realme C25s Review - 4 months after!

We share our thoughts and experiences with the realme C25s after four months of intensive use.
realme C25s Review - 4 Months after!
realme C25s

Originally launched in the Philippines in late June 2021, the realme C25s is the company's new affordable offering.

To recap, the C25s features a large 6.5-inch LCD display with 720p resolution. Inside is the 2.0 GHz MediaTek Helio G85 octa-core processor, Mali-G52 2EEMC2 GPU, 4GB LPDDR4X, 64GB/128GB of storage, and 6,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging thru USB-C.

In the Philippines, the realme C25s starts at PHP 7,490.

In our unboxing and first impressions, we said that the C25s is looking to be an interesting pick for smartphones priced under 10K. Do we still feel the same way after four months?

Let's find out!


Multimedia Experience

Waterdrop notch display
Waterdrop notch display

As mentioned above, the display is a 6.5-inch LCD display with 1600 x 720 resolution. It produces an image with vibrant color and good contrast. It is decently sharp but we think 720 is being stretched on a 6.5-inch panel. The brightness is good enough for indoor use but can be somewhat hard to read under direct sunlight.

720p, but decent display

Around the display are decently slim top and side bezels. The chin bezel is notably thicker and the top bezel has a waterdrop notch that houses the selfie camera.

It supports 10-points of multitouch that are responsive, accurate, and quick. We did not notice delays and misread taps or gestures. 
realme C25s bottom firing speaker
realme C25s bottom-firing speaker

At the bottom of the phone are the 3.5mm audio jack and the bottom-firing speaker. Unfortunately, there is no 3.5mm headphone included in the box. 

The bottom-firing speaker has a decent maximum volume; however, the sound at max volume suffers from distortion and tingy-ness. We recommend toning it down to the 70 to 80 percent range where the sound has its best sound quality. The sound product has decent clarity and separation. It is loud enough to fill a small room but will struggle in larger rooms or open environments.

It has a single microphone that makes the microphone recording somewhat decent. It can pick up audio from under a meter away. The noise cancellation is good enough that our callers never complained about voice quality.

Cameras

Rear cameras
Rear cameras

At the back is a triple camera made up of a 48MP f/1.8 main camera, 2MP f/2.4 macro, and 2MP f/2.4 monochrome camera with LED flash.

The stock camera app includes the following modes: Photo, Video, Night, Portrait, 48M, Slo-Mo, Time-lapse, Pro or Expert mode, Pano, and Ultra-Macro.

The Pro mode allows for controls to switch between 1x, 2x, and 5x. It also allows for controls of ISO (100-1600), Shutter speed (1/8000s to 16 seconds), White Balance, EV (+-2).

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight
Daylight

The realme C25s allows for 1x, 2x, and 5x zoom in the camera app. However, these are just digital crops of the 1x which means it is the same image only cropped in.

In daylight, the images from the main camera produced decently sharp and detailed images with saturated colors and decent contrast. This is good for the price. Like most phones in the price range, the image quality drops when viewing full size on a larger monitor.
Macro-camera
Macro-camera
Main camera close-up
Main camera close-up

When comparing the main camera close-up and the macro camera, it is clear that the macro camera is way softer and has a lot more noise.
Indoors
Indoors

Indoors, the story remains the same, the images produced have decent sharpness and detail while the colors are very saturated. The contrast is decent too. It does tend to increase the exposure that makes the scene look a lot brighter than it really is.
Main camera low light
Main camera low light

In low light, the main camera produces images with a lot of noise that deteriorated the sharpness, detail, contrast, and color. It struggles in low light.
Main camera Night Mode
Main camera Night Mode

The Night Mode did reduce some of the noise and improved some of the sharpness but it did introduce a maroon discoloration and weird lines. Even with Night mode, the image struggles.
Waterdrop notch and Selfie camera
Waterdrop notch and Selfie camera

While on the notch is the 8MP f/2.0 selfie camera. The stock camera app that uses the selfie camera includes Photo, Video, Portrait, Timelapse, and Pano. There is no Night Selfie mode.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight Selfie
Daylight Selfie
Indoor selfies
Indoor selfies
Lowlight selfie
Lowlight selfie

For selfies, the realme C25s takes decently sharp images with decently good contrast. The images are not the best selfies in the price range but it is good enough.

The rear cameras can capture up to 1080 at 60fps without stabilization. While the Selfie camera can capture up to 1080p 30fps. Because of the lack of stabilization, the footage can be decently sharp with good color but it is shaky when handheld.

Performance

GeekBench and CPDT benchmarks
GeekBench and CPDT benchmarks

Inside the phone is the 12nm 2.0GHz MediaTek Helio G85 that scored 389 in GeekBench single-core tests and 1372 in GeekBench Multi-core tests. AnTuTu had a problem detecting the 3D benchmark file even though it was installed.

