Realme has just announced that they are bringing the entry-level C31 and C35 phones to the UK. Despite being available in other regions for a few months, we actually haven’t seen or heard much about them coming to the UK, but yesterday Realme UK took the wraps off of them and for as low as £119 for the C31. Will these entry-level devices be worth it?
So what do you get for £119? Well, for starters, you get a 6.5″ IPS LCD screen with a 1600×720 resolution. So not the highest for sure, but you’ll be able to watch HD YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ on it without issue. There is a waterdrop notch at the top housing the 5MP camera and above that, the earpiece speaker; this is pretty well contained but I do feel like the waterdrop notch has aged less gracefully than the standard small U shaped notch. I won’t blame you for not hearing about the SoC powering the C31: the Unisoc Tiger T612 is a 12nm chip with 2 Cortex A75 and 6 Cortex A55s, at 1.8Ghz for both clusters. Unisoc is not a brand name we hear often, but it is one of the reasons this device can be so inexpensive. The T612 doesn’t support 5G, so this is an LTE only phone but at the price point that is hard to argue with, LTE will be around for years to come and with the improvements carriers are making to masts for the 5G rollout, a lot of it also benefits LTE as well. Packing 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, you also get a MicroSD expansion slot in the SIM tray for expanding your local storage, nice. There are 3 cameras around the back but only one worth talking about. The main camera is a 13MP unit with an f2.2 aperture and a 25mm effective focal length, there is also a 2MP macro camera and a VGA depth camera, but like I said, not really worth talking about. Lastly I want to talk about battery, the C31 has a monstrous 5000mAh battery, the only problem I can see with that is the 10W charging speed and the now-ancient MicroUSB charging port.
The more interesting device, and the one I am much more interested in is the C35, sporting a squared off design with flat edges and glass, upfront is the 6.6″ 2408×1080 IPS LCD screen, still at 60Hz, but with a 180Hz touch polling rate The waterdrop notch is still here but the snapper is replaced by an 8MP F.2 lens. The back has 3 cameras, but once again only one is worth talking about, the main camera is a 50MP unit, and from a bit of digging is likely to be the Samsung JN1, a new low cost image sensor designed to bring high resolution and pixel binning to more mainstream inexpensive designs. The C35 has a slightly more impressive SoC, the Unisoc Tiger T616. Basically the same SoC as in the C31 but the 2x cortex A75 cores have been bumped up to 2Ghz, hopefully that is enough to deal with the resolution increase of the screen, but once again no 5G here, LTE only. the Battery is the same 5000mAh capacity, but the charging gets bumped to 18w (yay) and more importantLY has a USB-C port, much nicer, easier to find cables for, reversible and more robust than MicroUSB, huzzah!. Both the C31 and C35 have side mounted capacitive fingerprint scanners, now as a left handed person this isn’t my favourite move, but given the fact these use IPS LCDs and the last time we heard about under display fingerprint readers in LCDs was at the beginning on 2020, I’m not surprised they’re here, and the side does look cooler than on the rear, even if it is slightly less practical for us lefties.
Whilst I have been saying £119 and £139 through this piece, those are promotional prices for the next few days. Once those promo prices are gone however the C31 will be £10 more expensive at £129, whereas there are two models of the C35, the base 4GB/64GB model will be £149, and the 4GB/128GB model will come in at £169. The C31 comes in Dark Green and Light Silver, the C35 comes in Glowing Black and Glowing Green, and I must say, I’m a big fan of the greens on both of them. Hopefully we can get a unit of each in for testing.