Realme C1 the Entry Level King

Realme C1 the Entry Level King

Chinese smart phone maker Realme debuted as an Oppo sub-brand earlier this year in May, and now the company wants to dominate the Philippine market with the local release of its Realme C1.

The phone is a direct competitor of the Xiaomi Redmi 6A and other entry level smartphones on the market now, the Realme C1 brings a premium design, dual cameras and good specifications for money. And then, whether you love it or hate it, the smartphone also brings a screen with notches.


At first glance, it may seem that the smartphone comes with a glass back, but it is actually a composite material made of hard plastic with a glossy finish, which looks like glass. The mirror finish design adds to the charm.

The chassis is made of plastic, but it feels quite solid and has a matte finish. The front is dominated by a large screen and a thick chin, while in the back, it has the configuration of double camera and the LED flash in the upper left. There is a nice steel edge around the camera modules that gives a nice touch. The rest of the back is clean and the Realme logo is on the bottom.

Now, as is the case with all devices with a glass backing or gloss finish, it also attracts fingerprints, and will spend a lot of time cleaning them. Putting a case would be a good option, and Realme includes one in the box.

Speaking of ports and buttons, you have the on / off button on the right and the volume control on the left. The nano-SIM dual card slot tray along with a dedicated microSD card slot is on the left side. At the bottom it has the microUSB port and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Screen with notches


Manufacturers call the "notch" a feature, while critics call it a design commitment. No matter how you look at it, the brands try to imitate Apple after the infamous notch became famous. And yes, until we have a completely viable solution for full-screen smartphones, the category is here to stay.

The Realme C1 is the first smartphone at this price point to get a screen with notches. It houses the front camera, the headset and proximity sensors and ambient light. The notch helps to push some boundaries and offers a slightly larger screen that extends to the top bevel. It has a 6.2-inch HD + screen that runs at a resolution of 1520×720 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 19: 9. The screen is adequately bright indoors, while outdoors, it is bright enough to provide readability decent under sunlight.

The color reproduction on the screen is quite good, and there is nothing to complain about.
Speaking of the notch, it's not as wide as the iPhone X, and not as deep as the Pixel 3 XL, which is good. And unlike some manufacturers that allow you to hide the notch with a black bar, Realme has not added that option. However, you can go individually in the configuration of the application and allow or deny the use of the notch area screen according to your preferences.

Dual cameras

When Realme was launched, Oppo mentioned that it is here to interrupt, and the company has lived up to its words. The C1 is the first smartphone in this price segment that comes with a dual camera configuration on the back. The configuration includes a 13-megapixel primary sensor complemented by a 2-megapixel depth sensor for portrait mode. Realme has also added AI chops with scene detection mode to optimize photos.

Operating system: Android 8.1 Oreo with ColorOS

The Realme C1 comes with Android 8.1 Oreo with ColorOS UI at the top. The smartphone works with the security patch of September 2018, which is not a bad thing. It remains to be seen how well Realme works to keep the phone updated, at least with the monthly security patches. In all the previous Realme devices, I had a major problem with the operating system: the configuration menu had been very confusing, and there was no search option either. Fortunately, the latest version of ColorOS introduces the search menu in the configuration menu, making things a bit easier.

Now, the smartphone comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which is not disappointing, as it is an entry-level smartphone. However, the system itself occupies approximately 7.3 GB of space, and you have approximately 8.3 GB left. Outside of this space, applications like Google Play Store, Maps, Gmail, Google Search, Chrome and more occupy 3.5GB.


Being dubbed as the entry-level king, the Realme C1 does a decent job with its performance and you can give credit to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC. However, 2GB of RAM feels a little less. At any time, 1 GB of RAM is reserved for the system, and when you open applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Chrome or anything else, 500-600MB are used, and you only have approximately 400-500MB of free RAM left. As a result, the phone starts to slow down with too many open applications.

Once you are in the application and scroll through the web pages or your timeline, things are a bit softer. But again, if too many applications run in the background, it takes a couple of seconds to activate the phone.

Realme has packed a large battery of 4,230mAh in the C1, which is not something that can be found in the phones of the competition. And since the Snapdragon 450 SoC is optimized for performance and efficiency, the C1 offers a very good battery life. With a single charge, even with heavy use, the battery lasts easily all day and more. With controlled use, you can even stretch it for about two days.

What comes in the Box?

The Realme C1 comes with your standard wall charger with a micro USB cable, and a free case to protect you phone.

Realme C1 inside the box
Photo by: Larson Smit


As mentioned above, Realme is here to interrupt the smartphone segment, and it is evident in the brand's offers. The Realme C1 offers a good configuration of double camera in a budget, a screen with larger notch and a large battery among other additions. Of course, if I had to point to an area where improvements are needed, I'd say it's the storage and RAM department.

Of course, there are other options but they do not have a chip set as powerful as the Realme C1, nor do they come with such a large battery. But in general, the Realme C1 is a good value for money smartphone that you can not go wrong with, whether you're looking for a secondary device or buying a smartphone for the first time.

The Realme C1 is available at Lazada at Php 5,990 but you might get it for only Php 5,490 with some promotions by Realme.

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