Sunday, 29 November 2020 15:23

Review: realme C12 has good looks and will not break the bank

The Marine Blue model of the C12. The Marine Blue model of the C12. Supplied

If one were to go by looks alone when picking a smartphone, then the realme C12 would certainly be one of the contenders, especially the Coral Red model.

In most respects, the C12 is like the C11 which I reviewed last week. But, for the additional $50 cost, there are some additional features. Still, at $249, the C12 is very good value for money.

For one, there is 3GB of RAM, compared to the 2GB of the C11. But in testing I found that this model often has more drag than the C11. The SoC is the same for both devices, the eight-core Mediatek Helio P35 MT6765.

realme c12 big

The Coral Red model of the C12. Supplied

It is a mainstream ARM SoC for smartphones that was introduced in late 2018 and integrates eight ARM Cortex-A53 cores in two clusters (big.LITTLE), according to the site NotebookCheck.

The four performance cores clock up to 2.3 GHz. The integrated graphics card is PowerVR GE8320 and clocks up to 680 MHz. The integrated memory controller supports LPDDR4x with 1500 MHz or 933 MHz LPDDR3.

Further, a LTE radio with Cat-7 DL (300 Mbps download) and Cat-13 UL (150 Mbps upload) and a 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi modem is integrated.

Another difference with the C11, is that the C12 has the biggest smartphone battery that I have encountered: 6000mAh. According to the manufacturers' specs, it takes three hours and 42 minutes to charge from zero to 100%, so I would put aside at least four hours if you have run it down completely. I did not measure this during actual use.

Night Waibaidu Bridge Shanghai

The Waibaidu Bridge in Shanghai photographed at night. Supplied

And a third difference with the C11 is that this device offers a fingerprint scan, with the scan area at the rear of the phone. Facial recognition is also present.

Given that there is only 32Gb of storage, the C12 includes a slot for an SD card of up to 256GB. There are two SIM slots.

The C12 lacks NFC, perhaps because the percentage of Australians using their phones for payments really isn't that high, at least not from my observations. In recent times, however, some iTWire readers have observed that they have changed their minds about buying specific models because of the lack of NFC.

Night Jinmao Tower Shanghai

A night shot of the Jinmao Tower in Shanghai. Supplied

The device has a 13MP AI triple camera, and night shots come out clear due to what is claimed to be breakthrough nightscape technology. There is a portraits lens and also a macro lens.

The screen is a 6.5-inch HD+ mini drop display and is more than suitable for watching videos or playing games. As I said before, there is occasionally a slight lag when scrolling.

Like the C11, the C12 has a Helio G35 Gaming Processor, one of the first phones to include this. There is no headset or cover with the device.

The realme C12 comes in two colours — Marine Blue and Coral Red — and has been available for purchase since 12 November for $249 at the realme e-store, JB Hi-Fi, Bing Lee, Make it Mine, mobileciti, 5GWORLD, Essential Appliance Rentals, Amazon, Kogan, eBay and

Main Shimao Fuzhou Fujian Province

The Shimao International Centre in Fuzhou, Fujian Province photographed with the main camera. Supplied


Product Name realme C12

Product Model RMX2189


Android version 10

ColorOS version realme UI 1.0


Screen size 6.52“

Touch screen Capacitive Screen

Touch panel technology In-cell

Screen texture LCD

Screen resolution 1600*720

Screen PPI 269

Screen ratio 20:9; 88.70%

Screen Contrast min: 800:1 Typ: 1200:1

Screen refresh rate 60Hz

Screen colours 16.7M

Colour saturation 0.71

Maximum brightness 420nit

Touch screen glass material GG3

Touch points 10

Oleophobic coating No

Macro Feather

A feather as seen through the macro lens. Supplied


Size 164.5*75.9*9.8 mm

Weight 209g

Body colour Marine Blue / Coral Red

Middle frame texture PC+GF and aluminium alloy

Back cover material PC


CPU core 8

CPU platform MT6765

CPU frequency 4*2.3GHz+4*1.8GHz

GPU Model GE8320

CPU technology 12nm



RAM technology LPDDR4X

Flash specification emmc 5.1


External memory up tp 256GB

Standard SD card equipped No



Sensor sizes/pixel data 1/5 inch/1.12um

Photo size 2592*1944

Sensor type CMOS

Sensor manufacturer and model GC5035-WC1X0

Focusing mode FF

Optical focusing No

Wide angle of front camera 77.9°

Aperture f2.4

Maximum zoom multiples N/A

Focal length N/A

Front flashlight NO

Front camera lens material Plastic

Lens number 3P

Characteristic function for photograph Beauty, filter, HDR, panoramic view, Portrait, Timelapse

