Realme C3 unboxed: A new real entry level king arrives

realme c3 philippines

A new budget smartphone from Realme Philippines

Just literally a few weeks after the company brought the Realme 5i (read review here ) in the Philippines, there is another one that was just released in the local market on March 5. It is none other than the Realme C3 smartphone and it is quite powerful and beautiful of a smartphone in and out. If you have been following all smartphone releases from Realme, you will know that the C series falls under the entry level category. This means, this is the most affordable of the series that Realme offers today. In the past, when we heard the phrase "entry level" we would think it's cheap. But when Realme entered into the smartphone scene in the Philippines with their first ever C1 offering, dubbed "real entry level king", that thinking changed. And while that still holds true with the Realme C3, in terms of specs, Realme is even more generous with this one. Keep on reading to know why.

realme c3 philippines

Realme C3 unboxed

Like the Realme 5i, the Realme C3 comes in a yellow box with the huge C3 naming slapped in the front face of the box and the realme branding at the lower part. On the back of the box we see the key specs of the phone such as the triple rear camera, huge 5000mAh battery, and Helio G70 processor. Also in there, we are informed of the RAM and storage configuration as well as which color is on the inside. Inside the packaging are the usual suspects such as the Realme C3 itself (I got the Frozen Blue variant), warranty and user guide paperwork, a wall charger with microUSB cable, and a pre-installed screen protector. Unfortunately, this one does not come with a clear jelly case like other Realme smartphones. Still, there is no pair of earphones in the retail box. That's basically it when it comes to the packaging.

Sunrise design and a huge 720p display

The Realme C3 now sports  a brand new design on its back panel, the company calls it Sunrise design which reminiscent of the sun rays. This particular looks debuted with the Realme 5i. Though it is the same textured pattern, its orientation is quite different on this one. I guess that's intentional so we can easily tell which is which between the two. The C3 is released in two color variants, the other color is called Blazing Red.

One of the good things about having a matte and textured surface on the back of a phone is that it does not attract too much smudge and fingerprints. So if you are someone who is particular in this, you are going to like the Realme C3 or 5i. Plus, the Sunrise design is actually a beautiful pattern to look at and it feels good as well to the hand. In addition to the curved edges, the pattern also adds better grip to the phone.

On the front is the huge 6.5-inch screen with "mini drop" notch holding the selfie camera. As for the display quality, it offers HD+ resolution or 1600 x 720 pixel arrangement. The waterdrop notch is still here to stay, though it is now much smaller compared to the previous iterations. Realme says it is now about 30.9% smaller than standard dewdrop resulting to 89.8% screen-to-body-ratio. That said, it should not bother us as much anymore when watching our favorite vloggers on YouTube or series on Netflix. The bezels on the sides are extremely thin as well while the chin bezel is a bit more pronounced.

My initial impressions of the display quality, it is vibrant and the colors pack a punch. I'm not sure it if has to do with the fact that it now sports Realme UI software, but it is really good. The display now appears more sharp and detailed. For an HD+ smartphone, I think this one provide a better viewing experience. If you play mobile games, colors should pop more on this one.

It's got a fingerprint scanner and a third camera

Yes it does have a third camera lens on the back and a fingerprint reader. This is so nice to know because the Indian version of this device did not have the fingerprint scanner which left them relying on the face recognition feature for unlocking the phone. Also in India, the C3 only had dual rear camera setup. Ours got a triple camera treatment. I will talk more about the cameras below.

The fingerprint scanner, works just fine. It is able to recognize my fingerprints and unlock the phone almost all the time with ease. It's quite fast too, at least based on my initial use of the phone. Realme says the phone's scanner can unlock the device in just around 0.27 second, and I guess that promise is delivered.

realme c3 philippines

The usual buttons are still to be found on the Realme C3. At the bottom we still have the speaker, microphone, 3.5mm audiojack, and the mircoUSB port for charging and file transfer purposes. On the right are the volume rocker together with the triple SIM tray, while on the right side is the power/lock key. Nothing to be found at the top.

Triple card slot, means users can have two SIM cards and a microSD card with up to 256GB size all at the same time. Thank goodness, Realme still does it. And it's more advisable actually, since the C3 only has 32GB native storage of which about 19GB is available to the users on initial boot. I guess for heavy mobile gamers or for someone who downloads a lot from Netflix to watch on the go, this will be a deal breaker. I don't know about other users but personally, I prefer smartphones with at least 64GB internal storage.

