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    realme C11 Review: The Next Entry-Level King?

    realme has had a string of successful midrange and flagship launches for the past few months. This time around, they are bolstering their C series lineup in the Philippines by introducing the realme C11. With an even cheaper price tag than its predecessor, will the realme C11 be the new poster child for entry-level market?

    realme C11

    ChipsetMediaTek Helio G35
    Screen6.5-inch LTPS IPS, 1600 x 720
    RAM2GB
    OSAndroid 10 with realme UI
    Rear Camera13MP f/2.2 Main, 2MP f/2.4 Depth
    Front Camera5MP f/2.4
    Storage32GB expandable via MicroSD slot
    NetworkDual-SIM, 4G LTE
    ConnectivityWiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 5.0, MicroUSB
    Battery5,000mAh, 10W Charging
    ColorsMint Green, Pepper Grey

    Unboxing

    The realme C11 is encased in the brand’s traditional yellow box with the “C11” logo embossed at the front. Inside the box is the C11 itself, documentation, a SIM ejector pin, a 5W 2A wall plug, and a MicroUSB cable.

    Rather disappointingly, the silicone case we have come to expect from realme is missing. It’s obvious that the case has been sacked in order to keep costs for the smartphone down.

    Screen and Design

    The realme C11 ships with a 6.5-inch IPS display at 1600 x 720 resolution. Unlike its predecessor, it does not have any Gorilla Glass protection for its screen. Fortunately, there’s a thin layer of pre-applied screen protector on the display.

    Though its large screen has been paired with a slightly lower resolution than we prefer, the realme C11’s display is pretty decent given its price point. Viewing angles are a non-issue and brightness produced is strong enough to use outside. Colors are a bit underwhelming at times, but the color temperature can be adjusted from cool, default, or warm depending on your preference.

    The latest entry in the C series lineup sports a brand new design with some call backs to older models. It retains the matte design initially found on the 5i but instead of having a sunrise design at the bottom left corner, the C3 now comes with a lighter-colored stripe running down the left-hand side and a larger realme logo.

    Like previous matte smartphones from the brand, the rear is resistant to fingerprints but not impervious. With enough use, oil from your fingertips will start to show which is expected from matte devices.

    The C11 implements a standard array of buttons with the volume and power buttons found on the right-hand side, which offer a decent amount of resistance and tactility. Meanwhile, its SIM tray can be found on the other side that can house two SIM cards and a MicroSD card from expanding its storage.

    In terms of overall build quality, the realme C11 seems to be a solid enough smartphone given its price. Although it doesn’t have all the fancy additions like a glass back or Gorilla glass on the screen, the device feels sturdy enough in the hand while giving all the ergonomic benefits of a regular smartphone.

    User Interface

    The realme C11 runs on Android 10 with realme UI. It shares the same user environment as with most of realme’s smartphones this year. The UI allows for a greater amount of personalization since you can now customize the icons to whatever size and shape you desire.

    There are a couple of missing features like the fingerprint scanning since the device doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner. Fortunately, there’s still Face Unlock and the ever-trusty password system. Smart Sidebar seems missing as well, which is a shame since it’s handy to pull out a small library of apps and shortcuts quickly.

    Cameras

    In terms of imaging, the realme C11 now only comes with a dual camera arrangement instead of three cameras that previous entries in the C lineup have had the pleasure of having. The device has a 12MP f/2.2 main camera and a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor. Though it lacks a dedicated macro camera, it wouldn’t be missed since smartphones at its price point rarely take great photos with their macro cameras.

    Though its 13MP f/1.8 main camera is the only lens you can actively take photos with, they take competent photos. Blacks are deep while the colors are saturated enough to pop but not be overly aggressive. It does have trouble, however, when taking photos in dimly lit environments. Even its built-in NightScape can prove a bit problematic if you don’t have steady hands.

    Taking selfies with the C11’s 5MP f/2.4 front facing camera also proves to be a satisfying experience so long as you are in an area with good light exposure. Selfies come out natural-looking but turning up the AI Beautification will turn you into a caricature. Like the main camera, dark environments will be the bane of the selfie camera so only take selfies when the sun is out or if you have decent sources of light in the vicinity.

    Performance, Benchmarks, and Battery Life

    Inside the matte chassis of the realme C11 is a MediaTek Helio G35 with 2GB of RAM. The C11 is one of the first smartphones in worldwide to receive MediaTek’s latest budget-friendly chipsets and based on the performance, it shows that it is meant for the low-end segment. Graphics in games such as Call of Duty: Mobile and PUBG needed to be turned down in order to get playable framerates.

    For benchmarks, the realme C11 scored significantly less than its predecessor. Based on the numbers we’ve gathered, the device is only able to score 5,995 in PCMark Work 2.0, 108,514 in AnTuTu, and 614 in Sling Shot Extreme Vulkan in 3DMark.

    Taken alone, the C11 produces somewhat acceptable numbers. If you take into account that the realme C3, a smartphone only released earlier this year, is able to pump out better numbers with only a PhP 1,000 more, then the C11 becomes pale in comparison.

    Batter life, however, is one of the improvements that the C11 has. Although it has the same 5,000mAh battery capacity, the overall lower power requirements allows it to last for around two days in medium use. PCMark Work 2.0 puts the device at 15 hours, which is 3 hours better than the C3.

    Conclusion

    Priced at PhP 4,990, the realme C11 is a competent smartphone if taken by itself.  Though it’s a downgrade from the C3, its cameras remain as strong a factor like most of realme’s smartphones.

    The cutback in price does come with a couple of penalties like the reduced performance and the lack of a dedicated macro camera (which some people may like). Despite these flaws, if you’re tight in cash then the realme C11 will still offer a decent showing. If you can hold off the purchase and get a bit of extra cash, then we recommend settling for a realme C3 instead.

     

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