Battery life is great and the price is competitive, but it still falls short on value- Tech Reviews, Firstpost


If you are thinking of buying a phone in the Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 segment and you are confused between the Redmi 7 and Realme C2, I can tell you right now that the Redmi 7 will be a better pick overall. But, if your budget is really tight, you want a phone with a kickass battery, and the camera is really not your priority, that’s when you should turn to the Realme C2.

Here’s how the two phones compare.

That pricing is good

The pricing of the Realme C2 is impressive. While the Redmi 7 (review) is priced at Rs 7,999 for the 2 GB RAM variant and Rs 8,999 for the 3 GB RAM variant. The Realme C2 sells at Rs 5,999 for the 2 GB RAM model and Rs 7,999 for the 3 GB RAM option. When it comes to pricing, Realme has done a good job at undercutting the competition.

Realme C2 review: Battery life is great and the price is competitive, but it still falls short on value

Realme C2 features a 6.1-inch LCD IPS display. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

It’s cheap for a reason though

When we talk about the design, Realme has added a dramatic pattern on the back of the phone, with random geometric shapes that look sometimes dark and sometimes shimmery, depending on the angle, it’s still hard to make out with that plastic body.

Realme C2 has a plastic back. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Realme C2 has a plastic back. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Besides that, the Realme C2’s rounded edges are well crafted and the display and back merge nicely at the boundary, and their curved shape lends a good grip to users.

Another thing with a scope of improvement is Realme's chargers. They are plastic-y and chunky. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Another thing with a scope of improvement is Realme’s chargers. They are plastic-y and chunky. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

The front of the display is surrounded by some thick bezels and an even thicker chin.

The display is dreadfully dull

The Realme C2 features a 6.1-inch IPS LCD display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, and an HD+ resolution of 720×1560 pixels. While it’s nice that this Rs 6,000 phone comes with Gorilla Glass 3 protection, the colours this display offers are dull. I was constantly checking the drop down for brightness level. At one point I even had to switch off Auto Brightness because I thought it was messing up with the phone’s brightness.

In bright sunlight, the phone does not respond too well, especially when you are viewing darker colours on the screen. This means that if you are an ardent fan of TV shows, movies and games on your mobile phone, the Realme C2 may disappoint you.

Realme C2 has a 4,000 mAh battery. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Realme C2 has a 4,000 mAh battery. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

The dull display might at least boost battery life

The display is very dull, but that low brightness might be good for battery life. That 4,000 mAh battery lasts a really long time. With YouTube, Slack, WhatsApp, Instagram, and two email accounts on sync, I used the phone at 40 percent charge for a day, and at the end of 24 hours, the phone still had 15 percent to spare, and that impressed me.

Realme C2 PC Mark Battery 2.0 test.

Realme C2 PC Mark Battery 2.0 test.

Interestingly, even though the Redmi 7 also features the same 4,000 mAh battery, the Realme C2 somehow manages to offer a longer battery life.

Gaming experience on Realme C2 isn't very great. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

The gaming experience on Realme C2 isn’t very great. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

It’s definitely not a phone you can game on

Realme C2 is powered by the MediaTek MT6762 Helio P22 processor with an option of 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage, and 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage. The unit I am reviewing is the one with 3 GB RAM and despite that, the performance of this phone is far from perfect. While apps didn’t crash, a lot of times I felt a lag in their launch time.

The phone once also hung briefly while I was surfing through the app drawer. The touch of the phone also feels a little unresponsive while texting. If you type too fast, you will sometimes find the phone struggling to catch up to your speed.

Since I received this unit, the phone received two updates, but neither of them appears to have fixed the lag.

The gaming experience is also not too great. First of all, the phone takes quite a while to load PUBG. You’ll find yourself shaking your legs, staring at the wall, and feeling the urge to drop your plan to play, and even wanting to sometimes just throw the phone against a wall.

Realme C2 supports PUBG at low settings. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Realme C2 supports PUBG at low settings. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

When the game eventually does load, you will have to stick with low settings and will spot occasional frame drops. And to top it all, the low display brightness is a buzzkill.

However, while the gaming experience and the overall performance of the Realme C2 is ho-hum, the facial recognition responsiveness of this phone is impressive, as long as you are in a well-lit room that is.

Realme C2 runs on Android Pie. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Realme C2 runs on Android Pie. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

As for software, the Realme C2 runs Android Pie, which is layered with the company’s own flavour of ColourOS 6 Lite. The animations and UI of the phone are pretty basic. However, one feature on the phone that I loved, which is a tweak from Realme’s end, is a customisable timer category. For instance, if you do a plank every day for a minute, you can customise a category and whenever you choose the same, it will always run for that particular duration. That’s a small yet thoughtful addition to the UI.

The audio quality of the phone is bad. Call quality is decent, but you have to meticulously place the earpiece. If it’s not precisely aimed at your ear, you’ll have issues hearing the person on the other side of the call.

Its camera is equal parts okay-ish and meh

The Realme C2’s camera is definitely not its highlight. It sports a dual 13 MP + 2 MP camera setup at the rear and a 5 MP sensor in the front for selfies. The rear camera visibly does some heavy, AI-enabled post-processing, which in bright ambience, actually gives good results. However, dim lighting is an enemy to this camera setup. On both front and back cameras, dim lighting starts producing noisy pictures on the phone.

Realme C2 offers a dual-camera setup at the back. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Realme C2 offers a dual-camera setup at the back. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Also, in low lit conditions, the phone boosts the chrome effect in pictures sometimes. And oh, Realme C2 also has a ‘Chrome Boost’ feature, which I personally feel adds a hint of yellow to the overall image.

Night shots of objects are decent thanks to all the AI processing. The colours are bright but details are missing. Capturing portraits, though, in dark lighting scenarios, is not so much fun on this phone. People pretty much look like shadows.

Realme C2 has a 5 MP selfie sensor. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

Realme C2 has a 5 MP selfie sensor. Image: tech2/Nandini Yadav

In comparison, the Redmi 7 offers way better camera performance, at least in the day time. The images are comparatively brighter; they are saturated but still retain more detail.

Also, the phone lets you shoot at 1080p at 30 fps, which in bright daylight is decent but sucks at night. It also skips on image stabilisation.

You can refer to the carousel of pictures below to see some sample images or head to our Flickr gallery.

Realme C2

Here you can also compare the images clicked from the Redmi 7.

The Redmi 7 is more expensive, but its price is justified

Coming back full circle to what I said in the beginning of this review. For overall performance, the Redmi 7 would be a much better pick. However, if you have a strict budget to follow, the Realme C2 is an option, but only if you make peace with a boring camera, a dull display, and occasional lag. The phone is cheaper than the competition, but it also makes one too many compromises.

Additionally, if it’s all about the budget, then you can also look at the Redmi Go, which is the cheapest offering by Xiaomi, and is priced at Rs 4,499. The device supports Android Go, features a neat and clean stock UI, has a long-lasting battery, and a slightly better screen than the Realme C2.

Essentially, I’d rather you spend an extra Rs 1,000 or two and go with the Redmi 7 instead of Realme C2, or you can save a couple of thousands and go with the Redmi Go (review).

And yeah, Xiaomi’s phones might not be for everyone, but these phones are so dominant for a reason. They’ve set a bar that competitors will have to raise if they hope to compete.

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