Review: Realme C1 Smartphone After One Month of Use

So as you may have already know or noticed, it has been over a month since I started using this Realme C1 as my daily driver. And because of that, I would like to share with you my overall impressions of this "real entry level king" and a first smartphone offering from Realme in the Philippine market. So if you have been planning on getting one for yourself and yet at the same time still wanted to hear more about this new super budget friendly Android phone, you might want to continue reading below to know what's my take on this device.

For those who are not aware, the Realme C1 was only launched in the Philippines in November of last year. It has just been available in the local market for a couple of months but it has already become one of the most well-known, well-received, and much talked about entry level Android smartphones in the local tech scene mainly because of its features-vs-price offerings. Sobrang sulit, ika nga.

I have been using this Realme C1 smartphone for a few weeks now and I have to say that for its Php5,990 price tag, this is a pretty solid smartphone that we can purchase right now. Like I have always been saying since initially unboxing this device, this is the most premium entry level smartphone in town and that I have ever used. After more than a month of use, I can still say the same thing. 

And if you are still not convinced about this device and still wanted to hear more about it, here is my official review of the Realme C1.

READ: Realme C1 Unboxing

Before anything else, below is a quick run down of the Realme C1 specs.
  • 6.2-inch HD+ Display
  • 1520 x 720 resolutio, 19:9 aspect ratio
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • 1.8GHz octa-core Snapdragon 450 processor  
  • Adreno 506 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage
  • Supports microSD card up to 256GB (dedicated slot)
  • 13MP + 2MP dual rear camera with PDAF and f2.2 + f2.4 apertures
  • 5MP front camera with AI Beauty and f2.2
  • Supports microSD card up to 256GB
  • Android 8.1 Oreo with ColorOS 5.1
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • 4G LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • Face Unlock/Smart Unlock
  • 168 grams
  • Mirror Black , Navy Blue
  • 4230mAh battery 
  • Php5,990


For an entry level smartphone and its pricing, the Realme C1absolutely looked more premium than what I was expecting it to be. Realme still made sure this phone to be a good looking one from the outside despite pricing it below Php6K mark. On the back is has a glossy finish that at first glance is easily mistaken for a glass material, though it's plastic or polycarbonate, it did a good job in looking and feeling like a glass panel.

In terms of weight and feel, the phone has a bit of heft to it and that has to do with the phone's massive 4230mAh battery pack, which is excellent by the day longevity-wise. That's not bad though as sometimes, a bit of added weight makes a phone doesn't feel too cheap. Its frame, which I believe is made of metal, feels solid to the hand all the time.

On the sides are the usual ports that we use all the time such as the microUSB for charging, speaker grilles, mic and noise cancelling microphone, and of course the 3.5mm audio jack. Sadly, the packaging does not come with a pair of earphones. Though if you would still like to use a Realme branded headphones, you can buy the Realme Buds for Php399 which was released in the Philippines a couple of months after the C1 became available locally. Or, if you are still to buy one, you can opt for a Realme C1 + Realme Buds bundle from its official Shopee store which is currently priced at Php6,299, you save Php90 in the process.


This device sports a 6.2-inch IPS display with HD+ or 720p resolution and 88.8% screen-to-body ratio. And a notch that houses the earpiece, proximity sensor, and 5MP selfie camera. The entire display is also protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3, plus a screen protector is pre-installed on the screen right out of the box.

So in addition to the long-lasting battery, it's the display and audio quality I am also happy and satisfied with this smartphone. The color accuracy and viewing angle are just great to look at. I never had any problem watching my favorite series on Netflix or watching all the vloggers I follow on YouTube. On very rare occasions though I find the notch a little bit distracting especially when the scenes require me to focus on the left side of the display. Unfortunately there is no option to hide the notch via display settings, but temporarily getting rid of the notch while watching content can be easily fixed by pinching the screen. Brightness and dimness of the display is never an issue either whether using it in-door in darkest environment or outside under direct sunlight.

The audio is very loud and clear as well using the default built-in speakers or a pair of headphones. In my case, I use my JBL earphones and the listening experience has been nothing but satisfying whether its binge watching or music streaming.


The driving features behind this phone's performance are the octa-core Snapdragon 450 processor clocked at 1.8GHz, 2GB RAM, and Android 8.1 Oreo with ColorOS 5.1 user interface.

Generally speaking, the phone is able to perform as expected. It is not the fastest smartphone and most powerful device around but considering its price tag, the overall performance it delivers is still way more than what it is asking from us budget wise.

