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Realme C21 Review: Good Camera but Average Performance

Pros

  • Good Battery Life
  • Good Design
  • Good Camera

Cons

  • Average performance
  • Slow Charging
Realme C21 Review
Realme C21 Review

With the new distributor, Realme launched the Realme C21 and C20 in late August with aggressive pricing.

Realme C21 price in Nepal is Rs. 16,999. It is the latest addition to their entry-level C-series and uses the MediaTek Helio G35 chipset.

I have been using this device for a week. So, is it worth it? I’ll tell you in this review of the Realme C21.

Realme C21 Specifications

  • Body: 165.2 x 76.4 x 8.9 mm, 190 g, Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Display: 6.5 inches IPS LCD, ~89.5% screen-to-body ratio, 720 x 1600 pixels
  • Chipset: MediaTek Helio G35 (12 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core 2.3 GHz Cortex-A53
  • GPU: PowerVR GE8320
  • Memory: 32GB 3GB RAM, 64GB 4GB RAM, eMMC 5.1
  • OS: Android 11, Realme UI 1
  • Rear Camera: 13 MP, f/2.2, (wide), PDAF
  • Front Camera: 5 MP, f/2.2, (wide), 1/5.0″, 1.12µm
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5000mAh battery, 10W charging
  • USB: microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
  • Misc: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass, 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • Colors: Cross Black, Cross Blue

Realme C21 Price in Nepal: Rs. 16,999 (4GB+64GB)

Realme C21 Review

Good Design

  • 165.2 x 76.4 x 8.9 mm
  • Dual Nano-SIM
  • Textured Pattern Plastic Back
Realme C21 Review
Realme C21 Design

The design of the Realme C21 is very familiar to the Realme C-Series phones. It has a textured back with some patterns.

The frame and the back of the phone both are made out of plastic, but it feels solid. As I said, the back has a textured finish, therefore, it doesn’t retain any fingerprint and is also not that slippery.

ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy F22 Review: A Decent Budget Phone with a High Refresh Rate

Both the power and volume buttons are on the right side of the phone. On the left, there is a SIM card tray that can hold two Nano-SIM cards and a micro-SD card.

On the bottom, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, and a micro USB port.

With the C-series phones, Realme has chosen to include the speaker on the back of the phone instead of on the bottom. This forces me to put the phone’s display faced down to avoid the muffled sound when playing music.

On the back, along with the speaker, there is a Realme branding, a square camera bump, and a fingerprint scanner.

Overall, I like the design. There is nothing there to complain about except that speaker placement.

Display

  • 6.5″ LCD Panel
  • HD+ Resolution
Realme C21 Review
Realme C21 Display

Realme C21 comes with a large 6.5-inch display but is only limited to 720p.

The display is exactly what you expect from a budget phone. It has an average color and sharpness. For normal usage and casual media consumption, the display is fine.

The viewing angles of the display are good. And the brightness level is also not that bad. Outdoor visibility is okay and usable but I struggled a bit in direct sunlight.

Camera

Realme C21 Display
Realme C21 Camera

The Realme C21 features a triple-rear with a 13MP main camera, 2MP B&W camera, and a 2MP Depth Sensor.

REAR CAMERA

The photos captured from the Realme C21 are good in good lithing conditions. The photos come out really good and are more than enough for general social media uploads.

The software is definitely playing a big role here and when you zoom in on the photo, you will realize the photos lack clarity and details and are over sharpened. The colors are also over-saturated.

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But still, considering the price, color reproduction, details in shadows and highlights are commendable. The photo quality will be enough for a normal user.

The auto HDR mode also does a good job but it does make the shutter slower.

As expected the camera struggles in low-light conditions. The photos lack details and look noisy. In the case of portrait mode, the photos have decent edge detection and good enough background blur.

Overall, I really like the camera of this phone.

SELFIE CAMERA

Realme C21 has a 5MP selfie camera. It’s the same story for the selfie camera as well. This camera also takes good photos in daylight.

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By default, the AI beautification is enabled which softens the image, so I disabled it.

When given a good source of light, C21 takes good selfies with decent details and vibrant colors. But in low light, the picture comes out dull and noisy.

VIDEO

Realme C21 can shoot up to 1080p from both front and rear cameras. The video quality is really bad. It’s over-sharpened with no details.

Performance

  • MediaTek Helio G35
  • Octa-core (2.3GHz Arm Cortex A-53)
  • PowerVR GE8320
  • 4GB 64GB

Realme C21 comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. It is powered by a MediaTek Helio G35 chipset. It’s the same chipset used on the cheaper C20.

The performance of this phone is okay for normal day-to-day tasks. It can handle normal apps such as social media apps and system apps. But I did notice some slight delays when opening & closing apps, and switching between them.

As for gaming, light games can be played with ease on this phone. But when it comes to graphically intensive games, it can run those games but will struggle to maintain good fps.

I tried PUBG mobile on medium settings on this phone. It did run and I did get to have a chicken dinner but as I said, it was not a smooth experience. I also played FreeFire and COD, it was smoother compared to the PUBG mobile.

Battery

  • Non-removable Li-Po 5000mAh battery
  • 10W charging
  • Micro USB port

It has a huge 5000mAh battery. The battery will easily last a day even for a heavy user. If you are a light user, this phone can easily last two days.

However, it only comes with a 10W charger, so charging the device from 0% to 100% takes more than 2-3 hours.

Another disappointment here is that it comes with an outdated Micro USB port instead of USB Type-C.

Software

  • Realme UI v1.0
  • Android 10
Realme C21 Camera
Realme C21 Software

I had hoped the Realme C21 to come with the latest Android 11 but instead, it comes with Android 10. And as of writing this, I have not gotten any major software updates.

The phone comes with Realme UI 1.0 and it has a ton of bloatware. But a lot of them can be uninstalled.

To be fair, the software is stable and reliable but it is not the best UI out there. It lacks customization features and looks a bit tacky.

Should you buy Realme C21?

For normal light tasks, the phone is fine. The camera performance is also satisfactory. There is no complaint regarding the design and the battery.

ALSO READ: Realme Mobiles Price in Nepal: Features and Specs

But the actual performance of the phone is not great. It is using the same chipset that is found in cheaper phones.

This will serve you great if you don’t play graphically intensive games. However, you should add a few extra cash and opt for a better-performing phone with MediaTek Helio G80 or higher if performance is your preference.

What do you think about the Realme C21? Let us know in the comments!


Also, watch our review of the OnePlus Nord 2 in Nepali.

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