realme C12 Review

realme’s newest phone on the block is the realme C12, touting a 6000mAh monster battery capacity right out of the box. Is it more than just a long-lasting phone? Here’s our full review.

Launched last week and making its debut in stores starting today, this new device is the newest addition to the brand’s C-series lineup, further boosting its entry-level portfolio especially for those looking for gadgets to use for online learning.

realme C12 specs:

  • 6.5-inch HD+ Mini-drop fullscreen display
    1600 x 720 px, Corning Gorilla Glass
  • 2.3GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio G35
    PowerVR GE8320 GPU
  • 32GB storage with dedicated microSD card slot
  • Triple-rear cameras:
    13MP f/2.2 main
    2MP f/2.4 B&W
    2MP f/2.4 macro
  • 5MP f/2.0 front camera
  • 4G LTE, Dual-SIM (nano)
  • WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS
  • 3.5mm headphone jack, micro USB
  • Rear fingerprint scanner
  • realme UI (Android 10)
  • 6,000mAh battery
    with reverse wired charging

Unique design that separates from the rest

realme strives to put out quality phones even with its lower-priced phones, and the C12 is no exception to that. You’ll see a polycarbonate build here which isn’t that uncommon in phones in this price range. The sides are chiseled in a way to aid in phone grip. The left side has the volume and power/lock buttons, and they don’t protrude from the sides because they are slightly recessed. On the other side is the slot for two nano SIMs and a MicroSD.

The bottom features the loudspeaker grille, the microphone, the microUSB port, and a 3.5mm audio port. The layout follows the ones from previous releases and has proven to be good, location-wise.

Looking at the back, we’re greeted by the triple-camera layout with the LED flash at a protruding rounded square area. The fingerprint is at the center, while the realme logo sits at the lower-left. Can we talk about how nice this geometric design is? Fingferprint smudges are almost nonexistent with this iteration, and we really appreciate that it’s strikingly beautiful in its own way.

You’ll feel a bit of heft with the phone given that it possesses a bigger battery capacity this time around, further weighing the device at around 210g. Holding the device with one hand is just right, but we recommend using both hands especially when using the keyboard.

Bigger is definitely better

At the front, we have a 6.5-inch HD+ display with the 5MP selfie camera and the call speaker grille. The notch is smaller this time around, resulting in around 88% screen-to-body ratio. The display offers up to 10 simultaneous touch points. Its colors are well-saturated and provide decent contrast and viewing angles. The device gets some glare outdoors even on its brightness setting, so it’s best to use it under a shaded area.

With a large screen, expect multimedia content to be better here. The loudspeakers are as decent as you can get with its price, with lacking bass and muddled lows. T

Decent budget triple cameras

The C12 has three cameras at the back — a 13MP f/2.2 main, a 2MP f/2.4 B&W, and a 2MP f/2.4 macro. There’s also a five-megapixel shooter upfront. These cameras are definitely geared for night-shot photos as seen with their apertures but can still be achieved with its camera software-assisted Night Mode. There are also Panorama, HDR, Macro, and Pro modes, to name a few.

Photos taken feature decent contrast, vibrant colors, and adequate brightness. HDR mode gives the photos more vibrance, making the colors look more saturated. As for its front camera, it’s decent for photo sharing. The AI Beauty mode is still spot-on, and the portrait mode is on this phone is well-balanced and can artificially blur backgrounds well. Here are some sample photos:

You can shoot Full HD videos at 30 frames per second with this phone, and the results are quite decent. Here’s a sample clip:

At-par performance

Like the C11 and C15, the C12 comes with a MediaTek Helio G15 chip with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, with the brand’s own realme UI skinned over Android 10. While half of the storage on the device seems to be dedicated to the system and its core apps, there’s still a dedicated microSD card for storing multimedia content.

Its performance can be compared to the base model of the realme C15. It’s decent enough for playing games such as Mobile Legends on Mid to High settings, and multitasking is generally decent. Playing more resource-heavy games such as Asphalt 9 puts a toll on the phone and we see frame drops. Here are our benchmark scores from our tests:

  • AnTuTu – 108,847
  • GeekBench – 173 (Single-Core), 962 (Multi-Core)
  • PCMark – 6,197 (Work 2.0)
  • 3DMark SSE – 468 (OpenGL ES 3.1), 615 (Vulkan)

Connectivity-wise, we’re getting LTE on top of the usual wireless connections we get, and the signal reception is just great. We’re also able to switch which of the two SIM cards the phone will tap to connect to 4G. Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS all work well, too. The fingerprint scanner at the back responses fast and can store up to 5 recognizable fingerprints.

Incredibly Long-lasting

We’re not kidding. The 6000mAh battery may sound a joke considering this price tag, but it’s actually real. We’re able to last at least two days on a single charge with light to moderate tasks such as calls, SMS, and browsing over WiFi and Mobile data. Our PCMark test showed this device can last for 20 hours and 46 minutes, while a video loop test yielded 29 hours and 17 minutes.

Recharging, on the other hand, is quite a chore. When you run out of battery, you really do. The C12 was able to charge from 18% to 100% using its standard charger for 5 hours and 12 minutes.

Carl writes for WalasTech when he's not working full-time. Give him tips and/or leads at [email protected].