Header Ads

Realme banner

realme C11 Review - Capable homeschooling sub-PHP 5K smartphone

OPPO
Following its successful releases in the over PHP 6K and mid-range smartphone market, realme is not done yet, the young brand now aims to provide a high value for money offering in the budget category with the introduction of the PHP 4,990 C11.
realme C11 Review - High-performance homeschooling budget smartphone
This is the realme C3

Dubbed as the smartphone homeschooling, multitasking, and a bit of gaming, the realme C3 highlights a large 6.5-inch HD+ notch screen, 12nm Mediatek Helio G35 octa-core processor, 5,000mAh large battery, 13MP + 2MP AI dual-camera with Nightscape, 4G LTE, and Android 10 OS with realme UI 1.0 skin.

Is it as good as it looks on paper? Here's our review.

Unboxing/Accessories

Unboxed
Unboxed

Similar to most realme packages, the C11 sports the yellow rectangular box with the paper documents, SIM ejector tool, the phone itself with a pre-installed screen protector, USB wall charger, and data/charging USB-A to micro USB long cable.
5V/2A charger
5V/2A charger

The charger it is using is a 5V/2A or 10W charger. As expected, it is not a fast charger.

Compared to pricier realme phones, it doesn't have a case included for extra protection.

Build Quality/Design

Textured back
Textured back

The materials used on the realme C11 is very similar to what we saw with the pricier realme C3 and 6i. That's a good sign as realme didn't skimp on quality despite its more affordable price tag.

The back and the frame uses a solid polycarbonate backplate. The front panel is protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 3+ technology to avoid unwanted hairline scratches and to prevent it from easily breaking when dropped.

It's plastic, but functional and durable!

Also, the phone has a nice type of textured finish that prevents fingerprint smudges. It also prevents the phone from slipping easily on your hands.

realme was generous enough to add the P2i splash resistance coating as well.
Dual-cam
Dual-cam

The slight difference is in the design department. It uses a Geometric Design in Mint Green and Pepper Grey colorways. There is a stripe with a smoother finish with a big realme logo below as well.

This handset also uses a square camera hump to house its dual-cam and LED flash. For a budget smartphone, the hump is considered as very slim.

6.5-inch large screen
6.5-inch large screen

In the front, it uses a 6.5-inch IPS (LTPS) panel. It is slightly curved and it has a notch for the 5MP selfie camera. realme claims that it has 88.7 percent of screen-to-body ratio. That's not bad for a device priced this low.

So, the side and top bezels are slim. The bottom bezel is thicker than expected.

The device has an average size and thickness for a phone with a 6.5-inch panel and a large 5,000mAh battery. It measures at 
164.4 x 75.9 x 9.1 mm.
Top/bottom
Top/bottom

There's nothing on top. Below, you'll see the 3.5mm headphone slot together with two holes for the microphone, micro USB port, and the single speaker grille.
Left/right
Left/right

On the left side, there's a pinhole to access the triple slot (dual nano-SIM + microSD card) of the device. At right, there's the power button and volume keys.

The device doesn't have a fingerprint reader. It weighs at 196 grams.

Multimedia Experience

Superb screen for the price
Superb screen for the price

For a budget phone, the screen of this handset is superb.
Its 6.5-inch 
2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3+ protected IPS (LTPS) display with HD+ 1600 x 720 resolution is similar to the realme 6i.

Superb display for a sub-PHP 5K smartphone!

Even if it is not a full HD panel (like most budget phones), the display is crisp enough. It has pixelation when you take a closer look at the display, but that's understandable at this price point.


Generally, it renders images and videos nicely with punchy colors, good contrast, decent brightness levels, and respectable viewing angles.

The auto-brightness feature of the device is responsive. Outdoor legibility is respectable. It is still viewable under direct sunlight hit, but it'll struggle.

It also has an adjustment for Color temperature and Eye comfort mode in the display settings. It also has the Dark mode if you want.
The screen is also good for gaming
The screen is also good for gaming

I find it immersive enough for your Netflix and chill on the go, gaming, and more. It also has 10 points of touch. But, it doesn't automatically guarantee that is super responsive. Obviously, its touch and swipe responsiveness pales in comparison to pricier phones.

The down-firing speaker is also identical in quality to the realme 6i. The speaker is fairly loud. It is good for the price. But, it isn't the cleanest around.

It sounds good up to 80 percent. There's a bit of grain and minor distortion at 100 percent loudness. Don't expect it to produce heart-thumping bass as well.

For wired headphones, it drives my triple-driver in-ear earphones decently at 60 percent loudness. That's quite impressive. It is warm in sound signature with a big emphasis on bass. The bass is actually a bit overpowering for me, but some will like this. The vocals are reasonably clear as well.

