The realme C55 arrives in the Philippines as the first Android phone we’ve tested that mimics Apple’s Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro models.
You can purchase the device offline and online — on TikTok, Lazada, and the realme e-store — with the base 6GB/128GB model priced at P8,999 (around $161 converted) and the 8GB/256GB variant selling for P10,999 ($197).
Locally, the realme C55 is being marketed as “the stylish champion,” and true to the claim, the smartphone does up the design ante compared to its rivals in the segment. The boxy aesthetic, flat sides, and floating camera design on the back emulate those of more expensive handsets.
Unsurprisingly, the overall look of the C55 takes after the standard realme 10 and other C series models released this year, such as the realme C33 2023. It comes in two colors, Rainy Night and Sunshower. The latter displays more flair and looks pricier than it actually is in its gold colorway topped with a matte finish.
If you prefer a more understated exterior, the black variant might suit you better. Its rear panel has a smooth surface with subtle vertical lines, so it feels nice in the hand and keeps fingerprints and smudges away. The realme C55 has kept the left side mostly clean, save for the SIM and microSD card tray, as the side-mounted fingerprint reader is located below the volume keys along the right edge.
The busier bottom edge features the USB-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and primary loudspeaker that can go up to 200% volume level in Ultra Volume mode. The company has added stereo speakers to the phone’s arsenal, plus Dirac audio enhancement, to deliver a more immersive multimedia experience.
According to realme, which happens to be the No. 1 smartphone brand in the Philippines for two consecutive years, the C55 is the “segment’s thinnest smartphone,” even with its 5,000mAh battery. The unit measures 7.89mm at its thickest point, which is indeed pretty impressive, especially given the price.
The flat plastic frame also adds to the ergonomics and helps in gripping the handset easily. And as a fan of the iPhone’s industrial design, we do generally like this angular device, with little details like the different texture on the camera island and chrome accent for the rear-facing lenses.
Up front, the realme C55 packs a 6.72-inch LCD display with FHD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. The screen also offers up to 680 nits of peak brightness, well above the industry standard of 500 nits. This should give you more visibility on the panel if you try to use the phone outdoors under direct sunlight.
The high refresh rate ensures that the display is smooth and responsive, but it won’t allow you to play any game — even casual ones — above 60 fps. This is partly due to realme’s hard cap of 60Hz when gaming. Then again, the chipset isn’t built for hardcore gaming either.
Around the back, the realme C55 features two large camera rings with a 64-megapixel main shooter joined by an AI sensor for taking portrait-style pictures. shots. Flip the phone around, and you’ll find the 8-megapixel selfie camera that cuts a hole in the top-center of the display.
The handset takes decent pictures in daylight. In the right lighting conditions, it provides ample detail and sharpness. The front camera, on the other hand, works well enough, though some of our shots looked a tad bit soft, particularly in Portrait mode. The lack of an ultrawide option feels like a big miss, as does the absence of a real secondary shooter on the back.
Obviously, one of the biggest selling points here is the realme C55’s iPhone-like Dynamic Island feature, which the brand calls Mini Capsule. It sits on the front camera cutout and displays the device’s charging status, low battery alerts, step count, and walking distance, among other things.
Unlike Apple’s Dynamic Island, though, the Mini Capsule isn’t interactive and doesn’t change form to show you different types of active notifications, making it seem non-existent or extremely limited for the most part. To be fair, realme says the feature is still in a beta state at the moment and that there will be over-the-air updates for added features on the Mini Capsule. We think it has a lot of potential if expanded.
The Mini Capsule toggle wasn’t switched on on our unit out of the box, so if you want to enable it, you need to go to Settings > realme Lab > Mini Capsule.
The realme C55 is powered by a 12nm MediaTek Helio G88 budget chip. It features two Cortex-A75 cores operating up to 2GHz and is generally power-efficient, thanks to its six Cortex-A55 cores at 1.8GHz, though it also lacks a 5G modem for faster mobile data.
The smartphone comes with up to 8GB of RAM plus 256GB of built-in storage and a dedicated microSD card slot for storage expansion by up to 1TB as well.
Navigating the phone is mostly a satisfying experience if you enable the 90Hz display setting at the expense of higher battery consumption. Otherwise, the Android 13-based UI can feel a bit sluggish at times under high workloads.
On average, the battery life is great, lasting about 40 hours between charges based on our experience so far. Additionally, the realme C55 charges over the modern USB-C standard, so you don’t need to bring another charger if you’re already using a similar power adapter for your tablet or other phone.
The realme C55 isn’t gunning for the flagship-seeking crowd, and it won’t compete with the latest iPhone models straight up, of course, despite its unique claim to fame. But if you’re after an attractive, feature-rich phone and don’t want to pay a premium price for one, then it is definitely well worth considering. In terms of aesthetics and overall performance, it’s right up there with the best the category has to offer.
Hopefully, realme does pay close attention to the Mini Capsule and improves on it in its future iterations. We have a feeling this won’t be the last time we’ll see it on a realme device.
Want to see what’s inside the retail box? Check out our unboxing.
realme C55 specs
- 6.72-inch LCD display, FHD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate, 680 nits peak brightness
- 12nm MediaTek Helio G88 processor
- Mali-G52 MC2 GPU
- 6GB (can be dynamically expanded up to 12GB)/8GB (can be dynamically expanded up to 16GB) RAM
- 128GB/256GB storage, expandable by up to 1TB via a microSD Card
- Dual 64-megapixel main, depth rear cameras
- 8-megapixel front camera with Mini Capsule
- Side fingerprint reader
- 5,000mAh battery with 33-watt fast wired charging
- Realme UI 4.0 based on Android 13
- Color: Rainy Night, Sunshower
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