Affordable smartphones are a large part of the market as a lot of people do not want to spend on expensive devices or are not able to. Which is when devices such as the Realme C21 are good options. This is a good choice for anyone who needs a functional smartphone for everyday use, it would not be a good choice for someone looking to game given the specs. The camera systems are decent and would work for some average level content creation.
Pros & Cons
Realme is from the BBK Electronics range of smartphones, it is the same family as Vivo, Oppo and OnePlus. The Realme brand is another that caters to a more affordable price range, this is not to say the brand doesn't have higher-end devices.
The Realme C21
This smartphone was launched in March 2021, it has a simple and neat design as is the case with most smartphones from this era. The rear has an 'X' made from different gradients, this adds a bit of oomph for the younger lot.
Internals and OS
Built around the octa-core MediaTek Helio G35 that is made using the 12nm method. With 4GB of RAM, 64GB built-in space and the option to extend it via a dedicated microSD slot; this can give you access to 256GB more. Graphics are managed through the PowerVR GE8320 chipset. For the time these are closer to entry-level specs. Ample for everyday users but not for people who would want to partake in mobile gaming.
With a base layer of Android 10 and the Realme UI 1.0 layered on top. This layered user interface gives the users more options to organise their home screen and other features that allow one to customise the feel of their device.
Display and camera
For the display, Realme has given the C21 a 6.5 inch IPS LCD touchscreen. The resolution is at 720 x 1600 pixels which means it is just near HD. The pixel density is at 269 pixels per inch. This display is decent for most things but would not be the choice to game on or for high-quality video streams.
As for the cameras, there is a triple-lens setup for the main system on the rear. The priority sensor is the 13MP with a lens of f/2.2 that works as a 26mm wide shot. For depth, there is a 2MP sensor at f/2.4 and a macro shooter at 2MP as well, with a lens of f/2.4. These combined with the camera app's various shooting modes give one decent results, but this is not a smartphone one would purchase specifically for the camera.
On the front, there is a 5MP sensor with a lens of f/2.2. Video for both sides is at 1080p with a frame rate of 30fps.
Sensors, connectivity and the rest
The Realme C21 is loaded with an accelerometer, a compass and a proximity sensor. These help it run functional operations by providing relevant feedback to the apps we regularly use. On the rear, there is a fingerprint sensor making unlocking a sinch. For wireless connectivity, there is WiFi, Bluetooth and Dual SIM capabilities. One also has access to FM Radio and GPS for their map apps and geotagging. Via the SIM this device can make use of up to 4G levels of data.
Porting is kept simple with a microUSB port that also has USB on-the-go functionality. This smartphone also retains the 3.5mm audio jack making it possible to use one's wired headphones.
All this is powered by a 5000mAh battery that is actually quite large for the Realme C21 as it is not a particularly powerful smartphone that needs a lot of juice. The battery is based on li-polymer cells, this lets the device have a slimmer form factor as this kind of cell can be made thinner compared to li-ion. One can also make use of reverse charging if a friend needs a bit of power for their smartphone or other portable devices.
The Realme C21 is available in two colours, one is a black and the other is light blue. You can choose based on the colour you like.
This is a good device for someone looking for an affordable option that has all the needed features for everyday use.