Realme is known for its fast and furious launch cycle that leaves the customer with constant fresh options. It with its adversary has also moored the market to value the ‘bang for budget’ segment. Thus, you have some expectations for every new Realme offering. This has got even more precedence in the current state of things as the market is sensitive to both the dime and the dragon. (Realme C12 Review हिंदी में पढ़िए)
So, before we proceed, lemme preamble two things: Firstly, while considering ultra-affordable phones, put your money on the hardware as software can be mostly tweaked to your liking, or so I believe. We’ll see whether that holds true for C12; Secondly, we’ll be assessing whether Realme’s attitude with this phone is fast and furious or fast and loose.
Having set forth the purpose, I welcome you to the Smartprix review of the Realme C12.
Realme C12 Specs and Price in India
|Display||6.5 inches; 720 x 1600 px, 88.7% Screen-to-body ratio|
|Battery||6000 mAh, 10W charger|
|Processor||MediaTek Helio G35|
|Memory||3GB LPDDR4x + 32GB (dedicated expansion slot for up to 256GB microSD)|
|Rear Camera||13MP main camera + 2MP Macro (4cm) lens + 2MP B&W lens; up to 1080p @ 30fps|
|Front Camera||5MP within a waterdrop notch|
|Software||Realme UI based on Android 10|
|Connectivity||Dual SIM, VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, USB OTG, micro USB port|
|Colors||Power Blue, Power Silver|
Realme C12 Box Contents
- The phone
- 10W Adapter
- Micro USB Cable
- Important Info Booklet with Warranty Card & Quick Guide
- SIM Card Tool
- Screen Protection Film
Realme C12 Design
The phone’s fascia looks cut from the same cloth as many of its budget brethren. It’s a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel with 720p resolution and a waterdrop notch. The display is passable for media consumption and regular indoor use. That said, it suffers from the same dull outdoor legibility (under the harsh sun) and annoying touch response issues I had with the C11.
The Geometric gradient design by the back is slightly different from the C11 but has got the same texture feel to it. The plastic build should resist most impacts, presumably why there is no case inside the box.
Rest, the peripheral buttons and holes are as predictable. The rear fingerprint reader works, the volume and power keys click, the micro-USB port disappoints and the speaker grill is there for the sake (more on that later).
Should you be interested, face unlock is present which works well in ample light and legit angle. So, let’s do just that and see how those cameras fare.
Realme C12 Cameras
Realme C12 features a 13MP main rear shooter, accompanied by a 2MP mono lens and a 2MP macro lens with a 4cm fixed focal radius. The front snapper is a 5MP sensor.
Here are a few photos we clicked —
The 13MP sensor struggles in capturing details and life of objects. Thus, the photos look farther from nature.
But you can add punch to the pics by toggling on the Chroma Boost mode. See for yourself the difference of saturation and vibrancy between regular and dazzled snaps:
As for human subjects, portrait mode plays the part well. But the cameras, especially the 5MP one struggles to meter exposure properly which results in blown up highlights.
The phone has difficulty in finding focus during the night and even when you tap it to focus, the results aren’t any good to share. The night mode hardly helps. Although it bumps the light and colors in the frame by a bit, the ensuing noise spoils the fun.
Similarly don’t get your hopes up for the FHD videos (at 30fps w/o stabilization) and macro stills. They are here and that’s about that.
Realme C12 Performance
The Realme MediaTek affair continues. This time it’s the Helio G35 inside, which is like a bottom of the barrel chipset. Even the neighbors are a mere 3GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 32GB ROM (although expandable up to 256GB via dedicated memory slot).
Ergo, in general use, the weakness is apparent. Animations feel ever so slow. Apps don’t reside for long in the recent pane. And chief, this ain’t meant for hardcore gaming. You should be good with casual games. However, if you try taxing titles, then be ready for lengthy loading screens, lags, and low graphics. That is you can play most, if not all games, but you are less likely to enjoy.
Here are the benchmark and FPS scores for your reference:
- Geekbench 5 Single-core: 172
- Geekbench 5 Multi-core: 972
- PCMark Work 2.0 Performance Score: 5608
- 3DMark Slingshot Extreme OpenGL: 457
- Androbench Sequential R/W: 290.08/88.24 MB/s
- Androbench Random R/W: 64.48/47.65 MB/s
- PUBG (Balanced Graphics, Medium Frame Rate): 25 FPS (the app did force close twice during my usage)
Now, in my humble opinion, I think Realme UI is a bit too much for this hardware. No doubt, it’s a competent Android (10) skin (with latest security updates, features, and all), but something lighter would have better suited the experience.
Even if you can easily debloat a bunch of intrusive elements, it hardly makes any difference. As some of you may know, Google has plans to make stock-ish Android Go mandatory for phones with less than 2gigs of RAM. I suppose that’s applicable to hardware configurations like this. Perhaps, that’s something for the brands to consider, moving forward.
Speaking of which, let’s move to the…
Realme C12 Audio, Battery, and Connectivity
Size matters, when it comes to the battery! For all the underwhelming internals mentioned above, the 6000mAh cell has to be Realme C12’s redeeming factor. In our testing, the phone easily ended up next to my sleeping pillow with half the juice. Meanwhile, in the PCMark Battery benchmark test (at max brightness and data on), the phone clocked 9 hours, which is an impressive feat!
Right next to the micro U(gh)SB, you have the phone’s solo speaker grille. The output is expectedly tinny. Even the earpiece volume isn’t very loud. So, you’d rather listen via a 3.5mm headphone jack or a good pair of Bluetooth earphones, if you happen to have one. The C12 sports Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi, and dual-SIM with VoLTE on the connectivity front.
And with that, it’s time to conclude.
Realme C12 Review: Verdict
For most of us, mobile phones have become the most important computers in our daily lives. And how a phone performs makes or breaks our buying decision. In the case of C12, the performance seems justified for the price. It can run almost everything you throw at it, albeit with a bit of labor. If only it performed better, you wish! But then, that would cost more.
Which brings us to the recent GST hike, a major reason for the increased price of phones. Else, we would have got better-specced phones like Realme’s own C3 at this price. Unfortunately, that’s not the case anymore.
So, it all boils down to whether you are strapped for cash and can overlook the drawbacks mentioned above (also bulleted below). If yes, you may go for Realme C12, which is available at the bargain-basement price of Rs. 8,999. However, if you can shell a bit more, then you’d be better off with a Redmi 9 Prime or the aforementioned Realme C3.
- Solid and Stylish Design
- Long Battery Mileage
- Alright Display
- Slow performance
- Sub-par speaker
- Murky night mode
Realme C12 First Impressions Video [Hindi]