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Realme C33 Review: This is what budget phones should look like

Story Highlights
  • For Ksh.17,000, the realme C33 is what I expect every other budget phone to look like.
  • Realme got a number of things right with this phone. We love the boxy and shimmering design
  • Things we feel realme should have done better? Video quality, the competition does better. Also, the realme C33 comes with an old-age micro USB port. That’s disappointing.

Realme C33 Review: I have always been a huge fan of realme C series devices. The last couple of months has seen the company bring a number of these budget phones into the market and I am lucky to have used some of them.

In 2022, the company launched the realme C35 which was the most stylish budget phone for that year, and the C30s. Towards the end of that year, they brought in the C33. We did an unboxing video of the C30s which you can check here

The C30s was a pretty decent device and the only smartphone in this segment to come with a side-fingerprint sensor. For KES 11,000 it was a phone to consider for anyone looking for a good budget phone with little money to spend. 

Fast forward to the realme C33 and the company decided to give consumers not a so-bad experience at that price point. Let’s look at this device in this quick review. Again, the realme C33 is a budget offering with basic specs and priced well at Ksh.17,000. Lets do a quick review. 

First, here is what you’re getting in the box:

  • The realme C33 itself
  • 10W Charging Adapter
  • USB Type-A To MicroUSB 2.0 Cable

Realme C33 Design and Display

realme C33 Review

This is a budget phone so there isn’t much to expect but realme has gone out of its way to deliver a nice-looking phone. The plastic body is well-built and looks really pleasing to the eye. That shimmering design is something I liked about the phone. At the back, you have dual cameras that protrude individually and quite significantly. The camera lenses are not well protected you might need to handle the phone with care to avoid scratches or maybe get a case.

I love the flat sides or boxy design of the phone. Makes it easy to grip. 

The power and volume buttons are nicely placed on the right. The power button also serves as a fingerprint sensor.  At the bottom, you have the headphone jack, USB Port, and speakers. The left side houses your SIM Tray. 

reame C33 Display

Let’s look at the display. The phone features a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display which is big enough and also offers decent image quality and brightness. Nothing really to complain about here for a phone at this price point. It also has HD+ resolution and which is bright enough and also offers some good viewing angles. And yes, the touchscreen is also quite responsive. 

Our realme C33 review unit was in Aqua Blue but the phone is also available in Night Sea and Sandy Gold color options.

Realme C33 Cameras

realme C33 Cameras

Realme is offering us a 50-megapixel sensor for the back camera and a 0.3-megapixel depth sensor. As I mentioned in the introduction of this article, the cameras protrude individually and also quite significantly. At the front, there is a 5MP camera for selfies and video calling. 

The main camera captures some decent photos, especially with good lighting with very realistic colors. The portrait images are not really the best but it’s something you can work with. For night photos, just make use of the night mode and at its price, the shots are actually not that bad. Check some sample shots below: 

For video recording, they’re capped at 1080p, 30fps. Just don’t record the videos in low light because you will be disappointed. The camera here really struggles to focus. There is also no image stabilization so either you get a tripod or your video will appear shaky. 

Realme C33 Software Perfomance

realme C33 Software

When it comes to performance, the realme C33 is powered by the Unisoc Tiger T612 processor. This is a mid-range processor that we have seen realme use on some of its other mid-rangers like the realme C30 and Realme C30s. The phone is available in 3/32 GB, 4/64 GB and 4/128 GB versions. The review variant sent to us by realme was the 4/128 which also gives you an option to expand it by an extra 4G of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. 

The realme C33 handles everything just fine. It might not be snappy but you won’t experience any major lags. Everything including your favorite apps open quickly and works just fine.  The phone also handles regular games just fine without a drop in performance. 

Relme C33 runs Android 12 out of the box with Realme UI S on top. Realme UI S Edition is a toned-down version of Realme UI and adds some basic experiences. Its main operating functions are still native to Android 12. Compared with the previous version, realme UI S edition has added features like chat bubbles, security privacy, power menu functions, added link KPIs, among others.

The phone also has a promise of two major Android OS updates and three years of security updates to the phone from realme. 

Despite some little bloatware that you can uninstall, the UI looks really good and clean, better than what brands like Transsion offer us with their budget phones.

Realme C33 battery life

The phone packs a 5,000mAh battery and realme has also added a 10W charging adapter in the box. Charging the phone from 0% to 100% should take you about 3 hours. Well, that’s a lot of time. 

On a single charge though, the phone should realme C33 should last anywhere between 1 and 1.5 days. Again, this will depend on your usage.

Realme C33 Review: Should you buy it?

realme C33 Review

For Ksh.17,000, the realme C33 is what I expect every other budget phone to look like. Realme got a number of things right with this phone. I love the boxy and shimmering design and the fact that it’s offering us better cameras than what we had with the realme C31 for example. 

Things I feel realme should have done better? Video quality, the competition does better. Also, the realme C33 comes with an old-age micro USB port. That’s disappointing considering many other phones around the same price category feature a USB Type-C port.

That said, we would still recommend the realme C33 to anyone looking nice looking for a phone with some good cameras for still images.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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