It also has the Real Sound Technology co-developed with Dirac audio. When turned on, the soundstage will be artificially wider. There are times where I like its 3D effect and there are times where I'll turn it off.

For Bluetooth audio, as long as you have good quality wireless earphones or headphones, you'll be able to enjoy it pretty well.

Microphone recordings are clear, but not that loud. It blocks noise nicely for a budget phone. The earspeaker works well too. It is decent for calls overall.

The earspeaker simply works. Also, unlike most budget smartphones, the realme C11 comes with a reasonably clear microphone for calls and audio recordings. The noise is present, but it is not that bad.

Camera

realme's camera UI
realme's camera UI

The camera configuration of this handset is not complicated. It uses a 13MP f/2.2 main shooter with PDAF focus, 2MP f/2.4 depth camera, and an LED flash at the back.

One of the cheapest with Nightscape mode!

Except for the ultra-wide and macro modes, it has most of the camera modes found on realme devices. It has the Auto HDR, Chroma Boost, Filters, Night, Photo with up to Beauty level 100, Portrait with up to Bokeh level 100, Panorama, and Expert modes.

The Expert mode of this handset is robust. It has ISO 100 to 6400, 1/10s to 16s, WB 2000K to 9000K, MF, and EV (+-2).

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight auto
Daylight auto
Daylight Chroma Boost
Daylight Chroma Boost

Even if it has PDAF focus, autofocus speed is not the fasted around. It is only fast and accurate in well-lit scenarios. The same goes for the shooting speed. While it is considered pretty fast for the price, don't expect it to be that fast.

In daylight, most of our shots are detailed. Though the colors are a bit undersaturated. Dynamic range isn't widest out there.

This is why I often use the Chroma Boost to enhance its colors, details, and exposure.
No Chroma Boost
No Chroma Boost
With Chroma Boost
With Chroma Boost

In some dimmer scenarios, the Chroma Boost will make the image a bit unnatural and grainy even if it enhances the brightness of your shot.
Daylight close-up
Daylight close-up

This daylight close-up image is respectable. It has fairly crisp details. The natural blur effect also looks pretty nice. I will just lower its brightness level to make it look more natural and not overexposed before uploading.
Detailed well-lit indoor shot
Detailed well-lit indoor shot

This indoor well-lit shot is the best I got out of the realme C11 yet. Exposure is just right. Details are crisp. The colors are accurate. This is solid proof that it can take nice images if you are patient.
Bokeh effect
Bokeh effect

The function of its secondary camera is to provide a background blur effect also known as bokeh. But, it isn't really that advisable to use. Most of my portrait mode shots using the main camera have unnatural and smudgy blur effect. The edges are not clean.
1x
1x
2x
2x
4x
4x

For a budget device, the realme C11 comes with a nice up to 4x digital zoom. The 2x digital zoom is considered as crisp. The 4x digital zoom taken on well-lit lighting condition is usable.
Low light
Low light

In the dark, it will obviously struggle on point and shoot mode. It'll be lacking in dynamic range and colors. Details will be softer too. Noise will be more visible as well.
Night mode 1
Night mode 1
Night mode 2
Night mode 2
Night mode 3
Night mode 3

But, it has the Nightscape mode. It'll help you take brighter images with better colors and lesser noise. This is the most affordable phone with a handheld Night mode that we ever tested yet.

However, as expected for the price, it won't be as impressive as the other Night modes from more expensive phones with better chips. There are still times where the Night mode shot will look grainy, soft, or overexposed.
Selfie camera UI
Selfie camera UI

For selfies, it uses a single 5MP f/2.4 camera. It has the usual Auto HDR, Filters, Photo with Beauty, and Portrait with Blur and Beauty modes.


Selfie Camera Samples

Selfie with Beauty
Selfie with Beauty
Selfie Portrait mode
Selfie Portrait mode

For a budget smartphone, the selfie camera of this handset is quite good. Even if you turn on the default AI Beauty mode, it won't overdo your skin. My skin tone is still brownish, not white. It didn't erase the facial hair and other details on my skin.

The blur effect here is not perfect. It missed blurring the part near my underarm, but it still looks nicer than the blur effect on its main camera.
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Low light selfie
Low light selfie

Indoor and low light selfies are softer with more grain though. That's expected from a phone with a small 5MP f/2.4 sensor. Use the screen flash if possible.

For videos, the phone can shoot 1080p 30fps videos using the main cam and selfie cam. 
It also has a Time-lapse and Slow-mo feature.

There's no EIS, so expect the videos to be shaky if you don't have steady hands. It has respectable details when used on daylight.

The selfie cam for videos is not that narrow versus other budget smartphones we tested in the past.


Video Samples


Performance

AnTuTu and Geekbench scores

Under the hood, the C11 is powered by MediaTek's new 12nm Helio G35 octa-core processor with PowerVR GE8320 GPU. MediaTek highlighted that this is a high-performance budget chipset.

