Realme C33 Review
Although most smartphone innovation occurs in the high-end market, the majority of buyers in India choose more affordable models. Focusing on the latter, Realme has released the Realme C33, its latest smartphone in the budget segment.
It is a successor to the Realme C31 and brings a couple of upgrades and improvements like a better main camera which I am gonna put to the test. However, will the camera upgrade alone be enough to call it a successor?
Continue reading this Realme C33 review to find out more. I have been using the phone for about a week now and here are my thoughts on it.
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Realme C33 Price in India and Variants
The Realme C33 comes available in two variants in India. The base variant comes at a price of Rs. 8,999 for 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. The other variant comes at a price of Rs. 9,999 for 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage.
The phone is available in three colour options: Aqua Blue, Night Sea and Sandy Gold. You can buy the phone directly from Realme’s official website or other platforms like Amazon and Flipkart.
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Realme C33 Box Contents
The Realme C33 packs the following items inside the box:
- 10W Adapter
- Micro USB Cable
- Sim Ejector Tool
Realme C33 Specs at a glance
Before we talk in detail about the Realme C33, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 6.5 inches IPS LCD
- Chipset: Unisoc T612
- RAM & ROM: 3GB 32GB, 4GB 64GB
- Software: Android v12
- Rear camera: 50MP + 0.3MP
- Selfie camera: 5MP
- Battery: 5000 mAh
- Weight: 187 grams
- Dimensions: 164.2 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm
Realme C33 Design and Build
One of the most distinctive features of this smartphone is its design. The Realme C33 comes in three colours: Sandy Gold, Aqua Blue, and Night Sea. I have the Sandy Gold colour variant for this review. The gold colour of the smartphone shines in normal lighting environments, with glimmers popping up in certain lighting conditions.
I don’t personally like so much shimmer and glitter, but it might be aesthetically pleasing to some users. If such designs do not appeal to you, you can choose the Night Sea colour option of the phone, which appears more subtle. The body of the phone is made of plastic, which is to be expected from a device that costs less than 10K. Nevertheless, it is well-made and has a nice look.
The phone is more comfortable to hold thanks to its flat sides. The dual camera setup on the back protrudes individually. As a result, the phone wobbles when placed on a flat surface. Furthermore, the camera lens may get some scratches if you handle the phone carelessly because there is no sort of protection for it.
And that is why I would recommend using a case with it. You can easily use the phone with one hand, and it doesn’t feel particularly heavy as well. Since there is no IP rating, you should totally avoid using it near the pool or in the rain.
The right side of the phone features volume rockers and a power button, which doubles up as a fingerprint sensor, while the left side only has the SIM card tray. The bottom side houses the micro USB port, speaker grille, primary mic, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Realme C33 Camera
The Realme C33 features a dual camera setup on the back. This includes a 50MP main camera along with a 0.3MP depth sensor. The front side has a 5MP selfie camera. Seeing a 50MP camera on a budget phone really brings the attention of everyone but does it actually perform well? Let’s see.
The main camera takes nice shots when there is enough lighting. The shots captured in daylight had good detailing and the colours were good as well. The dynamic range was decent and the noise was kept in control. There were times when the shots looked a bit dull, but I can ignore that considering the price of the phone.
The phone needs to make improvements to its nighttime photography. The low-light shots were grainy and lacking in details. It comes with a night mode, but it doesn’t do much to preserve the highlights.
The portrait shots taken with the Realme C33 were not up to the mark. The dynamic range was poor and the blue effect looked very unnatural to me.
Lastly, the selfie camera was able to take some decent shots. It was able to capture some details and the skin tone was looking close to natural. It could have been better but the low-resolution camera takes a fall.
The main camera can record videos at 1080p resolution while the front can only do 720p resolution. The video quality from the main camera was okay-ish. The dynamic range in the videos was not as wide as while taking photos. Also, there is no sort of stabilisation so videos are super shaky if you are walking and recording.
Realme C33 Battery and Charging
The Realme C33 packs a big 5000 mAh battery inside which provides a good battery backup. If you are a light user, the phone can easily last you 1-1.5 days without needing you to plug in the charger. However, if you are someone who always sticks to your Instagram feed or watches videos on YouTube, then you might need to charge the phone by the evening.
I used the phone for making some calls, taking pictures, scrolling through my social media apps and playing games. I got about 5-6 hours of screen on time, which is decent for this price bracket.
However, what disappoints me is the slow 10W charging support, that too using the micro USB cable. Realme should have at least given an 18W fast charging support along with a type-C port.
