Cheap But Not That Cheerful


Chinese phone maker Realme has not too long ago introduced two new price range Android telephones, the Realme C35 and Realme C31, and it’s the Realme C31 that’s the less expensive of the 2. 

Going for an insignificant £129, the Realme C31 seems like a thieve – that’s more or less one 3rd of the cost of an entry-level iPhone SE. This ticket can be tune to the ears of those that ‘simply desire a phone to do the fundamentals’, or somebody who needs a burner phone for gala’s and vacations.

It’s for sure an excessively sexy value, however what do you get precisely? A large 4890mAh battery which Realme says will provide you with 45 days’ price of standby energy and a multi-lens digicam unit which guarantees detailed wides and close-ups.

Design-wise, the Realme C31 is narrow and compact, so in spite of it coming with an enduring battery, it must slip with ease into wallet and baggage.

Design & Build

  • Lightweight plastic with a premium-looking metal end
  • Very narrow and easily-pocketable
  • Fingerprint scanner constructed into the ability key

Budget telephones can moderately incessantly be cumbersome and unpleasant, however the Realme C31 is none of these items. The entrance options easy black plastic whilst the perimeters and rear function colored plastic with a lenticular-style end, both silver or darkish inexperienced. 

Realme C31

Measuring 8.4mm deep and weighing 197g, it’s a narrow phone that’s simple to carry and function in a single hand, despite the fact that the graceful aspects imply that it has the tendency to slide from your grab if you happen to’re no longer cautious. 

As with the Xiaomi Poco M4 Pro 5G, the Realme C31’s fingerprint scanner is constructed into the ability button which is about at the right-hand fringe of the phone.

Whether you grip the phone along with your left or your correct hand, the ability button is situated at a top that’ll see it meet both your left index and heart palms or your correct thumb, respectively, which means that choosing the Realme C31 up and unlocking it in a single gesture is conceivable – it’s easy, easy, chic, and works actually effectively. 

On the left-hand edge, there’s a SIM and microSD card tray, and two quantity keys. There are not any ports, connections, or controls at the most sensible facet of the Realme C31, however on the base there’s a three.5mm headphone jack and a micro USB port for charging and knowledge connectivity.

Realme C31 design

While it’s conceivable to peer price range telephones with micro USB ports at the present time, many now recreation the more moderen reversible Type-C USB port. 

Screen & Speakers

  • 6.5in LCD
  • 720p
  • Punchy brightness and distinction
  • Mono speaker 

The 6.5in show is bordered by way of a skinny bezel that’s taller on the most sensible (the place the entrance digicam unit is housed in a teardrop-shaped recess) and the ground. At a look, not anything provides away the truth that the Realme C31 is the cheap phone.

The Realme C31’s show decision of 1600 x 720 is beautiful low by way of as of late’s requirements however fits in a similar way affordable telephones just like the Nokia G21.

Despite this, the LCD show of the Realme C31 isn’t all horrible. Brightness is good enough in maximum eventualities indoors and outside, and there’s no terrible, cheesy, overly shiny end right here, which means you’ll be capable to learn messages on all however the sunniest of days. 

Web pages and menus in most cases glance sharp, and at a look distinction seems good enough however discolouration is obvious whilst you tilt the phone even quite.

Realme C31 screen

That mentioned, you might want to as regards to escape with staring at content material with anyone else, despite the fact that YouTube and Netflix content material seems to be dangerous. There’s no getting clear of the truth that a 720p decision is outdated hat in 2022. On the plus facet, the show is responsive and in most cases talking, makes the phone simple to make use of. 

There’s a unmarried external speaker which, because it’s situated at the again of the phone, implies that lots of the audio can be muffled and distorted. You’ll most probably wish to hook up with a Bluetooth speaker or use headphones anyway, as even if the Realme C31 is raised up, tune nonetheless sounds vulnerable and tinny. 

Specs & Performance

  • Unisoc T612 octa-core 1.82GHz CPU
  • ARM Mali-G57
  • Up to 4GB RAM
  • Up to 64GB garage

As the Realme C31 prices beneath £150, it shouldn’t come as a wonder to be informed that it’s no longer a excessive performer, however, it’s in a position to doing the fundamentals. If what you basically want from a phone is for it to browse the internet, take a look at social media, ship messages on WhatsApp and movement tune, then it’ll suffice. 

