Today, we are bringing you our Realme C30 review. It is a recently-launched entry-level smartphone that costs ₹7,499 for the 2GB + 32GB variant and ₹8,299 for the 3GB + 32GB variant.
The base variant of the phone goes up against the Redmi 9A, which is currently the most feature-packed phone at ₹7,499. Both the smartphones have a similar set of features except for the processor and the cameras. While the Realme C30 packs a more powerful chipset than the Redmi 9A, while the latter has a higher resolution camera. It will interesting to see how those two phones stack up against each other.
As for the 3GB + 32GB variant of the Realme C30, it goes head-to-head against the POCO C31. The Realme C30 has more raw power, but the POCO C31 comes with a fingerprint scanner. So, let’s dive deep and see how the Realme C30 fights against the two bestsellers in the entry-level smartphone segment.
Realme C30 Specifications, Price In India, Availability
- Display: Size: 6.5-inch; Type: IPS LCD; Resolution: 1,600 x 720 pixels; Refresh rate: 60Hz; Touch sampling rate: 120Hz
- Processor: Unisoc T612 (Process: 12nm CPU: 2x 1.8GHz Cortex-A75, 6x 1.8GHz Cortex-A55; GPU: Mali-G57)
- Memory configurations: 2GB RAM + 32GB storage, 3GB RAM + 32GB storage; Dedicated microSD card slot
- OS: Android 11 Go; Customisation: Realme UI Go
- Rear camera: Resolution: 8MP; Focus: Autofocus; Aperture: F2.0; Video recording: Up to 1080p@30fps
- Front camera: Resolution: 5MP; Focus: Fixed focus; Aperture: F2.2; Video recording: Up to 720p@30fps
- Connectivity: Wireless: Dual-SIM with dual-4G, VoLTE, VoWiFi, single-band (2.4GHz) Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO; Wired: microUSB 2.0 port, 3.5mm audio jack
- Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, light
- Battery: Capacity: 5,000mAh; Charging speed: 10W
- Build: Dimensions: 164.1 x 75.6 x 8.5mm; Weight: 182 grams
- Colours: Lake Blue, Bamboo Green
- Package contents: Realme C30, 10W charging adapter, USB Type-A to microUSB cable, SIM card removal tool, quick setup guide, warranty card
- Price: 2GB+32GB: ₹7,499; 3GB+32GB: ₹8,299
- Availability: Realme
Realme C30 In-Box Contents
- Realme C30
- 10W charging adapter
- USB Type-A to microUSB cable
- SIM card removal tool
- Quick setup guide
- Warranty card
Realme C30 Review: Build Quality
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The Realme C30 has a plastic frame and a plastic back panel, like most budget smartphones. The plastic feels high-quality, though. All the cutouts in the frame are precise and the finishing is outstanding. All the components have been well put together. As a result, the phone feels strong. None of the parts wobble or make unwanted noises. Overall, the phone gives you a sense of quality despite featuring a plastic build.
Smartphone brands are trying funky designs, especially in the budget segment. Look at the POCO M4 5G (Review) for example. Realme has done something similar with the Realme C30. It gets a unique rear design, which has a ribbed pattern across the entire height of the device. Couple that with the unique “Lake Blue” colour, and the device stands out in the crowd. The phone looks elegant yet very attractive. The only thing that gives away the fact that the Realme C30 is an entry-level device is the single camera at the rear.
Like most other entry-level smartphones, the Realme C30 features a 6.5-inch IPS LCD with HD+ (1,600 x 720 pixels) resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. Over the years, the displays in entry-level smartphones have got to a point where they are bright enough for outdoor usage and offer a good colour reproduction for day-to-day usage. The Realme C30 is no different. Its display gets bright enough to be viewed comfortably under direct sunlight. While it is not very colour accurate, the colour reproduction is good enough for an average Joe.
Given a pixel density of 270 PPI, you will notice slight pixelation, especially while viewing small UI elements. The problem is more evident if you have already used a phone with Full HD+ display resolution. However, this is the best you can get in an entry-level smartphone. I wish that in the coming years, entry-level smartphones start offering displays with Full HD+ resolution. That would leave us with no complaints about sharpness either.
The Realme C30 uses a rare chipset: Unisoc T612. Going by its specifications, the processor is made using a 12nm fabrication process. It has two Cortex-A75 CPU cores, six Cortex-A55 CPU cores, and the ARM Mali-G57 GPU. It looks quite promising for an entry-level smartphone chipset. The Realme C30 is the only phone under ₹7,500 that offers a chipset with high-end Cortex-A75 cores.
On paper, the Unisoc T612 is more powerful than even the MediaTek Helio G25, which is generally regarded as a powerful processor for an entry-level smartphone. Well, the Unisoc T612 not only looks good on paper but also offers amazing performance in real life.
Thanks to the Unisoc T612 (and the software optimisation, which we will talk about later), the Realme C30 performs phenomenally at its price. The phone takes less time to open apps compared to most other entry-level smartphones. The credit for that does not just go to the processor but also to the UFS 2.2 storage, which is faster than the eMMC 5.1 storage that you get in almost all entry-level phones.
