realme has entered the highly competitive smartphone market in Kenya with a slew of devices catered for different needs and costs.
Although realme is huge in other markets, its still relatively new in the country and is trying to make a name for itself in terms of perception and recognition.
realme c15 is their latest budget device and we’ve had plenty of time taking it through it’s paces to give you this conclusive review.
realme c15 comes with a textured plastic back that is sturdy and well-put but at over 200 grams, the phone is a bit hefty though compact.
At the front, the realme c15 rocks a 6.5″ display with Gorilla Glass protection and a resolotion of 720 by 1560 pixels. It’s not the sharpest screen around especially when you are outdoors. A full 1080p panel would have made it it more appealing.
The display still works nonetheless with crisp text, punchy colours which is good enough when watching movies or YouTube videos.
There’s a waterdrop notch at the top that houses the 8MP selfie camera while the top bezel has an earpiece that works in tandem with the bottom-flaring speaker to provide stereo sound.
The back features a quad camera setup that includes a 13MP primary, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP monochrome and 2MP lens in a square camera bump with an LED flashlight below it next to the fingerprint sensor that is fast and accurate when unlocking the device. Face unlock is also pretty quick.
You get the volume and power button on the right.
At the bottom is the microUSB charging port, a headphone jack, microphone and speaker grills. Again, realme could have opted to include a USB-C port to help it standout in the crowded budget market.
On the left side is the dual nano-sim card slot with an additional slot for expanding storage. 4G VoLTE is supported including Faiba 4G.
Overall, the phone feels pretty good in hand thanks to its compact size.
realme c15 comes with Android 10 and realme UI 1.0. The custom UI is clutter free, easy-to-navigate and simple with respect to other UI’s for phones in this price category. There is still bloatware apps but they aren’t as intrusive and can easily be disabled or deleted.
realme UI offers an app drawer and support for different icon packs if you’re into customisation.
Realme UI is pleasant to use
realme c15 runs on MediaTek Helio G35 coupled with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of onboard storage and a PowerVR GE8320 GPU.
This configuration helps the phone handle low to medium multitasking and average consumers will find the phone usable – be it calling, texting, checking social media, some light browsing and playing light games.
Heavy multitaskers will be disappointed especially when you engage in browsing multiple Chrome browsing , streaming or graphic intense games. For the latter, you will have to play with medium or balanced settings for games like PUBG Mobile.
Opening more than 6 apps simultaneously will have the phone stutter a bit when going back to them. Occasionally, some apps will close in the background a little faster than you’d like which becomes irritating in regards to long term performance.
realme c15 comes packed with five cameraS, an 8MP selfie camera and a 13MP primary, 8MP ultrawide with 119-degree field of view, 2MP monochrome and 2MP retro-lens(depth).
All these cameras are AI powered to help take the best shots.
Modes to play around range from Expert, Portrait, HDR, to Super Nightscape.
Here are a few samples
Lowlight vs Super NightScape Mode
You’ll notice that in well lit situations, shots come out really good with adequate vibrancy, color saturation and details.
Portraits still struggle with background separation.
Super Nightscape comes through for some low light shots although its a game of chance.
Overall, you’ll have to be patient with the camera as it captures your shots for best results.
realme c15 packs a humongous 6000mAh battery which is the main selling feature of the phone. You also get 18W fast charging when the phone needs to be juiced up.
It’s not as fast as I expected as you’ll still have to wait a little over 2 hours to get from empty to fully charged up.
The phone offered over a day of battery life with over 14 hours of screen time with heavy use. With light use, I’m pretty sure you can get over two days with the realme c15.
realme UI offers Super Power saving mode that lest you select six apps to use with some pre-determined to push the battery life even further when you hit low battery and you’re not close to a charging dock or socket.
It’s a pretty neat power saving option to have.
Overall, you won’t have to worry about the phone running out of battery while running your day-to-day tasks.
The under 20K smartphone market in Kenya is really competitive and you need to standout in a huge way to be noticed by price-conscious consumers who want a budget device that offers so much value when put against its value and other smartphones.
The realme c15 almost has their attention.
Don’t get me wrong, the realme c15 has a lot of great things going for it including a 6000mAh battery, a nice display for this segment, reliable software, decent compact design but then it struggles in terms of photography and overall performance.
Camera performance is a hit and miss. You’ll need tons of light to capture the best shots and while Super Nightscape comes in handy, its a game of russsian roulette as you hope against hope, what you want to be captured is captured well.
Portrait mode still has issues with background separation both for selfies and on some occasions, the main camera too.
Battery life is great and if that’s your main priority then go for the realme c15. But if you want more than that in terms of reliable performance and photography, then I’d suggest you wait for the realme c17.
You are getting a display with 90Hz refresh rate, Snapdragon 460 SoC which is relatively faster processor that comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, a side mounted fingerprint sensor
The downside is that you’ll be getting a smaller battery at 5000mAh battery but with the same 18W fast charging but now with a type-C charging port.
Pricing and Availability
realme c15 is available on Jumia and other e-commerce sites for Ksh 16,999.