ASUS ZenBook 14 UX425 Tiger Lake

Introducing realme’s latest smartphone in the entry-level range – the realme C3. It is the successor of the much-beloved realme C2 which sold out like hotcakes. Taking a look at this brand new entry-level phone, what improvements does the realme C3 have?

I highly recommend you watch the video review as all of our benchmarks, picture samples, and battery life tests are in there.

ASUS VivoBook K513

Design

The realme C3 takes on a similar design to the realme 5i which we have reviewed here. But, the lines on the realme C3 are finer and feels better on my hands.

And feeling better on my hands is important because realme did not include any protective case in the box. You literally just get the phone, the charger, and a micro USB cable.

<em>realme</em> C3

Yes, the realme C3 comes with a micro USB port at the bottom for charging. I mean, we’ve already said that in the year 2020, no smartphones should come with micro USB ports anymore.

Also, the realme C3 only comes with 2.4GHz WiFi. Good for stability, but not as good when it comes to speed.

realme C3
Micro USB for smartphones…

Another thing I find rather bizarre is the power and volume buttons. The travel distance for these buttons is very short and has a tactile click at an instant. For me, it feels like I have accidentally pressed the button instead. One light touch, and it clicked.

<em>realme</em> C3

Display

As usual for the realme C-series of smartphones, the C3 comes with a 6.5-inch 720p IPS LCD screen. It also has a waterdrop notch at the top, like any other realme 5 series of smartphones that we’ve reviewed previously.

<em>realme</em> C3

The color reproduction is generally okay but too saturated for my personal taste.

Cameras

As many followers of realme devices will know, there are two variants of the realme C3. For us Malaysian, we have the triple-camera version:

  • Main: 12MP f/1.8
  • Macro: 2MP
  • Depth sensor

With that said, the pictures are somewhat okay under broad daylight. For indoor shots, it’s a little lacking in terms of brightness.

<em>realme</em> C3

For night shots, it could’ve been better. The realme C3 does not have the signature Nightscape mode. I guess that’s how realme wants to segregate its product from one another.

To have a look at all the picture samples, watch our review video at the top of this review article.

Software – Android 10 with realme UI 1.0

Introducing the new realme UI which is made for realme devices only. It is no longer using OPPO’s ColorOS.

In terms of differences, there isn’t much. It’s mostly a facelift from OPPO’s ColorOS with some rearrangements in the settings menu

Performance & Gaming

Here’s the interesting part. Let’s start with the specs. The realme C3 comes with:

  • 6.5-inch IPS LCD with waterdrop notch
    • 1600×720 pixels in resolution
  • MediaTek Helio G70 chipset
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage (expandable via microSD)
  • 5,000mAh battery

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the benchmarks first.

<em>realme</em> C3 3DMark benchmark <em>realme</em> C3 VRMark benchmark <em>realme</em> C3 Geekbench 4 benchmark <em>realme</em> C3 Antutu 7 benchmark

From the slew of benchmarks, we can see that the MediaTek Helio G70 chipset in the realme C3 is better than any of the realme 5 series of smartphones (except the realme 5 Pro).

Even though the performance of the realme C3 is better than the realme 5, 5s, and 5i, it’s not that much better. Here’s what I mean.

Gaming

Let’s take PUBG Mobile as an example. The realme C3 can run it in HD graphics with “high” frame rates, but the stuttering and lag makes it unplayable. So, I suggest you use “smooth” graphics with “ultra” frame rates instead.

The same applies to COD Mobile too. I can play that game with the lowest graphical settings.

Battery & Charger

With a massive 5,000mAh and 720p screen, the battery life must be great, right? Well, yeah – somewhat. The realme C3 can last about 15 hours in our battery life test, but it further solidifies the inefficiency of MediaTek chipsets.

Both the realme 5 and realme 5s can last for much longer with the same battery capacity and same screen.

<em>realme</em> C3 battery life benchmark

Charger

The realme C3 only comes with a 10W charger. That’s typical for an entry-level smartphone. However, that means it’ll take a supremely long time to charge to 100%.

From our test, the realme C3 takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes to charge to 100%.

<em>realme</em> C3 battery charging benchmark

Wrapping up the realme C3 review

This is an entry-level smartphone. It’s a very usable smartphone. The MediaTek Helio G70 chipset is surprisingly powerful barring its inefficiency issues. It’s well-balanced.

Though, I think that realme should just exclusive the macro camera or replace it with an ultra-wide instead. By excluding the 2MP macro camera, the price can be pulled further down.

For the price of RM499, it’s difficult to recommend over the realme 5. The only real advantage the realme C3 has is in terms of performance – but that’s only noticeable in benchmarks anyway. And the power efficiency on the MediaTek Helio G70 is still subpar compared to Snapdragon.

I’d still say the realme C3 should be priced at RM449 instead.

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