For a significant number of Kenyans, this will be the first realme device they will consider. Being a company they’re probably hearing of for the first time, and given the devices already introduced in the market, this falls in that price category where a good number of Kenyans can say let me bet on this brand for my next device. This device and the realme C11 that launched earlier.
The realme C11 is cheaper than the C15. While the C15 starts at KES. 17,000, the C11 starts at KES. 10,000. However, in a couple of instances they’re similar:
- They have the same displays
- They have the same processors
- They have the same main 13MP camera
- They run the same skin over Android 10.
However, before you jump into conclusions and get the realme C11 because it is cheaper, remember the C15 has more RAM, more storage, and a bigger battery with fast charging, hence the higher price tag. After a couple of weeks with it, I know the main thing you want to know from me is if you should get this phone, that’s the point of a review, isn’t it?
My answer is twisted a little. Because of a couple of things:
- The MicroUSB port makes me want to say don’t get this phone because Type-C is what everyone should be offering.
- The RAM and storage offering is really good, though other companies are pushing 4/64GB at less than 15k already.
- The display is really good, and gets really bright. But it is 720p. Although almost everyone has 720p panels at this price this year.
- The huge battery with fast charging is not something everyone is offering at this price.
This is supposed to be the device that makes you think of jumping ship from your current model. This is supposed to be the ‘midrange’ budget phone to make you become a realme fan forever. However the decisions by the company on the choice of the processor, and the port sort of really make me feel conflicted. Think of Infinix and Xiaomi offering better processors at this price points.
Anyways, let me talk of the phone as if its the only option, rate it on its own. Here are a couple of things I’ve quite loved about the device:
The display is good. It has vibrant colours, and the brightness is very commendable. It also beats most of the displays in this price category by featuring Gorilla Glass protection. realme hasn’t been clear on the generation of the Glass they’re using, but I’m betting Gorilla Glass 3. That’s not something we’ve seen in most of the devices this year around this price point.
Battery and Fast Charging:
Fast charging is very important for many people. I don’t think personally I can live with a device that doesn’t support fast charging. This is mainly because I’m never good with planning my charge cycles. I don’t put my phone on the charger everyday. Just when I need to get out, or when it is almost dying on me. So I prefer a fast charger that tops it up pretty quickly. The realme C15 supports 18W fast charging. But remember this is a 6000mAh battery. So to charge it from 0-100% takes a pretty long time.
But I cannot complain. This is a good combination: big battery, fast charging. If you use your phone like I do – Twitter, Facebook, some YouTube, and reading articles online – you will do two days comfortably with this device. Sometimes even more.
Those are the best things for me about this device. Now let’s tackle things I didn’t quite like:
The processor used here isn’t as powerful. You can’t say you’re torn in between an Infinix phone with the Helio G70 and this one with the Helio G35. But, that aside, you can expect to do all the simple tasks pretty well thanks to the 4GB of RAM. Social media, browsing, light gaming etc. will work.
But as you know, Android has evolved really well. Or we can say processors have become pretty good, even the low-end ones. So even heavy games will be playable on the device. All you’ll need to do is be very patient with the load times, and the switching between apps.
This review would read quite differently if this phone had a type-C port, I guess. I feel like I would forgive a lot of stuff maybe. For KES. 17,000 a MicroUSB cable feels like a rip-off. However, this is a problem we’ve seen even with competition. So let’s leave it at that. However, consider the Vivo Y30 with 4/128GB and USB type-C for the same price, and tell me.
realme broke off from OPPO. But they didn’t change their UI. It is ColorOS redone. There’ve added lots of bloatware and they have ads in certain parts of the UI. Which is funny because OPPO have moved from this sort of UI. I can’t say this is something unique to the realme C15, because we all know all the complaints I have with Infinix’s XOS and TECNO’s HiOS. realme can keep the pre-installed apps and the ads, but please remove the App Market and all its suggestions. Play Store works okay. Also, please use the default Phone and Messages apps from Google.
Thoughts on the cameras:
One thing I’ll give to realme with all their devices is that the extra lenses aren’t stupid additions to try and achieve that quad-camera setup while lying to customers. We’ve seen those stupid 2MP lenses that do nothing on Infinix and TECNO (I mean what’s an AI lens??). Here, all the lenses are actually being used. Even if you won’t want to use them often. The main 13MP sensor is good. It takes good pics in good lighting, and really tries to take good pics in low light. The ultra-wide 8MP lens doesn’t take very impressive pics, but it is good to have it. The 2MP B/W lens helps add in contrast to the pics. And the 2MP depth camera helps with portraits. Portraits are good in good lighting, but the edges aren’t perfect cutting out parts like hair, and skin sometimes.
Selfies are good. However the device still doesn’t capture skins very well. What I am grateful for is that realme didn’t force OPPO’s skin smoothing here.
Here is a gallery of pictures taken with the realme C15:
Realme seems pretty serious about the Kenyan market. And I’m really glad they are. Because this means the existing companies need to get serious or else, they’ll lose customers. Their approach with creating awareness and marketing been very good to me. And even though many Kenyans don’t know the brand, provided they keep on with their current strategy, only bettering it with time, and bringing in competitive devices, I believe in a year’s time they’ll be a well-known major stakeholder in the Kenyan space. Share your thoughts down below.
RealMe C15 Specifications:
|PRICE||KES. 16,999 – 4/64GB|
KES. 19,999 – 3/128GB
Buy from Jumia
|Display||6.5 inches IPS LCD 720 x 1560 pixels, 20:9 ratio|
|Rear Camera||Quad Setup:|
13 MP, f/2.2, (wide), PDAF
8 MP, f/2.3, 119˚ (ultrawide)
2 MP B/W, f/2.4
2 MP, f/2.4
|Front Camera||8 MP, f/2.0, (wide)|
|Chipset||MediaTek Helio G35 (12 nm)|
(Expandable via dedicated microSD card)
|Operating System||Android 10, realme UI 1.0|
|Network||2G, 3G, 4G|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot|
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX
GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
|Colour options||Marine Blue, Seagull Silver|
|Others||Fingerprint scanner at the back|