Reviews

Realme C3 review: An affordable gaming device

For those who strictly game on a budget

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“Gaming on a budget” — this has been one of the most common phrases raised in casual conversations I’ve had with people. In this economy, people are always looking for ways to cut down on spending while gaining access to gaming technology. We’ve all seen just how crazy expensive premium gaming devices are, so people just stick to the midrange.

And yet, companies like realme are coming up with more affordable devices that offer the right amount of gaming power. One such device is the realme C3, which they’re promoting as a budget gaming smartphone. On paper, it does have some midrange-level hardware that will give you decent gaming power.

But is it good enough to be your next main gaming device? Let’s find out.

It has a 6.5-inch IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3

It has a headphone jack and a micro-USB port

It has a triple camera setup at the back of the phone

Overall performance that’s above-and-beyond

The realme C3 comes with a Helio G70 octa-core processor, which to my understanding is a first for any budget smartphone. In terms of overall performance, there’s really nothing negative I could say about it. Realme opted to put in their brand new realme UI inside, and it works splendidly well.

Despite only coming with 3GB of RAM, the phone still feels fast and the UI was responsive. Opening multiple apps did not cause any significant bottlenecks, and multi-tasking was a breeze. This honestly speaks more to how realme optimizes their OS for devices with much lower RAM, and that’s something worth noticing.

Gaming performance that exceeded expectations

This device is being marketed as a budget gaming smartphone because of the hardware inside it. So naturally, I ran the phone through four different games to see how it stacks up, or at least determine which type of game best fits. 

Less Graphically-Taxing Games

The first two games were, for the most part, less graphic-intensive in that you don’t need to squeeze out the mobile GPU for power. Mobile Legends played, as expected exceptionally well with the realme C3. No visible frame drops, clear images and sprites — obviously this game was fit for this phone. Even something like Plants Vs. Zombies 2, which has a lot of visual elements, plays smoothly.

Common Shooter Games

For the next two games, I went with those that thrived on higher frame rates, even for mobile devices — and they’re both shooter games. PUBG Mobile and Call Of Duty Mobile almost played exactly the same way on the realme C3: smooth, but not buttery. When you’re simply traversing through the world without combat, the games run smoothly. Once high-octane combat starts, frames tend to drop but not painstakingly much. If you do plan to play more games like these two on the realme C3, keep these in mind.

Overall, the realme C3 actually blew me away with how it can handle mobile games given the hardware. It’s not on the same level as premium gaming smartphones, but gaming performance was surprisingly good. Performance drops are expected because of the lower RAM, but realme UI’s gaming optimization software compensates for it.

Longer battery life means more game time

There is a 5,000 mAh battery stuck inside this smartphone, and it took a long while to fully discharge the device. From regular usage, I managed to get through almost a full day without charging it once. When you’re gaming full time, it lasted an average of 10-11 hours — which is pretty great.

One full charge took around two and half to three hours, mostly because this phone still has a microUSB port. Although, the phone supports reverse charging and can be a powerbank provided you have an OTG cable lying around.

Sacrificing the quality of the rear camera

There always has to be one thing companies sacrifice when developing budget smartphones. To bump down the price to be as affordable as possible, certain features had to give way for more important ones. The trend for most budget smartphones now leans towards sacrificing the device’s camera quality — regardless if it was the rear camera or the front one.

In the realme C3’s case, based on my usage of it, the rear cameras took the biggest hit that it seemed like that was the sacrificial lamb. No amount of HDR, bokeh effects in portrait mode, or even some Instagram filters could save the triple cameras at the back. Photos turned out grainy and almost disregarding any form of detail. Even as I tried to focus on a particular subject, the end result threw much of the detail out the window.

Personally, the phone’s saving grace for its cameras was its front camera. Honestly, the quality I was looking for in the rear camera somehow transferred all the way there. Selfies show great emphasis on details, especially when using portrait mode. I guess if you had to stream your gameplay directly from your phone without a webcam, this sort of does the job.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

For PhP 5,990 (US$ 118), the realme C3 is in its own league — so far. The Helios G70 adds the power this smartphone needs to basically be anything you need it to be. If you plan to strictly use this as a gaming smartphone, it is an easy recommendation on my end. If you’re also on a strict budget for a gaming device, this is another great phone to try.

Even if you don’t plan to use this smartphone strictly for gaming, it’s a great choice for the price. Performance is great, and the battery lasts long. Although, I would not highly recommend this phone for taking pictures of your big events with the rear camera. Aside from that, this phone is simply a great option.

Overall, I believe that the realme C3 has potential to be anyone’s next gaming device. And who knows, maybe other companies might decide to follow suit. 

SEE ALSO: Realme 5i review: Power on a budget

Gaming

Why you should buy the PlayStation 5!

In case you need more reasons to

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Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5? In this first of a two part series we review the PS5. And tell you why we think you should buy it over the new XBox.

SEE ALSO:
Sony PlayStation 5 Unboxing
PlayStation 5 pre-order date in the Philippines
A somber look at the PlayStation 5 crisis

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Reviews

Infinix ZERO 8: An eclectic, affordable flagship

Eccentric yet sturdy!

