Did Power really meet Style on this one? Check our review to find out.
Back during the latter part of January 2019, Realme entered the Philippine market with its new budget smartphone called the Realme C1. Priced at only PHP 5,990, the product came with the slogan, “Power Meets Style” boasting features such as a 6.2″ Notch Full Screen, Dual Rear Cameras and an astonishing 4230 mAh Battery Capacity. But does it really pack a punch?
Note: Listed below are the actual specifications of our review device.
|OS||Android Oreo 8.1.0|
|Processor|| Octacore Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 1.80 Ghz
(8 x ARM Cortex-153)
|Storage|| 16 GB Expandable using microSD
8GB Reserved for System use
|Camera (Rear)||13MP + 2MP Dual Camera|
|Display Resolution|| HD+ 1520 x 720 px, 19:9 Aspect Ratio IPS LCD
6.2″ Full Notch with 88.8% Screen Ratio
|Connectivity||Dual Nano Sim
2.4 Ghz WiFi
|Battery Capacity||4230 mAh|
Build & Aesthetics
Seemingly built to feel like a premium device, the Realme C1 comes built with an adorable reflective rear surface (which also acts as a fingerprint magnet), with a metallic finish on the sides. At 6.2 inches, the phone easily feels like a phablet although the metallic sides does offer a comfortable grip even when holding with just one hand. If you’re worried about potentially scratching the glossy, reflective finish, don’t fret as the out of the box package comes with a Jelly Case and even a screen protector which adds another layer of scratch security over the Corning Gorilla glass display.
Both of the Charging and Audio ports are located at the bottom end of the device, which is rather common with OPPO branded smartphones, as well as the phone’s main speaker. On the right side you have your Power Button, while the Volume rockers sit at the left side of the device. The rear cameras are placed at the upper left corner of the Realme C1’s backside, while the Front Camera sits inside the notch right next to the call speaker.
Software and UI
As it was previously under the OPPO brand, the Realme C1 still retains the ColorOS firmware, which sits on top of the base Android 8.0 operating system, together with the base features such as the iOS like visuals.
Out of the box, the phone comes with Vietnamese apps which, thankfully, can be easily uninstalled as they are not tied with the system. Despite lacking a fingerprint scanner for fingerprint security, the Realme C1 does come with a Face Unlocking feature, together with the default Android phone lock options.A split screen option is also available so if you’re the type to watch YouTube videos while browsing funny memes then this might be something that you wanna play around with.
Overall, UI experience feels smooth, with quick transitions and sharp visuals, albeit it did come with a few bloatware, which, thankfully, as mentioned, can be easily removed to free up storage space.
One thing to take note of the ColorOS is that it blocks certain base Android functionalities one of that being the ability to format your External SD Card to be an extension of the Internal Storage. It may become a big deal with the Realme C1 as despite the 16GB storage capacity that it says on the box, half of it is reserved for System updates, leaving you with only 8GB to play around with. As users will be bound to also install and use apps such as Facebook and Messenger which tend to eat up storage space for caching data, the overall gaming experience might be hindered as you would could only be limited to installing only 1 or 2 games in your device. Still, there are ways to try and expand your internal storage using External SD Cards although most of these require tinkering with your phone’s main system and can lead to killing off your device should not be done properly, as they say, leave it to the experts.
Running on an 8-core Qualcomm 450 and with 2GB or RAM, the Realme C1 is able to handle operations pretty well from light to heavy loads. Antutu Benchmark scores hit 73433 easily surpassing the likes of Motorola E5 Play (30937), ASUS ZenFone 4 Max Lite (31106), and even the Xiaomi Redmi 5 (59369) It is worth taking note though, that while all of the mentioned phones fall on the PHP 5,990 price range just like the Realme C1, only the Xiaomi Redmi 5 is equipped with a Qualcomm 450 processor as both the Motorola E5 Place and the ASUS ZenFone 4 Max Lite runs using a Qualcomm 425 CPU.
As for other benchmark tools, GeekBench 4 gives the Realme C1 a 3385 rating on Multi core performance, with 788 on Single Core operations, PCMark on the other hand gives a 5045 rating on its Work 2.0 test, with the Work 1.0 benchmark tool gives out a score of 778.
