Realme launches two budget-friendly smartphones — the C11 and C12

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As one of the fastest-growing smartphone brands in the world (with over 50 million global users), Realme is making a big name for itself when it comes to quality smartphones with a more budget-friendly price point.

Realme has a good range of smartphones at all price points, including at the more premium end such as the Realme X3 SuperZoom. Now Realme has expanded its cheap smartphone offerings with the new C11 and C12 devices, with both handsets available under the $300 price mark.

So, what can you expect from these two budget-friendly smartphones? Let’s take a look at the features and specs of the Realme C11 and C12.

Realme C11 features and specs

Realme C11 phone in green colour with random objects surrounding it
Source: Realme

Coming in with a RRP of $199 AUD, the Realme C11 is a great budget-friendly device with many of the features you’d expect to pay more for from other manufacturers. The device is available to buy outright from November 12, 2020, from a range of retailers including JB Hi Fi, Bing Lee, Amazon, Kogan, Catch.com and the Realme online store.

The C11 has a 6.5 inch HD+ drop display, with an 88.7% screen ratio, making this display one of the biggest at this price point and a great screen for watching videos and playing games.

You’ll get a 13MP and 2MP AI dual rear-camera setup with NightScape technology, which is the first of its kind for an entry-level device on the market, and a 5MP front-facing camera.

As for the other specs, you’ll get a huge 5,000mAh battery (for up to 12 hours or uninterrupted gaming or up to 170 hours of music); ultra-fast facial recognition for unlocking your device; three card slots for dual SIM and Micro SD storage (up to 256GB); 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage; Realme UI based on Android 10; Simple Mode; and a powerful Helio G35 Gaming processor, for enhanced performance and latency optimisation for a great gaming experience. All of this is packaged in a sleek design, in Pepper Grey or Mint Green colours, each with its back texture limiting the risk of fingerprint marks.

  • $199 AUD RRP
  • 6.5 inch HD+ display with 88.7% screen ratio
  • 32GB internal storage (with up to 256GB Micro SD expandable storage)
  • 2GB RAM
  • Helio G35 octa-core gaming processor
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • Dual rear-camera setup (13MP + 2MP) with NightScape technology
  • 5MP front-facing camera
  • Pepper Grey and Mint Green colourways

Realme C12 features and specs

Realme C12 phone in red colou against red textured background
Source: Realme

Want a little bit of an upgrade to the C11? For a RRP of $249 AUD, you’ll get some of the same features as the C11, but you might find some of the upgraded inclusions of the C12 worth spending the extra $50 for. The device is available to buy from November 12, 2020, from a range of retailers including the Realme online shop, JB Hi Fi, Bing Lee, Kogan, Catch.com and Amazon.

Like the C11, the C12 offers 6.5 inch display with 88.7% screen to body ratio and the Helio G35 octa-core gaming processor with its latency optimisation. You’ll also get dual-SIM and expandable Micro SD storage (up to 256GB), with 32GB of internal storage and 3GB of RAM.

If you thought the C11 had a pretty impressive battery, the C12 takes it one step further with a massive 6,000mAh battery. This gives you up to 57 days of stand-by battery life, up to 60 hours of streaming music, and up to 28 hours of streaming video. The cameras are also a bit of an upgrade, with a triple-rear camera setup with Super NightScape, featuring a 13MP main lens, 2MP portrait lens and a 2MP macro lens (the C11 is lacking in a macro lens), plus a 5MP front-facing camera with portrait mode and AI beauty features.

There is also an ultra-fast rear fingerprint scanner and facial recognition, giving you a couple of options for how you prefer to unlock your device. The C12 also runs Realme’s UI based on Android 10 for a smoother user experience, plus Simple Mode for larger fonts and icons with a clear layout for users who need an interface that is easier to navigate. The device comes in Marine Blue and Coral Red colour options.

  • $249 AUD RRP
  • 6.5 inch HD+ display with up to 88.7% screen ratio
  • 32GB internal storage (with up to 256GB Micro SD expandable storage)
  • 3GB RAM
  • Helio G35 octa-core gaming processor
  • 6,000mAh battery
  • Triple rear-camera setup (13MP + 2MP + 2MP) with NightScape technology
  • 5MP front-facing camera
  • Coral Red and Marine Blue colourways

Cheap SIM-only plans

Considering that the Realme C11 and C12 devices are only available to buy outright, you’ll need a SIM-only plan to bundle with your handset. Whether you’re after a super cheap phone plan or something with lots of data, prepaid phone plans or postpaid phone plans, there are plenty of phone plans to choose from.

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $30 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $30 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Is the Realme C11 or C12 the right smartphone for me?

If you’re a little unsure about cheaper smartphones, not to mention a device from a lesser known brand like Realme, the good news is that with today’s smartphone technology, it’s very unlikely you’ll be disappointed with performance.

Cheap smartphones often have better technology than the premium devices from a few years ago, so if you’re still using a phone that’s several years old, you’ll probably find little difference between that device and a new budget-friendly handset. As long as you don’t expect all the same flashy features of a $1,000+ device, you’ll most likely find there is good value for money with a cheap phone.

Realme is a smartphone manufacturer that has made a big impact by making great quality devices around those lower and middle range price points. The company launched in 2018 and has its origins tied to OPPO, which is another brand with a solid reputation for quality devices at cheaper prices. These devices do deliver what’s on paper, and you can expect great performance and quality technology built in. The company markets its devices to the younger generations, especially teens and students, and because of the price point and great tech built in, the cheaper models can be a great option for your kid’s first smartphone.

If you are looking for a straightforward smartphone without the big price tag, and if you’re not too fussed about super-premium features, you can expect a great experience with a Realme device, no matter the price point. The C11 and C12 include some pretty impressive specs, with the big batteries and multi rear camera setups; when you consider that both of these devices come in at under $300 AUD, they certainly make an enticing option for anyone looking for a great cheap phone that doesn’t skimp on specs and features.

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