Talking about charging time, it takes almost three hours to fully charge the big battery of the phone from 0 to 100 per cent. All in all, the battery backup of the phone was good for casual users but the charging speed will leave you wanting more.
Realme C33 Display
The Realme C33 features a big 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with HD+ resolution. It has a refresh rate of 60Hz and comes with a water drop notch style. It comes with a peak brightness of 400 nits which is less, I agree. Indoor visibility is not an issue; however things change when you step out of the house.
It was a struggle to use the phone under direct sunlight. I would straight away tell you that it’s not a great display but will get the job done for most of us. The display quality is not as vivid and crisp as you would see on an AMOLED panel.
Because it is not an FHD+ display, there have been some instances of pixelation and relatively low detail level. However, for most people who are coming from a low-cost smartphone, it would be a satisfactory display. It is sufficiently bright and also has decent viewing angles. The touch response is also good.
The bezels are thin all around the screen except the chin, which is somewhat thicker, as seen among phones in this price range. I watched a couple of videos on YouTube and some movies on Netflix and I did not ha a bad experience. The water drop notch does interrupt a little while watching something, but it’s not a big deal.
I just wish that Realme could have gone with an FHD+ resolution rather than just HD+. It’s 2022 and I don’t know why Realme thinks people would still be ok with watching 720p content.
Realme C33 Performance
Performance is where Realme has decided not to offer any improvement. It is powered by the same Unisoc T612 chipset which is used in its predecessor. It is paired with up to 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage.
The day to day performance of the phone is good, and you won’t notice any issues normally. I did some Instagram scrolling, taking pictures and texting my friends and family and never noticed any major lag. Yes, there were a few lags and shutters while using the phone.
Other than that, we all know that this is a budget segment phone, so it’s not dedicated to gaming or any other resource-intensive tasks. However, for the sake of testing, I tried to play a couple of games, including Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty Mobile.
Both the games ran pretty well on low settings. But there were frame drops and lags every now and then. My gaming experience on this phone was far from enjoyable. I wouldn’t recommend this phone at all if you are looking for a gaming phone on a budget. On the other hand, you can enjoy light games like Free Fire and Subway Surfers.
Realme C33 Software and UI
The Realme C33 runs on Realme UI S Edition which is based on Android 12. It’s a more feature-rich edition of Realme UI than the Realme UI Go Edition found on some smartphones like the Realme C30. Realme has promised two major software updates as well as three years of security updates.
The software resembles a blend of the Android UI of Pixel phones and Realme UI. Its app launcher is very basic and has just a few features and options. Although it is comparable to the Pixel UI, it is too simple. There is a clock widget and a weather widget which cannot be removed. There is also no way to change the style or size of the icons present on the home screen or even in the app drawer.
Aside from that, the software is easy to use and has a colourful UI and app icons, as well as a few other features like dark-colour themes, double tapping to wake up the screen, smart reply, and many more. Unfortunately, there is no built-in call recording or screen recording feature on the phone.
Furthermore, the phone comes pre-loaded with a slew of bloatware apps such as DailyHunt, Josh, Hey Fun, Snapchat, ShareChat, Spotify, Moj, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, and PhonePe. The good thing is that you can uninstall most of them.
I would have preferred a full-fledged Realme UI, but at least it’s better than the Realme UI Go Edition seen on Realme C30.
Realme C33 Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
There’s a single speaker located at the bottom of the phone. The sound quality is not good – not bad, somewhere in the middle. You can enjoy watching movies or videos in a quiet place but not in open areas. The volume is not so loud and starts to distort at high volume.
The phone comes with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner like other budget smartphones. It’s not the fastest out there but it quickly unlocks the phone. You can also use the face unlock feature, but it struggles in low light.
The Realme C33 comes with 4G connectivity. No 5G on this phone. Other connectivity options include: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5 and GPS.
So, should you buy the latest Realme C33 if your budget is under 10K? Well, it wouldn’t be something I would strongly advise. As I discussed above in the review, the Realme C33 has a good design, a decent processor, and a good battery life. The primary camera performance is decent and should be sufficient for most users.
However, the performance of the phone is just enough for casual use, and I would not recommend buying this smartphone if gaming is your top priority. On top of this, the slow charging speed makes you wait for hours, and it still features an old-school micro USB port rather than the type-C port.
All in all, if you’re looking for a smartphone under 10K with an eye-catching design, a nice primary camera, and a decent display, the Realme C33 can be a good option.