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There’s a new brand in town, and it’s ready to shake up the lower midrange category in the Philippines. Meet the Infinix ZERO 8. It’s a competitive midrange smartphone with promising specs, packed in an affordable package.

From Hong Kong to the World

A bit of history, Infinix is a Hong Kong-based smartphone company with R&D in France and South Korea. It started conquering the Middle East and North Africa, and it seemingly wants to heighten its presence in Asia.

In the Philippines, the brand is making strides in the affordable segment. It launched an affordable Note 7, and the ZERO 8 tries to take the spotlight.

Personally, I’ve heard of Infinix but I never got the chance to try it. Gladly, the opportunity came when the Infinix ZERO 8 found its way to my home.

The box came in a beautiful gray and silver box

Of course, it contains every essential accessory you’ll need for your smartphone

It comes with a SIM ejector tool, a clear case, a charging cable, and an adapter.

Infinix takes it up a notch on its white cables, pairing it with silver accents

Yes, the phone has a headphone jack in case you’re asking

The unit I have comes in a Black Diamond colorway

But before we dive in, let’s take a quick look at its ‘promising’ specifications

Processor

MediaTek Helio G90T

Configuration

8GB + 128GB

Battery

4500mAh + 33W SuperCharge

OS

Android 10

Front camera

48MP + 8MP

Dual-Flash Light

Rear camera

64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP

Quad-Flash Light

Display

6.85” FHD+

90Hz refresh rate

2460×1080 resolution

Dimension

168.74 x 76.08 x 9.07mm

So, what? I’m eclectic

Let’s start with the elephant in the room: the phone’s eccentric rear design. Seeing how Infinix has its smartphones designed in France, there’s no wonder the products come out a little extra. French design, as I’ve always perceived it, seemed grand and flashy.

Infinix ZERO 8

vivo S1 Pro

That’s what the Infinix ZERO 8 is: Commanding attention with a design rooting from previously launched smartphones. For instance, the diamond-shaped camera placement is reminiscent of the vivo S1 Pro. On another note, Infinix stated the design was inspired by the Louvre’s Diamond-glass design.

Infinix ZERO 8

Samsung Galaxy A51

Meanwhile, the prism that refracts across its glass body is similar to Samsung’s Galaxy A50 and A51. Infinix also used the same approach as Samsung’s changing patterns, albeit with a more minimal matte V-shape design from top to middle.

Combining both familiar designs from more expensive brands, Infinix presented a unique proposition delivered to the lower midrange segment.

Smartly designed?

Accompanying the ZERO 8’s eccentric rear design are its sides that are minimally and smartly designed. The top part is clean AF, while the bottom part sports a headphone jack, a USB-C port, and its speaker grilles.

On the left, you can find its SIM tray while on the right are its single volume rocker and a fingerprint scanner that also works as a power button. Personally, I love the fingerprint scanner. It reads swiftly, allowing quick access to your phone.

A treat for those who like it big

The Infinix ZERO 8 sports a 6.85-inch FHD+ display with a 2460×1080 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. It’s a humongous and powerful handset for tiny hands, but for the price it commands, this affordable flagship is a steal.

Navigating the phone can be as smooth as other premium smartphones. In the entertainment department, it makes for a perfect little portable cinema.

Watching Start-Up on Netflix was quite an experience. The visuals are strikingly vibrant although the blacks are a little bit faded. Audio, on the other hand, can be as loud as most wireless speakers.

One time, I had the phone play Netflix’s Emily in Paris while I work and the sound filled the whole room. For context, my room is double the size of most studio apartments in Manila. Yes, it was LOUD.

Easy to hold, hard to navigate

The Infinix ZERO 8 comes with a hefty build. Even though it weighs heavier compared to smartphones in the same bracket, the curved edges provide easy grip. I didn’t feel like I’m gonna drop the phone accidentally or it will slip off my hands. Coming from someone with tiny hands, somewhat, I felt secure.

But the easy-grip isn’t just what I need. Having a tall and robust phone like this makes it difficult for me to navigate the phone with one hand.

Shake your inner Marie Kondo

Privileged complaints aside, the Infinix ZERO 8 runs a customized XOS Dolphin 7 UI based on Android 10. There are a lot of pre-installed applications, which also blew up my notifications. The Marie Kondo in me is shaking, I had a hard time looking at and cleaning the interface.

Gladly, most of them are removable. The XOS interface also comes with a Smart Panel which you can customize, making it easy to access important apps and tools. Aside from that, the XOS carries a plethora of helpful features for a more mindful smartphone usage

If it comes with a cleaner UI, maybe I would recommend this phone for people dabbling in mindfulness while staying connected.

A rear camera story

The Infinix ZERO 8 has a total of six cameras. On its rear, you can find a quad-camera setup: a 64-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultrawide lens, and two 2-megapixel depth sensors.

To be perfectly honest, I had a fun time using the ZERO 8’s rear cameras. It’s an affordable phone, yet it produces vibrant photos especially in the daytime. Low light and indoor shots aren’t looking good, though. For reference, you may scroll the photos I took in my neighborhood, in a Panda-themed café, and in Starbucks.