On the topic of surfing and streaming media, you must be aware that the Realme C31 is a single-band Wi-Fi instrument. This approach you’ll handiest get entry to the older, slower, and extra congested 2.4GHz radio frequency – the high-speed lanes at the 5GHz and more moderen 6GHz motorways are simply no longer to be had to you. 

Realme C31 specs

Being relegated to two.4GHz implies that you gained’t see the whole good thing about fashionable networking apparatus at house or within the place of business. Using the WiFi Speed Test Pro app, I recorded speeds within the area of 107-112Mbps when stood one metre clear of a Netgear Orbi RBK750 Wi-Fi 6 router.

That’s gradual going – I’ll usually see Wi-Fi speeds upwards of 500Mbps on maximum telephones, when attached to the similar router at the 5GHz band. 

The Realme C31 is a 4G phone, and whilst this implies you’ll’t faucet into the quickest speeds round, 5G protection isn’t common, so if it’s nonetheless no longer to be had to you, this will not be the top of the arena. It’s additionally no longer anticipated at this value simply but.

It’s actually no longer a lot cop at gaming, it must be mentioned, as the ones rankings above recommend. Polytopia, a low-polygon recreation that’s no longer very resource-intensive, is completely playable. However, Civilization Revolution 2 is tricky going – there’s noticeable chug even on the early phases, sooner than lots of sprites get started populating the display. I didn’t even trouble making an attempt to play Civ 6.

Idle clickers and puzzle video games will play effectively sufficient right here, and understand that, the Realme C31 can surely take care of the day-to-day Wordle problem, however no longer a lot above that.

Cameras

  • 13Mp major sensor with color, black and white, and macro lenses
  • 16Mp entrance sensor
  • Aperture, macro, night time modes
  • Generally produces shaky and blurry stills and video

Let’s no longer beat across the bush, the cameras of the Realme C31 aren’t excellent. They’re handiest actually in a position to generating appropriate leads to well-lit spaces and if is helping if you happen to’ve were given an excessively stable hand.

Realme C31 cameras

Most of the snaps I took with the primary digicam have been blurry and out of center of attention, apart from a couple of pictures of a few plants I used to be in a position to take with the assistance of a tripod, or the place I used to be in a position to leisure the phone towards my thigh to stable my goal. 

On most sensible of all that, the digicam UI, whilst taking advantage of a easy structure, is gradual to reply, which makes biking throughout the menu choices, to not point out in reality taking pictures, a drag. 

There’s as much as 4x virtual zoom, however as you’ll see from the cat pictures within the gallery, issues get noisy in no time at complete magnification. Shots taken at night time, without or with the Night Pro mode, glance distorted and colors are exaggerated.

Realme C31 camera app

There’s a macro mode, however to be truthful, I may no longer inform at a look the variation between the close-up of the beer bottle taken on auto mode and the only inquisitive about macro mode – if the rest, the colors glance extra herbal when inquisitive about the default environment. 

Likewise, the selfie digicam produces stills which might be moderate at very best, and that’s only if you’re taking them someplace with a lot of herbal mild. Anything taken in a low-light setting will glance beautiful dangerous. 

Realme C31 camera test

Video shot at the Realme C31 (as much as 1080p @30fps) is in a similar fashion shaky, in large part right down to the truth that the cameras incessantly have an issue temporarily moving center of attention between items within the foreground and issues within the distance.

The low decision show doesn’t actually lend a hand right here both, because it limits your skill to peer how just right (or dangerous) issues actually are.

Battery Life & Charging

  • 4890mAh battery
  • Will give most of the people an afternoon’s price of juice
  • Fully fees from empty in beneath 3 hours

Realme guarantees respectable battery efficiency from the C31, and I will safely say that you’re going to get a elementary operating days’ price of energy out of it. If you’re operating at your table for the usual 8 hours, taking calls, streaming tune on Spotify to a Bluetooth speaker or headphones, you’ll be capable to with ease get throughout the day. I’d end maximum operating days with round 40-50% of energy left. 