The phone is also very good at multitasking even though it has only 3GB of RAM. It switches between applications very quickly without any noticeable lag or stutter. During the review period, the phone never made me feel like it was slowing down due to insufficient memory even when I was going through some heavy PDF files. I think the credit for this goes mainly to the Android Go Edition OS. It is made to run smoothly even on phones with 2GB of RAM.
Personally, I own an iPhone 13 Pro, which is crazy fast. So, when I shifted to Realme C30 as my daily driver, it definitely felt like a huge step-down. However, never during the entire review period, I felt like the phone is slowing me down. That, I think, is a big achievement for an entry-level smartphone. Overall, I am very pleased with the performance of the Realme C30, and I think it is one of the strongest suits of this device.
Realme mentions on its website that the Realme C30 comes with Android 11 and Realme UI Go Edition. That’s misleading. The phone’s software is based on Android 11 Go Edition. Along with that, it has Realme UI Go Edition customisation. The company should’ve mentioned it clearly in its marketing material.
The general consensus among people is that Android Go Edition is offered on only the most basic phones and such phones lack features and should be avoided. So, looking at the Android Go Edition on Realme C30’s webpage would’ve pushed the customers away. Maybe that’s why Realme decided to skip mentioning it on their website.
Anyway, the OS has custom UI elements in very few places. The majority of the UI has the stock Android look, and I loved it. It just looks neat, polished, and beautiful. I prefer the look of the stock Android UI over that of custom UI from all the Chinese smartphone manufacturers including Xiaomi and Realme.
While the use of fewer custom UI elements makes the user interface look good, the same thing also plays to the disadvantage of the phone. Realme UI might not look as good as stock Android UI, but it brings a huge number of features, such as the ability to use two instances of the same app, lock applications, customise the design/theme of a number of UI elements, and features that make multitasking easier.
You get none of that with the Realme C30. Did I miss it? Well, I did not as much because I don’t use any of those features. However, people who like to run two WhatsApp applications for two different numbers, lock applications, and customise the UI will definitely miss having a full-fledged custom UI. If you are not going to use any of those features, you have nothing to worry about.
The Realme C30 does come with a number of pre-installed applications but almost all of them can be uninstalled. The only thing you can’t install is App Market. I don’t know what’s the need for a second app store when you already have Play Store, which is what most people are gonna use anyway. Apart from that, I did not find any bloatware or advertisements in the UI, and I was pleased with it.
In addition to good looks and no bloatware, the OS is also very well optimised. We have seen smartphones with very powerful hardware struggling to perform smoothly. That’s not the case with the Realme C30. The well-optimised software makes sure that it is using resources efficiently to offer a smooth performance even under heavy loads.
It is also worth pointing out that I did not find any major software issues with the Realme C30 during my review period. If you think that having no software issues is common in smartphones these days, you are wrong. Read our POCO M4 5G review to know how even a smartphone from a well-known brand can have a huge number of bugs.
The Realme C30 comes with a single 8MP camera at the rear and a 5MP camera at the front. That’s what you get with most other entry-level smartphones as well. One shouldn’t expect the cameras in entry-level smartphones to offer images with a great amount of detail, accurate colours, or a wide dynamic range. So, my expectations were set pretty low. However, the Realme C30 surprised me.
The images taken from the rear camera of the Realme C30 in daylight have a significantly higher details than what I expected. It’s higher than what you get with most smartphones in this price range. Unlike other entry-level smartphones, the images captured with the Realme C30 also have vibrant colours. However, the camera sometimes over-saturates colours. The dynamic range is also good enough to a point where you neither see washed-out skies nor too much darkness in the shadows.
The pictures taken in low light conditions are also surprisingly good. For starters, they look bright. They even have a good amount of details and colours that are very close to reality. You can’t say that about most other entry-level smartphones. The quality of low-light images taken with the Realme C30 is certainly better than its competitors. What’s more important is that these images are actually usable.
Overall, the pictures taken with the rear camera of the Realme C30 look like they’ve been captured with good camera hardware rather than with a budget smartphone. Thanks to that, you can rely on the rear camera of the Realme C30 to capture important occasions.
So, how did Realme manage to offer such a good image quality in a smartphone that costs only ₹7,499? Well, I think the secret behind it is the camera’s AI Scene Recognition mode. It is turned on by default, and think it is enhancing the pictures drastically to hide the shortcomings of the basic 8MP camera that the smartphone has. But who cares? The end result is satisfying for the price of the device, and that is all I care about.
The only real letdown with the rear camera is its portrait mode. Images taken in portrait mode have a very poor-looking background blur effect. It looks fake; like someone has edited the photo using a cheap software tool to make it look like it has been taken with a DSLR. In my opinion, it is better to avoid taking portrait pictures on this phone.
Just like the rear camera, the image quality from the front camera of the Realme C30 is also very good in daylight. First and foremost, the images have a good amount of details. The brightness is also close to what you see in real-life, and so is the colour reproduction.
