realme C65 Review | Geek Lifestyle

The realme C65 sports some interesting features, a nostalgic aesthetic, and some major workhorse potential.

The realme C65 is the newest entry to the brand’s more affordable lineup of smartphones to sport a few new features alongside the classic realme experience. Coming in hot prior to another even hotter release this month, the budget-friendly device from the popular C series is set to turn a few heads.

While lacking the flash and pizzazz of the numbered siblings, the C series has yet to disappoint. With solid, reliable entries that deliver a decent daily driver experience, we were quite interested to see just how the realme C65 stacks up against its predecessors. With a 48-Month Fluency Rating and TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification as a couple of key features, you know realme isn’t fooling around.

Is it an upgrade, a sidegrade, or does it maintain the status quo while adding its own twist? Read on to find out.


The realme C65 diverges from the old, beaten path by doing away with the prior matte finish and instead, sporting a glossy sheen. It comes in Starlight Black and Starlight Purple colorways with the latter being the flavor of our review unit. At 185 grams and a wafer-thin 7.64 mm, it’s pretty lightweight, being mostly made of hard plastic

The design is pretty distinct–showcasing a prismatic, “Shining Starlight” visual that somewhat emulates a nice meteor shower when shifting against the light. Dreamy. To capture this particular spectacle, the smartphone had to undergo 12 processes with 7 layers of a 300nm nano-optical coating.

The glossy finish isn’t as fingerprint-prone as we expected, as we wielded the phone without a case throughout the entire review process. It could be thanks to the backside’s aesthetic, but we’re glad about it either way.

As for the camera setup, we get three smaller peepers instead of the usual gaping duo. It’s a similar design to the realme phones of yesteryear, and added a nice nostalgic touch. The display sports a punch-hole camera up top and has quite the chin downstairs. Not much of an issue, but it would be nice to see more budget-friendly devices with bigger bezels once in a while.

Overall, for a new entry to the C series, it dresses to impress. Definitely a step up from the C55, and within the scope of the C67 in terms of looks.

Binge-Watching Factor

The realme C65 boasts a 6.67″ HD+ display with a 720 x 1604 screen resolution. The chin cuts the screen-to-body ratio to 85.6%, but we do get a decent 90 Hz refresh rate. Going up to a maximum of 625 Nits of brightness, it’s neither blinding nor too dim for one to handle. The customized lowest brightness allows the display to drop to 1 Nit–which worked well as we walked around in the evening.

As such, the overall viewing experience wasn’t mind-blowing, but decent enough for us to enjoy our media of choice.

The Rainwater Smart Touch is hit or miss, but not a complete bust. While testing it out during a rainy Taiwan trip, it still managed to function properly while going through apps and snapping photos. It did struggle a bit when typing things down, though.

As the realme C65 is TÜV Rheinland Certified, you can rest assured that your eyes will always be well-rested–regardless of how many K-pop videos you decide to watch one after the other. It’s tried and tested, insomnia be damned.

The Rainwater Smart Touch was a nice touch–and I intend all my puns. Even though it didn’t impress us 100%, it’s a nice feature to have. In spite of the 90 Hz refresh rate, swiping through the home screen and app drawer did feel a tad sluggish at times. Hopefully, a couple of software updates could rectify this.

Gaming Prowess

Now, gaming might be an issue, in all honesty. While the realme C65 isn’t marketed as a gaming phone, it’s still a bit disappointing to see a Helio G85 processor slapped into a 2024 smartphone. We understand that there’s more to it behind the scenes in terms of production, but still. While efficient in day-to-day tasks, it absolutely struggles with games. The 8GB of RAM helped, but not much.

For both Honkai: Star Rail and Genshin Impact, we had to keep the graphics at their default settings–which was at its lowest. Even then, the games would experience frame drops and stuttering, especially once the enemies would clump up on screen.

It’s worth noting that any game aside from the more demanding gacha titles will run just fine. Your MLBBs, CODMs, and even a heavily tweaked COD Warzone Mobile will be able to manage. Just make sure to set your expectations.

