Realme C31 Review: In today’s time, there are many options available for those who want a budget smartphone. There has been a lot of improvement in the segment below Rs 20 thousand and Rs 15 thousand, as companies have started launching smartphones equipped with big batteries, AMOLED display, and 5G connectivity. Still, the segment below 10 thousand rupees cannot be ignored, because companies have launched many good handsets in this price segment as well.
In this, a recent phone was launched from the Realme C series which has been named Realme C31. This phone comes with an attractive and slim design, a 5000 mAh battery is available and a triple camera setup has also been given in the rear. The phone is from the same series in which the Realme C35 was launched, but this time the price has been kept low so that customers can be wooed. Does the Realme C31 appeal for the price, and is there anything special about it apart from the design? Find out in this review.
Realme C31 Price in India and Variants
The Realme C31 comes in two variants in India. The base variant was launched in March 2022 for Rs 8,999 but at the time of this review, its price has increased slightly to Rs 9,299. This variant comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, while the above variant comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and is priced at Rs 9,999. The phone is available in Light Silver and Dark Green colors. For this review, I had a model with 4GB of RAM.
Realme C31 Design
When viewed as a device under Rs 10,000, the Realme C31 looks and feels good in the hand. The light silver color gives a very slim look to the phone. When I held it in my hand for the first time, the phone felt very long from the beginning. The back panel of the phone sports a triple-camera setup that protrudes slightly, making the phone wobble when placed on a desk. The entire rear panel gets an attention-grabbing texture, only the camera module is different. The back panel is made of polycarbonate. Its textured back does not allow easy fingerprints and also prevents scratches.
In Realme C31, the power button is given on the right side and a fingerprint sensor is also present. I didn’t have any trouble accessing the fingerprint sensor as the power button is placed right and it’s given a lightly sloping notch. The left side of the phone houses the SIM card slot and volume buttons. There is a speaker grille in the back panel. Personally, I didn’t like the speaker placement as the sound gets suppressed whenever the device is placed flat.
The 3.5mm headphone jack, primary microphone, and a micro-USB port are provided at the bottom of the Realme C31. The company should have offered a USB-Type C port instead, considering that even older phones like the Micromax In 2B come with a Type C port at this price point. A 10W charger is available in the box, but no protective case is available.
Realme C31 has a 6.5-inch HD + LCD display in which Waterdrop Notch is available. In this, the front camera has been fitted. The display has thin bezels, but the chin is a bit big. The display has a standard 60Hz refresh rate. The phone weighs 197 grams which is a bit heavy. However, I did not face any problem while using it with one hand as the company has distributed the weight correctly.
Realme C31 Specifications and Software
Unisonic T612 SoC is available in Realme C31 which is based on a 12nm fabrication processor. It is an octa-core processor with a clock speed of up to 1.82GHz. Standard UFS 2.2 inbuilt storage is provided which is not seen very often in this price segment. Two nano-SIM cards and microSD card support have been provided for extra storage in the phone. With the help of the card, the storage can be increased up to 1TB.
For connectivity, Realme C31 supports 4G / LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, and only 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. I had some trouble with the Wi-Fi in my unit as the C31 kept disconnecting from my router while I was in the same room.
The Realme C31 phone runs on the Realme UI R Edition which is a more basic version of the regular Realme UI. This version is designed to enhance the performance of lower-end devices. Many types of bloatware apps are available on the phone, which include Facebook, Josh, Paytm, Sharechat, and many other apps. You can also uninstall them if needed.
My unit was running Android 11 and had the March 2022 security patch. I haven’t even received the April security patch update on it. The user interface feels like the vanilla version of the Realme UI. It gets some minor adjustments and doesn’t get much for customization. For example, I couldn’t even customize the icons, transitions, or layout of apps on the home screen.
The user interface is easy to use and straightforward. All the necessary settings and quick actions are easily accessible. The feature of Smart Controls is available in the phone, in which some modern features like Smart wake, Smart motion, Pocket mode, etc. have been given. You do not get a dedicated gallery app on the device. You will either have to use Google’s pre-installed Google Photos or use a third-party app.
Realme C31 Performance and Battery Life
There is no problem with the phone in everyday use. There was no problem with scrolling and switching between apps in the user interface. Two types of biometric authentication options are available on the phone – fingerprint and face unlock. A fingerprint is quite fast but face unlock looks a bit slower than expected.
In terms of performance, the phone scored 197,830 points on AnTuTu. The phone scored 339 and 1279 points respectively in Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core tests. The phone scored 7,348 points on the PCMark Work 3.0 test. These results weren’t great though, and some were even lower than the company’s own Realme C25. Realme C25 was launched last year in which MediaTek Helio G70 SoC is available.