Good enough performance to nicely run basic apps and a few games!

In terms of specs, the chip is very similar to the Helio P35. In our tests, the benchmark scores are slightly higher. At AnTuTu it recorded a score of 107,586. In the GPU department, it got a higher 13,224 score versus the 11,107 of the Huawei Y6s with the Helio P35 chip.

Obviously, it is also better than the Helio G25 found on Redmi 9A.
PCMark Work 2.0 performance and 3DMark benchmark results
PCMark Work 2.0 performance and 3DMark benchmark results

Also, most phones with the P35 chip are found in the PHP 6K range. My point? The C11 has a slightly improved G35 chip at a lower PHP 4,990 price tag.
AndroBench results
AndroBench results

My concern is the small 2GB RAM. It would have been better if it has 3GB RAM for better multitasking.

Note: Our review unit has 3GB of RAM and overall multitasking performance is decent. The 2GB RAM model PH consumption should perform slightly lesser than our unit.


For storage, it has 32GB. 32GB is not too small. But, it isn't big as well. After installing Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Call of Duty: Mobile, NBA 2K20, Netflix, and all the benchmarks we used, my remaining storage is 8.69GB.


So if you plan to take a lot of photos and store more files, my suggestion is you get a microSD card.


When it comes to games, it runs Mobile Legends: Bang Bang nicely. NBA 2K20 is also playable at medium settings with no cloth simulation. That's not bad for a phone priced this low.
Game Space
Game Space

To let you have an even better gaming experience, it has the Game Space mode that optimizes the games and enables uninterrupted gaming.

Thermals are also decent. After playing NBA for 20 minutes, the CPU temperature is just 45 degrees. The phone barely felt warm as well.

But if you can spend a more, the PHP 5,990 realme C3 is still a better overall deal.
PCMark score
PCMark score

This handset also legit 2-day battery life. Thanks to its 5,000mAh big battery capacity. At PCMark, it recorded a score of 17 hours and 24 minutes. It's higher than the 14 hours 33 minutes we achieved with the realme 6i even if they have the battery size and screen resolution.

For connectivity, the handset has WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, and dual SIM. There's no Band 28 700MHz 4G LTE though. But unlike most budget smartphones, it has VoLTE for higher-quality voice calls.

realme C11's Helio G35 SoC also has the HyperEngine tech which can switch between WiFi and 4G LTE in just 13 milliseconds to maintain fast and stable connections especially for playing games.

Security-wise, the device doesn't have a fingerprint reader. So, you'll rely on the face unlock, patterns, and pin codes.
realme UI
realme UI

The UI is the same. realme UI 1.0 skin based on Android 10 OS is one of the cleanest and smoothest around. It is near-stock like with plenty of functions like the Screen Recording, customized icons, Drawer or no Drawer mode, Dark mode, easy to use gestures, hemes, Private Space, Digital Wellbeing, Dual Mode Music Share, and Icon Customization.

What I dislike about the realme UI are the repetitive App markets. I'm fine with having just the Play Store and the realme AppMarket.

Pros - Good build, nice display, decent performance, good battery life, respectable cameras with Nightscape mode on a budget, 4G LTE w/ VoLTE, budget price tag
Cons - No fingerprint scanner, 2GB RAM, a few repetitive apps

realme C11 Specs

Display: 6.5-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3+ protected IPS (LTPS) screen w/ HD+ 1600 x 720 resolution at 269 ppi
CPU: 2.3GHz 12nm Helio G35 octa-core processor
GPU: PowerVR GE8320
RAM: 2GB
ROM: 32GB eMMC 5.1 expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 13MP f/2.2 w/ PDAF + 2MP f/2.4 depth + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5MP f/2.4
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ 10W charger
OS: Android 10.0 w/ realme UI 1.0
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11b/g/n/ac, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Face unlock, P2i splash resistance, Dirac HD Sound, Colors: Mint Green, Pepper Gray
Dimensions: 164.4 x 75.9 x 9.1 mm
Weight: 196 g
Price: PHP 4,990

Verdict

Nobody's perfect, but this is the phone that I'll call near perfect for the price.

The handset has a gorgeous design, big display that is good for split screens, decent specs with strong battery performance for work and a bit of play, respectable cameras with Nightscape mode, and 4G with VoLTE at just PHP 4,990.

It is more than enough for basic smartphone tasks like opening your email, loading useful online meeting apps for homeschooling, social media apps, and even playing a few games from time to time.

Overall, realme C11 is arguably the best budget all-rounder if you cannot really push your budget past PHP 5K.

But if you can increase your budget to PHP 5,990, go for the realme C3. It is the faster and more value-packed offering between the two.
Powered by Blogger.
close
gizguide