Realme C1 review: Sets a new benchmark for budget smartphones

Realme C1 has the potential to outshine rivals.

    Realme, the Oppo-sub brand was launched in May this year as an online exclusive brand. Soon after its launch, the company came up with the Realme 1. Later, it got separated from its parent company and announced three smartphones - the Realme 2, Realme 2 Pro and Realme C1. Of these, the Realme C1 came in as a surprise and it is the most affordable smartphone from the company.



    Realme C1 review: Sets a new benchmark for budget smartphones

    Well, the Realme C1 is priced at Rs. 6,999 and is meant to be a direct rival to the Xiaomi Redmi 6A also priced in the same segment. We can say that Realme understands the competition in this segment as it is decided to bring a premium design and never-seen-before specifications in this price point. Do take a look at the review of this smartphone from here to know more about it.

    Design and build

    The Realme C1 flaunts a plastic body, which makes it lightweight despite its huge battery capacity. The smartphone is comfortable to hold and use despite its large display. It has a glossy rear panel made of plastic, which makes it attract fingerprints. Likewise, its laminated display is also a fingerprint magnet. So, we had to wipe away the smudges every now and them, Notably, the metallic frame is sandwiched between the glossy front and rear panels.

    Talking about the design part, this smartphone flaunts a dual-camera module at the top left corner with the two lenses stacked horizontally. The two cameras are placed in an oval-shaped enclosure with a silver accent. There is a LED flash module next to the camera enclosure. The power button at the right edge of this smartphone and the volume rocker and triple card slot at the left edge. The top is free from buttons and controls while the bottom provides room for the 3.5mm headphone jack, micro USB charging port and speaker grilles.

    Moving on to the front of the smartphone, there is a huge 6.2-inch HD+ display topped with Corning Gorilla Glass protection. The display is surrounded by thin bezels at the sides and a narrow chin at its bottom. At the top of the display, there is notch, which houses the 5MP selfie camera, earpiece and the proximity sensor.

    The notable aspect is that this smartphone misses out on a physical fingerprint sensor at its rear. However, the company compromises the same with the AI Face Unlock feature, which works well.


    As mentioned above, the Realme handset bestows a gigantic 6.2-inch HD+ IPS display with a notch on top of the screen. The display has a resolution of 1520 x 720 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19:9. The screen features the Gorilla Glass 3 protection and 88.8% screen-to-body ratio. When it comes to performance, the screen is bright enough so that it can be viewed even under direct sunlight. The colors are quite vibrant making the display one of the highlights of this smartphone despite its budget price point. Due to the presence of the notch at its top center, the content of apps might overflow at the sides on the status bar, but this can be prevented for individual apps from the phone's Settings menu.

    Hardware and performance

    Realme C1 makes use of an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor based on the 14nm process. This processor has eight Kryo 260 CPU cores clocked at 1.8GHz. This processor is a better one as compared to the Snapdragon 430 or the MediaTek Helio A22 processor used by its rivals. The processor is paired with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage space. Of the 16GB storage space, 10GB is already used by the operating system and preinstalled apps. Only around 6GB is left for the users.

    This shouldn't by a roadblock for most buyers as there is a dedicated microSD card slot supporting up to 256GB of expandable storage. But the lack of internal storage space could be annoying for the gaming enthusiasts who like playing heavy and graphic intense games such as PUBG that can eat a major chunk of the storage space. Likewise, nearly 1GB of RAM is used up by the background apps and there is very little RAM left for multitasking.

    Talking about the numbers, the Realme C1 has managed to score 73870 points on the AnTuTu benchmark test. It has scored 762 points and 3627 points in the single-core and multi-core tests on Geekbench.

    With this, the device exhibits a slight delay in opening the apps when a few are already running in the background. Also, the games even with mediocre graphics aren't smooth to play. And, it takes time for the games to load. It may not be the fastest device, but it is a good budget smartphone. It doesn't heat even while gaming or when plugged into the charger, which is a plus.

    As mentioned above, the smartphone has AI Face Unlock for security purposes. In my usage, I found it quick and easy to enroll the face data and unlock the smartphone using the same. The feature works quickly and accurately. Also, it is secure as it lets users choose to prevent unlocking if the users' eyes are closed.


    Dual rear cameras

    Realme C1 has dual rear cameras with a 13MP primary sensor with f/2.2 aperture and a 2MP secondary sensor with f/2.4 aperture. The rear camera performance is good with features such as HDR, portrait mode, panorama, stickers and time-lapse modes. There is AI and beautify modes as well in this budget smartphones The camera captures details to an acceptable level in broad daylight but low-light shots lack details and the result isn't too impressive. The macro shots are too good as the camera is capable of keeping the noise at bay when there is favorable lighting. For a Rs. 7,000 smartphone, the camera does a good job, but it could have been improved to make it superior to its rivals.

    Selfie camera

    The device makes use of a 5MP selfie camera with f/2.2 aperture and AI facial unlock. In our usage, the selfies shots didn't turn out to be impressive as there is a lot of contrast and sharpness. Even the colors aren't reproduced accurately.


    This smartphone runs Android 8.1 Oreo topped with ColorOS 5.1. We can expect it to get the Android Pie update given that the company has already confirmed that all its smartphones will receive the update. The ColorOS comes with useful features such as Game Space, Clone Apps and more. It also has some useful gestures that make the user experience simple and convenient.

    Battery and connectivity

    Realme C1 employs a 4230mAh battery similar to the one pow-ering the Realme 2. This battery can easily render a long lasting backup to the users on a single charge. To make it last longer, there are features such as Power Saving mode and Smart Power Saver. I used the device with 4G or Wi-Fi active almost all the time along with games and music or videos played for a considerable. And, it lasted over 36 hours on a single charge.

    For connectivity, it comes with dual 4G VoLTE letting users connect to 4G on both the SIM cards at the same time, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and dual SIM support without compromising expandable storage.


    Priced at Rs.6,999, the Realme C1 may not be the best smartphone in the market but it is a good one in its price bracket. There are rivals in this segment but this one beats the competition with a better battery life, big and vibrant display, stylish design and more. The only drawbacks are its sluggish gaming performance and multitasking capabilities.

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