realme C53 Review | Geek Lifestyle

Is realme's C53 the next budget phone for you? Here's what we think.

After trying out the newest realme phone previously, we have now had enough time with it for a full realme C53 review. And in case you missed it, this new phone promises to be a compelling budget smartphone option.

Specifically, the realme C53 promises to be good for everyday use and for gaming with its Unisoc Tiger T612 processor that’s paired with 6GB of RAM. It also has a 50MP main camera which also promises great photos both in daytime and night. Finally, the phone has a unique deisgn that should make in an eye-catching device that’s fit for users who want a phone that will stand out in a crowd.

So, does the C53 deliver on its promise of good performance and great camera capabilities? Find out here in our realme C53 review.


For starters, let’s take a look at the phone’s design. The newest realme phone is available in Champion Gold and Mighty Black. The unit we got to test out was the Champion Gold version, and it does look quite eye-catching, especially when light hits it at a certain angle.

What’s also nice is that, despite being glossy, the phone’s back is not a fingerprint magnet. On the flip side though, the finish feels a bit plastic-y and not the most premium in hand when you use it without a case. On the bright side, if you opt to go caseless, the flat edges give it a nice grip so that it won’t slip out of your hand, even in a sweaty gaming session.

While I prefer something a bit more understated looks-wise, users who want a phone with a striking look will not be disappointed with this phone. Though a minor nitpick that we have is that the included clear case is tinted black, which isn’t the best look for the Champion Gold color.

Another thing to note is that the phone’s back has an iPhone-style camera module. But don’t be fooled as only two of those are actual camera modules as the one on the right is just the flash.

Moving to the front, you can see the phone’s large 6.74 inch LCD display with a waterdrop notch at the top. Many phones these days come with a holepunch notch, though the notch on the C53 did not bother us.

Also, the phone’s display has a fairly noticeable chin, but again, this shouldn’t be too bothersome. Not to mention that slimmer bezels are usually only found in more expensive devices.

Overall, the C53 is a pretty good phone design-wise; at least, when compared with other budget devices.

Binge-Watching Factor

While we expected the screen to be only 720p, realme packed the C53 with a 1080p display complete with a 90Hz refresh rate. Sure, you won’t get the vibrant colors and deep blacks of an OLED screen given that the phone’s screen is an LCD, but users who love binge-watching movies/shows on their phone should still be served well by the C53. The display still got plenty bright, and there were no issue when we watched movies and our favorite anime on it.

What we didn’t love though is the sound quality on the internal speaker. When playing music or audio from movies/shows, the single, bottom-firing speaker’s audio quality leaves a lot to be desired as it sound sharp and tinny. The C53 also has a function that boosts the volume to “150%”, though we found this to just boost the higher frequencies, making the sound even more tinny and harsh.

For the best binge-watching and music-listening experience with the C53, headphones or external speakers are definitely recommended. Thankfully, realme still included a 3.5mm headphone jack on the C53 at the bottom, so you aren’t stuck to just using a wireless audio device.

Gaming Prowess

As mentioned above, the realme C53 is powered by a Unisoc Tiger T612 processor that’s paired with 6GB of RAM. Most of the Android phones released today use either Snapdragon or MediaTek processors (except for some Samsung phones which use Exynos SoCs), so it’s a bit unusual to see a phone powered by a Unisoc SoC. That’s because Unisoc chips are usually reserved for lower end devices, as is the case with the C53.

So, how does the realme C53’s processor do for gaming? Well, it does have enough power to run today’s popular titles, albeit not at max settings.

For example, League of Legends: Wild Rift ran at a smooth 60FPS framerate on the Medium graphics preset. This means for MOBAs, you may want to keep the graphics to Medium to get the best results.

Meanwhile, shooters like Call of Duty: Mobile are also stuck with just Medium. Thankfully, the performance is fairly stable when we played on the C53. Of course, this does mean you won’t be able to play some of today’s more demanding games. But if you’re on a tight budget and want something that can at least run popular MOBAs and shooters, the realme C53 should still fit the bill.

Geek Photoshoot Capabilities

Moving on to the cameras, the realme C53 has a 50MP f/1.8 main camera as well as an unspecified other shooter at the back. Meanwhile, there’s an 8MP f/2.0 front camera for selfies.

It’s interesting that realme hasn’t shared much about the other rear camera, leading us to believe that it’s likely just a 2MP depth sensor. After all, there is no ultrawide or macro option on the camera app when we tried the phone out. Because of this, it’s safe to treat the C53 as a phone with just a 50MP main shooter.

In daytime, the 50MP main camera does not disappoint as it manages to capture photos with decent colors that retain a good level of detail. While most phones have no issues in these lighting conditions, the realme C53 at least doesn’t have any issues to speak of.

At night, there is a bit of a dip in quality, as expected. Images are a bit blurry at night, especially when you zoom in a bit. Though these intial sample photos are taken with just the Auto mode.

The C53 does have a Night Mode as with most phones these days. And for low light snaps (especially if you’re planning to post on social media), using the Night Mode is highly recommended as it produces images that are sharper and retain more quality, all while having more vibrant colors. Though do take note that colors can appear a bit too vibrant, as is the case with most phones with a Night Mode on the camera app.

For selfies, the 8MP selfie shooter is fine if there’s a lot of light. At night, the image quality dips, but you should still get decent photos. Though take note that the built-in beautification filters are a bit strong by default, so you’ll want to play around with them for a more natural selfie.

Everyday Reliability

While it’s gaming performance is adequate for todays’ popular titles, our initial time with the phone wasn’t the best when it comes to everyday use. This is because we found it to be a bit slow and not as responsive as we would’ve liked. Though thankfully, the phone became snappier and performed better overall after a software update. Given this, we recommend that you check for the latest software update ASAP if you get this phone. Though here’s hoping that it’s long-term performance will still be fine given the budget SoC.

Aside from some initial slowdown, we at least didn’t encounter issues with the phone when it came to using social media, email, or word processing apps. Of course, given that this is a budget smartphone, you probably shouldn’t expect it to be a content creation powerhouse. So, you may want to just use it for lighter workloads.

As for battery life, we had high hopes with the phone. While you can get over a day of use with the phone, it may get drained at the end of the day if you use it heavily. Though your mileage may vary of course.

What’s nice about the phone is that it has 33W fast charging support. Thanks to this, you can get to 50% in just a bit over 30 minutes. This is a nice feature to have that’s not found with other entry-level devices, especially for times where you forget to charge it the night before.

Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict

Overall, the realme C53 is a solid budget smartphone option at its SRP of PHP 7,999 thanks to its good display, solid performance, and quality rear camera. While we could’ve used a bit more battery life, it’s nice that the phone has a fast charging feature. Plus, the phone’s design should be great for users who want an eye-catching device.

While it’s tough to say if it’s the best budget smartphone deal that you can get right now, it is a tempting offer as realme is offering the phone for only PHP 6,999 for a limited time as an early bird discount exclusive to realme TikTok Shop and realme Lazada Flagship Store. Take note though, this offer is only available until June 23 only.

realme C53 Specs:

  • Unisoc Tiger T612 Processor
  • Mali-G57 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 6.74-inch IPS LCD display, 90Hz refresh rate
  • 128GB storage (expandable via microSD)
  • 50MP f/1.8 main + unspecified shooter dual camera setup
  • 8MP f/2.0 front camera
  • 3G, LTE, Dual SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, fingerprint scanner (side-mounted), USB Type-C
  • 5000mAh battery with 33W fast charge (50% in 31 minutes)
  • Champion Gold, Mighty Black colors
  • Android 13, Realme UI T