Realme UI right out of the box

No more ColorOS from OPPO. For the longest time, Realme used OPPO's ColorOS UI for all of its smartphone releases even after becoming an independent company. But Realme quickly started working on its own user interface, it's simply called the Realme UI and it is now here. Some of the smartphones have already been upgraded to this UI while many others will follow suit. However, it is the Realme C3 the first smartphone to offer Realme UI right out of the box. This UI is based on the recent Android 10 mobile OS from Google. So yes, early adopters of this device will no longer need to wait just to experience the brand new launcher from Realme. Good job! This is actually the feature I am most excited about this phone since all of the reviews I have read so far about the UI have been nothing but good. See some sample screenshots below.

realme c3 philippines

The newly launched and upcoming Realme 6 and Realme 6 Pro smartphones are also powered by Realme UI right out of the box. Both of these devices have 1080p resolution and have 90Hz refresh rate, so yes, I am that excited too.

realme c3 philippines

As you guys may have already know, I have been using Realme smartphones since C1 was released then upgraded to the Realme 3 and now with a Realme 5 device. I even had the opportunity to use the Realme 5i. All of which run on ColorOS 6 and below. So this is also my first time with the Realme UI. One of my initial impressions so far is how close this is to a vanilla version of Android. The interface is fast and smooth in transition, the animation is good as well and the design of each icon is now more likable than ever.

Let's talk specs and features

Apart from the third rear camera, fingerprint scanner, and the sunrise design, other key highlights of this Realme C3 are the huge 5000mAh battery and the 12nm octa-core MediaTek Helio G70 processor. The C3 is the world's first G70-powered smartphone, according to Realme, which can clock speeds up to 2.0GHz. Together with the SoC is 3GB of RAM and a 32GB internal storage that is expandable through microSD card. The usual connectivity functions are also here such as WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and 4G LTE.

The MediaTek Helio G70 

It is one of this phone's key offerings. It is an eight-core 12nm processor that clocks up to 2.0GHz, making it one of the fastest and latest in its category. Together with the chipset's ARM Mali-G52 GPU, the device is ideal for mainstream smartphone users and mobile gamers. Realme is highlighting the processor's three main features namely the Gaming Technology, Display Latency Optimization, and Premium Picture Quality.

The Mediatek Gaming Technology simply mitigates network latency. So apart from offering low network latency, this feature also provides a more stable overall experience and solves the problem of in-game lag which is very crucial for mobile gamers. The Display Latency Optimization of Helio G70, on the other hand, gives faster response time and more accurate screen control which again is very important for gamers. And then the third one, Premium Picture Quality, supports True Color. With better screen contrast, the output is brighter and gives clearer picture while gaming and watching videos.

The C3's 5000mAh battery is definitely going to last more than a day even on heavy use. But it has a new feature that I find very useful - reverse charging or power sharing. Meaning, the Realme C3 can share battery life to another device such as wireless earphones, smartwatches, and smart bands via its USB OTG support. To use this feature, you will need to activate first the OTG Connection in the Settings and use a USB OTG dongle which is not part of the packaging.

Triple rear and a selfie cameras

Now as for its cameras

The Realme C3 has 12MP main shooter with f/1.8 aperture, PDAF, Chroma Boost. Sadly, there is no Nighscape mode on this one. Its secondary 2MP camera has the Portrait Mode and f/2.4 aperture. The third 2MP shooter is for Macro photography with f/2.4 apeture as well. On the front is a 5MP selfie camera with AI Beautification.

I will provide photo samples in my full review.

Camera features on the rear includes Slo-Mo at 480p 120fps, Time-Lapse, Ultra Macro, Panorama, Portrait, and Expert Mode. The front also has Panorama, Time-Lapse, and Portrait. Video recording using the rear and front cameras provide 720p and 1080p at 30fps options.

Initial verdict

For the sub-6K price category, I would say that the Realme C3 is already a premium device among its competition. The bright and clear display, Helio G70 processor, massive 5000mAh battery, triple camera, and fingerprint scanner in one package make the Realme C3 the entry-level to defeat this 2020. I am pretty sure I will have a lot of good times using this phone as my main daily driver starting today. For now, that's what I can say about the device but I will provide more of my experience and thoughts in my full review which I plan to publish in the next couple of weeks.

Realme C3 specs:

  • 6.5-inch HD+ Display
  • 1600 x 720 resolution
  • Octa-core MediaTek Helio G70 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage
  • Supports microSD card
  • 12MP + 2MP + 2MP triple rear camera with portrait and macro lenses
  • 5MP front camera
  • Android 10 with Realme UI 1.0
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • 4G LTE
  • triple SIM tray
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Reverse Charging
  • Frozen Blue, Blazing Red
  • 5000mAh battery
The Realme C3 is now available in the Philippines for only Php5,990.
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