realme C2 review: Entry-level royalty

When it comes to budget phones, some manufacturers cut corners to offer devices at wallet-friendlier prices. realme goes the other way when it brought in the C1, a.k.a. the entry-level king, which offers a premium look with a decent battery capacity to match. Can the realme C2 live up to the hype of its predecessor?

Holding the realme C2 feels like a totally different experience. The diamond-cut design on the rear cover has a matte-like texture that makes it easier to handle as opposed to the usual glass feel you get from other smartphones. In my opinion, the phone can do without the jelly case with the unique cover design.

Compared to the C1, the new iteration has a smaller screen. But with the smaller dewdrop notch, the C2 has more screen real estate. The bezels on the sides are pretty slim, while the
chin bezel is a little chunky. It all comes down to preference, but the notch drops too low for my taste, and can be especially distracting when watching videos. On the other hand, the screen produces a vibrant display over all, making watching and playing enjoyable.

Running on Android 9.0 with ColorOS 6, the phone’s overall UI is very colorful, which some people might enjoy. It’s also very simple and userfriendly, even a first-time smartphone user will find it easy to navigate.

For a budget phone, the realme C2 gives a performance that is expected from a midrange smartphone. I was able to play PUBG and Arena of Valor on it without experiencing major lags. One useful feature is Game Space mode, which instantly turns on to free up space and resources when you’re playing a game.

I was surprised with this phone’s security features because I did not expect an entry-level phone to come with face unlock. It makes sense, though, since its unique rear cover doesn’t have room for a fingerprint scanner.

The rear cameras have the same specs as the ones in the C1, while the front camera has been improved. As before, the quality is good for its price point. The rear shooters can take portrait mode shots, but the bokeh doesn’t look as nice as I’d like. Its front snapper defaults to an AI beauty mode, but the switch to toggle it off is easy to find.

I mainly used the phone to watch YouTube videos and its battery lasted even with hours of viewing. The phone’s power can last a whole day of casual use before needing a charge. Turn
the power saving feature on and the battery can live through a little over a day. Charging the device takes up to two hours to get to 100%.

realme C2 Specs

  • OS: Android 9.0 Pie with ColorOS 6 Lite
  • DISPLAY: 6.1” HD+ 720×1560 display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • CPU: 2.0GHz octa-core Mediatek MT6762 Helio P22
  • MEMORY: 2GB/3GB
  • STORAGE: 16GB/32GB, microSD
  • CAMERA: 13MP+2MP rear; 5MP front
  • CONNECTIVITY: Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, LE, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, microUSB 2.0, USB OTG, FM radio, 3.5mm jack
  • DIMENSIONS: 154.3 x 73.7 x 8.5mm, 166g
  • PRICE: P5,490 (2GB+16GB); P6,490 (3GB+32GB, reviewed)

Speed says

For an entry-level smartphone, the realme C2 proves itself a trusty daily device offering large battery life, friendly UI, and competent performance.

Words Ayie Licis
First published in Speed Magazine September 2019 issue

Read more: realme 5, 5 Pro now official, pricing revealed

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