realme C65 Review

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8.7Expert Score
Good

Not for the performance-focused, but otherwise, a well-rounded device.

Design and Build Quality
9
Performance
8
Camera
8.5
Software
8
Battery
10
Price
8.5
Positive
  • Shining Starlight Design looks eye-catching
  • Smooth overall performance
  • Useful software features
  • Good battery life
  • Takes good looking photos for its price
Negatives
  • UI is still cluttered with shortcuts
  • Could have a better chipset
  • Some software features can be tricky to use

Introduction

The realme C65 emerges as a compelling contender in the budget smartphone market, aiming to redefine expectations with its blend of style, performance, and functionality. Positioned as the fastest-charging, smoothest-performing, and most eye-catching device in its class, the C65 promises to deliver a premium experience without breaking the bank. This review delves into the key aspects of the realme C65 to assess whether it lives up to its lofty claims.

Design and Build Quality

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At first glance, the realme C65 captivates with its Shining Starlight Design, a testament to a commitment to aesthetics even in the budget segment. It also reminds me of a certain device from another brand that uses the word “Galaxy”. The 7.64mm ultra-slim profile not only makes the device sleek but also comfortable to hold. The advanced 300nm 7-layer coating process creates a unique double-layered starlight effect, giving the phone a premium look that belies its price point.

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The use of a vertical lens module, typically seen in flagship devices aims to elevate the design language. The vacuum-plated high-gloss process adds a touch of sophistication, allowing users to express their individual style. Moreover, the IP54 water resistance rating provides peace of mind against light splashes and rain, a feature often omitted in this price range.

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However, while the design does look nice, the plastic construction, though not explicitly mentioned, is likely given the price point. This may affect long-term durability compared to devices with metal or glass builds. I also think that while the rear panel’s overall look is great, they should’ve just stuck with the usual design on previous C series devices, as it offers a more unique identity.

Camera

The realme C65 has a 50MP main camera, which to my surprise, delivers good quality photos for a device at its price point. The camera app also offers a wide array of modes, including Night, Street, and Professional, catering to different shooting scenarios and user preferences. You also get a 2MP depth sensor.

The 8MP selfie camera, while not groundbreaking, should suffice for social media posts and video calls. The inclusion of features like nightscape for the front camera is a thoughtful touch.

While the absence of an ultra-wide lens may limit creative possibilities, it’s still understandable considering the price. Video capabilities, capped at 1080p@30fps for both front and rear cameras, are adequate but not exceptional.

Performance

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At the heart of the realme C65 lies the MediaTek Helio G85 chipset, which isn’t exactly the best you can get at this price point. Still, coupled with up to 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 256GB of storage (expandable with a microSD card), the phone should handle daily tasks and can even play MLBB at High settings and probably more casual games just fine.

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The device’s performance is further enhanced by AI Boost, which realme claims reduces lag and improves gaming performance. Features like Smooth Boost and Game Boost promise faster app launches, smoother app switching, and better frame rate stability – critical for a fluid user experience.

The TÜV SÜD 48-month Fluency Protection certification is a standout feature, suggesting that the C65 is optimized to deliver a smooth user experience over an extended period.

Battery Life and Charging

One of the realme C65’s headline features is its 45W fast charging capability, which realme touts as the fastest in its class. This, combined with a 5000mAh battery, should translate to excellent battery life and minimal downtime when recharging is necessary.

In my case, via Wi-Fi, doing mostly social media updates, video streaming on YouTube, and taking photos, it would usually take at least 1 to 1.5 days before needing to recharge.

Audio and Multimedia

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The realme C65 has a 6.67″ Eye Comfort Display with HD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. It’s not the best configuration you can get at this price point, but it’s still a decent screen for media consumption and gaming. There are a few nice things to take note of.

The screen remains responsive even with droplets of water present, and 625 nits of peak brightness should ensure decent outdoor visibility. The TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certificate indicates reduced eye strain during prolonged use.

Audio is boosted by 200% UltraBoom speakers, promising louder and more immersive sound. The retention of the 3.5mm headphone jack is a considerate choice for users with wired audio peripherals.

Software

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Running on realme UI 5.0 based on Android 14, realme C65 offers a modern software experience out of the box. It runs smooth and snappy, but the presence of pre-loaded shortcuts still adds clutter.

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On to the features, Dynamic Button allows you to assign an additional function to the power button via a double tap or double press gesture. The functions vary from changing the sound mode and setting a timer, to launching a specific app. It’s a great way to extend the functionality of the power button.

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There’s also Air Gestures, which lets you answer and mute incoming calls, or navigate select apps like TikTok and Facebook just by flicking your hand. It’s a nice feature to have but getting it to work can be a pain, or it just takes a bit of practice. Hopefully, it gets better over time.

Mini-capsule 2.0 is also a fun and engaging way to interact with apps and notifications. You can check out the weather, track your steps, and even swipe up and down the bubble to control music playback.

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The decision to base realme UI 5.0 on the latest Android version is commendable, potentially ensuring longer software support and security updates.

realme C65: Verdict

The realme C65 is a testament to the evolving standards of budget smartphones. It successfully delivers on its promises of fast charging, smooth performance despite not running the most capable chip in its price range, and eye-catching design, while also introducing features typically reserved for higher-end devices. You also get ample storage, a long-lasting battery, and well-thought-out software enhancements.

It’s not without compromises. The camera setup, while good, lacks versatility, and the build material may not match the premium feel of the design. These trade-offs are understandable given the price point and do not significantly detract from the overall package. Some of the software features also need refinement, and it still has a ton of unneeded shortcuts that just add clutter.

If you’re not going to play any more than Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, or if gaming just isn’t your priority, and you want a phone that lasts, and can capture good-looking stills, the realme C65 is a decent option for its PHP 9,999 price tag.

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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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