Realme C30 review: a very affordable but very limited smartphone

The market for smartphones under €200 continues to grow, especially under the impetus of Chinese manufacturers. If Xiaomi has been able to position itself successfully thanks to its Redmi and Poco series, the giant certainly does not lack competition. Realme also multiplies the references at very aggressive prices to target the smallest wallets.

Realme C30

© The Digital

This is especially the case with the Narzo 50i Prime, which recently passed our labs. Sold at the same price (€139.99), the Realme C30 has a very similar spec sheet. However, we repeated our test to see if it was just the same smartphone with a very (very) slightly revamped design. More or less that is actually the case.

This applies primarily to the design: it is quite difficult to distinguish the Realme C30 from the Narzo 50i Prime. This is not a bad thing as its design is pleasing to the eye. It has long vertical lines and a slightly smaller photo island than its twin, but the same dimensions and weight.

It is quite difficult to distinguish Realme C30 from Realme Narzo 50i Prime…

It is quite difficult to distinguish Realme C30 from Realme Narzo 50i Prime…

© The Digital

Unfortunately, it is also not compatible with the 5G network. This connection is limited by the selected SoC, which is identical. The performances achieved are also completely similar. The multitasking performance is respectable and it is even possible to indulge yourself with small games from the Play Store.

The micro-USB port already looks outdated.

The micro-USB port already looks outdated.

© The Digital

They share the same SoC… and the same single photo sensor. The 8 Mpx (f/2) wide-angle module delivers comparable, which is to say very disappointing, performance. Here, too, the front sensor behaves a little better, without shining. We didn’t expect a photo phone, but other cheap smartphones like the Motorola Moto e40 or the Redmi Note 11 are more convincing.

They both have a single 8MP sensor.

They both have a single 8MP sensor.

© The Digital

As with televisions or tablets, two identical screens cannot deliver exactly the same values. We have thus noticed some small differences between the LCD panels. The one of the C30 that we tested thus offered a slightly higher light peak (428 cd/m² versus 396 cd/m²) and a slightly better tactile delay. But not enough to really tell them apart with the naked eye. Out of the box, the so-called “Standard” calibration turns out to be pretty similar, with a delta E of around 4 and a temperature of around 8000 Kelvin. However, the calibration in “Warm” mode of the Narzo 50i Prime convinced us more (6576 kelvin against 6049 kelvin), although it is still possible to approach it on the C30 thanks to the temperature variator in the settings. So it’s a little simpler on Narzo.

We noticed some differences in the basic calibrations offered.

We noticed some differences in the basic calibrations offered.

© The Digital

With the same SoC and the same battery, we could expect a similar autonomy… And this is the case. All the better because the Narzo 50i Prime exceeded 21 hours on our Aim test protocol. This Realme C30 even fares a little better as it lasted a few minutes longer. The data varies slightly with each test, we can agree that they are both very enduring.

Finally, the Realme C30 promises two years of software support and three years of security updates. We would have liked more, knowing that it works under Android 11.

Strong points

  • Rather successful design.

  • Good autonomy.

  • Pretty decent performance.

Weak points

  • Image section failed.

  • Dated screen.

  • Very slow to reload.

  • A micro USB format port in 2022…

Conclusion

Global brand

Editor's rating: 2 out of 5

How does grading work?

The Realme C30 is a smartphone that resembles another brand reference: the Narzo 50i Prime. So much so that they can be considered twins. It’s certainly a very affordable mobile, but it’s hard to convince. It has a decent SoC and good battery life, but compromises more than its direct competition on the rest. Without having the ambitions of a photophone, its single rear photo sensor really disappoints day and night. In addition, its only 4G compatibility and its micro-USB port prevent you from planning for the long term. We are therefore dealing with a smartphone that is quite pleasing to the eye, but already dated, whose multimedia performance is too light. We therefore advise photo and video enthusiasts to add a few euros to benefit from a more qualitative experience and turn to an alternative model.

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