Published on May 16th, 2021 | by Andrew Bistak

realme C21 Review (Australia)

realme C21 Review (Australia) Andrew Bistak

Summary: realme C21 is exceptional value for money and great for those looking for a fully functional smartphone without the "overpriced"


Super value!

Smartphones can range anywhere between $100 to several thousands of dollars and of course, they greatly vary in terms of functionality and performance. However some people don’t need the latest whizz-bang smartphones and this is where realme’s C21 comes into play.

At just $199, the realme C21 is great value for money and while it won’t play the latest games at the highest resolution, it provides users with an affordable and fully functional smartphone that includes a large 6.5” HD+ display, 5000mAh “All-Day” battery plus the option of reverse charging, a 13 megapixel AI triple camera system, NFC (Near-Field Communication) payments (e.g. Google Pay, Tap & Go, Public Transport) and even a fingerprint reader. So as you can see, this smartphone comes with quite a few standout features. One caveat with the the c21 is that it is locked to Optus.

  • 13MP AI Triple Camera
  • 5000mAh Massive Battery
  • 6.5″ Mini-drop Fullscreen
  • Instant Fingerprint Unlock
  • NFC Enabled
  • Octa-core 12nm Processor

While it looks the part of something considerably more expensive, the back is textured plastic and this model comes in two colours that include Cross-Blue (reviewed) and Cross-Black which adds a cross-hatch design to make it more aesthetically pleasing.

It’s also a good size at 165.2mm x 76.4mm x 8.9mm with a weight of just 190 grams that makes it relatively lightweight. It comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack and charging is done through the micro-USB port. It’s a shame that it does not come with USB-C but it is a budget smartphone.

Although the operating system in Android 10, it comes with the realme UI or user-interface that makes the Android experience a little more refined. For example, home screen customisation, quick share camera menu, a dark mode and floating windows as some of the features.

Box Contents

• realme C21 smartphone
• USB Cable
• Charge Adapter
• Quick Guide
• SIM Card Tool
• Important Product Information (including the Warranty Card)

The realme C21 is also powered by the Helio G35 Octa-Core Processor that supports speeds of up to 2.3Gz. It boasts HyperEngine technology that through both the hardware and software of the phone, assists with smoother performance, including games.

In terms of memory the realme C21 comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB of ROM or internal memory. An additional 2GB of RAM would have helped make this phone faster but then it would make it more expensive, however you can increase the storage with its MicroSD card slot.

Setting up the phone is like any other Android smartphone which also includes the ability of transferring information from another phone. Add in connecting it to your Wi-Fi network, checking for updates, setting up you region and linking it to your Google account and the installation process is super easy and fast. And best of all it comes with all the apps you need to start your smartphone journey, including a phone optimiser and virus scanner!

The performance of the realme c21 is good and is ideal for surfing the net, watching YouTube, accessing social media and general app usage. It can handle multiple apps, however for those more intensive apps, it can become a little sluggish. It works great for casual games, however if you’re looking at those more CPU/GPU hungry titles, you might want to check something a mid-range phone. Nonetheless it played Asphalt 9: Legends like a dream.

While the battery for the most part will easily get you through a day, it has a clever super power saving mode that becomes enabled when the battery reaches 5%. According to realme, at just 5%, you can still access WhatsApp for up to 85 minutes. Furthermore, this translates to 2.37 days standby, 2.23 hours of calling or up to 4.78 hours of streaming music on Spotify.

Let’s talk about the camera system of the realme C21. On the rear is a 13 megapixel (MP) AI Triple Camera with a 2MP macro lens that is ideal for close-ups and a 2MP monochrome lends. Considering the price of this phone, it does offer the user a variety of different styles from landscapes to portraits and even night shots. Add in video recording at FULL HD (1080p) and the camera system is quite adequate. While it cannot compare to mid-range or the higher spectrum of smartphones, for those that need an affordable phone will be pleasantly surprised.

13MP AI Triple Camera Specifications

• 13MP Primary Camera
• f/2.2 aperture
• 5P lens
• 4x digital zoom
• 2MP B&W lens
• f/2.4 aperture
• 3P lens
• FF
• 2MP Macro lens
• f/2.4 aperture
• 3P lens
• 4cm FF

Sample Photos

Final Thoughts?

If you’re on a budget and looking for some serious bang for your money, then the realme c21 is exceptional value. While it is not the most powerful smartphone around, it is more than adequate for day to day usage from surfing the net, watching videos, using apps and casual gaming. The 13MP AI Triple Camera system does take some excellent shots n good light but does struggle in low-light, however for the price of this phone at just $199 and with feature such a NFC and a fingerprint reader, realme ensure that you have everything you need, including a very large 5000 mAh battery.

For more information, please visit https://www.realme.com/au/realme-c21

About the Author

When he's not trying to save the world, Andrew enjoys travel (although loathes turbulence), going to the movies, reading and being a dad to his two dogs (and now twins) with his wife.

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