Realme C1 review: A capable budget smartphone that gives bang for your buck

Chinese smartphone maker Realme is known for its value-for-money offerings in the budget smartphone segment. However, marking its foray in the entry-level segment, the company recently introduced its C-series, with the launch of the Realme C1. Priced at Rs 6,999, this Flipkart-exclusive smartphone has a notch-based display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor and a dual-rear-camera module.

Business Standard reviewed the Realme C1 on several parameters to see how it fares in comparison to competition in the same segment. Here are our observations:

Design and display

Realme was among the first smartphone brands to experiment with the gradient design in their budget offerings. However, the Realme C1 has traded off the gradient design to keep the price in check. It has a plastic build, but the glossy appearance makes it look close to a glass design. The glossy plastic body has both benefits and disadvantages — it makes the phone light but also attracts fingerprints easily. 

The phone’s front is dominated by a 6.2-inch screen of an HD+ resolution, stretched in a 19:9 aspect ratio. The screen has a notch on top, accommodating the front camera, earpiece and sensors. For its price, the mammoth screen size with a notch makes it an interesting product. The display quality is also top-notch, viewing angles are above average, and the colour rendition is decent. However, the sunlight legibility could have been better. As with other Realme phones, there is no option to hide the notch permanently.


The Realme C1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor, paired with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, expandable up to 256 GB with a microSD card. The phone boots Android 8.1 Oreo covered under the Colour OS 5.2 user interface, which is similar to Oppo smartphones' interface. The phone supports face unlock, which is quick and works well. And the gesture-based navigation makes it the only entry-level device to have such controls.

Speaking of performance, the phone handles day-to-day operations quite easily. The processor is not tuned to handle heavy applications such as games, and the built-in 2GB RAM falls short at times. But, the phone works smoothly when used for apps like YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp.


The Realme C1 has a dual-camera set-up on the back, with a combination of 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor for depth sensing. On the front, there is a 5MP shooter for selfies. The camera does a fairly good job, and the photos are sharp and detailed with colours close to the source. The performance of the camera in low light, however, is average. The lowlight shots come out grainy and blurry. The selfie camera delivers similar results: good in day light but struggles in low light.


The Realme C1 is powered by a 4,230 mAh battery that lasts for a day and a little more on normal usage, which includes streaming videos, internet browsing and playing games. The phone does not support fast charging, therefore it takes almost three hours to charge from zero to 100 per cent.


Priced at Rs 6,999, the Realme C1 has strengths in almost all areas. It has good looks, solid build quality, big notch-based screen, capable processor and a powerful battery. Though imaging seems to be a weak area, the overall photo and video output is satisfactory, if not class-leading.


Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel