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realme C53 Review

realme has just added a new member to its budget-oriented C-line of smartphones with its all-new realme C53.

With how competitive the budget smartphone segment is, we were curious to find out what types of features and compromises realme chose to get to that lower price tag.

Realme C53 (13)

Does the C53 make the right cuts and choices? Let’s find out in our full review of the realme C53!

realme C53 Review

Design and Construction

During our first impressions of the realme C53, we were impressed with the initial feel-in-the-hand that the realme C53 had — and it still rang true with our continued testing.

Realme C53 (14)

The C53 has decent weight to it but doesn’t feel cheap despite beeing a budget phone. It has chamfered edges and rounded corners, adding up to a very comfortable-feeling phone.

One big reason why the realme C53 is so easy to handle is due to its thinness. realme says that the C53 is 7.49mm thin — which they say makes it one of the thinnest phones in the budget phone segment.

Realme C53

We definitely felt the benefits of this thin chassis, especially since the C53 does have a large display. We had no trouble using the phone with one hand as it never felt top-heavy or too bulky in use.

At the back, there’s a frosted glass-looking finish that looks clean and minimal. It does pick up fingerprints fairly easily so that’s something to take note of.

Realme C53 (11)

Aside from this understated Black, the C53 is also be available in a Champion Gold colorway, for those looking for a poppier and flashier colored phone.

Overall, the realme C53 gets good marks from us design-wise with its comfortable feel-in-the-hand and solid build quality.

Display, Biometrics, and Multimedia

For its display, the realme C53 sports a 6.74-inch HD+ LCD screen, which is a 720 x 1600 resolution, with a 90 Hz refresh rate, and a teardrop notch up top.

Realme C53 (17)

The C53’s display does look bright and vivid, but that’s provided if you look at the screen head-on. When you tilt the screen or view it at a different angle, there is a noticeable drop-off in terms of color reproduction and overall quality.

Realme C53 (10)

We also have to mention the resolution — 720 x 1600 HD+, which gets us only 260 pixels per inch. In 2023, it has almost become standard to have at least a 1080p display on a smartphone. It gets even weirder to think that the C53’s sibling, the realme C55, 55 gets that FHD+ resolution.

Realme C53 (7)

In real-world usage, pixels are more noticeable with the C55’s lower resolution. You do get used to both the less sharp display and the less-than-stellar viewing angles after a while, but it’s definitely a miss on realme’s part in our honest opinion.

The realme C53 does have a high refresh rate display, with the screen being able to reach 90 Hz. This makes navigating the phone and the UI smoother and zippyier than one would expect.

For speakers, the realme C53 has a single downward-firing speaker. While it’s another corner cut with the lack of a stereo speaker setup, the C53 does feature what realme calls an UltraBoom Speaker. This allows the C53’s speaker to move past 100% volume and reach 150%.

Realme C53 (3)

In our testing, the UltraBoom Speaker gets surprisingly loud at this 150% volume and can pass off as a small Bluetooth speaker. Quality does degrade at higher volumes but it gets the job done.

If you want to use a wired set of earphones, you’ll be happy to know that the C53 comes with a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom. There’s also a side-mounted fingerprint sensor embedded in the C53’s power button.

Realme C53 (4)

Per our use, the sensor was fast and reliable and we didn’t encounter any issue with unlocking the phone.

As we can see, the display is one of the main sacrifices made by the realme C53 to get to a lower price. While we do appreciate the 90 Hz refresh rate and above-average single speaker, we do wish we at least got FHD resolution from the C53.

Camera

For its camera system, the realme C53 carries a 50MP AI camera at the rear as its main lens an LED flash, and an additional 0.8MP Black and White depth sensor. For selfies, we have an 8MP AI camera at the front, with support for 720p video recording at 30fps.

Realme C53 Cam

While photos may not be the sharpest, the C53’s rear camera system surprised us with how well it reproduced colors in different conditions. With decent light, you can actually get really good images with the C53.

Realme C53 (8)

Quality does dip a bit when you give the phone less light to work with, but that’s to be expected in any smartphone camera — especially one that’s a more budget-oriented device.

Selfies on the C53 are decent as well and will be more than usable for social media posts and personal photos. They are on the grainy side but they’re not the worst we’ve seen in terms of skin tone and color.

Realme C53 (18)

Video on the C53 is also below average to average. Colors are good but, like the photos, it isn’t the sharpest footage out there.

You can find some photo and video samples from the C53 below:

Camera-wise, the C53 would get a solid C+ to B-, if given a letter grade score. Its decent color reproduction carries it above the usual budget phone, but the lack of sharpness in both photos and videos reminds us that we’re not paying a premium for the C53.

Performance and Benchmarks

Powering the realme C53 is an Octa-core Unisoc T612 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage. That 6GB of RAM can be extended up to 12GB with the C53’s dynamic RAM capability.

Realme C53 (2)

Performance-wise, using the realme C53 was a surprisingly pleasant experience. It’s not the fastest phone out there but it doesn’t bog down or lag as much as we thought it would. Browsing social media is smooth enough and apps stay in memory for a surprisingly long time.

We also get the same story with gaming. If you run games at the lowest setting, you get pretty good framerates and very playable gameplay.

Games such as Mobile Legends and Call of Duty Mobile are more than playable on the C53. It can even run Genshin Impact (on the lowest setting)  but of course, frame drops should be expected with this graphically intensive game.

In terms of benchmarks, the C53 got these results:

Realme C53 Pc Mark Work 3.0Realme C53 3d Mark Wild Life Realme C53 Geekbench MlRealme C53 Geekbench 6

  • PCMark Work 3.0 – 8397
  • 3D Mark Wild Life – 423
  • Geekbench ML – 184
  • Geekbench 6 – 416 (Single-Core), 1473 (Multi-Core)

The realme C53 is a good performer for those who will only use it for your normal social media browsing, content consumption, and occasional light gaming.

Apps, OS and UI

Software-wise, the C53 runs on realme’s skin called realme UI T edition, based on Android 13. It’s mostly a stock experience on the C53, so we get Android 13 with almost the same menus and launcher as you get with Google’s Pixel phones.

Realme C53 Mini Capsule

There are, however, a ton of bloatware pre-installed. To my count, there were about 20 or so bloat apps that I found, and had to take some time to put them all in one folder.

Thankfully, most of them can be removed permanently via uninstalling but I guess that’s the tax you pay for the lower price tag. We just wished there weren’t a ton of preinstalled apps, to begin with.

Realme C53 BloatRealme C53 Bloat 2

The C53 also has realme’s version of a “Dynamic Island” for the notch called the “Mini Capsule.” However, the current iteration of the Mini Capsule on the C53 is still limited to just showing the phone’s Battery Status when plugging it in or showing Data usage reminders.

Realme C53 (16)

We’re still happy that the C53, as an entry-level device, still got the feature at all.

Save for the bloat and pre-installed apps, the C53’s UI experience is clean, intuitive, and simple. We’re especially excited to see how realme updates its Mini Capsule feature in the near future.

Connectivity and Battery Life

In terms of connectivity, the realme C53 does not have 5G. However, it does have a SIM slot that can house two nano SIMs. It also has a dedicated micro SD slot that’s expandable to up to 2TB.

Realme C53 (9)

For its battery, the C53 comes with a 5000 mAh battery that is capable of 33W of SUPERVOOC fast charging. As expected, the realme C53 can last a whole day with no problem at all.

Even with using the phone in light mode and having a few gaming sessions here and there, we never felt like the C53’s battery struggled to last the whole day.

In our proprietary video loop test playing a 1080p video, with the phone on 50% brightness, airplane Mode on, and zero volume, the realme C53 lasted for 21 hrs and 14 minutes. Meanwhile, on PC Mark’s Work 3.0 Battery Test, the C53 lasted 17 hours and 39 minutes.

Realme C53 Pc Mark Battery Test

It also helps that the C53 gets some pretty fast charging  (33W with realme’s SUPERVOOC charging). According to realme, the 33W charging can top up the C53 to 50% in just 34 minutes or fully charge 100% in an hour and 25 minutes.  With our testing, we got about the same results.

Conclusion

To end, the realme C53 is a decent device that gets weighed down by its below-average screen. It has a good speaker system, great build quality, and decent performance.

Realme C53 (17)

However, I personally feel that paying more for a phone with a higher resolution display (and better viewing angles) is worth the money.

In terms of price, the realme C53 can be purchased at an SRP of Php 7,999 (6GB RAM + 128GB storage).

Anyways, what do you think of realme’s newest C-series phone? Do you think it’s worth the money?

Let us know in the comments down below!

realme C53 specs:

6.74-inch HD+ (720 x 1600) LCD
90 Hz refresh rate
Unisoc T612 Processor (12nm architecture)
6GB RAM (+6GB Virtual RAM expansion)
128GB of internal storage (Expandable up to 2TB via microSD)
50MP main lens
0.8MP Black and White Depth sensor
8MP front-facing camera
WiFi 2.4GHz, 5GHz
Bluetooth 5.0
2G / 3G / 4G
nano SIM (2 slots)
microSD slot (expandable to up to 2TB)
3.5mm Headphone Jack
USB Type-C
realme UI T Edition, based on Android 13
5000 mAh with 33W fast charging
Mighty Black, Champion Gold
167.26mm x 76.67mm x 7.49mm
182g

What we liked:

  • Thin and comfy design
  • UltraBoom Speaker system
  • Decent performance

What we didn’t like:

  • Low-resolution display (720 x 1600)
  • Bad viewing angles on screen
  • A ton of bloatware, pre-installed apps
  • Below average to average camera system

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Avatar for Luis Miguel Millares

Luis Millares is a Political Science graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University and a former journalist for its official student publication, The GUIDON. He also worked as a writer for the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) before pursuing his passion for tech with the YugaTech team.

No Responses

  1. Avatar for Jyan Jyan says:

    “It’s not the fastest phone out there”. lol. are you expecting a fast phone on entry level phone range?

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