Realme C2 review: Stylish smartphone at an affordable pricehttps://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-reviews/realme-c2-review-stylish-smartphone-burdened-by-heavy-software-5752779/

Realme C2 review: Stylish smartphone at an affordable price

Realme C2 review, price in India, specifications: At Rs 5,999, Realme C2 packs decent specifications, but is it the ultimate entry-level smartphone? Read our review of the Realme C2.

  • 3.5
  • Rs. 5,999
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Realme C2 review: The entry-level smartphone which has the look of a mid-range phone, but how does it perform? Read our review (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

In just a year, Realme has made a name for itself in the Indian smartphone market. The company has launched budget devices in the country one after another and managed to garner a customer base in the most competitive price segment. The company has been eyeing the number one player in the market, Xiaomi and it has managed to rival their latest offering Redmi Note 7 Pro with its Realme 3 Pro smartphone.

Realme also launched the newest addition to the Realme C-series with Realme C2. The phone is a clear upgrade from the last year’s Realme C1 in terms of design and processor. It packs a MediaTek Helio P22 processor (12 nm) as opposed to Snapdragon 450 chipset (14 nm) in Realme C1. The specifications of the phone at its price are surely attractive but how does the phone perform in real life? Here is our review of the entry-level smartphone Realme C2.

Realme C2 specifications: 6.1-inch HD+ display | 13MP+2MP dual rear camera | 5MP front camera | MediaTek Helio P22 processor | 4,000mAh battery | 2GB/3GB RAM | 16GB/32GB internal storage | ColorOS 6 based on Android 9 Pie

Realme C2 price in India: Rs 5,999 for 2GB+16GB, Rs 7,999 for 3GB+32GB

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Realme C2 review: Design and display

Realme ditched the glossy back in favour of a textured back for Realme C2. The diamond-cut back has micro-patterns that feel good to touch and offer a secure grip. Just like the earlier diamond-cut design on Realme devices, the back of Realme C2 changes shades against the light.

The textured back does not attract smudges, the volume rockers and power buttons are easy to reach, and the frame is compact enough to fit in hands comfortably. However, the Realme C2 feels a bit heavy and there is no fingerprint sensor at the back.

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Realme C2 review: The Realme C2 sports a textured diamond-cut back panel. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The Realme C2 sports a 6.1-inch HD+ display with a waterdrop-style notch on top. The phone has fairly slim bezels and a small chin. The display offers average viewing angles and the colour reproduction is good, but it lacks sharpness. The brightness levels on the phone are average and overall the display looks quite dull.

Under direct sunlight, the text on the screen is visible on a white background but other than that, it is really hard to see anything on the screen outdoors. Also, the touch response of the screen is not good. It often misses the touch and that is really frustrating.

Realme C2 review: Performance and software

Realme C2 is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P22 processor based on a 12nm process. On Geekbench, the phone registers a single core score of 830, a multi-core score of 3,366. On AnTuTu, the phone registered a score of 78,001. In theory, the processor is powerful than the Exynos 7870 found in the Galaxy M10, but lags behind the Snapdragon 632 of Redmi 7.

The overall performance of the phone feels sluggish, especially while using heavy apps like Chrome, YouTube, and Facebook, though this is still a challenge on most phones in this price segment. Opening an app for the first time usually takes some time, but the phone does a good job keeping the apps opened in the background. However, it occasionally stutters while switching between Chrome tabs and background apps.

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Realme C2 review: The phone features a 3.5mm audio jack at the bottom (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

If you do not use the phone extensively, you will hardly face any problem making calls, reading SMS, or using WhatsApp. The processor is capable enough to not only run games like Warrior Legends and Metal Squad smoothly but it can also run PUBG. The game runs with stutters and frame drops are evident, but the fact that a phone priced at Rs 6,000 can run PUBG is commendable enough.

The phone runs ColorOS 6 based on Android 9 Pie. The UI is cluttered, feels heavy and in my view, one of the main culprits behind sluggish performance of the device. The face-unlock feature on the phone is not as fast as Realme 3 Pro but it is quite snappy. However, it often takes misses the mark and sometimes takes longer time to recognise the face.

Realme C2 review: Camera

Realme C2 features a dual camera setup on the back carrying a 13MP primary sensor paired with a 2MP depth sensor. Do not expect the phone to take spectacular photos but it does manage to take decent pictures in daylight with proper colour reproduction.

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Realme C2 camera sample: Image resized for web (Express Photo by Mohammad Faisal)

HDR mode improves the dynamic range on the camera and the Chroma Boost mode enhances the colours to make the picture social media ready.

Realme C2 camera sample: Image resized for web (Express Photo by Mohammad Faisal)

Realme does not offer Nightscape mode on Realme C2. Pictures clicked during night carry a lot of noise but it is not a total failure.

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Realme C2 camera sample: Image resized for web (Express Photo by Mohammad Faisal)

The front camera on the phone is a 5MP sensor which is able to click good selfies in daylight but it does not perform well in low light situations. Realme C2 gives control over the level of beautification, which is nice to have as not everyone likes aggressive beautification.

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Realme C2 camera sample: Image resized for web (Express Photo by Mohammad Faisal)

The portrait mode on the front camera works fine around the edges but it struggles around the hair. The edge detection on the rear camera is not any better.

Realme C2 camera sample: Image resized for web (Express Photo by Mohammad Faisal)

Realme C2 review: Battery and speaker

Realme C2 does not disappoint on the battery backup.  With moderate usage, it can take you through the day with more than 30 per cent charge left on the 4,000mAh battery. If you are using the phone only to make calls, chat on WhatsApp, and around 2-3 hours of social media usage, the battery can last you around two full days. The standard 10W charger takes around two hours to fully charge the battery.

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Realme C review: The phone packs attractive features at its price range. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The bottom firing speaker on the Realme C2 is really loud. Although it lacks depth, it not fair to expect anything more from an entry-level smartphone.

Realme C2 review: Verdict

The specifications Realme C2 packs for Rs 5,999 are hard to find in other devices at this price range. It has a decent camera, long battery life, and a smudge-free stylish design to boast. However, the phone does not run smoothly and that is probably because of the heavy UI on the entry-level hardware. If Realme C2 came with a clean stock Android software, it could have been the ultimate entry-level smartphone.

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To sum it up, Realme C2 is a good choice for those who do not use their phone extensively or want an alternative to Android Go smartphones. If you want anything more than that, there are several better options in the market, but they will cost you more.