With Realme’s budget range, new models come out almost once a quarter. Usually, there are only small improvements or small differences in the price range, Realme C31 improves the most important point: the entry-level smartphone gets more computing power. Under the hood, the Unisoc Tiger T612 now offers more hardware power with UFS 2.2 system memory. Unfortunately, not much has changed except the new design and it goes from Android 10 to Android 11. But Realme C31 also takes some “legacy issues” In terms of price, the Realme 4/64 GB version is priced at Rs 13,490 in Bangladesh.
The entry-level cell phones of Xiaomi, Redmi, and Poco are getting better and better equipped lately, but they have become more expensive. Unfortunately, smartphones with double-digit prices are rare.
Realme C31 also comes with a new design with smaller new versions. The camera is housed in an “integrated” style – not curved, of course, but with a separate plastic component. The fingerprint sensor is now integrated into the power button. The Realme C31 measures 164.7 x 76.2 x 8.4 mm and weighs 197 grams. The front part is of course glass, the frame on the other side and the back part is made of plastic.
Also below is a 3.5mm jack, two microphones, and a micro-USB port. It is a pity that Realme still relies on older micro-USB ports. It is also completely unsuitable for the low-budget price range. The three-slot SIM slot and two volume control buttons are on the left. The speaker is usually located on the left side of the back next to the Realme logo.
There are two color variants to choose from: our “light silver” / silver-gray and a chic “dark green” / dark green. The matte back is made with fine grooves and also shows a gloss toward the camera. Even if the Realme C31 has no hand-wringing qualities, it is solidly processed as a whole. The case is not rolled up, does not creek, and fits all areas perfectly. In addition to the waterdrop notch, the design strikes a modern look and the back looks chic. What bothers me the most about the device is the lack of frames around the display and the 2.5D glass, which doesn’t make it feel good or unusual when used.
Realme C31 basically comes with the bare minimum. In addition to the smartphone, it includes a charger with plain paper slip, SIM needle, and micro-USB cable from USB-A. The smartphone is below the price range and is only made of plastic, but it has no protection which is embarrassing! A screen protector is not attached to the factory, nor is the ordinary silicone case included.
The Realme C31 occupies the LCD panel from its predecessor and offers only the essentials. Large enough for at least a 6.5-inch screen content. With a resolution of HD + / 1600 x 720 pixels in 19.5: 9 format, a pixel density of 269 pixels per inch is achieved. The displayed image is clearly a bit blurry and looks like individual pixels, especially when writing.
An LCD panel is installed, which calibrates quite warm ex-works. In the settings, you can choose between live (P3) and fine (sRGB) and switch between standard, warm and cool. At maximum brightness, we measure 400 lux in manual mode and even 550 lux in automatic mode. The black frame around the panel measures 2.5 mm at the top, left, and right, the chin is 8 mm thick and the waterdrop groove extends the image by 7 mm. Unfortunately, the Realme C31 does not have a 2.5D display and is not rounded to the frame. This is a bit unusual for a swipe gesture.
Software: There are four sizes available for fonts. The display size can be set in three stages. As always, there is a blue light filter that can be turned off and calibrated and also a dark mode / dark mode. Games also have the option to automatically reduce the resolution so that the processor uses less computing power. In contrast, the “video enhancement” feature: it is thought to make the colors in the videos more vivid, but it also degrades functionality in normal use. Unfortunately, Realme did without a DRM verification, and Widevine L3, Amazon Prime, and Netflix can only stream low quality (480p) in practical testing. The Realme C31 is powered by three Android buttons at the bottom of the screen. Back and recent applications are interchangeable. Gesture control is also available by swiping.
MediaTek Helio G35 to Unisoc: First with the T610 and now with the Realme C31 with the faster Unisoc Tiger T612. After all, Realme AnTuTu promises 200,000 points on the benchmark. In practice, at least 187,000 points were possible. Realme C21 scored 122,000 with Helio G35 alone. The Unisoc Octa-Core is still built using the less efficient 12nm process but offers two faster Cortex-A75s, including 1.8 GHz. Also, the energy-efficient cluster has six Cortex-A55 cores with 1.8 GHz and a Mali-G52 MP1 graphics chip.
Realme C31 is available in two storage variants: we have a version with 3 / 32GB, and for 4 / 64GB we have to pay 20 € more. It is LPPDDR4x memory which achieves a 10 GB / s data rate. The system memory is fast UFS 2.2 memory, but it does not collect data as fast as the Redmi Note 11. Realme C31 achieves 422 MB / s readings and only 62 MB / s text.
Realme C21 was launched with Android 10 – the new Realme C31 is provided with at least Android 11. Realme UI 3.0 based on Android 12 is already available from the manufacturer, but only the Realme UI R version is used. At the time of testing, the security patch was at the April 2022 level.
And the edition is not less than the Android Go, but some of the great features of the Realme UI have been taken away. And the whole thing is completely unnecessary! The Realme UI R version clearly does without some graphic animation or, among other things, the toolbar at the bottom of the page – there are also functions that require computing power. Unfortunately, many setting and customization options are also lost with the R version. This will not even claim performance. There are also errors, such as Google Feeds cannot be disabled as a page on the left side of the home screen.
Otherwise, there is nothing to complain about Realme C31. Only Facebook was pre-installed as bloatware and adds some practical tools like the Realme app. Thanks to the faster Unisoc processor, the system runs relatively smoothly and you can quickly navigate through the system and general standard apps with Realme C31. There are still stutters or moments to remember here and there, but within this price range, it is normal. Broad 3D games are clearly not part of the entry-level smartphone profession. You will find more powerful smartphones in the price range of Realme’s RRP. With the Realme C31 level off the previous offer price, the upgrade with the Unisoc processor was successful. You can really save yourself the downgrade of the system.
