Realme, with its success in its first year in the country, looked to ride the momentum in the realm of the budget smartphones. This was apparent when the company unveiled the Realme C2, the successor to the Realme C1.

The Realme C1 was dubbed the Budget King, offering good specs for a reasonable price. The C2, of course, hoped to claim its title.

Realme C2
Display Size 6.1, HD+, IPS LCD
Display Resolution 720 x 1560
Screen-to-Body Ratio 80.30%
Pixel Density 282ppi
Screen Protection Gorilla Glass 3
Processor Helio P22 (Octa)
GPU PowerVR GE8320
RAM 2GB/3GB
Storage 16GB/32GB
Card Slot Up to 256GB
Rear Camera 13MP (f/2.2) + 2MP (f/2.4)
Front Camera 5MP (f/2.0)
OS Android 9 + ColorOS 6 Lite
Battery 4,000mAh
Bluetooth Version 4.2
Interface microUSB
Price PhP5,990 (3GB + 32GB)

 

We had the opportunity to experience the Realme C2 for ourselves and here’s how our experience went.

The metal-looking beauty

The Realme C2 has a polycarbonate body but has a highly convincing metal look to it. The rear of the phone is a good upgrade from the C1 with a textured diamond cut design. This not only makes it look stylish, but it also makes it less of a fingerprint magnet. In this day and age, this design feature is underrated. The branding on the C2 has also been changed to a vertical orientation which just complements the aesthetic of the rear.

Similar to the C1, the C2 foregoes a fingerprint scanner in the rear. While its omission makes a lot of sense, we preferred it had one instead of facial recognition.

The size of the phone and the positioning of the power button and volume rockers, which again takes from the C1, is pretty comfortable. It required little to no adjustment to get to the buttons with either hand, which makes the phone easy to wield with one hand.

One issue that we had with its design is its mono speaker at the bottom of the phone. This is positioned on the left of the microUSB slot, with the mic and 3.5 audio jack on the opposite side. Because it is on the left, holding the phone landscape by default (AKA top/water drop notch on the left side) put the speaker nearer you which also meant that the hand naturally sits right on top of it.  

Display and performance (yes, gaming included)

The C2 has a 6.1-inch display with an IPS LCD display at 1560×720 resolution which is expected at the price point. This shouldn’t sway you though, it still delivers punchy colors and decent visibility under direct sunlight. Text is also still very sharp for the C2. 

While the phone is powered by a MediaTek Helio P22, the phone comes in two variants. The variant that we received was the higher 3GB RAM + 32 GB internal storage version and it handled the usual social media checking and web browsing fairly well. However, you will start to feel the slowdown when multitasking and this includes the Messenger chat heads. 

 

The Helio P22 and 3GB RAM combination does handle playing the more mainstream games like PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang well though. The phone easily handled Mobile Legends on highest settings. Although PUBG Mobile had to be played on lower settings for a smoother experience. 

The C2 was also able to run the survival game, Durango and Auto Chess fairly well. Albeit, we just barely finished the early stages of Durango. One game it struggled with was [Dota] Underlords especially later on in the game when both players had more pieces on the board. 

The 4000mAh battery on the Realme C2 is good enough to power through a day of use with one charge later at the end of a day. The battery doesn’t support fast charge though, so it does take a bit of time juice up. 

Camera

Of course, we didn’t forget about the camera. The C2, of course, gets an upgrade from the C1 but like the C1, the more the light the better the photos. 

The C2 has Chroma Boost a feature that’s supposed to deliver better colors for your photos. While we appreciated the addition of this, it requires a couple of seconds to let it process which means holding the camera steady for the time. The downside to it all is that it isn’t as reliable as one would hope. It’s a good addition but doesn’t account for much.

Chroma Boost on
Chroma Boost off
Portrait Mode back
Portrait Mode front

One thing that does its job though is Portrait mode which did a surprisingly good job separating foreground from the background. 

The selfie camera delivers good photos and comes with AI Beautification. While we didn’t use it much or at least used it at a minimum for a more natural look, it’s good to the option to have it there. 

Colored with ColorOS

The C2 runs on ColorOS 6.0 based on Android Pie. This version of ColorOS is pretty close to base Android and that is always a good thing. It also comes with minimal bloatware. 

Game Assistant and Game Space are pretty good additions to the latest ColorOS. Game Assistant is a little window that you can bring up from the side that will allow you to do a variety of things while in-game. This includes a No Notification mode, screenshot, screen recording, and replying to messages without leaving the game. While Game Space allows you to adjust the phone settings depending on the game. 

 

Photos of the phone courtesy of Rianne Ronquillo

The Realme C2: A run for your money
Our Verdict
The Realme C2 looks like it does live up to the Budget King name. With the title, comes with tradeoffs, for sure but for everyday use and the simpler mobile games, it is worth its while. It must be said, the phone doesn’t come with a jelly case and earphones out of the box.  A microSD card will definitely be pretty handy for those that enjoy taking photos and videos and installing quite a number of apps. Even with the 32GB variant of the phone, it wouldn’t take long to fill, for sure. 
Design and Build Quality
Performance
Camera
Software
Battery
What's Good
Performance is great for its price
Diamond cut polycarbonate looks stylish
Decent camera performance
Lasting battery
Competitive pricing
What's Not
No fingerprint scanner
No jelly case and earphones out of the box
Speaker grill at the bottom can be easily blocked while holding the phone landscape
4.4

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