Realme made all sorts of headlines with its Realme C55 smartphone – a budget phone with a clone of Apple’s Dynamic Island dubbed “Mini Capsule”. However, headlines and hype aside this is a brand new C-series phone from Realme priced in the ₹10-20K budget segment. It is also the most expensive C-series device Realme has launched to date. Bringing affordability and functionality, the Realme C55 comes with compelling specs and features such as a MediaTek Helio G88 SoC, a 64 MP primary lens, a 5,000 mAh battery, 33 W fast charging, 8 GB RAM, and, of course, Mini Capsule. This is chalking up to be quite an interesting device but does it deserve all the hype it has got? Does it match up to the competition? Let’s find out!
Realme C55 Review: Build, design, and display
Image credit: Realme Community
Realme hasn’t just mimicked Apple’s Dynamic Island with the latest Realme C55 but the company also borrowed some design cues from the Cupertino-based giant. The sides of the Realme C55 mimic that of the latest iPhones with flat edges. The phone is 7.89 mm thick – so it feels light and wieldy in the hands. The phone is made out of plastic – as expected at this price point. The rear panel is extremely shiny and changes colour when light hits it at certain angles – Realme calls this the “Sun Shower” design.
Now, this is subjective, but I found the rear panel design to be rather gaudy, but ultimately it comes down to your preferences. The phone houses a capacitive fingerprint sensor on its power button which was a bit inconsistent during our testing. You also get a 3.5 mm audio jack but there’s only a mono speaker setup, which is disappointing. However, the single speaker is quite loud. Overall, we liked the build of the Realme C55, but in our opinion, the Poco M5 is better designed in the same price bracket.
Moving on to the display, the phone comes packing a 6.72-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution and 90 Hz refresh rate. 90 Hz refresh rate provides smooth scrolling experience but the display’s viewing angles are quite mediocre. The brightness is also quite low. We recorded about 265 nits of peak brightness on Auto-Brightness under sunlight. So, screen legibility on bright days will definitely be an issue.
Realme C55 Review: Performance
The Realme C55 is powered by the MediaTek Helio G88 chipset – a 4G processor, so you don’t get 5G support, unfortunately. This chipset is manufactured on a 12 nm process and it comes with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage on the top-end variant, which I got for review. Despite having 8 GB of RAM, I did come across some instances where the phone lagged and stuttered, however, the device is still capable of keeping 6-8 apps open and running in the background, albeit with a bit of lag.
The phone uses EMMC 5.1 memory and the read and write speeds we recorded on Androbench were quite disappointing compared to other budget phones. You will definitely feel the slow speeds when you open games or transfer files. In benchmarks, the Realme C55 performed decently. The scores are mostly in line with what you’d get on the Snapdragon 680 SoC, but at this price, you also get phones with the Helio G96 or Helio G99 processors which perform better in benchmarking apps. For example, the Poco M5 and Infinix Note 12 Turbo.
In AnTuTu, the Realme C55 scored lower than the aforementioned phones but higher than the Moto G42. Same with PCMark Work and GeekBench’s Single Core test. The pattern repeated in GPU tests such as 3D Mark WildLife and GFXBench. We also ran the CPU Throttling Test, where the Realme C55 throttled to 89 per cent of its peak performance – a good score, meaning it won’t throttle uncontrollably during intensive tasks.
Benchmarks aside, the real-world performance of the Realme C55 is quite decent, but you will face some stutters from time to time. You can game on this device, but we recommend Low graphics settings to minimise frame rate drops. At Low graphics, we fired up Call of Duty: Mobile via Gamebench where we recorded a median FPS of 60 at 97 per cent stability. So, overall, this phone performs well for its price but it is definitely not for power users and hard-core mobile gamers.
As for UI, you get Realme UI 4.0 based on Android 13 out of the box. There is tons of bloatware and third-party apps here. I also faced some annoyances including Realme’s Personalised Search that kept pulling up the keyboard in the apps screen even when disabled. Then there’s also Realme Glance, but this can be disabled in Settings. Mini Capsule – which mimics Apple’s Dynamic Island – is successful in pulling off the look but its functionality is limited. Right now, it also pops up to indicate battery charging or low power, but more additions should come soon, according to Realme.
Realme C55 Review: Camera
The Realme C55’s primary camera performs decently well in daylight but as soon as you throw a tricky shooting situation at it, the phone’s camera falters. The phone is equipped with a 64 MP OMNIVISION OV64B primary sensor and a 2 MP monochrome lens. The secondary monochrome lens has no real use other than B&W shots, and I feel Realme could have skipped it altogether.
Daylight shots have good dynamic range for the price with vibrant colours, however, the images can look quite oversharpened. Well-lit indoor shots look decent but the detail can be a tad soft at times. The phone, sometimes, refuses to lock focus on subjects and this especially happens when the background and subject are the same colour. Portrait shots have poor edge detection and the highlights in these shots are usually overblown. Here are some image samples, these have been compressed for the web:
Low-light pictures are quite noisy and grainy. I wish Realme had tuned their primary lens a bit better, or used a better primary lens even if it meant removing the secondary 2 MP shooter. You also get an 8 MP selfie shooter which doesn’t fare well, especially in low light. Overall, cameras are not the Realme C55’s strongest suit.
Realme C55 Review: Battery life
The Realme C55 houses a massive 5,000 mAh battery which performs very well in day-to-day use. If you only use your phone for 3-4 hours every day, you can easily expect 2-3 days of battery life without a hitch. Even if you’re a heavy user, who games quite a bit on your phone, the Realme C55’s battery will last you an entire day with ease. My day consisted of benchmarking, gaming, clicking pictures, watching Netflix, and social media browsing, and at the end of it, the phone still had more than 20 per cent of battery left.
You also get 33 W SUPERVOOC fast charging which can top up your phone from zero to full in merely 1 hour and 12 minutes, as per our tests.
Realme C55 Review: Verdict
The Realme C55 is a decent budget device with fantastic battery life. However, its cons outweigh its pros. At the time of writing this review, Realme hasn’t disclosed the price of this device to us. However, if the 8 GB + 128 GB variant of this phone costs more than ₹14K, there are definitely better options to consider in the market. This phone’s standout features are its battery life and fast charging. And, the fact that it can game mostly lag-free at Low graphics. However, it has a lot of competition in this price bracket. For example, the Poco M5 has a more powerful chipset and a classier design. And the Infinix Note 12 Turbo is also a great option with an AMOLED display and the Helio G96 processor.