The Realme C55 has a 6.72-inch 90Hz display
The 64-megapixel camera performs well in daylight
It scored a total of 7.6 out of 10 in our review
Realme’s C-series lineup caters to the budget segment, with smartphones such as Realme C33 (Review) and Realme C35 providing good value for money. However, the sub-Rs 15,000 price bracket is usually a neck-to-neck fight between companies such as Infinix, Tecno, Samsung, and others. Despite that, Realme has again geared up for its new launch, the Realme C55, which seems to be experimenting with new things.
While most phones make headlines for their leaked specs sheet, the Realme C55 had different plans with its take on iPhone’s Dynamic Island. Although that’s just one side of the coin, the device comes with an Helio G88 processor, fast charging capabilities, a 64-megapixel primary camera (up from a 50-megapixel in the C35), and a lot more. So, has Realme applied the same formula from last time, or do they plan to turn things around? We’ve been using the Realme C55 for the past few days. So let’s find out what kind of magic falls out of its capsule in our review.
Realme C55 Review: Pricing and availability in India
The Realme C55 is available in three different variants in India. Starting with the base variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage priced at Rs 10,999. The middle variant comes with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage; the topmost variant is available with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. These are priced at Rs 11,999 and Rs 13,999, respectively. The device can be bought off of Flipkart.
Realme C55 Review: Display and design
Realme’s design approach hasn’t deterred much from last year’s C33 but is a leap ahead from the C35, which is essentially its predecessor. At first glance, it looks somewhat similar to the C33 but with slightly bigger and googly eyes at the back. It’s not a bad thing. Besides, coming up with different designs is what sets the company apart in this price segment.
The Realme C55 is available in two hues: Sunshower and Rainy Night. A quirky set of names, but it does the deed. We have the former for this review, and it’s surely a looker – especially in daylight, guess that’s where the name comes from. The back panel has a coarse texture with patterns that remind us of the Matrix numbers. Unlike the C35, the C55 does not attract any fingerprint smudges. The camera module at the back does not have any island to save it from accidental drops. The individual lenses protrude, making the device wobble when kept on flat surfaces.
The device has flat sides, just like the Realme C35, and we didn’t face any issues while using it in one hand. The Realme C55 feels dense, but the weight is well distributed. The right frame holds the volume rocker and power button in place, which also doubles up as a fingerprint sensor. The button is easy to reach but hard to locate as it sits in its cave with very little travel. The fingerprint sensor works well.
The bottom side of the device has a speaker grille, USB-Type C port, primary microphone and a headphone jack. The left frame is home to the SIM tray that supports two nano SIM cards and a microSD for extra storage. Finally, the top is as clean as they come.
The 6.72-inch LCD panel is one of the major upgrades over the Realme C35, as the newer variant comes with a faster 90Hz panel. Besides that, instead of the outdated tear-drop notch, it now flaunts a hole-punch display with a screen-to-body ratio of 91.4%. In addition, the bottom bezel is slightly thicker than the rest.
The display was surprisingly good for general usage as well as for content. The touch response was also decent, and it comes with a pre-applied screen protector.
Despite it being an LCD panel, the colours on display were decent with the Vivid colour preset enabled. You can switch between the presets available if you wish for a more natural appeal. The Realme C55 supports Widevine L1, and watching ‘That 90s Show’ on it was fun. Viewing angles are also good. However, we found that the device struggles with 4K videos on YouTube. We noticed jitters throughout the playback. The Realme C55 has a peak brightness of 680 nits in high brightness mode. We didn’t face much trouble using it outdoors.
The device comes with a mono speaker that works fine with decent clarity and not much bass. However, the speaker gets loud enough for most scenarios. Just like before, the Realme C55 also comes with an ultra volume mode, we suggest keeping that disabled as there’s audible crackling at higher levels.
Realme C55 Review: Performance and software
An Helio G88 SoC powers the Realme C55. It’s an octa-core processor that runs on the 12nm fabrication process. This SoC has been tried and tested with phones such as the Redmi 10 Prime, Infinix Note 12, and more. This is a 4G chipset and has a maximum CPU frequency of 2GHz. As mentioned above, the device comes in three different storage variants, all supporting gimmicks such as RAM expansion. The device uses eMMC 5.1 for storage and LPDDR4X for RAM. The Realme C33 used UFS 2.2 at a much cheaper price. This is part of cost-cutting, but it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker.
What could be a deal breaker, though, is, despite being on the highest variant of the Realme C55, we noticed stutters in the UI when scrolling through the home screen or accessing the notification panel. This issue persisted after a recent update claiming to optimise the system performance. We hope Realme can work on the software to fix this in the coming days. RAM management, on the other hand, was good.
