The new realme C30s is a unique device as we are going to see in this review. The unit we have has 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a single 8MP camera at the back, and a single 5MP camera at the front. The price? KES 13,700.
When realme Kenya first sent the press release, it was that price thing that stood out for me. Getting a device with that amount of RAM and Storage at that price point is sort of weird, given some companies sell units with same RAM and Storage at quite higher price points.
So how is realme able to do this? And how is the device?
Well, let’s break this down in order to properly discuss all aspects of the phone. We will be looking at:
- The design
- The display
- The battery
- The cameras and
- The software and performance
The phone has a 6.5 inch HD display. At the top there’s the tear drop notch housing the front camera. The bottom bezel looks quite thick, but the side bezels aren’t.
It’s a good display for this price point. It’s colour accurate, and also feels smooth and responsive. However, I noticed that outdoors, it doesn’t get that bright, affecting use. Even indoors, you will constantly have to push brightness to just below full for good viewing.
If you’re looking to watch content on the display, it will be good for media consumption. The only thing I wish they included was dual speakers – at the top and the bottom. There’s only the bottom speaker, which I feel you can easily block when holding the device.
You will agree with me, the design is the best aspect of this device. Budget phones need that appeal of being good-looking, and realme nailed it here.
I like the flat back design. I like the fact that they embraced that single camera design. No need for extra AI and 2MP lenses no one ever uses.
It’s a plastic finish, with ridges on the back. The top of the device is clean, with power and volume buttons on one side. The other side has the SIM Tray, while the bottom has the MicroUSB port, the headphone jack, the speaker and a microphone.
Nowadays, almost every manufacturer has a 5000mAh cell on their device. That’s the same here, with one little issue: it still charges using microUSB, not Type-C. You will take about 2hrs and some to charge it from 0-100%, thanks to the slow speeds
Normal usage will see you getting about a day of use. However, I’ve noticed battery can drain really quick when on 4G or WiFi. I hope these are initial usage and setup issues, and not a norm.
(Photo samples included in review video)
Like most devices in this budget category, the issues cameras have isn’t that they’re not good lenses, it is that the phone doesn’t have similar processing power as higher end devices, to work on making the photos from the lens as good and as sharp as possible.
So, yeah in good lighting photos will be bright and clear, but you will notice some colour accuracy issues. Photos will sometimes take a while to process, even selfies. And I think this is all because of the processor.
Software and Performance:
After unboxing the device is when I realised something I’d not expected, this phone runs Android 12 (GO Edition). Android GO, I thought was only meant for devices with 2GB RAM or less. Here we have 4GB.
Well, there’s a 2GB RAM model version of this phone. So perhaps that’s why this 4GB model also runs Android Go. Also, the UNISOC budget processor used here is built on a 28nm process, and is from 2018.
While Android Go is a little different here and there from the full Android experience, you will still be able to install the apps you need from the Play Store. You will also still be able to receive software updates that improve your overall experience.
Performance-wise, I would suggest you get the 4GB RAM model only. It stutters sometimes, but will still offer you a decent smartphone experience. That covers social media and stuff like YouTube quite well.
Here’s how I believe realme approached the C30s: give it good RAM and decent storage as prices for those components has gone down over the past few years. Then use a slightly dated processor, since newer ones are quite expensive. Then run Android Go, to try and give a decent experience. Then price the device competitively, to cater for a segment that hasn’t received any serious upsets in a while.
Let me know what you think of the phone based on this review.
Display - 6.5
Design - 8
Battery - 7
Cameras - 6.5
Software and Performance - 6.5
Value for Money - 8.5
The main issue with the realme C30s is the performance. Software is clean, but that UNISOC processor feels sluggish. Would have been nice to see even the now old Helio A22.