Realme C2 first impressions: a no-compromise entry-level smartphone

The budget smartphone segment is becoming increasingly competitive in India, with devices like the Redmi 7, Samsung Galaxy A10 and Infinix Smart 3 Plus offering plenty to the user on a tight budget. These are all smartphones priced under Rs 8,000 though, and even this price band is out of reach for many consumers in India. To that end, we now have the entry-level segment – Rs 6,000 and below – being populated with some quality options. Case in point, the Realme C2. Announced alongside the Realme 3 Pro last month, the smartphone comes with a starting price of Rs 5,999, and brings key features like a large battery and striking design to the mix.

Despite its affordable price tag, Realme hasn’t skimped on the looks of the C2. The phone features a large 6.1-inch display with HD+ resolution, and a tall aspect ratio of 19:5:9. Apart from the chin at the bottom, you have slim bezels all around, and the tiny dewdrop notch on top makes for a nearly full-screen design. The display comes pre-installed with a screen guard which is useful, and also gets Gorilla Glass protection, although the version is unspecified. From my brief usage, the screen seems sharp with good brightness levels, although colours aren’t as punchy as I would like and the display seemed a tad reflective. The phone itself feels very ergonomic, with a slim profile and curved edges.

As for the ports and buttons, you get a power button on the right, and volume buttons and an ejectable SIM card tray (two nano-SIM card and a dedicated microSD card slot) on the left. The bottom edge houses the micro-USB port, 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone and loudspeaker grill. The back panel is where things get interesting, thanks to a unique ‘Diamond Cut’ design, which has a nice texture and different colour tones. My review unit was Diamond Blue, and you can also get it in Diamond Black, which looks equally eye-catching.

The back panel is home to dual cameras – a 13MP primary sensor and 2MP depth sensor, allowing you to capture portrait shots. The camera app also offers a 2x zoom shortcut, although this is digital and not optical. The front camera is a 5MP unit, also offering portrait selfies, although in this case the bokeh is created by the software.

As for the internals, the Realme C2 is powered by a MediaTek Helio P22 chipset. The phone comes in two models – 2GB RAM + 16GB storage, and 3GB RAM + 32GB storage. I had the latter for review, which is priced higher at Rs 7,990. The phone is powered by an ample 4,000mAh battery which should easily last over a day, but you only get a standard 5V/2A charger in the box, so it might take a while to juice up completely. In terms of security, the Realme C2 lacks a fingerprint sensor, but it does come with Face Unlock which worked quite fast during my usage. In terms of software, you get the latest version of ColorOS – 6.0, which is based on Android 9 Pie. ColorOS 6 comes with quite a few enhancements over previous versions, but most importantly, adds an app drawer to the mix.

The Realme C2 certainly looks like a promising candidate in the entry-level segment, and will also appeal to users thanks to its unique design. I’ll be using the smartphone more extensively over the coming week, and penning my thoughts in a detailed review.

Ketaki Bhojnagarwala

Ketaki has over 10 years experience writing on tech, having worked at the Hindu Business Line and 91mobiles earlier. When she's not editing copies or reviewing the latest gadgets, she spends her time binge-watching Netflix and reading fantasy fiction.