Realme C1: Will it be the Budget King we are Waiting for?


As of now, the budget segment is tightly contested as the number of phones offered by various companies is incredible. You have Redmi and Motorola as the well-known manufacturers who have spent quite a time and resources to champion this segment. One the other hand, Realme comes as a breath of fresh air which aims to give toe-to-toe competition to the so called settled smartphone manufacturers.

Realme has launched quite a few devices on various price brackets, but their latest offering Realme C1 something different from them. The low pricing and the notch display is bound to impress customers who prefer budget phones as their expectations from their smartphone is just basic. The following Realme C1 review will be done by keeping the price segment in mind, as it is one of the crucial factors for both the audience and Realme.


Release Date September, 2018
Dimensions 156.2 x 75.6 x 8.2 mm (6.15 x 2.98 x 0.32 in)
Weight 168 g (5.93 oz)
Display 6.2 inches, 720 x 1520 pixels, 19:9 ratio (~271 ppi density)
Processor Qualcomm SDM450 Snapdragon 450 (14 nm)
GPU Adreno 506
Storage 16 GB
Camera Primary: 13 MP, f/2.2, Autofocus

Secondary: 2 MP, f/2.4, depth sensor

Front: 5 MP

Battery 4230mAh (non-removable)
Operating System Android Oreo 8.1 with Color OS 5.2
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS,  microUSB 2.0, USB OTG


In the box components

Inside the compact box are included all the necessities one requires to run the smartphone. There is a SIM ejector tool, USB cable, some paperwork, and a wall adapter along with the handset. Additionally, Realme has decided to throw in a protective case, which is very simplistic, to offer at least basic protection and this is a welcome move.

Looks and Build Quality

The notch makes another appearance in the Realme C1, which has now become staple for all devices who offer better pixels and higher screen-to-body ratio. Available in two colour variants- black and navy blue, the looks are quite premium. However, the in-hand feel is not as expected due to the plastic build of the smartphone. On the left hand side there are volume rockers and the sim slot, which also has a dedicated micro SD slot which can support expandable storage up to 256 GB. This was much needed as the on-board 16 GB storage does not even come close to today’s requirements. The right hand side has the power button and below the smartphone are the headphone jack, speakers, and a micro USB jack.


The 6.2 inches display with 720×1520 resolution is reasonable considering the price of the phone. The Realme C1 offers 19:9 aspect ratio, so users will get the experience of a premium smartphone. However, it will not be able to stream HD videos on some platforms, owing to its pixels and the absence of Wide vine L1 license. When it comes to daily use, the Realme C1 will be bright enough for indoors, but the outdoor performance is not quite good. The screen will be reflective on direct sunlight but viewing the display will be possible albeit some difficulty.


The Snapdragon 450 chipset by Qualcomm is the flag bearer of all budget smartphones who look to ace it one the performance. Apparently it has also been seen on the Moto G6, which is a mid-range smartphone. However, do not expect incredible performance from Realme C1, as the 1.8 GHz octa-core processor is limited due to only 2 GB RAM being available. Cranking up the RAM by 1 GB could have solved the sluggish day-to-day performance. But the sole reason is not just the storage, as the biggest concern is the Color OS 5.2. This custom skin of Realme on top of Android Oreo 8.1 makes it difficult for the phone to reach its potential. Realme will have to provide some updates to cover up the cracks of the custom skin.

However, the day-to-day performance was satisfactory as basic tasks are handled properly. The biggest USP of the phone is its large battery, 4230 mAh to be exact, and it will easily run for 2 days on a single charge if you use it for medium tasks. Gaming is also reasonable when it comes to games like Candy Crush and Subway Surfer Online File Conversion.


Dual cameras are on vogue and manufacturers are looking to include them on every phones. Realme C1 comes with dual cameras with 13 MP and 2 MP having f/2.2 and f/2.4 apertures respectively. The camera performance, in comparison to its competitors at this price segment, is very good. The sample shots do not look grainy and the autofocus and depth effect perform quite well. If the user is looking for decent cameras at a budget price, the Realme C1 must be considered seriously.


Now comes the driving force of the smartphone. Realme is looking to capture the budget segment audience, so the value of the device has been kept around INR 8000. The initial price was set at INR 6999, however the company decided to hike the price by INR 1000 recently. Also, you can redeem Flipkart coupons to get additional benefits while purchasing the device online. The device comes with only one storage variant- 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal. However, the audience will get two choices when it comes to colours, both of which are quite good looking.


Realme is a subsidiary of Oppo for all their devices below INR 20,000. Since the budget segment, as of now, is ruled by multiple other companies, it will take Realme some time to find their feet. The Realme C1 is no doubt a good budget phone, but the company has compromised a lot with the hardware to please their target audience. In comparison to other contemporaries like Redmi Y2, Redmi 6A, and Zenfone Lite L1, the Realme C1 is yet to face major competitions from other phones manufactured by Panasonic and Lenovo.

To suffice it, the Realme C1 comes with pros like excellent battery life, good display, large screen, dual VoLTE support and a dedicated micro SD space. But the average performance can be improved by updates from Realme. Overall, the phone looks promising but cannot be declared the winner of the price segment as of now.