Realme C3 Review: Is this the Budget Gaming Monster?
The Realme C3 is the first-ever smartphone to use the MediaTek Helio G70 budget gaming chipset. It also has a triple rear camera setup and a massive 5,000mAh battery.
I’ve been using the device for one month and here are my experiences, test results, and full review. It includes a look at the design, display, performance, cameras, connectivity, battery life, and overall quality.
Design & Display
The Realme C3 has the same textured back cover design first seen in the Realme 5i. This means fewer smudges and a slightly better grip compared to phones with a smooth and glossy plastic back cover.
Its power button is on the right side while the volume buttons are on the other side. It only uses a micro-USB port instead of USB Type-C but supports USB OTG and a 3.5mm audio jack is present.
The screen is taller than usual making it more comfortable to hold since it has a 20:9 aspect ratio. However, this also makes it hard to reach the top edge and pull down the notification shade with one hand.
Its brightness is enough for outdoor use but not under direct sunlight. It also supports 10 multi-touch inputs and responsive enough to swipes and taps.
However, it’s quite obvious that the screen only has an HD+ resolution since I’ve been using smartphones with higher pixel density. Small texts and rounded edges look jagged and slightly pixelated but this is just me being too nitpicky.
Overall, the Realme C3 is a tall smartphone with a textured back, notched display with average quality, and the usual buttons and ports.
Hardware and Software Performance
The Realme C3 has been heavily promoted as a “budget gaming smartphone”. As usual, I tested its gaming performance by measuring the average frame rate of several games using GameBench Pro.
However, stable frame rates were only achieved when the graphics quality is set to low or medium. When Mobile Legends is played with high graphics quality, the frame rate can go as high as 60 fps at the start of the game but drop down to 35 fps during clashes.
Here are the results of the gaming tests on the Realme C3:
|Mobile Legends||High||47 fps|
|Call of Duty Mobile||Low||59 fps|
|PUBG Mobile||HD||28 fps|
I was surprised by the Realme C3’s performance in PUBG Mobile though. It’s playable even when the graphics quality set to HD with an average frame rate of 28 fps. Setting the graphics quality to Balanced still yields the best gaming experience.
Thankfully, its general performance in basic tasks is decent, especially after the first software update. The device runs on the new Realme UI software and some bugs were fixed. The user interface is neat and some animations such as the one that shows up when re-charging looks cool.
Here are some benchmark scores of the Realme C3. You may download these apps and compare the results of your current smartphone.
|Benchmark||Realme C3 Score|
|Antutu Benchmark||178,841 points|
|Geekbench 5 (Single)||379 points|
|Geekbench 5 (Multi)||1,258 points|
|RealPi Benchmark||3.50 seconds|
RealPi Benchmark measures the time it takes the smartphone to compute for 1 million digits of Pi (π).
The Realme C3 is equipped with a triple rear camera system which is composed of a 12 Megapixel main camera, 2 Megapixel macro camera, and 2 Megapixel depth camera. It also has a 5 Megapixel selfie camera residing on the notch of the display.
Here are several sample pictures that were taken using the rear cameras:
These are pictures taken with the Realme C3’s default camera settings. The picture of the flower looks good with plenty of details, a nice & soft background blur, and the colors are correctly reproduced.
The picture of the playground also looks good but the picture of the church is slightly overexposed. Its HDR feature was automatically turned on in the last picture as the phone tried to brighten the shadows and correctly expose the bright walls. When inspected closely, there’s a halo effect on the edges of the church
Here are more sample pictures in different scenarios:
The Realme C3’s Portrait mode has a surprisingly decent subject separation. However, be sure that this mode is only used in well-lit environments.
Low light photos tend to look soft and lose a lot of details. There’s no dedicated Night Mode on the camera app so you’ll have to look for a bright area or use the LED flash to get decent night shots.
Let’s now take a look at sample selfies:
The Realme C3’s front camera can produce selfies with plenty of details and natural-looking colors despite the relatively low resolution of 5 Megapixels when compared to other smartphones.
Its beautification feature also preserves the general sharpness of the image while removing blemishes. My face looks smooth but with a side effect of looking pale after the smoothening algorithm.
Connectivity and Audio Quality
The Realme C3 is a dual-SIM smartphone with 4G LTE connectivity. It can achieve fast mobile internet speeds as long as there’s LTE coverage in the area.
Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth transfers also work well. However, it’s not compatible with 5GHz Wi-Fi networks.
Meanwhile, voice calls sound decent but the earpiece doesn’t get very loud. The best way to listen to music is still through earphones since the loudspeaker also sounds tinny. There are no free earphones inside the retail box but the new Realme Buds 2 and Realme Buds Wireless are worth considering.
Storage, Security, and Sensors
The Realme C3 comes with 32GB of internal storage. However, only about 20GB is free out of the box which is easily depleted by installing several heavy games. Thankfully, there’s a dedicated micro-SD card slot for additional storage for videos and other files.
For security, the device has a fingerprint scanner at the back and face recognition using the front camera. Both unlocking methods are quick and reliable except in low light for the face unlock.
It also comes with a gyroscope for AR and VR apps and games.
Battery Life and Charging Time
The Realme C3 has a massive 5,000mAh battery and usually lasts two days on a single charge with casual usage.
It lasted 12 hours and 31 minutes in the PCMark Battery Life Test with its screen brightness set to 50% and airplane mode turned on. This is slightly above average among the smartphones that I’ve reviewed.
Charging the device from 0% to 100% battery capacity takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes. This is using the original charger with a rated output of 5V/2A or 10 watts.
Realme C3 Review Conclusion
The Realme C3 may not be as impressive as Realme’s previous offerings but it’s a decent smartphone at an affordable price.
It has a modern design, good-enough cameras, seamless connectivity, and long battery life. However, I wouldn’t call it a true budget gaming monster based on the gaming test results.
M recommendation is to spend slightly more and choose the Realme 5i instead. It has a more robust set of features that will surely exceed your expectations for a budget smartphone.
- 6.5-inch HD+ IPS LCD Display (720 x 1600 Pixels), 270 ppi
- Android 10 Operating System
- MediaTek Helio G70 Chipset
- 3GB of RAM
- 12 Megapixel Rear Camera with LED Flash
- 5 Megapixel Front Camera
- Dual SIM
- 32GB Internal Storage
- Expandable Up to 256 via microSD
- 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+, 2G EDGE & GPRS Networks
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth 5.0
- MicroUSB 2.0
- 3.5mm Audio Jack
- Fingerprint Sensor
- 5000mAh Battery
- 10W Charging
- ₱5,990.00 Official Price in the Philippines
Realme C3 Review Summary
The Realme C3 is a decent smartphone at an affordable price but I wouldn’t call it a Budget Gaming Monster.