The realme C55 is a visual stunner, and it’s got a nifty feature in tow with its mini capsule. Are those enough, though, to make this the Good Tech for you? Here’s our full review.
Several parts of our hands-on are integrated into this review.
The look: The device feels a lot more of the style realme has been releasing lately – the device has flat, chamfered edges, with rounded corners and a boxy aesthetic to evoke a premium feel. The phone offers a comfortable grip and can be held for longer periods of time. We’re advising, though, to use a TPU case if you have sweaty hands like this author as it can be a bit slippery at times.
The back part, with our unit in Sunshower colorway (kind of a gold-yellow one), offers interactivity with different colors popping up on its frosted matte finish. The two cameras at the upper right seem to be larger than usual and feel superimposed in their own protruding area.
The placement of the buttons and ports on the phone’s sides is visibly a realme trademark, which the company has not abandoned since it first released its phones a few years back. The chamfered edges also aid in a more seamless device touch experience.
The display: A 6.72-inch display dominates the front part, with a center-laid punch-hole 8MP selfie camera visibly seen near the top. The call speaker is hidden on the edge just above that. It’s still easy to make calls even with that, but we’re bummed it’s only relegated to calls only. While the screen covers a lot of front estate, the bezels are thin enough to prevent accidental touches when using the device.
Its IPS display, capped at 90Hz for smoother navigation and motion, is a joy to use. The colors are vivid and punchy, the sharpness and contrast are decent, and the viewing angles are all good. The display’s brightness is ok with indoor conditions and may struggle in high-noon sunny environments outdoors.
The Audio: This device only has a single loudspeaker, so expect just as much as other devices – decent mids, no bass, and broken highs at top volume. There’s an option to further amplify the
The Camera: The 50MP + 2MP rear camera combo takes decent shots even in dim-lit environments. The AI scene detection makes the photos too vivid in some scenarios, but nevertheless, the photos we got are actually sharp and realistic, even at 5x digital zoom. The lack of ultrawide is also noticeable, but you can amend this by using the built-in panorama mode to capture a similar scenario.
The 8MP selfie camera also does its job with the AI beautification, though the portrait mode still needs some fine-tuning with some hair edges getting in the blur. Here are some sample shots:
Videos taken with the C55 can be at a maximum of 1080p Full HD at 60 frames per second, with stereo audio being fed into the mic as its input. You can zoom in up to 10x digitally which may result in some noise. Stability isn’t much present here, so better use a gimbal or a tripod if you plan to record videos for a long time. Here’s a sample clip:
The Performance: With a MediaTek Helio G88 chip, 8GB of RAM, and an extended virtual RAM that uses some of its 256GB internal storage, it’s meant to be a power-packed budget phone that can do literally almost any task you throw at it.
Multitasking is fine, but heavy gaming on graphics-intensive titles such as Genshin Impact, Ragnarok Origin, or Honkai Star Rail can visibly show some frame skips and lags especially in higher settings. Multitasking and gaming over WiFi or Mobile data do make the phone heat up at the upper part, but nowhere at the intolerable levels.
The realme UI 4.0 based on Android 13 is a treat to use as it’s an all-familiar interface for both realme enthusiasts and new Android users alike, though I now start to find some aspects of its features quite annoying. For example, global search does not remove your last search when you exit it, and there are persistent notifications from App Market and Games apps that are hard to remove.
There’s also that Mini Capsule feature that’s been championed with this device – it’s the first Android phone to be released in 2023 with such. It’s currently limited to basic functions in the device including charging and battery notifications, and fitness walking goals. The capsule also replaces the common charging graphic you see when you charge your phone. While intuitive, it forces you to stay glued to the top of the screen for notifications like this.
The feature is not supported with other apps yet, but we hope to see more integrations in future device software updates.
The Security and Connectivity: You’re presented with a side fingerprint scanner, as well as face unlock for additional security. You can register up to five different fingerprints and can nominate how the fingerprint unlock works – to unlock your phone or even different apps in the system.
Surprisingly this only offers up to 4G LTE connectivity, which is still a reliable network connection today. Bluetooth 5.2, WiFi, GPS, and mobile data all work well as we tested it out for a few weeks.
The Battery Life: A 5000mah battery capacity is quite the norm now for entry and mid-range phones, and the C55 also has this. With such power, you’re sure to get a day’s worth of battery life on a single charge with light to medium use. Recharging is also fast with its 33W SuperVOOC charging, which fully powers the phone in around an hour and a half.