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Realme C12 First Impressions: Pros, Cons And The X-Factor
Realme has added two new smartphones to its entry-level C-series line-up in India. The new smartphones- the Realme C12 and the C15 come within just one month of the launch of the Realme C11 budget handset. Similar to the Realme C11, the C12 will also be made available in just one variant- 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM at a slightly higher price-point, i.e. 8,999. On the other hand, the Realme C15 will be offered in two variants- 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM at Rs. 9,999 and 4GB RAM +64GB ROM at Rs. 10,999.
In addition to the new smartphones, Realme has also introduced a new pair of budget earphones. Priced at just Rs. 399, the Realme Buds Classic are budget earphones with large 14.2mm drivers and high-definition microphone for voice calls. Interestingly, the company has also introduced Realme T-shirts in India under its lifestyle products line-up. The Realme T-shirts are priced at Rs. 999 and will be available from September 4th, 2020.
New Budget Realme Smartphones, Earphone & T-Shirts
We will be focusing on the new Realme C12 today in the following first impressions. Similar to the Realme C11, the Realme C12 also flaunts a 6.5-inch HD+ screen but improves on battery, camera, multitasking and security. The budget smartphone packs a massive 6,000 mAh battery cell and comes equipped with the biometric scanner, a critical feature missing on the Realme C11. And while the Realme C12 is also powered by the entry-level MediaTek Helio G35 chipset, the SoC is now paired with 3GB RAM that should offer better multitasking experience.
We spent a day with the Realme C12 to evaluate its performance as a budget smartphone. Here's what we found out.
The Realme C12 is the company's first smartphone to draw power from a massive 6,000 mAh battery cell. The hefty battery unit still has to support an HD screen and an entry-level MediaTek chipset which means it should easily last for two days on one full charge. We did some initial testing to evaluate the battery lasting performance. The phone was charged to 100% and we streamed multiple videos, played some casual games, and performed all day-to-day smartphone jobs.
The battery still shows 51% after a day's usage which suggests that this budget handset will impress power users that mostly use their devices for multimedia consumption. We also say this with our experience with the Realme C11 which has a 5,000 mAh battery unit that easily crosses 24-hour mark in our tests even with heavy usage. Similar to the Realme C11, the C12 also supports OTG reverse charge which will allow you to use the handset as a power bank to recharge other devices such as smartphones and wearables. The phone ships with a 10W charger in the box.
Is 6,000 mAh Battery Safe On A Budget Phone?
A big battery cell on a budget price can be a disaster from a safety point-of-view if not used with official chargers and power banks. We enquired about the safety measures followed by the brand to avoid any mishaps. Realme mentioned that both the budget phones feature fireproof material to prevent the back cover from burning. Also, the new budget phones are touted to come equipped with temperature and current monitoring sensors that monitor any possible risks to avoid any damage.
While the brand has taken all security measures, we would still recommend you to use only original power banks and official Realme chargers with the Realme C12 and the C15 to avoid any damage to the big battery cell. Also, stay tuned for comprehensive testing of the battery life on the C12 in the detailed review of the smartphone.
Dedicated microSD Card Slot
Realme always gets the storage part right with its budget and mid-range smartphones. The Realme C11 also features a triple-slot SIM card tray that allows you to expand the 32GB internal memory to 256GB. You can also use two SIM cards at the same time without any compromises. The dedicated microSD card is a savior for consumers who like to store gigabytes of data on their device rather than relying on the internet for online media consumption.
13MP Triple-Lens Camera Setup
The Realme C12 brings some notable improvements in the camera hardware when compared to its predecessor. It is the first Realme C-series handset to offer a triple-lens rear camera featuring 13MP primary lens (f/2.2) with PDAF and 4x digital zoom support. It is paired with a 2MP Black & White lens and a 2MP macro lens. The monochrome lens is added to provide additional support for artistic effects to portrait you shoot on the device.
As far as the macro camera is concerned, it is the same 2MP macro sensor with 4cm close focus distance to capture tiny objects.For selfies, the Realme C12 features a 5MP front-facing camera.
Stay tuned for our camera performance review of the Realme C12.
720P Resolution IPS LCD Panel
The Realme C12 fails to bring any improvements on the display front. The phone flaunts the same 720p resolution IPS LCD panel that we have tested on the Realme C11. It is a decent screen for media consumption as long as you are using the device indoors. The IPS LCD lacks a good touch response and the color reproduction and viewing angles are also quite uninspiring. If a good display is your priority, we would recommend checking out the recently launched Redmi 9 Prime as it offers a crisp Full HD+ display at a starting price of Rs. 9,999.
Entry-level MediaTek G35 With 3GB RAM And Clean Realme UI
Realme has also not made any changes to the underlying chipset. Similar to the Realme C11, the C12 is also powered by the all-new entry-level 12nm MediaTek Helio G35 processor. The entry-level SoC fails to deliver smooth performance on the Realme C11 and a major reason is the meagre 2GB RAM. Thankfully, the C12 comes equipped with a 3GB RAM which should offer better multitasking performance.
We are yet to complete our detailed testing of the Realme C12; however, we can already tell that the new budget device feels noticeably snappier than the Realme C11. We haven't experienced any lags so far on the Realme C12 while using the device for media playback, web-browsing and camera usage. We will stress test the Realme C12 in our comprehensive review for a better understanding of its real-life performance.
The smartphone runs on the clean Realme UI which is visually appealing and offers plenty of customization options and useful software features like App Quick Freeze and Super Power Saving Mode that improve the overall battery life of the handset.
Dated Micro USB Charging Port
Similar to the Realme C11, the C12 also ships with the dated microUSB charging port, which comes across as a letdown in the second half of the year 2020. The lack of Type-C charging port might not be of major concern if you are still using budget devices from 2019 which generally have microUSB charging ports. However to someone planning to buy a budget device as a secondary phone with his/her primary phone having a Type-C port, the dated microUSB charging port can be very annoying. In that case, you can consider the newly launched Redmi 9 Prime. The phone's entry-level variant is priced at Rs. 9,999 and offers a Type-C charging port along with a Full HD+ screen.
Should You Buy the Realme C12?
The Realme C12 is a definite improvement over the C11. It brings a massive 6,000 mAh battery cell, a fingerprint scanner and 3GB RAM for better security and multitasking performance respectively. An additional sensor is also added in the rear camera setup to improve the overall photography experience. However, the 720p screen and the underwhelming MediaTek G35 SoC are still two pain points that the company has failed to address. Also, a microUSB charging port is something that can bother many consumers out there planning to buy a new budget device in the year 2020.
If you look at the competition, the Redmi 9 Prime is Rs. 1,000 expensive but offers a full HD display, better chipset, quad-lens camera and even a Type-C charging port in the sub-10K price bracket. Its battery is rated at 5,020 mAh which might not be at par with 6,000 mAh in pure numbers but still serves quite well for day-to-day usage.
We will compare both the smartphones in the coming days to find out which one offers better value for your money.