective case.
The biggest thing going for the Realme C1 is its tall 6.2-inch HD+ (720×1520) display. It’s one of the biggest you will find in the entry-level segment. Thanks to the notch and the chin, you get a generous amount of screen real estate with an 88.8 per cent screen-to-body ratio as per Realme’s claims. This is a good display panel that’s bright and colourful indoors. The colors on app icons look deep and saturated. Brightness levels are good outdoors, but it can suffer under harsh sunlight and viewing angles are pretty average.
The display will lack in sharpness while watching videos, but you won’t be able to spot this during day-to-day use. The quality of the display is quite similar to the Realme 2, and it is great to see Realme bring that to an even lower price point. Of course, the 6.2-inch display is best utilised while watching videos in full screen.
Performance and software
When the Realme 2 was announced with a Snapdragon 450 chipset, it felt like a major downgrade over the Helio P60-powered Realme 1. The Realme C1 gets the same Snapdragon 450, but it feels right considering the phone’s entry-level price. This is an octa-core processor that pairs with 2GB of RAM, so it’s not going offer a terrifically smooth experience, especially while multitasking because. The C1 is mostly lag-free while performing basic day-to-day tasks like messaging and calling. It will start to stutter when scrolling through social media apps like Facebook or Twitter. It’s not a snappy device while opening and loading apps, but the chipset is capable of running PUBG in case you were wondering.
That being said, you may want to keep your PUBG play time to a minimum because the device does show some stress. The game will work on low graphic setting by default so it won’t look sharp and it will run smooth enough for the first 5-10 minutes. However, you will notice some lags if you play for a prolonged period. The good news is that the battery level does not drop at a significant rate even while playing games.
The Realme C1 ships with Android 8.1 Oreo with Oppo’s ColorOS 5.1 on top. It’s a fairly thick ColorOS skin that I’m not particularly a fan of. The biggest reason is because the software is still not optimised for the notch. This means that notch tends to intrude and eats into some of the content which makes it harder to get used to. The software also looks quite dated in general with big app icons that look unappealing. Additionally, the slide to remove notification is still missing and we hope it makes with ColorOS 5.2.
Oppo’s custom software comes with a few notable features that includes Smart Assistant, split-screen multitasking, Game Mode and some new security layers including the ability to make app payments and purchases via face recognition. I noticed a few apps like Zalo IM and Bao Moi which told me that I received a Vietnamese unit for review. These were deletable, however, so that’s good to know. The software does not have a lot of bloatware but there are a lot of features and customisations that may compromise the performance of the Realme C1 after a few months.
Like the Realme 1, the C1 also misses a fingerprint sensor. But you do get a snappy face unlock feature that works well in good lighting conditions. In darkness, however, you will have to unlock the phone with a pattern or pin. The single speaker grille on the bottom has average volume levels, and it’s only on max setting that it really gets loud, but the clarity is pretty poor.
The rear cameras on the Realme C1 are similar to the Realme 2. You get a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor that allows you to take depth-of-field photos. The front camera has been downgraded from 8-megapixel t 5-megapixel. The iOS-like camera app will look familiar and it’s easy enough to work with. You also get modes like Time-Lapse, Stickers and Panorama and additional features such as face beauty and HDR.
News credit : Indiatoday