What about low-light image quality? Well, the selfie camera performs really well in low-light conditions as well. While the images taken in low-light look soft, they look bright while having a good amount of details and very good colour reproduction. However, you have to understand that all these observations are only valid for the price segment of the device: below ₹8,000.
The selfies, in my opinion, look better than what I got with the POCO M4 5G, which sits a segment above the Realme C30. Overall, the selfie camera does get you very good images. By the way, there’s no portrait mode on the front camera.
On a full charge, the Realme C30 ran for about 30 to 35 hours with around 8 to 10 hours of screen-on time. Bluetooth was turned on 24×7 so that it could be connected to my smartwatch, the Realme TechLife R100. Along with it, I also ran benchmarks and played Call Of Duty: Mobile for an hour or so.
The phone takes exactly three hours (180 minutes) to charge from 0% to 100%. That’s a really really long time in today’s day and age. However, given the price of the device and its exceptional battery backup, I don’t mind waiting a bit longer for the device to charge.
Connectivity, Call Quality, Audio, & More
On the cellular front, the Realme C30 has two SIM card slots and support for 4G, VoLTE, and VoWiFi. The cellular connectivity works as it should. I did not face any issues with it during the review period. The call quality is also very good. The audio from the earpiece sounds loud and clear and the person on the other end of the call was able to hear my voice without any problem.
The phone gets single-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, and that’s fine given the price of the device. However, it won’t be too hard for brands to offer dual-band Wi-Fi 5 at this price. There’s Bluetooth 5.0 on board, and it works flawlessly. I used it to connect to the Realme TechLife Watch R100 and I did not face any connection drops. Unlike the POCO M4 5G, I did not face any Bluetooth connectivity issues with the Realme C30 when streaming music on my Kia Sonet.
There is, however, a major downside with connectivity, and that’s the lack of a USB Type-C port. The Realme C30 still uses the age-old microUSB port. Yes, I know that almost all the phones in this price range use a microUSB port but that doesn’t justify Realme following the same path. Offering a USB Type-C port over a microUSB port does not cost brands any significant amount of money. So, I don’t know what’s stopping these brands from offering one. Maybe they want to reserve the feature for slightly premium devices.
The Realme C30 has a single down-firing speaker. While the sound quality is nothing impressive, what else can you expect from a smartphone that costs ₹7,499?
The Realme C30 lacks one crucial feature, a fingerprint scanner. Yes, I know that most smartphones in this price range don’t come with one but come on people, fingerprint scanners in smartphones have been around for more than a decade. I am sure that its prices have come down to a point where it can be offered in an entry-level smartphone. Realme should take inspiration from the POCO C31. It comes with a fingerprint scanner while being priced similar to the Realme C30. Anyway, while entering a pin-code each time seems very irritating at first, you’ll get used to it in no time.
Realme C30 Review Verdict: Should You Buy It?
My overall experience with the Realme C30 has been very good. One of the major issues that people face with entry-level smartphones is their slow performance. The Realme C30 doesn’t suffer from that problem. It is fast and smooth, and that’s a rare thing in entry-level smartphones.
While the cameras of the smartphone look basic on paper, they do perform really well for the price of the device, and the image quality is on par with what you get from a 13MP camera in the Redmi 9A or the POCO C31.
The phone also comes with UI that looks very close to stock Android and it is a pure joy to use. The software is also very well optimised, free from any kind of bugs, and also has comparatively less bloatware than other smartphones in the price range. As for the battery life, it is one of the best that I have ever seen. The are also no issues with the connectivity of the device, well, except for the fact that it uses a microUSB port. However, that’s what you are getting with other smartphones in the price range. So, it can be overlooked.
My only gripe with the Realme C30 is that the phone lacks a fingerprint scanner, which, some of the other smartphones in the price range (POCO C31) offer. Now, if you are really tight on budget, and if you want a phone that’s strictly under ₹7,499, the 2GB + 32GB variant of the Realme C30 is your best option. It beats the Redmi 9A by offering faster performance.
If you can stretch your budget a little, you have the 3GB + 32GB variant of the Realme C30 and the POCO C31. When you compare these two phones, it all boils down to what you want. If you want a fingerprint scanner, you have to go with the POCO C31. However, if you are looking for a phone with fast performance, the Realme C30 is the unbeatable champion of the entry-level smartphone segment.
If you are really tight on budget, and if you want a phone that’s strictly under ₹7,499, the 2GB + 32GB variant of the Realme C30 is your best option. It beats the Redmi 9A by offering a faster performance. If you can stretch your budget a little, you have the 3GB + 32GB variant of the Realme C30 and the POCO C31. When you compare these two phones, it all boils down to what you want. If you want a fingerprint scanner, you have to go with the POCO C31. However, if you are looking for a phone with fast performance, the Realme C30 is the unbeatable champion the entry-level smartphone segment.
- Fast performance.
- Well-optimised and bloatware-free software with clean look.
- Excellent image quality from front and rear cameras.
- Outstanding battery life.
- Uses a microUSB port.
- Lacks fingerprint scanner.
Design & Build Quality