We ran our usual stress test with Google Maps on PiP and audio on YouTube Premium. The device initially struggled but then started to get a hold of it. As for synthetic benchmarks, the Realme C55 scored 257,050 in the AnTuTu tests, which was higher than what the Realme C33 produced. Geekbench 6 returned a score of 426 and 1405 in single-core and multi-core score tests, respectively. The Sling Shot Extreme test (OpenGL) on 3DMark got an overall score of 1419.
Apex Legends Mobile can only go up to Smooth graphics quality and High frame rate settings, which means it can only push a maximum of 30fps. In our experience, the game ran decently with minor drops to 26fps while landing. We would suggest playing at Rough graphic quality settings, which can slightly improve performance at the cost of image quality.
The Realme C55 runs on Realme UI 4.0 based on Android 13 out of the box, making it the first C-series device to come with this skin. The company promises two years of updates and three years of security patches. It has a bunch of customisation options that allow you to play with icon styles, wallpapers, widgets and more. The usual special features tab, which holds functions like Split screen, Simple mode, and more, is also available here.
Before going any further, let’s talk about the elephant in the room — the Mini Capsule. It’s pretty obvious that this is a ripoff of the dynamic island with fewer functionalities.
The best part here is that it’s not hardware-related but software related, which means more devices in the future or from the past can benefit from it. This can be found in the Realme Lab, which suggests it’s still in its infancy. The Mini Capsule is limited to charging notifications, data usage, and activity stats. Sadly, calls won’t be notified using the capsule.
Upon asking, a Realme rep mentioned that it is a limitation of the chipset on the C55. Anyways, It’s quite responsive and works every time, though a bit of polish to the animation would help. It’s still not at a stage where this could be one of the USPs of the device — though we would argue any device should have a USP like this.
Moving on, the Realme C55 has a bunch of bloatware apps, which were inevitable considering the price it comes at. Additionally, there are also random recommendations in the app drawer. You can uninstall these apps if unwanted.
Realme C55 Review: Cameras
The Realme C55 sports a dual-rear camera setup with a 64-megapixel Omnivision sensor with an f/1.79 aperture and a 2-megapixel black and white camera. This is the same sensor that was used in the Realme GT Master Edition. The front comes with an 8-megapixel camera for selfies. The device also integrates a few traditional features from the GT series, like Street Photography. The camera UI is pretty straightforward, with no major changes over the previous edition.
Photos captured in daylight were quite impressive, with good details and colours overall. The dynamic range in these images was also decent, with balanced shadows and highlights. The post-processing tends to favour greens a little too much in some situations, but human skin tones were bang on. Portrait photos, however, are a miss or hit. While the depth is good, it sometimes manages to mess up the edge detection.
Low-light images with night mode on were usable with minimal noise in darker areas. However, it needs some artificial light for help. These shots tend to take their own sweet time for processing. In dimly lit conditions, images tend to have visible grains and a purple tint around the edges. The front camera takes crisp shots but with a slight red tone on human faces. Portrait mode here works well. The device can shoot videos up to 1080p 60fps.
Realme C55 Review: Battery and charging
The Realme C55 packs in a 5,000mAh battery and comes with a 33W charger in the box. The battery backup is quite good, something you usually expect from a budget phone. We easily managed to get around six hours of screen-on-time, with the phone lasting an entire day.
While we tend to use cameras and games a bit more in our usage to test the batteries, an average joe should easily be able to extract more out of the phone. The phone takes 30 minutes to reach 47 per cent and a total of an hour and 13 minutes to completely charge from dead. This is still an upgrade from the 18W brick included with the C35.
Realme C55 Review: Verdict
The Realme C55 is a good choice for budget buyers at a starting price tag of Rs 10,999. However, the 4GB RAM variant is something you should consider skipping if you plan on using this as a primary device. While the company may target youngsters with the phone and its design approach, parents can also use it properly. Results from the primary camera in daylight were commendable, but the portrait mode was a letdown in certain situations. Night mode shots are still usable. The battery department is also quite sorted. But the phone falls short on daily usage. Hopefully, an update will soon fix the stutters and lags on the software front.
Mini Capsule is a decent feature to have included, but there are apps available with more functionality. Nevertheless, seeing something new in this oh-so-ever-monotonous budget market is good.
As for the ever-looming question of whether you should still buy a 4G handset with 5G up and running? It’s quite simple. Phones with 5G are priced slightly higher, so if you want to save up on costs, a 4G handset makes sense. Realme’s own 9i 5G is a device you can consider in this price range if 5G is of any importance to you. Besides that, some 4G options include the Poco M5, Realme 10, and Samsung F41, among others.
Realme C55Rs 10,999
VALUE FOR MONEY8.0/10
What Is Good?
- Flashy design
- Display produces good colours
- Commendable battery life and charging
- Decent primary camera
- Runs on Android 13
- Experimental features
What Is Bad?
- Stutters throughout the UI
- Portrait mode could be better
- Pre-installed bloatware