Touchpanel sometimes are not that responsive. This is more noticeable when I tap on the screen quite fast and the pressure is a bit light. Perhaps it has to do with the screen protector, I am not sure. But for the most part of my usage, it is responsive and able to deliver what I expect from the very first time I started using it.

Now when it comes to mobile gaming, as you may have already noticed from my previous smartphone reviews, I am not really into it that much say in the likes of Fornite, PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends or Ragnarok M: Eternal Love. I am more of reading and watching digital content kind of user if you will. If and when I play mobile games, those would only be the super lightweight ones such as in the range of Temple Run, Alto's Adventure, Clash of Clans etc. So in this regard, I really have no issue at all with the Realme C1. Though I heard, this phone is still capable of playing those heavy games that I mentioned above but only either in the lowest or medium settings.


The Realme C1 packs a dual rear camera set-up. After all that has been mentioned above, and then knowing that this device also rocks dual camera on the back, I think it has really the right to call itself "The Real Entry Level King" smartphone. And what's more is, the cameras really performs pretty decently. Photos look sharp and social media shareable, if that expression exists. The rear's Portrait mode I think delivers the most satisfying quality among its camera related functions. Low light photos and videos are kind of okay, but I guess this is where the phone struggles the most. To me, the 5MP selfie camera produces good photos but not that very good. AI Beautification feature works okay too. See some sample images below I took using this C1 and you be the judge.

LEFT: Default , RIGHT: 1X Zoom

LEFT: Default , RIGHT: Portrait Mode

LEFT: Default , RIGHT: 1X Zoom

Not really fan of selfies, but it's here.

LEFT: Default , RIGHT: 1X Zoom

LEFT: Default , RIGHT: Portrait

It is also worth noting that this smartphone does not have fingerprint scanner. So for security and privacy purposes, users rely on the Face Unlock feature that uses the front camera. In bright and well-lit environment, the Face Recognition works perfectly. But when it comes to low-light to dark scenarios, it starts to struggle unlocking the phone or detecting a face. That said I mostly end up using the passcode thing most of the time when outside at night to unlock the C1.


Memory wise there is only 2GB RAM here and a 16GB native storage. At initial reboot, users are left with about 9GB free storage to use. In my previous article where I discussed the top five things I like about this smartphone and two that not so much, I liked how the system manages the RAM allocation, I did not like how small the internal storage is, I liked how long lasting the battery is but not how long it takes to get fully charged.

If you play games or more of a mobile gamer than digital consumer, that 9GB is easily filled up. Yes of course the phone supports microSD card for additional space of up to 256GB, the problem is most games and apps are not transferable to external memory cards, and even if they are, the gaming experience is kind of compromised. So for that part, it is kind of hard for me to recommend this handset.

It is good to know though that Realme implements a triple-slot SIM and microSD card on this device. So using two SIM cards and a microSD card for additional storage at the same time will never be a problem at all. Two SIM slots support 4G LTE network.

And then with the battery experience, on a single charge, it can last me up to two full days depending on my usage and that's actually nice. Recharging the phone or running out of battery while away from home or office has never been a concern so far. But if I had to mention one thing that I really didn't like about this smartphone, that would be how slow its charging time is. From zero to 100%, its 4230mAh battery pack is going to take at least four hours and that's without using the phone the whole time. That has been my concern until I tried using my other charger from another brand that charges quite fast, twice as fast than Realme C1's charger actually. Problem solved for me, I guess.


And now for the final thoughts. Do I recommend this for budget conscious individuals? The short answer is a definite yes. Its solid and compact build, premium-looking design and decent overall performance for a price that does not break the bank, it's absolutely a steal. I have been using this phone for over a month now and I am happy to report that I have never encountered any big issues with the phone ever, up until today it has been working perfectly. Since unboxing this phone, I have received a couple system updates and those updates for sure made the phone's performance even better. But for mobile game enthusiasts, especially if you have multiple games on standby, you might want to scale up your budget a little bit and find a phone that has a bit more RAM, internal storage and higher processor.

If you are ready to buy, the Realme C1 can be purchased from Shopee an Lazada, or at any Realme authorized retailers nationwide which according to the company they already have more than 1000 partner stores nationwide.

Have you heard? 

That Realme 3 smartphone will be officially launched on March 4 in India and there is a possibility of Philippine release as well shortly after the announcement according to the company's local rep.  Exciting right? Stay tuned for more details on that soon.


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DUGOMPINOY: Review: Realme C1 Smartphone After One Month of Use
Review: Realme C1 Smartphone After One Month of Use
Here is my official review of the Realme C1 smartphone which is now available in the Philippines for Php5,990. Read more here.
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