Even though the benchmark scores were weak, the game ran smoothly on the phone. On the phone, I saw playing from BGMI, Call of Duty: Mobile to PES 2021, and Asphalt 9 Legends. As far as I have experienced, Call of Duty: Mobile did well on the phone with low graphics and frame rates. The phone started wobbling when moving to medium graphics. Also, after 15 minutes of continuous play, the phone got very hot in some parts of the back panel. Asphalt 9: Legends ran fine at High-Quality settings.
The phone played BGMI at high frame rate settings without any lag. Here the phone started faltering in HD graphics. The gyroscope also worked well and I was able to control the recoil during gunfights.
Games like Temple Run and Subway Surfers run smoothly on the phone. The option of ‘Auto Resolution’ is available in the phone, in which the screen resolution is reduced during games so that the phone’s battery can be saved and heating is also reduced. However, even after enabling it, I did not notice any difference in its performance or usage.
Viewing angles are good in the display of Realme C31. You can choose from presets of standard, warm and cool color tones. I got the most balanced look in Standard mode. The screen is big and for this, the HD+ resolution seems to fall short. The brightness of the screen is 400 nits and it is easy to read outdoors, or even in direct sunlight.
The colors look good on the display. In this, you do not get the support of Widevine L1, so on OTT apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, you will be able to watch content only in standard definition (SD) quality. The speaker quality is good and it does sound quite loud when held in the hand.
Also See: Realme C35 Review: Powerful in Design, But Performance Read More
The phone also comes with a Video Display Enhancement feature, which makes the colors brighter and more vibrant while watching videos. When I enabled it, the videos started appearing a bit fake, so I kept it off.
Backed by a 5,000mAh battery, the Realme C31 lasted 13 hours and 53 minutes in our HD video loop test, which was slightly less than expected. On average, the phone lasts a full day with a bit of gaming and media consumption apart from regular usage on a single charge. With mild usage, I was able to make it last a little more than a full day. The 10W charger in the box with the phone charged it from 0 to 23 percent in 30 minutes and took 2 hours and 30 minutes to fully charge the battery.
Realme C31 Cameras
The Realme C31 supports a triple-camera setup at the rear, which includes a 13-megapixel primary camera with f/2.2 aperture, a 2-megapixel macro camera with f/2.4 aperture, and a black-and-white camera with f/2.8 aperture. . On the front is a 5-megapixel single camera with f/2.2 aperture. The camera interface is also a simplified version of the regular Realme camera app. I noticed some frame drops in the viewfinder while trying to capture some shots.
The camera app is easy to use and easy to navigate between the options provided. The actual camera performance of the phone will be said to be average. Photos taken in daylight were good but there was a lack of details which was clearly visible on the zooming. The 13-megapixel camera maintains decent colors but misses out on the dynamic range. Switching to Auto HDR mode made the image sharper and some colors oversaturated. 4X digital zoom is available on the phone but grains are visible in the captured image.
Macro shots taken with the phone’s camera were below average and the photo looked pinkish. It took a lot of effort to take macro shots because the right focus was not getting easily in it. There was also a lack of details in the photo. Portrait mode only works on the rear camera and for some reason only works on human subjects and not on objects. Edge detection was good but at times it blurred some parts of the subject which should not have been done. You can also set the blur level before clicking the photo.
Photos taken with the front camera in front of the lights were over-exposed and looked quite ordinary. The 5-megapixel camera fails to capture good facial details. A lot of noise was also visible in the photo.
The noise was found in the photo taken in low light, while the photo was taken in good light. The photos looked soft in this and there was a lack of details. The camera also struggled to focus in low light. Switching to Night Pro mode, the photos looked a bit bright.
The phone can capture videos in up to 1080p resolution at 30fps. Videos captured in daylight were mediocre and the lack of stabilization was clearly visible. There was a lot of noise in the video in low light. Since it didn’t have electronic stabilization, the video didn’t even have a shimmer effect, which was a good thing.
The phone is good for everyday use. There is no problem with multitasking or switching between apps. I would not recommend playing games with heavy graphics on it as it is not designed that way. The phone looks very modern and stylish and looking at it, it is difficult to say that it is a budget device. The phone’s 5,000mAh battery gives great backup.
There is a lot of room for improvement in the camera of the phone. Portrait mode shouldn’t have been limited to just human subjects. If you are going to buy this phone, then I would suggest buying the version with more RAM, as there is not much difference in its price and it will be beneficial in the long run. If you are looking for an alternative at the same price, then you can go for the Moto E32s, which can be quite tempting.