The camera now looks much smarter and mimics the look of the current Oppo Find X smartphone, but uses the same sensors as the Realme C21. The main camera – the only important sensor in the triple cam – is a Sony IMX258 camera sensor with 13MP resolution at a large f / 2.2 aperture. The highest resolution of the video is 1080p / 30fps. Two Pro Forma 2MP BW (f / 2.8) and macro sensor (f / 2.4) are still here. The front camera of the Waterdrop Notch also does not have a high resolution of 5MP (f / 2.2). Here the video resolution is limited to 720p / 30fps. The camera software provides AI view recognition with a pro mode, supernatural color saturation, pan panorama, and night, macro, and portrait modes.
Like its predecessor, daylight shots are quite tough and catchy. With the proper use of a 13MP Sony sensor and software, the scenes are polished in a sleek way. Well, this refers to the high color dynamics and attractively saturated color, as blurred structures quickly become visible on closer inspection. Image quality is therefore suitable for the price range and does not stand in the way of ordinary smartphone use. In low light, even in the forest, a bluish tinge is noticeable.
As always, the macro sensor is only a tactic and only allows the focus to be set very close. The bokeh sensor does its job and separates the nozzle from the backdrop. Permanent hair is often overlooked and even remains a boundary around solid areas. Aperture, that is, the level of the background blur, can be set manually when taking pictures. Unfortunately, ISO noise is already present at dusk. Color distortion with a bluish tinge is even more annoying. At night, ISO noise gets the upper hand and nothing is visible except the whole scene. A night mode is available, but with a slight improvement and only a different color calibration
Unfortunately, the front camera does not have a particularly high resolution of 5MP and the quality is similarly poor. Realme hits skin color well and the dynamics of the image are pleasing. Many details are not recorded. Although many filters and beauty modes are available, there is no bokeh function for the front camera.
The Realme C31 offers a real triple slot: it can be used with two Nano-SIM cards at the same time for dual SIM operation, and the memory can be expanded using a microSD card at the same time. The reception on the go is okay, but it was a bit stronger with the predecessor. However, there was no problem in practical use with Realme C31. Cell phone SAR values are: SAR: 0.866 W / kg head – 0.934 W / kg body and the following LTE frequencies are supported: VoLTE and VoWifi calls for B1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41 To be available. Speech is clearly picked up by the microphone, but a second sound-canceling microphone seems to be missing. Ear speakers distort somewhat in the upper volume range. Media speakers definitely need about 40% volume to play the video back.
The Realme C31 only connects to the local network with WiFi 4. Even if the reception is good and the range of budget cell phones is long, the maximum speed of some DSL lines cannot be achieved. With our 100,000 Fiber Optic DSL, 42 Mbit / s comes in downloads. You don’t really need much for a low-budget smartphone. The Realme C31 connects to other devices via Bluetooth 5.0. Unfortunately, AptX is not available for audio transmission. GPS, A-GPS, BeiDou, and Galileo services are used for navigation. An e-compass helps to find directions. As usual, there was no problem with the practical test through Google Map. Locations in the building are determined in just 15 seconds with an accuracy of 9m. Realme C31 is located 1m with external precision. Unfortunately, you have to do without NFC. The Realme C31 is biometrically unlocked via a fingerprint sensor on the power button. I like the placement and unlocking is reliable, although there is a slight delay. The front camera can also be used for face unlock. Realme C31 is unlocked as fast as the fingerprint sensor, only the display needs to be activated first. It works with the power button or double-tap on the wake-up / double tap on the wake display.
The Realme C31 has a 5000mAh battery, which together with the efficiency-optimized Realme UI enables a stronger battery life. The Realme C21 has already shown excellent performance and optimizes the Realme software surprisingly well. The Realme C31 is probably going to get better with the switch to Unisoc. Or the Realme UI R version requires less power. Over 16 hours on the PC Mark battery benchmark, the Realme C31 gets a significant score (calibrated at 200 lux). A display-on-time of 9 to 10 hours is possible in two days. For me, it lasted a full three days and two nights, with 2.5-3 hours of use per day and a good 2 hours of music streaming per day.
The Realme C31 is charged via a micro-USB port with a maximum of 10 watts. A full charge takes 2 hours 45 minutes. That’s too slow by today’s standards. The Realme C31 can also act as a power bank for other devices via OTG via a USB adapter.
Realme C31 offers what a modern smartphone should be able to do. Also, with the more powerful Unisoc Tiger T612, it is now more confident, the common apps run better and the device can be operated faster. Unfortunately, with the downgrade to the Realme UI R version, some features are unnecessarily lost. Otherwise, the price range is clearly compromised: “effective” display, poor image quality, but missing equipment or MicroUSB port. In the foreground, however, is the “smartphone” itself, and here the Realme C31 is now better equipped with hardware upgrades. We do not need to discuss the comparison with the RRP of 13,490 at all: Realme C31 will go down mercilessly here. So we have to be patient until the first offer for an entry-level smartphone arrives. For example, there will be a price range that would be appropriate for the Realme C31. But even then, the question remains whether it would be better to invest more and get a better smartphone in terms of value for money. Then there is no way around the Redmi Note 11 with a great 90 Hertz AMOLED display for a whopping Taka 20,000.