Gaming and Streaming.
Running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 and with an Adreno 506 GPU, the Realme C1 is able to run popular MOBA title Mobile Legends: Bang Bang at high settings with next to no problems when it comes to overall gameplay quality. To get a more proper gauge of the phone’s performance when it comes to running Mobile Legends, we recorded the gameplay using the phone’s default Screen Recorder application and popped the file in Sony Vegas to check the frames. The recording was able to capture video at 1440 x 720 resolution with a video framerate of 32.86 frames per second.
Of course this test method will not be 100% accurate, although we believe that this still gives us a good insight in regards the phone’s capabilities to running popular games. We would also like to include that we have tried to use other tools that promise to do benchmark related tasks such as counting video frames, however given the unclear reliability of the said applications we have resorted to using Screen Recording and Sony Vegas as a resort.
You may also view the samples of the screen video recording below:
As for other games such as Battle Royale titles, this time using RULES OF SURVIVAL, the device struggled a bit to maintain framerates at High and Medium settings, there is also an evident long load time in between the lobby and game screens. While it may still be playable, the issues with quality might throw off some hardcore gamers.
Aside from pure gaming, we’ve also tested the device as for one of the new interest of gamers today that is livestreaming. Using Omlet Arcade, we ran a stream test using Mobile Legends and using Twitch as a platform and attempted to stream a game at 720p, the highest quality that our Omlet account is capable of reaching.
The results are surprisingly positive as the device is able to support Gaming, Encoding and Broadcasting all at the same time although the Stream and Game quality is obviously affected with the CPU trying to fulfill both tasks simultaneously. Aside from obviously running at lower framerates than usual, there are no other major issues encountered during streaming (aside from the lack of game audio which we found out to be an occasional issue with our streaming software of choice) such as game or app crashes.
Note: Direct Phone Streaming isn’t the only way to Livestream your mobile games online, and is perhaps not the most optimal, however we chose this method to showcase the Realme C1’s performance capabilities by making it perform 2-3 CPU and RAM heavy tasks. To find out more ways and to know some pointers on how to Livestream games using your mobile device, you can check out our How To article.
One thing to take note though, is that given how the storage is being utilized users may only be limited to installing 1 or 2 popular games due to the lack of storage space as the ColorOS disables the functionality to format your External SD to act as an extension of your internal storage. Users also need to be wary of the fact that running your storage to its limit might affect the performance of some apps, with some of the resources to not load properly especially on applications that utilize many resources such as games.
Despite being previously a subbrand of OPPO and with OPPO known to ship devices with more than decent camera quality, the Realme C1 only achieves par on when talking about the image quality that its camera lens churn out. Rear camera mages can still look sharp both indoor and outdoor with adequate lighting although low light shots say otherwise with the difference, as they say, can be night and day.
Shot Samples – Adequate Lighting
Shot Samples – Low light Setting
As for video quality, output is subpar even with the recording capabilities of up to 1080p in 30fps, and just like the photos, recording in certain low light situations can be a no no.
Video Sample – Adequate Lighting
Video Sample – Low light Setting
Front camera quality also is par with nearly similar output to its rear cams on both proper and low light situations. As it is common for some brands and models to cut down performance of some of its aspects to hit their target price range, it is our theory that perhaps the Realme C1 sacrificed overall camera quality to boost its task handling performance aspect and as well as Battery, now speaking of the Battery.
If there’s one thing that’s really boosted in the Realme C1 it is it’s astounding Battery Capacity. At 4320 mAh the battery easily lasts more than one whole day of usage, approximately 10-11 hours, with a mix of browsing, video streaming, music streaming and gaming. Charging time is also a breeze compared to most devices as the Realme C1’s charging time sits between 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours of charge time from 0 to 100%.
Despite some of its limitations, the Realme C1 still proves to be a top contender, if not, the top of the list for the new wave of Entry Level devices with its great overall performance and sizable battery capacity. Issues regarding storage and gaming performance might be the bane of some users but this shouldn’t be a problem to those who see this phone as a workhorse rather than a power device. Still, we could have wished for a bigger storage capacity, if not, better resource allocation and the ability to utilize external SD cards as extensions to the internal disk but overall, at PHP 5,990, this phone can still be a steal.