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The Realme C21 is the most interesting-looking new ~US$122 phone around

The new C21. (Source: Realme)
The new C21. (Source: Realme)
Realme has launched the C21 in Malaysia with a unique rear panel that might make even those not looking for a budget phone take a second look. It houses a 5,000mAh battery that also allows the device to double as a power bank. Its opposite side offers a large enough 6.5-inch HD+ display.

Realme has unleashed the C21 on the Malaysian market. Apparently, the OEM thought it needed help standing out in its budget category, as it has prepared an eye-catching off-center diamond pattern for its polycarbonate rear panel. It contains a 5,000mAh battery that also supports reverse charging, so long as its OTG mode is turned on.

Consumers might also appreciate the C21's display real estate, although it is an LCD panel of an HD+ resolution with no hint of a refresh rate above standard here. In addition, its 5MP selfie camera is housed in a waterdrop notch, although some might prefer this to a punch-hole.

The Realme C21 has triple rear cameras, although their 13MP main and dual 2MP sensors (depth and macro) might fail to delight those looking for powerful, yet economical, mobile photography. Then again, the OEM asserts the array is enhanced with "Super NightScape", as well as an AI Chroma Boost setting to intelligently bring up colors in the phone's shots.

However, if the C21 has a real source of let-down, it may be in its processor: the same MediaTek Helio G35 found in its predecessor, which (still) drives Realme UI based on Android 10. Finally, the new low-end contender makes do with a microUSB port - although it does also have a headphone jack.

The Realme C21 is available to order from now on Lazada in Malaysia, set at 499 ringgit (~US$122) for its single 3GB RAM/32GB internal storage SKU.

Buy a Realme C11 on Amazon


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 03 > The Realme C21 is the most interesting-looking new ~US$122 phone around
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-03- 6 (Update: 2021-03- 6)