realme C65 review and price and specs via Revu Philippines

realme C65 lands in PH June 13: Our first impressions

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Hot on the heels of confirming the June 20 local launch of the realme GT 6 flagship, which coincides with its global reveal, realme has another phone primed for Philippine store shelves.

(Update, June 16: Our realme C65 review is up!)

(Update, June 13: The realme C65 and realme Buds T110 are now available in the Philippines!)

This time, it’s the realme C65, the successor to the realme C55, which debuted as the segment’s “thinnest smartphone” last year. The latter started at a budget-friendly price of P8,999 (around $154) for the base variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and while pricing details for the C65 are still under wraps, it’s scheduled to hit stores in the Philippines on June 13.

The blind preorder period starts today, June 7, and ends June 12. Early adopters will receive a free TechLife Wireless Headphones Pro or a TechLife 65W Power Bank 2 with a 20,000mAh battery capacity, plus up to P32,000 ($547) worth of extras via in-store raffles at participating realme stores nationwide.

Brand new even after four years of use?

While we wait for the local embargo to lift, realme boasts the C65 will feel brand new even after four years of ownership. That’s a bold claim in the budget-phone arena, where longevity and smooth performance aren’t always a given.

To support this ambitious promise, the brand has snagged TÜV Rheinland’s certification for a 48-month Fluency Rating. This involves a battery of tests to assess the realme C65’s peak capabilities and ensure it maintains performance over time — with proper care, obviously. The goal? A user experience that stays smooth for at least four years, even as newer models tempt your wallet.

A budget phone with shimmering style

Design-wise, the realme C65 gets a major refresh with the company’s Shining Starlight Design in purple and black colorways. For a more unified look, the camera module integrates quite seamlessly into the unit’s back panel. It actually reminds us of the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, which is not a bad place to start.

realme C65 review and price and specs via Revu Philippines
The double-layered visual effect on the back is nice to look at — and more importantly, gives the impression that the realme C65 is more expensive than it really is

To achieve its shimmering effect, the device’s rear panel has undergone an advanced 300nm seven-layer coating process, creating a unique double-layered visual effect on the back. It’s nice to look at — and more importantly, it gives the impression that the handset is more expensive than it really is, assuming it will retail at around the same price as its predecessor, of course.

Impressively, the C65 should also remain the thinnest phone in its class, according to realme, with a profile measuring just a mere 7.64mm compared to the C55’s 7.89mm-thick sides. This translates to a great in-hand feel, although the width of the smartphone might make one-handed usage a challenge for most users.

Safer for your eyes

The realme C65’s display offers a decent-sized 6.67-inch LCD panel with a reasonably smooth 90Hz refresh rate. Here’s where things get a bit interesting: The resolution on the new model drops to HD+ from the FHD+ screen of its predecessor. While a downgrade in sharpness, this leads to a more fluid visual experience, thanks to the reduced pixel count this model needs to push.

Surviving the water test! The screen also comes with realme’s Rainwater Smart Touch mode, which enhances touch sensitivity for use in wet conditions

On the bright side, realme has equipped the C65 with TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light certification. This translates to less eye strain during extended use, making those late-night browsing sessions a little easier on your eyes. The peak brightness can also reach 625 nits, allowing you to comfortably view the screen even in bright sunlight. The display also comes with realme’s Rainwater Smart Touch mode, which enhances touch sensitivity for use in wet conditions, ideal for rainy days and workouts.

realme C65 review and price and specs via Revu Philippines
realme has equipped the C65 with TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light certification

Budget muscle with software perks

The realme C65 runs Android 14-based realme UI 5.0 on an entry-level MediaTek Helio G85 4G chipset. To help optimize the user experience, realme has baked a few software features into the C65 that are tailor-made to maximize their device’s capabilities.

These include hands-free Air Gestures controls; a Dynamic Button that can be programmed for quick access to your favorite functions; an interactive Mini Capsule 2.0 notification system; Smart Code Scan, which quickly launches the camera app for a code scan by tapping the back of your phone; AI Boost for performance; and Riding mode, an easy-to-use UI interface while on the go.

realme C65 software feature screenshots via Revu Philippines
Some of the software features that are tailor-made to maximize the realme C65’s capabilities

While the internals might not be top-of-the-line, realme’s additional software feature set aims to elevate the phone beyond its budget price tag. These features target a variety of user needs and could potentially make the realme C65 a surprisingly capable daily driver.

Final thoughts

The realme C65 positions itself as a budget-friendly option with a few interesting quirks, particularly on the software front. While the move to an HD+ display might raise eyebrows, the focus on software features as well as certifications granted by TÜV Rheinland is a welcome touch. The design refresh with the shimmering back panel injects some personality, too.

Ultimately, the realme C65’s success will hinge on its price tag, which remains unknown. If it lands at a price similar to its predecessor, it could be a compelling option for budget-conscious buyers looking for a stylish and smooth performer, potentially for years to come.

realme C65 specs

  • 6.67-inch LCD display, HD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate, 625 nits peak brightness
  • 12nm MediaTek Helio G85 processor
  • Mali-G52 MC2 GPU
  • 128GB/256GB storage, expandable by up to 2TB via a microSD Card
  • Dual 50-megapixel main, depth rear cameras
  • 8-megapixel front camera with Mini Capsule
  • Side fingerprint reader
  • 5,000mAh battery with 45-watt fast wired charging
  • Realme UI 5.0 based on Android 14
  • Color: Starlight Purple, Starlight Black

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Ramon Lopez

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Reviews editor: Ramon "Monch" Lopez has 16 years of professional experience creating and editing content for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. He headed the gadgets-merchandising division of one of the Philippines’ largest retail operators somewhere in between.