Running the PC Mark battery drain check gave us an outstanding results of 10 hours and 19 mins, which extensively tallied with my day by day revel in. 

It’s moderately gradual to fee again up, with the 10W charger taking round 2 hours 43 mins to get the Realme C31 as much as 100% from empty. There’s no rapid charging right here.

If you’re used to charging telephones up in a single day, this gained’t be of a lot fear, however if you happen to had to temporarily fee your phone up out of your table since you’d been stuck between conferences all day, you could to find this slow-going.

Realme C31 front camera

Luckily, you’ll select up a Realme Power Bank 2 for £25 from the Realme web page – or any of those from the Best Power Banks round-up – if you happen to’re no longer going to be close to a mains socket.

Software & Apps

  • Android 11
  • Realme UI R Edition consumer interface
  • A stripped-down interface with minimum bloat

The Realme C31 makes use of a customized consumer interface, UI R Edition, on most sensible of Android 11. UI R Edition seems to be and purposes so much like inventory Android and is subsequently blank, stripped down and simple to get happy with. 

There are a few uninstallable apps – Weather and Compass – which is quite worrying, however they don’t soak up large quantities of area, and for the reason that garage can also be expanded by way of as much as 1TB by means of microSD, this isn’t a large deal. 

Realme C31 software

Getting aware of the Realme C31 takes no time in any respect. During set-up, you’ll be requested to choose from a listing of serps (I picked DuckDuckGo), and it’ll assign this as your default seek engine, and drop a seek bar at the major house web page.

Home web page settings can also be customised similar to they are able to on maximum Android telephones, by way of long-pressing on an empty house of a house display and settling on a customisation choice.

Price & Availability

The Realme C31 is in the stores without delay from Realme now. In the United Kingdom, the 4GB RAM and 64GB garage model is priced at £129. 

Silver and darkish inexperienced variations may also be picked up from Amazon UK for a similar value. 

UK pricing and free up date data for the less expensive 3GB RAM and 32GB garage variant was once no longer to be had on the time of e-newsletter. Realme has showed that the C31 may not be introduced in the USA or Australia.

Check out our chart of the most productive price range telephones to peer what different choices you’ve got.

Verdict

When bearing in mind purchasing an affordable phone {that a}) seems to be as just right because the Realme C31 and b) delivers nice battery efficiency for one of these low value, you wish to have to invite your self ‘What’s lacking?’ and on this case, there are a couple of omissions which would possibly give consumers pause. 

These are; a low-resolution show, deficient cameras, single-band Wi-Fi and 10W charging. All of those drawbacks will not be dealbreakers for you, and would possibly also be forgivable.

But, whilst you imagine that the Realme C35 comes with a extra detailed show at Full HD, helps quicker dual-band Wi-Fi, and springs with a faster-charging 18W mains adapter, and – right here’s the actual kicker – it handiest prices about £20 extra, all at once the Realme C31 does no longer seem like a cut price.

The cameras must be awesome in addition to the Realme C35 comes with a 50Mp major sensor.

If you had the price range to splash out for one thing slightly extra tough, then the Xiaomi Poco M4 Pro 5G, priced at round £239, may well be extra in your liking – it’s a 5G phone with a show that refreshes at as much as 90Hz, and you’ll totally recharge the battery from flat in simply over an hour. 

While an OK performer in its personal correct, it’s laborious to justify going for the Realme C31 when there’s a greater phone to be had that’s handiest an additional twenty quid.

Specs

Realme C31: Specs

  • Android 11 with Realme UI R Edition
  • 6.5in 1600×720 60Hz LCD show
  • Unisoc T612 processor (as much as 1.82GHz octa-core)
  • ARM Mali-G57 GPU
  • 3GB/4GB RAM
  • 32GB/64GB inner garage
  • microSD as much as 1TB
  • 13Mp major digicam, f/2.2
  • Black & white lens, f/2.8
  • Macro lens, f/2.4 aperture
  • 16Mp selfie digicam, f/2.2
  • Fingerprint scanner (on energy key)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS, Galileo, BeiDou
  • 4G
  • Dual SIM
  • 4,890mAh battery
  • 10W charging
  • Light Silver, Dark Green
  • 164.7 x 76.1 x 8.4mm
  • 197g



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