By Lionell Go Macahilig
Driven by an intense Internet penetration and a population comprised of a huge number of technology-savvy users, the Philippine smartphone landscape is a vibrant and thriving one. Without a doubt, a large percentage of the country’s tech-savvy demographic consists of young consumers: either students who still rely on the allowance provided by their parents or yuppies who are just starting to work or put up their own business. Considering their financial capability, they are conscious about cost, yet they are not willing to compromise aesthetics, features, and specs at the same time. This huge, young market is promising for smartphone makers as this is where the money is. Flagships do well, but in a country classified by many as an emerging market, entry-level and midrange models are more attractive. Investing in this market is worthwhile as these students and yuppies will readily switch to new models or flagship smartphones as their career and salary progress.
Banking on this perspective, Realme bravely enters into the local midrange smarphone realm with one of its initial offerings, the Realme C1. Starting off with the most conspicuous feature of a phone, which is the display, the C1 comes with an ample screen measuring 6.2 inches. What makes the screen look bigger is its bezel-less design, interrupted by a notch which holds the front camera of the phone. Realme claims that the C1 offers 88.8% screen ratio. The C1’s display comes with HD+ resolution (1520 x 720p) and a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass for protection. To those who are frequently outdoors, the C1 has a pretty decent sunlight legibility.
The display and internal parts are all held together by a metallic unibody with a glossy finish which may come either in Mirror Black or Navy Blue tone. With a glass front and a glossy back, the C1 in its entirety flaunts a refined physique, yet it can easily be marred by fingerprints and smudges. Thankfully, Realme bundled it with a jelly case for additional protection. Speaking of bundled items, the C1 also comes with a micro-USB cable, charger, and a SIM ejector pin.
On the front, the C1 carries a 5-megapixel camera with F2.2 aperture, while the back packs a dual camera system (13MP + 2MP) equipped with F2.2 aperture, flash, and Full HD video recording. Both the front and rear cameras support HDR and AI Beautification features. The latter takes advantage of artificial intelligence in enhacing portraits capture by the phone’s camera. Additionally, the phone’s camera is preloaded with stickers which users may add to their selfies for fun factor. Snapping photos and recording videos with the C1 was generally a satisfying experience, thanks to its easy-to-use camera interface. Getting a nice image with the C1 is an easy affair, too, even when shooting on auto mode. Outputs are crisp and detailed with balanced color reproduction, though night photos manifested minimal image noise. While digital zoom can go up to 4x, we saw that maximum usable magnification is at 2x in which pixelation is very minimal.
Beating at the core of the C1 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz and coupled with 2GB RAM and 16GB onboard storage, serving as a solid foundation for Android 8.1 Oreo OS with ColorOS 5.1. In AnTuTu, the C1 scored a total of 73188, putting the phone in the same league as more expensive smartphones such as the OPPO A71 (PhP 7,990) and the Moto G5S Plus (PhP 14,999). Rechargeable through a micro-USB connector, a 4230mAh built-in battery provides the juice for the Realme C1, promising to deliver up to 44 hours of call time, 18 hours of music playback and Interney browsing, 15 hours of video playback, and ten hours of gaming.
Locally, Realme offers the C1 for the price of PhP 5,990, truly challenging offerings from other brands in the sub-10K price category. Phones equipped with an octa-core chip, dual camera system, large touchscreen display, and lengthy battery life would usually go near to PhP 7,000, but with a price point that is below PhP 6,000, the C1 is a compelling proposition in a cost-conscious and young market. Making the deal a little bit sweeter, Realme is making the C1 more affordable through a flash sale on Lazada happening on the noon of December 5, 2018, pulling down the price at PhP 5,490.