Ways of taking photos Timer, Touch, Gesture,Volume Button,Fingerprint

Continuous Capture modes N/A

Supported resolution and frame rate in video "720P>>>30fps 1080P>>>30fps"

Slow motion No

AI Selfie Camera

Taken with the AI selfie camera. Supplied


Number of rear cameras 3

PPI rear main 13M + mono 2M + macro 2M

Sensor sizes/pixel data "13M:1/3 inch,1.12um 2M Mono:1/5 inch,1.75um 2M Macro:1/5 inch,1.75um"

Photo size "13M:4160*3120 2M:1600*1200 2M:1600*1200"

Sensor type CMOS

Sensor manufacturer and model "13M: OV13B10-GA5A(OV) 2M-Mono:GC02M1B(格科微) 2M-Macro: OV02B1B(OV)"

Focusing method "13M:PDAF/AF 2M/2M:FF"

Optical focusing No

Maximum zoom multiples 4x

Aperture "13M:2.2 2M/2M:2.4"

Focal length 13M:25.53mm

Wide angle of rear camera "13M: 83.3° 2M: 88.8° 2M: 88°"

Flashlight Yes

Rear camera lens material Glass

Lens number "13M: 5P 2M: 3P 2M: 3P"

Macro lens 4cm

Slow motion 720p 90fps

Characteristic function for photograph Beauty, filter, HDR, panoramic view, Portrait, Timelapse, Slo-mo, NightScape, Expert,

Number of Output Pixels for ultra-high definition

Continuous Capture modes Yes, max 20 limit

Ways of taking photos Timer, Touch, Gesture,Volume Button,Fingerprint


Image Format jpg

Supported resolution and frame rate in video "720P>>>30fps 1080P>>>30fps"

Video storage format MP4

Image stabiliser no


Full charge time (0-100%) 3h 42min

Battery capacity 6000mAH

VOOC flash charge No

Wireless Charging No

Theoretical Calling duration 45.63H

Theoretical standby duration 1359.0H

Energy density 712Wh/L

Simulated duration 24.12H

Theoretical Audio playing time 213.96H

Charging speed/power 10W

Theoretical Video playing time 27.42H


Headset jack 3.5mm

USB jack Micro-USB

USB transmission standard USB2.0

Flashlight Yes

Notification light No

Double mic noise suppression No

Fingerprint Yes

Linear Motor N/A

Vibrating motor Flat motor

Dual speaker No

Super linear speaker No

Glove Mode N/A



SIM card slot Dual NaNo Card + TF Card (Three Cards Independent)


Infrared ray remote control No

FM Yes


Bluetooth version BT2.1+EDR,BT5.0

Bluetooth Shared network Yes

Bluetooth support protocol A2DP、AVRCP、HFP、HSP、PBAP、AVDTP、OBEX、OPP、HID
Wi-Fi band 2.4GHz

WLAN protocol 802.11b/g/n

Maximum number of connected devices at a hotspot 8

WLAN Display Yes

W-Fi antenna technology No

GPS navigation GPS,Glonass,Beidou

Dual frequency GPS No


Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE

2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2

3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100

4G bands 1, 3, 5, 8, 38, 40, 41

Speed HSPA 42.2/11.5 Mbps, LTE-A


Video format .mp4, .3gp, .3g2, .3gpp, .3gpp2, .m4v , .mkv


Image format JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, WebP, Raw, HEIF (HEIC)

Supported WideVine level L3

Record format mp3

Video record format mp4

Ringtone format ogg

HD format Yes

Web page video play Yes

Sound effect type dirac


Handset 1

Adapter 1

Headset No

Micro USB Cable 1

Important Info booklet with warranty card 1

Quick Guide 1

SIM Card Tool 1

Screen Protect Film 1

Case No


Text input default English

Call records (how many can be stored) According to the space left.

Upper limit for mass text messaging 200

Data backup Yes

Office tools n/a

Files compression and decompression Yes

World time Yes

Timing SMS function No

Import and export messages No

Import and export contacts Yes

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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