In the CPDT disk speed test, the C25s's internal storage managed to reach 121.99 MB/s in sequential write speeds and 217.29 MB/s in sequential write speeds.

In terms of synthetic benchmarks, the realme C25s produce somewhat decent results. There are better-performing phones but it performed on the average side.
Genshin Impact on C25s
Genshin Impact on C25s

The Helio G85 managed to unlock the lowest graphic setting at 30fps as the default graphic settings of Genshin Impact. We noticed some stuttering when playing in densely packed areas in Genshin Impact. The stuttering worsens when a ton of effects appears on the screen. It is a playable experience more than a smooth experience.
Call of Duty: Mobile
Call of Duty: Mobile

In the latest version of Call of Duty: Mobile, the phone managed to unlock the Medium Graphics quality and the High frame rate. Gameplay on Medium graphics quality and High frame rate is a decently smooth experience. However, after about an hour of gameplay, the phone was getting somewhat warm. It wasn't uncomfortably hot but you can feel the increase in temperatures.

The rear-mounted fingerprint scanner is quick to set up and it detects and scans the fingerprint right away. Unlocking the phone is instantaneous and is accurate. It struggles when our fingerprint is dirty. 

While the Face Unlock with the selfie camera is also easy to set up and works just as fast as the fingerprint scanner as long as you are looking at the camera. It detects our faces and unlocks the phone instantaneously in both well-lit and poorly lit environments. The screen brightens up when in a darker environment too. 

The phone works with OTG when the feature is enabled manually. The WiFi, Bluetooth, 5G, and LTE connections are fast, stable, and reliable. The GPS acquires our location immediately and accurately.
PCMark Battery benchmark
PCMark Battery benchmark

Inside the phone is a massive 6,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging thru USB-C. In our usual PCMark battery test, the phone managed to endure over 15 hours and 54 minutes. 

While in our real-world use where we use the phone as our daily driver, it managed to last for 6 hours and 16 minutes of on-screen time after a loaded 9-hour workday. 

We ended our 9-hour workday with 35 to 40 percent battery left. This means that it will last a typical 9-hour workday and you can expect it to last thru a long workday.

It takes the phone under 120 minutes to charge from 0 to 100 percent.  
realme UI 2.0
realme UI 2.0

For software, it is running on the latest Android 11-based realme UI 2.0. It features minor tweaks and visual changes from the original realme UI while adding the new features of Android 11. If you liked the older realme UI then you will like this one however, if you never liked it then, this won't make you like it.

Pros - Solid and lightweight polycarbonate build, decent performance, long battery life, fast fingerprint, and face Unlock
Cons - 720p resolution could be lacking, the ultra-wide camera would have been better than macro and mono cameras

realme C25S Specs

Display: 6.5-inch 2.5D curved LCD (LTPS) screen w/ HD+ 1600 x 720 resolution at 269 ppi
CPU: 2.0GHz 12nm MediaTek Helio G85 octa-core processor
GPU: Mali-G52 2EEMC2 (1000MHz)
RAM: 4GB LPDDR4X
ROM: 64GB/128GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 48MP f/1.8 w/ PDAF + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 mono + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8MP f/2.0
Battery: 6,000mAh w/ 18W Quick Charge
OS: Android 11.0 w/ realme UI 2.0
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, face unlock, TÜV Rheinland Smartphone High-Reliability Certification, USB-C, Colors: Water Blue, Water Gray
Dimensions: 164.5 x 75.9 x 8.6 mm
Weight: 209 g
Price: PHP 7,490 (4GB/64GB), PHP 8,490 (4GB/128GB)

Verdict

GIZGUIDEPH website
GIZGUIDEPH website

The realme C25s is a great option for customers looking for a phone under PHP 10K. It is not the best performing phone out there but it does a lot of important things right.

Our main concerns are the 720p resolution display, and that the monochrome and macro cameras are almost useless. The display is great but 1080p can be better and having one good ultra-wide camera is better than two almost useless cameras.

We also love the lightweight but solid body and the long battery life offered by the phone. Users just have to wait for a long time to charge the massive 6,000mAh battery with the 18W charger.

Lastly, like that it retained the TÜV Rheinland Smartphone High Reliability Certification from the C25 ensuring that the device would last for a long while and remain reliable most of the time.

What do you guys think?

Build/Design - 4
Multimedia Experience - 4
Cameras - 4
Performance - 4
Average - 4/5
realme C25s Review - 4 months after! realme C25s Review - 4 months after! Reviewed by Telenor Editorial on November 01, 2021 Rating: 5

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