Daytime

Ultra-wide angle

1x Auto

2x Auto

Indoor Lowlight – Daytime

Ultra-wide angle | Cafe de Esa, Philippines

1x Auto | Cafe de Esa, Philippines

2x Auto | Cafe de Esa, Philippines

Indoor Lowlight

Ultra-wide angle | Starbucks Sierra Valley

1x Auto | Starbucks Sierra Valley

2x Auto | Starbucks Sierra Valley

Photographing food

Auto mode

Auto mode

Portrait mode

I love taking photos of my food and beverages. So, yes. I used the ZERO 8 to capture my favorite breakfast meals from a cafe and a restaurant in Tanay, Rizal. Surprisingly, the ZERO 8 can produce appetizing photos, thanks to its aggressive post-processing in different lighting conditions.

Portrait mode doesn’t look good, though. I know some people who use portrait mode to capture their food to replicate some stellar shots from mirrorless cameras, but it looks like the trick won’t work with the ZERO 8’s cameras.

Greenery

Greenery, whether it’s sunny, cloudy, or raining, still looked vibrant. This kind of processing makes it perfect for social media posting. However, the quality might suffer even more since social media platforms lower the image quality.

Clearly, the ZERO 8 is already suffering from a loss of details especially when you zoom in. Photos might look blurry when zoomed in on Instagram.

Selfie cameras underneath

For its front cameras, it carries a dual-camera setup: a 48-megapixel main sensor and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens. Uniquely, the selfie cameras are placed underneath the display. It’s not protruding nor sunken when you let your fingers grace the screen. It’s weirdly smooth and neat. And I like it.

Selfie with proper daylight

Auto mode

Beauty mode

Portrait mode

As you can see, the front camera system is quite aggressive when it comes to post-processing in beauty and portrait mode. Thankfully, the daylight allowed the photos to reproduce vibrant colors and have a proper white balance, even in different modes.

Selfie in poor lighting condition

Auto in wide-angle mode

Beauty mode

Portrait mode

In low light, the ZERO 8’s front cameras struggle. It produces a bluish tint leaning to a cooler hue for different modes, except when you use the wide-angle mode. Surprisingly, the change in temperature only happens when taking wide-angles in low-light.

You can also notice the loss in details. But then again, this is an affordable flagship. Temper your expectations, or upgrade to a more expensive option but with better camera systems.

Reaaaally long-lasting battery

In the midst of reviewing this phone, I lost power and water supply in my neighborhood after the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses. I was off from work for a week, and the fully-charged Infinix ZERO 8 drained to 25 percent on the fifth day. I didn’t expect this device to last that long, even on standby.

Unlike the Galaxy M31 (6000mAh) which went from 100 to 33 percent on standby in a week, the Infinix ZERO 8 drained slower, having only 4500mAh battery capacity. I haven’t even used its power-saving features, which makes the phone a promising companion.

But my normal usage made the phone last for more than a day. I’m not heavy in gaming seeing how I spent most of my days balancing work, personal hobbies like fitness, art, and entertainment. For heavy, power users, the phone might still be good enough for a day.

If you run out of juice, fret not. It’s capable of up to 33W of fast charging, which gives you an hour and a few minutes to fully charge its large battery. That is, if you’re using a fast charging adapter. If your charger takes forever, don’t worry. The phone has a Safe Charging feature which automatically disconnects the phone when it’s fully charged. You can let your phone charge while you sleep at night.

Power, speed, and performance

As I’ve said before, this handset has a 90hz refresh rate. We had a crash course on smartphone display’s refresh rate and I will say it again here: We don’t really need it to be that high unless you’re playing graphics-intensive games. Which this smartphone can handle well.

I logged in to my League of Legends: Wild Rift account to play and I had a sweet time. With cooling technology, you won’t worry about overheating issues. It also has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal. Gone are the days where you scramble to delete photos and other files just to make space and to prevent your phone from slowing down.

The only reason I didn’t play enough is because of two reasons: I’m juggling a lot of things, and the phone is too heavy for me. It would strain my hands if I play for more than 30 minutes.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The Infinix ZERO 8 is a promising flagship for those looking for the best they can afford, without breaking the bank. It has an eccentric design, a long-lasting battery, speed, power, and performance — all at an affordable price.

Unlike most midrange phones carrying the same specs, the Infinix ZERO 8 retails for PhP 12,990. It comes in two colors: Black diamond and Silver diamond. It’s currently available in Lazada.

SEE ALSO: Infinix Note 7: Best underrated budget phone?

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Apple iPhone 12 Pro Review: Pro Enough?

How does it set itself apart from the rest of the line?

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While the similarities between Apple’s iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are less distinct than ever, the iPhone 12 Pro sets itself apart enough. Other than that, consumers got more confused with the iPhone 12 mini and 12 Pro Max on the line.

Are you curious to know if the iPhone 12 Pro is your GadgetMatch this 2020?

You can find out more in our iPhone 12 Pro review by clicking this link.

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