Geek Photoshoot Capabilities

Now, this smartphone’s camera did come as a bit of a surprise with how decent the photos turned out. While a far cry from the realme 12 series, the C65 was no slouch as a lower-tiered smartphone with its 50MP AI Camera. The main shooter allows a 79.5° field of view with a 26mm focal length. The result was a nice set of photos under good lighting–even up to 2X zoom. Of course, you lose a bit of detail at 5X, and even more at its maximum 10X. 

Portrait shots courtesy of the 2MP depth lens came out fine as well, in spite of only having one default range. Sadly, we don’t get the cinematic filters that were available for the 12 series.

Once dusk fell, the noise settled in. While the AI-powered main shooter does work overtime in night mode, it only manages to salvage most of the detail and clarity of the photos. We’d highly recommend lighting your subjects properly.

Selfies from the 8MP front camera came out clear enough even with beauty mode switched off. As for going portrait, the bokeh was decent enough to stay away from the subject’s hair.

Both the front and rear cameras shoot video at 1080, 30fps. We wouldn’t recommend either for content creation, but for anything else, it gets the job done.

Everyday Reliability

This is where the realme C65 shines, in our honest opinion. It’s neither a gaming device nor a photoshoot powerhouse. It is, however, a good-looking workhorse that can run ’til the hooves fall off.

The 5000 mAh battery ensures you can power through a busy work day, and then some. Crank up the usage, and you’ll have an average of 24 hours of battery life. We left it on standby for a week and still had more than half a charge left. It’s insane. If you do need to top up, 45W of SUPERVOOC charging ensures you’ll be juiced up in about an hour.

The new lineup of real Essentials has a slew of features for a variety of sensibilities. The new tactile Smart Code Scan helps in easy QR code-related payments. The aforementioned Customized Lowest Brightness will help everyone in general, especially under low lighting. The AI Boost helps a bit with making normal, daily tasks smoother, but doesn’t really help much with gaming as the processor itself struggles on its own.

Air Gestures is a fun, if not frustrating feature. In concept, it’s pretty neat to go all Minority Report when swiping through Youtube videos and waving your hand to end a call. it would have been so much better if it worked 100% of the time. It likely relies on how well-lit your surroundings are, as in broad daylight, we got much more mileage with the feature. Otherwise, there would be problems with distance or how we’d hold up our hand in front of the camera. Still, it does have potential, and it’s a nice feature to have.

Lastly, the Dynamic Button and Mini Capsule 2.0 make a return. The former is straightforward and programmable, and the latter is tactile enough to navigate through Spotify with ease. As these are familiar features, we had no problems making good use of them. Just make sure to ease up the double taps on the power button. You wouldn’t

Now, let’s talk about that 48-month fluency rating. 3 years of consistent software support is nothing to scoff at, and will definitely help those who are navigating within the C65’s price range. Being an affordable smartphone that you can keep for almost half a decade is a sweet deal on its own, especially if you’ll be using it on the daily. Couple that with all the aforementioned features, and you’ve got one reliable partner.

Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict

Build and features aside, that 48-month fluency rating along with the real Essentials quite the compelling reason to get the realme C65 at its early bird price, which goes as low as PHP 8,299 via TikTok Shop’s 8 PM live selling today. Buyers will get a free 20000 mAh TechLife 65W PowerBank 2.

As for Lazada and Shopee, you can score the realme C65 for PHP 8.799. The former offers a free TechLife Dust Mite Vacuum, while the latter comes with TechLife Wireless Earbuds or a TechLife 12W Charger. Also available for Home Credit.

For more information and details on the realme C65, you can visit realme’s official website, or drop the official Facebook page.

realme C65 Specs:

  • 6.67” 9Hz LTPS LCD (720 x 1604) Display
  • Mediatek Helio G85 (12 nm)
  • Mali-G52 MC2
  • 50 MP, f/1.8, (wide)
  • 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
  • 8 MP, f/2.0, (wide) front-facing camera
  • 8 GB RAM (8 GB Dynamic)
  • 256 GB internal storage (expandable to Up to 2TB via hybrid sim card tray)
  • Fingerprint (side-mounted), Accelerometer, proximity
  • Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot/ LTE /5G
  • USB Type-C
  • 5000 mAh Battery, supports 45W SUPERVOOC charging
  • Android 14
  • realme UI 5.0 Edition
  • Purple Nebula, Black Milky Way