realme C11 Review: Entry-Level Redefined

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Introduction

realme is back at it again with its newest entry-level offering in the Philippines, the realme C11.

realme C11 Unit Photos (63)Positioned as an eLearning tool, this device is aimed at students who can’t afford a laptop to access their learning materials online, while also delivering the performance needed for research, online classes, and more, all for a price that more consumers can afford.

Design and Build Quality

Despite being an entry-level device, realme C11 doesn’t feel like a cheap knockoff of sorts. Instead, it feels well-made, like it doesn’t even belong to its category.

realme C11 unit (10)realme has opted for a new look for the back panel called Geometric Art Design. Apart from the bigger logo, the most noticeable change is the square camera module which protrudes just a bit, but not too much.

realme C11 unit (33)All the buttons are located on the right side, while the left houses a triple-slot SIM tray. At the bottom is the outdated micro USB port, along with a speaker grille, a microphone, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

realme C11 Unit Photos (17)To ensure that users will have a decent amount of real estate for content, realme C11 has a 6.5-inch display with HD+ resolution. It’s able to deliver good levels of brightness, text also looks sharp, and colors are punchy enough.

Performance

realme C11 (U) (1)realme C11 is one of the first smartphones to run on the new Helio G35 SoC. There’s 2GB of RAM which, in 2020, might seem less than ideal, even at this price point.

realme C11 (U) (4)Despite that, however, the phone surprisingly runs smoothly for day-to-day tasks such as social media, streaming music, watching videos on YouTube, email, and more. Even the simple act of opening an app looks snappy and fluid.

It can also game quite decently, with Mobile Legends at 53.2 fps on average. CoD Mobile, on the other hand, can run at Low Graphics + High Frame Rate at an average of 37.2 fps. These are pretty good results for an entry-level phone.

Camera

realme C11 packs a 13MP main rear camera paired with a 2MP portrait lens. The absence of a wide-angle shooter means you’ll have to physically reposition yourself to get more in the frame, which could pose an issue in small spaces.

realme C11 Camera Sample (12)

realme C11 Camera Sample (32)

realme C11 Camera Sample (25)realme C11 Camera Sample (28)

Quality-wise, it’s actually a decent bunch. You get a good amount of detail and sharpness in day shots. There’s a decent separation between background and subject as well.

As for selfies, there’s something weird about its front camera. Usually when you take a selfie, in the default position, you’re in the middle of the frame. But in this, you end up being slightly on the side. It’s a minor issue, but I do find it unusual.

realme C11 Camera Sample (3)

Normal

realme C11 Camera Sample (1)

Portrait Mode

Quality-wise, Portrait shots show good edge detection, but I would’ve liked a bit more detail and sharpness.

Software

realme C11 Unit Photos (6)The phone runs realme UI on top of Android 10, and the effort they’ve put in optimizing the software really shows. Animations are snappy and fluid and apps open fast.

realme C11 unit (45)

Of course, you do get the familiar features – Game Space, which compiles your games in a central hub and lets you choose a performance profile.

realme C11 Unit Photos (4)Then there’s Dark Mode, the ability to enable or disable the app drawer, which is really a must-have feature for some, and other features like split-screen and app cloner.

While the phone misses out on a fingerprint scanner, you do get face unlock, which works almost, if not just as fast.

Battery

realme C11 (U) (2)realme C11 managed to churn out just 6 minutes shy of 14 hours on PCMark’s Work 2.0 battery benchmark which simulates basic video editing and data manipulation. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on a lot of factors such as the apps you use.

Verdict

realme C11 unit (38)

At PhP4,990, realme C11 delivers more than what you’d expect from a phone in its price range and certainly can deliver more than enough for eLearning.

The new design looks great, the performance is impressive for an entry-level phone, the cameras are more than decent, the software is well-optimized, and it’s got great battery life too.

If I really had to nitpick, 1GB more of RAM would’ve been nice, and a wide-angle camera would’ve made a sweeter deal. But hey, for what they’re asking for? those can be easily forgiven.

Pros
  • Unexpectedly great performance for its price
  • Fresh new design
  • Decent camera performance
  • Well-optimized software
  • Great battery life
  • Competitive price
Cons
  • Selfies could use a bit more detail
  • No wide-angle lens
  • Only 2GB of RAM
  • No fingerprint scanner

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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