realme C65 First Impressions Philippines: Stylish Basics

realme C65 First Impressions Philippines: Stylish Basics

Initial verdict: The realme C65 covers all the essentials one expects in a budget phone, and the brand made it better by giving a more unique look that makes it stand out of the crowd.


-Better wired charging speeds

-Refreshing design


-Barely any changes to the internals

-Downgraded display resolution

After it was announced last April, realme is set to bring the C65 to the Philippines soon as its latest entry-level offering. The new budget phone stands out for a design that’s not the usual realme design language, all while covering the essentials for a budget phone.


realme C65 First Impressions Philippines: Design

realme started to use a more unique design language for the C series starting with the C67, and that trickles down to the C65. The C65 looks more different with its rectangular camera module with three camera rings that remind you of the Galaxy S22. This gives the C65 a less generic look as a budget phone, and the Starlight Purple color of our review unit is subtle while having a glittery finish beneath its glossy texture.

While we’re not fans of glossy finishes, realme has tweaked this finish to be more smudge-resistant so that you can be less annoyed with smudges. Aside from the updated looks, the C65 has an IP54 rating, making it more comfortable to use under the rain compared to its predecessor. Compared to the C55, the C65 is thinner and lighter.

Save for those design tweaks, the C65 has the same button and port layout as its predecessor: SIM card tray on the left side, power and volume controls on the right side, and USB-C port, headphone jack, and loudspeaker at the bottom. Aside from doubling as a fingerprint scanner, the C65’s power button can be customized for different functions–similar to what realme has initially implemented on the 12 5G.


realme C65 First Impressions Philippines: Display

One of the major criticisms of the C65 is that realme downgraded its display. Aside from being slightly smaller with a thick, dated chin, the resolution is only HD+ instead of Full HD+. We don’t know why realme downgraded the display on the C65–but to their credit, they made it more usable even if the display is damp with its Rainwater Smart Touch Feature.

The C65’s punch-hole area has realme’s Mini Capsule feature, and the brand brings Air Gestures as well, making it the first time an entry-level phone has such a feature. Despite those slight downgrades, the C65’s display has a decent brightness range that’s usable for outdoor use.

Like the C55, the C65 retains the same single-speaker setup. Considering that realme implemented stereo speakers on the C67, we just wished that they implemented the same on the C65.


realme C65 First Impressions Philippines: Cameras

You still get a dual rear camera setup with the C65, with the main camera now using a 50-megapixel sensor. Don’t be deceived by the lower megapixel numbers: the C65’s 50-megapixel main camera takes better photos than the C55’s 64-megapixel shooter, and this can be credited to realme’s recent efforts to improve the camera performance of its entry-level C series phones.

The improved camera performance is also evident with its 2x digital zoom feature and the inclusion of realme’s Street Mode for taking creative snapshots.

Being an entry-level device, the C65’s video recording capabilities is capped at Full HD for both the main and selfie camera. That should be enough for most users when it comes to day-to-day use.


realme C65 First Impressions Philippines: Internals and Battery

The C65 is powered by a Helio G85 processor that’s paired with 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and up to 256GB eMMC 5.1 storage. It’s technically the same set of internals found on last year’s C55, but the Helio G85 is slightly better than the Helio G88 in most benchmarks. While the Helio G85 is an aging processor at this point, it’s still good enough for most tasks–as long as you don’t intend to do heavy gaming with it.

You get Android 14 out of the box with the C65, and realme has a decent software commitment for it: 2 major Android updates and 3 years of security updates.

You still get the same 5000mAh battery with the C65 despite having a slimmer overall build. realme improved charging speeds at 45w, which translates to a faster top-up time for the battery.


realme C65 First Impressions Philippines: Wrap-up and Initial Conclusions

The C65 covers the must-haves for an entry-level phone, and it stands out for a design that’s more unique compared to its rivals. There may be a few compromises, but realme incorporated relevant upgrades to the C65, especially with the camera and charging speeds.

The next big question is how much it will be priced in the Philippines: in Bangladesh, the C65 retails for around Php 10k for the 8GB/128GB variant, but we expect the pricing to be lower when it launches in the Philippines.



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