Realme launched the affordable Realme C35 alongside its new mid-ranger, the Realme 9 4G in the country recently. We’ve already checked out the realme 9 4G first impressions and full review.

And this is its smaller sibling’s turn.

We’ve been using it for a good amount of time for this definitive review.


Realme C35 succeeds the realme C25 from last year with new and welcome upgrades.

Inside the bright orange-yellow box, you get the phone, the type-C charging cable and the 18W power brick. A case comes included plus a sim ejector tool and user guide.

DESIGN

Right off the bat is the attractive design. Compared to the c25 series, this is such a huge upgrade aesthetics-wise and completely changes the game.

Realme C35 design features a flat rim, sharp corner, clear steeped camera island and shiny glass effect which is actually plastic. Interacting with the phone gives you that premium look thanks to the dynamic glowing design.

Realme C35 comes in two colours – glowing black and glowing green. Our review unit is the latter and no it doesn’t actually glow in the dark – although that would have been really cool.

The phone is pretty light too at 198 grams. It is slim too at 8.1mm.

Realme C35 also passed over 300 tests of realme to provide users with a long-lasting smartphone experience.

Another nice thing you will appreciate is the recessed power button that has the embedded fingerprint reader to make the right edge appear flat all throughout. On the left edge, we get the tactile volume rocker buttons. Its predecessor had a rear fingerprint reader which is becoming outdated.

Realme C35 Recessed Side-mounted Fingerprint sensor
Realme C35 Recessed Side-mounted Fingerprint sensor

At the bottom, we have the type-c charging port, headphone jack, microphone and bottom-facing mono speaker.

Coming to the front is another important upgrade. We get a 6.6” 1080p LCD screen featuring 600 nits peak brightness. Realme C35 is the first phone in the C series to feature an FHD screen.

Realme C35 Screen
Realme C35 Screen

 It’s bigger, brighter and has a better resolution. Something that’s very handy if you consume a lot of multimedia content.

Sadly, the refresh rate gets downgraded and is stuck at 60Hz so you miss out on more fluid transitions.

Generally, the build quality and design are pretty solid.

PERFORMANCE

Realme C35 is powered by a unisoc tiger 616 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB UFS 2.2 storage. This is a lesser-known processor but holds its own and I was kinda surprised by its performance.

Synthetic benchmarks have it scoring 230,726 on Antutu benchmarks.

It performs admirably between gaming and multitasking. You’ll have to dial down graphic settings for the intense games but light to moderate games will fair really well. Realme C35 will handle browsing the web, streaming, scrolling social media, responding to emails, taking photos and videos, and playing Ninja Arashi, Alto’s Odyssey, Asphalt 9 and Call Of Duty Mobile.

Realme C35 comes running on Android 11 and realme UI R edition. This is disappointing as Android 12 has been out for several months.

CAMERAS

Realme C35 comes packing four cameras which include an 8MP selfie camera housed in the waterdrop notch and a triple camera setup. We get a 50MP main and two 2MP monochrome lens and macro sensors. The 50MP sensor is the same one as the flagship Realme GT2.

Realme C35 50MP camera
Realme C35 50MP camera

The 50MP camera is among the highlights of this phone and for good reason. It’s a capable lens for most shots – daylight and in those less-than-ideal lighting scenarios.

You get sharp and detailed pictures especially if you shoot with the dedicated 50MP mode.

The photos are bright and worth sharing on social media.

However, some shots have washed-out colours.

The phone sadly comes missing the portrait mode for selfies. However, the selfies are just as good.

The phone excels at nighttime shots with the included night mode.

I loved most of the shots the Realme C35 took.

Videos are decent too even at night with the main camera calling recording at 1080p 30fps while selfie videos are limited to 720p 30fps.

Overall, the Realme C35 is a dependable camera smartphone.

BATTERY LIFE

Realme C35 has a 5000mAh battery that supports 18W fast type-c charging. This is a huge battery that takes forever to exhaust and you can pull two days with light to moderate use.

Overall, the c35 makes a bold statement with its fresh design, updated internals, screen, large battery and the main camera

If you use it heavily, the charge will run low and you will need to top up. 18W is really slow as it takes 1 and half hours to go from empty to 81% .and another 38 minutes to reach 97%.

VERDICT

Realme C35 brings to the table a sturdy solid build, excellent display, outstanding battery life, better performance than you would expect at this price, and capable cameras. It ticks most checkboxes of what you’d expect from an entry-level smartphone and some more.


The lack of a high refresh rate and Android 12 might hinder some of you from getting this phone. Overall, the new design is a breath of fresh air in the budget smartphone market and its attractive look and ample performance make the Realme C35 worth checking out if you’re in the market for a device. 

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

Realme C35 is ging for Ksh 20,199 at realme’s retail stores countrywide and at e-commerce sites like Jumia.


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